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FFL Region 7 Qualifier

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General information

This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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 Florida Forensic League

Gullah Geechee Region 7 Tournament

Saturday, February 4, 2023


Dear Coach,

Happy New Year! The Gullah Geechee Regional Tournament will be held at Abraham Lincoln Middle School, Gainesville, FL, on Saturday, February 4, 2023.​ 

This tournament is the gateway into participation in FFL activities for the remainder of the year. The top 3 entries in each event will qualify to compete at the State Championship tournament, which will be held on March 4 and 5 at a soon to be determined site. Participation in this Gullah Geechee Region 7 Qualifier to the FFL Varsity State Championship means that if your students do qualify, they are expected to attend FFL Varsity. Whether or not your students qualify to the State Championship, participation at the Regional Tournament will allow your school to enter the Novice State Tournament in April.

 Here are the 4 most important things you need to know when planning your entry:

 1.  If your school fails to enter the Regional Tournament, it forfeits the opportunity to attend Novice State and participate in Coach-of-the-Year voting. Must only enter (1) one student at Regional Quals.

2.  The number of qualifiers in each event is based on the number of schools that participate in the previous year’s Regional Tournament.  Thus, it is imperative that every member school in the region send at least one student to compete at the qualifying tournament.  Even if only a few schools in our region fail to participate, we could lose qualifying spots in 2023-2024!

3.  Every student you enter into the Regional Tournament must be available to compete at the State Championship Tournament if they qualify.  There are substantial financial penalties for dropping from the State Tournament.  Thus, you should make sure that every student from your school who wants to enter this tournament is available to compete at the FFL Varsity State Tournament on March 4 and 5.

4.  First-year students are welcome to attend the Regional Tournament and are eligible to qualify for the State Championship. They WILL NOT lose their eligibility to compete at Novice State.  In theory, a novice could win the State Championship and still compete at Novice State the following month!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  


Regional Tournament Info: 

--Entries, Fees, Drops, Rules:  Tournament Director –Marna Weston – westonmr@gm.sbac.edu 

--Day-of Tournament Emergencies: Marna Weston’s Cell – 352-219-7514



Entry will take place on www.speechwire.com. You must have a SpeechWire account to register for any of the FFL Tournaments.  

***If you are entering Student Congress, you must submit at least one bill/resolution for the agenda.  You may send as many items of legislation as students who are entering.  Please send bills as a Word attachment and make sure they are in FFL format (see Student Congress manual) to Marna Weston at westonmr@gm.sbac.edu.  Legislation is Due at Noon on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.


Tuesday, January 31: Congress Legislation submitted to Marna Weston at westonmr@gm.sbac.edu

Wednesday, February 1: Entry/Changes Deadline on SpeechWire

Wednesday, February 1: ALL Judge Obligations should be fulfilled and entered on SpeechWire (complete with accurate names)

Day of tournament, Feb 4: Coach-of-the-Year Nominations due to Kellie Roberts, robertsk@ufl.edu


SpeechWire student accounts are required for participation at the Regional Qualifiers and all

Judges will complete ballots online and will, therefore, need a laptop, Ipad, or smart phone to complete online ballots. 

TIPS ON----Completing electronic ballots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJXxeVS-Kg​ M


Only schools who have completed the Membership Application & submitted payment by the registration deadline may participate at this tournament.  Also, please remember that a school-approved adult must be available throughout the tournament for judging and communication with the tournament.





After Dinner Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking, International Extemporaneous, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Original Oratory, Policy Debate, Program Oral Interpretation, Public Forum Debate, Student Congress, US Extemporaneous, World Schools Debate


Each member school may submit up to six 6 entries per event, except in World Schools Debate (1 entry per school with 3-5 students).  

Schools that purchased a membership supplement may enter up to four (4) additional entries per event.  All entries on the supplement must be students in grades 6 – 8 (for middle school supplement) or 9 (for ninth grade supplement).  Entering students in grades 10-12 on the supplemental form will result in automatic disqualification of those students.  Enter mixed teams/units (eg: a 9th grader and 11th grader on a Policy Debate team) on the high school form.


Double entry and double qualification are permitted, except in Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, World Schools Debate, and Student Congress.  Also, cross-entry between U.S. Extemp and International Extemp is not allowed.


Purpose: A speech designed to entertain by advancing a relevant point through the use of humor.

Description: ADS are characterized by  humorous content development, creativity, uniqueness, timeliness, clear organization, significance, credible sources, and vocal and nonverbal delivery choices that reflect the speaker's purpose.


