Latest News & Events of the NCFL

  • "The way to right wrongs is to shine the light of truth upon them."

    The history of violence and racism that targets the Black Community has plagued our Nation for too long. Our hearts are heavy as we acknowledge and denounce the tragic, racist violence that has claimed the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others. The National Catholic Forensic League is in solidarity with all of those who suffer injustice and discrimination. We condemn anyone who acts out of hatred, bias and ignorance. We stand with those effecting change by exercising their First Amendment right to assemble and speak freely.

    Our mission as a League is to provide a forum for anyone - regardless of race, color, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression - to advocate for necessary changes to promote peace, equity and justice.

    American journalist Ida B. Wells wrote: "The way to right wrongs is to shine the light of truth upon them." Students and coaches must seek the truths of kindness, compassion and love. Each of us has a responsibility to speak out to encourage these values. We must use our voice to provide 'leadership through speech.'

    Students and coaches can learn more about how to be a part of truth by:

    We are facing challenges. We pray now more than ever that we will all work together towards a better tomorrow.

    Sincerely,
    National Catholic Forensic League Executive Board


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  • Memorial Day Message from the NCFL

    Today as the NCFL honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S, military, our thoughts are also with those affected by COVID-19. We remember those we have lost, those that are sick, and those whose lives have been forever changed.

    We are grateful to eveyone who has put their lives on the line to make life possible for the rest of us.

    Our prayers will forever be with all of you and your families.

    We will come through this stronger.


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  • Message from the NCFL (Update 5/22)

    While we were looking forward to greeting all of you today, Chicago 2020 was not meant to be. In fact, Illinois is still in the early stages of reopening and even modest gatherings are prohibited. We will sincerely miss seeing all of you!!

    We are happy to announce that we have agreed with Mike & Bernadette Colletti, the Chicago CFL Host Committee, the Hilton Hotel group, and Conference Direct, to host NCFL Nationals in Chicago in 2024, in addition to the previously scheduled 2025. We appreciate everyone's flexibility.

    Congratulations to all of your teams, especially the graduating class of 2020, and the coaches. I know this isn't the way you wanted to celebrate the end of the year, but thank you all for your efforts all year long.

    Finally, a huge thank you to Barbara Fontenot for her eight years of service on the NCFL Board. We will miss honoring her in Chicago this weekend.

    We hope to see all of you in Minneapolis for NCFL 2021 on May 29-30, 2021.

    Please stay safe and enjoy the summer as best you can.


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  • NCFL 2020 Grand National Tournament is Canceled (Update 3/20)

    After careful deliberation, the NCFL is forced to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Chicago NCFL Grand National Tournament.

    As you can imagine, this is not a decision made lightly. We have been carefully watching the updated recommendations from federal, state and local authorities. What matters most is the health and well-being of our event attendees. Given the fast-changing events and most recent recommendations, it has become clear that we cannot safely hold our event on Memorial Day weekend.

    We recognize for many of our coaches and students, this tournament is the culmination of countless hours of hard work and dedication. We are grateful for the efforts of our Chicago hosts, Michael and Bernadette Colletti, and the entire Chicago CFL Team of coaches, volunteers, and students. They have worked hard to have everything in place and were looking forward to seeing all of you. However, current restrictions on travel, large group gatherings, and the concerns from our competition sites made it impossible to work out a viable tournament plan. We are also grateful to the staff of the Chicago Hilton and the Palmer House Hilton for their partnership in fighting against the odds to try to put this tournament together. Ultimately, this proved impossible.

    We share the disappointment felt by those who have already qualified for the tournament or have had their local qualifiers for the Grand National Tournament cancelled. We sympathize with those who will not have the chance to be recognized as a National Participant, Finalist, or Champion. We also recognize the impact on members of the Class of 2020, whose forensic careers may end in a manner unforseen just a few weeks ago. But we must acknowledge the gravity and reality of the current situation.

