Joining the Debate Team or Mock Trial Team is easy. Participating and the work involved should be fun. Students are expected to attend a general meeting of the team at the beginning of the season. In addition, an online course is provided to help students learn the material and information needed to be competitive. The course materials will take about one hour each week for students to complete. Students are encouraged to practice or prepare each week for their particular event in the time that they have available. More practice is encouraged and leads students to have success competitively. Around the state of Georgia, students who desire success on the highest levels devote much time to debate and mock trial activities and reap great rewards. Occasionally a team practice is scheduled to accommodate the greatest number of students in each event. Our teams are always willing to schedule practice sessions as needed for those students who want to improve their competitive skills.
The majority of our debate tournaments are held on Saturdays throughout the year around the State of Georgia. (GFCA Tournament Calendar) Usually, students will travel by school van or bus along with the coach. Many of our tournaments are selected to minimize travel costs and overnight travel. For one-day Saturday tournaments, our teams leave Thomas County Central between 6:00 – 6:30 in the morning and return about 9:00 – 11:30 in the evening. Some debate competitions and Student Congress competitions are held on Fridays and Saturdays, and we will usually leave school at 3:00 p.m. and return Saturday evening. Regional and district mock trial competitions take place on Saturdays beginning on the last Saturday of January.
Students who sign-up for the forensics program are expected to attend at least three tournaments. We encourage students to check the event calendar and choose 4-6 tournaments that they would like to attend. The coach will make the final calendar based on the degree of interest and participation expected for events.
Once signed up for a tournament, students may not withdraw less than 7 days before competition without the approval of the coach for good cause. Students who sign-up to attend a tournament are expected to be at the school in time for departure. For students to depart, the coach must have a signed copy of the Parental Permission Form in possession. This form will cover all Saturday and weekend tournaments. You may, of course, withdraw your permission by notifying the coach in writing at any time.
Students representing Thomas County Central High School are expected to abide by the separately provided Team Participation Agreement. Please review this form and indicate your agreement by electronically signing it and returning it to the Coach online.
Additionally, accidents and emergencies, although rare, have been known to occur at speech and debate events. To ensure that the health and welfare of our students are protected, please complete and return the Parental Permission Form discussed above that provides insurance information and provides permission for the coach to give permission for treatment while at events. Students will not be allowed to attend tournaments unless we have a completed copy of the form.
Since Thomas County Central High School competitive debate and mock trial are extracurricular activities, parent support is needed. Parents support by helping with funding, judging at events, and encouraging student participation.