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National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA 2000)

Logo of the NCFCA
Formation 1995[1]
Headquarters Mountlake Terrace, Washington, United States [2]
Website http://www.ncfca.org

The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association is a speech and debate league for Christian homeschooled students in the United States. The NCFCA was established in 2001 after outgrowing its parent organization, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which had been running the league since it was originally established in 1995. NCFCA is now organized under its own board of directors with regional and state leadership coordinating various tournaments throughout the season.[3]

Contents

Structure of the organization

The NCFCA is an entirely volunteer-run, non-profit organization.[4] Tournaments are run by volunteers, usually parents, club directors, and league officials in the area. The judging pool includes parents of competitors, NCFCA alumni, and members of the community. Coaches also serve as judges on a strictly volunteer basis. The NCFCA is governed by a board and compriises ten regions. Each region has a regional coordinator and representatives for each state.

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Clubs

As homeschooled debaters do not have "schools" to compete with, the fundamental unit of the NCFCA is the "club." A club is a group of competitors, coaches, and families who meet together to practice, help one another, and organize tournaments and classes.

Regions

The NCFCA is divided into ten regions. This is known as the Regional System and was adopted during the 2003-2004 season to accommodate the growth of the league. Each region receives a specific number of qualifying slots to nationals, the year-end championship tournament held at a different college each June. The number of slots allotted to the region is determined largely by the number of competitors in that region. Most regions award all or a majority of these slots at a championship tournament sometime in April or early May, known as "regionals." In some regions, qualifying slots to regionals are given to the states in the region, which then hold state championships. In others, they are simply divided up amongst a series of Pre-Regional tournaments and any debater within the region may qualify for regionals at a pre-regional tournament.

In addition to the regional competitions, a certain number of wildcard slots are awarded each year at competitions known as National Opens. These are large tournaments held at various colleges and open to the entire nation. In 2007, there were three national opens: the Appletree National Open in Seattle, Washington, the Ohio National Open and the Texas National Open. Qualifying at a National Open tends to be more difficult than a regional qualifying tournament because of the ability for anyone in the nation to compete.

The ten NCFCA regions are:

  • Region 1: Hawaii
  • Region 2: California
  • Region 3: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Western Canada, and Wyoming
  • Region 4: Arkansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
  • Region 5: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska
  • Region 6: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  • Region 7: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
  • Region 8: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
  • Region 9: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia
  • Region 10: Eastern Canada, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Competition

During the 2005-2006 season, there were roughly 5,000 competitors, making the NCFCA the third largest national high school speech and debate league after the NFL and the NCFL. These competitors vied for 90 policy nationals slots, 49 Lincoln-Douglas slots, and approximately 400 speech slots. Unlike other leagues however, individuals are not constrained to one event and may compete in one type of debate and up to five individual events. Thus, 550 nationals slots does not necessarily translate to 550 competitors at nationals. Those who qualify to nationals in five IEs are referred to as "marathoners" and those who qualify in debate as well as five IEs are called "ironmen." Both are recognized at the awards ceremony and in the NCFCA hall of fame.

Individual Events

The NCFCA offers nine individual events from three categories: Platform, Interpretation, and Limited Preparation.[5] Platform events are memorized informative speeches written by the speaker. The three Platform events are Illustrated Oratory, Original Oratory, and Persuasive Speaking. Interpretation events are memorized performances of published literary works, usually involving acting. The three Interpretive events are Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation and Humorous Interpretation. Limited Preparation events are speeches delivered with two to thirty minutes of preparation. Limited Prep speech topics are written by tournament staff and randomly assigned to competitors at their turn. The three NCFCA Limited Preparation events are Apologetics, Impromptu Speaking, and Extemporaneous Speaking.

From 2002-2007, the NCFCA provided a differing Wildcard event each season. There have been no Wildcard events for the three most recent competitive seasons.

  • The 2002-2003 Wildcard was Duo Impromptu. Two competitors would randomly draw three pieces of paper with the words for a person, place, and thing. Then they would have four minutes to prepare a five minute skit incorporating all three nouns.
  • The 2003-2004 Wildcard was Impromptu Apologetics. It was later renamed Apologetics and has become a standard NCFCA event.
  • The 2004-2005 Wildcard was Oratorical Interpretation. The competitor would interpret a famous and/or historical speech.
  • The 2006-2007 Wildcard was Thematic Interpretation. Competitors select several pieces of literature and weave them around a common theme.
  • The 2009-2010 Wildcard is Thematic Interpretation. Competitors select a minimum of three pieces of literature and use them to support a common theme.

