The word forensics means to investigate. That's why there is forensics medicine and forensics law, and forensic speaking - we investigate and establish facts.
THE COMPETITIVE NATURE OF THE ACTIVITY
Just like in investigative medicine or in court, there is a competitive side to forensics. In Speech and Debate, we attend tournaments.
Competitors gather at tournaments, break up into several rounds by events, give speeches before judges, and are ranked. Awards, usually trophies, are awarded anywhere from first to fifth place in each individual event. Debate competition has a similar structure and often happens at the same tournaments.
THE ACTUAL COMPETITION ROUNDS
A "round" of an individual event or debate usually has fewer people in the room than does the typical speech class. Usually the only people in the round are the five or six competitors and the judge. Infrequently, there are observers. Sometimes, if it is a final round, there may be more people, but by that time, the competitors have generally given their speeches enough times that they are quite polished and may even relish a crowd.
Your competitors are pretty much like you, beginners when you are a beginner; more advanced as you become more advanced. Should you be a novice and enter into an "open" division, you may meet competitors with more experience. If divisions are combined, often tournament directors will recognize novice competitors who did especially well.
Your judges are often you a few years down the road. They frequently competed themselves and now are upper classmen (if you are in novice division) or graduate school, or are the speech professors themselves. Sometimes (not as often), they are community volunteers.
Last updated: 6/23/2010 11:47:38 AM