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FFL Varsity State

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This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to provide the following information regarding the 2019 VARISTY STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT.  The 570 students who qualify for this event will compete on Saturday March 2 and Sunday March 3, 2019 at West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines, FL which is located, in Broward County. Our hosts, Diane Harrison and Jonathan Dubin have been working hard to prepare for a memorable State Championship!

Only students who have qualified through the Regional Tournament process may compete at the State Championship.  When the results from your region’s qualifying tournament have been certified, coaches of schools that qualified students to the tournament will be able to begin editing student entries via speechwire.com. All results from regionals will be automatically populated from the regional tournaments. However, coaches must verify entries for accuracy.  

Please read the information in this invitation carefully.  You must adhere to ALL deadlines—failure to do so will result in the penalties listed.  We are committed to running an efficient and on-time event, but we will only be successful if all member schools follow the published requirements. 

Good luck to your qualifiers on their preparations for the tournament.  I look forward to seeing you in March!

Yours very truly,

Carol Lynne Cecil | President, Florida Forensic League, Inc. | 2019 State Championship Tournament Director

***Email is the preferred method of contact for all questions and concerns. ***





Regional Directors will be sending their results to the League President. We will then import the results from  www.speechwire.com  for the 2019 Varsity State Championship. All regions are using SpeechWire this year to tabulate.   The League President will verify entries on the website from the list of qualifiers supplied by the Regional Directors.


If there is a problem with your entry, you will be contacted by the League President.



The By Laws and Standing Rules of Florida Forensic League, Inc. shall govern the operation of this event. All coaches and students are responsible for reviewing the rules in the Governing Documents. Questions about rules should be addressed to the President, who serves as the Tournament Director for the State Championship.

All Events:   

Laptop Computers

The use of laptop computers shall be permitted in all debate events at all FFL sanctioned Events Computers equipped with removable wireless cards must have the cards removed/disabled (if possible) before the beginning of any round of competition. It is the responsibility of the contestant to disengage equipment. Computers with built-in wireless capability may be used only if the wireless capability is disabled. It is the responsibility of the contestant to disable the equipment. Wired connections (Ethernet or phone) during rounds of competition are not permitted. During debate rounds computers or other electronic devices may not be used to receive information from any source (coaches or assistants included) inside or outside the room in which the competition occurs. During debate rounds Internet access, use of e-mail, instant messaging, or other means of receiving information from sources inside or outside the competition room are prohibited. (This does not prohibit non-electronic communication between debate partners during prep time). Contestants found to have violated the provisions above may face the following actions: forfeit the round of competition and receive zero points or disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of all rounds.

Extemporaneous Speaking

In Extemporaneous Speaking, students 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 publicly available.  Publicly available being defined as – WiFi internet access is available to all students competing or all competitors will have access to desktop computers with internet availability.   In the event that internet access cannot be made available to all competitors, contestants shall be prohibited from the use of any electronic retrieval system (recording or information retrieval system) now known or to be invented during any round in any event at any FFL-sanctioned tournament including the Extemporaneous Speaking preparation room(s), except that electric or electronic devices that are incapable of sending or receiving information between persons may be used for the sole purpose of keeping time. The League will make accommodations for students with disabilities in regards to the use of technology. Documentation of the disability must be provided ten days prior to the Regional Tournament and State Tournaments. The documentation must be available for review by the Executive Board.



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

Lincoln Douglas: 2019 NSDA March/April topic: Resolved: The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.

Public Forum: 2019 NSDA March topic:  Resolved: The United States should promote the development of market rate housing in urban neighborhoods.

