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Pennsylvania Forensic Association

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General information

This is a College tournament in Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Forensic Association

Championship Tournament


February 15-16, 2020


Tournament Host: Dr. Christine E. Mellon


On behalf of the Pennsylvania Forensic Association, I invite you to attend the 2020 PFA Championship tournament to be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16, 2020.  Please plan to join us!


Tournament Features:


  • Two day tournament 
  • Two preliminary rounds of all NFA I.E. events and finals.
  • The tournament will offer four preliminary rounds of NFA LD Debate and appropriate out rounds. 
  • Four preliminary rounds of Parliamentary Debate and appropriate out rounds.
  • Recognized by the Interstate Oratorical Association as the official State Championship.
  • Includes pentathlon and two-tiered sweepstakes awards.  Small programs are excellent, too; we are committed to recognizing talent across the community.
  • Top six contestants in finals.
  • Group A: Extemporaneous, Persuasion, Program Oral Interpretation, Duo
  • Group B: Poetry, Dramatic Interp, After Dinner, Debate
  • Group C: Prose, Informative, Impromptu, Rhetorical Criticism


For directions to the Wilkes campus, please use the following address for MapQuest or GPS systems…84 West South St., Wilkes-Barre, PA, 18766. Parking will be available in all of the campus lots for free on Saturday and Sunday.  The most convenient lot is behind the Wilkes Student Center on South St., between South Franklin St. and River St. 


Please call Christine Mellon at 570926-5580 if you have difficulty finding parking or anything else on campus.  



Forensically Yours, 



Scott Placke, PFA Executive Secretary                      Christine Mellon, PFA President

Lafayette College                                                       Wilkes University


PFA Tournament Schedule



9:30 -10:30 Registration – Main Lobby Stark Learning Center (SLC)

10:30 Round I LD and Parli Debate (Parli resolution at 10:15)
11:30 Round II LD and Parli Debate (Parli resolution at 11:15)

12:15: Lunch Break

12:45 Extemp. Draw
1:15 Round I Group A
2:30 Round I Group B, Round III LD and Parli Debate (Parli resolution at 2:15) 

3:45 Round I Group C
5:00 Extemp. Draw
5:15 Round II Group A (5:30 Extemp)


8:00 Coaches Meeting – location TBA
9:00 Round II Group B, LD and Parli Parliamentary Debate (Parli resolution at 8:45)
10:15 Round II Group C

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Extemp Draw
1:15 Finals Group A & B (1:30 Extemp)
2:45 Finals Group B & C Debate Elims (Parli resolution at 2:30) 

ASAP Awards – Stark 101


The event brackets can be rearranged based on the needs of the tournament.


If you have any questions regarding the tournament please, contact Scott Placke, PFA Executive Secretary, at 610-533-8331(Cell) for emergencies. Having last minute drops before registration, even if it is the hour before, helps make the tournament run more smoothly.




  1. Contestants must be undergraduate students at a college or university in Pennsylvania and may not hold a baccalaureate degree.
  2. All materials must not have been used in competition prior to the 2019-2020 academic year.
  3. Each school may enter a maximum of four (4) contestants per event.
  4. Students may enter up to three events in a given grouping except those entering Debate who may enter only one additional event in Group B. Students may not be entered in both types of debate.
  5. LD Debate will follow NFA LD rules. The resolution will be: The United States federal government should implement an energy policy that substantially increases investments in one or more of the following domestic energy sectors: nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, solar.”
  6. Manuscripts are to be used for all oral interpretation events.
  7. Visual aids are permitted in all public address events.
  8. While a distinctive competitive advantage is obvious for all memorized presentation of public address events, limited notes for these events are permitted.  Contestants should be aware (especially in close rounds) that the use of notes will likely be one of the judge’s deciding factors in ranking.
  9. Fees and dates:

a.     All fees are to be used to cover tournament expenses. All checks should be made payable to Scott Placke. Checks made payable to Wilkes University or Pennsylvania Forensic Association cannot be cashed.

b.     A membership fee of $25 per school is due at registration.

c.     Tournament entry fees will be $5.00 per entry; each duo counts as one entry.

d.     Pentathlon fees will be $5.00 per contestant.  Pentathlon entries will NOT count toward a school’s judging quota.

e.     Entry Deadline: All entries are to be submitted on SpeechWire received by Scott Placke (PFA Executive Secretary) no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

f.      Drops made after this time will be charged the following fees: Drops in IE.s are $5.00 per slot through Friday at noon; $15 per slot after noon on Friday; and $25 on Saturday and at registration.  Drops in debate are $10.00 per debate team through Friday at noon; $30 per debate team after noon on Friday; and $50 on Saturday and at registration.  Dropped judges will result in a $50.00 fee plus the cost of covering the slots.  Please call in any changes as early as possible using the contact information listed earlier in this invitation.

