Stoa Speech & Debate Welcomes you to the 2014

National Invitational Tournament Of Champions

Monday, May 19th – Saturday, May 24th

Saturday Awards Ceremony

National Championship Awards Ceremony

A joyous celebration of God's faithful provision

Our venue for the NITOC 2014 awards ceremony will be at an outdoor amphitheater (think "stoa") at Kit Carson Park. The address for the park is:

3333 Bear Valley Parkway
Escondido, CA 92025

  • Drive past the first entrance to Kit Carson Park
  • Turn left onto Entrance Drive (on the right you will see Mary Lane)
  • Park only in the Amphitheater Parking or across the street at the Mormon Church on Mary Lane
  • No parking at the Sports Complex

Picnic in the Park - 6:00 PM

  • All pre-purchased meals will be available at 6:00 PM
  • You may bring your own picnic with you to the amphitheater
  • No food will be available for purchase

The Chronicles of Stoa by the Baconator - 7:00 PM

Awards Ceremony - 7:15 PM

  • All competitors in Tournament Attire (whether you believe you are receiving an award or not)
  • Stoa Vote announcements
  • Live streaming will be attempted via wi-fi hotspot



No Breakout Impromptu

NITOC having moved to three different venues during the last days has resulted in the Tab Team having to set up, tear down, set up, tear down, set up...thus tabbing Breakout Impromptu has become a logistical impossibility at NITOC 2014. We continue to appreciate everyone's understanding and flexibility.

If you signed up for Breakout Impromptu, please see the Impromptu Refund Table at NITOC Central and you will be handed a crisp $20 bill.


  • At 1:30 PM: We are announcing Debate breaks to Triple Octa finals Hepner Hall forecourt opposite Hardy Tower
  • There are no announcements for IE Quarterfinals – all breaks will be posted!
  • Please read postings and get to your competition rooms on time – plan on 10+ minutes walking – time management is key to success!
  • Parli Resolution announcement location TBD – Check website, signs, etc. prior to Round.

We really need everyone to judge – Parents, please pick up ballots – if your students didn’t advance, please bless your NITOC neighbors and stay to judge Students, please encourage your parents to judge instead of watching you today!

Here is our Clarified Thursday Schedule:

915 Extemp Prep
930 1130 IE Round A3
1130 130 IE Round B3
130 Debate Announcements
230 430 Debate Triple Octofinals
430 Extemp Prep
445 700 IE Quarterfinals
700 Dinner
730 845 Parli Quarterfinals

Happy Competing!!



A circus packs up it's big top and hits the road. Kind of like the children of Israel taking down the tabernacle and moving on. This NITOC experience has had some things in common with both. (Have you happened to see our juggling competitors?). But while a circus is looking for an audience with the locals, we are continuing to seek an audience with the King.

Last week I had never heard of Town and Country Resort & Conference Center. Now we have friends there. Until a few hours ago, I'd never been to San Diego State University. Now we'll spend the next three days together there.

God has been using you and the others on this literal and spiritual journey to teach me numerous lessons. One has been to sharpen my listening to His prompts. Throughout the day, lots of things pop into my head, but they get lost in the clutter of my mind. It's not until a fellow traveller brings something up to me that I remember to take action on it. That reminds me not to be too busy to miss God's prompts.

Many people have sent encouraging notes to us. They often make me cry. Here's a message that someone shared that I'm prompted to pass to you:

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. " - Romans 15:5 - 6

Together, God has called us to a place with great big rooms and great big distances. The flexibility you've shown so far has been a warm-up act. In order not to have our NITOC quarter finals be given in rooms with phones to the front desk, we are going to put on our hiking boots and be ready for what God has brought us to today.

Here's what you need to know about our final stop as we journey to the promised land:
5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92115
I-8 at College Avenue Exit
Go South on College Avenue

Parking: Best place to park is parking structure #4. Unless we can get a waiver, parking is $10 a day. We recommend that you drop off your students on the fourth flour of parking lot four, because there is a bridge that crosses over to the campus at that level. After you drop them off, park and be sure to pick up your parking tag, which can be purchased and then put on your dashboard and be on your way. Follow the signs to NITOC Central. Again. (The next closest structure is parking lot 6.)

