CFL Congress CHSSA State Quals

2024 — San Jose, CA/US

CFL Congress State Qualifying Tournament

Sunday, March 10th, 2024

Hosted by Leland High School

6677 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95120

Events Offered: Congress and Presiding Officer

Pre-Tournament Questions

Tournament Help Desk

Double Qualifiers and Alternates Form:

If you competed in ANY Debate and/or Speech event on the weekend of March 2nd - 4th and intend to compete in Congressional Debate or as a Presiding Officer, you MUST fill out the Single Entry Letter of Intent form by March 9th at 11:59 PM. The Single Entry Letter of Intent will be posted here:

Not filling out the form risks being disallowed to enter this Tournament or disqualification from the Tournament.



Judges' Lounge and Food - Faculty Dining Room

Student Hangout - Cafeteria

Students' Food - Snack Bar (CASH ONLY)


AM Judge Arrival/Registration/Check in: 7:30 AM - 7:45 AM

PO Meeting in Tabroom (H5): 7:40 AM

Round 1: 8:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Round 2: 10:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Lunch: 12:45 PM - 1:30 PM

PM Judge Arrival: 12:45 PM

SuperSession: 2:15 PM - 6:00 PM

Awards: ASAP after all ballots are submitted

Entry Limits:

Please pay attention to the special entry limit governing State Qualifying Tournaments:

There will be TWO separate events offered: Congressional Debate and Presiding Officer. Cross entry between these two events will NOT be permitted. Those entered as a Presiding Officer shall only preside over the Chamber for the duration of the round. They will not be allowed to speak. Those entered as a Congressional Debaters will NOT be allowed to preside over the Chamber.

Each school is allowed to bring up to 7 free entries. Wildcard entries do not count towards this 7 entry limit. However, no school may bring more than 14 total entries, including wildcards, in total. No more than one of these competitors may be entered as a Presiding Officer. Wildcards may be entered as a Presiding Officer and will not count towards the 7 entry limit.

A wildcard is defined as a competitor who placed in the Top 2 (1st or 2nd) in any Senate Chamber or a competitor who placed as the Top Speaker (1st) in any House Chamber at a CFL League Congress Tournament this Season. Wildcards are NOT transferrable between individuals.

Example 1 of Entry Limit in action: School "Z" has earned 3 wildcards. They get to bring a maximum of 10 entries (7 free entries + 3 wildcards =10) to the Tournament, of which one entry may be a Presiding Officer.

Example 2 of Entry Limit in action: School "Y" has earned 10 wildcards. They get to bring a maximum of 14 entries (4 free entries + 10 wildcards = 14) to the Tournament, of which one entry may be a Presiding Officer. School "Y" cannot bring more than 14 total entries.

Wildcards cannot be transferable between entries. A list of Wildcards for the 2023 - 2024 season in Congress can be found here:


Registration and all entries are due on March 8th at 5 PM on Tabroom. All competitors will be placed on a waitlist and will be removed from the waitlist after judges have been entered to fulfill your school's obligation. Drops and adds after this time will be assessed a late fee.

When registering, To help me identify your wildcards, please follow the following instructions:

  1. If you are entering a student who had earned a wildcard at a CFL League Congress Tournament, please input the Tournament the student earned the wildcard from, whether it was the House or the Senate, and what place they earned in the "Qualifiers 1" blanks. (ex: Congress 2 - House, 1st)
  2. If you are entering one of your 7 free entries, leave the "Qualifiers/Bids" box BLANK and EMPTY. Instead, check off the "At-Large (non-qualified) applicant" box.

As a courtesy to all competitors, only those who can attend the California High School Speech and Debate State Championship at Clovis North High School on April 12th - 14th may compete at this Tournament. If your student is planning to not compete at State or has no interest in qualifying, please do not register them as to not "block" other students from qualifying.