    As we work through the ramifications of this decision, we have every expectation that the Grand National Tournament will return in 2021 to Minneapolis, MN. Planning for that tournament continues. While we cannot make up for the loss of this year's tournament, our goal is to make next year's tournament a celebration not only of Speech and Debate excellence, but of our resilience as a community. We remain committed to our inclusion and diversity initiatives and our motto of "Leadership Through Speech." We look forward to seeing you there.

    The Grand National Tournament was already scheduled to return to Chicago for 2025. Since we couldn't make it to Chicago in 2020, we are working with our local hosts to return again in 2024 as well.

    We also hope you will consider making an online donation to the 2020 service project recipient, Elyssa's Mission at http://elyssasmission.org and to support their efforts to provide help, support and suicide prevention programs to prevent teen suicide. Our mission to leave our host cities better than we found them is still our goal for Chicago, even without a tournament this year.

    Since 1951, the NCFL has existed to offer high school students an opportunity to articulate leadership, and to seek the truth spoken in charity. This mission has not and will not change; our focus has always and will always be what is best for our students.

    We pray for the safety of our students, our coaches, all their families and our nation during this crisis. Please know all of you are and will continue to be in our thoughts.


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  • NCFL COVID-19 (Update 3/16)

    NCFL Coaches & Directors,

    While plans are still in process to host NCFL Nationals in Chicago, given the severity of the situation and latest CDC guidelines, we are adjusting our registration procedures and deadlines to conform to the most current recommendations.

    We will send out the revised tournament registration and hotel reservation procedures as soon as we are able.

    The NCFL recognizes the difficulty our members are experiencing, and hope you are all safe and healthy during this unprecedented event.

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  • NCFL COVID-19 Statement (Update 3/13)

    NCFL Coaches & Directors,

    We are keenly aware that you are following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates being sent to you from your school districts and government officials, and are wondering what the remainder of the school year holds for your team. While the status and directives in regards to COVID-19 are changing hourly, we do want to do our best to keep you apprised of the current state of affairs for NCFL 2020.

    At this time, The National Catholic Forensic League 2020 Grand National Tournament will proceed as scheduled over Memorial Day weekend in May. The State of Illinois has asked all event organizers to move their meetings to May, and our usual schedule is in compliance with that order. We are hoping that the school travel restrictions are lifted by early May and we can proceed with everyone attending. That said, we are closely monitoring Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Illinois, and the City of Chicago, and will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

    Due to COVID-19 precautions, we have created a revised registration deadline, and a new refund policy for our 2020 Grand National Tournament. We hope the extra time gives you space you might need to determine Qualifiers, and get permission from schools to attend. And with the new refund policy you can register without financial risk. We will, as always, allow name changes up until the day of the tournament so you can juggle your attendees as needed.

    For NCFL 2020, the following deadlines and refund guidelines will apply:

    As a reminder, the NCFL does not prescribe how your local qualifiers are determined. If you can't fit a traditional qualifier into your school's schedule or limitations, you can use whatever mechanism your local league would like to use to determine the qualifiers.

    Registration instructions for Diocesan League Directors will be sent out this weekend. Registration will open on Monday, March 16.

    We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 updates and inform you with any changes as we move forward. For now, we urge you to remind your members to follow your local government and COVID-19 precautions from the CDC. The National Catholic Forensic League has been carefully following the latest updates regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We encourage you to monitor the CDC guidelines and updates at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov and follow all personal care recommendations.

    We will continue to post updates on this and all other important tournament matters on NCFL.org and NCFLNationals.org.

    Wash your hands often, be safe, and stay healthy!

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  • NCFL Coronavirus Statement

    The National Catholic Forensic League has been carefully following the latest updates regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    At this time, based on the latest posted CDC travel recommendations, the NCFL Grand National Tournament will be held in Chicago as scheduled. We continue to monitor updates from the CDC and federal, state, and local health organizations and will post updates on this and all other important tournament matters on NCFL.org and NCFLNationals.org.

