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Phillipsburg Fall Invitational

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General information

This is a High School tournament in New Jersey.

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Here is the link for the ltournament live doc which has the most complete and up-to-date schedules and information for coaches, judges, and competitors.



Dear Forensic Moderators and Coaches:

The Phillipsburg High School Forensics Team cordially invites you to the first ever hybrid Phillipsburg Fall Invitational on Saturday, October 30, 2021.  We hope you can join us for an educational and enjoyable day of in-person forensics competition.  We ask that you carefully read the following invitation since changes have been made from previous years to accommodate a hybrid tournament taking place during the ongoing pandemic

We are offering competition in the following events:

Speech Events

Debate Events

Humorous Interpretation

Dramatic Interpretation

Duo Interpretation

Oral Interpretation

Original Oratory

Extemporaneous Speaking

Informative Speaking

Program Oral Interpretation


Improvisational Acting

Declamation (9th & 10th Grade Only)


Lincoln-Douglas Debate (Novice, JV, & Varsity)

Public Forum Debate (Novice, JV, & Varsity)

Congressional Debate (Novice & Varsity)

Parliamentary Debate (Novice & Varsity)

All LD debaters (INCLUDING NOVICE) will debate Sept/Oct. Resolution:  Resolved: The member nations of the World Trade Organization ought to reduce intellectual property protections for medicines.  WE WILL NOT BE USING THE NSDA NOVICE LD TOPIC.


All PF debaters will be debating the Sept./Oct Resolution: Resolved: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization should substantially increase its defense commitments to the Baltic states.

Asynchronous Events

Children’s Literature

Pro Con Challenge



In accordance with NJ Governor Murphy’s executive order issued on August 9, 2021, everyone--students, coaches, judges, and parents--is required to wear a mask indoors, even when competing.  Masks may be removed if people step outside the building or if they are the only person in a room.  If any judges refuse to wear a mask, they will be asked to leave and the school will be fined for dropping a judge.  If students refuse to wear a mask, they will be dropped from the tournament.  Coaches are asked to make sure that their students, judges, and parents understand this mask requirement.   



Due to safety concerns, no hot food will be sold.   Please have your students bring their own food for lunch.  Bottled water and packaged snacks ONLY will be sold.  Food will be provided for judges. 



There will be three preliminary rounds and a final round in all individual speech events, as well as two sessions & a final round of Congress.  If an event has fewer than 4 contestants, the event will not be held.  There will be four single-flighted rounds of Parliamentary, LD, and PF debate.  Each will have 3 divisions:  novice, JV, & varsity, which will be collapsed if numbers warrant.  Novice is only open to 9th or 10th graders in their first year of debate.  All NSDA and NJSDL rules for registration, source integrity, ethics, and timing are in effect.  **Please remember that the same piece can NEVER be used in 2 different events.**


Students may double enter in any of the speech events but may not double enter if competing in student congress or debate (LD, PF, or World Schools).   Mavericks in PF are not permitted.   We ask that you make sure to mark all your novice speech competitors (in their first year of competition) in registration so that we can recognize the highest-placing novice at awards or hold novice honors rounds if numbers allow it. 



All students are also invited to enter one or both of our asynchronous events, Children’s Literature and Pro Con Challenge by submitting a video recording of their performance.  Video urls are due on Speechwire by Tuesday, Oct. 26th at 7 pm.  Specific details about the 2 events can be found at the end of this invitation. 



All coaches must have a team roster with accurate email addresses uploaded onto Speechwire.  Likewise, coaches must ensure that judges are trained to complete electronic ballots and have a linked Speechwire account.  Finally, coaches need to inform their speech judges that they may be assigned to judge the prelim rounds for the two asynchronous events which must be completed by Friday, Oct. 29th at 7 pm. 



All registration must be done online at www.SpeechWire.com.  If you need assistance using this site, let us know.  Only 6 entries per school per category will be registered.  The rest will be placed on a waitlist for review to ensure rooms are balanced.


