BEST has partnered with NSDA (National Speech and Debate Association) since the fall of 2013. NSDA is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization in the world, holding their prestigious national tournament in the United States each year. With the help of Cherian Koshy, their Director of Development, students from across Bulgaria were able to compete for a chance to attend their national tournament by helping BEST hold its first ever US-Qualifier Tournament in April 2014. Students may compete in the events of Original Oratory or Duo Interpretation. The top students in each category at the BEST US-Qualifier qualify for a spot in the NSDA National Tournament.
Becoming a Member
Aside from the resources and other benefits available to teams who choose to become NSDA members, NSDA membership is mandatory for teams and students who wish to compete at the US Qualifier tournament. You must start this process during the fall semester in order to be eligible to compete at the US Qualifying Tournament. To become an NSDA member, follow these steps:
- Coaches, fill out this form. Scan it and email it to both BEST and Lisa Vossekuil (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line reading “NSDA Membership Form” no later than the last week of December. Please note the fees listed on this form are not applicable to Bulgarian teams.
- NSDA will email a confirmation that your registration has been received. Processing may take up to 2 weeks.
- After registration is processed, the school or team must pay the discounted registration fee for Bulgarian teams of $35 USD (approximately 63 BGN) annual fee. In order to do this, you must call NSDA directly at (920) 748-6206. Remember that they are in the United States and are 8 hours behind Bulgarian time.
- Closer to the March deadline (or concurrently with paying the annual school fee), the coach must contact NSDA with all the names of the students who want to become members of NSDA. This is a one-time fee. If a student is already a member of NSDA, they do not need to pay. Each new student must pay $6 USD (approximately 10 BGN) in annual fees. These are discounted fees available ONLY to teams in Bulgaria. Both the school team and each student will receive an invoice and pay annual membership fees to NSDA.
Note: A student needs 25 points to become an NSDA Member. Bulgarian students, however, are exempt from this rule.
- Coaches must enter the ranks of students from each round by logging into their team account at the NSDA website.
Due to the processing time involved, all paperwork must be submitted to BEST and NSDA by December 31, 2016
Each team must email BEST with proof of payment to NSDA by the registration deadline for the AUBG tournament in April.
If for some reason NSDA has not sent your team the payment form, we will need confirmation from NSDA that they are working on your payment form. Without proof of membership, your team CANNOT compete. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.