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FCDI National Civics and Debate Championship

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General information

This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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You are cordially invited to the National Civics and Debate Championship (NCDC) sponsored by the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative and the Florida Education Foundation. The NCDC will be held November 10-12, 2023 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida.

This event will offer a unique competitive experience where students must compete in a different event each of the three days of the competition to demonstrate the breadth of their civics knowledge and the diversity of their communications skills. The tournament will culminate in a special awards ceremony in the beautiful hotel ballroom.

All middle and high school students are invited to attend.

We are pleased to offer student scholarships to offset the cost of attending. There is no limit on the number of students per school who can apply for scholarships. The deadline to apply for scholarships is midnight, September 16. Scholarship winners will be notified by September 23. The link to apply for the scholarship is here: https://forms.office.com/r/Utq2gZQPxv


Registration is online at www.speechwire.com.

Check-in will be from 9AM-Noon Friday, Nov 10. All coaches/teams must physically check in to pick up tournament materials.

Check-in will feature a Welcome Fair which includes a college fair, games, music, beverages, and fun. Lunches will be provided as part of your registration fee.


Main Events:

  • Friday, Nov 10-Congressional Debate
    • Students will submit legislation about one of the following topics:
      • America’s Founding Principles
      • The Constitution
      • Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens
      • The Legislative Branch
      • SCOTUS
      • Elections
    • Legislation should be submitted to Apryl Taylor at taylorfcdi@gmail.com

 by Noon, Thursday, October 5, 2023. Please write NCDC Legislation in the subject line.

  • The packet will be released no later than Thursday, October 19, 2023.
  • There will be two (2) one and a half hour sessions of Congressional Debate. Students will remain in the same chamber with different judges each session.


  • Saturday, Nov 11-Extemporaneous Debate
    • Resolutions will be announced before each round. Students will then have 30 minutes to prepare. Please see the “Files for Download” tab for complete event rules and timing.
    • There will be three (3) rounds of competition.
    • Topic areas for resolutions are:
      • Round 1-Interest Groups and Media
      • Round 2-Bill of Rights
      • Round 3-Federalism


  • Sunday, Nov 12-Impromptu Speaking
    • Students will be asked to defend, refute, or qualify a quote from a famous American.
    • There will be two rounds of competition.
    • Quotes will be drawn from historical time periods:
      • Round 1-Colonial Era to the Civil War
      • Round 2-Reconstruction to 21st Century



We will offer awards to the top competitors in each of our main events at a festive closing ceremony.


We will also recognize the top National Civics and Debate Champions based on results from the combined main events.


Supplemental Activities:

These activities are included in your registration fee:

Friday, Nov 10-Welcome Fair – A fun festival including food and beverages, entertainment, and a College Fair.

Friday, Nov 10-Ice Cream Social – With a DJ and other fun activities on the pool deck.

Saturday, Nov 11-Civics Trivia Contest – A lively contest in which everyone can participate. You don’t want to miss this one!


Judges: 1 judge for every 2 entries or fraction thereof. Register all required judges by the registration deadline, October 21 or your students may have to be removed from competition. 


Meals will be provided for the competitor and one adult as part of the registration fee. Meals include:

  • Friday-lunch, dinner and ice cream social
  • Saturday-breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Sunday-breakfast, lunch


Parents and other attendees have the option to purchase meals on a daily or full tournament basis.


Inclusive Meals Cost for full tournament - TBA

Friday - TBA

Saturday - TBA

Sunday - TBA


Please note any special diets when you place your meal order. We do offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options.




The official tournament hotel is the gorgeous Caribe Royale Hotel located close to Orlando’s many theme parks and attractions. We have negotiated a group rate of $140/night.


The cut-off date for reservations is October 10, 2023 or until the block is full.


Reservations can be made by calling the Caribe Royale Hotel at 407-238-8000 and indicating you reserving a room(s) for the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative National Civics and Debate Championship.


If you are tax-exempt, please provide tax-exempt information when making your reservation. You MUST bring your tax-exempt form when checking in.



Two t-shirts are included in each student registration fee. Please indicate sizes when registering.

Additional shirts will be available for purchase on site.


Coach Recognition Awards:

We will recognize several coaches for their contributions to civics and debate. 

-The Inspiring Coach Award: Students can nominate their coach for the Inspiring Coach Award which will be recognized during our final awards ceremony.

-The Freedom Cup Award: Coaches can nominate a student who have displayed great citizenship for the Freedom Cup Award which will be recognized during our final awards ceremony.

Registration Fees:

There is a $200 entry fee for each competitor.


Accommodations/Special Needs:


To ask questions about accessibility or request accommodations, please contact David Fechtel 813-295-4079 or David.Fechtel1@fldoe.org. At least two weeks’ advance notice will help us provide seamless access.


Important Dates and Deadlines:

  • July 22-Registration Opens
  • August 15-Scholarship applications open
  • September 15 -Scholarship applications close
  • September 23-Scholarship recipients notified
  • October 5-Legilsation submission deadline
  • October 11-Hotel reservations close
  • October 21-Tournament registration closes
  • October 22-Drop fees in effect


Days of Tournament Contact: David Fechtel – (813)295-4079


We will be presenting our Inspiring Coach Award and Freedom Cup award to coaches and students.

If you are a student, you can nominate your coach by following the instructions in the “Inspiring Coach Award” document in the tournament files.

If you are a coach, you can nominate your students by following the instructions in the “Freedom Cup Award” document in the tournament files.

Instructions on how to submit the nominations is on the document. If your nomination is on a separate document, please make sure to include the school and coach/student name.

The deadline to submit them to fcdi@fldoe.org is 1:00PM Friday, October 27.


Follow us on social media @civicsanddebate


Manager contact information

David Fechtel
Email address: David.Fechtel1@fldoe.org
Phone number: 8132954079

Mailing address

Florida Education Foundation
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1524
Tallahassee, FL 32399

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