Welcome to speech and debate in Georgia! We are glad you’re here.

If you’re new, here are some things you should start thinking about. If you have any questions, feel free to email a member of the executive board.

1) Events. One of the major decisions you will need to make is which speech and/or debate events you are going to offer. There are 12 sanctioned GFCA events. Some coaches compete in all or most events, and some specialize in only one or two events. You should start by weighing the pros and cons of each event. You might want to discuss with your students. Consider your experience and which activities you think will be most beneficial to students. You can find out about many events here: https://www.speechanddebate.org/competition-events/

2) Costs. Speech/ debate can get expensive. You will need to consider how to raise funds. Are you going to bill parents? Host a tournament? Get sponsors? Check with your school and other coaches about what they do. If you have more funds, you will probably be able to travel farther and have more regional or national competition. Many GFCA tournaments offer free or discounted entry fees for new programs.

3) Calendar. Most new programs tend to stay in state their first year. The GFCA calendar has a list of all GFCA sanctioned tournaments for the year. You should plan out travel carefully. For example, you might not want to attend 4 tournaments in October, 3 tournaments in November, and none in December, January, or February. There is no right number of tournaments to attend, but generally students who are competing more tend to progress more if they are competing more often. You can consult other coaches in the area about transportation to different tournaments.

4) Listserv. If you’re not on the listserv, email the GFCA Director of Communications to have your name and email added. This will provide information about meetings, tournament changes, and other important information.

5) Paperwork. Your particular school system will have requirements for field trips and expenses. You should get started on this early, as some counties take several months to approve travel or other requisitions.