RIPON, Wis. (April 2, 2013) – In an effort to provide more opportunities for students to participate in speech and debate, and to make activities more accessible, the National Forensic League announces the launch of National Forensic League Online, an online debate platform for practice and competition. The platform allows students to practice and compete in real-time from anywhere in the world.
Students can select from the League’s three main debate events (Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas and Policy), choose a topic and pick an opponent or leave the debate open for anyone to join. The platform includes a chat window, viewable throughout the system that allows students to talk to one another. Students can limit their opponents to just students at their school or open the debate to any League member. Debates between students from other schools can earn League points as long as the debate is judged and a decision is made. Students can also watch live or search through archived debates involving their school or rounds that are open to everyone.
“Our goal is to provide practice and competition opportunities to everyone participating in speech and debate, and offer a cost-effective solution for coaches looking to add more tournaments to their schedule,” said Executive Director of the National Forensic League, J. Scott Wunn. “The League will be hosting online tournaments throughout the following school year, and we plan to offer a number of free tournaments in order to make participating in speech and debate even easier.”
Coaches can access a wide range of tools that make it easier to hold practice and manage their squads. They can also create debates for their students to participate in and offer feedback on live or archived debates. With the added ability to pause and restart sessions, coaches can offer feedback and have students react in real time.
“Currently, students are limited in who they debate based on physical location,” said Renee Motter, educator and forensic coach at Air Academy High School in Colorado. “Through the online platform students have the opportunity to debate opponents across the nation, allowing them to explore diverse perspectives and gain a better understanding of world views.”
National Forensic League Online also provides teams with an opportunity to reconnect with alumni. Since rounds can be judged from anywhere, alumni can participate by judging practice rounds or online tournaments, no matter where they are.
Practice debates are free to all League members using the platform through the end of the 2013-14 school year. Online tournaments will still require an entry fee, and more events will be added soon.
For more information, visit www.nationalforensicleague.org.
About the National Forensic League
The National Forensic League is the honor society for middle and high school speech and debate. The nonprofit organization recognizes participation and progress in public speaking and debating activities as a means to meet the Common Core State Standards in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The League empowers students to become effective communicators, ethical individuals, critical thinkers, and leaders in our democratic society. Since 1925, more than 1.4 million students have participated in the League, with more than 120,000 active members representing nearly 3,000 schools. The League awards more than $200,000 in college scholarships at its annual National Tournament, the largest academic competition in the world.