The Ohio Speech & Debate Association (OSDA) and its partners will collaboratively create and foster speech and debate competition and education, promoting effective communicators, critical thinkers, and ethical leaders.
We will provide access, opportunities, and resources to all participants to create a sense of inclusion and belonging within a supportive community.
We will endeavor to be our very best and make the most of our opportunities.
We will conduct ourselves consistently with honesty and with an unwavering sense of ethics.
We will celebrate the unique perspectives of members and encourage the respectful expression of ideas in our organization.
We will continuously strive to improve ourselves and our community through our participation in the OSDA.
The Ohio Speech & Debate Association (formerly the Ohio High School Speech League) is a non-profit organization of public, private, and parochial high schools and middle schools in Ohio and is organized exclusively for educational purposes. The purpose of this organization shall include, as far as personnel, facilities, and finances permit, these major objectives:
To provide guidance and aid to Ohio high school and middle school directors of debate, speech, and drama, henceforth referred to as forensics, in the development of their curricular and co-curricular work in those areas.
To provide opportunities for the effective speech training of high school students as outlined below.
To encourage practice tournaments throughout the state.
To supervise the conducting of BQS, PDQ, District and State Tournament in competitive communicative arts.
To recognize excellence of performance at these tournaments.
Since its activities in promoting interscholastic forensics competition are educationally sound, worthy, and timely, and contribute directly to the educational, civic, social, and ethical development of the students involved, this organization endorses the guiding principles and criteria established by the Activities Committee of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators.
The objectives of the forensics training opportunities provided by this organization include:
Educational development - to develop the skills of analysis, research, critical thinking, and informative and persuasive communication, understanding and appreciation of literature, oral interpretation of literary, dramatic, and oratorical selections.
Civic development - to develop understanding of public issues on local, national, and global levels, to prepare for the responsible exercise of citizenship rights and duties, especially to prepare for articulate and informed civic leadership.
Social development - to develop better understanding and tolerance among students of different schools and communities, to stimulate interest in the solving of social problems, to develop well-balanced personalities in competitive situations.
Ethical development - to develop personal qualities of truthfulness, fairness, and tolerance in bearing the ethical responsibility of public speakers to be honest, and to learn to win or lose graciously.
The Ohio Speech and Debate Association is comprised of the membership of Ohio high schools and directed by a Board of Directors and an Executive Director.
All matters of basic OSDA policy shall be determined by the Board of Directors, which consists of twelve members elected by one voting representative of each member school. This voting representative shall be an active coach or forensics director, as designated on the registration. Only a debate, speech, drama coach, or forensics director so designated shall be eligible for nomination to the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall elect a Chair, Secretary, and Financial Secretary for a term of one year or until their successors are elected. This election shall take place at the first meeting after the Board election results are known. No Board member may serve more than three consecutive terms in any one of the aforementioned offices.
The Board is accountable directly to Association schools, and any Board member may be removed by a majority vote of member schools.
The Executive Director shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to serve for a period of one year. The Executive Director will administer the work of the OSDA and attend Board meetings.
Annual membership fees, the State Tournament fees, and other monies received by the Association shall constitute a fund known as The Ohio Speech and Debate Association Fund.
The Financial Secretary shall provide to the members of the Board the reports of the financial situation of the Association at regularly scheduled meetings. The Executive Director and Financial Secretary shall submit an annual written report of receipts and expenditures at the close of each school year to the Board of Directors and to the members of the OSDA.