The NCFL Grand National Tournament
Please check the
tabs on the right for all updates and announcements.
NCFL Coronavirus Statement
The National Catholic Forensic League has been carefully following the latest updates regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At this time, based on the latest posted CDC travel recommendations, the NCFL Grand National Tournament will be held in Chicago as scheduled.
We continue to monitor updates from the CDC and federal, state, and local health organizations and will post updates on this and all other important tournament matters on
NCFL.org and NCFLNationals.org.
We encourage you to check the CDC guidelines and updates at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov and follow all personal care recommendations.
Be well. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago in May.
Detailed league and tournament information can be found at NCFL.org
The NCFL sponsors the annual Grand National Tournament on Memorial Day weekend, offering six forensics events and four debate events.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities.
What are the deadlines?
Schools joining through a Local Diocesan League, must submit their Membership Forms and Dues to their Local League according to their Local Diocesan League deadlines.
Local Diocesan Leagues must submit all membership forms and dues ($50 per school) by December 10.
New and Existing Local Diocesan Leagues may submit late membership forms and dues ($55 per school) by January 10.
New Leagues must submit membership information not later than January 10.
Schools requesting Individual Membership must apply not later than January 10.
Tournament Registration must be completed, and fees paid, by April 15
What is the tournament format?
Registration by league directors is on Friday afternoon. Directors arrange to distribute registration materials to coaches and judges from their local leagues on Friday night.
Preliminary rounds are held on Saturday. Elimination round participants are announced on Saturday evening after Mass. Elimination rounds are held on Sunday and are followed by an awards ceremony, which will recognize the top contestants in each event. School and League awards are also distributed at the awards ceremony.
How can a student qualify to compete?
The student's school must be a member of an NCFL Local League. These leagues are geographically distributed across the United States. Each league develops its own qualification system for the national tournament. Some leagues use a point system while others hold a qualifying tournament. League quotas represent the maximum number of entries in each category that can advance to the Grand National Tournament from each local league.
NOTE: A school that is not a member of an NCFL league may enter as an independent school for one year only. As such, that school could send one entry to the Grand National Tournament. After that, the school would have to join an NCFL league in order to continue participating. Only schools that are not geographically near an existing local league can apply for individual membership. Application for this membership should be made to the President via email, not later than December 10 each year.
What are a participating coach's responsibilities?
The coach must become familiar with all rules and procedures of the NCFL. Certain categories may be unique to the NCFL, or be slightly different from those of one's state or region. NCFL coaches must also arrange to pay all fees and provide all required judges. A significant fine will be assessed to any school who fails to provide a judge after registering for the tournament.