Speech & Debate
Westview Speech and Debate
Head Coach: Patrick Johnson, email@example.com
Assistant Coach: Sarah Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookkeeper: Shinta Mohamad, email@example.com
What is Speech and Debate?
Westview Speech and Debate is an intensive, competitive program where students learn advanced public speaking skills in competition at numerous tournaments throughout the regular competition season (Oct-Mar). Westview’s program is nationally ranked thanks to the rigorous effort and time/energy commitment of our students. Due to the popularity of the program, the team annually fills to capacity.
What does the team do?
Students learn the rules and techniques of various speech and debate events at weekly
Monday & Friday practices from 2:30-5:00 p.m. Until further notice, all practices are hosted on-line. Coaches and student Lab Leaders of each event give instruction. Significant independent preparation and practice are required outside of regular practice. Team members are expected to compete regularly at tournaments. The ultimate goal of tournament competition is to develop a level of excellence to become a viable candidate to qualify for the State and National Championships.
What are tournaments like?
Until further notice, all tournaments are hosted on-line. Once that restriction is lifted tournaments will once again be hosted at high school and college campuses primarily in the metro area and Willamette Valley. The team occasionally travels to tournaments requiring overnight travel. Each team member competes in 2 events at a tournament with either 1 debate and 1 speech event, or two speech events (no debate). It is highly recommended each student have 3 events prepared at all times as events often fill up, requiring a student to compete in a different event. Tournaments are all day events. The team leaves early in the morning and returns late at night. Most tournaments are held on a Saturday. Larger tournaments occur on a Friday/Saturday. Coaches excuse students from any classes occurring on a school day. For overnight tournaments, students sleep two to a bed, four students total per room. At no time are students allowed in the hotel rooms of students of the opposite sex.
The competition season is divided into two categories: “Invitationals” occur October-March and any member of the team is eligible to attend. “Qualifying” tournaments occur March-June when coaches choose students to represent the team.
Although the team competes in about 20 tournaments every year, each student does not compete at every one. Students and their families plan together to choose which tournaments to attend. However, students are expected to compete consistently, and at the very minimum of 5 tournaments throughout the “invitational” competition season. Students unable to compete consistently due to school class load and/or other extra-curricular activities have other opportunities to experience public speaking in several clubs at Westview instead of the speech and debate team.
Students (not parents) register for a tournament by requesting a slot from their Lab Leader before the deadline, with the two events he or she is requesting. If a student isn’t sufficiently prepared to compete in both events, student Lab Leaders inform coaches; coaches will drop the student from the registration for that tournament.
Students are expected to wear appropriate tournament attire throughout the day and remain at the tournament including through the concluding awards ceremony. It isn’t appropriate for a student to request an early pick-up because he or she does not make “Finals”. Special circumstances require a contact from the family to the Head Coach.
Food is often available for purchase at tournaments. But students are encouraged to bring their own food for non-overnight tournaments to ensure nutritious and less expensive meals. Tournaments often have limited options offering more fat, sugar, and salt than protein. Vegetarian options are rare with the exception of tournaments hosted on college campuses.
How do we get on the team?
The most important step is to have a frank conversation within the family whether or not the student will be able to commit the significant preparation and competition time required. Competition is also expensive, although the team can offer some assistance with fees (See “Fee Assistance” below). New students must complete the enrollment packet and turn it no later than the first team meeting in September.
For the 2020-2021 competition season, enrollment packets will be available electronically on the Westview webpage- the packet includes: Team Contract, transportation permission forms A/B, Release of Liability form
How much will it cost to be on the team?
*New members pay a one-time fee of $125 before attending his or her first tournament with cash, or checks made out to Westview High School. All fees are turned in to Shinta Mohamad, Westview Bookkeeper. On-line payment is also available through ParentVue using the Synergy software.
