Speech & Debate

speech team

Team Description:
The Cathedral High School Speech and Debate Team is open to all students from all grades. It is the team’s goal to develop student speakers who are capable of competing at the local, state, and national level. Cathedral has a novice team and a varsity team. Practices are held after school from 3:20-5:00 pm in Room 4238 in Kelly Hall. The practice schedule varies depending on the number of events and the level of the student's ability. The Speech and Debate Team begins preparing in September and finishes competing in March. Typically a student will practice two days a week and must attend a minimum of six tournaments. Tournaments are held on Saturdays. The Cathedral team co-sponsors, with the Office of Diversity and Admissions, the annual MLK Middle School Speech Invitational. The team also runs a middle school Speech Camp in June. Speech and Debate team fees are $90. This fee includes membership in the National Speech and Debate Association, the Indiana High School Forensics Association, and entry fees for the State Tournament and Districts. Students are responsible for their own competition wardrobe.

To learn more about the Speech and Debate Team, contact Coach Jeanne Malone at jmalone@gocathedral.com.

Location and Time of Practice:
Practices are held after school from 3:20-5:00 pm in Room 4238 Kelly Hall. 

Cost / Fees:
Speech and Debate Team fees are $90.

Jeanne Malone


Welcome to the 2018-19 Speech and Debate Season

The Cathedral High School Speech and Debate Team is open to all students from all grades. Team practices are after school with speech and debate meets on Saturdays. The team is led by our co-captains Sammy Kacius and Anna Pohl. Cathedral's Speech and Debate Team is an active member of the National Speech and Debate Association. We also maintain a membership in the Indiana High School Forensic Association as well as the National Catholic Forensic League. Our team is coached by Mrs. Jeanne Malone.

Competitive speech and debate is a fantastic way to develop the speaking skills of a beginner or hone the skills of experienced students who aspire to speak at the collegiate level. Being a skilled public speaker is an essential life skill whether it's in the classroom or on the job. In life most people will find themselves standing behind a podium or engaging others with stories to communicate thoughts and ideas. In competitive speech and debate, students have the opportunity to specialize in several of eighteen different events, gaining an eclectic set of experiences while vying for ribbons and trophies as well as making friends.

For a high school speech and debate program to be successful, it needs the support of parents and family members. At tournaments, the team is required to bring judges in proportion to the number of students we register. Please contact Mrs. Jeanne Malone and register to be a judge today!

Coaching Staff

Head Coach    Jeanne Malone   Coach's Weekly Update
Asst. Coach Chris Gray  

Team Events


Speakers compete by making 4 short radio broadcasts delivered via a microphone to a panel of hidden judges. Students announce a news flash, commercial, editorial and do an “on the spot” broadcast. Contestants are judged based on vocal quality, editorial sense and quick thinking.


Contestants are given a topic and 30 seconds to come up with a thoughtful speech on the subject. Speeches are limited to 5 minutes and judged on thinking under pressure while maintaining continuity, poise, vocal quality and gestures.


Speakers act out a selection from a play, book or other published work with an emphasis on recreating the individual characters from the selection. Speeches are memorized and last from five to ten minutes. Judging favors the contestant’s body, vocal and facial control—snapping quickly and accurately between characters and maintaining the flow of the piece.


Contestants participate in a round-table discussion on a topic selected from a set of key knowledge areas identified at the beginning of the speech season. Each session can last up to an hour, but no more, and students are judged based on their ability to work as a team, make relevant points, mold the conversation and presentation of ideas.


Speakers act out a selection from a play, book or other published work with an emphasis on recreating the individual characters from the selection. Speeches are memorized and last from five to ten minutes. Contestants use vocal, body and facial control to evoke powerful characters and situations.


Contestants read a five to ten minute selection from a short story or play. The emphasis is on narration, not dialog. Judging is primarily influenced by how the piece is interpreted and literary quality.

Original Oratory

Students write and perform an original piece on all most any topic. The emphasis is on intelligently and thoughtfully discussing a topic as well as the quality of the delivery. Performances are limited to five to ten minutes and are judged based on the quality of the writing as well as vocal qualities, poise, gestures, etc.

