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Texas State chosen to host AFA national tournament

By T.C. Sprencel
University News Service
December 2, 2010

The American Forensic Association (AFA) has selected Texas State University-San Marcos to host the AFA’s National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) — the largest collegiate individual events tournament in the nation — for 2012.

The tournament is scheduled for April 6-9, and is expected to draw more than 900 competitors and over 200 judges and coaches. Preliminary rounds will be held April 7-8 on campus, while the semifinal and final rounds will take place April 9 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in San Marcos. All competitive events will be open to the public.

Texas State’s hosting honor is an endorsement of the university and its renowned forensic program, said Director of Forensics Wayne Kraemer and Communication Studies Chair Steven Beebe.

"The selection recognizes the outstanding work that we do here at Texas State in competing and administering a nationally competitive program," said Kraemer, who was instrumental in Texas State’s bid to land the tournament.

The AFA awards hosting duties for the annual tournament — which features the nation’s top competitors in numerous disciplines — to a different university each year. The 2012 AFA-NIET will bring those competitors to San Marcos, where they will vie for national championships in events ranging from humorous speaking to rhetorical criticism.

"Hosting the AFA tournament is like hosting the Super Bowl for national collegiate individual events," said Beebe. "Only the best universities are selected to host the largest collegiate individual events tournament in the nation."

While the prestigious event will bring recognition to Texas State, it will also provide an opportunity for the university to showcase its own competitors. Texas State had 10 students qualify for the 2010 AFA-NIET, producing two semifinalists and one finalist. The team looks to increase those numbers in the upcoming tournaments.

"The year we host (2012), we hope to have our largest contingent of competitors ever," said Kraemer, noting the importance of speech and debate throughout the university’s history.

Texas State will join the University of Texas at Arlington (1986 and 1997), Rice University (1993) and the University of Texas at Austin (2008) as the only Texas universities to have hosted the AFA-NIET. Texas State’s bid also received support from the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association and UT-Austin’s Randy Cox.

For more information, please contact Wayne Kraemer at wk02@txstate.edu.