THERE IS NO FREE PARKING ON CAMPUS. The campus police and parking enforcement officers are vigilant, so don’t be caught without a parking permit.

You can buy parking permits for $1/hour from the parking meter machines and choose the length of the permit.

Study this map Rooms we are using are in Adams Hall, Arts & Letters, Engineering, Education and Business Admin, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Geology Mathematics Computer Sciences, Hepner Hall, Hardy Tower, Life Sciences North & South, Music, Physics, Storm Hall, and West Commons. Lot's bigger than Town and Country.

If you're an iPhone or Android user, there is s marvelous app called SDSU Map you can find on the App Store. _Best 99 cents you'll spend all week!

Time: Arrive at 8:00 a.m.

We'll gather together at Hardy Tower near the top of the campus map for a time of prayer and information. Please allow for traffic, parking, and walking.

Come prepared to be very flexible as you have been all week!

Schedule - Check the tab

Ladies - bring flats or tennis for your walking

Keep praying! We have been so blessed by everyone's appreciative attitudes!

THERE IS NO FREE PARKING ON CAMPUS. The campus police and parking enforcement officers are vigilant, so don’t be caught without a parking permit. You can buy parking permits for $1/hour from the parking meter machines and choose the length of the permit.

We will be needing everyone to pitch in and judge. Lots and lots of triple paneled rouds. The judge credit keeper is giving us names daily of those who aren't even close to achieving their obligations. Now is the time to step it up!

The Extemp room is Music 120. The Broadcasting room is the same place: Music 120. Find out where that is early, as we won't be on campus "signing up" the place too long before you arrive.

Expos rooms will be at the Education and Business Admin building. It's next to an accessible road. The materials can be dropped off curbside, but think of it like a quick airport scenario. The storage room is Education and Business Admin 441.

Some of the rooms are going to feel like the inside of Noah's ark compared with rooms with double twins.

God is not finished with us yet!

Here's what you need to know about our final stop as we journey to the promised land:

Place: San Diego State University

Time: Arrive at SDSU at 8:00 a.m.

  • Proceed to Hardy Tower near the center of campus

Come prepared to be very flexible as you have been all week!

  • Schedule TBD
  • Check your inbox early in the morning for more details

Keep praying! We have been so blessed by everyone's appreciative attitudes!


You deserve an award for flexibility. We know this hasn't been easy on anyone and we are so grateful for your gracious attitude! Not knowing if you needed to keep your hotel location or make a change for something closer is hard, especially when you don't know what "closer" might end up being! And we know it has financial ramifications.

Here's what we have just confirmed: *NITOC 2014's final location is San Diego State University. That is less than 7 miles from Town and Country.

Our wonderful hosts for the last two days here at Town and Country are offering a _limited amount of rooms at our Stoa rate of $75 a night for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. Call the hotel at 619-291-7131. Ask for the Stoa group rate. NOT FOR SATURDAY NIGHT! We are told that the City of San Diego is booked out on Saturday and Sunday night, so DON'T CANCEL YOUR SATURDAY NIGHT HOTEL PLANS, WHEREVER THEY ARE!

Our competition schedule is TBD. Our order of events is TBD. For you, everything so far has been TBD, so this is nothing new for you!

When we do determine our schedule we highly recommend that you arrive early to familiarize yourself with the campus. No time to send you a cute welcome video. No pool or cabanas to use as landmarks. Again, nothing new for you.

So it's time to fold up the tabernacle and move on to the (almost) promised land. Hallelujah!

The tragic wildfires in north San Diego county have closed the California State University San Marcos campus to outside groups. Updates will be entered on the website as they are communicated to the families and competitors of NITOC.

These updates will be of great importance to everyone, so please make sure that a coach or alumni you know gets notified by you.

