Barkley Forum for High Schools
2023 — Atlanta, GA/US
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PELHAM DEBATE
For 31 years, Mr. Thomas Glenn Pelham presided over the Barkley Forum for High Schools. As the winning coach at the tournament in 1959, he appreciated the difficulty of competition. As Director of Forensics at Emory from 1960-1972, he was the architect who crafted the traditions of the tournament and of the Barkley Forum organization. His death in April 1987 created a void in national forensics, which simply cannot be filled. In recognition of his striking achievements, the Barkley Forum honored him by naming the policy debate competition The Pelham Debates.
The Barkley Forum for High Schools will use the National Speech and Debate Association topic for the current year. A member school is guaranteed entry for three teams of varsity strength composed of two speakers each. The Barkley Forum tournament is highly competitive. In fairness to your debaters, we recommend that you only bring students fully prepared for experienced level debate.
Non-member schools will be granted admission on the basis of applications that speak to the varsity experience of debaters. Substitutions will be discouraged. The Barkley Forum will designate a swing team should it be necessary to even the number of participating teams.
Each team will debate both sides of the proposition, three rounds affirmatively and three rounds negatively in a cross-examination (8-3-5) format with eight (8) minutes of preparation time. All teams will debate the six preliminary rounds. There will be five exhibition tutorial rounds for the thirty-two teams that are invited to participate.
We will have a mutual judge preference system for the Pelham Debates (using an ordinal ranking system), so it is especially important that your judges are entered accurately in a timely fashion. If your judges are not entered by January 14th, you will be required to pay the full judge hire fee. More details will follow via email closer to the tournament date. Please note that the judge preferences do not apply to the Thomas Glenn Pelham Silver Key Debate. Please have all judges post their judge philosophy at tabroom.com under “paradigms” by January 14th. You will not be allowed to enter prefs until all your judges have supplied a paradigm.
Judges will be assigned by mutual preference in all preliminary rounds and in the tutorials up to and including The Richard B. Sodikow Tutorial. The exhibition rounds in all divisions will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the Key Coaches of the Barkley Forum.
Judges are required to vote for one and only one team and to make their decision within 2 hours and 5 minutes from the posted start time of the prelim debates, and 2 hours and 20 minutes for elimination debates. This time limit will be strictly enforced by the tournament. Participants in the Phyllis Flory Barton Tutorial (octos) must flip for sides on Sunday morning by 7:15 a.m.
Anyone providing coaching or research support for any contestants in the Pelham Debates should be entered in the judge pool for a minimum of 2 rounds and be available to judge elimination debates. If there is a reason someone requires an exception, they should reach out to tournament administrators prior to the tournament for approval.
Mavericks cannot clear or advance; they must have debated as a team collectively for at least 4 rounds in prelims to clear. In Pelham Debates, each debater has to give a constructive and a rebuttal to be considered having debated in a round (barring extenuating circumstances such as a mid-round forfeit); if both debaters have not done so during a round, they cannot advance. Should the occasion arise that a student does debate maverick due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, the debater not debating in the round will receive speaker points of 27.5 for the round.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE
The purpose of Lincoln-Douglas debate is to provide a public forum for issues of value. Thus, arguments should be constructed using sound and ethical rules of persuasion. Clash is required. Affirmative teams must support the resolution and negative teams must oppose the resolution. The affirmative position must be fully developed in the first speech. Cross-examination is to be emphasized in the evaluation process. The time limits for the contest will be as follows:
Affirmative Constructive Six minutes
Negative Cross-examination Three minutes
Negative constructive Seven minutes
Affirmative Cross-examination Three minutes
Affirmative Rebuttal Four minutes
Negative Rebuttal Six minutes
Affirmative Rebuttal Three minutes
Four minutes of preparation time will be assigned to each speaker to be allocated as the speaker chooses. The topic for debate will be the national topic debated during the months of January and February.
A member school may enter three debaters of varsity strength. A non-member school may apply for three slots. We will have a partial triples out round to try to ensure that all debaters with a 4-2 record or better clear.