Debate

The NCFCA offers two types of debate — policy debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate. As the purpose of the NCFCA is to train good communicators, not just good debaters,[6] the use of complicated theory and extremely fast talking (also known as "speed and spread") is discouraged.[7] This is accomplished through the judging paradigm. Tournaments employ a mixed pool of judges, including a large number of inexperienced lay judges, community judges, and some of the competitors' parents. NCFCA debaters are therefore forced to communicate well to all levels of judges for success.

The NCFCA and Collegiate Debate

As a result of this emphasis, former NCFCA debaters tend to do well in college parliamentary competition, as well as communication-oriented leagues such as the small, insular National Educational Debate Association league with only 11 college members. Former NCFCAers dominated the upper levels of the recent NEDA nationals, taking nearly one third of the varsity speaker and team awards.

NCFCA debaters rarely do well in top levels of the larger policy leagues, such as Cross Examination Debate Association and the National Debate Tournament; however, since 2002 at least two dozen NCFCA alumni have gone on to the National Parliamentary Debate Association a separate, less evidence-oriented parliamentary league with more than 300 college members and 1,200 two-person teams. Several colleges with good parliamentary debate/speech squads continue to attract former NCFCA debaters. These schools include: Point Loma Nazarene, Biola University, Cedarville University, Hillsdale College, and Patrick Henry College. Nearly a dozen NCFCA alumni have competed at national level NPDA tournaments and finished among the top 40 teams in fields of 120 to 320 college teams. Several former NCFCA debaters have competed at the invitation only National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. This is an annual tournament where the top 56 college parliamentary debate teams in the U.S. gather to compete every spring. No NCFCA alumni have ever finished in the top 10 of the 56 top college parliamentary teams at the NPTE championships, though NCFCA alumni have been ranked in the top 10 season rankings [4].

Former NCFCA debaters also tend to be dominant in Collegiate Moot Court competition, as evidenced by the success of Patrick Henry College's NCFCA-stocked Moot Court team.

Debate Resolutions

NCFCA resolutions are chosen annually by member families through a voting process. Each family is allowed one vote.

Team Debate 2009-2010 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its environmental policy.

Lincoln-Douglas 2009-2010 Values Resolution: Resolved: That competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.

Team Debate 2008-2009 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly change its policy toward India.

Lincoln-Douglas 2008-2009 Values Resolution: Resolved: When in conflict, idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism.

Team Debate 2007-2008 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially change its policy on illegal immigration.

Lincoln-Douglas 2007-2008 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the United States of America ought to more highly value isolationism.

Team Debate 2006-2007 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should be reformed or abolished.

Lincoln-Douglas 2006-2007 Values Resolution: Resolved: Democracy is overvalued by the United States government.

Team Debate 2005-2006 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That medical malpractice law should be significantly reformed in the United States.

Lincoln-Douglas 2005-2006 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the media's right to protect confidential sources is more important than the public's right to know.

Team Debate 2004-2005 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should change its energy policy to substantially reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

Lincoln-Douglas 2004-2005 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the restriction of civil rights for the sake of national security is justified.

Team Debate 2003-2004 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly change its policy toward one or more of its protectorates.

Lincoln-Douglas 2003-2004 Values Resolution: Resolved: That when in conflict, cultural unity in the United States should be valued above cultural diversity.

Team Debate 2002-2003 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its trade policy within one or more of the following areas: The Middle East and Africa.

Lincoln-Douglas 2002-2003 Values Resolution: Resolved: That human rights should be valued above national sovereignty.

Team Debate 2001-2002 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly change its agricultural policy.

Lincoln-Douglas 2001-2002 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the restriction of economic liberty for the sake of the general welfare is justified in the field of agriculture.

Team Debate 2000-2001 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its immigration policy.

Team Debate 1999-2000 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution should be repealed and replaced with an alternate tax policy.

Team Debate 1998-1999 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially change the rules governing federal campaign finances.

Team Debate 1997-1998 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That Congress should enact laws which discourage the relocation of U.S. businesses to foreign countries.

Team Debate 1997-1998 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should change its rules governing foreign military intervention.

National Championship Locations

External links

References


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