Registration will begin Saturday at 8:00 am and continue until 8:45 am at the community entrance of Phillipsburg High School.  We hope to begin Round 1 promptly by 9:30am.  A complete tournament schedule will be available on speechwire.com. 



Please submit all Congress bills to fraulaurie@hotmail.com by Friday, October 22.  We will upload the bills to SpeechWire by Saturday, October 23rd.  We will try to utilize all pieces of legislation submitted, but if the number is excessive, some may not be used.


REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE ON THURSDAY, OCT. 21ST @ 3PM.  We will begin to assess nuisance fees for any registration changes other than name changes after this deadline.  This deadline is necessary because the number of competitors will determine where teams will be placed in the cafeteria and/or building to ensure proper social distancing.   The names of all judges are due on Tuesday October 26, 2021 @ 7pm.  Some of these judges will be used to judge the asynchronous prelim rounds starting on Wednesday and finishing on Friday at 7 pm. 



Please send payment in the form of check or purchase order.  Make payments out to:  Phillipsburg Forensics Team

  • School entry fee--$25 per school
  • Individual Speakers (including Congress)--$10 per entry
  • All LD Debaters--$15 per entry
  • All PF, Duo, and Parli Teams--$20 per entry
  • Administrative Fees    
    • Late entry fee--$20 per entry after 3 pm on 10/21
    • Drop fee--$10 per entry after 3 pm on 10/21
    • Entire school late withdrawal fee—50% of full invoice after 6 pm on 10/28; 100% for day-of or no show
  • Judge fees
  • $90 per missing judge, per requirements below
  • $125 dropped & non-replaced judge after 7 pm on 10/26
  • $20 per missed judge call



LD & PF Debate

  • Teams must provide 1 judge for every 2 entries or fraction thereof.
  • Student debaters with at least 2 full years of experience may judge Novice LD or Novice PF ONLY, as long as they are clearly marked in registration notes.  Failure to do so may result in a judge fee being assessed. 
  • Student judges cannot be used to fulfill judging obligations for JV & Varsity entries
  • Student judges may not be used to fulfill a school’s entire judging obligation

Parliamentary Debate

  • 1 judge for every 2 teams or fraction thereof.
  • No student judges allowed

IE Events, Asynchronous Events, and Congress

  • Teams must provide 1 judge for every 5 entries or fraction thereof.
  • No student judges allowed

Judge Requests

  • Deadline for Hired Judge requests—Thursday, October 21, 2021. 
  • If you have any extra judges, please call or email Laurie Schmid

**Please stress to your judges that they are obligated for the entire tournament including asynchronous events and must be available to judge the final round of any event. 

When registering your judges, if you have a judge who is able to judge your own team without conflict, please mark him or her as “Clean” on the drop-down menu.


We may be forced to assign judges based on need, regardless of category.  This is something we will try never to do, but if circumstances demand it, it would be helpful for coaches to let us know of any judges who would feel comfortable doing other events.  However, speech judges will be used to judge Congress and the asynchronous event rounds.  Please let your judges know this.


Please make sure your judges are trained prior to the tournament because we will not have the time to adequately train them before the tournament begins.  Schools will be holding judges training sessions throughout the month of October.  Please see the NJSDL website for the dates.  If any of your judges would like to attend my in-person training session, tell them to come to PHS on Wed, Oct. 20th  from 7 – 9 pm in Room 227.



The awards ceremony will be held in the auditorium with social distancing  The top 6 Congress entries, speech finalists,  contestants in debate events, top non-advancing novices, and sweepstakes awards will be presented.  Awards will be  mailed to the coach’s address provided  on Speechwire  (unless told otherwise) for any teams that only participated in the asynchronous events.


As we get closer to the 30th I will send out updates with more details about the schedule and how the tournament will run.  Please feel free to direct any questions not answered in these updates to Laurie Schmid on her cell (908) 619-1812, at home (908) 859-2885, or at either of these email addresses: fraulaurie@hotmail.com or schmid.laurie@pburgsd.net


Hope to see you in person at the end of October!  Best wishes for a successful forensics season!

