Participation, Events, and Topics

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.


Schools may participate in the State Tournament if they:

  • Belong to the Maine Principals’ Association.
  • Have no outstanding State Tournament fees from any previous year.

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, Information Speaking, Oratorical Declamation, Original Oratory, Original Works, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Program Oral Interpretation, Novice Poetry Reading, Novice Prose Reading, 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. See

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 (Team of exactly two)

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 Reading and Novice Poetry Reading 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.

Event Topics

Lincoln Douglas

Resolved: States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Public Forum

Resolved: The United States should end its economic sanctions against Venezuela.

Congressional Debate

Check back soon for the docket, which will also be posted in the News section.

Extemporaneous Speaking


Round 1: Immigration
Round 2: Education
Round 3: Gun control
Round 4: Racism


Round 1: Middle East
Round 2: China
Round 3: Trade agreements
Round 4: Afghanistan