We will have a mutual judge preference system for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, so it is especially important that your judges are entered accurately in a timely fashion. If your judges are not entered by January 14th, you will be required to pay the full judge hire fee. More details will follow via email closer to the tournament date. Please note that the judge preferences do not apply to The Dale Lauder McCall Exhibition. Please have all judges post their judge philosophy on tabroom.com under “paradigms” by January 14th. You will not be allowed to enter prefs until all your judges have supplied a paradigm.
Judges will be assigned by mutual preference in all preliminary rounds and in the tutorials up to and including The Patricia Bailey Tutorial. The exhibition rounds in all divisions will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the Key Coaches of the Barkley Forum.
Debates should start as soon as all participants and the judge are in the room. All decisions must be entered by one hour and fifteen minutes after the announced start of the flight or tab will flip a coin to decide the winner of the round.
Participants in outrounds during Flight A should flip 15 minutes before the announced start of the round in the assigned room (or outside the room, if a round is still going on). Participants in outrounds during Flight B should report to the tab room 15 minutes before the announced start of the flight for the flip. If you are not present for the coin flip, the other debater will pick their side, and you will be assigned the opposite side.
Anyone providing coaching or research support for any contestants in Lincoln-Douglas should be entered in the judge pool for a minimum of 2 rounds and be available to judge elimination debates. If there is a reason someone requires an exception, they should reach out to tournament administrators prior to the tournament for approval.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE
Entry: Each member school is invited to enter ten delegates. Non-member schools will be granted admission of up to ten delegates on the basis of applications that speak to the delegates’ level of experience. No Pelham debater, Lincoln-Douglas contestant, Public Forum debater, or Speech Events entrant may enter Congressional Debate at the Barkley Forum for High Schools.
Judges: One qualified judge per 5 entries or fraction thereof must be provided exclusively for Congressional Debate by any school who has entries in this event. Schools with more than 5 entries must indicate at least one judge who can serve as a parliamentarian.
Legislation: Each participating school’s coach may submit up to two items of student-written legislation (no more than one per student) to Tabroom.com by Thursday, January 5, 2023 (6:00 p.m. EST) only using provided templates. Coaches should review to ensure quality, suitable for substantive debate. When uploaded, legislation must be categorized in one of the following areas:
Commerce (business, banking, finance)
Education and Health Care
Elections and Government Reform
Energy, Environment, and Scientific Development
Foreign Relations and Aid
Immigration and Border Protection
Justice (including policing, firearms, and drugs)
Legislation will first be assessed (school/student identity withheld) by an independent review panel to select a field of bills and resolutions best suited for debate and distributed as evenly as possible across the topic areas above. Following the legislation released by the review panel, coaches will receive instructions for their registered students to cast a ballot for their favorite items between January 10-13. Coaches are responsible for communicating to registered contestants; coaches may not vote. From among the student vote, the highest-rated items will be earmarked for finals, followed by each set of rounds prior. Each round will have three items of legislation assigned, for a total of 18 items altogether. The lowest-rated items will not make the docket. The complete docket will be released January 14.
Chamber assignments will be released at 4:15 p.m. on January 27, adjusting for drops to ensure as balanced a competition as possible, and students are strongly discouraged from communicating with other contestants to negotiate agenda orders or presiding officers ahead of the tournament. With a smaller legislation packet of only three items per session (9 for prelims, collectively), there should not be a need for determining agenda ahead of time.
Rules: The BFHS uses NSDA Congressional Debate rules as a foundation, with pilots and modifications described in this Google Doc.
Public Forum Debate was added to the events at the Barkley Forum for High Schools in honor of the 50th anniversary of the tournament in 2005. Public Forum Debate is designed to engage students in debate about current, controversial issues in front of community audiences.
Each member school is invited to enter three teams in Public Forum Debate. Non-member schools will be granted admission of up to three teams on the basis of applications that speak to the level of experience of the teams. We will have a partial triples out round to try to ensure that all teams with a 4-2 record or better clear.
Unless otherwise stipulated by tournament officials, rules for procedure will be those contained in the National Speech and Debate Association’s Unified High School Manual. A Public Forum round begins with the electronic flip of a coin on tabroom.com between the competing teams to determine sides and speaker position.
