FAQs about Forensics

What is Forensics?

Forensics is an extra-curricular activity offered to students in 6th, 7th & 8th grade. The purpose of middle school forensics is to build self-confidence and oral competency by developing and practicing fundamental public speaking skills. Through competition, our primary goal is to find enjoyment in oral communication, a critical skill in life!

What is the MLFA?

The Middle Level Forensics Association is a coalition of middle schools primarily in central and southern Wisconsin, however, any school with students in grades 6-8 may join as members schools. Association membership allows students from that team to compete at any of the sanctioned competitions. An adult coach is required to sponsor students at competitions.

When is the Middle School Forensics Season?

Most coaches provide information meetings typically in November/December.  Coaching typically begins in early January and competitions take place in February and March.

How Does Forensics Work?

There are seventeen different categories in forensics. There truly is a category for every student! Categories are available for individual, partner, and group performances.  Students choose one category for the season and choose an appropriate selection to be used in competition during the tournament season. These selections are then performed at scheduled tournaments and festivals where students are evaluated according to category standards.

Where can I find materials for competition?

Students are encouraged to find ideas, scripts and materials that best fit their personality. Coaches can assist in finding materials, but you may also ask your school’s librarian, teachers and parents. Think about some of your favorite short stories or novels. Those favorites may lead you to your competition piece! Check out our list of links that you may find helpful.

When Do Competitions Begin?

Competitions during the six week season are hosted by individual MLFA schools during the weekends from late January through  March. The State MLFA Tournament takes place at the end of the season.  Since forensics is primarily an individual or small-group activity, students may attend as many competitions as they would like.

I’m a new coach, can I get some help from another coach?

You bet! Our website includes many resources for new and returning coaches. Our association also sponsors a mentoring program made up of veteran coaches. If you have specific questions about forensics, take a look at the members of the association executive board and committee chairs. Feel free to contact any of them for specific questions. If you’re unsure who to ask, simply email us! leadership@wisconsinmlfa.org

I have a question about my child’s performance rating / experience. What are the steps that I should follow?

The MLFA is set up primarily for coaches; the coach is the representative for all students. Your Head Coach is the FIRST step for questions. Many of your questions can be answered by your school’s coach. If there are further questions, your COACH will follow up for further information.

I’m a parent, can I be involved in forensics?

Holy cow! There are many different ways that you can be involved.

  1. Help your child to choose a category and find a piece.
  2. Watch your child practice and give specific feedback and suggestions for improvement; use the category rules and rubrics to shape your child’s practice.
  3. Contact your child’s coach and offer your assistance as a parent coach.
  4. Be trained as a judge for your team. (Each team must supply a judge for every five entries at each competition.)
  5. Travel with your team and act as a chaperone at the competitions. Even a half-day is helpful!


Contact leadership@wisconsinmlfa.org