2020 MHSAA State Congress
Dates: 4/3/2020 - 4/4/2020




APRIL 3-4, 2020     -     HOST:  MILLSAPS COLLEGE






·         WEEKEND ONE – Congressional Debate

·         WEEKEND TWO –


§  Policy Debate

§  Lincoln-Douglas Debate

§  Public Forum Debate


§  Dramatic Interpretation

§  Duet Acting

§  Impromptu Speaking

§  Original Oratory

§  Program of Oral Interpretation

§  Prose Interpretation


§  Declamation (9th & 10th grade only)

§  Duo Interpretation

§  Extemporaneous Speaking

§  Humorous Interpretation

§  Informative Speaking

§  Poetry Interpretation


§  Flight A – Expository Speaking (9th & 10 grade; 4 entries per school)

§  Flight B – Storytelling (9th & 10th grade; 4 entries per school)



Each student participating in the State Championship Tournament must complete entry requirements before the Monday previous to the tournament at midnight.  No additions or substitutions of any kind may be made after that time.  Drops will have to pay all fees.

·         Round Set-Up

o    Platform Events – 2 preliminary rounds of competition with the top twelve students advancing to semifinals; then the top six advancing to finals.

o    Lincoln-Douglas Debate/Public Forum Debate – 5 preliminary rounds, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals.

o    Policy Debate – 4 preliminary rounds, semifinals, and finals.  A quarterfinal will be added if more than 16 teams enter the state tournament.

o    Congressional Debate – Competitors compete in two three-hour preliminary sessions and a three-hour Super Session including the top 24 competitors in the competition.

·         Advancement in Tournament

o    Advancement in Platform Events shall be determined by:

§  Total Ranks from Round 1, Round 2, and Semifinals.

§  Total Speaker Points

§  Sum of the Inverse Reciprocals

§  Total # of 1’s then 2’s then 3’s, etc.

o    Advancements in Debate Events shall be determined by:

§  Win/Loss Record

§  Total Speaker Points

§  Opponent Win/Loss Record

§  Adjusted Win/Loss Record

§  Adjusted Speaker Points

o    The top six students in Platforms Events will receive trophies.  In Debate Events, the finalists, semifinalists, and quarterfinalists will receive trophies.  In Congress, the top 8 competitors and all presiding officers will be recognized.

o    In Platform Events:

§  Rounds 1 and 2 will have one judge.

§  Semifinals may have 1 or 2 judges based on the number of entries in the event (less than 15 only have to have one) and the availability of judges at the competition.

§  Finals will always have a panel of three judges.

o    In Debate Events:

§  Preliminary Events will have 1 judge.

§  Quarterfinals will have 1 or 3 judges (depending on the available debate judges in the pool)

§  Semifinals and Finals will always have a panel of 3 judges.

o    A school must provide judges for:

§  1 qualified judge for every six entries in Platform Events or pay a judging fee of $5.00 per entry not covered.

§  1 Qualified judge for every 2 Lincoln-Douglas Debaters

§  1 qualified judge for every 2 Public Forum Debaters

§  1 qualified judge for every Policy Team.

§  For every debate entry not covered, there is a fee of $25.00.

§  A judge can only cover 1 debate or 1 Platform Event judging position.

o    Schools must provide at least one qualified judge for Debate if the school is entered in Debate events and one qualified judge for Platform Events if the school is entered in Platform Events.  Schools that do not provide the required judge(s) will not be permitted to compete at the tournament.  Schools may hire additional judges as described above if they cannot provide other judges.  The hiring of judges must be done on or before the registration deadline.

o    Judges shall use the MHSAA ballots for Platform Events.  The judge’s rank and rating of individual participants should reflect rule violations and severity of offenses but not disqualify the participation of the individual.

o    A student may enter one of the following combinations (if qualified):

§  1 Debate + 1 Flight A Event +2 Flight B Events

§  2 Flight A Events + 2 Flight B Events

o    The tournament will offer Debate and Platform Events in a two-day competition with Debate only on Friday evening and Debate and Platform Events on Saturday.  Congressional Debate will take place on a separate weekend.

o    A registration fee of $10.00 per entry will be charged.  Team Events will be $14.00 each.  Students entered in more than one event count as multiple entries.

o    Decency Clause.  Students participating in any interpretation events (and Declamation) involving MHSAA member schools must have in their possession in each round a copy of the exact manuscript to be used with a cover sheet that contains the clause, “The decency standards reflected in the piece uphold the values and morals of the student’s school, community, and family.”

§  The student’s coach and at least one of his/her students’ parents/guardians must sign the statement.

§  Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification of the student for that event.  Forged signatures will result in the student being placed on probation for the remainder of the semester.  A second forged incident will result in the student being denied entry to any tournament for the rest of the semester.


o    ]Royalties.  MHSAA assumes no responsibilities for the payments of royalties or other fees connected with the performance of any material at a Speech, Debate, or other Platform Event Contest tournament.  In the event a challenge by a representative or holder of copyrighted material is filed regarding whether the material has received proper clearance for performance, the performing school shall be required to verify payment of royalty or clearance for use.  Failure to provide such verification will result in disqualification of the school in the event(s).

Copyright © 2002-2020 Brent Hinkle. All rights reserved.