FAQsHere are some common questions that new families have when first starting out in speech and debate.
How old does my student have to be to participate in club?
Students 12-18 years old (*note: competition in NCFCA tournaments requires students be 12 years old by January 1, 2024 for this season).
Junior Speech Club:
*Students Under 12 years old:
We offer Junior Speech club meetings to help get your child practicing as early as possible. Junior Speech meetings are held once a month for one hour, and “Junior Tournaments” are also held during the competition season (for in-person tournaments only). There is no minimum age for Junior Speech participants; however, students must be able to sit and participate in the monthly one-hour meetings in a respectful and loving manner.
Who is eligible to compete in tournaments?
NCFCA Tournament/Competition Eligibility for the 2023-2024 Season:
Please refer to the NCFCA League Handbook, in the NCFCA Resource Library, for COMPLETE details on eligibility.
The following are some of the Competition Eligibility Criteria highlights only.
A competitor eligible for qualifying competition during the 2023-2024 season must meet all of the applicable criteria listed below:
• Be an NCFCA Affiliate
• Read and abide by the NCFCA Standards of Conduct
• Be no younger than 12 years old on January 1, 2024, for participation in Lincoln Douglas Value Debate, Team Policy Debate, and speech events.
• Be no younger than 15 years old on September 1, 2023, for participation in Moot Court.
• Be no older than 18 years old on September 1, 2023
• Not have earned a high school diploma.
Does my student need any experience?
No experience necessary. We ask for students to have open-hearts and minds, and be willing to try. We’re all performing for an audience of One – Our Heavenly Father!
We commit to following Jesus’ lead and strive to create a club environment where love and grace is foundational.
What is NCFCA?
NCFCA stands for the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association. Our club affiliates with this league and participates in the competitive opportunities provided by this league.
Since 2001, NCFCA Christian Speech & Debate League has empowered students to apply and communicate their worldview with skill and clarity. Whether a student is terrified of public speaking or loves a rousing debate, our training and competition will provide a supportive opportunity for them to apply a biblical worldview to real-life issues.
In short, the mission of NCFCA states:
“We challenge and equip ambassadors for Christ to communicate truth with integrity and grace”.
What are the details for your 2023-2024 Club Meetings?
We are planning to hold in-person, weekly club meetings as follows:
WHEN: Every Monday (beginning on Sept 11th, 2023), except for select dates that are marked in our Club Calendar (link to 2023-2024 club calendar coming soon)
**Please note that JUNIOR SPEECH club begins Sept 18th and will be held once a month, thereafter. Please refer to Club Calendar for details.
WHERE: International Church of Oahu (20 Dowsett Avenue, Honolulu 96817)
What are the fees to participate?
The fees to participate in HNL S+D for the 2023-2024 season are as follos:
- Honolulu Speech and Debate Club fees*
- Registration fee: $300/family
- Facility fee: $150/family
- TOTAL LOCAL CLUB REGISTRATION FEES/year = $450 (due by 9/25/2024)
- For the entire academic year**; detailed club payment information located on the e-registration form
- NCFCA Affiliation fee (create an account on www.NCFCA.org and pay affiliation fee for the year***)
- Early Bird: $125/family (June 13th – through July 31st)
- $150/family (beginning August 1st)
*This fee includes younger siblings registering for Junior Speech. Families with Junior Speech Club students-only have a different registration fee ($75 per family for the entire academic year with a $25/family facility fee). Please visit our Junior Speech page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on Junior Speech Club. Note: Please complete separate Junior Speech registration form for our records only.
**If you need to pay in installments, please contact us.
***A limited number of NCFCA scholarships are available for league affiliation in the case of financial hardship. Email Office@NCFCA.org for more information.
NCFCA Affiliate fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
What are the fees to participate in Junior Speech?
- Registration fee: $75/family*
- Facility fee: $25/family
- TOTAL JUNIOR SPEECH REGISTRATION FEES/year = $100 (due by 9/25/2024)
- For the entire 2023-2024 academic year.
*NOTE: If you have older siblings participating in the Honolulu Speech & Debate Club and you have paid the regular registration club fee, then you do not need to pay this separate fee.
Detailed Junior Speech club payment information is located on the e-registration form.
Are there any additional fees?