    We encourage you to check the CDC guidelines and updates at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov and follow all personal care, travel, and safety recommendations. Be well. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago in May.

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  • Hotel Blocks Open

    Reservations are can be made for individuals or groups through Conference Direct.

    See NCFLNationals.org for more information.

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  • Fall Meeting Minutes

    The minutes from the 2019 NCFL Fall Meeting have been posted.



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  • NCFL Web Updates

    As a result of rules changes from the fall meeting, the following documents have been updated on this website.



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  • 2020 Service Project

    Chicago, IL

    This year, our hosts in the Chicago Diocese have selected Elyssa's Mission e beneficiary of the NCFL's annual service project.

    Elyssa's Mission
    CREATING A SAFER TODAY
    FOR OUR YOUTH

    Click here to find out more.

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    2020 NCFL Grand Nationals - Chicago

    Now that Nationals 2019 is in the books, we can look forward to next year's tournament in Chicago. Our Chicago hosts have been working hard to get the city ready for our arrival. They put together the following preliminary information for the tournament.


    Click here to see the presentation.

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    Congratulations to the 2019 NCFL National Champions

    Thanks to all that made the 2019 NCFL Grand National Tournament a great success. We would like to thank all speakers, coaches, and judges. Thanks to our Tab Staff and all of our Tab Chairs for working so hard over the weekend. Thanks to our hosts in Milwaukee for putting together an amazing weekend. Thanks to Steve Sexton and all the work he did to make Milwaukee a reality. He is missed. We will see you in Chicago next year.

    • Declamation:
          Neeley Robertson - Laurel Christian School
      • Coached by: Anita Boyd
      • Diocese of Biloxi
    • Dramatic Performance:
          Adrian Tejada - Democracy Prep Endurance
      • Coached by: Luis Cardenas and Sarah Rosenburg
      • Diocee of New York
    • Duo Interpretation:
          Christian Chase and Nicholas Marino - St. Thomas Aquinas
      • Coached by: Jennifer Kwasman and Casey Golden
      • Diocese of Miami
    • Extemporaneous:
          Brian Zheng - Naperville North
      • Coached by: Lisa Dinon
      • Diocese of Joliet
    • Lincoln-Douglas Debate:
          Maya Arora - Cape Fear
      • Coached by: Raleigh
      • Diocese of Kavita Persaud
    • Oral Interpretation:
          Josh Moton - Comeaux
      • Coached by: Jacob Simon and Ginna Biddick
      • Diocese of Lafayette
    • Original Oratory:
          Tani Washington - Deep Run
      • Coached by: Sheryl Gibson
      • Diocese of Richmond
    • Policy Debate:
          Luke Bledsoe and Jet Semrick - Shawnee Mission East
      • Coached by Trey Witt
      • Diocese of Kansas City
    • Public Forum Debate:
          John Manahan and Yash Patel - Delbarton
      • Coached by Father Michael Tidd- OSB, Mr. Philip Bauchan, Mr. LaJuan Foust, Ms. Abby Deely
      • Diocese of Patterson
    • Congressional Debate:
          Nathan Felmus - Bronx High School of Science
      • Coached by Tim Huth
      • Diocese of New York

    Click Here for a Full Set of Results

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  • 2020 Grand National Tournament

    Thanks to all members of the Milwaukee CFL for making us feel at home at the 2019 NCFL National Grand Tournament.

    Congratulations to our winners. Full results have been posted on the NCFL APP, NCFLNationals.org, and on TABROOM.com.

    Diocesan Directors can get the eletronic ballots from TABROOM.com.

    We will see you in Chicago 2020 for another Memorial Day Weekend Extravaganza.

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  • In Memoriam - Steve Sexton

    The NCFL is saddened by the loss of Steve Sexton. Steve served as the Diocesan Director of the Milwaukee League. He and his team have been working to welcome us to Milwaukee over Memorial Day Weekend. He will be greatly missed and the thoughts and prayers of the entire NCFL are with him and his family.

