Participate Locally, Earn Recognition Nationally
Interscholastic contests form the foundation of public speaking and debating. They allow students to engage one another in the “marketplace of ideas,” where “assessment happens in a multi-institutional setting,” as described by Professor Brendan Kelly of the University of West Florida. Educators from participating schools evaluate each others’ students, offering more breadth and depth of feedback than a single educator could normally provide.
The activity of speech and debate is a sport, albeit academic versus athletic. As a sport, it is competitive in nature, with students practicing under the guidance of a coach, who nurtures their skills and work toward individual improvement, as well as squad goals. Just as athletes perform on a field for an audience, so do debaters and speakers.
In most parts of the country, there are local opportunities to participate several times a month during the school year, as well as district tournaments that offer the opportunity to qualify for our championship National Tournament. Explore these opportunities in the menu to the left. Our organization recognizes participation at all these levels.
Launching Your Program
The National Forensic League offers abundant resources to help launch programs at schools. This website offers a wealth of instructional videos and downloadable materials for our members. Plus, we offer a variety of professional development opportunities for educators.
Want to learn more about membership in the National Forensic League? Or you can join today!