  1. Judging requirements:

a.     Judging ratios: Each judge covers up to 8 IE slots or up to 2 debate teams and up to 4 IE slots.  Each school is obligated to cover their slots or fraction thereof (e.g. 9 IE slots = 2 judges, 17 IE slots = 3 judges).  A very limited number of judges may be hired at $10.00 per uncovered IE slot or $40.00 per uncovered debate team.

b.     Judges ideally should have a minimum of an undergraduate degree in communication studies or a related field.

c.     Judges will be expected to cover any event, IE or Debate unless limitations are indicated.  No school bringing debate teams may opt out of judging debate rounds. 

11.    Two rounds of preliminary competition will be held in each event.  Final rounds will be held in all events having more than one section of competition.  There will be four preliminary rounds of Parliamentary Debate and appropriate elimination rounds.  Parliamentary Debate will use the National Parliamentary Debate Association rules except as described later in this document.

a.     Parliamentary Debate times are 7-8-8-8-4-5.  There will be no coaching permitted during prep time. Debate partners must prepare independently of any input from coaches or teammates.

b.     Pentathlon: Students entered in five or more events qualify for pentathlon.  If a student has more than five events, points will be counted from the top five. 

  1. Awards:

a.     Awards will be given to the top six students in each event based on the results of the final round.  Each member of a duo will receive an award.  All debaters advancing to elimination rounds will receive awards.

b.     Awards will be given to the top six pentathlon speakers.

c.     Sweepstakes awards will be given to the top six schools in Open Division and the top three schools in President’s Division comprised of the 50% of schools with the smallest entries at the close of entries at noon on Wednesday, February 16.  No entry additions will be accepted after that time.

1.)   Only a school’s top two speakers in any event will count toward the school’s sweepstakes total from preliminary rounds.

2.)   All students in final rounds contribute to sweepstakes.

3.)   Preliminary round counts for individual events:

1st place = 3 points

2nd place = 2 points

3rd place = 1 points

4.)   Preliminary round counts for Debate

Win = 2 points

Loss = 0 points

5.)   Final Round counts for individual events:

1st place = 12 points

2nd place = 10 points

3rd place = 8 points

4th place = 7 points

5th place = 5 points

6th place = 3 points

6.)   Elimination round counts for Debate:

1st place = 10 points

2nd place = 8 points

Semifinalist = 6 points

Quarterfinalist = 4 points

d.     The speakers in each event qualify for the National Forensic Association or American Forensic Association Championships based on each organization’s rules. Go to http://www.mnsu.edu/cmst/niet/eventdescriptions-new09-10.htm for AFA event descriptions or http:// http://www.nationalforensics.org/ for NFA event rules.

e.     The top two contestants in persuasive speaking will represent the State of Pennsylvania at the Interstate Oratorical Contest, usually the weekend after the NFA Championships.  In the event that one or both of these students cannot attend, the remaining finalists will serve as alternates in descending order of tournament rank.  The PFA will pay all entry/registration fees for the students.  The PFA will also contribute $200.00 to help cover costs for each contestant if tournament revenues are sufficient.


Parliamentary Debate Rules & Procedures


  1. Each debate team shall consist of two people prepared to debate as either the Government or Opposition. Tournament postings will identify which side of the debate each team will be on or it is a round in which teams flip for sides. Topic announcement always occurs in the round.              
  2. There will be four preliminary rounds at the tournament and the appropriate number of elimination rounds based upon entry.  With respect to the types of resolutions that will be used, there will be specific rounds for policy, fact, value, and metaphor resolutions. 
  3. For topic selection the judge will have one list with the three topic choices. The judge will give the list to the Opposition team who will have one minute to strike one of the three choices.  Immediately following the Opposition strike the judge will give the remaining two choices to the Government team who will then have one minute to read and strike one of the two remaining topics.  The remaining topic after the Government strike will be read aloud by the judge designating the official resolution for the round.                                           
  4. Teams shall be given fifteen minutes preparation time for the debate after the resolution has been read into the round. The Government team reserves the right to prepare in the competition room if they like.  If the Government team uses the debating room for preparation, both the judge and the opposition must vacate the room until the time for the debate to begin.                                           
  5. No coaching is allowed in Parliamentary Debate during preparation time. Judges will patrol prep time in order to ensure compliance with these rules.                      
  6. Only a dictionary and/or an almanac (including the CIA World Factbook) are allowed to be consulted in preparation time, the use of cell phones or any other published material during preparation time is strictly forbidden.                                 
  7. For rules other than those listed above (i.e. Points of Information procedure), the NPDA constitution, by-laws and guidelines (most recently updated) shall be followed for the tournament.                                                                                              
  8. Format of the debate   (there is not prep time between speeches)

- First Government Constructive Speech: 7 minutes
- First Opposition Constructive Speech: 8 minutes
- Second Government Constructive Speech: 8 minutes
- Second Opposition Constructive Speech: 8 minutes
- Opposition Rebuttal by First Opposition Speaker: 4 minutes
- Government Rebuttal by First Government Speaker: 5 minutes

Important tournament rooms

Extemp Prep - Stark 259

Manager contact information

Scott Placke
Email address: plackeh@lafayette.edu
Phone number: 6105338331

Mailing address

None provided

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