    The following speech was given at the CFL Qualifier in Milwaukee to honor Steve and his contributions to the League.

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  • 2019 Service Project

    Milwaukee, WI

    This year, our hosts in the Milwaukee Diocese have selected Pathfinders Milwaukee to be the beneficiary of the NCFL's annual service project.

    Pathfinders
    Empowering Youth
    Changing Lives

    Click here to find out more.

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  • Connectivity Rules in Place for 2019 NCFL Grand Nationals

    This document covers the Internet Connectivity rules that will be in place and enforced at the 2019 NCFL Grand National Tournament in Milwaukee.

    These rules supercede any rules posted elsewhere.

    2019 NCFL Connectivity Guidelines

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  • Extemp Topic Release and Call for Questions

    The topic areas for the 2019 NCFL Milwaukee Grand National Tournament are as follows:


    The NCFL invites YOU to write the Extemp Questions for NCFL 2019. Please send any and all suggested questions to Extemp@NCFL.org before April 20. When sending questions, be sure that each question is from one of the designated Extemp Topic Areas, and please indicated which Topic Area your question(s) are for.

    You can send as many questions as you'd like.

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  • Hotel Blocks Open Tuesday 1/22

    Start looking out for NCFLNationals.org. Information for Milwaukee will be available there starting on Monday, January 22nd.

    Site Locations and Hotel Information will be available there, along with links to the Conference Direct Hotel Reservation Pages.


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  • Fall Meeting Minutes

    The minutes from the 2018 NCFL Fall Meeting have been posted. We are sorry for the slight delay.



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  • NCFL Web Updates

    As a result of rules changes from the fall meeting, the following documents have been updated on this website.



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  • Hurricane Michael

    Once again, the NCFL is saddened by the devastation of the latest storm.

    The collective thoughts and prayers of the NCFL are with all of our friends that were affected by Hurricane Michael.

    Please let us know what we can do to help.

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    2019 NCFL Grand Nationals - Milwaukee

    Many thanks to Steve Sexton and the Milwaukee group for the work they are doing to get everything ready for NCFL Nationals in 2019. We are confident that this tournament will be an amazing experience for all competitors, coaches, and judges.

    This is the power point presentation that Steve presented at the NCFL Fall Moderators' meeting.

    We are posting it here and will mirror it on the NCFLNationals website as we get closer to the tournament.

    Click here to see the presentation.

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  • 2019 - 2020 Policy Debate Topic Selection

    The 2019 — 2020 list of Policy Resolutions has been released.

    The NCFL moderators have been asked to cast their vote and the league will then cast their vote for the topic.

    NCFL Diocesan directors should have a link to survey monkey to cast the vote for their league. If they cannot access the link, they can simply email charlie4n6@gmail.com to get a copy of the link.

    Here are the five topics (in no particular order)

    Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.

    Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its development and/or military assistance to the Republic of India.

    Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its constructive engagement with one or more of the following: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria.

    Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially change its nuclear weapons strategy.

    Resolved: The United States federal government should ratify or accede to, and implement, one or more of the following: Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Trans-Pacific Partnership, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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  • To Those Affected by Hurricane Florence

    The collective thoughts and prayers of the NCFL are with all of our friends in the path of Florence.

    We hope all remain safe. Please let us know what we can do to help.

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    Fall Meeting Information

    The 2018 Fall Meeting for NCFL Moderators will be held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Friday-Saturday, Sept 28-29, 2018. Start time and agendas will be posted as they become available.

    You may book rooms through this link: Hilton NCFL Fall Meeting Booking

    Please send agenda items to Mike Colletti (bigmike4n6@aol.com) as soon as possible.


    The meeting will run from 4:30 until 6:00 on Friday. Saturday times will be decided on Friday night.

