PHSSL Competitive Events

(for complete details about these events, please check the PHSSL bylaws as posted on the PHSSL website)

Commentary:
A combination of both extemporaneous and persuasive speaking. It can be both informative and advocative. Knowledge of events and some history is required. Contestants seated at a table or desk for the presentation. Preparation time: 30 minutes. Time limit: 5 minutes.

Cross Examination Debate (Policy Debate):
A clash of two two-person teams, one affirmative and one negative, on the annual national policy resolution. The affirmative presents a case for change in the present system. The negative supports the present system or a counter-proposal for change.

Drama:
Competition in drama is held at the regional and state levels. A school performs a one-act play or cutting of a longer work with more than two characters. Schools advance from each region to the state finals. State competitions are virtual; regional competitions may be live or virtual.

Dramatic Interpretation:
A contestant chooses a cutting from a serious play and memorizes it. The student recreates the scene using appropriate gestures and voices. Time limit: 10 minutes.

Duo Interpretation:
A pair of contestants chooses a cutting from a play and memorizes it. The students recreate the scene using appropriate gestures and voices. Time limit: 10 minutes.

Extemporaneous Speaking:
A contestant selects a topic about a current issue and in the preparation time researches and prepares a speech on the topic. Preparation time: 30 minutes. Time limit: 7 minutes.

Extemporaneous Debate: *
A contestant uses a limited amount of time to prepare one side of a presented debate topic, and then debates against an opponent on the opposite side.

Humorous Interpretation:
A contestant chooses a cutting from a humorous play and memorizes it. The student recreates the scene using appropriate gestures and voices. Time limit: 10 minutes.

Impromptu Speaking: *
A student prepares a brief speech on topics such as proverbs, aphorisms or quotations. A total of seven minutes of time are allocated for preparation and speaking.

News Broadcasting: *
A pair of contestants present a three-minute news broadcast. In subsequent rounds, prepared scripts are used.

Informative Speaking:
Original speeches teach or explain a concept or idea. Time limit: 7 minutes.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate:
A clash of two debaters, one affirmative and one negative, on a values topic. National topics change every two months.

Oral Interpretation of Poetry:
A contestant interprets with script in hand one or more poems. Time limit: 10 minutes.

Oral Interpretation of Prose:
A contestant interprets with script in hand a cutting from a short story or novel. Time limit: 10 minutes.

Persuasive Speaking:
Original speeches convince the audience. Time limit: 10 minutes.

Parliamentary Debate:
A clash of two two-person teams debating both prepared and impromptu topic rounds. The four students in the debate and the judge(s) form a legislative body voting on an issue of policy.

Programmed Oral Interpretation:
The contestant assembles material from at least two genres of literature to create a cohesive and persuasive argument on a topic. Time limit: 10 minutes

Public Forum Debate:
A clash of two two-person teams, one pro and one con on a contemporary resolution. National topics change every month.

Storytelling: *
The contestant re-enacts a published story for the audience. Time limit: 5 minutes

Student Congress – Senate:
In this event students take on the roles of legislators. Using parliamentary procedure, students debate bills and resolutions on current issues.

Student Congress – House: *
In this event students take on the roles of legislators. Using parliamentary procedure, students debate bills and resolutions on current issues.

* – Events denoted with an asterisk are held at the state level only.