Stoa Tabulation Core Values and Principles

Stoa Tabulation has spent thousands of hours to produce tab processes and procedures to best benefit Stoa students and families participating in speech and debate.

Stoa Tabulation has Core Values and Principles which it applies to all tabulation processes.

  1. The first is Stoa’s belief in a Transparent Tabulation policy based on biblical principles.
  2. The second is a set of four Core Principles upon which Stoa tabulation (and any tabulation process) must be built. All choices made for tabulation procedures must abide by these four principles.

I. Stoa Transparent Tournament Tabulation Core Values

Stoa leadership believes that policies ought rightly to flow from biblical principles. Admittedly, there is no reference in Scripture to the tabulation of Speech and Debate tournaments. However, there are biblical principles that can guide Stoa tabulation behavior.

Scripture generally speaks with condemnation of that which is done in secret. God knows the natural tendency of our sin nature to hide the secret errors of our ways. To combat this natural tendency, Scripture promotes the concept of presenting ourselves before witnesses through confession, openness, and accountability as a means of insuring honesty and integrity.

The following Scriptures illustrate the Biblical norm. This is not a comprehensive list of verses on the subject, but it is a good representation.

John 18:20 (New International Version, ©2011)

“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.”

Proverbs 10:9 (New International Version, ©2011)

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

Proverbs 11:3 (New International Version, ©2011)

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

Proverbs 28:13 (New International Version, ©2011)

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Job 13:9-10 (New International Version, ©2011)

“Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal? He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality.”

Mark 4:21-23 (New International Version, ©2011)

“‘He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.’”

2 Corinthians 1:12 (New International Version, ©2011)

“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.”

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (New International Version, ©2011)

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

In accordance with Scripture and to promote openness and accountability, Stoa has adopted a Transparent Tabulation Policy. Stoa leadership is accountable to the members of Stoa and Stoa members have a vote on the important decisions of Stoa. To maintain this consistent model, Stoa Tabulation Processes are accountable to the members of Stoa. Without such an approach, there can be no true accountability.

II. Stoa Tabulation Core Principles


  • Students should be rewarded for their performance at the tournament. The “better” students should earn the highest rankings and the “lesser” students should earn lower rankings
  • The procedures chosen should allow for the separation of the students into appropriate placings during the course of the tournament.
  • The procedures chosen should allow the better students to “rise to the top” and the lesser students “to settle to the bottom.”
  • The meritocracy process has the benefit of allowing students to more frequently compete against other students of similar ability.


  • It must be understood that no process can be 100% fair to 100% of the student competitors 100% of the time.
  • The procedures chosen should be made to be as fair as possible to the most students possible most of the time.


  • The procedures chosen should impact students as proportionally as possible.


  • The procedures chosen should reflect the overall goal of producing the best result and should be internally consistent with other procedures within the tabulation process.

There are different methods of tabulating speech and debate tournaments. The methods chosen should be based upon and consistent with the core values of Stoa Tab.

III. A Biblical Approach to Tournament Tabulation

Stoa Tabulation (“Tab”) Rooms will operate with the utmost integrity to serve member families and bring glory to God through that service. Biblical accountability should be a hallmark of all Stoa tournaments and the tabulation of those events. All Tabulation Rooms and Tab staff should seek to be above reproach in all their activities.

A. Before the Tournament

Tournament Administrators will inform tournament attendees of the methods to be used for tournament tabulation. Most tournaments default to following the recommended Stoa Tabulation suggestions posted on the Stoa USA website. If some other tabulation method is being used, then that information should be provided.

B. During the Tournament

The tabulation staff will do its best to answer all questions from tournament attendees about tournament tabulation processes. Pre-tournament posting of the tab process should decrease the number of questions. Tournament attendees may not request results during the tournament, just information about the process being used to determine the results.

C. Dealing with Tabulation Errors and Mistakes

All those serving in Tournament Tabulation are acknowledged volunteers doing their best to insure the accuracy of results. It is possible that an occasional tabulation error may occur. The Tabulation staff should not conceal these errors, but learn from them in an effort to improve the Tab process. Any errors will be dealt with openly and honestly and every effort will be made to correct the error within reason. Members must acknowledge that this could benefit some students and produce less desirable effects for other students. The goal is to insure the best and most accurate results possible. All affected parties should be given full disclosure to the Tab process in order to be assured that the process has proceeded with integrity.

D. After the Tournament

1. Tournament Tabulation information (debate cumes and tab files) will be available to all interested parties upon request.

2. All Stoa tournament results will be posted to the National Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate Rankings website (

a) The Speechranks site shows the top 85% of students at each tournament. (The lower 15% are hidden out of consideration for those that did not perform as well as they might have hoped.)

b) It is to the student’s advantage for every student in each event to be given a specific place of finish. The student’s cumulative scores and national rankings will benefit. (Speechranks will still accept information from tournaments where all students do not have an assigned place of finish.)

E. Dispute Resolution

All parties to tabulation disputes will follow the guidelines of the Peacemaker Pledge that accompanied registration with Stoa. Any non-Stoa members involved will be expected to abide by the same Pledge.

IV. Additional Comments

To help implement the above, it is recommended that Stoa Tab Rooms be staffed by multiple clubs.
For smaller tournaments, the Tab Room should be staffed by at least two clubs.

Local Autonomy
  • Stoa tournament administrators are free to tabulate their tournaments as best fits their local needs.
  • Changes to the usual Stoa Tab procedures must be noted on the tournament registration page prior to the opening of tournament registration.
  • There is no requirement to use any particular tabulation software.
  • Stoa does make Joy of Tournaments available for any Stoa tournament courtesy of Mr. Hinkle the program author.
  • Follow this link to the Tabulation Software page.
  • Joy of Tournaments produces files that are readily uploadable to Speechranks.
Tournament Tabulation Help Files
  • Stoa provides a plethora of files and manuals designed to help you with your tournament.
  • Stoa Joy of Tournaments manual
  • Ballot color sheets with costs
  • Tab room logistic information to help get your Tab room ready
  • Room estimators
  • Ballot estimators

Your first step is connecting with a local Stoa club. We can help.

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