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Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League Tournament Invitation


DATE: January 20, 2024 @ Martin County High School 2801 S Kanner Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994

DIRECTIONS: Follow I-95 N to FL-76 E in Martin County. Take exit 101 from I-95 N. Follow FL-76 E for 5 miles; the school will be on your right.


  • This is a varsity AND novice tournament.
  • Any student, varsity AND novice, will be allowed to compete in Declamation, Dramatic Performance, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Informative Speaking, Oral Interpretation, Original Oratory, Program Oral Interpretation, Congressional Debate, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, World Schools Debate.
  • There are separate divisions for novices in Dramatic Performance and Original Oratory.
  • A "novice" is considered any student who is in their first year of high school debate competition.
  • LD will be able to compete using the Jnuary/February topic
  • PFD will be able to compete using the January topic.
  • All schools must register on the Speechwire website in order to legitimately participate in this competition.
  • Legislation will be posted as full-text on the PBCFL website (www.pbcfl.net) and on Speechwire.
  • 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 (20 entries), and World Schools Debate (2 entries).
  • You may enter 12 entries/teams in each novice event.
  • You may only enter 4 students per congress chamber. (The PBCFL reserves the right to collapse houses and modify this rule when necessary.)
  • Once registration closes, houses may be balanced and students may be shifted to another chamber. All efforts will be made to keep the same group of students together.
  • 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.
  • Make sure to set your Chamber preferences. To do this, go to TOURNAMENT HOME, then select CHAMBER/PO PREFERENCES.
  • Coaches do NOT need to designate POs


  • Assign the authorship 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 they will NOT be added 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


  • Be at the tournament host cafeteria by 7:30 a.m. to do attendance and submit debate and speech event drops by 7:45 a.m. (Congress attendance will take place during Session 1.)
  • Extemp Draw for Round 1 is at 7:45 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, an original informative speech, 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)
  • PRESIDING OFFICER: Please remind Congress judges that the PO gets 2 speech ranks (equivalent of 2 speeches = up to 12 points) and that the PO can be ranked.
  • SPEECH COMPETITORS: Students who are in Speech events CANNOT wear airpods, headphones, etc. when performing
  • ORAL INTERPRETATION and POI: While there’s no rule governing binders, they should be the smaller 5x8.5” black binders. Students could also use plastic sheet covers for their pages to reduce distracting page turn sounds during performances.


  • 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.
  • There is currently a $100 per missing judge fee in the system, BUT you must drop students if you do not meet your judge requirement.

ENTRY FEES: Each school's PBCFL membership fees ($75) and league registration form must have been received by the PBCFL Treasurer by the Tuesday before the tournament, 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

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

Students: Cheese and Pepperoni pizza

Adults: Buffet


Tuesday, January 16, 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, January 17, 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: US Politics; Asia; US Economics; Africa & the Americas

Lincoln Douglas Debate: We are using the Janaury/February NSDA topic - Resolved: Justice requires open borders for human migration.

Public Forum Debate: We are using the January NSDA topic - Resolved: The United States Federal Government should increase its diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve internal armed conflicts in West Asia.


All full-text legislation must be emailed as a Microsoft Word attachment in the proper format no later than 3pm FRIDAY, January 6.

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 Death Penalty
  • 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 website (www.pbcfl.net) and on Speechwire by Wednesday, October 12. You will be notified via email when the legislation is active.

Chambers will set an agenda on the day of the tournament.

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 Presiding Officer candidates (you do not need to nominate them, but if you have students considering running for PO in a mixed chamber, please be aware of this info):

  • 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 the rules of Student Congress.
  • Do NOT put students unfamiliar with the event in this position.
  • Extending the questioning period is not allowed, nor are two-part questions.
  • Extending the length of the session (to, say, three hours) is not allowed.
  • 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. Students are encouraged to use this time for restroom breaks, as opposed to calling for  personal privilege and disrupting the flow of the session.
  • At least 2 hours of debate must take place each session. Recess time is not 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.


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 WORLD SCHOOLS DEBATE PREPARED MOTION: Resolved: This house believes that journalism is dead. (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

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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