National Christian Forensics and Communications Association

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National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA 2000)
Logo of the NCFCA
Formation 1995[1]
Headquarters Mountlake Terrace, Washington, United States [2]

The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association is a speech and debate league for Christian homeschooled students in the United States. The NCFCA was established in 2001 after outgrowing its parent organization, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which had been running the league since it was originally established in 1995. NCFCA is now organized under its own board of directors with regional and state leadership coordinating various tournaments throughout the season.[3]

Structure of the organization[edit]

The NCFCA is an entirely volunteer-run, non-profit organization. Tournaments are run by volunteers, who are usually parents, club directors, and league officials in the area. The judging pool includes parents of competitors, NCFCA alumni, and members of the community. Coaches also serve as judges on a strictly volunteer basis. The NCFCA is governed by a board and divided into ten regions. Each region has a regional coordinator and each state has a representative.


As homeschooled debaters do not have "schools" to compete with, the fundamental unit of the NCFCA is the "club." A club is a group of competitors, coaches, and families who meet together to practice, help one another, and organize tournaments and classes.


The NCFCA is divided into ten regions. This is known as the Regional System and was adopted during the 2003-2004 season to accommodate the growth of the league. Each region receives a specific number of qualifying slots to nationals, the year-end championship tournament held in a different location each June. The number of slots allotted to the region is determined largely by the number of affiliates in that region. A majority of a region's slots are awarded at a regional championship tournament sometime in April or early May, known as "regionals." The rest are given out on an "at large" basis to the highest performing teams that do not qualify through regionals. In previous years, other methods of dividing slots included giving slots to the states in the region, which then held state championships, or simply dividing the slots up amongst a series of pre-regional tournaments.

The ten NCFCA regions are:

  • Region 1: Hawaii and Canada
  • Region 2: Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington
  • Region 3: Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
  • Region 4: Texas and Oklahoma
  • Region 5: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska
  • Region 6: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  • Region 7: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
  • Region 8: Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina
  • Region 9: Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia
  • Region 10: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont

National Opens[edit]

Additionally, a certain number of wildcard slots are awarded each year at competitions known as National Opens. These are large tournaments held mostly at colleges and are open to the entire nation.[4] Qualifying at a National Open tends to be more difficult than a regional qualifying tournament because of their increased size.

National opens since 2005:

  • 2005: California National Open (San Diego, CA); Colorado National Open (Colorado Springs, CO)[5]
  • 2006: California National Open (San Diego, CA); Tennessee National Open (Jefferson City, TN); Colorado National Open (Colorado Springs, CO)[6]
  • 2007: Washington National Open (Seattle, WA); Ohio National Open (Cedarville, OH); Texas National Open (Houston, TX)[7]
  • 2008: Virginia National Open (Virginia Beach, VA); Colorado National Open (Colorado Springs, CO); Texas National Open (Houston, TX)[8]
  • 2009: Texas National Open (Houston, TX); Alabama National Open (Trussville, AL)[9]
  • 2010: Texas National Open (Houston, TX); Massachusetts National Open (Wenham, MA); Colorado National Open (Denver, CO)[10]
  • 2011: Texas National Open (Houston, TX); Georgia National Open (Lookout Mountain, GA)[11]
  • 2012: Texas National Open (Houston, TX); Illinois Open (Joliet, IL); Washington Open (Spokane, WA)[12]
  • 2013: Alabama National Open (Montgomery, AL); Massachusetts National Open (Wenham, MA)[citation needed]
  • 2014: Idaho National Open (Nampa, Idaho); Minnesota National Open (St. Paul, Minnesota); North Carolina (Black Mountain, North Carolina)[13]


During the 2005-2006 season, there were roughly 5,000 competitors, making the NCFCA the third largest national high school speech and debate league after the NFL and the NCFL.[citation needed] These competitors vied for 90 policy nationals slots, 49 Lincoln-Douglas slots, and approximately 400 speech slots. Unlike other leagues, however, individuals are not constrained to one event and may compete in one type of debate and up to five individual events. Thus, 550 nationals slots does not necessarily translate to 550 competitors at nationals. Those who qualify to nationals in five IEs are referred to as "marathoners" and those who qualify in five IEs and debate are called "ironmen." Both are recognized at the awards ceremony and in the NCFCA Hall Of Fame.