Extemporaneous US and International

Students are given 30 minutes to prepare a speech of up to seven minutes in length on currents events. For US Extemp, topics pertain to the United States while International Extemp topics relate to global issues. Judging is based on strict adherence to the question being asked, references and supporting information used, organization of the speech and quality of the delivery.

Duo Scripted and Memorized

Two contestants act out either a scripted (read) or memorized selection. Much like humorous or dramatic interpretation, emphasis is on recreating scenes and dialogue that bring out the characters and showcase the student’s ability to work as a team. Judging is based on individual performances and the combined effect while taking away points for speaking directly to each other or playing off of each other.


Students read at least two poems to form a program for a total of five to ten minutes. The emphasis is on the quality of the selection as well as the interpretation of the work(s) by the speaker. Judging is based on the speaker’s vocal, body and facial control.

Original Performance

Contestants prepare and deliver their own original work which can be scripted or unscripted, humorous or dramatic, single or with a partner. This event encourages students to be creative writers as well as show off their speaking skills. Pieces are five to ten minutes in length and are judged on both the quality of the piece as well as the speaking skills of the players.

Congressional Debate (House and Senate)

Students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate in simulation of the U.S. legislative process.  Debaters alternate delivering speeches for and against a given topic in a group setting.  One student is elected to serve as a presiding officer to ensure the debate runs smoothly.  Students are judged on their research, delivery skills, and knowledge and use of parliamentary procedure.

World School Debate (WSD)

WSD format consists of 3-5 speakers on a side.  They debate prepared and impromptu topics.  This event encourages debaters to focus on specific issues rather than debate theory or procedural arguments. 

Programmed Oral Interpretation (POI)

POI is a program or oral interpretation of thematically-linked selections chosen from 2 or 3 genres: prose, poetry, drama.  This is a scripted event.


An informative speech is an original speech designed to explain, define, describe, or illustrate a particular subject.  The use of audio/visual aids is optional.  The speeches are memorized.  

Competitive Debate Events


USA World School Debate


Congressional Debate (House and Senate)

2018 -2019 Speech & Debate Tournament Schedule

Date Meet & Location
Oct 13 Novice Debate @ Ben Davis
Oct 16 Pizza with Parents (CHS Cafeteria 6-7:30P)
Nov 10 Speech @ Southport; Debate @ Bloomington South
Nov 17 Speech @ New Castle; Debate @ Ben Davis
Dec 1 Speech & Debate at IUPU-Columbus
Jan 5 Speech & Debate @ Fishers
Jan 12 Speech @ Noblesville
Jan 18-19 DISTRICT DEBATE** @ Kokomo
Jan 19 MLK Middle School Meet @ CHS (All Speech team members must attend)
Jan 25-26 STATE DEBATE* @ Southport
Feb 9 Speech @ Avon
Feb 16 Speech and DISTRICT CONGRESS** @ Columbus East
Feb 23 SPEECH SECTIONALS* @ TBA (Top 6 per event qualify for State Finals) 
Mar 2 SPEECH DISTRICTS** @ Hamilton SE
Mar 9 STATE SPEECH Finals @ Fishers
Apr 13 INDIANA STATE Catholic HS Speech Finals @ Marian University (Roster TBA)
Jun 15-21 NATIONAL SPEECH & DEBATE Tournament in Dallas, TX

* SECTIONALS: Top 6 finishers in each event go on to STATE FINALS

**DISTRICTS: Top 2 finishers per event qualify for NATIONALS

NOTE: Students are required to attend 6 meets before SECTIONALS.
This schedule is subject to change due to weather or new meets offered closer to campus.


National Speech and Debate Association   (National Forensic League)

IHSFA.org     (Indiana High School Forensic Association)

NCFL.org   (National Catholic Forensic League)

SpeechWire   (Tournament Results)

4n6 Fanatics Vault   (Student Speech Files)

Previous Years' Results

2012-2013 Speech Team Results

2013-2014 Speech Team Results

2015-2016 Speech Team Results