Student Congress: Each qualifier to the State Championship may submit one (1) piece of legislation for the agenda. Legislation must follow FFL format (see FFL Congress Manual, Appendix B for details) and emailed as a Microsoft Word attachment to Aly Fiebrantz (alyssa.fiebrantz@browardschools.com ). Legislation that is not properly formatted, not submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment or not received by the deadline will not be placed on the agenda. Bills are due by 4:00 pm Friday, February 8, 2019 and legislation will be released by Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Speech Events:        Please remember that a copy of each student’s script/oration, and proof of publication when applicable, should be brought to the tournament in case of protest. Script information must be available on www.speechwire.com. Students are no longer required to use the same piece at the State Championship that they used at their Regional Qualifying Tournament. Should a student wish to change their piece, the coach needs to input the new information online via SpeechWire.   


The Head Coach or Assistant Coach of a member school (as designated by the principal on the membership authorization form) qualified for the State Championship must attend with his/her students. If neither designated individual can attend the tournament, then a letter from the principal (signed and printed on school stationery) must designate the adult in charge and be submitted to the Tournament Director no later than Wednesday, February 13, 2019. See the Standing Rules of the League for more information.


Friday, February 8: Student Congress legislation deadline – send bills to Aly Fiebrantz (alyssa.fiebrantz@browardschools.com.

Friday, February 22: Last day to drop without drop fee, Last day to submit TD/LD judge philosophies on Speechwire, Last day to change judge names without penalty

SpeechWire changes to view only – no further changes permitted by coaches.

Wednesday, February 27: Judge strikes will be released.  Strikes must be completed on Speechwire.





Student Fee:  $50.00 per student (includes Saturday Lunch & Saturday Dinner) (TD, PF, Duo count as 2; Group = same as # of students in group; double entries count as 1 only)


***All fees will be calculated at the time of announcement of qualifiers in each region. Therefore, all drops – regardless of when reported – must pay the entry fee. ***



Drops until 5:00 pm on Fri., February 22, 2019: forfeiture of entry fee. Drops 5:00 pm Friday February 22, 2019 -5:00 pm Wednesday February 27, 2019: forfeiture of entry fee +

$20.00 drop fee

From 5:00 pm Wed., Feb. 27th to the start of registration, NO CHANGES will be accepted. This window will be used for travel, e-registration, and fee re-calculation. Any changes submitted during this window will be IGNORED and must be reported via e-registration on Thursday February 28th.

Drops after 5:00 pm Wednesday February 27, 2019 forfeiture of entry fee + $40.00 drop fee

Drops made after 10:00 am Thursday February 28, 2019 forfeiture of entry fee + $50.00 drop fee

Unreported drop discovered at tournament: forfeiture of entry fee + $75.00 drop fee

Yes, these drop fees are punitive. Drops, especially those just before the tournament, interfere with our ability to run an on-time event. It is also unfair to the alternates when drops occur too late for them to participate.

Judge changes after 5:00 pm on Wed., Feb. 27th                  $10.00 hassle fee per change

Missed judge calls:                                                            $10.00 per instance

At the State Championship Tournament judge drops at registration will incur a fine of $200. Hidden judge drops at the State Championship Tournament will incur a fine of $250 plus the $25 fine per round they were assigned and missed.


In the event that a school changes or drops a judge after the strike sheet for debate has been published, the school making the change shall be required to pay a “Hired Judge” Fee of $200. 


The following judge quotas and requirements are in effect:

Policy Debate:         1 judge for every 2 teams or fraction thereof

Lincoln Douglas Debate: 1 judge for every 2 debaters or fraction thereof

Public Forum Debate:       1 judge for every 2 teams or fraction thereof

Speech/IE/Congress: 1 judge for every 5 entries or fraction thereof

Each school’s judge quota will be determined on the speechwire.com registration website. The Board of Directors asks that all coaches make themselves available to adjudicate the Final Rounds.

Online balloting will be used for ALL EVENTS. Therefore, coaches are required to enter a valid e-mail for each judge for the tournament. Judges should bring laptop/tablet to enter ballots during the tournament.

Debate judges are obligated for one full round past the last round in which contestants from their school are still competing. Speech judges are obligated for the entire tournament.

Hired Judges will be required to check out with the Cathy Brown; FFL Treasurer - if they have completed their obligation and would like to be excused.

