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Region 1 - FFL Regional Quals

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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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WELCOME to FFL Panhandle Region 1 Qualifier for Varsity State

Saturday, 2 February 2019

@ Niceville High School

Pauline Buis, Regional Director/Coach

850-833-4114 x 6280





SpeechWire is open and ready to begin accepting entries for the FFL Regional qualifier.


Florida Forensic League

Panhandle Regional Tournament

Saturday, 2 February 2019


Dear Coaches,


Happy Second Semester!


As you return to school from a (hopefully) restful holiday break, and look forward to MLK, Jr. day off, it’s time to plan your entry for the 2019 Florida Forensic League Sunshine/Panhandle Region Qualifying Tournament!  This event will be held at Niceville HS on Saturday, February 02, 2019.


This tournament is the gateway into participation in FFL activities for the remainder of the year.  The top 3 entries in each event (and an alternate) will qualify to compete at the State Championship tournament, which will be held on 2-3 March at West Broward High School, Pembrook Pines, FL.  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 four 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.


  1. 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.  If only a few schools in our region fail to participate, we could lose qualifying spots next year.


  1. Every student you enter into the Regional Qualifying Tournament must be available to compete at the State Championship Tournament if he/she qualifies.  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 on March 2 and 3.


  1. First-year students (novices) 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.


  1. So we are not limited in our food choice, please submit on www.speechwire.com  an accurate meal count to me NLT Tuesday, 22 January, the same day that CD legislation is due.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to seeing you on the 2nd of February at the Niceville High School.




-- Meals and Directions:  Tournament Host – Pauline Buis – buisp@okaloosaschools.com

--Entries, Fees, Drops, Rules:  Tournament Director – Pauline Buis buisp@okaloosaschools.com

--Day of Tournament Emergencies:  Pauline Buis’s Cell  - (850) 529- 0010  



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 pages 18-21: https://floridaforensicsleague.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/student-congress-manual.pdf ) to Pauline Buis at

buisp@okaloosaschools.com Legislation is Due – NLT Wednesday, 23 Jan 2019.




Only schools that are members of the league for 2018-2019 may participate at this tournament.  Also, please remember that a school-approved adult must accompany students to the tournament and remain on site for the entire competition.  If the school-approved adult is NOT the Head Coach or Assistant Coach on record with the league, then a letter signed by the school principal and printed on school stationery MUST be submitted with the school’s entry.  The letter needs to specifically name the adult in charge.  The penalty for failing to submit this document is disqualification of all contestants from the school involved.




Policy Debate                          U.S. Extemp                            Dramatic Interp.            

Lincoln Douglas Debate         International Extemp              Humorous Interp.             .

Public Forum Debate              Original Oratory                     Informational

Student Congress                   Duo Interp.                             Program Oral Interp





Each member school may submit up to six 6) entries per event. 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 is permitted, except in Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Program Oral Interp, and Student Congress.  Also, cross-entry between U.S. Extemp and International Extemp is prohibited.




As per Standing Rules Rule 1: F “The use of laptop computers shall be permitted in all debate events at all FFL sanctioned events.” See page 17 for specifics of 2016 FFL Governing Documents. Competitors may NOT

request/receive information/communicate online with people outside a debate round from any source that is inside or outside the round in which the competition occurs via anyone coaches, assistants, etc. included via email, IM, text msg….


In extemp, competitors can access information on jump drives, which will be screened by a tournament official/extemp prep room proctor. Competitors will be permitted to use the internet at all FFL sanctioned tournaments when internet access is publically available.  Debate judges may flow on laptops.  Unauthorized use of an electronic device may result in disqualification.


--Policy Debate will use the 2018-2019 topic - Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.

--Lincoln-Douglas Debate will use the January/February topic Resolved: The United States ought not provide military aid to authoritarian regimes.

--Public Forum Debate will use the February topic-  Resolved: The United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia

--Student Congress will follow the FFL Congress Manual: https://floridaforensicsleague.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/student-congress-manual.pdf

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. New ruling stipulates that Congress sessions are limited to 18-22 representatives (2018, 18). (The most recent manual posted is dated 2015-16. –PB)


--Extemporaneous Speaking Events – Topic Areas Have Been Posted On The New FFL Website (I have requested on 16 Jan that they be posted ASAP—PB)


--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.  All contestants must have a copy of their piece/oration 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 2018 Fall Vote.  The membership needs to be aware of all 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. (Changes are not posted to date, but I have copy of them. That I will send out. I will highlight for you the most pertinent, relative rulings regarding tournament rules--PB)

4.  The name of each contestant’s piece/oration must be recorded on www.speechwire.com  New ruling passed that it is the “Kid quals to state Not the Piece” (2018, 3.)




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 & Extemp 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, Pauline Buis.


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. I took the liberty of posting the links from https://floridaforensicsleague.com/ for specific files for you—PB J


2.  FFL Civility Code https://floridaforensicsleague.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ffl_civility_code_20052006.pdf



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 https://floridaforensicsleague.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/student-congress-manual.pdf



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. (This is not yet posted on FFL website as of 16 Jan.; I did, however, request it.—PB)


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 bring and use a reliable digital timer.


3.  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 team counts as one entry only.


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




Each Contestant:         $25.00 ($7 for FFL; $3 for regional expenses; $10 for lunch; $5.00 for security & janitorial fees)

                                    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


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


ENTRY Fees are due at registration; no exceptions!  Checks should be made payable to Niceville High School Forensics Team




Drops Fees are $10 per instance in addition to the forfeiture of entry fees. NO EXCEPTIONS.




Final Registration:        7:30 am – 8:00 am.  Any school not registered at 8:00 am will be eliminated from competition.  Congress and Extemp Prep starts at 8 am. Round One will begin shortly after 8:00 am.


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.


Plan for an awards ceremony beginning in the late afternoon or early evening.




Contestant meals are included in the cost of entry.  Additional meals for coaches, judges, parents, observers, etc. are $7.00 each and must be ordered on speechwire.com as well


The tournament will be “closed campus.”  Any contestant found leaving campus is subject to disqualification.



Manager contact information

Pauline Buis Region 1 Manager
Email address: buisp@okaloosaschools.com
Phone number: 850-529-0010

Mailing address

Niceville High School Golden Eagles Debate Team
800 John Sims Pkwy, East
Niceville, FL 32578

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