The time limits for the contest will be as follows:
Team A Speaker 1 - Constructive Four Minutes
Team B Speaker 1 - Constructive Four Minutes
Crossfire Three Minutes
Team A Speaker 2 - Rebuttal Four Minutes
Team B Speaker 2 - Rebuttal Four Minutes
Crossfire Three Minutes
Team A Speaker 1 - Summary Three Minutes
Team B Speaker 1 - Summary Three Minutes
Grand Crossfire Three Minutes
Team A Speaker 2 - Final Focus Two Minutes
Team B Speaker 2 - Final Focus Two Minutes
Preparation Time (per team) Three Minutes
The topic for debate will be the national topic debated during the month of January.
Contestants will get judge strikes for preliminary rounds that will be equivalent to 10% of the judge pool. If your judges are not entered by January 14th, you will be required to pay the full judge hire fee. Please have all judges post their judge philosophy on tabroom.com under “paradigms” by January 14th. Teams will not be able to enter strikes until their judges’ paradigms are posted. All paradigms must align with the Barkley Forum’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and expectations for competitive integrity. In addition, judges should mark as a conflict any student:
(1) whose high school you attended in recent years;
(2) to whom you are related;
(3) who attends a school with whom you have had a coaching or judging relationship, paid or unpaid, during the past two school years (does not apply if your only relationship to a school was as a hired judged at that school’s tournament);
(4) who attends a school that has offered to hire you to coach or judge in the future;
(5) for whom you have ever had primary instructional responsibility as, e.g., a school coach or a personal coach
(6) with whom you have or have in the past had personal friendships or romantic relationships, or with whom you socialize in non-debate settings;
(7) who personally has provided your transportation or housing at this tournament, or who attends a school that has provided your transportation or housing at this tournament;
(8) who has been hired by, or who has an outstanding explicit or implicit offer from, a debate business (e.g., workshop or brief company) to which you have financial ties.
(9) if your current, or in the past two years, coach of record is currently coaching the student.
(10) If you coach or debate for a college/university, any student that is debating for your program next year or whom your school is still actively recruiting.
(11) with whose coach(es) you have or have in the past had romantic relationships.
(12) to whom you bear any other relationship that might reasonably be thought to compromise your impartiality as a judge. To determine whether a relationship meets this test, you might ask yourself, “If I were a competing student and knew nothing about my judge except that he or she bore the relationship in question to my competitor or my competitors coach, would I have any doubts about his or her impartiality?” If the answer is “yes,” you should mark students to whom you bear that relationship as conflicts.
Once confirmed, decisions are final. To encourage the pedagogical aims of the tournament and to avoid any confusion with ballot entry, we encourage judges to disclose their decisions but only after they have entered their decision on Tabroom.
No Pelham debater, Lincoln-Douglas contestant, Congressional Debate contestant or Speech Events entrant may enter Public Forum Debate at the Barkley Forum for High Schools.
Anyone providing coaching or research support for any contestants in the Public Forum division should be entered in the judge pool for a minimum of 2 rounds and be available to judge elimination debates. If there is a reason someone requires an exception, they should reach out to tournament administrators prior to the tournament for approval.
Mavericks cannot clear or advance; they must have debated as a team collectively for at least 4 rounds in prelims to clear. Should the occasion arise that a student does debate maverick due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, the debater not debating in the round will receive speaker points of 25 for the round.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPEECH EVENTS
Each school may have up to four entries in any event at the Forum. No extra entries are allowed due to space limitations. No triple entries will be allowed. No Pelham debater, Lincoln-Douglas contestant, Public Forum debater, or Congressional Debate participant may participate in Speech Events. New for 2023: we will be offering Impromptu Speaking for the first time.
Each student will be ranked by the judge from 1st place to 7th place. Students participating in the Lanny Dean Naegelin rounds will be selected in the following manner:
The top 24 performing speakers in each event after 5 preliminary rounds will be invited to participate on the basis of:
1) Total number of ranks in their best 4 out of 5 preliminary rounds. In case of a tie:
2) Reciprocal fractions from their best 4 out of 5 rounds. In case of a tie:
3) Total preliminary ranks. In case of a tie:
4) Total reciprocals.
To determine which students will advance in elimination rounds, we will use judge ranks from ONLY the previous elimination round with the following tiebreaking rules: 1) ranks, 2) judge preference, and 3) reciprocal fractions. Should the number of entries in any given event not warrant breaking to quarterfinals, the tab room staff will make that determination during the course of the tournament.
