Adviser: Phil Burrell

    The Bloomsburg High School Forensics Team is a speech and debate team that competes at tournaments throughout the year. Each team member competes in a single event which accumulates points for the team.


    Interpretation Events
    • Oral Interpretation of Poetry and Prose – Reading with a script from poetry, short stories or novels.
    • Dramatic and Humorous Interpretation – Memorized presentation of literature.
    • Duo Interpretation – Two interpers memorize and perform a selection playing two or more characters.

    Speaking Events

    • Extemporaneous and Commentary – Current events questions and topics. Thirty minutes to prepare. Select three topics, pick one.
    • Oratory/Informative/Persuasive – Write and memorize your own speech.
    • Declamation (9th and 10th grade only) – Memorize and present a speech written by another.

    Debate Events 

    • Lincoln-Douglas Debate -- One-on-one debate on value topics.  Topic changes every 2 months
      • Sample topic: Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over  attorney-client privilege.
    • Policy Debate – Two on two debate. Topic remains the same throughout the year. Real world policy analysis research.
      • Sample topic: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.
    • Public Forum Debate – Two on two debate. Topics change monthly. Classroom or television format for debate. Audience is “the common person." 
      • Sample PF Resolution: Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
    • Parliamentary Debate -- PHSSL Only - Three on three debate on policy topics
      • Sample topic: Resolved: That this house believes that people sentenced to life imprisonment should be allowed to choose the death penalty instead.
    • Congress – Students take the place of representatives in Congress to propose and debate legislation


    How Does Forensics Benefit Students? 
    (Resourced from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA)

    1. Forensics offers students an opportunity to develop research, critical thinking, organization, persuasion, and oral communication skills.

    2. Forensics appeals to students with different goals and interests. It provides useful career preparation in law, education, politics, broadcasting, religion, public affairs, business, and other professions requiring critical thinking and communication skills.

    3. Forensics enables students to clarify their personal and social values through confrontation with the value judgments of others.

    4. Students learn respect for dissenting opinions and acquire knowledge and skills crucial to effective participation in a democratic society.

    5. Forensics provides students with an opportunity to develop social skills, including teamwork. Students develop realistic attitudes toward competition through competing responsibly and effectively in an intellectual environment.