WDCA History

Past Debate Topics/Resolutions

Past Coaching Award Recipients
Past Coach of the Year Award Winners
Members of the Hall of Fame

Past Student Scholarship Recipients

Year by Year History

December 4, 1965
The birth of the WDCA was at Racine Horlick. Two committees were formed: Tournament Practices and Procedures and Judging Standards and Judging and Coaching Ethics. The First Official Tournament Schedule was proposed.

April 1966
The first general meeting took place (place not recorded). The two committee reports from the last meeting were given. Forty-six interested coaches attended. The creation of all new rules and regulations occurred.

April 12, 1967
The meeting took place at Greenfield High School. Art McMillion was the president. Thirty-two members were present. The first directory was established. The first logo was adopted. