2019 MHSAA Championship Speech & Debate Championship
Dates: 5/3/2019 - 5/4/2019




Each student participating in the State Tournament must complete entry requirements according to the deadlines. No additions or substitutions of any kind may be made after that time.  Drops will have to pay all applicable fees.


  1. Students shall participate in two preliminary rounds of competition in Platform Events with the top twelve students advancing to semifinals, then the top six advancing to finals.  Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Public Forum Debate shall include four preliminary rounds, quarterfinals, and finals if there are 24 entries.   Policy Debate shall include three preliminary rounds and semifinals if there are more than 12 entries, and finals.  If there are twelve entries or fewer, then semifinalists and quarterfinalists shall be named based on the teams' records. Congressional Debate will feature two preliminary sessions and a super session where finalists will be recognized.
  2. Advancement in Platform Events shall be determined by total ranks from rounds I, II, and semifinals, with ties being broken first by speaker points, next by dropping the high and low ranks, third by dropping high and low speaker points.  If a tie still exists, all who are involved will advance to finals.  Tie-breaking for final ranking in events will be first by ranks, then by speaker points, then by judge preference in the final round.  Advancement in Debate shall be first determined by Win/Loss records, then by speaker points, then by strength of opponents.  Advancement in Congressional Debate will be determined by NFL Congressional Debate rules.
  3. The top six students shall receive trophies in Platform Events.  Placement in Platform events shall be determined by the total of ranks received.  All three ballots in the final round will be added to ranks received in Round I, Round II, and Semi-Finals to determine the total ranks received. 
  4. Rounds I, II, and semifinals may have only one judge, but the final round must have at least three judges.  Two judges will be provided in semifinals if possible and that decision will be made by the tourmaent director.
  5. A school must provide one qualified judge for each six entries (or fraction thereof) in Platform Events or pay a judging fee of $10 per entry not covered.  A school must provide one qualified judge for each two Lincoln-Douglas debaters and each two Public Forum teams and each one Policy Debate team, or the school must pay a $25 fee for each L-D Debater and each Public Forum team and each Policy Debate team not covered.  One judge may cover both one Platform Events judging requirement and one Debate judging position.  Each school in Congressional Debate must register one judge for the competition which may be the coach.
  6. 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 who 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.
  7. 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 will not disqualify the participation of the individual.
  8. A student may enter Congressional Debate, one division of the followig debates, Public Forum, Lincoln Douglas, or Policy, and/or up to two Platform Events in each flight.  She/he may not use a selection that she/he has used in competition prior to the 2014-15 school year.
  9. The tournaments will offer Congressional Debate in a one-day competition, and Debate and Platform Events in a two-day competition with Debate only on Friday afternoon and Debate and Platform Events on Saturday.
  10. The Host School for the tournament shall be selected by MHSAA officials, who shall consult with the officers of the Mississippi Forensic League for suggestions.
  11. A registration fee of $10.00 per student per entry will be charged--i.e., $10.00 for individual-event entries and $12.00 for team-event entries (Policy Debate, Public Forum Debate, Duo Interpretation of Literature).  A registration fee of $10.00 per student will be charged for Congressional Debate entries.  Students entered in more than one event count as multiple entries.
  12. Decency Clause. Students participating in any interpretation event 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.”  This statement must be signed by the student’s coach and at least one of his/her parents/guardians.  Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification of the student for that event.  Forged signatures will result in the student’s being placed on probation for the remainder of the semester.  A second forged incident will result in the student’s being denied entry to a tournament (or any event) for the remainder of the semester.  If the subject matter of the script is still in question, the student’s principal will be asked to review the script in question to determine whether or not it is suitable for high school audiences. 
  13. Royalties.  MHSAA assumes no responsibilities for the payment of royalties or other fees connected with the performance of any material at a Speech, Debate, or other Platform Event contest or 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).




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