Each student who accumulates 25 points (10 of which must be earned in interscholastic high school competition) earns individual NSDA membership, referred to as the degree of Merit. Coaches also earn individual membership upon accumulation of 25 points, based upon recording one-tenth of student points (275 student points = 27.5 coach points). A one-time $50 (or NT 1,500) enrollment fee is assessed per new individual member.
Each time a student or a coach achieves a new point threshold as detailed in the following chart, s/he adds a new degree to her/his membership record. The national office will send notification of new degrees earned, along with the corresponding seals, for the coach to place on students’ certificates. Each seal is affixed to the certificate by placing it over the previous seal, but slightly to the right, so that one-quarter inch of the previous seal remains exposed (see example certificate to the right.).
A chapter’s total degrees determines number of entries it is allotted for the district tournament, as well as votes in NSDA district committee and national board elections.
|Merit||25||1||Gray on White||None|
|Excellence||150||3||Silver on White||Blue Sapphire|
|Distinction||250||4||Metallic Gold on Gold||Ruby|
|Special Distinction||500||5||Silver on Pink||Double Ruby|
|Superior Distinction||750||6||Silver on Blue||Triple Ruby|
|Outstanding Distinction||1,000||7||Silver on Violet||Quadruple Ruby|
|Premier Distinction||1,500||8||Silver on Black||Quintuple Ruby|
|First Diamond||1,500||8||1 Diamond|
|Second Diamond||3,000||9||2 Diamonds|
|Third Diamond||6,000||10||3 Diamonds|
|Fourth Diamond||10,000||11||4 Diamonds|
|Fifth Diamond||13,000||12||5 Diamonds|
|Sixth Diamond||16,000||13||6 Diamonds|
|Seventh Diamond||19,000||14||7 Diamonds|
|Eighth Diamond||21,000||15||8 Diamonds|
|Ninth Diamond||24,000||16||9 Diamonds|
|Tenth Diamond||27,000||17||10 Diamonds|