National Catholic Forensic League

The National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) is a speech and debate league that was formed in 1951. It is organized into regions which correspond to Roman Catholic dioceses. Member schools include both public and parochial high schools. The NCFL recruits member schools in both the United States and Canada. As of January, 2011, there were 65 active dioceses with NCFL leagues. The IRS recognizes the NCFL as an organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations.[1]

The NCFL sponsors the Grand National Speech and Debate Tournament held each year over Memorial Day weekend. It offers an array of events similar, but not identical, to those of the National Speech and Debate Association.

National Catholic Forensic League
Non Profit Organization
Key people
Charles Sloat, President
Roberta Hyland, First Vice President
Barbara Fontenot, Second Vice President
Michael Colletti, Executive Secretary – Treasurer
Susan Peebles, Publicity Director / Recording Secretary
Roland Burdett, National Tournament Director


  • Dramatic Performance – A ten-minute memorized performance of a dramatic or humorous selection of literature.
  • Duo Interpretation of Literature – A ten-minute memorized performance of a dialogue, story, or script by two performers, who are required to maintain off-stage focus and to not look at or touch each other.
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature – A ten-minute reading event, alternating between Prose and Poetry each round.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking – A seven-minute analytical / persuasive speech on a question of current events, given with only 30 minutes' prior notice.
  • Oratorical Declamation – A ten-minute memorized performance of a historical speech, commencemnent address or former competition speech to be delivered as if it were the speaker's own address. Limited to freshmen and sophomores.
  • Original Oratory – A ten-minute memorized original speech delivered to inspire or persuade the audience.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Value debate on a topic chosen by the NCFL specifically for the Grand National Tournament. Four Minutes of preparation time is allotted to each debater per debate.
  • Policy Debate – Two-person, switch-side, cross-examination debate, with five minutes of preparation time per team, on the national topic.
  • Public Forum Debate – A team event that advocates or rejects a position posed by the resolution. The focus of the debate is a clash of ideas in a persuasive manner that can be understood by a "lay" judge. Side and speaking order are assigned to each team every round in order to ensure students have the opportunity to debate both sides of a topic.
  • Student Congress – Mock legislative sessions where students debate bills and resolutions submitted by schools from participating dioceses.

National tournament sites

National tournament director

Past National Tournament Directors

Director Years
Br. Rene Sterner, F.S.C. 1972–1992
James Lyness

Loyola School

New York, New York

Ron Steinhorst

New London High School

New London, Wisconsin

Roland Burdett

Washington Arlington Catholic Forensic League

Arlington, Virginia


Past NCFL National Champions

Congressional Debate

1995 – Bill Gallagher, Xavier High School, NY

1996 – Duarte Gerladino, Brooklyn Technical High School, NY

1997 – Sean Carmody, Pleasantville High School, NY

1998 – Seth Green, Taravella High School, FL

1999 – Matt Brennan, Iona Preparatory, NY

2000 – Ian Amelkin, Stoneman Douglas High School

2001 – Matt Spritz, Nova High School, FL

2002 – Scott Jacobsin, Nova High School, FL

2003 – Daniel Chapanian, Shrewsbury High School, MA

2004 – Matt Turetzky, Nova High School, FL

2005 – Results unavailable

2006 – Colin Outerbridge, Trinity Preparatory, FL

2007 – Sundeep Iyer, Ridge High School, NJ

2008 – Ben Berkman, Nova High School

2009 – Harlan Downs Tepper, Stuyvesant High School, NY

2010 – Alex Smyk, Ridge High School, NJ

2011 – Morgan Baskin, American Heritage, FL

2012 – Results unavailable

2013 – Michael Cervino, Ridge High School, NJ

2014 – Nic Gerard, Shrewsbury High School, MA

2015 – Carla Troconis, East Chapel Hill, NC

2016 - Katherine Klienle, Ridge High School, NJ

2017 - Muhammad Naeen, Western High School, FL

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

1988 – Lisa Nass, Miami Beach High School, Miami Beach, FL

1989 – David Kennedy, Regis High School, New York, NY

1990 – Jeremi Suri, Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY

1991 – Mark Wunderlich, Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda, MD

1992 – Jerry Vildostegui, Miami Beach High School, Miami Beach, FL

1993 – Christopher J. Regan, Bishop Kearney High School, Irondequoit, NY

1994 – Elizabeth Rogers, Shenendehowa High School, Clifton Park, NY

1995 – Derek D. Smith, Winston Churchill High School, Potomac, MD

1996 – Randall Martinez, Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, Florida

1997 – Mac Hawkins, Lagrange High School, Lake Charles, LA

1998 – Chetan Hertzig, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA

1999 – Elizabeth O'Connor, Hunter College High School, New York, NY

2000 – Kevin Farrell, Elk Grove High School, Chicago, Illinois

2001 – Benjamin Rothstein, Milton Academy, Boston, MA

2002 – Duncan Cooper, St. John’s Preparatory School, Boston, MA

2003 – Nina Thanawala, Ridge High School, Basking Ridge, NJ

2004 – Tara Tedrow, Celebration High School, Orlando, FL

2005 – Tara Tedrow, Celebration High School, Orlando, FL

2006 – Caitlin Halpern, W.T. Woodson High School, Arlington, VA

2007 – Ryan Zehner, Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, Philadelphia, PA

2008 – Ellen Noble, Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD

2009 – Karlyn Gorski, Perkioman Valley High School, Philadelphia, PA

2010 – Stephanie Franklin, Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD

2011 – Allison Douglis, Ridge High School, Basking Ridge, NJ

2012 – Katelyn Sheehan, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Arlington, VA

2013 – Austin Cohen, Elk Lake High School, Dimock, PA

2014 – Danny DeBois, Harrison High School, Harrison, NY

2015 – Joey Schnide, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL

2016 – Nicole Kastelic, Hawken School, Lyndhurst, OH

2017 – Maya Arora, Cape Fear Academy, Wilmington, NC

2018 – Eva Lamberson, Canfield High School, Canfield, OH

Public Forum Debate

2007 – Dennis Howe and Rob Wyllie

2008- Jonathan Freidman and Jeanine Sinan-Singh, Trinity Preparatory School, Florida

2009 – Danny Welch and Will Miller

2010 – Bud Peters and Thomas Pigott

2011 – Brian Grumka and Thomas Pigott

2012 (?)

2013 – Cameron Silvergate and Ethan Goldstein

2014 – Tim Perevozchikov and Zach Kirsch, Hawken School, Ohio

2015 – Ben Kessler and Jakob Urda, Stuyvesant HS, New York

2016 - Eitan Ezra and Harrison Hurt, Poly Prep Country Day School, New York City, NY

2017 - Atticus Nelson and Silas Nelson, DeSoto Central High School, Southaven, MS

Policy Debate

2017 – Peter Schick and Henry Hansen, Way of Jesus Academy, Lancaster, PA

External links


  1. ^ "Exempt Organizations Select Check". Retrieved 2015-07-27.

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