PLEASE NOTE!: The schedule tab on the left will be updated as needed on a day-by-day basis. Right now, the schedules for Sunday through Tuesday are the only accurate dates, as the rest of the schedule is in a state of flux.

May 21

Competition at the Town and Country went swimmingly well on Tuesday without anyone taking a dip in the pool.

  • Speech competition begins Wednesday, May 21 at the Town and Country hotel

  • Mandatory meeting for all Extemp students at 8:30 am.

  • Extemp prep begins at 8:45

  • Extemp prep room is on the top floor of the Regency Tower in the coolest prep room ever

  • Broadcasting (Pattern B) prep is in the same room as Extemp prep

  • Pattern A speeches begin at 9:00

  • Pattern B speeches begin at 11:00

  • Expos storage is in the Brittany conference room

Wednesday's schedule is on the Schedule tab on the left of this page or CLICK HERE.

The Lord has provided a facility one day at a time. Everyone will be notified when He provides the details on Thursday's facility.

Glory to God.

Stay tuned for another exciting email from our Tournament Directors


May 20

There once was a study done to find out what makes a strong family. So a number of families were interviewed, and they discovered that what these families all had in common was camping. By digging a bit deeper, they discovered it wasn't the camping that was the key, but that it was a shared crisis that inevitably happens at some point during a camping trip

Looks like God is working on our family!

While NITOC is hosted by Stoa, we realize that the 630 so-called "competitors" aren't all Stoans. This tournament is made up of five different homeschool speech and debate leagues. But we have more than just our current shared crisis in common. We share a desire to build on our ability to communicate for Christ's Kingdom. That's way more binding that having to survive without a can opener on a camping trip!

Here are important details for Tuesday.

Our pillar of cloud stops at:

Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108

We sent some spies ahead and they discovered these helpful hints:

While the main entrance is off Hotel Circle North, the best place for us to enter is off of Fashion Valley Road. If you're heading north from Hotel Circle North, the entrance is on your right, past the convention center. Here's a map of the campground.

Follow the signs to parking lot C, as in "camping," which direct you along the back of the property, until you turn right (following those parking lot C signs) to the tri-level parking structure, which is on the upper right corner of the map. You can actually park anywhere on the resort, but these directions will get you closest to our campsite. From there, follow the signs to NITOC Central. You'll walk through the Regency Tower, past the pool (please keep an eye out for your youngsters), to the Regency Courtyard area. We will have Regency Ballroom available to us after 9:30AM, and it will be a large space to give us some room. It's also where our patient vendors and exhibitors will be, so bring the cards that were in your packets to start collecting your stamps.

There is a $2 parking fee upon exiting. We wish there were no cost, but we talked them down from $14. If you plan on returning, save your receipt and you won't be charged again.

A word about your daily manna. The pizza you may have ordered when you registered will not be available. This was a mistake on our part, as were unaware of contractural obligations. Your money didn't get far and will be returned tomorrow. We apologize for the inconvenience. Food comes in pretty handy when your camping. For this reason, our schedule has been adjusted to allow time for a lunch and dinner break.

Our schedule:
8:00AM - 10:00AM Debate Round 1
10:00AM - 12:00PM Debate Round 2
12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch
1:00PM - 3:00PM Debate Round 3
3:00PM - 5:00PM Debate Round 4
5:00PM - 6:00PM Dinner
6:00PM - 8:00PM Debate Round 5
8:00PM - 10:00PM Debate Round 6

We want people to be on property at 7:15AM so that we have time to distribute ballots for the first round so we start on time at 8:00AM.

Long day. Late day. A shorter day without our quail pizza would be worse. The hour breaks allow some breathing room for the debaters, a chance to eat, and some catch-up time for Tab. You may purchase a meal on your own, or coordinate for someone to head out to the nearby Fashion Valley Shopping Center. (See map.) After Wednesday, our room count need drops, and if we remain at the Town and Country Resort, that will significantly save on costs. (There are 102 competition rooms being used each round today.)

