Due to time limits and other extenuating circumstances, Texas TSA reserves the rights to make modifications on how it conducts National Qualifying Events (NQEs) at Texas TSA State Contest. Individual event coordinators must have any such modifications approved by the NQE coordinator at state contest. These may include the following:

  • Shortening the contest time or interview time allowed
  • Only having 1 round for public performance style events
  • Limiting the number of teams interviewed in the final round

Rule modifications should be procedural only and not affect the intent of the competition rules.

General Guidelines

  • The Nationals Rulebook will be followed, with adjustments for State Contest listed below. Ignorance of the rules and/or misunderstanding of the rules is not an excuse for a protest or additional consideration. If you are unsure of the wording of a rule, have a question, or need clarification, please email the NQE Managers at nqe@texastsa.org.
  • The National Rulebook has a section which includes general rules for all events. These rules dictate items such as:
    • No names or identifying information on projects
    • Prohibited items such as wet cell batteries, live plants, viruses, etc
    • Prohibited content such as firearms, gang symbols, drugs, etc.
  • And Many More! In the PDF Documents downloaded from National TSA, this information appears as: “Competitive Events Program” for High School and “General Rules and Regulations” for Middle School.
  • Nationals Dress Code will be enforced in all NQE events, including project drop off that involves entry into NQE areas.
    • Students must wear:
      • Official TSA Blue Competition Shirt, gray pants, black socks, & black shoes
      • Females may opt to wear skirts and/or hosiery in lieu of pants and socks
      • An image of the official shirt is to the right and it must be purchased from www.tsaweb.org
  • Chapter Team must wear official TSA blazers, with patch, and the red TSA tie (males). Per National TSA, females will not be penalized for wearing the tie, but it is optional for them.
  • Students and advisors are required to know the rules of the events. Participants are also encouraged to check updates and clarifications on the National TSA Website throughout the year.
  • The Go/No-Go Specifications will be used in all NQE events. Make sure all elements of the project are present and that basic rules noted on the Go/No-Go Specifications are met or it will not be scored.
  • A LEAP Report is required for all High School NQE Entries. A LEAP Response is required for all Middle School NQE Entries.
    • A LEAP Report for high school and LEAP Response for middle school is a Go/No-Go specification for all NQE events, so if you forget them, the NQE entry will not be judged.
  • When turning in a project that has a portfolio, please make the LEAP Report (High School) or LEAP Response (Middle School) the last page of the portfolio.
    • Note: This is different than the procedure at Nationals!
    • For events that do not have a portfolio, please bring the LEAP Report or Response flat with no sheet protector and/or binding. We just end up throwing those away, please save the plastic!
  • Students must be registered with the conference and pick up their badge before attempting to turn in a project or enter a competitive event. Please make sure you arrive in plenty of time to do registration before your first event begins. Contest schedule will be posted on the Texas TSA website in January.
  • When turning in a project, please put the entry sticker on the back of the portfolio.
    • Do not scratch out the name or any numbers on the sticker. These do not count towards the “no names” rule.
  • Event stickers and name badges issued by Texas TSA do not count against the student in relation to the “no names” rule mentioned below.
    • We need names on both items to be visible. Do not scratch them out!
  • Do not put your name or school on a project unless it specifically calls for it.
    • This includes introducing yourselves by name or school in a speaking event.
    • Work Logs should have initials only – no names unless specifically stated.
  • Students competing in an event with a written test must bring their own #2 pencils and writing surface such as a clipboard.
    • Failure to do so will result in disqualification per TSA National Rules.
  • Please review the event modifications in the classification listing. Nationals is a 4-Day conference/contest and State is a 2-Day conference/contest, so there are some adjustments that must be made due to time limitations at the Texas TSA State Contest.
  • NQE Protests and concerns must be addressed during the actual running of the event and need to be brought to the attention of the NQE Managers. Due to the nature of many of the events, it is very difficult to fairly address protest or problems after the event is over, the judges have left, and the results have been posted.
  • Only advisors may bring concerns and protests to the NQE Managers. Parents or students must discuss the issue with their chapter advisor, who will bring it to the NQE Managers.
  • Per Texas TSA Board Policy, score sheets will not be released. At state contest, we will continue using the feedback forms that were developed for last year. We know there were some issues and are working on refining the process.
    • The one thing we cannot do is guarantee the quality or the amount of feedback. It is driven by the judges and the time constraints of the event.
  • An electronic scoring system is not sustainable at this time.
    • This decision is being driven by cost. The cost of internet at any convention center is high. Even National TSA uses a limited amount of internet resources at their event. Until we can work something out (or charge more for entries) we will be using paper score sheets.
  • Most Common Point Deductions in National Qualifying Events:
    • Student is out of dress code
    • Size of display exceeds that in the rulebook. Please be reminded that when setting up a display/project, that it must fit within the dimensions specified in the National Rules. Students are encouraged to bring a tape measure and double check!
    • Too many pages in a portfolio. (i.e. It says maximum 6 for Research, and student turns in 7)
    • No Copyright Checklist for events that require it.
    • No Photo Release forms where recognizable people are in the photo/video
    • Entry turned in on wrong media. Ex: The rules say DVD and the student turns in a USB.
    • The wrong number of students in the demonstration/interview
    • MLA Format not followed in events that require it
    • School or student names on project

High School National Qualifying Events

Middle School National Qualifying Events