WIAA Washington State Speech Championships 2024

2024 — Tacoma, WA/US

Hello, Debate Coaches!

It is time for our WIAA State Individual Events and Debate Championships! This year, State Speech will be hosted by Dr. Derek Buescher at the University of Puget Sound, on Saturday, March 9, 2024. State Thank you to this college program for welcoming us to their campus for the culmination of our competitive season!

Please reach out to the district chairs or the WSFA Board if you need any help or have questions. We look forward to seeing you at the tournament!

We look forward to seeing the best our state has to offer in a few short weeks!

See you soon,

Kelley Kirkpatrick- WSFA President

Sarah Sherry- Western Vice-President

Chelsea Brandon- Northern Vice-President

Vicky Hyde-Eastern Vice-President

Josh Jablon-WSFA Secretary

Morgia Belcher-WSFA Treasurer

Paul Sealey- WSFA Treasurer


For State Individual Events, registration is due by Monday, March 2, 2024 by 5:00 pm. Each student may enter two events that they have qualified for at the district level. Please go to tabroom.com to register your team. We ask that all drops are done by March 6, 2023 by 9pm (no other changes are permitted.)

We ask that you let us know about open spots as soon as possible, ideally by March 1, 2023. We would like to notify alternates as quickly as we can so that they may have time to prepare for the competition. Please contact kkirkpatrick@mvsd320.org with this information.

Individual Event Judges

  1. One judge is required for every 4 entries.

  2. A judge must have graduated from high school no later than 2022.

  3. Please list any schools or competitors a judge cannot judge.

  4. Please indicate whether judges are a coach. We try to place at least one coach on each final panel.

  5. Each school is required to provide enough qualified, experienced judges to cover their entries. This is the time to bring your best judges, please.

  6. All preliminary rounds will be double judged and the final round will have three judges.

  7. Schools will be assessed a $20 fine for each ballot their judges miss, with a one ballot grace period. Upon the second ballot missed the $20 fine will be retroactive to the first ballot missed. Meaning if a judge misses one ballot, we will forgive them, if they miss two ballots your school will be assessed a $40 fine.

8. All ballots will be on-line! Judges must have their own account on Tabroom.com. Please include any limitations in the notes section. If you need help with tabroom.com, here is a helpful guide from Eastern Vice-President and Chiawana coach Vicky Hyde: Tabroom Help

Interpretation Information

For Dramatic, Humorous, Duo, and Program of Oral Interpretation events, the WSFA Script Check Cover Sheet (WSFA Script Check Cover Sheet) must be completed to compete at State. Coaches should maintain all of the forms for their students and be ready to provide a copy during the tournament if asked to provide one. The contestant is required to have the original copy/copies, plus a photocopy of their script, which includes the changes (cuts), introduction, transitions, which are highlighted at the State Tournament. These must be provided in electronic form (scans, high quality pictures) if asked by tournament tab staff during competition.

Please email your scripts to be checked to WAScriptcheck@gmail.com. The Script Check Committee will need the original pages of the interpretation marked with the words used, a copy of the script, and the coversheet for each interpretation entry. We recognize that this is a new process and appreciate your patience! If you have questions, please contact Andrew Shimer at ashimer528@gmail.com.

Oratory Scripts

Students competing in Oratory are required to have an electronic copy of their speech available if a judge requests it or the tournament headquarters needs to verify the work. Quoted words (not to exceed 150 words) should be highlighted.


The Erik Helppie Award and scholarship is to recognize not necessarily the best debaters and speech competitors, but debaters and speech competitors that exemplify a spirit of helping and giving back to their community and/or debate team. The committee will interview the selected candidates during the State Individual Events Tournament. The top three finalists will be recognized at the Awards Assembly on Saturday, 3/9. Applications must be received by Saturday, 3/2 and should be sent to kkirkpatrick@mvsd320.org.


Erik Helppie was a speech and debate competitor at Interlake High School in the 1960s. After Erik graduated from Interlake he began attending college. He soon learned that the Interlake debate team was now without a coach, and would cease to exist unless they found a replacement. Erik also learned he had cancer. Despite the arduous fight with cancer, and the full college course load, Erik also began to coach the Interlake team. When Erik died a few years later the Interlake community, and the entire speech and debate community lost a terrific mentor and friend. It is in his honor the WSFA awards the Erik Helppie Award, not necessarily to the top speech and debate competitor, but to a speech and debate competitor that exemplifies the spirit of Erik Helppie. A competitor that gives back to their community and team.


The Erik Helppie Award is one in which a coach nominates a student that they feel is an outstanding individual who exemplifies the qualities of a leader and community member. Explain what this student has done to promote forensics on your team, in the school, and community. Please indicate a list of major awards both in forensics and school activities. Be specific and cite examples. The student must be a graduating senior to qualify. Both the coach and the student must be present at the State Speech Tournament, on Saturday, 3/11, as the finalists selected by the committee and their coaches are interviewed.

Your nomination paper, including the achievements should not exceed two typed pages.


The Lois Gorne President’s Award honors students that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in speech and performing arts. This reaches beyond speech and debate and includes theatrical performances, public address, and similar activities. The committee will interview the selected candidates during the State Individual Events Tournament. The top three finalists will be recognized at the Awards Assembly on Saturday. Applications must be received by Saturday, 3/2 and should be sent to kkirkpatrick@mvsd320.org.


Coaches should include in their nomination an explanation of what the nominee has done in the performing arts (including speech and debate) and what qualities you believe make them qualified for this honor and scholarship. Please include a specific list of major awards and honors. The student must be a graduating senior to qualify. Both the student and coach must be present at the State Speech Tournament, as finalists will be interviewed by a committee appointed by the WSFA President.

In keeping with the goals and ideals of Lois Gorne, nominations should address these areas:

  • Describe the various performing arts/speech events the nominee has chosen to participate in throughout high school, and give specific examples of the nominees work – i.e. names of cuttings for interp performances, favorite orations, other speech topics, etc.

  • Describe why the nominee would be a good candidate for the award, including financial need.

  • Describe how the nominee anticipates utilizing his or her performing arts skills at the college level.

  • Describe how the nominee is an above average example as a group or team leader.

Your nomination paper, including the achievements should not exceed two typed pages.


Please feel free to distribute this link to those who need it…thank you! WIAA STATE SPEECH & DEBATE SCHEDULE


Individual Event Tournament School Fee… $30 Individual Event entry… $10 Pre-pay WSFA Dues… $30

Checks and purchase orders are acceptable to pay fees. Fees are to be paid at the tournament registration or mailed to the billing address prior to the state competition. If a school has entries in the IE and Debate tournaments, the check may include both in one check. Make the check payable to Washington State Forensics Association, Morgia Belcher, Treasurer, 4318 Murphy Drive NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335.