Policy Topic Ballot

2023-2024 Policy Topic Area Ballot

Coaches should read over the proposed areas and rank them 1-5. Email with your rankings.

Welcome Back Declamation!

Thank you to all member schools who cast a ballot regarding the constitutional changes. The results are as follows:

1. Motion to rebalance at-large section reps when there is an addition or deletion of a section

  • 69 Schools voted, 66 vote to pass, 3 do not pass, amendment passes

2. Motion to replace the existing ethics section of the constitution with the Code of Ethics to be developed

  • 69 schools voted, 68 vote to pass, 1 do not pass, amendment passes

3. Motion to make the Middle School Representative a voting member at-large

  • 69 schools voted, 65 vote to pass, 4 do not pass, amendment passes

4. Motion to move constitutional amendment voting to the spring

  • 69 schools voted, 67 vote to pass, 2 do not pass, amendment passes

5. Motion to combine International and United States Extemp

  • 69 schools voted, 22 vote to pass, 47 do not pass, amendment fails

6. Motion to add Declamation to the list of official sanctioned events

  • 69 schools voted, 60 vote to pass, 9 do not pass, amendment passes

Pending Constitutional Changes

Changes to the ISSDA Constitution require that 50% of eligible schools vote in favor of the proposed amendments. This fall, coaches will have several changes on the ballot. Ballots will be emailed to head coaches the week of Aug. 29th with voting closing on Fri. Sept. 9th.

1. Motion to amend the constitution to read:

a. Article V, Section 2, B, c If a section is removed during a resection, the existing sectional representative of the defunct section will automatically become an at-large member to serve out the remainder of the term. If a section is added, a special election will be held in the new section to elect a representative. All at-large members will complete their terms, then the following at-large election will eliminate one position. Incumbent at-large members may stand for election to those positions. If an at-large member is eligible for the new sectional position, they may stand in the special election, at which point, if they prevail, their position will be converted and no new at-large member will be selected.

-Board Voted Unanimously to Recommend Do Pass

2. Motion to replace the existing ethics section in the Constitution with the Code of Ethics, to be developed and presented to the body for consideration.

-Board Voted Unanimously to Recommend Do Pass

3. Article V Section 2

Middle School Representative shall be moved from subsection a to b to become a voting member at-large.

Subsection c shall read: The Middle School Representative will be elected by the middle school coaches.

-Board votes to recommend Do Pass


Section 1: Any constitutional change to be voted on must be in the hands of the Board President by December 1st to be included in the Winter Board meeting agenda.

Section 2: All changes will be voted on alongside Spring board member elections. Any school registered and paid by February 1st is eligible to vote.

-Board votes unanimously to recommend Do Pass

5. BE IT RESOLVED by the ISSDA Board of Directors here assembled that International and Domestic extemp be unified.

-Board votes to recommend Do Not Pass

6. Add Declamation


The Indiana Schools Speech and Debate Association shall conduct the following events in its state tournament series: Policy Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, Congressional Debate, World Schools Debate, Broadcasting, Discussion, International Extemporaneous Speaking, United States Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Poetry, Prose, Programmed Oral Interp, Informative, Original Oratory, Original Performance, and Declamation.

-Board votes to recommend Do Pass

2022 Season Wrap-Up

Check out our Spring Wrap-Up and celebrate the completion of a great season!

State Speech 2022

ISSDA Returns to In-Person State Speech and The Lawson Trophy Returns to Munster

For the first time since 2019, the ISSDA state speech tournament was held in person. Alongside the tournament’s return to Fishers High School, the Lawson Trophy is headed back to Northwest Indiana.

With 14 state finalists and champions in Drama, Duo, Original Performance, and Prose, Munster High School won the ISSDA Class AA championship, as well as its tenth Lawson trophy (awarded to the overall state champion) since 2010, edging out Class AAA champion Chesterton by two points. Plymouth, Fishers, and Avon rounded out the top 5 for the overall award. Also receiving top honors was Signature High School, which took home the Class A title. The James F. Hawker Scholarship was awarded to Bishop Dwenger High School’s Marie Scudder.

The ISSDA congratulates all of this year’s participants and gives special thanks to Paul Kennedy and Fishers High School for hosting this year’s tournament.