*$85 District yearly activity fee (covers coaching stipend)
*$25 National Speech and Debate Association student membership fee (one-time fee)
*Each tournament costs additional money payable before the competition date. These fees are also turned in to Shinta Mohamad. Unlike a student's lunch account, our accounting software does not have the ability to accept pre-deposits covering a batch of tournament fees. Fees have to be paid BEFORE each tournament. The fee for each tournament varies dictated by the fee structure charged by the tournament, bussing, (and hotel for overnight tournaments). Local, one day tournaments can be as little as $10-$30; two-day tournaments can be around $35-$50, and two-day overnights can be around $100-$150. The National Championship is roughly $800-$1,000 with airfare, hotel, venue transportation, and event fees (food expense not included).
What's the time commitment for parents?
Each student competing at a tournament is required to have an adult judge cover his/her entry for that tournament. Most judges at tournaments are parent judges. “I’m not qualified” isn’t a concern because Westview provides excellent training resources. A student is guaranteed entry into an invitational tournament when his/her parent judges for that tournament. One parent actually covers several entries and has the option to choose to cover his/her student's friends who are competing at that tournament, or to leave it up to coaches to assign which students the judge will cover.
Beaverton School District requires adult judges to complete a free, one-time, two-minute background check prior to judging at his or her first tournament. The District needs time to process the background check. Parents should use the following link preferably before the end of September.
Can my student be involved in other activities while on the team?
Yes. However, inconsistent attendance at practice ("I have a big test tomorrow", "I have to go to my other club(s)", "My Mom made a dentist appointment for me"…these add up quickly. Planning ahead is a student's responsibility. It is acceptable, although not recommended, to join the team late. Most common requests are, "My son plays fall sports. Can he start the team late?" Past students have expressed frustration with joining the team late and being behind in the training.
Help with Fees
Competition can be expensive. The school and the school district provide exactly zero dollars for the team. The team is 100% supported through fees and fundraisers. Nevertheless, Westview Speech and Debate has an equity mission to be inclusive including assisting students who may not be able to afford the full expenses that come with competition. Depending on need, help is available for specific fees. Students or parents should contact Head Coach Pat Johnson before fee deadlines to request confidential assistance with fees.
Which fees might I request help with?
Activity Fee- The District yearly activity fee (covers coaching stipend) of $85 per student due before competing at his/her first tournament. This fee may be modified at the discretion of the school Principal. Parents may contact him directly or notify Coach Pat Johnson.
(This fee has been suspended for the 2020-2021 competition season) Materials Fee- Each year the team incurs expenses including purchase of teaching and learning materials, certificate frames, and office supplies. The yearly fee is $15 per student due before competing at first tournament.
Competition Fee- This recurring fee varies by tournament. Each tournament charges our program a per-event slot fee using its own fee structure for participation at their tournament. Fees typically range from $10-$50 per student at each tournament.
Which fees is the team unable to provide financial assistance?
Transportation- This is a communal, recurring expense that allows the team to get to tournaments. When team bussing is used, the expense is spread out evenly so all team members attending a tournament pay their fair share. The fee varies based on several factors including the carrier, number of billable hours by the carrier providing service, and availability of drivers. This expense typically ranges from $10-$25 per student for one day tournaments and $25-$75 per student for multiple day tournaments. *Families with siblings on the team pay a single fee per tournament.
Hotel (for overnight tournaments)- This is a communal, recurring expense spread out evenly so all team members attending a tournament pay their fair share. The expense varies depending on number of days hotel accommodations are required. Fees typically range from $50-$100 per student for each trip.
National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) Student Membership- NSDA charges Westview for each student’s membership in the NSDA. Students are required to be members of NSDA, as each student’s competition scores are used by the NSDA to determine “team strength”. The strength number dictates how many eligible slots the team is awarded at the National Qualifying tournaments. The one-time per student fee is $25 for a lifetime membership.
Note1: The resolutions below are the most recent topics. Although the "Cross Examination" topic remains throughout the school year, the Lincoln Douglas topic changes bi-monthly and the Public Forum topic changes monthly (with the exception that Public Forum uses the same topic only for September and October, thereafter it changes monthly).
Note2: Students considering a partner debate as one of his/her main events should first consider who would be a good partner (picking your best friend isn’t necessarily a great idea). Although coaches monitor pairings and sometimes adjust who partners with whom, it is a student's responsibility to secure their own partner. Coaches do not "find" you a partner.
