National Forensic League Membership

Having resolved a snag we encountered last year, we will be enrolling all CDL and CMSDL schools in the National Forensic League for no charge — no charge now or in future years. Additionally, for now the NFL has offered to do all of the administrative paperwork entering students’ points toward “honor society” certificates and seals, which are given for participation in speech and debate events. The CDL administration will provide the NFL with names of coaches and debaters at each CDL and CMSDL school, and results sheets from each tournament. So membership in the NFL will not cost CDL and CMSDL schools anything, in money or time.

A condition for being submitted for membership is that your school is current in Cityspan — that it has (a) enrolled all of your students, (b) established two activities (“debate practices” and “debate tournaments”) and that those activities have dates and hours attached to them, and (c) that attendance for all activities is current through 1/28.

CPS Office of Pathways to College and Career employee Christine Koh ( will soon be re-posting training materials on the use of Cityspan, and sending FAQ documents, too. If you’re not sure if your school is current in Cityspan, please contact Christine.

Regarding guest schools in the CDL, currently this offer for free membership to the NFL is being offered to CMSDL guest schools but not CDL guest schools (Evanston HS has been a long-standing member of the NFL anyway).

If you wish to opt out of membership in the NFL, just send us an email saying so and we will exclude your school from submission for membership. You can reverse that decision as long as the offer from the NFL pertains.

The benefits to membership in the National Forensic League are:

  • Credential of having an NFL-certified debate program established at your school — certification that you, your students, and your administration can use in your advocacy for your program
  • Certificates and seals sent to you and your students, as part of the NFL’s “honor society”
  • Monthly issue of The Rostrum, the NFL’s publication
  • Eligibility to debate at the National Forensic League district and national tournaments
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