For each Speech Event, there is a 30-second grace period for going over the time limit. Violations of time limits, including the grace period, may be penalized at the discretion of the judge for the participant. However, unless clear time signals are given throughout the performance, a student should not be penalized for going over time.
All judges should report to the ballot table no later than fifteen minutes prior to the round’s scheduled start time in order to facilitate remaining on schedule. If you are bringing inexperienced judges, please have them review materials and take the judge training (if available for the event they will be judging) on the NSDA website and make sure they understand the event rules.
We expect all judges’ comments to be constructively critical and never demeaning to students and for judges to understand that by judging at the tournament, they are accepting the role of encouraging educator.
With the exception of Extemporaneous Speaking, students may not use the same primary source in more than one event (e.g. using the same source for DI and POI or using the same primary source in Informative Speaking and OO).
Most likely, the events in Pattern A will be Extemporaneous Speaking, Humorous Interpretation, Informative Speaking, and Program Oral Interpretation. The events in Pattern B will be Original Oratory, Duo Interpretation, Impromptu, and Dramatic Interpretation. The pattern designation (Pattern A or Pattern B) for each speech event is subject to change based on available competition spaces for the number of entries in each pattern.
We would again like to showcase the final round of a speech event and highlight it in a way similar to what we have done for the Pelham Debates since the inception of the tournament. This year, the finals of Program Oral Interpretation will be held at the same time as the finals for the Pelham Debates, with Key Coaches adjudicating both events. After the final rounds, awards for all events will be held simultaneously in the Emory Student Center.
Dramatic Interpretation is NOT an acting contest. No props or costumes will be allowed. This event stresses the value of the presentation of the written word and the contestant’s ability to interpret the author's meaning. Does the contestant appear to have a thorough understanding of the work he or she is presenting? Character development is a key component in the evaluation of a performance. Does the contestant differentiate between characters and capture the essence of the relationship and interplay between them? As well, has the contestant chosen an appropriate selection for the time allotted? Does the selection form a coherent presentation, one that gives the judge and audience an adequate understanding of the total work?
Contestants will present a cutting from published plays, screenplays, fictional or non-fictional work that is dramatic in nature. Unless otherwise stipulated by tournament officials, rules for source material and adaptations will be those contained in the National Speech and Debate Association’s Unified High School Manual.
Manuscripts are not allowed. Time Limit: 10 minutes, inclusive of introduction and transitions, with a 30-second grace period for going over time. The cutting should not have been used by the contestant prior to the 2022-2023 school year.
No Dramatic Interpretation contestant will be eliminated before performing five times. Those reaching the final exhibition round will have performed eight times.
* Any contestant whose material is challenged and who cannot produce an appropriate bibliographic reference and a manuscript is subject to disqualification. The Barkley Forum strongly discourages anyone making an unfounded challenge. The Barkley Forum stresses education over unfettered competition.
This is an individual category in which the selections are humorous in nature. All other rules are the same as Dramatic Interpretation.
This is a two-person category in which the selection may be either humorous or dramatic in nature. No touching or eye contact is allowed other than in the introduction and/or transitions. Contestants must remain in a general upright position and have off-stage focus. All other rules are the same as Dramatic Interpretation.
Program Oral Interpretation
Purpose: POI is a program of oral interpretation of thematically-linked selections chosen from two or three genres: prose, poetry, drama (plays). At least two pieces of literature that represent at least two separate genres must be used. Unlike the other interpretation events, Program Oral Interpretation may use multiple sources for the program. The title or author of all selections must be verbally identified in either the introduction and/or transitional phrases. The title may identify the primary source (e.g., book, anthology, journal, magazine, newspaper, approved website, etc.) or the specific title within the primary source (e.g., a poem, a play, a short story, a journal/magazine article, a newspaper article, etc.). If more than one author is attributed to the source, at a minimum, the primary author should be verbally cited. A Works Cited of all sources must be available to tournament officials upon request. Competitors are encouraged to devote approximately equal times to each of the genres used in the program. This distinction pertains to these two or three genres as a whole, not types of literature within a genre (such as fiction/nonfiction). Prose expresses thought through language recorded in sentences and paragraphs: fiction (short stories, novels) and non-fiction (articles, essays, journals, biographies). Poetry is writing which expresses ideas, experience, or emotion through the creative arrangement of words according to their sound, their rhythm, their meaning. The piece should not have been used by the contestant prior to the 2022-2023 school year.
Contest: The use of a manuscript during the performance is required. Common practices include the use of a binder or folder. Reading from a book or magazine is not permitted. The intact manuscript may be used by the contestant as a prop, so long as it is in the contestant’s control by remaining in contact with the body at all times. No costumes or props other than the manuscript are permitted. Pictures, graphics, and/or illustrations are considered a visual aid, even if included in the original manuscript, and may not be displayed. The contestant must address the script; however, introduction and transitional material may be memorized.
Length: The time limit is 10 minutes with a 30-second grace period. If there are multiple judges in the round, all must agree that the student has gone beyond the grace period. Judges who choose to time are to use accurate (stopwatch function) timing devices. No minimum time is mandated.
Publication Rules: All literature performed must meet the publication rules of the NSDA. Any contestant whose material is challenged and who cannot produce an appropriate bibliographic reference will be subject to disqualification. The Barkley Forum strongly discourages anyone from issuing a frivolous or unfounded challenge. The Barkley Forum stresses the value of education over unfettered competition.
Adaptations to material may only be used for the purpose of transition. Any word changes (to eliminate profane language) and/or additions (for transition) must be indicated clearly in ink. Failure to clearly indicate the addition of words will be subject to disqualification. Changes to the script may only be used for the purpose of transition or to eliminate profane language. The voice of a script may not be changed. For example, changing “She moved to California when she was 13” to “I moved to California when I was 13” is not permitted. Combining small fractions of sentences or singular words to create humorous or dramatic dialogue, scenes, moments, and/or plot lines not intended in the original literature is prohibited. For example, it is not permitted to take one word from page 13 (e.g. home), a phrase from page 211 (e.g. ran away from), and a name, (e.g. Tyler) from page 59 to create dialogue between characters or events that do not exist in the script. Example: adding “Tyler ran away from home.” when this did not occur and was not said in the script is not permitted. Transitions only may be used to clarify the logical sequence of ideas. They are not to be used for the purpose of embellishing the humorous or dramatic effect of the literature.
All oratory must be written by the contestant. Oratory is an event of polished speech art and persuasion. A message should be conveyed by the speaker. Oratory for persuasion with a solution, such as that intended for civic groups, is the intention of this contest. Judges will be instructed to favor the subtle approach. No visual aids are permitted.
Not more than 150 words of the oration may be direct quotation from any other speech or writing and such quotations must be identified in a printed copy of the oration supplied prior to registration. Extensive paraphrasing from other sources is prohibited.
The orator's script must identify the quoted materials, state the number of quoted words, include a work cited page in APA or MLA format, and both the orator and the coach must attest by signature that the oration is the original work of the contestant. It is the responsibility of the contestant to have a script ready upon request should the speech be challenged.
The speech must be memorized. It should not have been used by the contestant prior to the 2022-2023 school year. The speech must be no more than ten minutes in length with a 30-second grace period for going over time. No orator will be eliminated before performing five times (see section about cumulative scoring). Those reaching the final exhibition round will have performed eight times.
Speakers will draw current interest news topics. They will have a choice of three topics in each round. Topics in each round will, generally, revolve around a theme or topic area. For the 2023 tournament, the themes for each round will tentatively be as follows:
Round 1: The Biden Administration
Round 2: Middle East and Africa
Round 3: The Americas
Round 4: Domestic Social Issues
Round 5: Eurasia
Quarters: U.S. Foreign Policy
Speakers will be given thirty (30) minutes of total preparation time before presentation before a single judge and will be asked to leave the preparation room and to proceed to their rounds twenty-five (25) minutes after drawing their topic. Speakers will be graded not only on speaking qualities, but also on their aptitude for outlining new ideas and interpretations of current events. They should demonstrate knowledge of contemporary history.
The contestant should receive no coaching help in the preparation time before his or her speech. No pre-written speeches or notes will be allowed in the preparation room.
