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Pennsylvania Forensics Association Championship

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General information

This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a College tournament in Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Forensic Association

Championship Tournament


February 19 - 21, 2021

Held virtually 


On behalf of the Pennsylvania Forensic Association, I invite you to attend the 2021 PFA Championship tournament to be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 19 - 21, 2021.  Please plan to join us!


Tournament Features:


  • NEW SCHEDULE: Separate Debate (Friday & Saturday) and Speech (Sunday) Tournaments.  
  • Synchronous competition for all events. The exact platform (Zoom, 8x8, etc.) will be designated closer to the tournament.
  • Two preliminary rounds of all NFA I.E. events and finals.
  • The tournament will offer four preliminary rounds of NFA Lincoln Douglas Debate and appropriate out rounds. 
  • Four preliminary rounds of Parliamentary Debate and appropriate out rounds.
  • Recognized by the Interstate Oratorical Association as the official State Championship.
  • Includes Quadrathon and two-tiered sweepstakes awards.  Small programs are excellent, too; we are committed to recognizing talent across the community.
  • Top six contestants in finals.
  • Group A: Extemporaneous, Persuasion, Program Oral Interpretation, Duo, Informative
  • Group B: Prose, Dramatic Interpretation, Impromptu, Rhetorical Criticism, After Dinner Speaking
  • PFA recognizes that a lot of teams are struggling this year. Budget cuts are a very real thing. In order to compete, if your team needs fees to be waived please let Scott know. We would rather have your entry than your dollars.


Forensically Yours, 




Scott Placke, PFA Executive Secretary                      Christine Mellon, PFA President

Lafayette College                                                       Wilkes University


PFA Tournament Schedule





Friday (2/19/21)

4:00 – 4:30 Registration

4:30 Parli Prep

5:00 Round 1 LD and Parli

6:30: Parli Prep

7:00 Round 2 LD and Parli


Saturday (2/20/21)

8:30 Check-in

9:00 Parli prep

9:30 Round 3 Parli and LD

11:00 Parli Prep

11:30 Round 4 Parli and LD

1:00 Lunch

1:30 Quarterfinals Parli Prep

2:00 Quarters Parli and LD

3:30 Parli prep

4:00 Semis Parli and LD

5:30 Finals Parli Prep

6:00 Finals Parli and LD

7:30 Awards



Sunday (2/22/21)

8:00 Registration / Virtual Check-In

8:30 Extemp Prep

9:00 Round 1A: (Extemp/POI/Duo/Per/Informative/Pro)
10:30 Round 1B: (Impromptu/DI/ADS/CA/Poetry)

12:00 Lunch

12:30 Extemp Prep

1:00 Round 2A: (Extemp/POI/Duo/Per/Informative/Pro)
2:15 Round 2B: (Impromptu/DI/ADS/CA/Poetry)

3:45 Extemp Prep Finals

4:00 Finals A Flight: Round 2A: (Extt/POI/Duo/Per/Informative/Pro)

5:15 Finals B Flight: (Impromptu/DI/ADS/CA/Poetry)

6:45 Awards (or ASAP)

The event brackets can be rearranged based on the needs of the tournament.


Time for Coaches’ Meeting will be designated during the week before the tournament depending on entries and judging needs.


If you have any questions regarding the tournament please, contact Scott Placke, PFA Executive Secretary, at 610-533-8331 (Cell) for emergencies. Having last minute drops before registration, even if it is the hour before, helps make the tournament run more smoothly.




  1. Contestants must be undergraduate students at a college or university in Pennsylvania and may not hold a baccalaureate degree.
  2. All materials must not have been used in competition prior to the 2020-2021 academic year.
  3. Each school may enter a maximum of four (4) contestants per event.
  4. Students may enter up to three events in a given grouping. Students may not be entered in both types of debate.
  5. LD Debate will follow NFA LD rules. The resolution will be: Resolved: The United States federal government should implement immigration reform that removes substantial statutory restrictions on legal immigration into the United States.”

6.       Manuscripts are to be used for all oral interpretation events. 

  1. Extemp draw will be conducted in a Zoom room. 

8.       Parliamentary Debate will use the National Parliamentary Debate Association rules except as described later in this document.

a.     Parliamentary Debate times are 7-8-8-8-4-5. 

b.      There will be no coaching permitted during prep time.  Debate partners must prepare independently of any input from coaches or teammates.

