Stoa USA

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Stoa USA
Non Profit Organization[1]
Founded 2009[2]
Key people
Scott York, Founder[3]
Dr. Van Schalin, President[4]
Lars Jorgensen
Website http://www.stoausa.org

Stoa USA, also referred to as Stoa, is a Christian homeschool forensics organization in the United States.[5] It is one of the four major national high school forensics organizations (the others are the National Forensic League (NFL), National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL), and the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA)).[6]

Stoa is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “an ancient Greek portico usually walled at the back with a front colonnade designed to afford a sheltered promenade.”[7] The Stoa was a common fixture of many towns in Ancient Greece and was used as a place where people could debate and discuss their ideas.[8]

Overview[edit]

A stoa in Athens. Stoa USA derives its name from this common feature of Ancient Greek architecture.[9]

Stoa was created in 2009 to better serve the needs of the growing homeschool speech and debate community.[10] Its website explains that its objective is “to train Christian home schooled youth in speech and debate in order to better communicate a Biblical worldview.”[11]

Stoa USA is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. It is governed by a Board of Directors who oversee its day to day operations and propose rule amendments which affect competitors nationwide.[12] Members vote on important issues, such as debate resolutions and significant rule changes.[13] Judges are usually parents, coaches, alumni, or members of the community.[14]

Stoa sanctions only one tournament each year, the National Invitational Tournament of Champions (NITOC) (referenced below).[15] Stoa exists to support state and local organizations in running tournaments, but recognizes the autonomy of those at the state and local level to operate in a manner that best serves their particular needs.[16]

Because homeschooled students are not typically associated with schools, most affiliates belong to member “Clubs.” Most club members live in the local area around where their club is based.[17]

The "Most Loved Club" award, which can be earned through acts of kindness and general awesomeness, was awarded to the speech club, Legacy, last year.

Speechranks and the Point Recognition System[edit]

The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings, also known as Speechranks, is a comprehensive website that ranks Christian homeschooled speakers and debaters around the country who are in high school or middle school.[18] Speechranks was created in 2010 for promoting transparency and fairness in the Christian homeschool forensics community.[19] Results from Stoa tournaments are uploaded onto Speechranks by tournament administrators.[20] Speechranks also allows students to enter their own information if they compete in other Christian homeschool tournaments.[21] The website is monitored to ensure the integrity of the information entered. Viewers may also “Flag” results they believe to be in error.[22] According to its website, there were 1864 active competitors on Speechranks during the 2011-2012 season.[23]

There are two ways that Speechranks measures student participation: Points and Green Check Marks.[24] Points are awarded to competitors based on the student’s percentile finish in each event. Students achieving the same percentile finish in any event and any tournament will be awarded the same number of Points.[25] A student’s three best finishes in a particular event are used to sum their total Points for that event.[26] Overall ranking on Speechranks is determined by the total number of Points a competitor has accumulated.[27] Green Check Marks recognize consistent excellence throughout the competitive season. There is no limit to the number of Green Check Marks a student may earn. In general, Green Check Marks are awarded to any competitor who achieves a winning record in debate or finishes in the top 40% of an individual event (IE).[28] Green Check Marks are unique to each event and students may not transfer checkmarks from one event to another.[29]

Speechranks requirements were drafted by Isaiah McPeak, with development chaired by Dr. Van Schalin and programmed by Connor McKay.[30] It utilizes the Ruby Programming Language, the same language Stoa uses for membership and tournament registration.[31]

National Invitational Tournament of Champions[edit]

Each year in late May or early June, the Stoa Board of Directors hosts the National Invitational Tournament of Champions, commonly referred to as NITOC.[32] There are two methods in which competitors may earn an invitation to NITOC. The first method, entitled the “National Invitational Model,” involves being awarded at least two Green Check Marks on Speechranks in one or more events.[33] In the second method, known as the “State Invitational Model,” the top speaker of each state in each individual event qualifies for an invitation, as well as the top two teams in Lincoln Douglas Debate and Team Policy Debate.[34] Participation at NITOC requires Stoa membership.[35] Students may compete in as many events at NITOC in which they are invited by either of the two invitational models.[36] The 2012 National Invitational Tournament of Champions, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was regarded as the largest tournament in the history of homeschool speech and debate, where nearly 600 students competed across 13 different events.[37]

Locations[edit]

2015: Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina

2014: California State University, San Marcos, California[38] - Due to a wildfire that broke out near the university and the school's subsequent evacuation, this tournament was held in multiple locations across San Diego County including Point Loma Nazarene University and San Diego State University.

