Tournaments & Competitions
The Oregon State University Forensics Team competes regionally, nationally, and internationally in individual events and international public debate. Individual events are public speaking and oral interpretation events that students prepare ahead of competitions. International public debate is an extemporaneous format, modeled on LD-style debate, where students are given a choice of five topics each round. Students prepare for debate by keeping abreast of current events and participating in practice debates before competitions. The team is coached by the Director of Forensics, Mark Porrovecchio, and his graduate assistants from the Speech Communication area of the School of Arts & Communication. The team is open to any undergraduate student in good academic standing. The primary purpose of participation in forensics is to gain skills in public speaking and argumentation. Forensics participation is one of the primary extra-curricular activities employers look for on resumes since it means an applicant possesses self-confidence, communication skills, organizational and time management skills. Why compete? It is as simple as learning to speak for yourself . . . and with others. Click here to contact the team for more information
All students in good academic standing (team requirement: a minimum of 2.5 GPA) are eligible to attend competitions. Students must achieve a minimum of 2.5 GPA for each term they are competing. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits, other than forensics credits. Participation on the team means that the Director of Forensics may access your student records to assure that you meet the stated requirements. Students must be approved by Mark to compete in events and attend tournaments. Please remember that previous success at a tournament is not the sole criterion for future tournament attendance.
For out of region tournaments, students will be chosen based on preparedness, commitment and competitiveness. In all cases, senior members of the team will be given priority over novice members of the team for out of region travel (so long as the issues above are equal). The university pays for most of your expenses except for a meal or two. You must sign up for a tournament by the stated deadline. The sign up sheet will be posted outside the forensics office at least a week in advance of the tournament. Failure to sign up will result in your inability to attend a tournament.
Signing up for a tournament is a commitment to attend a tournament. Students who sign up to attend a tournament and then back out after the deadline will pay the team for all expenses incurred including airfare, tournament registration fees, hotel fee and any other fee incurred. If a student advances to elimination rounds, that student must attend the rounds. Students that skip elimination rounds will pay their event entry fee and may forfeit their ability to attend future tournaments. All students may use preliminary rounds in which they are not competing to socialize or do homework or other legal activities.
All students are committed to watching elimination rounds of both individual events and debate regardless of whether they are competing at that point or not. The OSU insurance policy demands that students engaged in extracurricular activities for which OSU is providing support be transported in university vehicles. Consequently, you may not drive your own car, so don't even ask. As a result, all of us will travel together. Therefore, you MUST be on time. For each tournament, there will be trip information posted on the sign up. You should be there ten minutes before that time so that we can leave as scheduled. Failure to arrive on time is a no-no that only increases the stresses of tournament travel for yourself and the coaches.
You may not leave a tournament or hotel for any reason. You may not leave with friends. They can come to the tournament or hotel but you may not leave with them. The university is liable for you and your safety. The coaches are the legal representatives of the university. Consequently, coaches will establish and enforce team policies (e.g. curfews, departure times, etc.). When in doubt, final decisions will be made by Mark. If you are unsure about an issue or situation, ask him. Illegal drug use and underage drinking will not be tolerated and will result in your expulsion from the team. During regular season tournaments, drinking is not permitted at tournaments even by those who are of age. Bottom-line: this is an extra-curricular activity where you represent OSU. Act appropriately.
Individual events (called IEs) include short preparation (impromptu, extemporaneous), platform (persuasive, informative, etc.), and interpretative (duo, prose, drama, etc.) styles of speaking.
Students who are interested in the specifics related to each type of individual event should consult the American Forensics Association (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament (NIET) webpage.
Please Note: different regional and national tournaments also include non-AFA sponsored events. These can range from experimental to humorous to anything in between. Students will be made aware of the nature of these events on tournament sign up and information sheets.