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This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League Tournament Invitation

PBCFL #1 - The Earlybird

DATE: Saturday, September 23 @ John I Leonard High School, 4701 10th Ave N, Greenacres, FL 33463


  • This is a mixed varsity-novice tournament.
  • Any student, varsity or novice, will be allowed to compete in Declamation, Dramatic Performance, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous, Informative Speaking, Oral Interpretation, Original Oratory, Program Oral Interpretation, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Congressional Debate, Presiding Officer Candidate, and World Schools Debate (pending enough entries). Varsity Congress students will be entered in a "Senate."
  • Novice students will be allowed to compete in Novice Congress. Novice Congress students will be entered in a "House."
  • A "novice" is considered any student who is in their first year of high school debate competition.
  • Students may double-enter in two speech/interp events.
  • LD will be able to compete using the September-October topic.
  • PFD will be able to compete using the September-October topic.
  • The WSD prepared motion is listed below.
  • Legislation will be posted as full-text on the PBCFL website (www.pbcfl.net) .
  • NEW COACHES (first- and second-year in particular) should plan on judging (choose an event group!).


  • You may register 8 entries/teams in each varsity event, except for Congressional Debate (unlimited entries), and World Schools Debate (2 entries).
  • You may enter unlimited entries in Novice Congressional Debate.
  • No changes will be made after the Tuesday 3 p.m. drop deadline ... please plan accordingly.
  • Double-check your registration. No student will be added to the tournament on the morning of the tournament.
  • FOR CONGRESS: Coaches must designate varsity who choose to perform as Presiding Officers in Novice Houses. To do so, register them as "Congressional Debate - PO " entries.
  • After this is done, make sure to set your Chamber/PO preferences. To do this, go to TOURNAMENT HOME, then select CHAMBER/PO PREFERENCES. Designate your "Congressional Debate - PO Candidate" entries as "Willing to PO" in the drop-down box.
  • Coaches do NOT need to designate POs for varsity Senates.


  • Assign the sponsorship speech to one person from your school in each chamber.
  • Because full-text legislation will be on-line, it is each school's responsibility to access legislation in advance.
  • DOUBLE-CHECK your entries. If a student is not listed on your registration, or is listed in the wrong event or experience status, they will NOT be added or changed on the morning of the tournament.
  • Make sure you tell us who your student judges are (juniors or seniors with 150+ NSDA points) when registering them - include info in the notes section.
  • Make sure all your students have signed a behavior/attire contract.


  • Extemp Draw for Round 1 is at 8 a.m.
  • Students/programs that are late may be dropped from the tournament by league officers.
  • Check your registration carefully; there will be a "hidden drop fee" for any drop that is not reported at registration.
  • Refer to the chamber breakdown list in order to make sure all competitors know where to report.
  • Make sure all judges check their email and text messages for ballot assignments.


  • No student member shall use an original oration, a non-original oration, or a selection of poetry, prose, or drama during a given league season which has been used by such student in any tournament of a previous season(s).
  • No school shall substitute a non-registered competitor in the place of a registered competitor on the day of competition. This includes “event-shifting.”
  • No varsity member(s) may compete in a novice event unless specified by tournament rules (collapsing of a novice and varsity division). Violation of this shall be punishable by disqualification from the tournament.
  • POI and OI must have different pieces - you cannot do the same prose or poetry in both events (you will be subject to disqualification).


  • CONGRESS: 1 judge per every 10 entries or fraction thereof
  • SPEECH/INTERP: 1 judge for every combination of 5 entries or fraction thereof
  • PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE: 1 judge for every 2 entries or fraction thereof
  • LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE: 1 judge for every 2 entries or fraction thereof
  • WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE: 1 judge for every 2 entries or fraction thereof
  • Register ALL judges on Speechwire.
  • Make sure you distinguish any student judge from adult judges when registering on Speechwire by informing us in the "notes" section. At this tournament, students may only judge Declamation and Novice Congress.
  • PLEASE ENTER YOUR JUDGE CELL PHONE NUMBERS AND EMAIL ADDRESSES INTO SPEECHWIRE (they all need to have an individual Speechwire account to access and submit electronic ballots).


Judge Trainee Workshop participants do NOT need to be regisatered in advance. However, you do need to order lunches for them.



Each school's PBCFL membership fees ($75) and league registration form must have been received by PBCFL Treasurer Daryl Hall by Tuesday, September 19, in order to compete at the tournament. Schools that do not achieve both of these will be ineligible to compete, and any registered students and judges will be dropped from the tournament.

$15 per student, includes meals


$7 for adult meals. Coaches must order meals for all entries, adult judges, judge trainees, and coaches.

Once registration closes that Tuesday at 3 p.m., schools are responsible to pay for all meals.




Tuesday, September 19, at 3 p.m. is the deadline for registering students. At this time, schools are responsible for the $7 lunch fee (students, judges, coaches, observers), even if they are dropped from the tournament.

Wednesday, September 20, at 3 p.m. is the last opportunity to drop students before the website shuts down. At this time, schools are responsible for the $8 registration fee, the $7 lunch fee, and a $10 drop fee ($25 total per student).

$100 - judge drop fee for any no-show judge on Saturday morning. In addition, you will be required to drop students until the team meets the judge quota.

$50 - missed judge rounds (hidden judges).


EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING TOPIC AREAS: Popular culture; Political leaders and elections; Science and the environment; Business and the economy 

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE: Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its military presence in the Arctic.


