The Massachusetts Speech & Debate League (MSDL) welcomes any interest from new members wishing to join us in speech, debate, and congress. Forensics teaches skills that serve young people for the rest of their lives. Students learn quick thinking and analysis in public address and debate events as well as dramatic expression and presentation in the interpretative events. A solid education in speech and debate is an essential experience for any student.
This page describes some of the details of joining; if you would like you may also download the full New Coaches' Manual.
Technical details of joining To register for tournaments, sign yourself up for MSDL mailing lists, and to be listed as a chapter member of the MSDL, you must create an account. To do so, simply click here. Then click "Sign Up" in the upper right corner and fill out the form with your information. After you have created an account, please select the interest areas for which you wish to receive email in the Communicate menu, under Mailing Lists.
Create your school by clicking on the Register menu. Then click on [Create a Chapter]. Enter information about your students here as well. You will begin to receive announcement emails from the MSDL after you create a chapter. You may also then use this system to register your students for future MSDL tournaments.
How do I get started? Teaching good public speaking and debate is by no means an exact science. The MSDL offers a periodic Coaches Convention for coaches of the MSDL to discuss techniques and curriculum. Here you can learn from some of the experts within the MSDL and from beyond. Ask the President (email below) for details about the Coaches Convention. The Chairs of Speech, Debate and Congress also serve as curricular resources for their particular areas of expertise. We are also working on video materials, online guides, and further material for the benefit of new programs.
Dues and fees Tournament fees are set by the individual tournaments themselves and are specified in the tournament invitations. All MSDL Tournament invitations are posted to this website a few weeks before the tournament, under the links to each tournament listed on the Schedule. The invitation will explain any particulars behind registering for the tournament, limits or restrictions on entry, and further information.
In addition, MSDL member school dues to the League are $50 per year. You may attend a tournament or two before committing to full MSDL membership if you are a new school to the MSDL. However, you must submit the Participation Agreement and Application before you can attend any tournaments. Students will not receive bids to the State Tournament until dues from their school are paid in full.
For a copy of the Participation Agreement and to print an invoice, use the [joining] tab in the menu, above.
Further questions? If you have further questions, the President of the MSDL and the Secretary are specifically there for new program outreach. Feel free to email either or both of them with any questions. You can contact them through the "Contact Us" menu.