We are projecting a later start on Wednesday, so there will be some time to sleep in tomorrow. Speaking of Wednesday, in our one day-one venue-one event approach, our "one event" are the long awaited for Individual Events. Can we do IEs in hotel rooms? We can and we might. Times are to-be-determined, but most likely the day will be Pattern A/Pattern B/Pattern A/Pattern B. Do you see a pattern?

Back to today. Here are some guidelines for debating in hotel rooms:

For TP, Aff will go on the far side of the room, and Neg will be closest to the door.
The only things that should be moved in the rooms are ironing boards or chairs. Please leave everything else in place.
The first priority for chair use in the room is for your judge. A team can only use a chair if there are an equitable amount of chairs for both teams in the room.
The blinds must remain open in all rooms.
The bathrooms in the rooms may not be used and must remain closed.
Please don't call for room service or mints on your pillows
A word about LD:

All rounds will be double-flighted, but we plan on judges watching one debate per round.
Each LD competitor is expected to be in his/her assigned competition room for both flights of each debate round.
The affirmative speaker is expected to time the flight before or after his/her own flight.
Diagrams for the best way to debate in a hotel room will be handed out in the morning. Thank you to Coach Cody for his clarifying demonstration yesterday at the Pure Parli Pre-Lim Party at Point Loma!

About yesterday and judges. The participation was heart warming. Really. We know that there were some valiant efforts by many to judge rounds and the amount of ballots prevented people from judging as much as they wanted to. Please don't give up trying! From yesterday's 35 rooms we move on to today's 102. You are needed!

The possibility for us to finish out NITOC at Cal State San Marcos has passed. We are poised to remain at Town and Country for tomorrow. We may not have to fold up the tabernacle at the end of the day. For once. Please continue to pray for our next day. Our Stoa Board are working every hour to secure our next campground. We have accepted His will to make us a strong family.

Please pass this information on to your non-registered club coaches and supporters!


Craig and Julie

P.S. - You may bring your own food to Town and Country, but please store it in your car. No need for a bear box.


May 19 1:00 AM - A Note From The President of the Board

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:36 (NASB®)

From God we have new life in Jesus our savior. Through Him we are being sanctified. All that we are and hope to become is because of His saving grace in our lives. Glory to God.

From God, Stoa was blessed with a NITOC facility. Through Him we did our best to plan. Jesus is in control of all things. Glory to God.

From Him come the fire and the rain, the wind and the calm. Through God we trust in His providential care for Stoa. All events fulfill His purposes. Glory to God.

The Lord is leading us at this NITOC with a one day, one event at a time approach.
We have a facility for Monday. Glory to God.
We have a facility for Tuesday. Glory to God.
God has a facility for Wednesday. Glory to God.

NITOC is not unfolding the way we, the Board and Tournament Administration Team, had planned. I am so grateful for all the prayers offered by the families of Stoa in the midst of these significant changes. Please continue to pray. We are experiencing the Lord’s certain hand in the midst of serious uncertainty. As much as I care for the families of Stoa, I know that God loves you far more than my fallible efforts can muster.

The fires caused California State University San Marcos to close their campus. Although the campus is opening to university personnel on Tuesday it is not being opened to outside groups. Please know that we are working diligently toward the opening of the campus for our tournament. Pray that Stoa would find favor with the CSUSM administration. We are also actively pursuing alternate facilities less affected by the firestorm. Although our first priority is to remain at CSUSM, the Lord may have another priority for us. If this is His plan, please pray for our openness to His leading.

Please join me in praising God for our wonderful Tournament Directors, Craig and Julie Smith. Those of you attending NITOC have already been blessed by their godly leadership and their joyful communication of news that has not always been so joyful. Please continue to pray for them both as they lead what has become the progressive dinner version of NITOC.

To Him be the Glory forever,

Van A. Schalin, M.D.
President of the Board
Stoa USA Speech and Debate


MAY 18 8:38 AM - Did you ever wonder what it felt like to be one of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness? Following together after a pillar of smoke or fire? We're following together after a fire right now. And it has a bit of a similarity to the exodus.

