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Minutes for Fall 2015 Coaching Meeting

Debate and Speech

Sept. 11, 2015

8:30 Breakfast

8:55 Welcome and introductions

Matt Leland (Lincoln Academy), Jason Curry (Greely), Kris Deveau (Brunswick), Michelle Adams (York), Pat Spilecki (Lewiston), Rod Robilliard (Erskine Academy), Dick Mullen (Cape Elizabeth), Dan Haskell (Cheverus), D’Arcy Robinson (Poland), Tim Wheeler (Skowhegan), Maura Smith (Skowhegan)

Call for Vote for parliamentarian: Jason Curry nominated and elected

Special announcement: Dick Mullen earned his third diamond as recognition for his years of excellent coaching from NSDA

9:00 Officers’ Reports

Secretary (D’arcy Robinson, Poland Regional HS)

Approval of minutes from the spring meeting; moved and approved (unanimous)

Request made to send updated contact information

Send information to D’Arcy Robinson ASAP

Question about where to find tournament information. MFA website is up and running and tournament schedule and other information is located there. MFA website: https://www.maineforensic.org/.

Moved to approved secretary’s report: approved (unanimous)

Treasurer (Kris Deveau, Brunswick HS)

Binders: Does the membership want to go to a heavier binder which is more money or keep the binders presently used.

Membership dues form is available (handouts at meeting, available on website).

Treasurer’s report review (handout at meeting)

Moved to approve treasurer’s report: Approved unanimously

Vice President (Jason Curry, Greely HS)

Will be going to meet with MPA sometime in the future

President (Matt Leland, Lincoln Academy)

New schools: Berwick and Foxcroft Academy interest in joining

Matt has been doing outreach to various schools in Maine

Assigned mentors to the new coaches to help them get started

Matt gave a presentation of new goals for the year

First idea was the practice of a Varsity student giving oral critique after each round

Do we want to formalize this exchange? It might be helpful to have a protocol for the critique.

Matt will do a write up of this idea and how it would work and send it out on list serv

Matt wants to send out a letter to various professional organization to get funds in order to

create equity across the state and to help fund various activities like National Tournaments that Speech and debate students participate in

Matt has a formula for dispersal of funds (see email) he sent out this summer

He will continue to update the group on how this project is going

suggested that he get other coaches involved in the project

Also suggested that the funds go to the schools that are involved in supporting the project

It was mentioned that many schools already solicit funds from various businesses and community

organizations and it might not be a good idea to send out duplicate requests

Matt would like to send a letter to every school in order try to get more schools involved

these letters would be addressed to principals, heads of departments and activity directors

Matt is to be commended for his original ideas and enthusiasm

9:30 Moderator’s reports

Speech (Pat Spilecki, Lewiston HS)

New ballots for speeches are being created that will make the critiques more useful to students that will more closely reflect the guidelines in handbook

Lyndsy Denk has agreed to work on these new ballots

The new ballots should make judging much easier

Congressional Debate (Paul Bibeau, Kennebunk HS)

First national champion from Bangor!

Paul could not be at meeting but things seem to be going well with Congress at this time

Lincoln-Douglas (Dan Haskell, Chevrus HS)

Will look at rewriting guidelines for LD debate after the by-laws are approved

Public Forum (Joe Pelletier, Bangor HS)

Need to work on better citations in giving evidence with guidelines coming from NSDA

Question about is there theory in PF?

10:00 Technology Report

Need to replace one of the PC’s which is struggling to function

there is a tech email address: [email protected]

list it under contact information

send information that needs to be put on webpage to this address

tabroom needs to be updated by all coaches

try to get all tournaments on the calendars this season

Samuel is working on scanning all ballots

can do electronic ballots and may be going to a paperless tournaments sometime in the future

perhaps a tournament would like to try and experiment with this method

10:10 Tournament Calendar

TENTATIVE Calendar for 2015-16 (to be confirmed in September)

Coaches Conference on Friday, Sept 11th – –  location tba

Debate Bootcamp for students and coaches Sept 26th

Lincoln Academy: Speech and Debate

October 17: Lincoln Academy Novice Debate (speech possible)

October 24: Bangor (All Events)

October 31: TBA

November 7th Falmouth (All Events)

November 14:  Maranacook (All Events)

November 21: Thornton Academy (Speech), Kennebunk (Debate)

December 5: Poland All Events

December 12: Brunswick (All Events)

December 19: TBA

** I know Bangor is back in school on Monday, January 4. That makes the 9th doable, but registration would be rushed

January 9: Greely (Congress Only)

January 16: Skowhegan (Speech), York (Debate)

January 23: State Tournament @ Lewiston HS

January 30: CFL Qualifiers in Poland (Orono might be willing to host)

February 6: NSDA Qualifiers in (Bangor might be able to host)

February 13: possible snow day makeup

May 6: Coaches meeting

Calendar approved.

