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Singapore IDEA-NFL Qualifier

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IDEA has partnered up with the National Forensic League (NFL), the largest and most prestigious debate honor society in the US, to run an NFL Qualifier in Singapore. The first Singapore IDEA-NFL Qualifier will be held at the Anglo-Chinese Junior College by Geetha Creffield. Depending on the number of entries in each event, either 1 or 2 students (or teams) from each event with qualify for the NFL US National Tournament during the summer of 2008. This year the NFL Nationals is taking place in Las Vegas! Information about the NFL and NFL Nationals can be found on their website.


Registration will open in January 2008 and will be open to all IDEA member high schools. Registration will be done through the IDEA website. In the meantime, please contact Alex Dukalskis at with any questions.


There will be 5 events offered at the tournament: Original Oratory, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation and International Extemporaneous Speaking. A maximum of 2 persons will qualify for competition in the US in each event. Rules and links for further training are detailed under each event listing.

Original Oratory

An Original Oratory is a memorized speech of 10 minutes, generally on a pressing social issue. The NFL offers the following guidelines for a successful oratory:

"As orator you will be expected to research and speak intelligently, with a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some profit to your audience, about a topic you have chosen. Although many orations deal with a current problem and propose a solution this is not the only acceptable form of oratory. Your oration may simply alert the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an accepted cause, or eulogize a person. An orator is given free choice of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of development and presentation."


  1. Contest. This contest shall comprise only memorized orations actually composed by the contestants and not used by them during a previous contest season. No visual aids are permitted.
  2. Subject. Any appropriate subject may be used, but the orator must be truthful. Any non factual reference, especially a personal one, must be so identified.
  3. Length. Orations shall require not more than 10 minutes for delivery.
  4. Quotation. Not more than 150 words of the oration may be direct quotation from any other speech or writing and such quotations shall be identified in a printed copy of the oration supplied prior to registration. Extensive paraphrasing from other sources is prohibited.
  5. Script. The coach must have a copy of the orator's script at the tournament, which identifies quoted materials and states the number of quoted words.

Humorous, Dramatic and Duo Interpretations

These three events have the interpretation of literature as their central focus. In each event, students "interpret" a piece from a book, play, poems, or any other appropriate piece of literature to achieve either a dramatic or humorous effect.


  1. Divisions. Separate contests shall be conducted in Dramatic, Humorous, and Duo Interpretation, each presented as memorized selections and without the use of physical objects or costume. Presentation shall not exceed 10 minutes.
  2. Selections. Selections used in these contests shall be cuttings from published, printed novels, short stories, plays or poetry. Recorded material that is not printed and published is prohibited. Adaptations may be for purpose of continuity only. During the presentation the contestant/team must name the author and the book or magazine from which the cutting was made.
  3. Focus: In Dramatic and Humorous Interpretation use of focal points and/or direct contact with the audience should be determined by the requirements of the literature being interpreted. In Duo Interpretation, focus may be direct during the introduction [the performers may look at each other] but must be indirect [offstage] during the performance itself.
  4. Source: A cutting must be a single work of literature: one short story or one play or one novel or on or more poems. The original published source (or if unavailable a microfilm or microfiche copy) of any selection used in Dramatic, Humorous, or Duo must be immediately available at the tournament as well as a complete script of the cutting used.
  5. A complete script of the cutting would include:
    1. A photocopy of every page from which any line of the cutting is taken; pages are to be in the order in which they are performed.
    2. All words used from the script should be highlighted. (any words/lines not used should be left unmarked.)
    3. Any word changes and/or additions must be indicated clearly in ink.

Caution. It shall be the affirmative duty of each coach and each student entered in NFL Interpretation contests to determine absolutely that the cutting being performed meets NFL rules.

  1. Re Use. A student may not use a cutting from a work of literature that student used in NFL district or NFL national competition in any previous contest year. A student entered in two events may not use the same selection of literature in both events.

Extemporaneous Speaking

In this event, a competitor draws a topic 30 minutes in advance of his/her speech. During this time, s/he may consult materials s/he has brought to the tournament, such as magazine clippings or newspapers, in order to craft a 7 minute speech. At the Singapore IDEA-NFL Qualifier, the event will be in the International Division.


  1. Divisions: The divisions shall be the United States and Foreign.
    1. United States Division – Topics will cover U.S. domestic and U.S. foreign policy.
    2. International Division – Topics will cover the domestic affairs of foreign countries and the foreign affairs of all countries, including the United States.
  2. Drawing: Thirty minutes before the contest is to begin, the first speaker shall draw three topics, choose one, and return the other two. The other contestants shall draw in like manner, in the order of speaking, at intervals of seven minutes. The entire list of subjects shall be used for the drawing by each section. A contestant drawing a topic on which s/he has spoken previously in the tournament shall return it and draw again.
  3. Preparation: As soon as a topic is chosen, the contestant shall withdraw and prepare a speech without consultation and without references to prepared notes. Students may consult published books, magazines, newspapers and journals or articles therefrom, provided:
    1. They are originals or xeroxed copies of the originals.
    2. That original article or copy is intact and uncut.
    3. There is no written material on that original or copy.
    4. Topical index without annotation may be present.
    5. No other material shall be allowed in the extemp prep room other than stated above. Extemp speeches, handbooks, briefs and outlines shall be barred from the extemp prep room. Underlining or highlighting in extemp will be allowed if done in only one color on each article or copy. No electrical retrieval device may be used. Printed copies of information from "on line" computer services may be used. Electronically retrieved evidence used in any NFL contest must conform to the citation standard of the Modern Language Association (MLA).
  4. Notes., Contestants may make notes during the preparation time, but the use of notes, cards, briefs or other aids are prohibited during the speech.
  5. Recusal: Contestants shall not leave the preparation area until dismissed by the Extemp Proctor. Consultation with any person other than the extemp monitor between the time of drawing and time of speaking is prohibited.

Further Research and Training

There are numerous links on the web for further research into these events. A good place to start is the NFL website. Specifically, great information on Original Oratory, the Interpretation events and Extemporaneous Speaking can be found on their coach resource website.

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