Depending on your student’s participation, there are some potential additional costs. For example:
- Optional – Tournament participation costs include: event registration (see League Handbook), travel to National tournaments/lodging/meals, and tournament attire requirements (see League Handbook)
- Optional – If your student participates in the Apologetics or Extemporaneous speech events, there may be additional materials costs associated with these events.
- Optional – Additional Debate resources, sourcebook subscriptions, and flowbooks.
- Optional – NCFCA Curriculum/Comprehensive Guides to Debate and Speech (available for purchase on the NCFCA Website).
Is there a deadline to register? Can I join you mid-school year?
No, we do not have a deadline to register. Yes, you can join us anytime during the academic school year. In order to make the most of the year, we DO recommend starting with us in September, but it’s never too late to join us. Getting comfortable with public speaking is all about repetition – if the timing is right and our club is a fit for you’re family, jump on in with us anytime! We are happy to get your student up to speed.
Can younger siblings come to regular club meetings?
Yes, we welcome siblings to come to club. We do not provide childcare, so please plan to stay on campus if your littles are in tow. Our philosophy is that through “osmosis” the younger siblings will naturally begin learning the valuable skill of public speaking. We trust your judgement and know that you’ll strive to honor the other club members and take the appropriate steps to help guide your child if they do become a distraction. We’ll do it all in a spirit of love, and we hope you will too.
What curriculum do you use?
In the fall semester (aka “Pre-Season”), we primarily teach from the NCFCA Comprehensive Guides to Speech and Debate (Coach’s Guide/Competitor Guide/Parent Guide). These are all available for optional purchase on the NCFCA Shop for your additional guidance throughout the year.
Is there homework?
From time to time, there will be “homework” that we’ll encourage the students to complete — but here’s our philosophy about homework and your role as their parent:
- Ultimately, parents are the “Teachers” and managers of their children’s workloads. If students have other commitments, we trust you’ll make the appropriate decision as it relates to the homework for S+D club, even if that means they don’t get their speech and debate homework done.
- For those starting out, our goal is to make public speaking a positive experience. We view this activity as a life long skill to practice — thus, we hold any homework assignment in that longer term perspective.
- As with any skill, you get out whatever you put in.
We don’t collect homework, but we will discuss the homework assignments at club meetings. We’ll use each club meeting to discuss the concept(s), so that all club members may improve and grow as communicators.
What do I bring to club?
- Notebook and pen/pencil.
- Water bottle and snacks (we do not have a designated snack time, however students are encouraged to fuel themselves during class or breaks at their leisure).
- A willingness to grow and learn about growing your communication skills, for God’s glory!
Is there a dress code/attire requirement for club?
We do not have a specific dress code for our weekly club meetings. However, we do ask that clothes be modest (Ladies, please be sure your tops do not expose your midriffs and are not tight or low cut).
Our meeting rooms do have A/C, so a sweater/sweatshirt may be good to pack.
What do you do for nearly 4 hours during club?
During the fall semester months of September – November (aka “Pre-Season”), we begin with the foundational teaching in a primarily lecture-based/classroom-style format for both speech and debate. Here’s a typical club day*:
4:00p-5:30p – Speech Class/Practice
5:30p-7:30p – Debate Class/Practice
Starting in November/December – April, we move to ALL PRACTICE rounds each week at club.**
The teaching will be based off of the following NCFCA curriculum for Speech and Debate: (https://www.ncfca.org/resources/curriculum/)
*Note: Club schedule subject to change week to week during the 2023-2024 year.
**Those competing in Extemporaneous may be offered separate practice rounds, as facility/coaching permits.
Is your club for homeschoolers only?
No, we welcome Christian Students of all educational choices (Public, Private, other) to participate in our club meetings and compete in NCFCA tournaments.
Are tournaments required?
No, students are not required to compete in tournaments, but we humbly and highly recommend that they do. You’ll find that in just one tournament, your student will grow in one way or another! Whether it’s encouraging them to face their fear and walking away from the tournament knowing that they’re still alive (and it wasn’t that bad!), or improving their communication skills in baby steps — tournaments are a very helpful tool in the process of growing these valuable skills.
We’ve had students initially choose not to participate in tournaments, but after attending and observing their fellow students compete — they realize that it wasn’t that bad (the environment was safe and it looked do-able!). These same students then signed up for the next tournament — and they were so glad that they did!
We strive to create a loving and grace-filled environment at the tournaments and attempt to center all participants (students, parents, and volunteers) on the WHY of the tournament — to Glorify God, and grow in their skills of communication, to that end.