2017 MHSAA Speech & Debate Championship
Dates: 4/28/2017 - 4/29/2017


Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Speech and Debate State Championships

April 28-29, 2017

Tournament Host: Northwest Rankin High School 

All MHSAA Member schools are cordially invited to compete in the State Championships taking place April 28-29, 2017 at Northwest Rankin High School.


Participating schools must be member schools of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA).


This portion of the tournament includes three Debate events:  Public Forum Debate, Policy Debate, and Lincoln-Douglas Debate.  The fourth debate event, Congressional Debate, takes place the previous weekend, on April 22nd at Millsaps College.

The tournament also offers 12 Speech events separated into two flighted lists:

Flight A = Prose Interpretation, Original Oratory, Dramatic Interpretation, Duet Acting, Impromptu Speaking, and Storytelling.

Flight B = Poetry Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Expository Speaking, Declamation, and Extemporaneous Speaking.

The 2016 MHSAA State Championships STORYTELLING topic will be Southern Sights and Sounds (Stories that take place in Southern U.S. Cities)

EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING topics will alternate each round from Domestic and International Topics assigned: 

ROUND 1 =    President Trump's First 100 Days

ROUND 2 =    Russia's Place in the International Community

Semis  =         Domestic Economy and Urban Development 

Finals  =         Predicting the International Future 

POLICY TOPIC:  RESOLVED:  The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People's Republic of China.

LINCOLN-DOUGLAS TOPIC:  RESOLVED:  The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.

PUBLIC FORUM TOPIC:  RESOLVED:  The United States ought to replace the Electoral College with a direct national popular vote.


1.              Registration fees are $10.00 per individual event entry and $12.00 per team event entry (Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate, Duo Interpretation and Duet Acting). 

2.              In the Speech/Platform Events, students who exceed the time limit by more than 30 seconds should not be given first place in a panel; further consequences of exceeding the time limit are left to the discretion of the judge.  All competition rounds will be timed by the judge and instructions for this procedure will be provided on the reverse side of the ballot.

3.              In Public Forum Debate, all rounds will begin with a COIN FLIP.

Coaches should remind themselves of several significant differences in the state tournament that have been made over the past several years including the schedule, event offerings, event rules, timing procedures, and sweepstakes.  

A.              In 2016, a new schedule has been adopted.  Make sure to check the “SCHEDULE” tab so you understand the state tournament schedule.

B.              The deadline for entries in the MHSAA State Speech and Debate Championships is Monday, April 24th, at midnight.  After that deadline no student may be added and no student may be substituted for another one.  Any drops after the deadline will incur a Double Fee.

C.              Schools may enter only those students who have qualified according to “Student Qualifying Rules for State Tournament” (included in this registration site – see QUALIFYING RULES tab above) and no more than five (5) Wild Card Entries.  Schools that enter all three NSDA qualifying tournaments, using all of their possible entries, will be allowed to have ten (10) Wild Card Entries.  Questions about qualified students should be addressed to Shane Cole at shane.cole@lamarcountyschools.org.

D.              All fees for entries and all judging fees are set at the close of registration at midnight.  All students who drop after that time must still pay fees, fees are assessed for entries not covered at that time by judges, and fees are doubled for judges who drop after the close of registration.

E.              A “State Champion Individual Performer in Speech and Debate” will also be named.  The same basic formula used to decide the State Championship Team will be used to decide the State Champion Individual Performer and is also spelled out in the “State Champ Rules” section.

F.               The Sweepstakes Awards will include the following:  (1) First, Second, and Third Place in Debate Events, (2) First, Second, and Third Place in Speech Events, and (3) First, Second, and Third Place Overall, and (4) First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Place in Individual Performer

Tournament fees for both MHSAA events may be paid at Northwest Rankin HS on April 28-29, 2017, unless the
attending school is only participating in Congressional Debate whereby those fees would be paid at Millsaps College on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at shane.cole@lamarcountyschools.org or call me at 601.264.7232 (ext. 6104).

Looking forward to a great year!

Shane Cole, MHSAA Coordinator for Speech & Debate

Copyright © 2002-2017 Brent Hinkle. All rights reserved.