On June 4th, the National Speech and Debate Association announced that they will now be charging a “modest fee” for tournaments ran through Tabroom.com, the most popular national Speech and Debate tournament software. The NSDA will begin charging the fee starting August 1st, 2021.
For the past fifteen years, the NSDA has sponsored the use of Tabroom for free, incurring millions of dollars in costs, equivalent to 40% of their revenue from annual memberships.
With the significant boost in online tournaments due to COVID-19, the NSDA is seeing costs associated with hosting Tabroom for free skyrocket. Specifically, they saw a 51% increase in page views last year that has led to an increase in system bandwidth, customer service, and training. The NSDA claims that revenue collected from Tabroom tournament usage will “go directly to improvements we believe are critical to Tabroom.com’s service to our community: funding new code development, increased customer support staff, and improvements in functionality and reliability of the system”.
For fees, the NSDA announced that the first 50 entries in a tournament will be free of charge. After, there will be a $4 fee per every 5 entries beyond the first 50. Additionally, according to the NSDA, “NSDA district tournaments and tournaments that use NSDA Campus for an event will not pay the per-event Tabroom.com fee for that event.” Payment will be required prior to tabulation of the tournament.
Because the NSDA will not charge fees unless a tournament has over 50 entries, they have effectively addressed many concerns regarding issues of equity, specifically for small competitions, local tournaments, and scrimmages frequently hosted through Tabroom.
To learn more about the NSDA’s recent growth, plans for fees and payment, and FAQS, check out their website here!