PO Script & Congress Judge Info

To help new Presiding Officers as the first Congress of the year approaches, FGCCFL has produced a PO script for beginners, linked below and on the Congress page. The script should be used alongside the FGCCFL Student Congress Manual.

Additionally, updated instructions for Congress Scorers and Parliamentarians have been posted.

Fall Congress & Coaches’ Meeting

Welcome to the 2023-2024 competitive season!

Please find below the invitation to the Congress (-Only) Tournament & ALL Coaches Fall Meeting to be held at Pine View School on Saturday, September 9, 2023. Registration is now open on Tabroom and closes at 9pm on Thursday, August 31. Legislation templates can be downloaded from the Congress page on this site.

Any Coaches not bringing any Congress entries that day are still expected to be in attendance for the Coaches Meeting. The league will be purchasing coaches’ lunches that day. Read the invitation in its entirety and contact Jym Froelich if you have any questions or issues with the details of the event.

Excited to kick off the new year with you all!

Congress Manual 23.08

The FGCCFL Student Congress Manual has been updated to Revision 23.08.

This revision reflects the four-session, one-Scorer-per-round format to be used at FGCCFL tournaments in 2023-2024. The new manual also includes a form for amendments to legislation; the form may be downloaded separately below.

Tournament Hosts Needed

Here’s an at-a-glance view of this year’s FGCCFL schedule:

You’ll immediately notice one glaring omission: there are no hosts for 8 of the 10 weekends’ dates.

Continue reading “Tournament Hosts Needed”

2023-2024 Membership Now Open

See the Membership link above for more information. The deadline for submission of forms and payment of fees is September 23.


Information about League tournaments is available on Tabroom. Links will be added as tournaments are posted.

Public Pairings

Use the buttons on this page for a quick way to access public pairings for FGCCFL tournaments. These are useful if you are not receiving Tabroom blasts for whatever reason.

Parliamentarian Instructions

If you need help, text Josh Schneider at 813-298-8267.

Duties of a Parliamentarian

The primary duty of the Parliamentarian is to be available to settle problems that might arise relating to procedure within a chamber. As long as things run smoothly, you should stay in the background. Even on minor parliamentary errors, you should sit back and let the chamber have an opportunity to recognize the error and resolve it. You may wish to point out the error briefly at the end of the session. The general philosophy should be to let the members of the chamber solve their own difficulties.

Only when a major problem or error has been made should you step in and correct matters. In particular, if debate or progress in the chamber bogs down, you should step in and point out ways out of the parliamentary quagmire. You MAY counsel the Presiding Officer on his/her discretionary power to rule dilatory motions out of order and to watch out for speakers that might try to monopolize time.

If the PO has (or is asked) a procedural question that s/he cannot answer, s/he may refer the question to you. Do your best to answer; consult the Congress Manual if you need further guidance. If you need to escalate the question to the tab staff, please do so.

You also function as a resource for the Scorers in your chamber. Their questions will likely go to you first, and please do not hesitate to give your best guidance in accordance with the rules. Please direct all questions concerning tournament procedures, scoring guidelines, and scoring ranges to the Tab Room. The Tab Room and the Congress Coordinator are available as a resource for you.

Starting the Session

Before the start of the first session, you will be given a Master Ballot (paper or electronic), a legislative calendar form, and three copies of the seating charts:

  • Copy 1 is your copy to keep track of recency over the course of the day.
  • Copy 2 is the PO’s copy, again to keep track of recency. Each PO is expected to pass this copy on to the next PO.
  • Copy 3 is an extra; if the PO’s copy becomes unusable for whatever reason, copy your recency records onto this chart and give it to the PO.

These charts are “backwards” relative to the online charts because they reflect the view from the PO’s desk at the front of the room. You are expected to sit next to the Presiding Officer. The charts will also have the Tabroom-generated recency list attached, on the back, or penciled in.

At the start of the Congress, you should preside initially, take attendance from your seating chart, conduct the PO election, and help the chamber set the calendar. You may appoint a Temporary Presiding Officer from the chamber to conduct preliminary business.

Setting the Calendar

When setting the calendar, follow these priorities:

  1. Items with an author present (or a substitute from the same school without legislation of her/his own) must be scheduled before all other items.
  2. Among items with an author (or substitute), one item from each school must be considered before a second item from any school may be considered. Items without an author (or substitute) present need not consider school affiliation in determining calendar order.
  3. All items must be placed on the calendar. Supplemental items, if provided, must be placed last.

Please send a copy of the calendar, the name of the PO, and any absent students to the Congress Coordinator (phone number is at the top of this page).

Guidance for Parliamentarians

Sessions are 1 hour and 30 minutes (or 1 hour and 45 minutes if there are only three sessions). This includes the PO election and any other special orders. However, if the chamber has voted on every item on its calendar, it adjourns sine die, no matter how much time is remaining. By rule, recesses are out of order due to the short session times.

During the Congress, please assist the Presiding Officer by keeping a very careful record of all speeches given during each session and verifying speaker order and recency with the Presiding Officer occasionally. You should track speeches using your seating chart.

