Key Announcements and Updates
- The 2024 PHSSL State Championships will be held on March 15th & 16th (Friday & Saturday).
- The PHSSL community welcomes Sharon Volpe as its new Executive Director! Neil Strine will continue as Site Director, and continue to be assisted by Jodi Fetterolf who also serves as the League Secretary.
- The results of the Board election are: Ellen Boyer, Ben Edwards, Holly Smith, and Beth Young.
- View the list of Action Items for planning for the 2023-2024 school year here.
- Access the full minutes (not yet approved) and the addendum to the agenda of the summer Board meeting
- Please save the date for the annual PSDA (Pennsylvania Speech and Debate) Conference to be held in State College on October 6 & 7! The attached brochure gives you a brief outline about the conference. Registration will open for the conference on September 1, but the room block is available now through September 6.
- Please check back for additional information and updates.
Recommended steps to enroll your school in phssl
- Open the online Membership Application Form, complete and submit it.
- Submit a request to your school’s business office for the registration fee and have it mailed to the address on the form.
- Submit a request to your school’s business office to complete the Insurance Requirements Form for participation in the PHSSL State Tournament.
- Continue to look for emails from the state office and to watch this website for updates and news.
- Encourage the participation of many students instead of a few!
From the Director
Welcome to the newly designed (and still in progress!) Pennsylvania High School Speech League site!
When I first joined my high school team a very long time ago, I knew that I had found a home. My small, rural school had one of the largest teams in PA at the time, and we had such a wide variety of students with widely varying opinions. I still thank my coach – often – because he opened a world to me that gave me the life that I have today.
There are many more events in this organization now, and I take great pride in knowing that our coaches are always on the cutting edge of making changes when changes are needed.
If your school doesn’t have a team, start one. Studies out of Yale and Truman State show that students on speech and debate teams have higher ACT and SAT scores, but also, schools with teams perform better in general. Just having our students in classes increases the level of conversation in classrooms so that all students, even students not on the team, have increased learning.
We have events for every type of student. Students should not be surprised if they start in one event and move to another. Look over the description list that we have posted and pick one that feels right. As you learn about others, you can easily make the jump so that you, too, can find your home.
There are trophies, but that should never be your end goal. Learn. Meet people. Become empathetic. Step outside your bubbles and become better.
Coaches, we hope to be a resource for your coaching needs. I want you to feel comfortable reaching out to me to ask questions so that you can provide your students with the best opportunity possible.
Have a great season, and I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can in the coming months.