National Competition: In Focus
We have always been focused on engaging speech and debate competition on a national level. In the past, the team has participated in individual events, policy debate, Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate, parliamentary debate, and reader’s theatre. At this time, UWF concentrates on individual events, parliamentary debate and reader’s theatre performance and competition. Our efforts are directed toward competing in invitational competitions from September until March in order to qualify events for the National Forensic Association National Championship in April. We, therefore, emphasize the events that are slotted for competition at that tournament. Additionally, UWF regularly attends the Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship, Novice National Tournament, and (when the opportunity is earned) the Interstate Oratorical Contest (hosted by UWF in 2006).
Following are rule descriptions for NFA sanctioned events.
A speech to convince, to move to action, or to inspire on a significant issue, delivered from memory. Minimum time is 10 minutes.
For each round, contestants will select one of three topics on current national and international events (economics, politics, social issues). The contestant will have thirty minutes to prepare a five to seven minute speech on the topic selected. Notes are permissible. Maximum time is 7 minutes.
Contestants will receive short excerpts dealing with items of general interest, political, economic, and social issues. The contestant will have a total of seven minutes to divide between preparation and speaking. Students should speak for at least three minutes. All contestants in the same section shall speak on the same topic. Maximum time is 7 minutes.
Contestants will deliver an original critical analysis of any significant rhetorical artifact. The speaker should limit the quotation of, paraphrasing of, or summary of, the analyzed artifact to a minimum. Any legitimate critical methodology is permissible as long as it serves to open up the artifact for the audience. The speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
The contestant will deliver an original factual speech on a realistic subject to fulfill a general information need of the audience. Visual aids that supplement/reinforce the message are permitted. The speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
Each contestant will present an original speech whose purpose is to make a serious point through the use of humor. The speech should reflect the development of a humorous comedic effort, not a stand-up comedy routine. The speech must be memorized. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
The contestant will present a program of prose literature. Original introductory comments and transitional remarks are permitted. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Plays are not permitted. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
The contestant will present a program of poetic literature. Original introductory comments and transitional remarks are permitted. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Manuscripts are required. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
A cutting from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters by two individuals. This is not an acting event. Thus, costumes, props, etc. are not permitted. Presentation must be from manuscript and focus should be off stage. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
The contestant will perform dramatic literature, humorous or serious, that represents one or more characters from material of literary merit. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Programs may consist of single or multiple sections. Manuscripts are required. Maximum 10 minutes.
This event is one-person, policy debate on traditional stock issues. It is a communication event in which competitors are evaluated on their analysis, use of evidence, and ability to persuasively organize, deliver and refute arguments. Judges will assign each contestant in a round a win or loss with between 1-30 speaker points. Time limits are:
Parliamentary debate is an audience-centered form of two-person debate. In each debate, two students will represent the government side (or the side supporting the resolution), while two students will represent the opposition side (or the side negating the resolution). Students are expected to present arguments supporting their side while refuting arguments of the other team. Parliamentary debate is based loosely on the British model of parliament, with a bit of American academic debate style (such as the specific "flowing" of arguments) thrown in.