Arts

Speech & Debate

Speech & Debate

To be, or not to be a member of our speech and debate team—that's really a no-brainer. This award-winning program has represented Loyola Blakefield on the local and national stage for decades. Members meet every day after school to refine their oratory skills in areas such as Lincoln-Douglass debate, congressional debate, declamation, interpretation, extemporaneous speaking, and more. On weekends throughout the school year, speech and debate students travel to national and state tournaments to put their skills to the test. Members of our speech and debate program have won many individual championships on the local, statewide, regional, and national levels. This program builds leadership skills while raising the craft of speech and debate to an art form.

Contact

List of 1 members.

Speech Events

List of 10 items.

  • Dramatic Performance

    Students present selections from published plays, screenplays, fictional or non-fictional work that are either serious or humorous in nature. The selections must be memorized with a maximum length of ten minutes.
  • Duo Interpretation of Literature

    A presentation by two participants of a single selection of literature. Each performer may present one or more characters. Each character should be sufficiently developed and should interact meaningfully with the other characters. The sections must be memorized. Movement should be limited and suggested rather than exaggerated. The maximum length is ten minutes.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking

    Each student draws three topics on current domestic, international, or economic issues; chooses one and has thirty minutes to prepare a speech of a maximum length of seven minutes. Students may use periodicals or other published materials, filed beforehand, to assist them. Students may not refer to any written notes during the speech. 
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature

    Students present selections in two categories -- prose and poetry. Each selection must be a maximum of ten minutes in length. The student must hold a manuscript and appear to be reading. The students alternate between rounds of prose and rounds of poetry. 
  • Oratorical Declamation

    Open to students in the ninth or tenth grades only. Students must use a speech or portion of a speech previously given by another person. The speech must be memorized with a maximum length of ten minutes. 
  • Original Oratory

    Students prepare original orations, usually persuasive on a current topic. Any topic is permissible and any form of oration is permitted. The presentation must be memorized, with a maximum length of ten minutes. 
  • Impromptu (Supplemental Event)

    Students draw a topic or quotation, and have two minutes to prepare and five minutes to speak on that topic or quotation.    Impromptu is a non-national-qualifying event in the BCFL.
  • Children’s Literature (Supplemental Event)

    Students read a children’s story from a manuscript and attempt to bring the story to life.  The maximum length is ten minutes.  Children’s Literature is a non-national-qualifying event in the BCFL.
  • Informative Speaking (NSDA Event only)

    Students write an original speech designed to inform others about an issue or topic. The speech must be memorized and has a maximum length of ten minutes. This event is not offered in the BCFL, but only at tournaments that run under NSDA rules.
  • Programmed Oral Interpretation (NSDA Event only)

    Students interweave prose, poetry, and drama selections, centered around a main theme. The student reads from a manuscript.  The maximum length is ten minutes. This event is not offered in the BCFL, but only at tournaments that run under NSDA rules.

Debate Events

List of 4 items.

  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate

    Individual students debate issues of values and philosophy.  Students are judged on persuasiveness, logic, argumentation, evidence, and clarity of speech.  The topic being debated switches every two months.

    For example, the September/October topic is:

    Resolved: Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.
  • Policy Debate

    Two teams of two debaters argue a single policy-based resolution for the entire year. Students are judged on analysis, reasoning, evidence, organization, refutation, and theory.  

    For example, the 2016-17 policy resolution is:  

    Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Public Forum Debate

    Two teams of two debaters advocate or reject a position posed by the resolution, which usually is taken from current events. The focus of the debate is a clash of ideas in a persuasive manner that can be understood by a “lay” judge. The topic being debated switches every month after October.  

    For example, the September/October topic is:

    Resolved: In the United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.
  • Student Congress

    Students write bills and resolutions, and then debate their merits in a mock congress session that follows parliamentary procedure. Students are judged on delivery, organization, evidence, logic, decorum, and mastery of parliamentary procedure.
500 Chestnut Ave. Towson, MD 21204
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