2022 — Online, CA/US
The is a professional speech and debate league that was founded by Blake Longfellow in the summer of 2020 with three major goals in mind:
1. Optimize speech and debate tournaments in ways that modernize old, antiquated practices (less events, shorter rounds, less competitors per round, more preliminary rounds resulting in more ballots, faster tournament days--we start awards no later than 5:30pm on tournament days).
2. Vastly improve the judging of tournaments by having only unaffiliated judges in the pool. No judge can have any entries or connections to any competitor in the league, resulting in far fairer, unbiased judging. Additionally, all judges' feedback is evaluated and critiqued, resulting in better judging (the best judges are the ones we bring back).
3. Create an opportunity for speakers to compete on a professional level. Like almost every other competitive activity, speech and debate has incredible potential for a professional league, allowing skills developed over years of practice and hard work to be rewarded monetarily. Because of this, we offer cash prizes for the top two finalists in every single event, with higher cash prizes in each division, professional raking in $200 for a top two finish in an event. There are also season long sweepstakes for the best teams (capped at 5 competitors) and best individual speakers of the season.
Our tournaments run online, on the first Saturday of every month (barring January to avoid New Years Eve/Day), so scheduling/planning your tournament calendar is easy and consistent.
We run five events at our tournaments:
1. - Modeled after SPAR debate, Spontaneous Debate is meant to prepare competitors for real life debates around the water cooler or dinner table. Competitors are paired into 1 versus 1 debates, but ranked against the overall skill level of all 6 debaters in each round. Competitors first strike topics from a list of 3, then are randomly assigned to one side of the debate. They take 2 minutes to prepare their arguments, ten take turns delivering 2 minute speeches articulation their case. A 2 minute cross examination period then happens, allowing them to ask questions of each other. Finally, they both deliver a second 2 minute speech. After the judge has watched all 3 debate pairings they rank the debaters individually from 1st to 6th place. (Event Comparison: SPAR Debate)
2. - This event gives competitors the chance to research and prepare arguments for a debate topic in advance of the tournament, and then to enter those ideas into competition with others on the same topic. Every tournament has a predetermined topic, typically a proposed piece of legislation, and competitors will prepare a position speech either for or against the topic. (Event Comparison: Congressional Debate)
3. - Competitors are presented with a prompt, typically a quotation, and have 7 minutes to write and perform their speech based on that prompt. Original speeches should be delivered each round, unique to the prompt provided. This is similar to the impromptu speech format that some may be familiar with. (Event Comparison: Impromptu Speaking)
4. - Competitors in this event present an original speech no longer than 10 minutes. Persuasive, Informative, and Comedic style speeches are all welcome in this category. These are typically research and memorized before the competition. This is similar to the oratory or public address style speeches that some may be familiar with. (Event Comparisons: Persuasive Speech, Informative Speech, Original Oratory, Original Advocacy, Keynote Speech, After Dinner Speech, Speech to Entertain, Communication Analysis, Rhetorical Criticism, Expository Speech, Commentary)
5. - In a 7-10 minute presentation competitors select literature, written by themselves or others, to perform. The style of performances and genre of literature are up to the competitors. This is similar to the interpretation style speeches some may be familiar with. (Event Comparison: Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Oratorical Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Prose Interpretation, Programmed Oral Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Storytelling, Original Prose and Poetry, Monologues, Spoken Word Poetry)
Additionally, we have divisions in which competitors can enter: , , , , and .
Our tournament is hosted and run through ForensicsTournament.net, but you can register here. We will import all entries there, and we will run our tournaments on Zoom.
Schedule for our tournaments:
8:30 AM - Check-in and Opening Ceremony
9:00 AM - Round 1
10:00 AM - Round 2
11:00 AM - Round 3
12:00AM - Round 4
1:00PM - Lunch and Makeup Round
2:00 PM - Elimination Round 1
3:00 PM - Elimination Round 2
4:00 PM - Elimination Round 3
5:30PM - Awards Ceremony