GFCA 1st 2nd Year State Championships

2023 — Atlanta, GA/US

Dates and Format

- February 3-5, 2023

- In Person at Marist School

- LD and Public Forum will run Friday/Saturday

- Policy will run Friday/Saturday but may conclude with an online elim(s) on Sunday

- Congressional Debate will run Friday only

- Speech events will run Saturday only

- Complete schedules will be posted on shortly, but Friday's events will start at 3:00PM.


The GFCA will provide dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday to all judges, coaches, and competitors at no additional cost. (see tab on right side for details)

Events Offered

- First Year Lincoln Douglas Debate, Second Year Lincoln Douglas Debate

- First Year Policy Debate, Second Year Policy Debate

- First Year Public Forum Debate, Second Year Public Forum Debate

- First Year Dramatic Interpretation, Second Year Dramatic Interpretation

- First Year Extemporaneous Speaking, Second Year Extemporaneous Speaking

- First Year Humorous Interpretation, Second Year Humorous Interpretation

- First Year Original Oratory, Second Year Original Oratory

- First Year Program of Oral Interpretation, Second Year Program of Oral Interpretation

- First Year Informative Speaking, Second Year Informative Speaking

- First Year Impromptu Speaking, Second Year Impromptu Speaking

- First Year Duo Interpretation, Second Year Duo Interpretation

- Varsity Congressional Debate

Guidelines for Combining or Canceling Divisions

All Events other than Congressional Debate: The GFCA will cancel a state tournament event if there are fewer than six entries and/or fewer than three schools when registration closes. Students in that event will then have an opportunity to transfer to other event(s) if desired and if their school has not reached the cap in the other event or alternately, students may participate in a scrimmage on those dates. (Bylaw 4.15)

Congressional Debate: We will cancel Congressional Debate if there are fewer than 24 entries and/or fewer than four schools. (Bylaw 4.38(4)b)

Entry Criteria — All Events other than Varsity Congressional Debate

As a reminder, bylaws 4.14 and 4.21(b) address the qualifications for attending.

First Year students are defined as students competing in their first year of high school speech and debate activities.

Second Year students are defined as students competing in their second year of high school speech and debate.

It is the coach’s responsibility to affirm that their debaters are eligible to compete. Email if you have questions about a particular student — I’m happy to help you figure it out in advance!

Note: There is NO in-state invitational requirement to attend the First and Second Year State Championship. (4.21(b)).

Entry Criteria — Varsity Congressional Debate

Schools may enter up to eight students.

To be eligible to participate in the Varsity State Congressional Tournament, students either need to:

(a) participate in Congressional Debate at one (1) GFCA in-state invitational or

(b) participate in a minimum of two (2) GFCA sanctioned tournaments during the regular season in any GFCA event.

Judging Qualifications — LD, Policy, PF, Speech

Experienced students may judge these events. Students must be two years “out” of that division to judge — so a student in their third year of high school speech/debate can judge first year events only and a student in their fourth year or beyond of high school speech/debate can judge first or second year events. Please make sure to use the “judge notes” field to notify the tournament about student judges and their number of years in the activity.

Note: if we collapse an event by combining the First and Second Year divisions, students in their third year of high school speech/debate will no longer be eligible to judge that division. We will notify impacted schools if that occurs.

Please ask your judges to make sure they have an updated judge philosophy on — it really helps the students that they are judging!

Judging Qualifications — Congressional Debate

Each qualifying school must bring one judge per four students entered. As this is a varsity event, all judges must be adults.

Hired Judging

We will have a limited amount of judging available to hire from the tournament. If you know you will need a hired judge, please submit this request ASAP when registration opens so we can make sure to meet as many needs as possible.

Forms to Submit

Each school must submit a School Eligibility Form (one per school) and an Individual Electronic Release Form (one per student.) These will be available on shortly. You’ll upload the completed forms to Tabroom.

Other Notes

The First Year Policy division does not limit students to debating arguments in the novice packet.

LD will be using the January/February NSDA topic. PF will be using the February NSDA topic.

Act of God Protocols

The GFCA State Championships will allow qualified entries to participate online if the event allows under the following circumstances:

Schools that make plans to attend the GFCA State Championships and their travel plans are disrupted because of weather or other unforeseen circumstances such as COVID restrictions.

If a student becomes ill and it is in their and/or the community’s best interest because of contagion risks that the student(s) not travel or participate in-person. Unless the illness affects all of a school’s entries, it is expected that judges still attend in person.