10:48 Old business

By-laws discussion

The by-laws can be voted into existence at this meeting since that they are only formatting. Move by Jason Curry to accept by-laws. Seconded. Approved unanimously.

Discussion of the tournament entry fees cap

The cap hurts the hosting school. The cap helps students who can’t afford to compete.

Most schools do not fall under the cap issue but it does effect trying to deal with doing all the events: i.e. speech, debate and student congress.

Perhaps it might be better to change the cap.

New Business

Proposed by-laws changes

Moved to make the following changes to the by-laws:

Fees and caps

Change to:

Section B. Tournament Registration fees for Speech and Debate

  1. All student events  will be $7 per student with a cap of $21 per event.
  2. Beginning in 2015-2016 fees will be a maximum of $7 per student per event with a cap of $175 per school per tournament per event and a cap of $280 per two or more events (Events being defined as Speech, Debate and Student Congress).

This by-law change sent by Matt to the listserve and will be voted on by the membership during the week of Nov. 7-14, 2016. Voting will be done electronically with one vote per school. There will be a discussion board available to people to share their opinion in a civil discussion.

Oratorical Declamation

Change to:

Article VII: Section 9

In Oratorical Declamation the use of scripts and a podium are optional.

Vote on change during the week of Oct. 17-24.

If passed, the ballots and handbook should be changed to reflect this change.

State Sweeps Calculation for Public Forum

Change to:

Article IX:

  • Public Forum Debate – First five places counting as 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6  points, respectively.
  • Junior Varsity Division – First five places counting as 7, 6, 5, 4 and 3 points, respectively.
  • Novice Division – First five places counting as 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point, respectively.

Moved and seconded to put this out to membership for a vote

Membership will vote on this change during the week of Oct. 17-24 2015.

Place for civil discussion provided.

States General Procedures

Section D. State Tournament General Procedures


  1. The State Tournament shall be organized and run in compliance with the current National Tournament Rules published by the National Forensics League with the following exceptions:
    1. Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum will provide a “shadow round” for competitors to allow for a 3 round minimum of participation.


  1. The State Tournament shall be tabulated as stipulated in the MFA Tournament Administration Guide.

The document is being created at this time and the event information will contain the various procedures on how to run and tabulate

Since the tournament tabulation guide does not exist just yet, it would be best to set the vote toward the end of the season.

Moved and seconded that this will be voted on Dec. 12-19, 2015

Update State Congressional Debate tabulation

Change to:

Article XI: State Congressional Debate Championships

  1. A Congressional Debate sweepstakes award plaque shall be presented to the school scoring the highest Congressional Debate point total, as well as to the runner-up school. For the purpose of the sweepstakes award, the top five places in each chamber shall be considered. Each school may count its top ten best scores.
    1. Senate:  First five places counting as 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6 points, respectively.
    2. House(s)  First five places counting as 8, 6, 4, 3 and 2 points, respectively.

Voting from Oct. 17-24, 2015

Article XII- General Policies and Procedures

Add to Section E:

In Speech every third, fifth and seventh judge  needs to be unaffiliated based on the number of presentations.

This makes the section follow a parallel structure.

Question: Can a coach work with students from another school

Yes, but the student is still from their home school is registered at the tournament as such.

Question about the need for accommodations and who needs to know.

It is important to follow the accommodations for students when applicable. (ADA) for 504 plans

Coaches need make tournament director if there are any accommodations are necessary and people who need to know are informed. Confidentiality need to be honored at all times. Most accommodations can be dealt with by the coach. Pat will write the script for the briefing given by the tournament director/tab to have with the judge.


discuss the priority of where the money is going-

needs to go to the students

they do need to have an investment


Meeting adjourned