    Steve Sexton and the folks from Milwaukee have put together a number of incredible opportunities. Please see the attached PDF for a list of available activities.

    Fall Meeting Activities

    Payment may be made by check or credit card. Please click: http://ncflnationals.org/NCFL2019/fallmoderatorsform.html.

    We look forward to seeing you in Milwaukee.

    The following article should get you and your leagues excited about why Milwaukee is a great destination: WHY MILWAUKEE.

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    Congratulations to the 2018 NCFL National Champions

    Thanks to all that made the 2018 NCFL Grand National Tournament a great success. We would like to thank all speakers, coaches, and judges. Thanks to our Tab Staff and all of our Tab Chairs for working so hard over the weekend. Thanks to our hosts in Washington and Arlington for putting together an amazing weekend. We will see you all in Milwaukee next year.

    • Declamation:
          Tani Washington - Deep Run High School
      • Coached by: Sheryl Gibson
      • Diocese of Richmond
    • Dramatic Performance:
          Taylor Turner - James Logan High School
      • Coached by: Justin Kurup
      • Diocee of Sacramento
    • Duo Interpretation:
          Rashon Leday and Jacob Foster - Comeaux High School
      • Coached by: Jacob Simon and Ginna Biddick
      • Diocese of Lafayette
    • Extemporaneous:
          Jackson Segal - Needham High School
      • Coached by: Paul Wexler, Adam Nir, and Greg Cunningham
      • Diocese of Boston
    • LD Debate:
          Eva Lamberson - Canfield High School
      • Coached by: Jeremy Hamilton
      • Diocese of Cleveland
    • Oral Interpretation:
          Anthony Redriguez - Comeaux High School
      • Coached by: Jacob Simon and Ginna Biddick
      • Diocese of Lafayette
    • Original Oratory:
          Morgan Johnson - Marist High School
      • Coached by: Samantha Paoletti, Laurie Hrad, Kara Fleharty, and Robbie DiStasio
      • Diocese of Chicago
    • Policy Debate:
          Sumaya Hussaini and Rachel Holzer - Blue Valley Southwest
      • Coached by Jared Zuckerman
      • Diocese of Kansas City
    • PF Debate:
          Brusie & Linck - Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches
      • Coached by Audrey Addison
      • Diocese of Palm Beach
    • Congressional Debate:
          Gabrielle Cabeza - Western High School
      • Coached by Nancy Dean and Dario Camara
      • Diocese of MiamI

    Click Here for a Full Set of Results

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    2019 NCFL Grand Nationals - Milwaukee

    Now that Nationals 2018 is in the books, we can look forward to next year's tournament in Milwaukee. Our Milwaukee hosts have been working hard to get the city ready for our arrival. They put together the following preliminary information for the tournament. Click here to see the presentation.

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    NSDA Summer Conference

    The NSDA hopes you will join them July 28-31, 2018, for the second annual National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. They are excited to offer a range of sessions that support their theme of Radiant Voices: Empowerment through Speech and Debate.

    This year's conference will feature an NSDA Leadership Track!

    There are reduced rates for NSDA and NCFL Members.

    Click here for more information.

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  • In Memoriam - Br. George Zehnle, S.M.

    The NCFL is saddened by the loss of Br. George Zehnle, S.M. Many of you will remember him as the coach of Chaminade High School in N.Y. He served as President of the NCFL from 1986 - 1988. He will be missed by all. Please keep him and the Chaminade community in your prayers.

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  • Congratulations - Catherine Luhr

    Congratulations to Past-President Catherine Luhr who recently received the Richard Gaudette Award, who through her time with the NCFL promoted service and "leadership through speech" at either a local, state or national level. Miss Luhr was honored for instituting a service project to benefit the cities where the NCFL National Tournament. She said "I started the service project and with the help of many other coaches from around the country. There are close to 5,000 people at the national championship who contributed money, food, baby items, gift cards and toiletries. The idea is to leave our national host city better than we found it."

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