Participation, Events, and Topics

UPDATED January 21, 9:00 p.m. (Extemp topics)

All rules are per the MFA By-laws, which are subject to change by majority vote of member schools. The information below is based on the 2017 invitation.

Schools may participate in the State Tournament if they:

  • Belong to the Maine Principals’ Association
  • Have paid tournament fees from previous years.

Tournament Events

The State Tournament hosts all MFA events including:

  • Debate: Lincoln Douglas in three divisions (Varsity, Junior Varsity and Novice) and Public Forum in two divisions (Varsity and Novice).
  • Congressional Debate: House(s) and Senate
  • Speech: Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Humorous Interpretation, Oratorical Declamation, Original Oratory, Original Works, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Program Oral Interpretation, Novice Poetry Reading, Novice Prose Reading, Information Speaking, and Storytelling.

Division Qualifications

Any coach may file for an exception to divisions assignments of a debater due to extenuating circumstances by submitting a written petition to the MFA President. The MFA President shall have the final authority in making decisions regarding debater assignment to debate divisions.

Divisions may be collapsed or categories may be cancelled due to low registration numbers.

Coaches, competitors, and judges should read MFA event handbooks and manuals for complete rules.

Lincoln Douglas Debate

Per the State Tournament Handbook:

  • Novice Lincoln Douglas is a division for students in their first year of forensics competition.
  • Junior Varsity Lincoln Douglas is a division for students with no more than one year of prior debate experience.
  • Varsity Lincoln Douglas is a division open to any High School debater.

Public Forum Debate

Per the State Tournament Handbook:

  • Novice Public Forum is a division for Freshmen and Sophomores in their first year of interscholastic debate.
  • Varsity Public Forum is a division open to any High School debater.

Individual Events (Speech)

  • Novice Prose and Novice Poetry are limited to students in their first year of MFA competition.
  • Oratorical Declamation is limited to freshmen and sophomore competitors.
  • All other speech events are open to any high school student regardless of previous experience.

Entry Limits

Each school team is limited to:

  • 6 Lincoln Douglas entries in each division
  • 6 Public Forum teams in each division
  • 4 entries per Speech category

There is no entry limit for Congressional Debate, but schools should distribute their House entries equally among the chambers.

Competitors may double enter only in Speech categories.

Lincoln Douglas

Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech.

Public Forum

Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.

Congressional Debate

Download the docket for the Maine State Championship Tournament here

Extemporaneous Speaking


Round 1: Post-election
Round 2: Healthcare
Round 3: Economy
Round 4: News of the Week


Round 1: Syria
Rounds 2: Russia
Round 3: European Union
Round 4: News of the Week