Individual events[edit]

The NCFCA offers eleven individual events from three categories: Platform, Interpretation, and Limited Preparation.[14] Platform events are memorized informative speeches written by the speaker. The four current Platform events are After Dinner Speaking, Illustrated Oratory, Informative, and Persuasive Speaking. (Original Oratory was retired for the 2011-2012 season.) Interpretation events are memorized performances of published literary works, usually involving acting. The four Interpretive events are Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Open Interpretation, and Thematic Interpretation. (Dramatic Interpretation was retired for the 2011-2012 season.) Limited Preparation events are speeches delivered with two to thirty minutes of preparation. Limited Prep speech topics are randomly assigned to competitors at their turn. The three NCFCA Limited Preparation events are Apologetics, Impromptu Speaking, and Extemporaneous Speaking.

From 2002-2007 and 2013-2014, the NCFCA also provided a different Wildcard event each season:

  • The 2002-2003 Wildcard was Duo Impromptu. Two competitors would randomly draw three pieces of paper with the words for a person, place, and thing. Then they would have four minutes to prepare a five minute skit incorporating all three nouns.
  • The 2003-2004 Wildcard was Impromptu Apologetics. It was later renamed Apologetics and has become a standard NCFCA event.
  • The 2004-2005 Wildcard was Oratorical Interpretation. The competitor would interpret a famous and/or historical speech.
  • The 2006-2007 Wildcard was Thematic Interpretation. Competitors select several pieces of literature and weave them around a common theme. Thematic interpretation became a standard event for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons, was retired in July 2011, and became a standard event again, for the 2013-2014 season.
  • From 2007-2012, there were no new Wildcard events.
  • The 2013-2014 Wildcard is After-Dinner Speaking. A sort of humorous persuasive or informative speech.[15]

Changes for the 2013-2014 Season[edit]

On July 2, 2013, NCFCA announced the suspension of two of its Individual Events: Biographical Narrative (BN) and Original Interpretation (OI). Biographical Narrative was replaced by After-Dinner Speaking and Informative Speaking, and Original Interpretation was replaced by Thematic Interpretation.[16]


The NCFCA offers two types of debate — Team Policy Debate and Lincoln-Douglas Value Debate.[17] As the purpose of the NCFCA is to train good communicators, not just good debaters,[18] the use of complicated theory and extremely fast talking (also known as "speed and spread") is discouraged.[19] This is accomplished through the judging paradigm. Tournaments employ a mixed pool of judges, but are mostly made up of lay judges. NCFCA debaters are therefore forced to communicate to all levels of judges.

The NCFCA and Collegiate Debates[edit]

As a result of an emphasis on communication and argumentation over speed and theory, former NCFCA debaters tend to do well in college parliamentary debate leagues, as well as communication-oriented policy leagues like the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA). Former NCFCAers dominated the upper levels of the recent NEDA nationals, taking nearly one third of the varsity speaker and team awards.

Many NCFCA alumni compete in the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA),[20] the largest college debate organization in the United States. Several NPDA colleges actively attract former NCFCA debaters, including Point Loma Nazarene, Biola University, Cedarville University, Hillsdale College, and Patrick Henry College.[21][citation needed] Nearly a dozen NCFCA alumni have competed at national level NPDA tournaments and finished among the top 40 teams in fields of 120 to 320 college teams.[citation needed] Several former NCFCA debaters have competed at the invitation only National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPT)E, an annual tournament where the top 56 college parliamentary debate teams in the U.S. gather to compete every spring. No NCFCA alumni have ever finished in the top 10 of the 56 top college parliamentary teams at the NPTE championships[citation needed], though NCFCA alumni have been ranked in the top 10 season rankings.[22]

Several NCFCA alumni have also competed in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA)[23][24][25] and at the British Parliamentary-style World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC).[26]

Former NCFCA debaters also succeed in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMCA). For example, Patrick Henry College's moot court team has won five ACMA championships from 2005-2011;[27] the team is coached by Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris[28] and winners include NCFCA alumni Rachel Heflin,[29] Rachel Blum,[30] Jenna Lorence,[31] and Blake Meadows.[32]

Debate Resolutions[edit]

NCFCA resolutions are chosen annually by affiliate families through a voting process. Each family is allowed one vote per each style of debate.

