Bellingham Online

2023 — Online, WA/US

Hello! Events will start at 4:00pm PST on Friday, October 27th and continue at 8:00am PST on Saturday, October 28th.

We offer the following events:

Congressional Debate

2 sessions on Friday evening and a super session on Saturday. We will use the Fall 2023 WSFA Bill Packet.


Policy Debate: Open and Novice

Lincoln Douglas Debate: Open and Novice

Public Forum Debate: Open and Novice

Novice CX will use the limited case areas adopted by the WSFA. Lincoln/Douglas competitors will use the Nov/Dec topic, Resolved: The United States ought to prohibit the extraction of fossil fuels from federal public lands and waters. Public Forum debate will use the Nov/Dec topic, Resolved: The United States federal government should forgive all federal student loan debt. In all formats, Novice division may be collapsed with open if entries in either division are too small.

POLICY DEBATE NOTE: While we would love to run a division of policy debate, this has become very difficult in recent years. We will collapse and/or not run policy if we do not have enough teams and qualified to run the event. To make Policy happen please do the following:

1. Bring judges

2. If you have a lot of teams, bring judges that can judge your own teams

3. Your judges must be able to judge PF and/or LD as well. We will almost certainly have to use a few judges from other categories, but that only works if policy judges are willing to do the same.

Individual Events

Informative (Novice-Open)
Oratory (Nov-Open)
Extemporaneous (Nov-Open)
Programmed Oral Interp (Nov-Open)
Duo Interp (Nov-Open)
Impromptu (Nov-Open)
Dramatic Interp (Nov-Open)
Humorous Interp (Nov-Open)
Ed Com (Open Division only)
Poetry Slamajama (Open)
SPAR (Open)

If a division has fewer than 10 contestants, the event might be collapsed into one division.


If you are coming from out of state, you may want to consult the Washington Forensics Association Rules found here:

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY: A scripted speech which is intended to be an analysis of a news event rather that a running synopsis of news. Speakers will read their manuscript from a seated position. The script should be timed to end between 1:45 and 2:00. Any speaker ending before 1:45 or after 2:00 shall be ranked one score lower. There is only open division for this event.

INFORMATVE: A speech that is designed to be informative in nature. Visual aids and note cards are permitted, but are not required. Time: ten minutes (10) maximum, with thirty seconds (30) grace. Novices may use notes.

DRAMATIC INTERP: One or more cuttings from a published play, prose, poetry, TV, or radio script, which is serious in nature. The presentation is MEMORIZED. Time: ten minutes maximum with 30 seconds grace. Novices may use scripts.

DUAL INTERP: A cutting from a published play, prose, poetry, TV, or radio script, which may be either humorous or serious in nature. The selection must be memorized but given without props or costumes. Time: ten minutes (10) maximum with 30 seconds grace. Novices may use a script.

EXTEMPORANEOUS: Thirty minutes before speaking time, each speaker will select a topic from a choice of four. Questions will be based on current events of the last three months. Speaker will be expected to organize and analyze material relevant to the subject area and answer the chosen question. One note card for novices only is permitted. Time: seven minutes (7) maximum, with thirty seconds (30) grace.

ORIGINAL ORATORY: An original speech designed to persuade—that is, to change or reinforce an existing belief, to eulogize, to cause agreement with speaker’s position, or to motivate to action. Notes may be used in Novice Oratory. Time: ten minutes (10) maximum, with 30 seconds grace.

IMPROMPTU: Student will enter the room and be given a choice of three topics. The student will choose a topic and have six minutes to prepare and speak on the chosen topic. Time may be used in any manner the speaker chooses (example-2 minutes prep and 4 speaking or 4 minutes prep and 2 minutes speaking). Time: six minutes (6) maximum, with thirty seconds (30) grace. This event will be done live on Saturday.

HUMOROUS INTERP: One or more cuttings from a published play, prose, poetry, TV, or radio script, which is humorous in nature. The presentation is MEMORIZED in open, but novices may use scripts. Time: ten minutes with 30 seconds grace. Novices may use scripts.

PROGRAM OF ORAL INTERP: At least one cutting of prose and one cutting of poetry and/or drama linked thematically. We will follow WSFA rules. Time: ten minutes maximum with thirty seconds grace.

POETRY SLAMAJAMA: Original poetry written for performance to express ideas, experience, or emotion through the creative arrangement of words according to their sound, their rhythm, their meaning. The maximum time limit is 5 minutes with a 30-second grace period. The delivery must be memorized, and no book or script may be used. No more than 150 words of the original poetry may be direct quotation from any other speech or writing, and such quotations must be identified in a printed copy of the speech. An introduction is permitted, but not required.

SPAR: There will be two topics to choose from. 1. Start with a coin toss 2. Winner can either choose the topic or let the other team choose the topic 3. The team that doesn’t choose the topic then chooses the side. 4. If there is no clear affirmative position (e.g. Godzilla could beat up King Kong), the topic mentioned first will be considered the affirmative (So in this example Godzilla would be considered the affirmative)

3 minutes prep-- you may write notes--

2 minute-- affirmative constructive

2 minute-- neg constructive

5 minute-- crossfire -- debaters can ask each other questions and further develop arguments. Debaters can take questions from the audience. Audience members raise hands and wait to be called on
2 minute-- affirmative summary

2 minute--negative summary

This event will be in I.E.s. Judges will rank all the SPAR competitors from 1 to 5 in the round.


Every school is required to pay a $50.00 School entry fee. The fee for solo entries is $10. The fee for double entries (PF, CX, duo interp) is $20.

We accept your registration fee by checks.

Please mail your checks to: Bellingham United Speech and Debate Team, 2700 Bill McDonald Parkway
Bellingham, Washington 98225

All registration will be done through


Each school is required to provide one judge for every 2 Policy teams and one Judge for every 2 Public Forum debate teams or 2 LD participants. In individual events, one judge is required for each 5 IE’s entered. One student doing two events counts as two contestants. A Dual Interp pair is counted as one entry. One judge needs to be available for every 5 Congress entries. All ballots will be submitted electronically via Tabroom.


The beginning of the tournament is not the time to get judges on Tabroom. This should be done ahead of time as should training about how to adjudicate.

Time Commitments

Debate judges must be able to judge Friday night and Saturday.

Speech judges must be able to judge all day Saturday.

Please reach out to the tournament if you need to split your commitment between morning/evening.

Judges who are assigned to finals (prior to the Award Ceremony) who do not pick up their ballots may be assessed a fine.


Awards will be given to top finishers in every category. They will be sent my mail or delivered in person at a future tournament.


Friday, October 27th

3:30 PM Registration

4:00 Debate Round 1, Congress session 1 (LD and PF double flighted)

6:00 Debate Round 2

7:00 Congress Session 2

8:00 Debate Round 3

Saturday, October 28th

7:30 AM IE- Only registration

7:45 Round 1 Extemp Prep Begins

8:00 Speech Round 1

9:30 Debate Round 4

9:30 Super Congress

11:15 R2 Extemp Prep Begins

11:30 Speech Round 2

1:00 Debate Round 5 (CX Break #1)

2:45 R3 Extemp Prep Begins

3:00 Speech 3

4:30 Debate Round 6 (CX Finals, PF/LD Break #1)

6:30 Speech Finals

8:00pm Awards

8:30 LD/PF Debate Finals

Policy Judges are obligated for all out rounds. LD and PF judges are obligated for two rounds past the elimination of their last competitors.