WIAA Washington State Debate Championships 2024

2024 — Spokane, WA/US

Hello, Debate Coaches!

It is time for our WIAA State Individual Events and Debate Championships! This year, State Debate will be hosted by Dr. Glen Frappier, at Gonzaga University, on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, 2024. 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


Registration for debate and congress events is due on Wednesday, 3/ 6 by 5pm. Drops should be made by Monday, 3/11 at 5pm, please; no other changes are permitted after this time.

If your team is unavailable to compete, please contact us as early as possible so we can offer the spot to alternates. Please contact kkirkpatrick@mvsd320.org with this information.

Debate Judges

1. One experienced judge is required for every debate entry for Policy, Lincoln Douglas, and Public Forum.

2. One experienced judge is required for each school in congress.

If you have three entries in congress your judge must be neutral (that doesn’t mean School A can hire School B’s judge to make them appear neutral. We need neutral judges in each chamber, please.)

3. Judges may only be entered in one judging pool: Policy, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, or Congress. Schools must cover the event they have entries in.

4. A judge must have graduated no later than 2022.

5. All Lincoln Douglas and Policy judges must have a paradigm on tabroom.com that is linked to their tabroom account.

6. The tournament will not provide judges for hire.

7. The tournament will hire judges to ensure we have enough judges for both days. These judges are not available for hire by schools.

8. If your judges leave the tournament, or you do not cover your commitment, your team will forfeit its debaters.

9. Judges are obligated two rounds past their school’s elimination.

Failure of each judge to cover their elimination round commitment will result in a $100 fine.

10. All ballots will be on-line! All judges will need a tabroom.com account. 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

11. Please bring your best judges for this event.


WIAA State Speech & Debate Schedule


School Fee… $30

Lincoln Douglas entry… $30

Policy entry… $30

Public Forum entry… $30

Congress entry… $15

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.

Worlds School Debate Trial Event Rules

Each district may enter up to three teams of 3-5 students in the tournament. These may be hybrid or school-based teams this year. Details are included below. If you need any help introducing this event to your students, please contact kkirkpatrick@mvsd320.org or Dnhanson761@gmail.com.

1. Each WIAA District may enter up to three teams in the tournament. Each team will be 3-5 students.

2. It is at the discretion of each District to determine which students to enter. Options for choosing teams include, but are not limited to the following:

- Application process

- Alternates from other debate events

- Past competitors in Worlds at NSDA or other events.

- School representation

- Displayed interest

- a scrimmage

3. Electronic devices are not allowed during any Worlds rounds.

4. All rounds will be matched using Tabroom.com’s auto-match function using the same criteria used for PF and LD debate events.

5. Each team must provide 1 judge who is available for the entirety of the tournament.

6. During the tournament, all members of the team are allowed to participate during the preparation portion of impromptu rounds:

a) During each round, only 3 members of the team are allowed to compete. The extra debaters are allowed to observe the round, but are NOT allowed to participate in any way and may not take notes or flow the round.

b) Members of the team who are not participating in the debate during a round are not to speak, interact, or communicate with the members of the team who are debating. Knocking (which is a convention of Worlds used to show approval) is permitted.

c) Non-speaking members shall not sit at the same table or group of desks as the rest of the team.

d) During preliminary rounds, sides will be set by the tournament program. Elimination round sides will be determined by a coin toss with the winning team selecting which side they want to defend.

e) The proposition or Government team advocates for the motion to be debated. The opposition team opposes the motion to be debated.

f) Before the round begins, each team must declare to the judge the order of speakers, including the reply speech.

2. Speeches

a) Each speaker delivers an 8-minute substantive speech to introduce

arguments and counter opponents’ arguments.

b) Each team then delivers a single 4-minute reply speech, with the opposition going first followed by the proposition. ONLY the first or second speaker can deliver the reply speech. The third speaker is NOT allowed to give the reply speech.

c) Each team ought to present three main arguments supporting their side, with two arguments presented by the first speaker and the third argument presented by the second speaker of each team.

d) During each constructive speech, the opposing team is permitted to request Points of Information (POI’s) of the speaker.

(1) A POI is only allowed to be requested during the middle 6 minutes of the speech.

(2) The first and last minute of the constructive speech is protected time. No POI is allowed to be requested during this time or during Reply Speeches.

(3) A POI is an opportunity for the opposing team to ask a question of the speaker or to make a statement in opposition. A POI can be asked by any member of the opposing team. The POI can be accepted or denied by the speaker with a simple “No, thank you” or hand motion.

(4) It is considered bad form to harass the opposing team with POIs occurring too frequently while convention also suggests that a speaker take 2-3 POIs during their speech at their discretion.

3. World Schools Motions

a) Topics for the state tournament will be determined by the state board before being released in February.

b) At the state tournament, the order of motions will be as follows:

Round 1 Prepared Motion #1

Round 2 Impromptu

Round 3 Prepared Motion #1- Opposite side, if possible

Round 4 Impromptu

Round 5 Prepared Motion #2

Round 6 Prepared Motion #2- Opposite side, if possible

Elim Round 1-Impromptu Motion

Elim Round 2-Prepared Motion #3

Elim Round 3-Prepared Motion #3- Flip for sides

c) Impromptu motions will be available on tabroom.com and will be sent to all teams as close to the designated schedule time as possible. Teams should immediately go to their assigned preparation spaces.

(1) Proposition teams will prepare in the competition room.

(2) Opposition teams will prepare in the hallway immediately outside of the classroom where debating.

(3) Teams are allowed to use one reference book; These sources should be of a reference nature: Black’s Law Dictionary, Webster’s Dictionary, almanac, textbook, etc.

(4) All members of the team are allowed to participate during the preparation segment of the round but only 3 may participate in the debate segment.

(5) No electronic devices are allowed including cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc. Use of such devices may result in forfeiture of the round and/or disqualification from the tournament.