The National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA) is a speech and debate league for homeschooled Christian students in the United States. It offers Team Policy and Lincoln Douglas debate, as well as a variety of interpretive, platform, and limited-preparation speech events.
The current NCFCA organization was founded in 2001, but began in 1995 as a project of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Because homeschooled competitors do not have schools to compete with, NCFCA competitors compete with "clubs", groups of competitors, parents, and coaches who work together to train students and host tournaments and other events. For a list of NCFCA clubs, see the Clubs hub page.
Team Policy (policy debate)
Lincoln Douglas (values debate)
After dinner speaking (wildcard)
The NCFCA divides competitors into ten regions based on their state. These regions have changed several times; as of the 2012-2013 competition season, they are:
- Region I - Hawaii
- Region II - Alaska, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
- Region III - Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
- Region IV - Oklahoma, Texas
- Region V - Iowa, Kanasa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska
- Region VI - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
- Region VII - Alabama, Arkanasa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
- Region VIII - Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
- Region IX - Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
- Region X - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
According to the NCFCA, the regional system is intended to "build a sense of community and cohesiveness among students, clubs and local NCFCA leadership", and "[provide] opportunit[ies] for students to progress to higher levels of competition as their skills develop."
Tournament structure and qualification
The NCFCA officially sanctions four types of tournaments:
- Regional qualifiers: Most tournaments are "qualifying tournaments", which generally last three days (often Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), and feature all NCFCA events. Competitors who do well at regional qualifiers qualify to compete at their region's Regional Invitational tournament. (Generally, breaking to outrounds in an event qualifies the competitor for Regionals, and debaters with a 4-2 record or better automatically qualify to Regionals.) A competitor can only compete in the regional qualifiers within their own region.
- Regional invitationals: Each region has one Regional Invitational tournament at the end of the competition season; only competitors who did well at regional qualifiers are eligible to compete. Each region is given a set number of slots at the National Championship in each event, and competitors who place highly enough at Regional Invitationals qualify to compete at the NCFCA National Championship.
- The NCFCA National Championship: The NCFCA holds one National Championship every year. Only competitors who placed highly at their respective Regional Invitationals, received an invitation from a National Open, or qualified through the At-Large system are eligible to compete.
- National Opens: Several National Opens are held every year; they are much like regional qualifiers, but they are not restricted to competitors from a specific region, and the top two (or three) finalists in each event qualify directly to the National Championship.
In addition, local clubs often hold unofficial "practice tournaments" or "round robins" to help their members hone their skills.
In addition to Regional Invitationals and National Opens, competitors may also qualify to the National Championship through the At-Large system, by consistently doing well in regional qualifier tournaments.
Judging pool and philosophy
According to the NCFCA, the ultimate purpose of forensics is to "provide a means for home schooled students to learn and exercise analytical and oratorical skills, addressing life issues from a Biblical worldview in a manner that glorifies God." Competition in the NCFCA is seen as practice for future communication, not simply as a game.
One outcome of this can be seen in the NCFCA judging pool. Unlike many other leagues, NCFCA speech and debate rounds may be judged by community judges and parent judges as well as experienced coaches and alumni. This requires speakers and debaters to adopt a conversational style focused on persuasion, rather than technical styles such as speed-and-spread.
NCFCA debate resolutions change every year; generally, the Resolution Committee selects three options, and NCFCA affiliate families select the final resolution by a national vote. Past resolutions are listed below: