Middle School Public Forum Topic

For the Fall of 2015, the Arizona Middle School Public Forum debate topic will be:

“Resolved:  In the United States, the current system of federal income taxation should be replaced by a flat rate income tax.”

This topic will be used at all Middle School PF tournaments this semester.  There will be a new topic in the spring.

One of our own gets Honored!

Congratulations to Horizon High School’s own Speech and Debate Coach, Susan Seep.  We know her as SWSDI’s “El Jefe,” the 2015-16 Arizona Speech, Debate, and Theater Educator of the Year, as well as serving as a 5A Conference representative.  However, her work on behalf of the teachers of her district has earned her the honor of the Paradise Valley Education Association.  In the words of the Association:

“PVEA is pleased to announce our October PROPS winner, Susie Chubrich Seep! Susie teaches Humanities at Horizon and also serves as the PVEA Vice-President. She was nominated by four of her colleagues at Horizon, and here is just part of their statement:

“Susie always goes way beyond the call of duty for not just her students, but the entire staff of HHS. It is amazing that one person can be as “on top of it” as she is. She spends countless hours here at Horizon as well as at other sites assisting teachers in all ways imaginable. Add to this her executive board duties and all she does there to support PVUSD teachers and this woman appears to be superhuman.

However, there’s even more: the kids. Susan’s main focus is the students at HHS. She is part of the Humanities Block program and offers these students an incredible classroom experience. She works in conjunction with an English teacher and our drama teacher to teach students social studies in an integrated curriculum format. The students and the parents love the Humanities Block and Susan is one of the driving forces behind the program.”

Congratulations, Susan – thanks for all you do for your students, colleagues, PVEA, as well as the Arizona Speech and Debate community!

Middle School Tournaments and Information

The ASDCA is delighted to have a role in encouraging the tremendous growth in Arizona Middle School speech and debate.  The following tournaments will have Middle School competition during the 2015-2016 school year:

10/3/15: Prep Congress @ Scottsdale Prep

Will offer separate MS and HS divisions. Anticipate multiple MS houses and a finals session this year.

  • We encourage judges to be hands-on (pausing the round and give guidance on parliamentary procedure) to help make this a meaningful learning experience for new and veteran congress competitors.
  • New Congress judges can find training materials (and sample ballots) on our Joyoftournaments page, and photocopies at check-in.
  • Docket of Legislation is being posted (school names removed) in chunks as legislation is submitted to Wolnisty. Once the deadline for legislation hits, we will ballot down the docket.  Final docket will add author school names back.

10/17/15: Novice Tournament @ Brophy College Prep

  • Willing to offer a MS “Festival” Division (all speech events) in addition to HS division.  Students rated (good, excellent, superior, etc.) rather than ranked.  Focus is comments, exposure to tournament setting, and training judges.
  • Unsure of MS Debate being offered. Look on Joy for invitation details…

11/14/15:  Toro Country Classic @ Mountain View

  • Concurrent with HS tournament. MS students only compete Saturday and must choose one track between: Congress, Public Forum Debate, or 1-2 Speech Events

1/30/16: Bobkitty Congress @ Central High School

  • MS students compete Saturday-only. Concurrent with HS Bobcat Bonanza.  MS students are offered chamber(s) of Congressional Debate.

2/6/16: Phoenix Country Day School Middle School Invitational

  • Middle school invitational (offers all AZ middle school S&D events except Congress).
  • Students need to choose between Speech (1-2 events) or Public Forum.

4/16/16: Spartan Junior Classic (MS Speech-only) @ Gilbert Classical Academy

  • All 9 speech events. No congress or debate.

5/7/16: ASDCA MS Invitational @ Chandler Prep Academy

–      Formerly “Great Hearts Junior High Invitational” (see ASDCA Convention)

–      Students need to choose between Speech (1-2 events) or Public Forum.

6/12 – 6/18/16: National Middle School Tournament — Salt Lake City, Utah

More information about Middle School Speech and Debate competitive events will be forthcoming.

Coaches Convention and Judge Training

Today was the annual ASDCA Coaches Convention.  Congratulations to Beth Clarke on her election as ASDCA President.  John Wolnisty was reelected Treasurer.  Kevin Berlat was elected to complete the current Public Relations term.  The first AIA Committee meeting will be September 16.  Forward any issues to President Clarke by September 4th for consideration.

In addition, there are several judge trainings available.  Tempe Preparatory Academy will hold a judge training on September 14, at 6:30 PM.  Contact John Wolnisty at wolnisty@tpadebate.org for more information.  Mountain View High School will hold their training on September 15, also at 6:30 PM.  Contact mmhowellhaymaker@mpsaz.org.  Finally, Mesquite High will have a judge training on September 29th at 6:00 PM.  Cassie Alber will be able to give you more information at mhs4n6@gmail.com.  All are welcome at all judge trainings.  We encourage you to get as many of your judges and parents trained as possible.  The more judges, the merrier!

Welcome to 2015-16

Dear Coaches,

Welcome to the new school year.  We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2015 ASDCA Coaches Convention which will be held at Barry Goldwater High School on August 29th.  Details and registration are available at www.joyoftournaments.com/az/convention.

In addition, for our new coaches, there is a New Coach Workshop on August 22nd at Mountain View High School.  Details are available on the convention website.  Register by emailing Meg Howell-Haymaker at mmhowellhaymaker@mpsaz.org.