Until we're settled, we'll be keeping our one day-one event-one venue approach that we are taking on Monday at Point Loma with Parli. But we won't be at Point Loma on Tuesday because it's not available. Things are complicated, so we're trying to keep it simple. For the second day of NITOC, we will be at Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego. The competition schedule for the day will be six rounds of preliminary LD and TP debate. A tentative version of that schedule can be found on the website.

To keep things simple during complicated times, both of the registration locations and times that are established at the two churches in Carlsbad will remain in place. Those locations and times can be found on the homepage of the NITOC webpage

As the chairman of the Stoa Individual Events Committee, I'm a bit biased toward speech events. We're aware that for our IEer-only families, your NITOC competition has yet to begin, though your NITOC experience is well under way. Your time is coming. Look at this as a way of gaining time to hone that Storytelling speech a little more.

Here is more information for the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center:
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108

Our competitions will be in the Garden Rooms on the Regency side of the resort. The rooms are going to be hotel rooms. More details about how this will work, where to park, and which direction to head will be coming.

We are acutely aware that these changes are challenges. This isn't what any of us planned for NITOC. But the "C" in that acronym stands for Champions. We know that there were struggles and there were times of rejoicing as the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness. We also know that God is in control.

It's nice to know that most of us are in the same time zone now. What's nicer to know is that we are in God's time.

Thank you for continuing to hold the tournament and our families in your prayers. We are praying too.

Our community judges aren't quite the wanderers that we are. The ones we had in San Marcos for Monday and Tuesday most likely won't be joining us and there hasn't been time to recruit for Point Loma or San Diego. We are counting on parent judging exclusively, so please keep that reality in mind. Any IE only families will be needed.

MAY 18 - While the Sunday night registration at Daybreak Church is open to everyone, at this point we are only going to make it mandatory for those competitors who are in Parli Debate on Monday at Point Loma University. All are still welcome, but not all need to be there. Also, we will extend Monday's registration time to now be from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. One more bit of clarification: Script submission is taking place at all tournament registrations.

SUNDAY, MAY 18 - 7:15PM - 9:00PM - Mandatory for Parli competitors/Open to all
Daybreak Church
6515 Ambrosia Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
This church has an evening service and has kindly requested that we not arrive prior to 7:15PM.

MONDAY, MAY 19 - 10:00AM - 2:00PM - ALL Remaining Competitors
North Coast Calvary Chapel
1330 Poinsettia Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
(Please don't confuse this location with North Coast Church in nearby Vista.)

Thank you for your flexibility! We are aiming to keep you posted ahead of time as much as possible. And thank you if can join us at Point Loma for judging Parli rounds.

MAY 17 - Elijah and the ravens. Peter and his "fishy bank." The scene with Abraham and Isaac at Mount Moriah. In each of these stories, we see that the "Lord will provide." We are seeing His hand of provision as we move forward with plans for NITOC!

We do know that we will not be on the Cal State San Marcos campus on Sunday night or Monday. But the Lord has provided!

There will be a Pure Parli Pre-lim Party at Point Loma on Monday, May 19. Six pre-lim rounds.

Point Loma Nazarene University. You can thank us later.

Our philosophy with the fluid situation at Cal State San Marcos is to try to keep these changes that we are making as simple as possible. So at this point we are taking a one day-one event-one venue approach. We know that families planned their travel plans based on the schedule on the website, and we apologize for any inconveniences these unforeseeable circumstances are creating. At this point, the schedule on the website is only accurate for Sunday's registration. The schedule for Monday will be posted sometime on Saturday, May 17. Right now we know that all Parli competitors need to be at Point Loma in time to be ready to go at 8:00AM.

Manna was provided one day at a time. That's where we are right now.

