Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jumping into Debate

Just was communicating with someone interested in debate when I began to direct them to this information only to realize it isn't actually here at my newest blog.  So allow me to "reprint".

Jumping into NCFCA speech and debate

originally Posted by Gina Reynolds on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Under: Debate at
Our journey with NCFCA speech and debate really began several years ago although it only took on an active journey in the last two years.  My hopes is that in putting this information "out there" others will be encouraged to "jump in" much sooner than we did!

Probably three or four years ago we looked into debate because my oldest son Logan was interested in it.  We found a great organization called National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) which had originally been founded by people from HSLDA which was great name recognition for us.  The little information we found on line looked great but we were unable to locate anyone close to us (closest was 2hrs away.)  People told us that many drive that far for a debate club but I knew for us that wasn't going to work.

Knowing what I know now we could have easily started sooner and my oldest son could have had much more time doing something he throughly enjoyed doing for his senior year which was when I was finally able to get something started. The thing was, it seemed very intimidating and though I knew something about speeches I knew nothing about debate.  

You can start knowing nothing and having no club!  My hope is that I can share with you how.  Obviously however, it is a great advantage to you if you can either connect with a local club or start one.  It is just such a great opportunity on so many levels for your kids however that I want to show how easy it can be done.  Maybe easy isn't the right work but how about how "do-able" it can be.  Let's start there.  I've talked to and met so many people that would have their kids involved, "if only there was a club by us."  I'd like to remove that "excuse" so that those "stranded students" can have the opportunity to become great communicators too!  I hope you'll read and come back for future articles to find out more!

 Step One- Check out the NCFCA site and email your state representative.  They may know of some people in your area you can connect with and even if they don't it's likely that they can email with you and answer some of your questions that way.  If there are clubs in your area, check them out, this will be very valuable to you!  For many there may not be so I encourage you to jump in and join NCFCA on your own.

Step Two-Join NCFCA, this will give you access to some tools we'll be using to get you up to speed and on the road to competing.  It's pretty inexpensive, especially if you join before the fall deadline of the year your competing in.  For instance, at time of writing this it's May, I would "affiliate" over the summer for the season beginning in the Fall of 2011. The current rate is $40 per family if you affiliate (join) before September 15th.  

After the first two steps is when the "fun" begins.  More on that in the next post....stay tuned!

Jumping into Debate part II

originally posted by Gina Reynolds on Thursday, June 9, 2011 

For step three go to You-tube and type in NCFCA debate and start watching.  This was very helpful for my students as they saw actual kids debating.   When you search NCFCA debate there will be some fun ones come up to so be sure to watch ones that say things like “full round” or 1AC etc…  Many of the clips are broken up so you can watch each “speech” (1AC, 1NC etc…) on a different link.  Here are a couple to get you started that are portions of real rounds. Click here or here.

Now I used some words in that last paragraph that if you have not experienced debate before may have you thinking, “what in the world is a 1AC or full round?”  Really you don’t need to know all the terminology to watch the clips and get a “feel” for NCFCA debate but I do recommend familiarizing yourself with some of the terminology which brings us to step 4.

Step 4 does involve some reading and study but it will be so worth it and once you learn this you don’t forget it (that is of course assuming you go on to debating or helping your kids debate and actually “use” the information you’ve read.)  I highly recommend the Introduction to Policy debate by Christy Shipe.  It’s only $18 (or $13 if you’re an HSLDA member).  This is a great “crash” course that will give you everything you need to know to start.

Another online resource that was useful and free is : This is also a complete debate text but it does was not specifically written to go with NCFCA so there will be some differences.  It’s a good place to start learning some of the specifics if you just can’t wait to get your Introduction to Policy debate ordered or if you really can’t afford it.

Okay, really these four steps will give you everything you need to be a prepared debater in the fall with NCFCA.  Now all that’s left to do is sign up for your first tournament!  The hardest thing about that is waiting for the dates.  Once you’re an affiliate (see step one) keep watching the site and sometime in the fall the dates will be posted for your region.  If you can try to do a practice tournament first though quite honestly there isn’t much difference so if you can’t don’t worry about it and just jump in!

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