Let’s welcome the new speech season!

2018 NIETOC Champions
On behalf of the NIETOC Executive Board, I would like to wish you a warm ‘Welcome Back’ to the 2018-19 school year! This time of year brings with it a mix of excitement and anxiety as we begin preparing lesson plans, recruiting new team members, and planning for another competitive season. As you are developing your yearly schedule, we hope you will add this year’s National Individual Events Tournament of Champions to your May calendar.
As an organization, we strive to provide a weekend of high-caliber competition in an atmosphere of caring and camaraderie. We want students to understand the power of their voices to make the world a better place and we want coaches to feel energized and empowered to continue the daunting task of educating tomorrow’s leaders.
Kelsey Pierce, the 2018 NIETOC Prose Champion offers this insight:
“I have been fortunate to attend NIETOC the past two years and can truly say I walked away from each tournament with a fresh outlook on forensics. The empowering workshops at NIETOC set this tournament apart from any other and have given me the opportunity to grow in my love and appreciation for oral interpretation. Going to NIETOC fills my soul with creativity, appreciation, and love for forensics and the power of storytelling. I tell all new members on our team, ‘You have to get qualified to compete at NIETOC, it will change your life!’” 
We look forward to celebrating our tenth anniversary tournament at Millard North HS in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the summer, the board studied our attendee surveys and made changes to our qualifications, events and schedule. Those changes are detailed in this month’s newsletter.
Best wishes for a successful school year. We hope to see you and your students in Omaha!
Matt Heimes, President
What’s New
We will be adding Informative Speaking and Program of Oral Interp as main events
Event details
can be found here— under Main Event Rules.

To accommodate the addition of our new main event entries, we are planning to run three flighted rounds, which will allow students to double enter in a single flight and triple enter overall. We have also decided to discontinue the supplemental events since we are adding main events that would encompass the areas of expository, prose and poetry.
The 2018-19 bid tournament list is now listed on
our website
— in both date and state order. Please check the list carefully for additions and deletions as you plan your season.
We will be returning to our previous (2017) entry levels for bid tournaments, which are as follows:
Less than 20 contestants — First place
20-34 Contestants — 1st, 2nd & 3rd place bids
35-50 Contestants — Finals Round bid
51-70 Contestants — Semifinals Round bid
71-99 Contestants — Quarterfinals Round Bid
100+ Contestants — Octafinals Round Bid
Those tournaments offering TI (Thematic Interp) may offer bids to be used in POI. We will also be offering bonus entries in POI to accommodate those teams competing in areas where POI is not yet widely offered. Additionally, a change regarding Dramatic Bids — If a bid tournament offers PROSE as
an event that runs in a manner parallel with our Dramatic Interp rules (a 10-minute and fully-memorized performance) bids may be awarded to students who may use them to compete in DI at the
2019 NIETOC.
Qualifying for the NIETOC
There are three ways for students from all areas of the country to qualify for our tournament.
Follow this link
 — and read about each under How To Qualify.
Perfect Performer Spotlight
Each year, we recognize the top performing student at the tournament with The Perfect Performance Award, named in honor of our founder, Demond Wilson. The 2018 recipient was
Drake Leach
of Saint Mary’s Hall HS in San Antonio, Texas.
“The tournament cultivates this aura of love where everyone wants each other to succeed and is happy to be there. NIETOC is able to effortlessly shift your focus from winning to doing something you are proud of. I will never forget walking into the theater before the opening ceremony and hearing ‘We Are Family’ blaring through the audio system, thinking to myself, ‘Now this feels like home.’” – Drake Leach
2018 Officer Election Results
Matt Heimes – President
Joni Anker – Vice President
Karen Gossett – Secretary
Rachel Warnecke – Treasurer
2019 Tentative Tournament Schedule
Use this link
— to begin making preliminary plans for the 2019 competition.
NIETOC Seeking Tournament Ads
Would you like to showcase your program’s achievements? Invite other programs to attend your tournament? Show an organization’s support for national speech competition? If so, please consider placing an advertisement in the 2019 tournament booklet. If you know of supportive businesses looking for a way to support this activity, please have them contact us for more information. Please email
info@nietoc.comwith questions or for additional details.

Hotel Information
The NIETOC Executive Board has selected the beautiful Embassy Suites & Courtyard Complex by Marriott Omaha-LaVista as our tournament property. These two hotels are connected by the conference center where our coaches breakfast, tournament registration, opening ceremony and workshops will take place. Rooms are available for $139 at Embassy and for $119 at Courtyard and both include breakfast for all guests. The convention center is about 25 minutes from the Omaha airport and about 15 minutes from Millard North HS. Please visit the
links on our website— to make online reservations by April 10th.

Experience the NIETOC!
“NIETOC was an amazing tournament. It was a blessing to know that all my hard work finally paid off. Forensics is not one of those activities where you wake up one day and magically become good at it. You have to work for it. It’s like a plant. You have to till the soil, water it, and expose it to sunlight continuously over a long period of time until you get what you want. I began practicing every day over two years ago and didn’t make a final stage until my senior year, but the work showed for itself. I went from a octofinalist last year to a national champion this year. If I could do it, anyone can. Just mix hard work with your love for this activity, sprinkle some talent on top, and the next champion could be you.” – Taylor Turner
DI Champion Taylor Turner, of James Logan HS in California,
with coaches Justin Kurup and Ben Unanaowo
A Call for Dukes Award Nominations
Do you know an outstanding coach who deserves recognition for their dedication to speech education? Begin the process my nominating a worthy individual with your
application here.
NIETOC Returns to Nebraska in 2019!
The Executive Committee is proud to announce that
Millard North HS in Omaha, NE
will serve as our host on May 10-12, 2019. Under the direction of Sabrina Denney Bull, Millard North is the largest competitive speech program in Nebraska, is the two-time defending Class A state champion and was a 2016 NSDA School of Outstanding Distinction. NIETOC is excited to return Nebraska for its tenth anniversary tournament!