State Debate 2022

Carmel Crowned Champion in Return to In-Person State Debate

The 94th ISSDA state debate tournament saw a return to in-person competition for the first time since 2020 and crowned a new state champion as Carmel High School took home top honors. With the state champion in 2-Person Policy Debate and state runner-up in Public Forum, Carmel scored 87 points to win its first-ever team championship. Chesterton was second with 83 points, while Fishers, West Lafayette, and Avon rounded out the top five. The tournament was attended by 191 contestants from 30 schools.

Also honored was Bloomington South High School student Layaaan Hajiyev who won the Bob Brittan Scholarship, and Carmel’s Remi Shirayanagi, this year’s recipient of the Bill Hicks Scholarship.

The ISSDA thanks Marian University for hosting this year’s tournament.

October Updates

Check out our new look and new name! Welcome to the Indiana Schools Speech & Debate Association!

2021 October Newsletter.pdf
2022 NCFL Fall Newsletter.pdf
2021 Aug Newsletter.pdf

Back to School!

Spring Newsletter

Winter Updates

NCFL Newsletter

2021 NCFL Fall Newsletter.pdf

Fall Newsletter

Newsletter - Fall 2020.pdf

Business Meeting Agenda

At this year's virtual conference, the IHSFA will host its annual business meeting. There are two constitutional proposals included. Head coaches from registered programs (either in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year) should receive a ballot via email. All ballots are due by Fri. Sept. 11th at 5:30pm.

Ballot Initiatives

Statement on Equity

The Indiana High School Forensic Association is deeply saddened by the tragic instances of violence and unnecessary loss of life that permeated our news cycles this summer. We share in the anger, frustration, and grief felt by those who mourn and stand in solidarity with those who seek peaceful means to create communities free of discrimination.

Racism runs counter to our mission and has no place within our organization. The IHSFA is committed to standing up for justice and equal opportunity. We embrace and encourage civil discourse, open-mindedness, and critical thinking. We promise to be an organization that celebrates diversity and provides an outlet for our students to promote peace.

We recognize that much like our social landscape, there is much work to be done in our own organization. Currently, our leadership is developing plans to reinforce our commitment to being a more diverse and welcoming community.

For now, let us reflect on the words of Thurgood Marshall, who once quipped: I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust... We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.

New Executive Director

Plymouth High School Speech and Debate Team Coach, Daniel Tyree, has been named the Executive Director of the IHSFA (Indiana High School Forensic Association). The association strives to improve speech education in Indiana by offering curricular and co-curricular speech activities, including competitive activities among schools from all over the state. They have provided executive leadership since 1943.

Tyree said the association continues to create and sustain relationships with principal’s association, superintendent’s association, National Federation, National Speech and Debate Association, along with business and industry to help assure that students are gaining the skills they will need in today’s world and support education.

Tyree actively coached from 1976 to 2000 before moving into administration as assistant principal at PHS, assistant superintendent, and retired as the Plymouth Schools superintendent in 2018. From 2000-2010 he served as the principal representative and as an advisor for the IHSFA.

In 2013 his kidney’s began to fail and he had a successful transplant in 2015 donated by a former student he coached. His commitment to speech and debate programs led him to return to coaching in 2018.

Tyree said his goal out of college was to teach English and speech and coach basketball. He was introduced to competitive speech programs as he was student teaching and began pursuing openings to be involved in speech programs. He coached speech for Manchester High School for one year and for Knox High School for two years before starting the program at PHS.

Coaching speech became a family affair when Tyree married his wife Charlotte and they began coaching together in 1992. He continues to share his appreciation for the activity that allowed his three children to achieve success. Daughter Katie was a state champion and placed in national finals. Son Jon was also a national qualifier and both attended college on speech scholarships. His daughter Nancy received academic scholarships to complete her college degrees. Tyree said, “All three are articulate speakers, have strong work ethics, and are extremely organized. It is obvious that these are the skills they honed in high school speech and debate.”

Tyree said he wanted the same opportunities for all students. He said, “I have always said that you cannot measure your success by the ribbons and trophies that they win. You only judge your success when students are adults. I’ve had many students who failed to win many awards in high school, but they are using the skills speech and debate as very successful adults.” “Many former speech students have returned to testify on how much speech helped them in their careers. It really doesn’t matter what event they did in high school, they transfer their skills into those needed for their careers. Former students also say that they moved quickly in their chosen career because they are called on as someone who can stand and deliver and coherent message. Unfortunately, students say that if they had high school to do all over again, they would be on the speech and debate team. I can’t think of another high school activity that gives students so many life-long skills as speech and debate.” He said.

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter - May 2020 v2.pdf