2020 MHSAA Championship Speech & Debate Championship
Dates: 4/24/2020 - 4/25/2020


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

April 24-25, 2020

Tournament Host: Madison Central High School

All MHSAA Member schools are cordially invited to compete in the State Championships taking place April 24-25, 2020 at Madison Central 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 on an earlier weekend 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 Program Oral Interpretation.

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

In 2017-2018, MHSAA introduced two supplemental events:  Expository Speaking (Flight A) and Storytelling (Flight B).  Each school may enter up to four (4) freshmen or sophomores into these events with the understanding that no student can have more than two events per flight.  Supplemental Events do not count towards sweepstakes points, but a State Championship is awarded in each category.

The 2020 MHSAA State Championships STORYTELLING topic is Makeover stories (thanks to Miss Congeniality).

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

ROUND 1 =    President Donald J. Trump

ROUND 2 =    International Crises

Semis  =         Election Issues

Finals  =         Where Do We Go From Here?

POLICY TOPIC:  RESOLVED:  The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.

LINCOLN-DOUGLAS TOPIC:  RESOLVED:  Predictive policing is unjust.

PUBLIC FORUM TOPIC: RESOLVED:  The United States should remove nearly all of its military presence in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf..


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.  We will administer the extra minute in summary speeches as well as giving each team an extra minute of prep time per the NSDA piloted rules.

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 was 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 20, 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.  Questions about qualified students should be addressed to Micah Everson at micah.everson406@gmail.com.

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 determine the State Champion Individual Performer and is also spelled out in the “State Champ Rules” section.  Beginning with the 2020 State Championship, this award will be determined by each student's best 4 events.  A student will not be given an advantage by having a fifth event (congress) added.

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 Individual Performers.

Tournament fees for both MHSAA events may be paid at Madison Central HS on April 24-25, 2020, unless the attending school is only participating in Congressional Debate, whereby those fees would be paid at Millsaps College on Friday, April 4, 2020.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me at shane.cole@lamark12.org or call me at 601.264.7232 (ext. 6104).

Looking forward to a great year!

Shane Cole, MHSAA Coordinator for Speech & Debate

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