The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition (Green Check Mark) System


The National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings Point and Recognition System was developed with input from families around the country to fairly reward competitors in all organizations/leagues and states with the same points for the same percentile finish in any event and at any tournament. All eligible competitors in all speech and debate events, regardless of organization/league affiliation and independent of state lines, may earn points and receive recognition that will be tabulated on this site.


Great time and effort has gone into developing a Speechranks system that takes into account the needs of competitors in different organizations/leagues and in areas of differing student participation. Two means of acknowledging performance were decided upon, one method using mathematical percentile finishes and the second using mathematical consistency.

Speechranks recognizes that there is no means of accurately determining the level of competition between one event and the next, and from one tournament to the next, and from one organization/league to the next. It is also impossible to fairly “weight” different events at different tournaments in different organizations/leagues. Thus, it is vitally important to utilize mathematical models that exclude interpretive bias in producing calculated results. This eliminates the arbitrary assignment of points for a particular place of finish in any event, tournament, or organization/league.

Speechranks believes that competition in any event, tournament, or organization/league is modeled upon a Gaussian distribution. This is a statistical model also known as a Normal Distribution or a “Bell-Shaped” curve. It follows that the best way to award points is based on a student’s percentile finish, since achieving a particular percentile finish will be the same for any event, tournament, or organization/league. This statistical model does not assume that a student who finishes first at a large tournament is better than the student who finishes first at a small tournament. However, because of the greater mathematical difficulty, and subsequent lesser percentile finish, in winning at large tournaments, students participating in large tournaments will have the opportunity to accrue a greater number of points than students participating at small tournaments. Mathematically this only affects the top couple of students at large or small tournaments. All students with the same percentile finish will accrue the same number of points. (This is explained and demonstrated in detail utilizing the blue link to the PDF document at the top of this page. As an example, all students finishing in the top 10th percentile in any event, tournament or organization/league will receive 10 points.)

As the Founding Fathers endeavored to reconcile representation for large versus small states, Speechranks has sought to follow their wisdom by developing methods of recognition that are independent of the size of an event, tournament, or organization/league. This is accomplished in two ways.

  1. The first is through points awarded corresponding to percentile finishes. A student’s three best finishes in an event will be summed for Rank Point total for that event. Cumulative Rank Points for all events are also totaled. (As “Debate Speaker” is not an event, points earned from Debate Speaker Rankings will not be counted toward a student’s Cumulative Rank Points. Speaker points are scaled for events with only four or five prelim rounds.)
  2. The second is through recognition with a “Green Check Mark” in an event at individual tournaments next to the student's/team's name. Students/Teams can accumulate as many Green Check Marks in events and tournaments as they participate in throughout the year. There is no limit. Thus, consistent excellence throughout the competitive season is highlighted.
    1. SPEECH - The Green Check Mark for speech events is defined as:
      1. Placement in the top 40th percentile (top 40%) of competitors in an Individual Event (including Duo events) at any tournament. There is one exception. For Impromptu, competitors receive a green check mark for the top 30th percentile (top 30%).

There is NO rounding up of checks in any speech category. For example, if there are 17 students in a speech event (not impromptu), 40% is 6.8. You would award 6 check marks.
For Impromptu, if you have 52 students, 30% would be 15.6. You would award 15 check marks.

      1. Students are credited with a Green Check Mark independent of their advancement or non-advancement in outrounds at each particular tournament. (The 40% was chosen based on long-term experience at tournaments. 8 Finalists in a 20-person event is 40%. 16 Semifinalists in a 40-person event is 40%. This seemed like a reasonable decision point and was vetted by feedback from throughout the nation.)
    1. DEBATE - The Green Check Mark for debate events is defined as:
      1. Tournaments will give checkmarks to the top 38% of the participating field in debate. Awarding the top 38% of the final tournament ranking standardizes the number of checkmarks we are currently awarding from each tournament for NITOC qualification. This change keeps the actual qualification percentage rate similar to previous seasons.

Starting in the 2022-2023 season, debate events will now be rounding up anything .5 or higher for check marks. For example, if you have 42 debaters (or teams), 38% is 15.96. You would round that up to 16 check marks. If you have 40 debaters (or teams), 38% is 15.2. Since that is below .5, you would round down to 15 check marks.

Speaker points are still calculated at 40% for check marks and the new rounding rules do not apply.

A student’s or team’s three best finishes are utilized to compute Rank Points. Students/Teams that attend one or more National Championship (NC) tournaments will have their point totals from those tournaments added to their scores. A student/team may thus have the point total from their three best preliminary tournaments plus a NC tournament. This equals four tournaments for those students attending a NC tournament. (For students/teams that attend two NC tournaments, they may use the results from both NC tournaments if this helps their point total. They would still have points from a total of four tournaments.)

Further Reading