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FFL Qualifier - Region 5

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This is a High School tournament in Florida.

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Florida Forensic League

Art Deco Regional Tournament

Saturday, February 01, 2020


Dear Coach,


Happy New Year!


As you return to school from a (hopefully) restful holiday break, it is time to plan your entry for the 2020 Florida Forensic League Art Deco Region Qualifying Tournament!  This event will be held on the Ransom Everglades Middle School campus (2045 South Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, FL 33133) on Saturday, February 01, 2020.


This tournament is the gateway into participation in FFL activities for the remainder of the year.  The top 7 entries in each event will qualify to compete at the State Championship tournament, which will be held on February 29 and March 1, 2020 at Olympia High School, (4301 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32835). 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 4 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.

            2.  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 in 2021!

            3.  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 February 29

and March 1, 2020.

4.  First-year students 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!

            If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to seeing you on the             1st  of February at the Ransom Everglades Middle School.




-- Meals and Directions:  Tournament Host – Kate Hamm – khamm@ransomeverglades.org

  --Entries, Fees, Drops, Rules:  Tournament Director – Kate Hamm khamm@ransomeverglades.org

  --Day of Tournament Emergencies:  Kate Hamm’s Cell (954) 901 - 1276



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) to Kate Hamm at khamm@ransomeverglades.org       Legislation is Due – Monday 1/20/2020




Only schools that are members of the league for 2019-2020 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.                    Duo Interp.

Lincoln Douglas Debate         International Extemp             Humorous Interp.                  Program Oral Interp.

Public Forum Debate             Original Oratory                    Informative                            Student Congress

World Schools Debate




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 debate team) on the high school form.




Double entry and double qualification is permitted, except in Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, World Schools Debate, and Student Congress.  Also, cross-entry between U.S. Extemp and International Extemp is prohibited.







All Events:         


Laptop Computers

The use of laptop computers shall be permitted in all debate events at all FFL sanctioned events. During debate rounds computers or other electronic devices may not be used to receive communication from any source (coaches or assistants included) inside or outside the room in which the competition occurs. During Congress, PF, LD, or CX debate rounds Internet access is permitted (not in World Schools Debate). (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. Interne



Availability of Evidence: The FFL will be following the NSDA Rules in regards to evidence in debate events. 


Rules In A Nutshell – Regarding Evidence


  • Debaters are responsible for the validity of all evidence that they introduce in the debate.
  • Evidence must be provided orally or written and must include primary author(s) and year of publication.  Any other information such as qualifications etc… may be given, but not required.
  • Judges are responsible for resolving disputes between debaters – both oral and written sources.
  • Judge decisions may not be appealed unless – judge misapplied, misinterpreted, or ignored the rule.
  • If you need further clarification please see the NSDA Evidence Rule as posted on FFL.


    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 will use the 2019-2020 topic - Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.


--Lincoln-Douglas Debate will use the January/February topic - Resolved: States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.


--Public Forum Debate will use the February topic: Resolved: The United States should replace means-tested welfare programs with a universal basic income.


-- World Schools Debate will debate two prepared motions that will be provided to participants by January 21, 2020 around 12 noon.

FFL World Schools Debate Rules

1.  Teams must be homogeneous (no hybrid teams – all competitors must be from the same school)

2.  Teams will consist of 3-5 students

3.  Each School may enter 1 World Schools Team at the Regional Qualifier.

3.  If more than one-third of the members of a World Schools Team cannot compete at the State Championship Tournament after qualifying at the Regional Tournament, that team shall drop and the alternate group shall be invited to compete.

4.  Judging Requirements - One (1) judge per two (2) entries or fraction thereof in World Schools.

5.  Double Entry is not permitted. 

6.  Each district will qualify the top 2 entries in this division for the varsity state tournament
6a. If a district does not fulfill its two entries, the vacant entry slot will go to the third place team in the District tournament that has the most world schools entries at their district qualifier.
6b. Remaining vacant entry spots will continue as outlined above and fall to the District tournament with the next largest number of entries.

7.  In Prelims - There will be 3 prepared motions and 2 impromptu motions – Round 1 and Round 5 will be the impromptu rounds.  Semis and Finals will be impromptu motions.

8.  In impromptu rounds the proposition will use the competition room as prep and the opposition will prep just outside the competition room.

9.  During preparation, as prescribed by NSDA rules, teams will only be allowed to use a dictionary, a single volume encyclopedia, or a World Almanac as a resource. No electronic devices will be allowed and possible suspicion of using one will result in a loss of the round and zero speaker points for the round.

9.  Speech times, appropriate times for points of information, and all other rules and procedural guidelines will fall in line with the NSDA national tournament guidelines.

10.  Prepared rounds – the motions will cover the following 3 areas:  Florida, Domestic, and International.  Something special – for the Varsity State Tournament only students and coaches alike will have the opportunity to vote/choose the prepared Florida motion.  Details on this will be provided later. 



--Student Congress will follow the FFL Congress Manual.  Entries will determine the number of chambers; if there are two or more chambers, there will be a Final Round.  All schools must submit legislation (see ENTRY PROCESS above).  Legislation will be available on the speechwire.com Regional website after noon on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.


--Extemporaneous Speaking EventsExtemp Topic Areas For Regional Quals






Middle East


Latin America

International Economies

World Leaders



Trump Administration


US Economy

2020 Elections



Social Issues 



--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 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.

4.  The name of each contestant’s piece/oration must be recorded on speechwire.com. There is no penalty for changing pieces between Regional to State competition.




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 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.


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.


2.  FFL Civility Code


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


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.


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.


6. Region 5 is going to TRY to go paperless this year. Please ask your judges to bring a laptop computer, notebook, iPad, smartphone or other electronic device which can be used to access ballots on Speechwire. If the wi-fi doesn’t work, we will have paper ballots as backup.





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 timing device. As we are going to try to go paperless, all judges should bring a laptop, notebook, iPad, or smart phone for completing ballots.


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 Interpretation counts as one entry only.

--World Schools Debate:  One judge for every two teams or fraction thereof.


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




Each Contestant:        $25.00

                                    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:           $5.00 each (purchase for all coaches, judges, observers, etc.)


Fees are due at registration; no exceptions!  Make checks payable to: Ransom Everglades Speech and Debate




Drops Fees are $10 per instance in addition to the forfeiture of entry fees.




Final Registration:       7:30 am – 8:00 am.  Any school not registered at 8:00 am will be eliminated from                                                   competition.  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 $5.00 each and must be ordered on tabroom.com as well


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



Manager contact information

Kate Hamm
Email address: khamm@ransomeverglades.org
Phone number: 9549011276

Mailing address

3575 Main Highway
C/O Ransom Everglades School
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

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