The tournament will follow the National Speech and Debate Association guidelines concerning the use of Internet-enabled devices.
Each speech must be a maximum of seven minutes with a 30-second grace period for going over the time limits. A speaker will be penalized for failing to observe time limits, although individual judges have absolute discretion on the quantity of the penalty. Judges are REQUIRED to time with an accurate timing device (e.g., stop watch function on a smart phone). They are also required to give visual time signals during the speech, if requested by the speaker. No contestant will be eliminated before performing five times.
Those selected for the final exhibition round will perform eight times. Those selected for the final exhibition round will also be subject to cross-examination by another round participant for three (3) minutes after completing their speech.
No students are allowed in the extemp draw room except during their prep time, and no food or drinks are allowed in the extemp draw room except water.
Purpose: An informative speech is an original speech designed to explain, define, describe, or illustrate a particular subject. The general purpose of the speech is for the audience to gain understanding and/or knowledge of a topic. Any other purpose such as to entertain or to convince shall be secondary. The use of audio/visual aids is optional. (See # 4 on Aids.)
Contest: This contest comprises only memorized speeches composed by the contestants, and speech should not have been used by the contestant prior to the 2022-2023 school year. No participant will be eliminated before performing five times (see section on cumulative scoring). Those reaching the final exhibition round will have performed eight times.
Subject: Effective speeches provide new information or perspectives on a topic, including those that are widely known. The responsibility for choosing a worthwhile topic rests with the contestant. A fabricated topic may not be used. Any non-factual reference, including a personal reference, must be so identified.
Aids: Audio/visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. If used, the audio/visual aids should enhance or support the message rather than distract from the overall effectiveness of the presentation. During the presentation, no electronic equipment is permitted. Electronic equipment is defined as any object requiring an electrical cord, battery, or solar power to operate it (projectors, cell phones, radios, iPads, computers, etc.) The use of live animals or any additional people as visual aids is not allowed during the speech. Items of dress put on and/or removed for illustration during the course of the presentation are considered costumes and may not be part of the contestant’s presentation. Visual aids may not violate policies as dictated by local and state law (weapons, drugs, etc.). Contestants may not distribute items to the judges or audience before, during, or after the round. This includes but is not limited to food, objects, handouts, flyers, and promotional merchandise. The Barkley Forum is not responsible for providing any facilities, equipment, including tables, chairs, or easels, or assistance in a contestant’s use of visual aids. Expedient set up and take down of aids is expected. If a visual aid displays published pictorial material, the source must be included in the work-cited page but does not need to be cited orally.
Length: The time limit is 10 minutes with a 30-second grace period. If there are multiple judges in the round, all must agree that the student has gone beyond the grace period. Judges who choose to time are to use accurate (stopwatch function) timing devices. No minimum time is mandated.
Quotation: Not more than 150 words of the speech may be direct quotation and such quotations must be identified orally and in a printed copy of the speech supplied prior to registration.
Script: Manuscripts must be available in the event of a protest. The script must identify the quoted materials, state the number of quoted words, include a work-cited page in APA or MLA format, and both the speaker and the coach must attest by signature that the speech is the original work of the contestant.
Topics: Topics will include proverbs, abstract words, events, quotations, and famous people.
Drawing: A judge in each section/room shall be provided an envelope containing a uniform set of topics, with a different subject area used for each round. Each speaker will draw three topics, choose one, and return the other two to the envelope. All participants in a round will remain in the room before and after speaking with the exception of double-entered participants.
Preparation and Delivery: The speaker has seven minutes in which to prepare a response and present a speech without consultation of prepared notes. Contestants may use an index card only while preparing. They may not use any outside source while preparing.
Notes: No notes shall be used during presentation.
Time: The maximum time limit is 7 minutes with a 30-second grace period, which includes both preparation and speaking. The official start time is when the speaker draws three topics from the envelope, not when they have selected their topic and returned the other two. If there are multiple judges in the round, all must agree that the student has gone beyond the grace period. The ranking is up to each individual judge’s discretion. Judges are REQUIRED to time with an accurate timing device (e.g., stop watch function on a smart phone). They are also required to give verbal time signals during the prep period and visual time signals during the speech, if requested by the speaker. No minimum time is mandated.