Team Debate 2014-2015 Policy Resolution: Resolved: The United States should significantly reform its policy toward one or more countries in the Middle East.[33]

Lincoln-Douglas 2014-2015 Values Resolution Resolved: In the realm of economics, freedom out to be valued above equity.[34]

Team Debate 2013-2014 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That federal election law should be significantly reformed in the United States.[35]

Lincoln-Douglas 2013-2014 Values Resolution: Resolved: National security ought to be valued above freedom of the press.[36]

Team Debate 2012-2013 Policy Resolution: Resolved: The United Nations should be significantly reformed or abolished.[37]

Lincoln-Douglas 2012-2013 Values Resolution: Resolved: That governments have a moral obligation to assist other nations in need.[38]

Team Debate 2011-2012 Policy Resolution: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should significantly reform its criminal justice system.[39]

Lincoln-Douglas 2011-2012 Values Resolution: Resolved: In the pursuit of justice, due process ought to be valued above the discovery of fact.[40]

Team Debate 2010-2011 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its policy toward Russia.[41]

Lincoln-Douglas 2010-2011 Values Resolution: Resolved: A government's legitimacy is determined more by its respect for popular sovereignty than individual rights.[42]

Team Debate 2009-2010 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its environmental policy.[43]

Lincoln-Douglas 2009-2010 Values Resolution: Resolved: That competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.[44]

Team Debate 2008-2009 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly change its policy toward India.[45]

Lincoln-Douglas 2008-2009 Values Resolution: Resolved: When in conflict, idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism.[46]

Team Debate 2007-2008 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should substantially change its policy on illegal immigration.[47]

Lincoln-Douglas 2007-2008 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the United States of America ought to more highly value isolationism.[48]

Team Debate 2006-2007 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should be significantly reformed or abolished.[49]

Lincoln-Douglas 2006-2007 Values Resolution: Resolved: Democracy is overvalued by the United States government.[50]

Team Debate 2005-2006 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That medical malpractice law should be significantly reformed in the United States.[51]

Lincoln-Douglas 2005-2006 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the media's right to protect confidential sources is more important than the public's right to know.[52]

Team Debate 2004-2005 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should change its energy policy to substantially reduce its dependence on foreign oil.[53]

Lincoln-Douglas 2004-2005 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the restriction of civil rights for the sake of national security is justified.[54]

Team Debate 2003-2004 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly change its policy toward one or more of its protectorates.[55]

Lincoln-Douglas 2003-2004 Values Resolution: Resolved: That when in conflict, cultural unity in the United States should be valued above cultural diversity.[56]

Team Debate 2002-2003 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its trade policy within one or more of the following areas: The Middle East and Africa.[57]

Lincoln-Douglas 2002-2003 Values Resolution: Resolved: That human rights should be valued above national sovereignty.[58]

Team Debate 2001-2002 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly change its agricultural policy.[59]

Lincoln-Douglas 2001-2002 Values Resolution: Resolved: That the restriction of economic liberty for the sake of the general welfare is justified in the field of agriculture.[60]

Team Debate 2000-2001 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its immigration policy.[61]

Team Debate 1999-2000 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution should be repealed and replaced with an alternate tax policy.[62]

Team Debate 1998-1999 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially change the rules governing federal campaign finances.[63]

Team Debate 1997-1998 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That Congress should enact laws which discourage the relocation of U.S. businesses to foreign countries.[64]

Team Debate 1997-1998 Policy Resolution: Resolved: That the United States should change its rules governing foreign military intervention.[65]

National Championship Locations[edit]


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  2. ^ NCFCA website
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  4. ^ "Rhetoric team to participate in Texas National Open Tournament". Huntsville Item. 2 March 2008. 
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  17. ^ Ida Brown (9 January 2008). "Home schoolers from four states to debate at local church". Meridian Star. 
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External links[edit]

See also[edit]