Students travel to
speech tournaments throughout the school year and even into the summer
months. They compete in a variety of events at tournaments.
To see the results of any tournament, click on the name of the
tournament in the column on the right.
The National Forensic League
NFL is considered one of the most prestigious high
school organizations in the country. NFL is a speech honor society in
which you earn membership by competing at tournaments. There are two
levels of competition: District and Nationals, but you earn points at
every competition we attend. A student must place first or second in
their event at district to qualify for Nationals. NFL events are
Policy Debate, LD Debate, PF Debate, U.S. & International extemp,
Student Congress, Original Oratory, Humorous, Dramatic, and Duo
TFA is the most active of the organizations in which
we compete. TFA sponsors tournaments throughout the state of Texas
from September through February. The TFA state tournament is held in
March. Students earn qualification to State by accruing points in
finals at a TFA Qualifier in a TFA event. TFA events are: CX Debate,
LD Debate, Domestic & Foreign Extemp, Original Oratory, Duet Acting,
Humorous & Dramatic, and Student Congress.
The University Interscholastic League
UIL is a Texas based high school organization that not
only governs speech competition, but also academic and athletic
contests. UIL has three levels of competition: District, Region, and
State. The top 3 students in each event advance to the next level of
competition. UIL events are CX, LD, Prose, Poetry, Persuasive &
Informative Extemp. You may be limited in the number of events you can
Cross-examination debate: (Team or Policy debate)
Two person teams debate one resolution all year that proposes a plan
to solve a problem. This year’s topic: Resolved: The United States
federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing
the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national
service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace
Corps, Learn and Serve America, Armed Forces.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate: (LD or Value debate) A one
on one debate about philosophical issues. This topic changes five to
six times during the tournament season.
Public Forum: Public Forum Debate is audience
friendly debate. You and a partner will debate controversial issues
that are "stripped" from the newspaper headlines. A new topic will be
announced the first day of each preceding month at www.nflonline.org.
A Public Forum Debate round begins with a flip of a coin between the
competing teams to determine your side and speaker position. Public
Forum will test your skills in argumentation, cross-examination, and
Extemporaneous Speaking: Speakers are given 30
minutes to prepare a 7 minute speech on current issues. Speakers take
information from extemp files which contain articles from various
magazines and internet sources. In TFA & NFL tournaments a student may
enter either Domestic (US) or Foreign (International) extemp. In UIL,
the categories are informative and persuasive.
Orignial Oratory: A ten minute memorized speech
written by the contestant, with no more than 150 quoted words. This
speech can be on any topic but is usually motivational in nature. As
orator you will be expected to research and speak intelligently, with
a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some
profit to your audience, about a topic you have chosen. Although many
orations deal with a current problem and propose a solution this is
not the only acceptable form of oratory. Your oration may simply alert
the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an
accepted cause, or eulogize a person. An orator is given free choice
of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of development and
Student Congress: This is individual debate in a
large group setting. Legislative debaters research and write pieces of
Congressional legislation that they feel will better the society in
which we live. At a tournament, debaters will then speak on the
legislation while using proper parliamentary procedure. Judges score
each competitor based on argumentation ability, speaking technique,
knowledge of parliamentary procedure, and overall participation.
Impromptu: This is usually a consolation event
that involves speaking with little or no preparation. A topic is drawn
and the speaker has a total of seven minutes to prepare AND give a
Dramatic & Humorous Interp: Students select and
memorize a ten minute scene (including introduction) that is either
dramatic or humorous in nature, depending on the event. Selections
shall be cuttings from published-printed novels, short stories, plays,
poetry, or any other printed-published materials. This is an
individual event, so the contestant portrays all characters in the
Duet Acting: Students select, memorize and perform
a 12 minute scene from a play. This scene can be either humorous or
dramatic, but only two chairs may be used as props to perform the
Duo Drama: Similar to duet, but the actors do not
touch each other and use off stage focus. The maximum time limit is 10
Prose: A seven minute prepared reading from a work
of literature. UIL has two categories of prose that change every three
years. Category A: True Reflections - Nonfiction Category B:
Contemporary reflections (ALA authors)
Poetry: A seven minute prepared reading of a poem
or collection of poems. Again, there are two categories for UIL.
Category A: American Reflections Category B: Twentieth Century
Some tournaments have other "fun" events that are not
part of TFA, NFL, or UIL.
POI: Programmed Oral Interpretation Speech
interpreting thematically linked selections from two or more of the
genres above - manuscript required. In short, a grab bag of poems,
plays, prose, which all work together to convey a central theme.
Declamation: This is the performance of a speech
written by another "famous" person. The time limit is seven minutes.
It is not memorized.