First-year debaters will be learning about a variety of different competitive debate, acting and public speaking events this year. Some are political in nature, some are not.
The first event taught in the classroom should be a hybrid of all these areas called Congressional Debate (also know as Student Congress). Info can be found in the CLASSROOM link. In this event, roughly 18-20 students from various schools will congregate in a classroom for debate on federal legislation proposed by the students themselves. At the PBCFL’s September Congressional tournament, “novice” students will be together in the same room, and will compete ONLY against other first-time debaters from other schools. Varsity debaters will act as “presiding officers” who call on speakers, track speaker time, and control action in the legislative chamber; they will not be competing against first-year debaters.
Here is a sample partial docket that might be seen in a congress chamber:
- Dreyfoos School of the Arts: A Bill to Impose Sanctions on Iran
- Boca Raton: A Bill To Combat The HIV/AIDS Epidemic In Sub-Saharan Africa
- Martin County: A Resolution to Disband Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Cardinal Newman: A Resolution to Abolish Affirmative Action
- Suncoast: A Bill to Support ESEAN to De-escalate Tensions in the South China Sea
Full-text legislation will be emailed to the PBCFL around Labor Day Weekend, and will be posted on the PBCFL’s website shortly thereafter. Coaches will be notified when the legislation is online by email. Students should research all the topics in order to give speeches on the various bills and resolutions, as specific chamber breakdowns will not be available until three days before the actual competition date. The class should teach students how to research, outline and formally present speeches, plus learn cross-examination techniques.
After the first tournament of the year, first-year students should begin working on 2-3 new novice-specific events for the October PBCFL tournament. However, all events, including Congressional Debate, will be offered. After the October tournament, coaches will start on 2-3 different novice-specific events. Basically, by the end of the school year, everyone in the class should have learned about all events offered at weekend competitions.