Clearly, these adjustments aren't easy for any of us, but we're all willing to be flexible because we are at NITOC and we'll compete anywhere! That being said, realize that our community judge pool doesn't have the same motivation, so for Monday has quite likely become void. But the exciting part is that we get to take part in the Lord's provision by taking on the joy of judging!

Speaking of manna, any meals you ordered on campus at Cal State San Marcos or elsewhere have been cancelled for Monday. You will be refunded.

Our friend of homeschool speech and debate, Dr. Skip Rutledge (Point Loma Nazarene University Director of Forensics) deserves our heartfelt thanks!

The Stoa Board of Directors is excited to welcome you to the Fifth Annual National Invitational Tournament Of Champions! Stoa's NITOC is a National Championship Tournament, open to all qualified Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate students regardless of league affiliation. Invitations are based on the student's performance over the course of the season as documented on the National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings website (Speechranks). Stoa desires to bring together the best speakers and debaters from around the country to compete at the National Championship.

This year NITOC will be held on the invigorating campus of California State University San Marcos in San Marcos, California, located at 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078
Please see Directions to Cal State San Marcosand Campus Map tabs on the left.

Registration Fees

Speech - $35.00 per Individual Event
Team Policy Debate - $70.00 per Debater
Lincoln Douglas Debate - $70.00 per Debater
Parliamentary Debate - $50.00 per Debater
Breakout Impromptu - $20.00 per student (refundable if the student is advancing beyond Round 6 in LD/TP, or advancing to Outrounds in one or more of the other speech events. Parli will not factor in to Breakout Impromptu.)

A $5.00 per event fee increase is necessary this year. NITOC registration fees have been held constant for the past two years. Unfortunately, this year's facility costs are double that of last year, necessitating the increase.

Parking - A $10 Parking Fee is being added to every family registration. It will be designated as a "Registration Fee" in your payment summary. This is necessary because of the way in which the University is charging Stoa for the use of a parking lot for the week. The regular rate is $9 per day, but your cost will be $10 for the whole week. The cost will be shared among all registrants as a way to cover the parking costs for attendees and community judges. The University is still working out the details of how to provide attendees with a parking pass.


  • Stoa University, previously offered Monday at NITOC, is being replaced with this summer's new Stoa Academy. Consequently, the competition action begins for everyone on Monday.
  • Check-In is mandatory for all debaters on Sunday between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Speech only students are strongly encouraged to register at the same time.
  • Check-In for those in IE only will resume on Monday at 10:00 AM and close at 1:00 PM.

Registration will take place at NITOC Central, which can be found on the Campus Map and Directions to Cal State San Marcos tabs on the left.

Please see the Family Check-In tab on the left for important information regarding check-in for students and parents.

Refund Policy
Before registration closes we will refund payments minus a $10 processing fee. After registration closes no refunds will be made. All refund requests must be submitted by email to:

Competitor Eligibility and Dress Code
Eligibility information is on
For Dress Code information visit
StoaUSA rules for Events, Eligibility, and Dress Code will be followed, so take a look in the mirror to check those hemlines.

Stoa Membership Registration
In order to register for this tournament, you must be a Stoa member. When you register, this website will automatically cross-check your Stoa membership registration to see if you are eligible to enroll in the competition. If you have not yet registered with Stoa, you may do so now by clicking on this link: Stoa Registration

WARNING: Computers lack a sense of humor. They only do exactly what you tell them to do. If you registered as a Stoa member under the name John A. McGillicuty, the computer will not recognize J. A. McGillicuty, John Abracadabra McGillicuty, John McGillicuty, or any number of other possible legal variations of the name. You must register on this website exactly as you signed up for your Stoa registration. We hope this works smoothly for everyone.

Electronic Script Submission
We love Electronic Script Submission! And so will you - it's been made even easier and will get you off to great start before you even set foot on the campus. Be sure to open the tab labeled Script Submission Forms for amazingly helpful links to script submission information, including details for electronic script submission. Script submission times will be the same as Sunday and Monday on campus registration.

Please direct any registration questions to
If you have a tournament question, please email Craig and Julie Smith at