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Phillipsburg Fall Spooktacular

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General information

This is a High School tournament in New Jersey.

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Dear Forensic Moderators and Coaches:

The Phillipsburg High School Forensics Team cordially invites you to its annual Phillipsburg Fall Invitational on Saturday, October 28, 2023.  We hope you can join us for an educational and enjoyable day of in-person forensics competition. 

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, JV, & Varsity)

All LD debaters (INCLUDING NOVICE) will debate Sept/Oct. Resolution:  Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.   WE WILL NOT BE USING THE NSDA NOVICE LD TOPIC.


All PF debaters will be debating the Sept./Oct Resolution: Resolved: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its military presence in the Arctic.



Students can choose to wear a mask while performing,   and they will not be penalized for wearing a mask.


Teams will have the option of pre-ordering pizzas for lunch.  There will be a limited number of other hot items for sale along with breakfast items, baked goods, candy, fruit, and soda.  To preserve the environment, NO BOTTLED WATER will be sold.  Instead, reusable NJSDL water bottles will be sold.   Food will be provided for all judges and coaches. 


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 Parli ).   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 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. 




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 9:15am.  A complete tournament schedule will be available on speechwire.com. 


Please submit all Congress bills to fraulaurie@hotmail.com by Friday, October 20.  We will upload the bills to SpeechWire by Saturday, October 21st.  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 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24TH  @ 3PM.  We will begin to assess nuisance fees for any registration changes other than name changes after this deadline.  The names of all judges are due on Thursday, October 26, 2023 @ 3pm. 


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)--$12 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 10/24
    • Drop fee--$10 +  entry fee after 3 pm on 10/24
    • Entire school late withdrawal fee—50% of entry fees and full price of judging fees for hired judges after 6 pm on 10/24; 100% for day-of or no show 
  • Judge fees
  • $100 per missing judge, per requirements below
  • $125 dropped & non-replaced judge after 3 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 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—Friday, Oct. 20th 
  • 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 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.  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. 18th from 7 – 8:45 pm in Room 227.


The awards ceremony will be held in the auditorium.  The top 6 Congress entries, speech finalists,  contestants in debate events, top non-advancing novices, and sweepstakes awards will be presented.

As we get closer to the 28th,  I will send out updates with more details about the schedule, ordering pizzas, 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, 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


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: fraulaurie@hotmail.com
Phone number: 908-619-1812

Mailing address

Phillipsburg High School
1 Stateliner Blvd.
Phillipsburg , NJ 08865

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