The Platteville High School Forensics program is designed to provide a significant training ground for the development of students’ abilities in public speaking and in the oral interpretation of literature. In addition, students will develop proficiencies based on sound educational and communication theories. The program is open to any bona fide pupil in good standing and in regular attendance in the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.
The program begins with an opening meeting in November and runs up through the end of April. Students choose one out of the fifteen categories of speech and then arrange to meet with one of the three coaches to set up personal rehearsal times. These rehearsal times vary based on the particular event the student chooses but generally are run after school or during the evening.
Competitions begin in early February with the local contest. Since the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association limits the number of entries from any one school to 25, the local contest is used to determine which events earn the right to advance to the sub-district contest, which is held in early March. At the end of March, students compete in the district competition at UW-Platteville, If they earn passing scores here, they go on to the state competition at UW-Madison. Certified adjudicators are hired to judge the various levels of competition and critique each participant’s performance.
Through participation in this program, students will:
- Develop skills in oral language as well as in voice and body expression.
- Critically evaluate ideas and beliefs of others and draw logical conclusions.
- Learn how to effectively organize their ideas and present them clearly and concisely.
- Recreate the written thoughts of others through vocal delivery.
- Learn the fundamentals of research and how to use their research for drawing conclusion.
- Develop insights into universal human experiences.
- Meet and interact with students from other schools in the context of social and intellectual activity.
- Realize the simultaneous opportunities for leadership and group participation.
Students are expected to:
- Attend all practices and contests, unless previously excused.
- Represent Platteville High School in a very positive manner.
- Listen attentively and courteously to other competitors at all times.
- Demonstrate a willingness to work cooperatively with the coach and other members of the team.
- Understand that judges’ opinions at competitions will vary widely and respect their opinions.
- Listen to and apply appropriate constructive criticism whether it comes from a judge or a coach.
- Ride the bus to competitions with the rest of the team, unless excused prior to a competition.
- Maintain a professional appearance during competitions.
- Be organized and prepared for rehearsals and competitions.
- Celebrate the joys of the confidence gained through oral speaking.