Key Announcements and Updates

Summer 2024

  • The 2025 PHSSL State Championships will be held on March 21st & 22nd (Friday & Saturday), 2025.
  • Action Items!

    • In response to concerns about parts of the PHSSL district map having areas of the state that were not in any given district, the map has been readjusted. The expansion of certain geographical areas for some districts did NOT result in any changes to schools and their district assignments.
    • Results from the drama (one act play competition) survey, conducted this past June, have resulted in the following decision: “PHSSL will jointly support in-person One Act plays for the 2024 to the 2025 school year in conjunction with Bloomsburg, and will transition One Acts to Bloomsburg for the 2025 to 2026 school year.”
      Questions about the One Act Play competition should be directed to Ellen Boyer.
    • All judges should check their judge page, look under the blue button labeled “Judge Certification,” and begin their certification process which will be needed for PHSSL districts and states. All judges will need to complete the “Intro to Multicultural Competency” training as well as the other training videos for the events that they will be judging this year.
    • Changes were made in our PHSSL documents that primarily have an effect on district and state tournaments. Please read the District and State Standing Rules for details.
    • PHSSL will be hosting an “Introduction to Congress Judging” workshop in October. Please check this site and your emails for more information as it becomes available.
  • Summer Board Meeting Wednesday June 26   PHSSL Agenda Items June 2024
  • Please check back for additional information and updates, including minutes from the summer meeting.

Recommended steps to enroll your school in phssl

  1. Open the online Membership Application Form, complete and submit it. The deadline for application for any school year (without penalty) is December 1, or February 1 with a late fee applied. 
  2. Submit a request to your school’s business office for the registration fee and have it mailed to the address on the form.
  3. Submit a request to your school’s business office to complete the Insurance Requirements Form for participation in the PHSSL State Tournament.
  4. Continue to look for emails from the state office and to watch this website for updates and news.
  5. Encourage the participation of many students instead of a few!

From the Director

The tournament ended on 3/16 – and it has taken me this long to get caught up in my own teaching and life in general. I hope that you have all had some time to breathe and get caught up on non-speech-and-debate-things.  And if you drove to Erie yesterday (or even Meadville like I did) – I hope that you finally got home. For those of you now preparing for CFLs or NSDAs – Good luck!

Many of you knew Alice Ursin, former ruler of all that is congress, died recently. Alice started coaching at Bethel Park when I was still in high school. She was kind to me when I became a cocky coach (when I did not yet realize that coaching speech and debate is so much more than just teaching kids to win a round and more about making them into human beings in general). We were friends, and I am thankful that I got to say goodbye to her. Her obituary [] for those who are interested One of her favorite things to do was research her Scottish ancestry, and her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids were her pride and joy.   Bidh mi gad ionndrainn, a charaid ghràdhach   – I will miss you, dear friend.

Scott Wunn sent wishes [] from the NSDA through Beth.


Next year’s state tournament is going to be on March 21-22, 2025


I know that Neil ordered the plaques and ribbons that were missing. Hopefully those arrive and can go out to those of you who need them in a timely manner. (I’m still chuckling at the Humorous First Place School Plaque. I looked down just before handing the plaque to Neil on the stage – and the spelling was something like “HumeereousInterpretattion.”  Oof. We will get that fixed!!! – and if you don’t want that original plaque, I would like it back to remind me of my first year in this position with PHSSL!)



We are working on the web site. Take a look at everything from the Hall of Fame winners to the past champions. If you find errors, let us know. If you can fill in blanks, let us know!

If there is something that you want the board to discuss this summer at the board meeting, email me (or Jodi or anyone on the board!).

ISD gave scholarships for their summer camps. If your student was a finalist at the state tournament, they can get money off a week or two at an ISD camp.  I’m attaching the certificates, and I gave a list of the finalists  to the people who run ISD. If your finalist doesn’t want to use their discount, you can pass it on to anyone else who would like to use it. Discounts cannot be stacked.

Here is the advertisement for camp – []

Have a fabulous end to your school year, and reach out if you need me!


-Sharon Volpe