- All speeches must be original, constructed and delivered by the student.

- Speeches should adhere to the NFA Code of Standards, Rules and Procedures.

- Source citation should be specific, accurate, and honest.

- Speeches should be delivered from memory.

- No visual aids allowed.

- Maximum time of 8 minutes.


- Since Extempers can only enter in either US or International Extemp, Impromptu is an easy option since it is also limited prep (with no source requirement! And it's always huge at state, even as a supplemental). 

- ADS is also a great option for extempers because the humor and range of emotions required for ADS will enhance their extemp delivery (help them emote).

- Interpers & OO/Info students who are only single-entered could easily enter in Impromptu because they just need to present a semi-organized speech on a prompt using pre-existing knowledge (no research required!)

- Interpers are funny & smart so they are a natural fit for ADS! And since the time limit is shorter and there are no visual aids allowed, they only have to write a speech - they don't have to worry about constructing visuals! 



1.  Teams must be homogeneous (no hybrid teams – all competitors must be from the same school)

2.  Teams will consist of 3-5 students

3.  Each School may enter 1 World Schools Team at the Regional Qualifier.

3.  If more than one-third of the members of a World Schools Team cannot compete at the State Championship Tournament after qualifying at the Regional Tournament, that team shall drop and the alternate group shall be invited to compete.

4.  Judging Requirements - One (1) judge per entry in World Schools.

5.  Double Entry is not permitted.  

6.  Each district will qualify the top 2 entries in this division for the varsity state tournament
. If a district does not fulfill its two entries, the vacant entry slot will go to the third place   team in the District tournament that has the most world schools entries at their district qualifier.
 Remaining vacant entry spots will continue as outlined above and fall to the District tournament with the next largest number of entries.

7.  In Prelims - There will be 3 prepared motions and 2 impromptu motions – Round 1 and Round 5 will be the impromptu rounds.  Semis and Finals will be impromptu motions.

8.  In impromptu rounds the proposition will use the competition room as prep and the opposition will prep just outside the competition room.

9.  During preparation, as prescribed by NSDA rules, teams will only be allowed to use a dictionary, a single volume encyclopedia, or a World Almanac as a resource. No electronic devices will be allowed and possible suspicion of using one will result in a loss of the round and zero speaker points for the round.

9.  Speech times, appropriate times for POIs ("points of information"), and all other rules and procedural guidelines will fall in line with the NSDA national tournament guidelines.

10. Details on prepared motion topics will be provided later.  


Electronic Devices are permitted in debate, but students may not use the internet. The use of internet in extemp prep is allowed.

In Extemporaneous Speaking, competitors will be permitted to use the internet at all FFL Sanctioned Tournaments when internet access is publicly available. The League will make accommodations for students with disabilities in regards to the use of technology. Documentation of the disability must be provided ten days prior to the Regional Tournament and State Tournaments. The documentation must be available for review by the Executive Board.

 --Policy Debate will use the 2022-2023 topic.

 --Lincoln-Douglas Debate will use the January/February topic.

 --Public Forum Debate will use the February topic.

 --Student Congress will follow the FFL Congress Manual.  Entries will determine the number of chambers; if there are two or more chambers, there will be a Super Congress.  All schools must submit legislation (see ENTRY PROCESS above).  Legislation will be available on the speechwire.com Regional website tournament week.

 --World Schools Debate: See rules and procedures outlined in document sent by Carol Cecil. Each school may enter 1 team of 3-5 students. These students may not double-enter. The top team from the Regional tournament qualifies to the State tournament. 

WSD Motions:

Round 1(Prepared) This House supports Sanctuary cities in the United States.

Round 2 (Impromptu)

Round 3 (Prepared) This House believes that the USA should give South Korea independent control of a nuclear arsenal.

 --Extemporaneous Speaking Events – Topic Areas 

IX: Asia and the Middle East, The Americas, US Foreign Policy, Europe, Africa, Global Institutions

DX: Education and Health Care, The Biden Administration, US Foreign Policy, Education and Business, Military and Defense, and Judicial Concerns.

 --All Speech/Interpretation Events:

 1.  There is a 30-second grace period in these events.  A contestant who goes beyond the grace period may not be ranked first in that round.

2.  In the event of a protest, all contestants must have a copy of their piece/speech available for review by tournament officials.   Failure to present a copy of the applicable document and evidence of publication will result in disqualification.

