A national topic is chosen by a national committee to be used by all of the high schools in the United States for the entire year. Team Debate requires a team of two who must research and be prepared to debate both sides of the topic at the same contest. Some schools allow teams of three, one specializing in affirmative, one in negative and one that switches. In our league and at all California State competitions, swing teams are illegal.
A value-centered debate, one man or one woman in style. This type of debating relies on philosophy, ideas, and logic, rather than collection of massive quantities of evidence. Research begins in mid-August, when the topic is announced and a new topic is in effect in February. Although this is lighter weight debate, the competition tends to be more competitive.
This event is a "mock" legislative assembly in which students learn the rudiments of Parliamentary Procedure while debating current legislative topics made up by the students themselves. The topics selected for this event are used once and each round of competition has a different topic. Topics are available for research at least a month before the contest.
A format for extemporaneous debate involving two-person teams. Debate is on a topic announced some 15 to 20 minutes before each debate. Limited parliamentary procedures are used in the contest to maintain order.
A debate format for two-person teams that promotes audience and media centered debate. Topics have an immediacy and timeliness and change every month. Some research is advantageous, but should not be the focus of the debate. No longer offered in California, it remains a national event.
Panel A Events:
This speech is the original work of the contestant, dealing with the defense of a cause, a eulogy of some outstanding person, or the solution of a social problem. Any appropriate subject may be used, but the contestant must be truthful. Non-factual references, especially personal experiences, should be identified as such. No more than 150 directly quoted words are permitted. The speech must be memorized and delivered extemporaneously. No visual aids are allowed. NOTE: A solution is not required. The maximum speaking time is 10 minutes.
This speech to inform should describe, clarify, illustrate, or define an object, idea, concept or process. A fabricated topic/speech may not be used. Audio and/or visual aids are allowed, but not required. No other person may be used as an aid. Items of dress necessary to the presentation may be put on and removed during the course of the presentation. The maximum speaking time is 10 minutes, including set up and removal. The speech may be delivered from memory or from notes.
Selections must be chosen from published stories, plays, essays, or poems, which are humorous in nature, but not slapstick. Title and author must be included in the memorized introduction. Gestures and pantomime are acceptable, but should be used with restraint. Students may add appropriate introductory and transitional materials, but they may not change the author's intent. The maximum speaking time is 10 minutes, including the introduction. Presentations must be memorized. Sitting, kneeling, and lying on the floor permitted. Furniture may NOT be used.
The contestant is to present a program of literary works based upon a theme of his or her choice. Each program will contain three or more separate selections from different published works. Memorized introductory, explanatory and transitional material must include the author and title of each selection. The contestant must hold a manuscript, but reading is optional. The maximum speaking time is 10 minutes, including introduction. Sitting, kneeling, and lying on the floor permitted, but furniture may not be used.
Two contestants present a selection from published stories, plays, essays, or poems. Different pieces of literature may not be combined. The contestants, may not touch, and may not use props or costumes. Contestants must use off-stage focus and may not make eye contact during the interpretation. Maximum speaking time is 10 minutes. Presentations must be memorized. Sitting, kneeling, and lying on the floor are permitted. Furniture may not be used.
The contestants will enter the room one at a time and draw a slip of paper from the judge. On the slip will be three topic choices (usually one word, a proverb or quotation and a question). The contestant must choose one of the three. After drawing, the contestant has TWO minutes to think prior to speaking. The maximum time for the speech is five minutes. There is no minimum time. Stress is placed on the ability to marshal a variety of ideas on one subject in an organized, focused manner.
Panel B Events:
This speech is the original work of the contestant. Any appropriate subject may be used, but the contestant must solve a current problem by proposing a legislative change. 150 words of direct quotation are allowed, but visual aids are not allowed. NOTE: All specific legislative solutions must reveal the agent of action. The maximum speaking time is 10 minutes. There is no minimum limit. Orations must be memorized.
Prior to coming to the round, contestants draw three topics, choose one and are given 30 minutes to prepare an appropriate speech on a topic of significant contemporary interest discussed in major national news magazines during the weeks prior to the tournament. Contestants are permitted to use books, magazines, library aides, etc., but not to consult with other persons. Students must speak on the topic they have drawn. The maximum speaking time is 7 minutes. There is no minimum time. Notes may not be used in Varsity Division. Contestants must specialize in national issues OR international issues and must prepare and maintain an extemp file with others in the event.
Selections may be chosen from published stories, plays, essays, or poems that are serious in nature. Title and author must be included in the introduction. Gestures, pantomime, and singing are acceptable, but should be used with restraint. Students may add appropriate introductory and transitional materials, but they may not change the author's intent. The maximum speaking time is 10 minutes, including introduction. There is no minimum limit. Presentations must be memorized. Sitting, kneeling, and lying on the floor are permitted, but furniture may not be used.
The contestant chooses a published speech delivered originally by a real person. This is not meant to be an impersonation. The interpretation should recreate the meaning of the selection through the use of voice, gestures, eye contact, and facial expression. In addition, the student makes a brief introduction that highlights the intent of the original speaker and the significance of the speech in historical context. Maximum speaking time is 10 minutes. There is no minimum time limit. Interpretations must be memorized. Sitting, kneeling, and lying on the floor are permitted, but furniture may not be used.
The prose-poetry presentations are the original composition(s) and ideas of the contestant. The material may be a monologue or a dialogue and may be dramatic or humorous in nature. Singing is permitted. The contestant may use up to 150 words quoted from other sources. Maximum speaking time is 10 minutes. There is no minimum time limit. Manuscripts or notes are optional at Varsity and Novice levels. Sitting, kneeling, and lying on the floor are permitted, but furniture may not be used.