Consider Joining the National Forensic League

The Chicago Debate League administration would like to ask you to seriously consider enrolling your school, your debaters, and yourself (as a coach) in the National Forensic League. The NFL is the nation’s largest and oldest interscholastic forensics organization, with a current membership base of 112,000 students and 2,800 schools in all 50 states.

The NFL has a nice promotional flier outlining the benefits of membership, but the main ones to CDL schools, coaches, and students we believe are these:

  • Certificates and medallions earned through participation in debate, as part of its national honor society for high school speech and debate
  • Access to the Rostrum, a speech and debate periodical, and a wide range of professional development resources for debate coaches
  • Eligibility to compete at the NFL National Championship Tournament
  • Credibility conferred by this national speech and debate organization that your debate program is established and now has a documented history

It might be this fourth bullet point that is the most important: it can help you with your principal, LSC, parents, prospective supporters, even with debaters and prospective recruits. It’s a kind of certification or credential that you can use to further institutionalize and expand your debate program — and you can get this without having to orient your debate program around the NFL’s honor system “points,” but instead use them as just another way to promote and raise the visibility of your debate program. You can begin furthering this institutionalization with the NFL as an ally using the principal’s letter that the NFL has provided for this purpose to new members.

What’s more, the NFL is offering very attractive terms of membership to Urban Debate League schools.

  • Annual school fee ($99) is permanently waived
  • Student/coach enrollment fee (a one-time fee of $15) is waived for up to 33 students/coaches in the first year of a school’s membership
  • Student/coach enrollment fees are waived up to 16 students/coaches in each year thereafter

And that’s not all! (to borrow some infomercial rhetoric). The NFL will now enter all points for UDL students and coaches themselves — the CDL will be providing the NFL with all tournament results and they will calculate from those how many points each CDL student earns, and send out the honor society certificates and medallions automatically.

Pretty good deal.

The process for enrolling in the NFL is also easy.

(1) Complete the NFL School Application Form, including getting your principal’s signature, and either fax it back (920-748-9478) or scan it and email it back ( to Adam Jacobi at the NFL.

(2) Send Adam a list of all of your debaters, with the names spelled as you wish to see them on their official certificates. Include the graduation year for each debater.

Let us know if you have any questions at all, too.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *