Bellarmine College Preparatory
Speech and Debate
2006-2007 calendar now available under Calendar.
If you're looking for the Permissions and Indemnity Forms, read the memo on the newsletters and forms page.
The N.F.L. is Bellarmine's speech and debate team, providing competition in fifteen different events, ranging from cross-examination debate to stand-up comedy events to dramatic interpretation to current events-news analysis. The Bellarmine team begins practicing the first week of school in order to compete in some 25 tournaments from October to June. Most of these contests have special divisions for freshmen, but usually, many Bellarmine freshmen enjoy enough success that they are debating at the varsity level by the end of their first year.
Bellarmine has won nine of the last thirteen state team championships in speech and debate. The Bellarmine N.F.L. (National Forensics League) also won the National Championship in 1994. Eleven Bellarmine speakers have won individual national championships, and Bellarmine has produced 36 individual state champions.
More importantly, though, speech and debate competition is an intellectually stimulating activity, and a good way to meet other potential leaders at Bellarmine, and at other schools around the state of California.
Bellarmine also offers a beginning speech and debate class called Rhetoric that students can apply for in their freshman year, in place of the World Cultures class. While any student interested in learning how to effectively discuss and debate current events and contemporary issues may apply to Rhetoric, students interested in joining the debate team will find this class particularly valuable, and they are encouraged to apply.
Mission Statement - Bellarmine Speech and Debate
It is the Mission of the Speech and Debate program first to develop an active listener, a student who will seek to understand all sides of an issue (whether world affairs or personal choices). He will become Intellectually Competent through extensive research on the subjects of his speeches, and through researching and argument of the debate topics. In addition, he will apply our shared standards of the Grad at Grad, most notably a Love for Justice. He will be able and willing to articulate what might be an unpopular opinion for those who have no voice and to communicate these concerns to a wide lay audience. As many choose to avoid this path, the student will most often become The Leader in both this community and in any in which he finds himself. Ultimately, the student will come to see himself, first and foremost, as both a Loving Teammate and Opponent, whose ultimate goal is to represent Bellarmine for the Greater Glory of God.