Ethics, Sourcing, Protests
Updated January 11, 2020.
All rules are per the MFA By-laws and Maine State Championship Handbook, which are subject to change by majority vote of member schools. The information below is based on the 2020 invitation.
The MFA has an official code of ethics to which all participants (students, judges, and coaches) will be held accountable. Any challenges of plagiarism, falsified evidence, or other unethical behavior should be brought to the attention of either the event moderator or a member of the executive committee during the tournament. These situations will be taken seriously and handled accordingly.
Read the Code of Ethical Behavior at maineforensic.org under the About section of our website.
Original Sources and Arguments
In the event someone presents a formal challenge to a moderator or the Executive Committee (Tournament Directors):
- All competitors in interpretation events (Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation, Oral Interpretation of Literature) must bring to the tournament the original source material (original printed source, printout of source from NFL approved website, photocopy of entire printed source) in case of a challenge.
- All competitors in Original Oratory and Original Works must bring hard copy scripts to the tournament.
- All competitors in Extemporaneous Speaking, Informative Speaking, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, and Congressional Debate should be able to produce all quoted sources.
Neither competitors nor coaches will be allowed to print original source material, scripts, or evidence on the day of the tournament.
The members of the MFA committee of officers and moderators present shall have full power to adjudicate any protest, dispute, or interpretation of the rules. Protests must be filed in writing and must include:
- Name of coach filing protest (a coach of record must file the protest) and school, city, state.
- Code of person/team being protested.
- Round being protested.
- Section/room and speaker number of person/team being protested
- Specific infraction being protested described with supporting detail.
- Signature of protesting coach.
After the infraction has been observed/discovered, the protest must be filed in a timely manner. A timely manner is defined as within one hour of the end of the round in which the infraction occurred, unless a specific rule specifies otherwise.
Once a protest has been issued:
- The challenged entry must bring their relevant materials (see original sources above) with their coach to the Tabulation room in a timely manner (defined as within one hour of the protest, with extensions if the coach is in round). Failure to do so results in forfeit.
- The MFA officers and moderators will first determine if the source meets the requirements listed above in the original sources section of the invitation. If it does not, the result is a forfeit.
- For Speech, if the source is accepted, the officers will determine if the performance meets the requirement of being significantly different from the original presentation. If it is not, the result is a forfeit.