Our Rotating Event for the year is Thematic Oral Interpretation.  The details are below:

Arizona Speech and Debate Coaches Association


Thematic Oral Interpretation Event Description: TOI is a program of oral interpretation of thematically-linked selections chosen from two or three genres: prose, poetry, drama (plays), and non-fiction.

A primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme or argument through the use of narrative, story, language, and/or characterization. Competitors are encouraged to devote approximately equal times to each of the genres used in the program.

At least three pieces of literature that represent at least two separate genres must be used. The use of a manuscript is required.  No more than 100 transition words (not including the introduction) may be added to the performance.

Time Limit: 10 minutes max with a 30 second grace period.

Sources must meet all AIA Interp rules for publication.

Program Oral Interpretation Judging Criteria: An introduction should set the stage, enhancing the interpretation of the literature to the audience, providing information and analysis to the chosen theme. All selections must be verbally identified by title and author. However, where, when, and how these are accomplished are the speaker’s decisions.

2015-2016 Calendar

Here is the calendar as it stands right now, as approved by the AIASDAC at the April 15th meeting.

Sanctioned Calendar for 2015-16

Thespian Convention @ Mtn Pointe—Aug 15th

New Speech & Debate Coach Workshop @ Mtn View—Aug 22nd

ASDCA Convention & Workshops @ Barry Goldwater or other school —Aug 29th

AIASDAC Fall Committee Meeting—Sept 16th

SWSDI Practice Tournament @ Horizon—Sept. 19th 

Prep School Congress @ Scottsdale Prep—Oct 3rd

Brophy Novice Tournament @ Brophy—Oct 17th

Red Mountain Lost Dutchman—Oct 23rd and 24th

McClintock Jim Fountain Classic–Oct 30th-31st

Mountain View Toro Country Classic–Nov 13th-14th

Dobson Invitational—Nov 20th-21st

Winter Trophy—Dec 4th and 5th  (Maryvale possible Div 2 host, Mesa possible Div 1 host)


ASU Southwest Championships—Jan 7th-8th-9th

AIASDAC Jan Committee Meeting—Jan 20th

Prep School Classic @ Chandler Prep—Jan 15th-16th

Thespian Regional Acting Festivals—Southern Jan 23rd and North & Central on Jan 30th

Bobcat Bonanza— – Central High School Jan. 29th-30th

Harvard/Berkeley—Feb. 13th-15th

Thespians—One Act Feb 13th

AZ Nat Quals Congress—Feb 27th

SWSDIT—Mar 4th-5th

AIASDAC State TD Committee Meeting—Mar 9th

State—Mar 18th-19th  (Chandler possible Div 1 host; Salpointe possible Div 2 host)

AZ Nat Quals—Mar 31st-Apr 2nd (APRIL TOPICS)

AIASDAC Spring Committee Meeting—April 20th

Do you want to host a tournament or change divisions?

To all Coaches wishing to host a tournament or change divisions in 2015-2016:

The Arizona Interscholastic Association State Speech and Debate Advisory Committee (AIASSDAC) is asking for any coach who wishes to host a tournament in 2015-2016 to fill out the AIA Intrastate Sanctioning Form.  This form is attached here:  AIA Tournament Sanctioning Form.  It is no longer available online at the AIA website.  Without this completed form, we cannot consider you as an invitational tournament host.

Our final meeting of the year, where we create the 2015-2016 competition calendar, is scheduled for April 15th at 9:30 in the morning.  To insure that all forms are received in a timely manner, we are asking that the forms be sent to Kevin Berlat by April 1, 2015.  They can be faxed to 602-271-2385, attn Kevin Berlat, or e-mailed to berlat@phoenixunion.org.  I will confirm with you when I receive the forms, so if I don’t get back to you, send it again until I do.

The tournament season typically runs between October and March.  We will host a Forensic League of Arizona “Welcome” Tournament in mid-to-late September as a way to hold workshops and provide some “pre-season” competition.

What we are asking from you is that you provide us with alternate dates when you submit your form.  There are a number of schools vying for precious real-estate, and we want to avoid double-booking and back-to-backs as much as possible.  Please make sure that all of your possible dates are times when you can host.  Also, please provide us with a cell-phone number or classroom number where we can reach you directly during our meeting.  We’d rather be able to get in touch with you immediately to work out a conflict then put out multiple versions of the calendar in the weeks after the meeting.

We are always looking for hosts for our Winter Trophy and State Tournaments.  If your school has never hosted a tournament before, these are great opportunities to make money from a concessions stand and learn about the finer points of tournament management.  If you want to host one of these tournaments, don’t fill out a sanctioning form, just let me know.  Hopefully, we can lock in hosts for them as well on April 16th.

In addition, we will also approve those who wish to either move up or down in division.  Even if you changed your placement 2 years ago, you must reapply for the division change.

Division Alignments

  • Our initial division alignment is set at 1900. Schools with a population above this are in Division 1, and schools under this population are in Division 2.
  • Schools who join with no recent history of speech and debate activity will begin in Division 2.
  • Schools can petition up or down by submitting a petition to the AIA SDAC. Decisions will be made at the April 17th
  • We will follow the AIA 2 year cycle, and will look at divisions again in 2017.

Criteria for Division Placement Petitions

  • Participation in Speech and Debate over the previous 4 years.
  • Student enrollment including previous four (4) school years
  • Geography/loss of school time
  • Makeup of student population
  • Competitive history over last four (4) school years in all activities
  • Effect of movement in equity of numbers between divisions
  • Any other information considered significant by the appealing school

Submit your petition to me by April 1, and it will be considered at the meeting.  We will notify you after the meeting whether or not your petition has been approved.