Cross-examination Debate (aka “Policy” or “CX”)- Partner debate, prepares both Affirmative and Negative cases on a year-long resolution to debate alternately over multiple rounds per tournament against teams from another school, significant evidence research load, extremely fast-paced, focusing on a real-world international policy resolution. 2020-2021 resolution: Resolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing.
Lincoln-Douglas Value Debate (aka “Value” or “LD”)- Individual debate, prepares both Affirmative and Negative cases on a resolution that changes bi-monthly, to debate alternately over several rounds per tournament against a debater from another school, requires abstract analysis of a "value" with evidence. (Sept./Oct.) Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.
*For Novice debaters, the topic area will always be: Resolved: Civil Disobedience in a democracy is morally justified. (Students advance out of Novice at coach's discretion).
Parliamentary Debate (aka “Parli”)- Partner debate with both teams given 3 resolution choices at beginning of round, each team “strikes” one resolution with the remaining resolution to be debated, each team then given 15 minutes to write a case, no evidence allowed, debaters must be significant consumers of current event news to have background knowledge on variety of topics, topics generally address domestic and international issues, or may be a value-based topic. Thinking on your feet and the ability to eloquently explain ideas in concrete terms in a relaxed, conversational speaking style is the key!
Public Forum Debate (aka “PF” or “PoFo”)- Partner debate, prepares both Affirmative and Negative cases to debate alternately over several rounds per tournament against teams from another school on a resolution that changes monthly, topics are newsworthy, timely topics the general public would be familiar with using limited evidence. *Although PF topics change monthly, the first topic of the year is used for two months (Sept./Oct.) Resolved: The United States federal government should enact the Medicare-For-All Act of 2019.
Congressional Debate (aka “Student Congress”)- Individual debate, looks/sounds like being in the U.S. Congress, speakers bring pre-written bills to debate, all bills policy based, debaters must be significant consumers of current event news to have background knowledge on a variety of topics, speeches are short, debaters give speeches for own bill written by himself or herself, gives speeches for or against bills written by other students, cross examines other debaters and is cross examined by other debaters
Big Question Debate (aka "BQD")- Debate addressing the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion on a year-long resolution. Generally, a one-versus-one event, but can be a partner event. *This would be a great "second" debate event for any debater of one of the formats mentioned above. BQD hasn't been consistently offered at Oregon tournaments, so debaters should not make this their only debate format. However, it is a national qualifying event! Resolved: Mathematics was discovered, not invented.
· Worlds Debate- Partner debate focusing on the ethical and policy implications of national topics. Some rounds are for prepared cases, while others are impromptu in nature; more like Parliamentary debate. Generally, there are 3-5 people on a team. Teammates take turns debating, as only three people debate one side per round. *This would be a great "second" debate event for any debater of one of the formats mentioned above. "Worlds" hasn't been consistently offered at Oregon tournaments, so debaters should not make this their only debate format. However, it is a national qualifying event! (Sample) Resolved: This House supports government control of social media during times of national emergency.
Individual Events (IE’s) Speech Categories
Impromptu- Not pre-written, speaker given three topics, generally a word, phrase, and a quote, speaker quickly chooses one of the topics and given 30 seconds to mentally outline a speech with no notes, need clear beginning, 3 main points, and conclusion with a relevant point (not just summary), gestures/movement encouraged, 5- minute time limit: additional 30-second grace period allowed **This event is initially unavailable to team members without previous speech & debate experience. You will have to demonstrate ability and work ethic in other events before being considered for this event.
Extemporaneous Speaking- Not pre-written, speaker given 3 topics, generally quotes or position statements of a domestic and/or international issue, speaker chooses 1 of the topics and given 30 minutes to prepare, speaker uses first half of prep time to research using only the files brought with him or her on a desktop, live internet connection strictly forbidden, speaker uses last half of prep time constructing an outline and practicing the speech, notes not allowed during speech, speaker should include minimum of 3 memorized direct quotes from research including full citation, 7 minute time limit: additional 30 second grace period allowed
Radio Commentary- Pre-written speech of commentary on a topic of current relevance, only event read while sitting down and without judges seeing speaker, heavy emphasis on elocution, MUST be between 4 minutes 45 seconds and 5 minutes 15 seconds, NO grace period, going under or over time disqualifies student in the round **This event is initially unavailable to team members without previous speech & debate experience. You will have to demonstrate ability and work ethic in other events before being considered for this event. You must also have proficient essay writing skills.