2013: John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas[39]

2012: Focus on the Family Headquarters—Colorado Springs, Colorado[40]

2011: Point Loma Nazarene UniversitySan Diego, California[41]

2010: University of San Diego—San Diego, California[42]

Events[edit]

Debate[43][edit]

Lincoln Douglas Value Debate

Team Policy Debate

American Parliamentary Debate[44]

Speech[45][edit]

Break-Out Event

Impromptu Speaking

Limited Preparation

Extemporaneous

Apologetics

Mars Hill Impromptu.

Platform

Expository

Original Oratory

Persuasive

Interpretive

Open Interpretation

Duo Interpretation

Humorous Interpretation

Dramatic Interpretation

Wildcard[46][47]

2014-2015: Broadcasting, Motivational

2013-2014:Storytelling, Broadcasting

2012-2013: Mars Hill Impromptu, Storytelling

2011-2012: Original Interpretation

Debate Resolutions[edit]

2014-2015

Team Policy: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reform its electronic surveillance law.

Lincoln Douglas: Resolved: When in conflict, an individual's freedom of speech should be valued above a community's moral standards. (from October 1, 2014 to January 30, 2015)

Resolved: The United States federal jurisprudence, the letter of the law ought to have priority over the spirit of the law. (from February 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015)

2013-2014[48]

Team Policy: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reform its marine natural resource policies.

Lincoln Douglas: Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to mitigate international conflicts

2012-2013[49]

Team Policy: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its foreign military presence and/or foreign military commitments.

Lincoln Douglas: Resolved: Privacy is undervauled.

Logo of Stoa USA, 2009-2012.[50]

2011-2012[51]

Team Policy: Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially reform its revenue generation policies.

Lincoln Douglas: Resolved: When in conflict, personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security.

2010-2011[52][53]

Team Policy: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its policy toward Russia.

Lincoln Douglas: Resolved: A government's legitimacy is determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.

2009-2010[54]

Team Policy: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its environmental policy.

Lincoln Douglas: Resolved: That competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bylaws of Stoa.". Stoa USA. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  2. ^ "Letter to California Affiliates.". Stoa California. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  3. ^ "Meet Those Serving Stoa". Stoa USA. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  4. ^ "Meet Those Serving Stoa". Stoa USA. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  5. ^ "Home". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  6. ^ "Note to Parents and Coaches". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  7. ^ "Stoa". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  8. ^ ""Stoa"--What does that mean?". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  9. ^ ""Stoa"--What does that mean?". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  10. ^ "Letter to California Affiliates.". Stoa California. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  11. ^ "Bylaws of Stoa.". Stoa USA. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  12. ^ "Bylaws of Stoa.". Stoa USA. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  13. ^ "Bylaws of Stoa.". Stoa USA. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  14. ^ "Debate Judges Orientation". Google Docs. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  15. ^ "NITOC 2013". Stoa USA. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  16. ^ "Tournament Tabulation". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  17. ^ "State Organizations". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  18. ^ "About This Site". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  19. ^ "About This Site". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  20. ^ "Tournaments". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  21. ^ "Tournaments". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  22. ^ "What if I see an Error?—Flagging Results". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  23. ^ "Combined Speech and Debate Rankings". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  24. ^ "The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  25. ^ "The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System". Google Docs. 2011-12-22. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  26. ^ "The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  27. ^ "The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  28. ^ "The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  29. ^ "The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  30. ^ "About This Site". Speechranks. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  31. ^ "About the Developer". Homeschooldebate.net. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  32. ^ "FAQ's". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  33. ^ "How to Receive a NITOC Invitation". Homeschooldebate.net. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  34. ^ "How to Receive a NITOC Invitation". Homeschooldebate.net. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  35. ^ "Bylaws of Stoa.". Stoa USA. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  36. ^ "NITOC 2012". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  37. ^ "Focus on the Family Hosts Largest Homeschool Speech & Debate Tournament". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  38. ^ "NITOC 2014". Stoa USA. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  39. ^ "NITOC 2013". Stoa USA. 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  40. ^ "NITOC 2012". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  41. ^ "NITOC 2011". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  42. ^ "NITOC 2010". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  43. ^ "Debate Events". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  44. ^ "NITOC 2013". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  45. ^ "Speech Events". Stoa USA. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  46. ^ "Resolution and Wild Card Vote". Stoa USA. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  47. ^ "Speech Events". Stoa USA. 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  48. ^ "2013 Vote Results". Stoa USA. 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  49. ^ "Resolution and Wild Card Vote". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  50. ^ "Logo Contest Deadline Extended". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  51. ^ "Debate Events". Stoa USA. 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  52. ^ "Debate Events". Stoa California. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  53. ^ "Past Debate Resolutions". NCFCA. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  54. ^ "Past Debate Resolutions". NCFCA. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 

External links[edit]