DSDA State Tournament

2018 — Claymont, DE/US


1St Annual Delaware Speech and Debate Association

State Tournament


WHEN:  April 14, 2018

WHERE:  Archmere Academy, 3600 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE 19703

WHO:  All Delaware High School and Middle School students

WHAT:  Competition in 4 categories: Students may not double enter.

·         Debate: Policy (CX), Lincoln-Douglas (LD), and Public Forum (PF)

·         Original:  Extemporaneous (X), Oratory (OO), Declamation (DEC)

·         Interpretation:  Prose/Poetry (POI), Dramatic/Humorous (DI), Duo Acting (DUO)

·         Congress (CON)

WHY: Delaware (The First State) is the Last State to implement a state-wide program affiliated with the two national forensic leagues in the U.S.- NSDA (the national forensics honor society) and NCFL. While States are not a qualifier for Nationals, the distinction of being a state champion in an event is significant. 

HOW: Go to Tabroom.com and sign up as coach for your school.  Then log-in and select the DSDA States competition, register your students and judges. The cut-off date for registration of students and judges is April 10. Any drops after this date will incur a “nuisance fee” (in addition to the invoiced amount which is still due) of $20 per drop. All students need to sign-up for Tabroom as well under a personal account.  They are not able to register for the tournament, however, only the school-appointed coach can do this!

HOW MUCH:  Fees are $30 per student to defray the cost of trophies.  If you are unable to provide the necessary judges, the judge fee will be $100 per hired judge. Pizza will be available for purchase at $12.00 per pie. Checks should be made to DSDA.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: New schedule will be sent to coaches.

Everyone needsto check in by 7:45 at the Library.  The mandatory meeting far all will start at 8:00 AM in the library.  The awards will be presented on a rolling basis, with PF debate awards at 2:30.  Lunch will be provided.



JUDGING REQUIREMENTS: You must provide judges (usually parents) in order to compete.  There will be a limited number of judges available for hire. You may sign up for judge hires on Tabroom- you cannot hire out your full obligation. All judges are required to attend the mandatory training to learn how to fill in ballots correctly.

IE/Congress:         1 judge/4 contestants or fraction thereof

Debate:                                 1 judge/1-2 debate teams


AWARDS:  Trophies will be awarded to the top 3 in each event.

QUESTIONS:  Please contact Sue Hayes at suehayes1@gmail.com (302-824-2427 or 610-388-2886).




All events follow NSDA rules: You can see examples and find coaching material at: https://www.speechanddebate.org/competition-events/


·         Public Forum Debate- April NSDA Topic:

Resolved: The United States federal government should increase its quota of H-1B visas. Public Forum involves opposing teams of two, debating a topic concerning a current event. Set-sides/switch sides debate. Students present cases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and also participate in a “crossfire” (similar to a cross examination) with the opportunity to question the opposing team. Usually parents judge this event.  Topic for States is March: 35 minutes total

·         Lincoln-Douglas Debate- March/April NSDA Topic:

Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.

In this one-on-one format, students debate a topic provided by the National Speech & Debate Association. Topics range from individual freedom versus the collective good to economic development versus environmental protection. Students may consult evidence gathered prior to the debate but may not use the Internet in round. An entire debate is roughly 45 minutes and consists of constructive speeches, rebuttals, and cross-examination. 45 minutes total

·         Policy Debate- 2017/18 Topic:

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

A two-on-two debate that focuses on a policy question for the duration of the academic year, this format tests a student’s research, analytical, and delivery skills. Policy debate involves the proposal of a plan by the affirmative team to enact a policy, while the negative team offers reasons to reject that proposal. Throughout the debate, students have the opportunity to cross-examine one another. A judge or panel of judges determines the winner based on the arguments presented. 90 minutes total.



·         Extemporaneous Speaking

Extemp combines international and domestic issues. Students are presented with a choice of three questions related to national and international current events. The student has 30 minutes to prepare a 7 minute speech answering the selected question. Students may consult articles and evidence they gather prior to the contest, but may not use the Internet during preparation. 5-7 minutes.

·         Original Oratory

Students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Limited to 150 words in direct quotes, competitors craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Topics range widely, and can be informative or persuasive in nature. The speech is delivered from memory. 8-10 minutes.

·         Declamation (Middle School, 9th and 10th grade only)

Students bring history to life- literally- by delivering a speech that has been delivered by someone else. From the historical greats to contemporary public orations, students have 10 minutes to perform a memorized speech with an introduction. Topics can vary widely based on the interest of the student. The goal of Declamation is for the student to perform another speaker’s message in their own voice. 8-10 minutes.



·         Program Oral Interpretation

Using selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a ten minute performance around a central theme. Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required (5.5 x 8 inches) and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection. 8-10 minutes.

·         Dramatic/Humorous Interpretation

Using a play, short story, or other published work, students perform a selection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes in length. With a spotlight on character development and depth, this event focuses on the student’s ability to convey emotion through the use of a dramatic or humorous text. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. No props or costumes may be used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance, and state the title and the author. 8-10 minutes.

·         Duo Interpretation

Two competitors team up to deliver a ten-minute performance of a published play or story. Using off-stage focus, competitors convey emotion and environment through a variety of performance techniques focusing on the relationships and interactions between the characters. No props or costumes are used. Performances also include an introduction written by the students to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author. 8-10 minutes.



·         Congressional Debate (House & Senate)

A simulation of the U.S. legislative process, students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate prior to the tournament in Congressional Debate. Debaters alternate delivering speeches for and against the topic in a group setting. An elected student serves as a presiding officer to ensure debate flows smoothly. Students are assessed on their research, argumentation, and delivery skills, as well as their knowledge and use of parliamentary procedure. 2-3 minute speeches with Q&A.




We are looking forward to seeing you and your team at States!




Sue Hayes                                                                                                           Tim Dougherty

DSDA Director                                                                                                   Archmere Academy

Tournament Director                                                                                     Tournament Host