In the same vein, Congress State Quals is held AFTER both Debate and Speech State Quals. The State Tournament is now mandating single entry ONLY. If a student qualifies in Congress or as a Presiding Officer, they cannot double enter at the State Tournament. Consequently, if a student has already qualified in another Debate and/or Speech event at an earlier weekend and intends to compete in that Debate and/or Speech event, that student should not compete at this Tournament in Congressional Debate or as a PO. This would effectively block a student from breaking out of Preliminary Rounds. However, those who qualified in an event from the prior weekend may compete at Congress State Quals if they plan on attending the CHSSA State Tournament in Congressional Debate or as a Presiding Officer. Please be sure to fill out the Single Entry Letter of Intent if you intend to compete at Congress State Quals after having competed at or qualified in the earlier weekend:

Those who are alternates from the prior weekend are more than welcome to compete at this Tournament, though should they get "moved up" and qualify in a Debate and/or Speech event, they will be required to choose which event they would like to compete in at State.

The flow chart here should clarify things.


Please provide 1 judge for every 4 entries or part thereof. The judge ratio has increased due to the fact that we will need for more judges per chamber. Schools should provide school affiliated judges to cover their judging obligation. Please note which child the judge is affiliated with in the Judge notes. Please enter your school affiliated judges no later than March 8th at 5 PM. We will not be offering hired judging at this Tournament, so please ensure that you have school affiliated judges for this Tournament.

You may shift out your judging. AM Judges will be responsible for Rounds 1 and 2 (8:00 AM - 12:45 PM) and PM Judges will be responsible for the SuperSession ONLY (12:45 PM - 5:00 PM). Please be sure to fulfill your ENTIRE judging obligation (i.e., if you owe one judge, you can fulfill that by bringing one judge that will be judging the entire day OR two judges - one judge for Rounds 1 and 2 and one judge for the SuperSession).

All judges must have a linked Tabroom account.

We encourage all first-year judges to watch the National Speech & Debate Association'sCongressional Debate Judge Training Webinar prior to Sunday, March 10th. In addition to providing higher-quality feedback to student competitors, well-trained judges help our tournaments to run smoothly and on-time (and once in a blue moon, evenaheadof schedule!).

Congress Rules and Procedures:

CHSSA Rules will govern all events. Please see additionalCongressional Rules and Procedures here.

In addition, Bills and Resolutions may NOT be laid on the table and all business before the Chamber MUST be completed (voted on) before the end of a session. Debaters are not permitted to suspend the rules.

Electronic retrieval devices will be allowed in round, but internet prep is NOT allowed. Electronic retrieval devices include laptops, tablets, netbooks, etc. Secondary electronic retrieval devices such as flash drives and hard drives are also allowed. Cellphones and smartphones may only be used as timers in the round. Any electronic retrieval device MUST be battery operated and NO power plugs or outlets may be used in round. All devices should be DISCONNECTED from the WiFi during round or placed in Airplane Mode.

There will be 3, 4, or 5 Chambers with no more than 18 students in each Chamber. If there are 3 chambers, the Top 7 shall break to the SuperSession. If there are 4 Chambers, the Top 5 will break to the SuperSession. If there are 5 Chambers, the Top 4 will break to the SuperSession. Each Chamber will set their own docket and all students should be prepared to debate both sides of the legislation.

The top 2 Presiding Officers shall advance to the SuperSession.

COVID-19 Precautions:

If you are feeling unwell prior to the Tournament, please do NOT attend. Instead, email your coach and we will drop you from the Tournament or excuse you from judging.

Awards and Qualifiers:

This year, the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) has allotted the following qualifying slots for each event:

  1. 12 Qualifiers in Congressional Debate
  2. 1 Qualifier as a Presiding Officer

Congressional Debate Qualifiers shall be determined by ranks in the SuperSession ONLY. Should entries be tied, additional tiebreakers will be used.

The Presiding Officer Qualifier shall be determined by a vote of the judges in the SuperSession and all Congressional Debate entries in the SuperSession.

Congressional Debate and Presiding Officer Qualifiers should note that these events are single entry ONLY events at the CHSSA State Tournament. If you qualified to the CHSSA State Tournament in another event, you are required to choose which event to attend the State Tournament in.