SOLEHI Speech and Debate Categories
Unless noted, events are competed in as individuals
Lincoln Douglas Debate – A competitor prepares to debate both sides of an ethical resolution that changes every two months. Understanding of some basic philosophical and ethical theories is emphasized.
Policy Debate – Two person teams prepare to debate both sides of a national resolution involving the implementation of a plan of action to solve a present day problem. Preparation usually begins the summer before the competition season because of the intense research and training needed.
Public Forum Debate – Two person teams prepare to debate both sides of a current event resolution that changes every month. Emphasis is placed on communication and persuasion along with valid research, rather than on evidence dumping and technical jargon.
Student Congress – A congress styled form of debate involving bills and resolutions submitted by competitors or the tournament. Competition is as an individual. Understanding of parliamentary procedure, the legislative process and the U.S. Constitution is developed.
Parliamentary Debate – This new form of debate is in our state league only. This is a three-member team event which follows a specific format for advocating or rejecting a resolution that is a belief of the “legislative body.”
Declamation – The student delivers, from memory, a speech written and delivered by someone else. The intent is not to recreate the actual delivery of the original speaker, but rather to re-present the speech with the same purpose of the original speaker. This event is open to only 9th and 10th graders. The speech, including a brief introduction, is ten minutes at most.
Extemporaneous Speaking – The competitor has 30 minutes to create, rehearse and memorize a speech answering a question involving current events. A file of published materials is allowed for preparation and should be developed and updated by the individual. A note card with a maximum of 50 words is allowed in some leagues for beginners. The speech should be at most seven minutes.
Commentary – This event is offered at some tournaments throughout the year. It is similar to extemporaneous speaking except it is delivered from a seated position and the speech examines a topic versus answering a specific question. The topics still involve current events and a file of materials is allowed. Usually the speech is memorized, but beginners may be allowed a card with 50 words at most.
Original Oratory – The student delivers, from memory, an original speech written by the competitor with a clear thesis, organization and logic. The oratory may be informative or persuasive in style, but should convince the audience of something new to consider or act upon. The speech must be at most ten minutes with a maximum of 150 quoted words. At our state league this event is split into Informative and Persuasive Speaking. Informative speeches can only be 7 minutes long. Persuasive speeches are 10 minutes long
Dramatic Interpretation – The student prepares a selection from a play or screenplay that is serious in nature. Most leagues allow the use of Prose in DI as well. The presentation is memorized, and emphasis is on the development of the characters involved in the cutting presented. The play may be a monologue or multiple character selection. The performance, including introduction, is at most ten minutes.
Humorous Interpretation – This is the same event as Dramatic Interpretation except the selection is humorous in nature.
In some tournaments, DI and HI are combined as Dramatic Performance. In this event Prose selections are also allowed.
Duo Interpretation – Two performers present a selection of drama, prose or poetry. The performance is a balanced presentation between the two students with an emphasis on the character development by the performers and the interaction between the two. The selection is memorized. In all three leagues in which the team competes, multiple characters by the performers are allowed. The performance, including introduction is ten minutes at most.
Oral Interpretation – The student prepares two programs, one of poetry, and one of prose. The competitor will alternate rounds of competition between the two programs. A script is required for this event. The programs may be one selection or a compilation of pieces that are connected by author or theme. The programs are at most ten minutes long, including a brief introduction. Some tournaments separate this event into Poetry and Prose Interpretation.
Miscellaneous EventsThese events are offered at a few tournaments during the year. At our state championships we are allowed to bring one student in each of these events along with one in Student Congress.
Impromptu Speaking – The student is given five minutes to prepare a memorized five minute speech about a randomly selected topic.
Radio Announcing – The student prepares a two minute script to be read “On Air” for a judge. A sight reading script with fifteen minutes of preparation time is also employed.