Forensics Program

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 mid-November and runs up through mid-April. Students choose one out of the sixteen categories 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 once a week before school, during a free school period, or after school.

Competitions begin with the local contest in early February. 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 participants advance to the sub-district contest, which is held in late February. Competitors must earn passing scores to advance to the mid-March district competition at UW-Platteville (or at the alternate mini-district contest at Barneveld High School). If they earn passing scores here, they advance 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:

  1. Develop skills in oral language, as well as in voice and body expression.
  2. Critically evaluate ideas and beliefs of others and draw logical conclusions.
  3. Learn how to effectively organize their ideas and present them clearly and concisely.
  4. Recreate the written thoughts of others through vocal delivery.
  5. Learn the fundamentals of research and how to use this research to draw a conclusion.
  6. Develop insights into universal human experiences.
  7. Meet and interact with students from other schools in the context of social and intellectual activity.
  8. Realize the simultaneous opportunities for leadership and group participation.

Students are expected to:

  1. Attend all practices and contests, unless previously excused.
  2. Represent Platteville High School in a very positive manner.
  3. Listen attentively and courteously to other competitors.
  4. Demonstrate a willingness to work cooperatively with the coach and other members of the team.
  5. Understand that judges’ opinions at competitions will vary widely and respect their opinions.
  6. Listen to and apply appropriate constructive criticism whether it comes from a judge or a coach.
  7. Ride the bus to competitions with the rest of the team, unless excused prior to a competition.
  8. Maintain a professional appearance during competitions.
  9. Be organized and prepared for rehearsals and competitions.
  10. Celebrate the joys of the confidence gained through public performance.