Service as Presiding Officer counts as the first speech of the session.

Priority accrues over all four sessions and DOES NOT reset to zero. This is a 2022-2023 NCFL rule.

Scores, Ballots, and Nominations

You will not score the Presiding Officers. However, you may write comments for them, and you are encouraged to do so.

At the end of the last session, you will be asked to rank ALL the legislators in the chamber (1 being the best). You are obligated to consider the Presiding Officers. When ranking the legislators, keep in mind it is not based solely on speeches! You should also consider their activity in the chamber: asking questions, making motions, and how they conduct themselves.

Good luck! Enjoy your time in the chamber!

Scorer Instructions for Congress

Writing Ballots

Speakers: Use a single paper ballot for up to three speeches by the same speaker. Start a new ballot for the student’s fourth speech. For electronic ballots, enter each speech separately.

Please do NOT write ballots for questions or motions. Please do NOT skip spaces on the ballot, even if a speaker didn’t speak on a particular topic.

Evaluate each speech on its own merit using the judging criteria below and award a score from 1 to 6. Higher scores are better. You should write as many comments as possible while the student is speaking to identify what was done well and how s/he can improve. Scores of 1 or 2 must be justified with comments on the ballot.

Presiding Officer: Complete the separate Presiding Officer ballot in your judge folder. Use the 1 to 6 scale on the ballot regardless of the length of the session. Higher scores are better. You should write as many comments as possible during the session to identify what was done well and how the PO can improve. Scores of 1 or 2 must be justified with comments on the ballot.

Point Scale for ballots

5Above Average
3Below Average
2Poor (explain w/ comments)
1Inappropriate (justify to Tab)

Judging Criteria for Speakers

  • Delivery: Is the speech clear? Is it persuasive? Does the speaker demonstrate poise?
  • Originality of Thought: Does the speaker demonstrate that s/he has listened to others in the debate? Does s/he respond to issues raised in the debate? Does the speech advance debate?
  • Organization and Coherence: Does the speech ramble, or does it develop? Is the speech easy to follow? Are the speaker’s purpose and focus clear?
  • Evidence and Logical Basis: How many sources are referenced? Are the sources credible? Does the speaker use logic in the development of arguments?

Judging Criteria for Presiding Officers

  • Has the PO called on speakers in a manner that was fair and consistent?
  • Has the PO used procedure correctly, and in a way that makes the chamber run smoothly?
  • Has the PO kept control of the chamber, but without becoming autocratic or tyrannical?
  • Has the PO conducted herself/himself with decorum and dignity?

Additional Scoring Guidance

  • Since the purpose of Student Congress is to advance debate on the policies presented through legislation, speeches from the floor should do so rather than rehash previously delivered arguments. A quality speech may be presented even if it does not run three minutes.
  • DO NOT evaluate speakers on their use of parliamentary procedure in scoring their speeches. If a student is out of order, the Presiding Officer and/or the Parliamentarian will correct the problem. You should, however, take appropriate use of procedure into account when making your rankings.
  • Do not give speakers low points solely because they raise controversial issues or points you believe to be false. Each speaker is entitled to her/his position and should be scored based on how well s/he communicates and supports that position.

Ranking Legislators

At the end of the session, select and rank (from 1 to 8, where 1 is best) the students who, in your opinion, contributed the most to the session. List these students (name and code) in rank order on your Master Ballot (ranking form). Although speaking and presiding should weigh most heavily in your decisions, we are looking for your overall impression of the students’ performance and contributions. Please do NOT simply rank the students who scored the most points!

The Presiding Officer (PO) is eligible to be ranked and MUST be considered. The PO gave up the opportunity to speak in order to lead the session, and her/his effective leadership is a contribution to the session that is at least as significant as effective speaking. If you do not rank the PO, you will be required to initial the appropriate space on your Master Ballot, and you should explain your decision on the PO’s ballot.

Please submit your completed ballots within 15 minutes of the end of the session.

Good luck! Enjoy the session!

Events, Rules & Ballots

Use this page to find the current ballots and NCFL rules for events at FGCCFL tournaments.

Speech Events

Extemporaneous SpeakingCritique SheetMaster Ballot
Original OratoryCritique SheetMaster Ballot
Oratorical DeclamationCritique SheetMaster Ballot
Dramatic PerformanceCritique SheetMaster Ballot
Oral Interpretation of LiteratureCritique SheetMaster Ballot
Duo Interpretation of LiteratureCritique SheetMaster Ballot

Student Congress

Debate Events

NCFL Bylaws

The ballots on this page are based on the bylaws of the National Catholic Forensic League.

Welcome to FGCCFL

Watch this space.
Tournament information will be posted in the coming days.

Pay Invoice

Please review the following before you proceed:

  1. Invoices are to be paid online BEFORE tournaments.
  2. Only coaches and school officials (e.g., bookkeepers) are to pay invoices. There are NO REFUNDS for payments made by others.

Thank you.