National Catholic Forensic League

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National Catholic Forensic League
Non Profit Organization
Founded 1951
Key people
Charles Sloat, President
Roberta Hyland, First Vice President
Barbara Fontenot, Second Vice President
Michael Colletti, Executive Secretary - Treasurer
Susan Peebles, Publicity Director / Recording Secretary
Roland Burdett, "National Tournament Director"

The National Catholic Forensic League (CFL) is a speech and debate league that was formed in 1951. It is organized into regions which correspond to Roman Catholic dioceses. Member schools include both public and parochial high schools. The CFL recruits member schools in both the United States and Canada. As of January, 2011, there were 65 active dioceses with CFL leagues. The IRS recognizes the NCFL as an organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations.[1]

CFL sponsors the Grand National Speech and Debate Tournament held each year over Memorial Day weekend. CFL offers an array of events similar, but not identical, to those of the National Forensic League.


  • Dramatic Performance – A ten-minute memorized performance of a dramatic or humorous selection of literature.
  • Duo Interpretation of Literature – A ten-minute memorized performance of a dialogue, story, or script by two performers, who are required to maintain off-stage focus and to not look at or touch each other.
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature – A ten-minute reading event, alternating between Prose and Poetry each round.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking – A seven-minute analytical / persuasive speech on a question of current events, given with only 30 minutes' prior notice.
  • Oratorical Declamation – A ten-minute memorized performance of a historical speech, commencemnent address or former competition speech to be delivered as if it were the speaker's own address. Limited to freshmen and sophomores.
  • Original Oratory – A ten-minute memorized original speech delivered to inspire or persuade the audience.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Value debate on a topic chosen by the NCFL specifically for the Grand National Tournament. Four Minutes of preparation time is allotted to each debater per debate.
  • Policy Debate – Two-person, switch-side, cross-examination debate, with five minutes of preparation time per team, on the national topic.
  • Public Forum Debate – A team event that advocates or rejects a position posed by the resolution. The focus of the debate is a clash of ideas in a persuasive manner that can be understood by a "lay" judge. Side and speaking order are assigned to each team every round in order to ensure students have the opportunity to debate both sides of a topic.
  • Student Congress – Mock legislative sessions where students debate bills and resolutions submitted by schools from participating dioceses.

National Tournament Sites[edit]

Past NCFL National Champions in Congressional Debate and Lincoln–Douglas Debate[edit]

Congressional Debate[edit]

1995 – Bill Gallagher, Xavier High School, NY

1996 – Duarte Gerladino, Brooklyn Technical High School, NY

1997 – Sean Carmody, Pleasantville High School, NY

1998 – Seth Green, Taravella High School, FL

1999 – Matt Brennan, Iona Preparatory, NY

2000 – Ian Amelkin, Stoneman Douglas High School

2001 – Matt Spritz, Nova High School, FL

2002 – Scott Jacobsin, Nova High School, FL

2003 – Daniel Chapanian, Shrewsbury High School, MA

2004 – Matt Turetzky, Nova High School, FL

2005 – Results unavailable

2006 – Colin Outerbridge, Trinity Preparatory, FL

2007 – Sundeep Iyer, Ridge High School, NJ

2008 – Ben Berkman, Nova High School

2009 – Harlan Downs Tepper, Stuyvesant High School, NY

2010 – Alex Smyk, Ridge High School, NJ

2011 – Morgan Baskin, American Heritage, FL

2012 – Results unavailable

2013 – Michael Cervino, Ridge High School, NJ

2014 – Nic Gerard, Shrewsbury High School, MA

2015 – Carla Troconis, East Chapel Hill, NC

Lincoln-Douglas Debate[edit]

1988 – Lisa Nass, Miami Beach HS, Miami Beach, FL

1989 – David Kennedy, Regis HS, New York, NY

1990 – Jeremi Suri, Stuyvesant HS, New York, NY

1991 – Mark Wunderlich, Walter Johnson HS, Bethesda, MD

1992 – Jerry Vildostegui, Miami Beach HS, Miami Beach, FL

1993 – Christopher J. Regan, Bishop Kearney HS, Irondequoit, NY

1994 – Elizabeth Rogers, Shenendehowa HS, Shenendehowa, NY

1995 – Derek D. Smith, Winston Churchill HS, Potomac, MD

1996 – Randall Martinez, Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, FL

1997 – Mac Hawkins, Lagrange HS, Lake Charles, LA

1998 – Chetan Hertzig, Lexington HS, Boston, MA

1999 – Elizabeth O'Connor, Hunter College HS, New York, NY

2000 – Kevin Farrell, Elk Grove HS, Chicago, IL

2001 – Benjamin Rothstein, Milton Academy, Boston, MA

2002 – Duncan Cooper, St. John’s Prep, Boston, MA

2003 – Nina Thanawala, Ridge HS, Basking Ridge, NJ

2004 – Tara Tedrow, Celebration HS, Orlando, FL

2005 – Tara Tedrow, Celebration HS, Orlando, FL

2006 – Caitlin Halpern, W.T. Woodson HS, Arlington, VA

2007 – Ryan Zehner, Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, Philadelphia, PA

2008 – Ellen Noble, Walt Whitman HS, Bethesda, MD

2009 – Karlyn Gorski, Perkioman Valley, Philadelphia, PA

2010 – Stephanie Franklin, Walt Whitman HS, Bethesda, MD

2011 – Allison Douglis, Ridge HS, Basking Ridge, NJ

2012 – Katelyn Sheehan, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Arlington, VA

2013 – Austin Cohen, Elk Lake High School, Dimock, PA

2014 – Danny DeBois, Harrison High School, Harrison, NY

2015 – Joey Schnide, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Last accessed 7/27/2015