3.  FFL has enacted many changes during the Fall Vote.  The membership needs to be aware of all of the rule changes.  These rule changes are listed on the FFL Home Page under “Results”.  FFL is actively working to update the Governing Documents, however, coaches should review/familiarize themselves with these changes.

4.  The name of each contestant’s piece/oration must be recorded on speechwire.com.  The piece on the website must be used at BOTH regionals and state.  The penalty for changing pieces at either Regional or State competition is an immediate disqualification.



 To protect the property of our host school, the following rules are in effect:

 1.  No contestant or student observer shall enter or remain in a contest room without a judge present. The penalty for violation of this regulation shall be immediate disqualification from the tournament.

2.  One room will be designated for Policy debaters to prep between rounds.  An adult proctor will supervise that room.

3.  Vandalism of property by any person at an FFL tournament shall result in immediate notification of school and/or local police authorities.  The Board of Directors shall notify the principal of the school associated with the vandal(s) in writing and insist upon appropriate remuneration.  In the case of vandalism by a contestant, the additional penalty of immediate disqualification from the tournament shall also apply. 


 Reviewing the following documents in advance of the tournament will help to ensure that your students comply with all FFL rules and regulations.  Questions regarding these rules should be addressed to the Tournament Director.

All of the following documents are available online at https://floridaforensicsleague.com/ 

 1.  FFL Governing Documents  

 You should review the general tournament rules with your students; it is strongly recommended that you ALSO print a copy of the event-specific rules and give them to your students so that they can make sure they are in compliance.

 2.  FFL Civility Code

 This document prescribes rules of behavior that are generally observed by all contestants and adults at forensic contests.  If you have inexperienced contestants and/or judges, you should give them a copy of this document.

 3.  Student Congress Manual

 You should give a copy of this document to each of your contestants in Student Congress.  

 4.  State of Florida Uniform Judging Manual

 You should give a copy of this document to each of your judges.  There will be no copies available at the tournament.

 5.  Ballots for debate events, speech master ballots, speech contestant critique sheets, and protest forms are also available for download from the above web page.


1.  All judges should be properly trained using the statewide judging manual.  Please make sure that each of your judges has their own copy; the tournament will not provide them.

2.  All judges should use a reliable digital timer.

3. All judges should use a reliable device to access, complete, and submit their electronic ballots on Speechwire.com. 

 4.  The following judge requirements are in place for this tournament:

 --Policy Debate:  One judge for every two teams or fraction thereof

--Lincoln Douglas Debate:  One judge for every two debaters or fraction thereof

--Public Forum Debate:  One judge for every two teams or fraction thereof

--Speech/IE, Including Congress:  One judge for every five entries or fraction thereof.  Each Duo Interpretation team counts as one entry only.

--World Schools Debate: One judge for every two teams or fraction thereof

The Tournament Director reserves the right to disqualify students from any school that is unable to meet its judging quota.

TOURNAMENT FEES are $25.00 for each contestant ($7.00 to FFL & $18.00 for meals and regional expenses)

Extra Lunches: $7.00 each (purchase for all coaches, judges, observers, etc.)

This is a “per student” entry fee; thus events with 2 people per entry pay 2 fees. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL FEE FOR DOUBLE-ENTRY

The host school CANNOT accept personal checks for the Gullah Geechee Region 7 Qualifier to FFL Varsity State.

Fees are due at registration!  Please check with the Tournament Director regarding check payments. Make checks out to Lincoln Middle School or bring cash.


Drops Fees are $10 per instance in addition to the forfeiture of entry fees. 


Day of Tournament Final Registration: 8:00am. 


The format for each event will depend on the number of entries received. The Tournament Director will publish the number of preliminary and elimination rounds (if any) along with any power-matching schemes at final registration. This year, we will have our Regional Tournaments on one day instead of two. Thus, it is imperative that ALL schools provide ALL required judges for the competition. 

Plan for an awards ceremony following the completion of the last rounds where all state qualifiers will be announced. 


Manager contact information

Marna Weston
Email address: westonmr@gm.sbac.edu

Phone number: 352-219-7514

Mailing address

Abraham Lincoln Middle School

Attn: Mr. Marna Weston--Debate

1001 SE 12st Street
Gainesville, FL 32641


Manager contact information

Carol Cecil
Email address: flforensicleague@gmail.com
Phone number: 3522197514

Mailing address

Lincoln Middle School, Attn: Mr. Marna Weston-Debate
1001 SE 12th Street
Gainesville, FL 32641

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