Joining the Massachusetts Speech & Debate League
The Massachusetts Speech & Debate League (MSDL) welcomes interest from new schools 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.
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 on Tabroom.com, the online platform the MSDL uses to run tournaments. If you do not have a Tabroom account, 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.
Signatures, Dues, and Fees?
The MSDL Participation Agreement, signed by the adult head coach of your team and the principal or headmaster of your school, must be received by the MSDL treasurer before you attend your first tournament of the school year. To download a copy of the Invoice/Participation Agreement (it's all one file now), click the "Invoice/Participation Agreement" button under the JOINING tab in the menu above.
New schools, defined as schools which have not competed in the MSDL for the past four consecutive years, are required to submit the signed Invoice/Participation Agreement prior to their first tournament, but are NOT required to pay dues in their first year.
Returning schools owe $50 in annual dues, payable to the MSDL and mailed to the treasurer by the first Saturday in December. A late fee of $50 applies if payment is made after that date. Students are eligible to earn bids to the State Tournament only after their school has paid annual dues and submitted the signed Invoice/Participation Agreement.
Tournament fees are set by the individual tournaments themselves and are specified in the tournament invitations. These fees cover the cost of trophies and other expenses incurred in hosting the tournament. 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 about registering for the tournament, limits or restrictions on entry, and further information.
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.