NOTE: As a result of the 2006 voting, the governing documents now contain this under Rule 4 (Judging Responsibilities) – Letter L: Any coach in or out of the judge pool that refuses or fails to pick up an elimination round ballot, his/her school shall be fined $50.00 and the school of the person who judges the round shall be credited $25.00.


FFL uses additional fees charged to Policy Debate teams for the purpose of hiring experienced judges who will enrich the quality of the TD judge pool. Interested parties should contact FFL Vice President Dario Camara (dariocamara@gmail.com) before February 15th, 2019.


Coaches, judges, other observing adults, contestants, and student observers shall comply with the rules set forth in the FFL Civility Code, which is available for download at https://floridaforensicsleague.com/  Please review this document with all participants from your school.


In the fall of 2005, FFL member schools voted to establish anti-vandalism measures. All coaches should read Standing Rule 19 and share its contents with their students, which include:

  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.
  2. 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.


This year we will be using E-Registration.  FFL Varsity State Tournament will be held on Saturday, March 2nd and Saturday March 3rd  with E-Registration taking place on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.

All schools who will be attending the 2019 Varsity State Tournament will receive their school codes, West Broward HS arrival information and expedited registration procedures for Saturday morning via email on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.




You may mail your fees in advance!  By mailing your fees in advance you will be able to bypass the fees line at registration and pick-up your meal tickets!!!

When mailing fees, please do not send anything requiring a signature or Cathy having to go to the Post Office. Cathy will not go to the Post Office to retrieve fees.

If you wish to mail your fees they need to be in the hands of the FFL Treasurer – Cathy Brown – No Later Than Wednesday February 13, 2019Cathy will then email confirmations to schools as she processes checks.

AGAIN - When mailing fees, please do not send anything requiring a signature or Cathy having to go to the Post Office. Cathy will not go to the Post Office to retrieve fees.

Please Mail Fees To:

Make Check Payable To:  Florida Forensic League

Cathy Brown 17734 East Lake Jem Road Mount Dora, Fl. 32757

School’s should receive confirmations by Thursday, February 21, 2019


Final registration will be held at West Broward High School on Saturday, March 2, 2019.   We will provide further information as to time and place.   Please note:

  1. The purpose of this registration is to make final payment (unless fees were mailed in advance) and pick-up meal tickets.   It is not a place to report drops and change judge names. That information should be communicated via E-Registration.  There are still penalties for drops and name changes made via E-Registration, but they are less than day of tournament changes.
  2. Registration should be conducted by the Head Coach or Assistant Coach for the member school. If those individuals are not available, an adult proxy may complete registration. However, that person must be able to answer all questions about a school’s entry. Students will not be permitted to register for a school or be present in the registration area.
  3. Schools not registered by a time to be determined will be dropped from the tournament
  4. Make all fees payable to FLORIDA FORENSIC LEAGUE.





We will do our best to provide a schedule ahead of time, but we are not obligated to do so.  An updated schedule will be posted online at Speechwire.com. Please refer there for any updates. Also, keep in mind that schedule is subject to change. Therefore, please make sure to check online frequently and/or read e-mails.



The host school will serve a LUNCH & DINNER on Saturday.  Items will be available on Sunday, but students should bring money to purchase items ala cart.    By rule, the dinner and lunch fees are included in the cost of entry.

FFL Varsity State 2019 Lodging Information

We have no contracted rates with any of these hotels, this is merely a list of the closest chain hotels near West Broward HS.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pembroke Pines - Sheridan St – Online quoted rate $159/night

14651 NW 20th St, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028•(954) 430-9404

Pembroke Holiday Inn Express – Online quoted rate $159/night

2020 I-75, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028•(954) 900-8927

Hampton Inn by Hilton Pembroke Pines – Online quoted rate $146/night

1900 NW 150th Ave, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028•(954) 441-4242

Manager contact information

Carol Cecil
Email address: ccecil@dadeschools.net
Phone number: (954) 790-8160

Mailing address

None provided

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