Friendly and healthy Forensic competition is the central focus of the organization.

Individual Event Competition

Archive of Impromptu prompts used at the National Tournament

Lincoln-Douglas Debate Competition

Lincoln-Douglas debate on the intercollegiate level is one-on-one policy debate. Typically, the membership proposes several different topic areas which are used for an entire season. The membership votes on those areas, selecting one. The LD committee then proposes several resolutions.

2022-23 Topic – Election Reform

Proposed 2022-2023 Resolutions:

·  Resolved: The Supreme Court of the United States should overrule one or more of the following decisions: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010); Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008); Rucho v. Common Cause (2019); Shelby County v. Holder (2013); Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (2021).

·  Resolved: The United States federal government should significantly restrict states’ authority over elections to public office in the United States.

·  Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase restrictions on political campaigns for public office in one or more of the following areas: political communication, campaign spending, interest groups.

·  Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase restrictions on political speech in the United States in one or more of the following areas: political communication, campaign spending, interest groups.

2021-22 Resolution

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its counterterrorism operations in one or more of the following areas: statutory authorization for use of military force, air and/or drone strikes, combat and/or 127e programs.

Time Limits for LD

  • 1st Aff. constructive – 6 minutes
  • Cross Examination – 3 minutes
  • 1st Neg. constructive – 7 minutes
  • Cross Examination – 3 minutes
  • 1st Aff. rebuttal – 6 minutes
  • Neg. rebuttal – 6 minutes
  • 2nd Aff. rebuttal – 3 minutes
  • Prep time: 4 minutes

2021-22 Committee

  • LD Chair – Justin Kirk, University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Member – Steven Farias, University of the Pacific
  • Member – Noel Massarelli-Jesionowski, John Carrol University
  • Member – Craig Hennigan, Truman State University
  • Student rep – Sarah Stevenson-Peck, Penn State University

LD Topic Area Rotation

  • 2021-22 –International Relations
  • 2022-23 – Domestic Social / Legal
  • 2023-24 – No Restrictions
  • 2024-25 – Domestic Economic / Technical

Lincoln-Douglas Resolution Timeline

  • Early June – Announce the topic area for the year as per the Topic Rotation bylaw

  • Solicit four topic papers (Due February 1st); Advertise community members to submit topic papers

  • February 1st – Topic papers are due. If less than 6 are submitted then select topic papers from previous years, if more than 6 then vote using ranked choice.

  • February 8th – Topic papers will be distributed alongside a ballot for a vote.

  • March 1st – Topic paper ballots are due.

  • March 4th – The topic paper will be announced.

  • March – The topic committee will begin considering needed modifications at least 3 of the wordings from the topic paper; LD Chair will solicit volunteers to help with research; LD Chair will assign sub-topic papers to be written on potential changes to topic wordings.

  • Nationals – Community Meeting (Committee will present sub-topic papers on potential wordings)

  • Post Nationals – Committee will decide on at least 3 wordings to submit for the ballot

  • May 1 – Ballot opens with at least three resolution options.

  • May 15 – Resolution ballot is due.
    A rank choice voting system will be used to determine the winning topic.

  • July 1 – Resolution is announced.

Experimental Events

  1. All proposals for any experimental event at the National Tournament must be submitted for consideration to the National Council by April 1.  Proposals must include event name, rules, rationale and names and affiliations of authors.
  2. National Council will select worthy proposals to submit to the NFA Student Assembly at the National Tournament.
  3. The Student Assembly, if it chooses to do so, will pick from Executive Council submissions an Experimental Event for implementation at the following year’s National Tournament.

A maximum of one (1) experimental event may be implemented in any tournament year.  The experimental events will not be part of sweepstakes or pentathlon at the National Tournament.  Other appropriate elements of the NFA Constitution, By-laws, and Code of Ethics will apply to the experimental event.  An implemented experimental event cannot be added to the slate of regular NFA events unless it constitutionally replaces another event.  Execution of the experimental event is contingent upon available space.

YearHostEvent Champion
1996Western IllinoisArgumentative InterpAugust Benassi – Bradley
1997Ball StateReader’s TheatreNo entries
1999Eastern MichiganDramatic DialogueJill Valentine – Bradley
2007BerryOriginal ShakespearePaul Gilleland- Wisconsin-Eau Claire
2008Tennessee StateBiographical InformativeStan Polit-Northwestern
2009Drury / Missouri StateEditorial ImpromptuStan Polit-Northwestern
2012OhioForensics CriticismJeremy Johnson-Ripon