2019 PBMST #7 @ Bak Middle SOA
Dates: 4/3/2019


3 APRIL 2019


Bak Middle School of the Arts

1725 Echo Lake Dr, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 

Bak Middle School of the Arts is proud to welcome your middle school competitors to the seventh Palm Beach Middle School Tournament!  This tournament is open to ANY student who is in middle school with a registered program.


Events: We will offer all events that are part of the National Junior Forensic League/Palm Beach Catholic Forensic League (except extemporaneous speaking and policy debate).  We will offer two rounds of competition (and two sessions of Congress); students are only able to enter a single event. We will utilize PBCFL rules and ballots for all events with the exception of Impromptu where we follow NSDA rules.


Judges: We encourage you to bring your high school competitors and/or competitors from your area to judge middle school students. These should be Juniors or Seniors with Varsity experience. Please specify in the "notes" section what their preferred event areas are; they could be used in more than one event if needed.  In addition to being able to learn by serving as a judge, we will offer them a small judges’ lounge, volunteer hours for service organizations, and of course, they are able to collect NSDA points for their service.  We are also allowing PBCFL JUDGE TRAINED parents to judge the tournament.  


Judges should be instructed to provide POSITIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE feedback, as our purpose of this tournament is to encourage students to keep participating in speech and debate activities. Please provide 1 judge per 2 PF entries, 1 judge per 2 LD entries, and 1 per 5 speech/congress entries (or fraction thereof).  Please indicate on your judge entry what area your judge specializes in. Remember that if you do not provide judges there is a chance we will not have enough to judge the students so ensure that you register enough judges to cover your competitors. A lack of judges is a primary reason why these tournaments run long so keep that in mind as well.


Registration: Each student must pay a registration fee of $12.00 (so, Duo Interpretation and Public Forum Debate is $24.00 per entry).  The cost includes a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, and a beverage.  Your judges will be provided with a meal for free as well.  


Student observers will be charged $6.00 to cover the cost of their meal. Please ensure that all student observers are registered prior to the tournament. Parents will NOT be allowed to watch their children in rounds.


Registration is due and fees become permanent on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. After the website closes, please send all changes to Christopher.cartagena@palmbeachschools.org .  


School are maxed out 6 entries per event (except Congress which is 6 entries per chamber) so please plan accordingly when registering your students. There are no limits to student observers but they must be registered ahead of time.


Please make sure you have covered your judge commitment.  Uncovered judges will cost $25.00. Please ensure that you have all of your judges registered by the drop date to avoid this fee. Judges will be assigned before the tournament to ensure that no issues during the day of the tournament. Please make a note of your judges’ preferred event in the notes so that we may assign them accordingly. Your school will be assessed the $25.00 uncovered judge fee for any judges who no-shows on the day of a tournament.  



Any changes made to your entry on the day of the tournament (such as drops or shifting students between events) will incur an additional $12.00 fee.  Our desire is not to take your money; we just want to ensure smooth operation of the tournament.


Arrival: Bak Middle School of the Arts, 1725 Echo Lake Dr, West Palm Beach, FL 33407.  Please arrive NO EARLIER than 3:50 p.m. We will offer parking in the main lot in the front of the school. We will have bak student and parent volunteers on hand to direct your competitors and judges to the Cafeteria.  Please make sure to be on time to ensure that our tournament is able to run in a timely manner.  Email or text Ms. Vaknin or Mr. Cartagena any last minute changes.


AwardsWe will award a trophy to the top four competitors in each event where there are 12 or more entries, top 3 competitors in events between 6-12 entries, and 1 trophy to events where there are less than 6 competitors. We will recognize competitors who place in the top 6 of their event.




Impromptu Topics: Round 1 – Fables.  Round 2 – Idioms


NSDA Rules: The student will choose a topic from a slip which contains three selections or from face down slip of individual selections. The competitor takes no more than two minutes to prepare a speech which addresses their choice. They will be able to speak for up to 5 minutes on the topic with a 30 second grace period. No notes or previously arranged materials are used in the preparation; the student may NOT use a note card or paper during the presentation. The event calls for creativity and organizational ability.


Congress Topics: Taken from March PBCFL 2019 Legislation: (http://www.pbcfl.net/


American Heritage Boca/Delray – A Bill to Increase Funding for the Merida Initiative


Cardinal Newman High School – A Bill to Hold Medical Professionals Responsible


Seminole Ridge High School – A Bill to Ban the Electoral College


Park Vista Community High School – A Bill to Require Presidential Candidates to be Neurologically Tested


NOTE: The Docket will be set the day of the Tournament and will not be in this order. Each chamber will set their dockets through docket nominations. Students are allowed to call the previous question after one full cycle of debate on any piece of legislation. Although the Presiding Officer will be instructed to use Recency and Geography, a competitor who is not active in the Chamber is not guaranteed to speak.


Public Forum TopicPublic Forum Debate – 2019 April Topic Area: India

Resolved: The United Nations should grant India permanent membership on the Security Council.


Lincoln Douglas Debate Topic2019 March/April Topic

Resolved: The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.


If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Alyssa.vaknin@palmbeachschools.org .



Alyssa Vaknin

Bak Middle School of the Arts Debate Coach


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