Oratory- Pre-written persuasive speech on a topic of social, cultural, ethical, or conceptual relevance, visual aids not allowed, limited gestures/movement encouraged, memorized/no script allowed, 10-minute time limit: additional 30 second grace period allowed
Informative- Pre-written speech on high interest informational topic, 4 to 6 visual aid boards required (allow several weeks to prepare these), easel required, boards must be 22’’X28’’ and sturdy (doesn’t bend when standing unsupported), gestures/movement encouraged, memorized/no script allowed, 10-minute time limit: NO grace period)
Poetry- Prepared thematic speech performing 3-5 published poems, poems may include some original, unpublished poetry by speaker, format is a "teaser" followed by an original introduction explaining the theme and includes the bibliography of poems, limited gestures allowed, movement not allowed, read from a script/not memorized, 8- minute time limit: additional 30-second grace period allowed
Prose- Prepared dramatic or humorous piece interpreting a selection from a published fiction or non-fiction book or story, generally narration performed in 1st or 3rd person, limited gestures allowed, movement not allowed, read from a script/not memorized, 8-minute time limit: additional 30 second grace period allowed
Program Oral Interpretation (aka “POI”)- Prepared thematic speech, hybrid of Poetry, Prose, and dramatic or humorous interpretation, gestures/movement required, read from a script/not memorized, 10-minute time limit: NO grace period allowed
After-Dinner Speaking (aka “ADS”)- Pre-written speech similar to stand-up comedy focusing on a central theme, content must have a serious undertone with a message, humor should be appropriate for a high school audience, gestures/movement encouraged, memorized/no script allowed, 6-minute time limit: additional 30-second grace period allowed
Duo Interpretation- Prepared two-person serious or humorous dialogue piece from a published play or script, gestures/movement required, heavy focus on “blocking” like in a play, memorized/no script allowed,10-minute time limit: additional 30 second grace period allowed
Humorous Interpretation (aka “HI”)- Prepared humorous piece interpreting a selection from a published play or story, monologue or dialogue, gestures/movement required, heavy focus on “blocking” like in a play, memorized/no script allowed, 10-minute time limit: additional 30 second grace period allowed
Dramatic Interpretation (aka “DI”)- Prepared dramatic piece interpreting a selection from a published play or story, monologue or dialogue, gestures/movement required, heavy focus on “blocking” like in play, memorized/no script allowed, 10-minute time limit: additional 30 second grace period allowed
DRAFT Competition Calendar 2020-2021
(Subject to revision)
*Note: National Circuit tournaments not yet listed
Oct 29 Beaverton HS Student Congress
Nov 2 Sprague HS Debate (SAT date)
Nov 9 Silverton HS
Nov 23 Oak Hill school/S. Albany HS
Glenbrooks (Chicago) Nov. 23-25
Dec 7 Clackamas/Cleveland HS (SAT date)
Dec 13-15 (overnight) Ashland HS
Jan 11-12 Pacific U
Jan 14 Beaverton HS Student Congress
Lewis & Clark College Jan 18-19
Jan 25 McMinnville HS
Feb 7-8 Linfield College
Stanford Feb. 8-10
Feb 15-16 (overnight) U of O
Feb 21-22 Lincoln HS round robin debate only
Feb 29 Nat Quals: Congress & BQD
Mar 7 Oregon City HS
TBD District Qualifier (Beaverton/Hillsboro area)
MARCH 14th (SAT Date)
Mar 19-21 Nat Quals: Debate/IE's @ Linfield College
Apr 18-20 (overnight) TOC- U of Kentucky *For students who qualified at "Bid"
Apr 23-25 (overnight) State *For students who qualified at the "District Qualifier"
June 14-19 (overnight) Nationals, Albuquerque, New Mexico *For students who
qualified at Nat Quals