The leadership of this tournament recognizes the many benefits of competitive speech and debate. Public speaking, critical thinking, research skills, writing skills, and community service top the list, and the impact of these things toward the growth and training of young minds is undeniable.

However, we also recognize the temptations that a competitive environment can create. Without a Christian focus, competition often breeds prideful arrogance that can result in a competitor's willingness to "bend the rules" for competitive advantage. The Stoa League believes that written rules should be kept to a minimum to avoid an overly legalistic approach. We agree with Stoa’s position but this tournament also recognizes the need to support and uphold Christian integrity in this competitive environment.

We therefore ask all competitors to carefully review and consider the content of their speeches and debate cases well in advance. Ask yourselves if your content is above reproach. If you find any part of your speech or debate case might be seen as grounds for adjudication then it is probably not above reproach and should be corrected. To be “above reproach” your speeches and cases should avoid any appearance of an intent to bend or break the rules for competitive advantage.

The adjudication team at this tournament has the authority to disqualify any individual or team not only due to rule violations, but also based on the appearance of a lack of integrity. The adjudication team is committed to using this authority with great restraint and considerable prayer, but our greatest prayer is that it will not be needed at all because students, parents and coaches will apply the following Bible verses to their speeches and cases well in advance of the tournament:

Proverbs 12:22
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

Proverbs 21:3
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

1 Peter 3:16
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

2 Corinthians 8:21
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.

Psalm 41:12
Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.