This handbook has been prepared for the benefit of the student and the parent in an effort to make the forensic activity a challenging and rewarding part of the overall school program. Our program is designed, first and foremost, to develop each individual into a young man or woman who exhibits sound intellectual, emotional, and social judgment through the development of strong communication skills. It is our intention that both the student and parent will a gain a genuine understanding of forensics through the careful reading and discussion of this handbook.
Welcome to the exciting, challenging, and rewarding world of Lodi High School forensics. There is not another co-curricular activity that will do more to build poise, confidence, and strong self-esteem. Forensics offers immediate rewards, such as ribbons, medals, and trophies. However, the true dividends that one gains through this activity pay a lifetime of rewards--just ask any alumnus of the program.
Lodi High School has been active in interscholastic forensic competition since the founding of the Wisconsin High School Forensics Association (WHSFA). It is through the devotion and enthusiasm of Lodi High School students, and through the encouragement and guidance of parents and coaches, that forensics has grown to be such a popular and successful activity at Lodi High School. Last year over 50 students completed the season.
In the past twenty plus years, the Lodi High School Forensics Team has become a very active in invitational tournaments and has become recognized as one of the top programs in all of Wisconsin, winning the coveted Excellence in Speech Award 18 times as well as multiple conference championships. This award is given to the top 5% of the forensics teams in the state. Last year the team also placed first at the Lodi Invitational and the Capitol Conference meets, second at Berlin, Sun Prairie and DeForest, and fifth at the WFCA state festival. We also advanced all 25 entries to state.
BECAUSE OF THESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, LHS FORENSICS SETS THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IN SPEECH COMPETITION IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN.
The Lodi High School Forensics program is affiliated with the following organizations:
Wisconsin High School Forensic Association (WHSFA)
This organization, sponsored by Wisconsin school administrators, sets the rules for the various forensic categories and conducts the sub-district, district, and state contests. Lodi High School assistant forensics coach, Mr. Kohl, currently serves on the WHSFA Speech Advisory Committee.
Wisconsin Forensics Coaches Association (WFCA)
This is the professional organization of forensic coaches. It sets the standards for judges and coaches and establishes the guidelines and policies for invitational tournaments. The WFCA also sponsors the WFCA Coaches Tournament--the largest and most prestigious invitational of the season--in a state champion in each category is selected.
WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN FORENSICS?
Any Lodi High School student who enjoys performing and/or wants to develop poise, speaking, acting, and writing skills. We take great pride in the fact that our program has broken down the barriers of athletics versus academic activities. Each year, our roster is filled with cheerleaders, basketball players, wrestlers, as well as those who are active in band, choir, mock trial, and dramatics. Forensics has something to offer to everyone, and it’s rewarding that so many students see the value of it and take part.
In order to be eligible to participate in forensics, students must be on academic good standing and in compliance with all other guidelines outlined in the Lodi High School Co-Curricular Code. Students must attend a code meeting (if they haven’t already done so this year) and turn in a signed code to the high school office before they can even begin to practice.
A $60.00 Activity Fee must be paid in the office prior to the first contest.
Mrs. Sharon Easley will be serving as head coach this year and coaching interpretive categories. Assistant coaches are Mr. Mark Kohl (speech categories), Mr. Greg Davis (speech categories), Anne Lembcke (interpretive categories) and Ms. Jamie England (interpretive categories). Each coach will have a maximum of 10 entries; however, if we have more than 40 entries, we will consider hiring another coach. Our coaches are well-qualified, well-organized, and dedicated to helping students reach their potential and succeed in their events.Combined, the staff has over 80 years of coaching experience.
A great selling point of the forensic program is its flexible practice schedule.
Students do not have to choose between athletics or forensics. Coaches are ready, willing, and able to practice with students before school, during lunch hour, preparation periods, evenings, and weekends.
Students who join the forensics team are required to schedule and attend a practice sessions each week with the coach. (This does not count time that students practice on their own.) Practice sessions in the early stages of the season will last longer. Speeches need to be researched and organized, selections need to be found and cut, and actors need blocking and directing. Once the season is underway, the practice sessions are shorter. Outside their rooms the forensics coaches have sign up sheets specifying available practice times.
During the month of January, students should also try to meet with one other student each week to do a run-through of the piece. Students will then give each other notes/suggestions on improvement. This means that by the first competition, students will have received at least four extra critiques
Suggested Practice Schedule
December—2 times per week with a coach
January—2 times per week with a coach
1 (brief) time per week with a practice partner
February/March/April—1 time per week (with a coach)
Information concerning forensics activities will be distributed in “4N6 Notes,” our newsletter. Important information about upcoming events, bus departures, and other pertinent information will be included.
Occasionally during the season, it may be necessary to call the whole team together. Most meetings will be during FLEX in the LGI.When a meeting is called, all forensics students are expected to attend because an important issue needs to be addressed by the entire team.Failure to attend meetings may result in being suspended from competition.
SETTING THE ROSTER
A full varsity team consists of 25 entries (Group interp and play acting have 2-5 people, but count as one entry each) with certain restrictions within each category. We can enter a combined total of ten people for prose, poetry, and farrago. A roster is limited to two interp groups and two play acting groups for the state WHSFA meet. All other categories are limited to four entries each.
PARTICIPATION IN TOURNAMENTS
It is expected that all forensic participants will compete in all tournaments unless prior notification is given to Mrs. Easley a minimum of two weeks in advance.
A forensic participant is a member of a team, just as a basketball player is a member of a team. If the starting forward misses a tournament, the forensics team suffers also when members are not present. We simply cannot attain our goals unless we approach each contest with a total team effort.
Tournaments are expensive. The school pays an entry fee for each contestant in each tournament. In addition, the school hires one judge for five entries at $75 per judge, or $15 per entry.In addition we pay entry fees between $8 and $15 per entry, depending on the event. Finally, transportation is also expensive. No-shows will be held responsible to reimburse the school for any wasted judges’ fees, entry fees, and transportation costs.If students are suspended from the team due to a code violation, they are still expected to practice with their coach AND attend the meets even if they are not participating in a scheduled varsity meet. If students do not comply with this aspect of the program, they will not complete the season in good standing as it applies to the activity code.
Types of Tournaments
In Wisconsin forensics, there are two types of tournament events: festival and invitational tournaments. At festivals, such as sub-district and district, the competition is on an individual basis, and team points are not rewarded. It will take scores of sixteen points in at least two rounds to advance from sub-district to district, and it will take twenty points in at least two rounds to advance from district to state.
At invitational tournament, competition is on an individual and team basis. In a tournament, each student performs three times, each time in front of a different judge. Each judge ranks the performance in comparison with the other speakers in the rounds. Contestants are ranked one through five, with on being the best. The top scores from the three preliminary rounds then earn the right to compete in the finals (power round) for individual trophies. Rankings in the three preliminary rounds determine the team points and team standings. A rank of 1 equals 5 points, and a rank of 2 equals 4 points, etc. In most tournaments, the top five schools receive trophies.
2010-11 Forensics Meets/Events
January 22, 2011 (Saturday)
January 29, 2011 (Saturday)
February 5, 2011 (Saturday)
Sun Prairie Invitational
February 7, 2011 (Monday)
Capitol Conference Meet
February 19, 2011 (Saturday)
February 21, 2011 (Monday)
WHSFA Subdistrict (Varsity only)
March 5, 2011 (Saturday)
Madison Memorial Invitational
March 7, 2011 (Monday)
WHSFA District (Varsity only)
March 19, 2011 (Saturday)
April 4, 2011
Lodi Open House
April 15, 2011 (Friday)
Madison WHSFA State (Varsity Only)
April 16, 2011 (Saturday)
Ripon WFCA State (Varsity Only)
May 16, 2011 (Monday)
Pizza celebration/Fine Arts Night
DRESS FOR SUCCESS. Proper dress and good grooming are non-verbal aspects of communication, and judges are affected by these things. Sweatshirts, T-shirts, jeans, and other clothing commonly referred to as “grubbies” are not allowed. Male or female, dress up and look your best for all events on the schedule.The way you look can influence your performance and your judges.
vBus times are always listed in the weekly “4N6 Notes.” BE ON TIME. If we arrive late at a tournament, the radio speakers and extemporaneous speakers draw late and are put at a tremendous disadvantage. The entire team suffers as a result. Mrs. Easley will provide you with a call tree to use in case of inclement weather.
vAlways remain seated unless you need to get up and talk to a coach.
vBe respectful and courteous to the driver.
vWe will stop at fast-food restaurants when locations are convenient and we aren’t rushed to get home. In most cases, we will eat on the bus, which will require people to pick up after themselves. Abide by all other rules specified by the bus company or driver
vIt is the school district’s policy that parents can drive only their own
son/daughter to or from a contest site with prior special permission. Parents
must sign for their students to ride home with them. (See Mrs. Easley to sign out.)
vStudents are not allowed to drive themselves to and from events.
vWe will use a call tree and let students know if an event is cancelled due to weather.
Tournament Code of Conduct
Lodi High School Forensics teams of the past have worked extremely hard to ear respect, recognition, and admiration from schools all over the state. Our program brings a great deal of pride to our school and community. In order to preserve the rich tradition we have here, it is very important to point out the tremendous responsibility that goes along with being part of a successful program. It is not necessary to establish a strict Code of Conduct, but a few important guideline need to be spelled out.
vPRACTICE COMMON COURTESY
Stay in your round until is completion, and be attentive while your competitors perform. Be quiet in hallways while other rounds are in progress. At our host schools, do not bother anything in your performance rooms.
Everyone on the team will experience a controversial judging decision at least once during the season. It simply goes with the territory. Keep things in perspective. Focus on the next round and the next event. Don’t dwell on the past. Be a gracious winner, and be gracious when things don’t go your way.
vATTEND POWER ROUNDS
If you do not qualify for a power round, attend the one in your event, and observe the level of performance it takes to reach the finals- OR- make a show of support and attend the power round of a teammate.
All coaches, judges, and team members are to sit together during the award assemblies.
vBRING PRIDE TO YOUR School District of Lodi
Tournaments consist of 20 to 40 schools, and up to 1,500 people from all over the state. When we travel to an event, we will become representatives of our team, school, and community.All students, coaches, and judges representing Lodi High School havethe responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that will preserve the respect that our program has worked so hard toattain.
If you encounter a problem, please find Mrs. Easley, call her cell phone (608-770-9950), or find Mr. Davis, Ms. England, Ms. Lembcke, or Mr. Kohl.
Members of the forensics team are recognized each May during the “Academic and Fine Arts Award Night.” Each varsity participant receives a Certificate of Participation from the WHSFA. Team members receive a forensics medal for participating in at least three events. Other awards include:
vThe Hugill Award
This award is a $100 scholarship, and the winners name is engraved on a plque displayed in the fine arts trophy case. The award goes to a senior that has accumulated the most team points during his or her forensic career.
vMost Valuable Speaker
This distinction is awarded each year to a member of the team that excelled in competition, shown positive leadership, and has gone that extra mile for the good of the team
vMost Improved Speaker
This award foes to an individual who shows significant improvement over the course of the season or from one season to the next. Coaches also choose the recipient of this award.
Students who participate for the FULL SEASON and participate in either the WHSFA State Contest or the WFCA State Tournament will earn a letter, and should wear it with pride.