Requirements

Eligibility

Parents/guardians, coaches and students need to meet the eligibility requirements (faith, age, education) of the league that sponsors events they will coach or compete at: Stoa and/or NCFCA
 

Parents/guardians and coaches need to agree with our club's Statement of Faith and Position Statements. Students do not need to agree, but need to be respectful of these beliefs and understand that they shape the club environment.

Club Attendance (Student & Parent)

Drop-offs are not allowed.

Students must try to come to every meeting and for the entirety of the meeting and let the Club Director know, if possible, that a meeting has to be missed in whole or in part. 

Speech-only students 4 - 5:30 pm

Debate-only students 5 - 7 pm

The 30 minutes between speech and debate is required for both speech and debate families. This "Together" time allows time for socializing, club announcements and other club developing opportunities, as well as snacks/dinner. All parents and students need to be present in the same space during this time.

In sensitivity to the church's commitment to providing a safe environment for minors, all parents who will be on campus are asked to take the Ethics & Integrity in Ministry (EIM) course through the Diocese of Austin. The free two-hour workshop is offered at convenient times and locations in and around the Austin area.

Homework and Time Commitment

All students need to come to club prepared and complete assignments by their due dates. This is to benefit fully from what is being offered. Assignments are designed to help students produce finished works, develop life skills, and be ready for competition. Parents are responsible for making sure their students are completing their assignments on time. Coaches will work closely with parents and students to encourage the students in their tasks.

Estimated time commitment outside of club time and tournaments are:

Speech:  1-3 hrs/wk in fall, 1-2 hrs/wk in spring

Debate:  2-5 hrs/wk for fall & spring

Parental Involvement

Parental participation is required at each club day in which your child is present, throughout tournaments your child competes in, and to help prepare for tournaments our club may host. 

Student success is directly linked to parental involvement.  As homeschooling parents, we know that our students learn directly from us in many situations.  Parents play a crucial role in helping their students implement the tools they will learn.  Whether you have a background in public speaking and forensics or no experience at all, your regular and consistent attendance and participation will provide your students the best opportunity grow, learn and thrive in this endeavor.  

We work as a team, the students, parents, and coaches alike to offer insight, critique, and help each other grow in many ways.  Sometimes this means we are taken out of our comfort zones.  This is all surrounded by a supportive and caring group of individuals working together toward learning, depth of knowledge and strength to meet the world where it is today.

Club Updates

All announcements including club meetings, assignments, tournament information and other events will be communicated electronically.  

All parents and students, are responsible for checking for these daily.

Tournament Attendance

 

Tournaments motivate the member to prepare diligently and with purpose throughout the season. They also provide crucial feedback that helps the competitor improve his or her skills. A variety of qualifying tournament opportunities will be available to fit family needs and schedules. A student can choose to participate in speech and/or debate at tournaments.  

Students must compete in at least two qualifying tournaments in either NCFCA and/or Stoa leagues. At each of those two tournaments debate students must compete in at least one format of debate and speech students must compete in at least one speech. 

Debate students must also compete at least once in extemporaneous speech in NCFCA or Stoa and/or parliamentary debate in Stoa

Pre-Debate (* not offered in 2019/2020)

Pre-debate students should observe at qualifying tournaments, but no competition will be required.

Code of Conduct

Members will exhibit a kind, polite, and respectful attitude to each other and behave in a manner that brings honor to God. Coarse joking, rude behavior, and direct disobedience are not acceptable. Students will not disrupt club activities or in any way create a difficulty. Students will conduct themselves to consistently value relationships above results.

Unless you are married, there will be no public display of affection. Dating and romances are to remain outside of club environment. At club, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

No gum chewing or sunglasses are allowed inside.

If a violation occurs, the student will be warned. If severe or repeated, parent leaders will consult with the student's parent. We may need to dismiss a student from club events and, in extreme cases, dismiss a student from the club.

Dress Code

For club events, please dress modestly with the goal of minimizing focus on outward appearances. Do not let your attire be a distraction. 

Here are some guidelines, but if you are not sure, err on the side of caution... don't wear it. 

 - cover shoulders

- bottoms at least fingertip length

- no tight clothing

- cover midsection

- no low-cut or revealing tops (for example, when bending over)

For tournaments modest and professional business attire is required of competitors (males - suit/tie/dress shoes, female - suits/dresses/dress shoes. For ideas of what is expected, see NCFCA (www.ncfca.org) for more information. Plan on enough to wear for three days in a row. The club hosts a used tournament attire share event.

Junior Speech (*might not be offered in 2019/2020)

Junior speech is available for students ages 7-12 on September 1. Juniors meet at the same time as the seniors speech time. Its purpose is fun! We want our juniors to enjoy themselves as they participate in hands-on, engaging speech activities while learning communication skills. Junior members are not required to compete at tournaments but are encouraged to do so when the opportunity is available, particularly a Stoa tournaments in the spring.

 

Younger Siblings

 

Childcare is not provided. If brought to club events and tournaments, younger siblings must be supervised by their parent or a designated teen/adult, in such a way that the parent can actively participate. This may include parents developing a supervising rotation and/or hiring and paying for outside babysitters.

Additional Policies for Debaters

NEW Debaters and Pre-Debaters are required to attend a novice debate camp in the summer. Experienced debaters are encouraged to attend as well. Below are novice, intermediate and advanced camps options:

Ethos Summer Camps

DFW Summer Camps

If the novice debate camp was missed over the summer, please contact us to discuss possible alternatives.

Team Policy partners must be approved by the debate coach. Partners who share the same goals and commitment levels will be successful. Partnership commitment is for one year, including the Regional and National tournament should the team qualify.  

Costs

 

Club Registration

Non-refundable Family registration fee is $125/year. ($150 after September)

League Affiliation

NCFCA: $100-150 depending on timing

Stoa:  $55

Families often affiliate with both leagues to have more competition opportunities, however our tournament attendance requirements can be met in only one league.

Tournaments

$30 to $200 – tournament fees per student, hotel expenses for typically 3-4 nights, food $4-$8/meal, and transportation. Plenty of qualifying tournaments are within about a three hour drive from Austin. Larger tournaments (nationals, regionals, etc.) are often outside of Texas. Some families save money by staying with relatives/friends, sharing a hotel room, bringing their own food and carpooling.  

Example: Tournament in Houston, one student competing in debate and two speech events:

* $75         tournament fees (depends on number of events)

* $300       hotel ($75×4 nights)

* $75         food (6 meals for student and parent)

* $100       federal mileage rate (gas, wear and tear, etc.)

  $550 Total

Extemporaneous speeches rely on news tracking software for approximately $30 - $75.

One or more sources of team policy debate materials are recommended for approximately $30 - $115. A debate box (mobile file chest), for approximately $75, is also recommended for team policy partners to share.

Speech and debate summer (day or overnight) camps are optional, except debate camp is required for beginner debaters. Caps may necessitate out of town travel. Approximate cost per camp: $150 - $400.

Approximate Annual Cost

Club Registration: $125/family

League Affiliation: $55/family

Tournament attire: varies

Tournaments (two required, but we encourage more): $1,100 for two

Debate materials: $70 

Debate camp: $150 (required for new debaters)


 

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