Speech & Debate
Speech Coach Information Form
General Speech Information
Spring Meet Online Entry System
Debate is the League’s longest-running contest, dating back to 1910. A small group of debate coaches met in Abilene and enthusiastically began an interscholastic forensic program to motivate their students and provide them with a practical application for the skills they were developing. It was then that UIL was born. Ten teams representing ten divisions of the state competed in the first state tournament. One hundred years later, the UIL Cross-Examination Policy Debate State Meet is celebrated as the largest high school debate tournament in the nation.
At the first state meet, educators voted to add declamation as a state-qualifying contest. Since that time, the League has expanded speaking competition to include two debate contests, two public speaking contests and two oral performance contests. Thousands of students from across the state of Texas compete each year in Cross-Examination Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Extemporaneous Informative Speaking, Extemporaneous Persuasive Speaking, Prose Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation.