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Event Rules

Prose Interpretation

The program may consist of single or multiple selections, which must be of literary merit and organized around a central theme.  Prose may be either fiction or nonfiction.  Plays are not permitted.  Appropriate introductory and transitional material (if applicable) must be originally written and delivered from memory.  It is included in the time limit.  This is NOT a memorized event and the use of manuscripts is required!  The competitor should not have offered the selection in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Poetry Interpretation

The program may consist of single or multiple selections, which must be of literary merit and organized around a central theme.  Plays are not permitted.  Appropriate introductory and transitional material (if applicable) must be originally written and delivered from memory.  It is included in the time limit.  This is NOT a memorized event and the use of manuscripts is required!  The competitor should not have offered the selection in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Dramatic Duo

The program is an excerpt from a play, film, or television program of literary merit featuring two or more characters portrayed by two competitors.  The excerpt may be serious or humorous.  An appropriate introductory and transitional material (if applicable) must be originally written and delivered from memory.  It is included in the time limit.  This is not an acting event, so there are no costumes, props, lighting, etc.  Direct physical contact between performers is prohibited.  Focus is off-stage. This is NOT a memorized event and the use of manuscripts is required.  Neither competitor should not have offered the selection in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Single Dramatic Interpretation

The program is an excerpt from a play, film, or television program of literary merit performed by a single competitor.  The excerpt may be serious or humorous and may feature one or more characters.  An appropriate introduction must be originally written and delivered from memory.  It is included in the time limit.  This is not an acting event, so there are no costumes, props, lighting, etc.  Focus is off-stage.  This is NOT a memorized event and the use of manuscripts is required.  The competitor should not have offered the selection in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Declamation

This program involves the oral interpretation of a public address. The chosen speech may be contemporary or historical, but, either way, the selection should be in some manner significant—politically so, historically so, socially so, or an excellent example of a genre. As with other interpretive events, the competitor may choose to deliver the speech as it might originally have been or to offer a fresh interpretation of it. A brief, original introduction should precede the speech. It is included in the competitor’s time.  This is not a memorized event and the use of manuscript is required. The competitor should not have offered the selection in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Informative Speaking

This must be an original, non-persuasive, well researched speech on a topic of genuine significance.  It must be the product of the competitor’s own thinking and designed to objectively inform the audience.  Multiple sources must be used and appropriately cited in the speech.  Presentation aids are permitted.  Minimal notes are permitted. The competitor should not have offered the speech in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Persuasive Speaking

This must be an original, well-researched speech on a topic of genuine significance and with a genuine impact on the audience.  It must be a product of the competitor’s own thinking and designed to shape, reinforce or change the beliefs, attitudes, values or behaviors of the audience.  Multiple sources must be used and appropriately cited in the speech.  Presentation aids are permitted.  Minimal notes are permitted.  The competitor should not have offered the speech in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

After Dinner Speaking

This must be an original speech to entertain, organized around a central theme and designed to make a serious point through the use of humor.  This is not a stand-up comedy routine, so the speech must not be simply a string of jokes.  In addition, while the use of supporting material is permitted, sources should not be taken so seriously that the speech becomes merely an informative or persuasive speech with jokes attached.  Presentation aids are permitted.  Minimal notes are permitted.  The competitor should not have offered the speech in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Communication Analysis

This must be an original speech designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event through rhetorical principles.  The methodology must be clearly explained as part of the speech.  Appropriate sources are expected and must be cited in the speech.  A communication event may include a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, advertising campaign, etc.  Presentation aids are permitted.  Minimal notes are permitted.  The competitor should not have offered the speech in competition prior to the 2015-16 academic year. Ten minute maximum.

Extemporaneous Speaking

Speakers will choose a topic and will have 30 minutes to prepare, with the aid of research materials, but not the aid of colleagues or coaches, a five to seven minute speech that answers the question posed by that topic.  Topics will be drawn from newsworthy events of the 60 days previous to the tournament.  Notes are permitted.

Impromptu Speaking

Speakers will draw three topics, choose one and return the other two.  They will then have seven minutes to divide between preparation and speaking time.  Topics will be quotations that the speaker may interpret creatively.  Notes are permitted.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

One person vs. one person debating the national L-D topic.  Format is 6-3-7-3-6-6-3, with each person permitted a total of 4 minutes preparation time throughout the debate. Debaters may choose to cross-examine their opponent for 2 minutes or less and then add an extra minute to their concluding speeches.  Judges will be expected to use the stock issues of topicality, harm, inherency, solvency and disadvantages as their decision-making paradigm and to consider the quality of the public speaking in rendering their decisions and in assigning points.  The 2015-16 National L-D topic is:

Be It Resolved that: the United States federal government should substantially increase the regulation of state and/or local police misconduct in the United States.

Parliamentary Debate

Extemporaneous team debate on a range of resolutions (policy, value, quotations).  In accordance with NPDA rules, after the topic is posted, teams have 15 minutes to prepare.  Although not explicitly banned by NPDA rules, the norm at CFA tournaments is for debaters to consult neither coaches nor teammates during this period.  Format is 7-8-8-8-4-5 with no preparation time.  Points of order and personal privilege are permissible at any point and are addressed to and adjudicated by the judge; points of information are permissible only during the four constructive speeches, and then not during the first and last minutes and not unless recognized by the debater speaking.  Judges will be expected to award the decision to the team that persuaded them, with a recognition that persuasion is a product of both the argumentation and public speaking skill.

Improvisational Pairs

Special event at CFA Holiday Tournament. Performers will be handed a basic scenario and, then, given eight minutes to plan and exact their creative rendition of it. Notes are permitted.

Editorial Impromptu

Special event at CFA “Southern Excursion.” Competitors will be given a brief editorial on a national or international topic. They will read and then plan a response to the editorial, typically agreeing or disagreeing. They have ten minutes and may divide the time as they wish between preparation and speaking. Judges should evaluate competitors based on their ability to discuss a public policy issue, the organization of their response, and the quality of their speaking. Notes permitted.