  1. Visual aids are permitted in all public address events.
  2. While a distinctive competitive advantage is obvious for all memorized presentation of public address events, limited notes for these events are permitted.  Contestants should be aware (especially in close rounds) that the use of notes will likely be one of the judge’s deciding factors in ranking.
  3. Participants may use only a single microphone and camera while competing.
  4. Live, in-person audiences are not permitted.
  5. Participants competing in duo interpretation must compete in separate locations and are not permitted to be on the same screen as their partner.
  6. Impromptu Prompts: Round 1 - Quotations; Round 2 - Questions; Finals - Proverbs
  7. Fees and dates:

a.     All fees are to be used to cover tournament expenses. All checks should be made payable to Scott Placke.  Checks made payable to a specific college or the Pennsylvania Forensic Association cannot be cashed.

b.     A membership fee of $25 per school is included in the entry.

c.     Tournament entry fees will be $5.00 per entry; each duo counts as one entry.

d.     Pentathlon fees will be $5.00 per contestant.  Pentathlon entries will NOT count toward a school’s judging quota.

e.     Entry Deadline: All entries are to be submitted on SpeechWire received by Scott Placke (PFA Executive Secretary) no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

f.      Drops made after this time will be charged the following fees: Drops in IE.s are $5.00 per slot through Friday; $15 per slot after noon on Saturday; and $25 on Sunday registration.  Drops in debate are $10.00 per debate team through Thursday and $50 on Friday.  Dropped judges will result in a $50.00 fee plus the cost of covering the slots.  Please call in any changes as early as possible using the contact information listed earlier in this invitation.

g.     Finalized fee sheets from will be emailed directly to head coaches on Monday, February 23 along with information of where they should be sent.

h.    Payments are due in the form of mailed checks no later than three weeks after final fee sheets are disbursed (unless other payment arrangements have been approved prior).

  1. Judging requirements:

a.     For the purposes of judge requirements, the debate and speech portions of PFA will be counted as two separate tournaments.

b.     Judging ratios: Each judge covers up to 8 IE slots or up to 2 debate teams.  Each school is obligated to cover their slots or fraction thereof (e.g. 9 IE slots = 2 judges, 17 IE slots = 3 judges).  A very limited number of judges may be hired at $10.00 per uncovered IE slot or $40.00 per uncovered debate team.

c.     Judges ideally should have a minimum of an undergraduate degree in communication studies or a related field.

d.     Judges will be expected to cover any event, IE or Debate unless limitations are indicated.  No school bringing debate teams may opt out of judging debate rounds. 

e.     Judges who are clean (meaning they can judge your own students) are really, really, really, really appreciated. In this virtual world it is much more possible to get help from alumni (who are at least two years out and never competed on your team at the same time as a student), professors, and administration who are disconnected from your students. Programs with large entries particularly, should do everything they can to provide clean judges. If you have questions about what constitutes a clean judge or how “blocks” work please contact Scott Placke. Please note on SpeechWire if your judges are clean.

17.     Two rounds of preliminary competition will be held in each IE event.  Final rounds will be held in all events having more than one section of competition.  There will be four preliminary rounds of Parliamentary Debate and Lincoln Douglas Debate along with appropriate elimination rounds (up to Quarterfinals).  

18.     Quadrathon: Students entered in four or more events qualify for pentathlon.  If a student has more than four events, points will be counted from the top four. A genre requirement of at least 2 genres is also required.  If a competitor has more than four events only the four best within genres would be used to calculate points. Parli and LD count as a limited prep event.  

  1. Awards:

a.     Awards will be given to the top six students in each event based on the results of the final round.  Each member of a duo will receive an award.  All debaters advancing to elimination rounds will receive awards.

b.     Awards will be given to the top six quadrathon speakers.

c.     Sweepstakes awards will be given to the top six schools in Open Division and the top three schools in President’s Division comprised of the 50% of schools with the smallest entries at the close of entries at 5:00 p.m., February 16.  No entry additions will be accepted after that time.

1.)   Only a school’s top two speakers in any event will count toward the school’s sweepstakes total from preliminary rounds.

2.)   All students in final rounds contribute to sweepstakes.

3.)   Preliminary round counts for individual events:

1st place = 3 points

2nd place = 2 points

3rd place = 1 points

4.)   Preliminary round counts for Debate

Win = 2 points

Loss = 0 points

5.)   Final Round counts for individual events:

1st place = 12 points

2nd place = 10 points

3rd place = 8 points

4th place = 7 points

5th place = 5 points

6th place = 3 points

6.)   Elimination round counts for Debate:

1st place = 10 points

2nd place = 8 points

Semifinalist = 6 points

Quarterfinalist = 4 points

d.     The speakers in each event qualify for the National Forensic Association or American Forensic Association Championships based on each organization’s rules. Go to http://www.mnsu.edu/cmst/niet/eventdescriptions-new09-10.htm for AFA event descriptions or http:// http://www.nationalforensics.org/ for NFA event rules.

e.     The top two contestants in persuasive speaking will represent the State of Pennsylvania at the Interstate Oratorical Contest, usually the weekend after the NFA Championships.  In the event that one or both of these students cannot attend, the remaining finalists will serve as alternates in descending order of tournament rank.  The PFA will pay all entry/registration fees for the students.  The PFA will also contribute $200.00 to help cover costs for each contestant if tournament revenues are sufficient.

f.      PFA will be distributing virtual certificates instead of physical awards for all individual competitors (ex: 3rdplace in DI). Upon receipt of entry fee payment PFA will be send out physical team awards for both Open and President’s divisions. 





Manager contact information

Scott Placke
Email address: plackeh@lafayette.edu
Phone number: 6105338331

Mailing address

None provided

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