"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."
-Indira Gandhi

Speech Tournaments

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.

Speech Organizations

NFL: 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 Interpretation.

TFA: Texas Forensic Association

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.

UIL: 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 enter.

Tournament Events


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 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 refutation.

Speaking Events

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 presentation.

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 speech.

Acting Events

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 scene.

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 scene.

Duo Drama: Similar to duet, but the actors do not touch each other and use off stage focus. The maximum time limit is 10 minutes.

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 Reflections

Miscellaneous Events

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.



Muleshoe - Oct. 4
Caprock - Oct. 25
Canyon/Randall - Nov. 8
WTAMU - Nov. 14-15
Lubbock Swing - Nov. 21-22
Amarillo High - Dec. 5-6
Friona - Jan. 10
Borger - Jan. 17
Hereford - Jan. 24 (Everyone works!)
UIL CX District - Jan. 29
Farwell - Jan. 31
Tascosa - Feb 6-7
WTSA Championship - Feb. 21
TFA State - Mar. 5-7
UIL CX Debate State - Mar .20-21
UIL Academic District - Mar. 27
UIL Regionals - Apr. 24-25
UIL State - May 7-9
NFL Nationals - June 14-20
Bus Safety Region ???
Bus Safety State ???
NFL Congress ???
NFL District ???


MIchael Watts - LD Debate
Mitchell Harris - Humouros, Oratory, Dramatic
Merrilee Yocum - Oratory
Megan Gerber - LD Debate
Sonia Melendez - Humorous

Sonia Melendez - Oratory
Mitchell Harris - Humorous

Sonia Melendez - CX Debate
Mitchell Harris - CX Debate
Oletta Jackson - Informative
Bus Safety State Qualifiers
Matthew Gonzales
Ryne Ruckman
Mitchell Harris (3rd)


Hereford Orators© 2007
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