All full-text legislation must be emailed as a Microsoft Word attachment in the proper format no later than 3pm FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1.

Send legislation to pbcflcongress@gmail.com.

NOTE: All legislation must be Federal in nature. No State legislation is allowed.

NOTE: Good legislation has good arguments on BOTH SIDES. For example, “increasing the penalty on drunk drivers” is heavily weighted towards the affirmative. “Confiscating the cars of drunk drivers” has room for negative arguments.


Legalize Prostitution

Legalize Marijuana

Legalize Euthanasia

Require Drivers over 65 Retest for Driver’s License

Raise or Lower the Voting Age

Lower the Drinking Age

Institute Stem Cell Research

Ban Animal Testing Ban the DeathPenalty

Ban Abortion

ANYTHING relating to the current Public Forum Debate topic

ANYTHING relating to the current Lincoln Douglas Debate topic 

Schools may send no more than ONE piece of legislation for this tournament. It is imperative you designate your legislation clearly. The best way to do so is to save and send your legislation with the following designation: month_nameofschool_legislationtag.doc (september_wellington_globalwarming.doc)


Legislation should be up and running through the PBCFL web site (www.pbcfl.net) and on Speechwire by Wednesday, September 6. Coaches will be notified via email when the legislation is active.

Varsity will set an agenda on the day of the tournament; the novice chambers will have pre-set randomized agendas set by the PBCFL.


Legislative templates are available for use on http://www.pbcfl.net; they can be accessed through the "Legislation" link.

Improperly formatted legislation can be rejected at the discretion of league officers.


The following is required of all Novice Chamber Presiding Officer candidates:

Coaches must register varsity students as novice chamber Presiding Officer Candidates in advance of the tournament.

The PO candidate MUST be trained properly in advance by his/her coach.

All presiding officers MUST be able to adequately control the chamber. They MUST be VERY familiar with parliamentary procedure. They MUST use a FAIR system of RECENCY. They MUST understand how to document a speaking system on a seating chart. They MUST know all rules of Student Congress.

Do NOT put students unfamiliar with the event in this position.

Varsity serving as Novice chamber presiding officers WILL be assigned to a novice House chamber for the entire tournament.

League officers reserve the right to designate POs for novice chambers from the designees.

There is no guarantee PO candidates will be used to preside over novice chambers.

Coaches do not need to designate POs to preside in varsity chambers.


Extending the questioning period is not allowed, nor are two-part questions.

All authorship/sponsorship and first-negative speeches have a mandatory two-minute questioning period. All other speeches have a mandatory one-minute questioning period.

Each legislative item must go through at least one complete cycle (three speeches).

Recency does NOT reset after lunch.

Recesses are allowed under PBCFL rules, with a maximum of 10 minutes of recess per session.

At least 2 hours of debate must take place each session. Recess time is included in this total. The 2 hours begins once the first speech of a session begins.

There is 30 minutes prior to the morning session that should be used for electing presiding officers, setting dockets, etc.

Direct Questioning is NOT allowed under NCFL rules.


World Schools Debate is a three-on-three format. While a given team may consist of five members, only three students from a team participate in a given debate. Teams are assigned one of two sides in each round - either the “government team” proposing the motion, or the opposition team advocating the rejection of the motion. Resolutions come in two types: prepared motions and impromptu motions. All topics needed to be debated from a global perspective, meaning teams needed to stay away from United States-specific argumentation.

The PBCFL will be running a modified WSD format. The first two rounds will be a prepared motion, where each team will debate both the proposition and opposition sides. The third round will be an impromptu motion, with 60 minutes of "prep" time before the round. No internet access is allowed during World Schools Debate rounds or during prep on impromptu motions; the only tools that can be used during impromptu prep are a hard-copy dictionary and a hard-copy almanac.

The PBCFL will allow three-person non-hybrid teams. Normally, between 3-5 students from multiple schools can comprise a team, but for purposes of the PBCFL, this will not be the case.

THE SEPTEMBER WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE PREPARED MOTION: This House believes that social media platforms should be held responsible for content on their networks. (Prepared motion to be used the first two rounds; the impromptu motion will be announced 60 minutes before Round 3 begins.)

Times for each speech are as follows:

  • Proposition Team Speaker #1 – 8 minutes
  • Opposition Team Speaker #1 – 8 minutes
  • Proposition Team Speaker #2 – 8 minutes
  • Opposition Team Speaker #2 – 8 minutes
  • Proposition Team Speaker #3 – 8 minutes
  • Opposition Team Speaker #3 – 8 minutes
  • Opposition Rebuttal – 4 minutes
  • Proposition Rebuttal – 4 minutes

The first full minute of a substantive speech and the last full minute of a substantive speech are considered "protected time;" no Points of Information (POIs) may be given during this time. In addition, no POIs may be given during the rebuttal speeches.

DEMO VIDEO - THE USA DEBATE TEAM SHOWCASE (Motion: This House Believes That the School Choice Movement Jeopardizes Civil Rights): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUF5BI1-1Ek

Important tournament rooms

Extemp Prep - 3-203
Judge Training - 4-207
Student Gathering Area - Cafeteria
Judges Lounge - Media Center
Tab Room - Media Center Lab

Manager contact information

Traci Lowe
Email address: traci.lowe@palmbeachschools.org
Phone number: 561-889-3649

Mailing address

c/o Daryl Hall
325 Orange Way
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

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