You are invited to join us in the search of excellence.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Borelli Tournament, run by the New Jersey Speech and Debate League, takes place on Saturday, February 3rd at Freehold Township High School.  Please consider joining us for this important league event. Entries are due Thursday, February 1.  The proceeds of the tournament go towards funding scholarships for the State Champions, who will be crowned in March. Registration is on speech wire.

NJ District Tournament
It’s that time of year again! The District Tournaments are quickly approaching, and the yearly updates and reminders are attached. This year the District registration will be on Tabroom rather than joyoftournaments. We are hoping that this platform will more accessible, and more user friendly in the tabulation process.

World Schools Debate Team:

FIRST:  Due to the last three years’ successful program initiative, this year each District will once again be given another format to qualify students to Nationals as part of the World Schools Debate program. This year we will once again be able to field TWO teams. Immediately following the District Tournaments, New Jersey will create a blended, interscholastic team to compete in the international program in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Each team will consist of 3-5 students (5 being the preferred number) who will train, practice, and ultimately compete as a unit. Any students who are interested in participating in this event must have competed in any of this year’s upcoming District Tournaments (Congress, Speech, and/or Debate) and has or has not initially qualified in their main event. If they so choose, students may preference the World Team above the other qualifying events.  Should any student (or an alternate) eventually qualify in another preferred main event, he or she can accept that main event, and an alternate will replace that contestant, should the World Teams drop below 4. Any student who expresses a desire to compete must be willing to work amicably with the cohort and strive to create a collegial atmosphere representative of Team New Jersey. They should apply with the understanding that they will meet 5 or 6 times on ground at a mutually agreed upon location, and online as a unit prior to Nationals. Any student interested in participating in this new event, should send me a letter/ essay before March 2nd   stating his or her intentions to participate, what contributions he or she could bring to the team, and why the District Committee should consider his or her application. The following link will give your students an idea of what they are to expect:  https://www.speechanddebate.org/competition-events/. Scroll down to World School Debate.

Last year’s teams were extremely successful, one team advancing to the Semifinals in Birmingham, placing 3rd on a 2/1 decision. Although the second team did not advance, they did have an admirable 4/2 record. The two previous years we reached Octofinals in Salt Lake, UT and Quarterfinals in Dallas, TX. We are hopeful that the teams we will assemble will perpetuate the legacy our fledgling team first established. Students may submit their essays to me through email at marytuff@aol.com, as well as by mail to:  Mary Gormley, Montville Township High School, 100 Horseneck Road, Monville, NJ 07045. Should there be any questions or concerns regarding applicants, we reserve the right to reach out to the coach of record for feedback.

This year the deadline date of March 2nd is emphatic. As a District Committee we would like to have ample time to review the applications, and determine whether an added step of competition should be added. NSDA would like the teams announced with the rest of the District results, or very soon thereafter.


ADDITIONALLY: Once again, the National Office is strongly encouraging all Districts to host a Big Questions Debate in tandem with the District Speech and Debate Tournaments. Like last year, the event will look something like a “consolation” second day event at which: 1. Students who are not competing for your team in LD, PF, CX, or IE may pre-register for the 2nd day event, or 2. Students who drop day one of the District tournaments may re-register for Big Questions before leaving on day one, or prior to pairings early on day two. The Champion of the Big Questions Debates will also be a District qualifier to the National tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Registration will take place on Tabroom, using the same link provided for the other District Tournaments. https://www.tabroom.com/index/tourn/index.mhtml?tourn_id=8609. Big Questions registration will open at the same time as the Speech and Debate Tournaments. Please be aware that unlike all other events, Big Questions cannot be preferred over a main event or World Schools. This year’s BQ resolution is: Resolved: Humans are fundamentally different from other animals.

For those unfamiliar with Big Questions, the same link provided for World Schools will lead you to an explanation of this event.

A REMINDER: Make sure your NSDA membership fees are up-to-date, and that your competition points are recorded. Doing this helps your students, your school, and your district. Also, District Congress registration is open, and legislation is due at the end of the week.


The purpose of the NJSDL is threefold:

-to promote interest in all forms of public speech,
-to encourage a spirit of fellowship among its members, and
-to confer upon deserving participants appropriate marks of distinction.

The program of the New Jersey Speech and Debate League of Secondary Schools is to offer students of its members the opportunity for extracurricular competition in various forensic and speaking events. It is not a substitute for curricular speech training nor does it presume established speech curriculum in its member schools. It does, however, enable the ambitious and capable student to develop more than ordinary proficiency in the spoken language. The program here presented may serve as a stimulus to enterprising schools to establish appropriate speech curricula. Member schools in the same geographical areas, moreover, often establish competitive relationships as a result of their contacts during league activities.

For those new to Speech and Debate and wishing to learn more, please visit our “Events” page.

Contact league President Renee Drummond here.

Register with the NJSDL today by completing our registration form.