Laurie Schmid

Phillipsburg High School Forensics Coach






Students will choose either the Sept/Oct LD or PF resolution.  The pro and the con speech must be on the same topic.


Competitors will write and present a 3-5 minute affirmative speech and a 3-5 minute negative speech on that topic. Judges will evaluate the structure, arguments, evidence, and speaking abilities of each competitor and rank them against each other.


The total recording time limit is 10 minutes and 30 seconds. This is a hard limit, and time spent walking to and from the camera counts toward the recording time. Both the affirmative and the negative speeches will be read within this time limit. Students may take recorded “prep time” in between speeches to pull up files or take a short break, but their two speeches must be submitted as one recording that is no longer than 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Should a student go beyond the grace period, the student may not be ranked 1st. There is no other prescribed penalty for going over the grace period. The ranking is up to each individual judge’s discretion. No minimum time is mandated.


Students may read from pre-written text during the speech as if they were presenting a constructive speech in a round. Speeches should not be memorized.



The speaker will present a 4-8 minute picture book to a child-audience, between the ages of five and ten.  The speaker’s demeanor, expression, and choice of literature should be considered for its appropriateness for young children so that it may be understood and appreciated. The selection must be from a single published fictional or non-fictional volume of any genre.  Material from more than one source is not allowed.  The author’s words as published in the literature may not be altered for this presentation with the exception that cutting is permitted, if absolutely needed.  Speakers must present character lines as intended by the author and/or illustrator.  


The presentation should BEGIN (no teasers) with an introduction that welcomes the child-audience to the video and story with the name of the story and/or pieces in the volume along with the author(s).  The speaker should indicate their reason for choosing the literature (perhaps it’s a childhood favorite, something sentimental, or a particular character that the speaker identifies with?). Finally, they should invite the child-audience to listen for a particular moral or important life lesson. The introduction should not exceed one-minute.


After reading the text, if time allows, the student is invited to share a parting message with their child-audience about the message/theme, say thank you, or goodbye.  Your tone and delivery should be reflective of this audience.


Be sure you provide a strong and distinguished voice, that is easily recognizable, for each character in the story. Remember, the narrator can be a character too!! 


The speaker should read from the actual source and may appropriately and creatively refer to the physical cover and story illustrations throughout the performance; however, be sure they enhance the story experience and don’t disrupt the flow.  Speakers may sit or stand (or a combination) for the entirety of the presentation and should present with the proper proximity to the camera so the child-audience can see the illustrations (if so desired).  


No costumes or props may be used in the presentation.




Directions to Phillipsburg High School
1 Stateliner Boulevard
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865

From the East: Take I 78 West to Exit 3. Exit on to Route 22 West and continue into Phillipsburg. About 1 mile before the Delaware River bridge you will pass Dunkin Donuts and the Hillcrest Shopping Center.  Bear right at the next traffic light onto Roseberry Street.  Continue on Roseberry past the hospital.  At the traffic light, go straight past the athletic fields and up the hill.  Drive around to the side of the school and drop off students there.

From the West and Pennsylvania: Take I 78 East to Exit 3. Make a left off the exit on to Route 22 West and continue into Phillipsburg. Then follow the directions above.

From Newark, NJ: Take I 78 West to Garden State Parkway/Clinton. Take Exit 3 and follow the directions above. 

From Stroudsburg, PA: Take I-80 East. Turn right onto N Delaware Dr./PA-611. Turn left onto Main Street/PA-611. Continue to follow PA-611. Turn left onto Garden Street/PA-611. Merge onto US-22 E.  Follow US-22 E and pass the McDonalds and Exxon gas station.  After crossing Roseberry Street, take the jughandle to get on Roseberry.  Then follow the directions above. 


Manager contact information

Laurie Schmid
Email address: schmid.laurie@pburgsd.net
Phone number: 908-619-1812

Mailing address

Phillipsburg High School
1 Stateliner Blvd.
Phillipsburg , NJ 08865

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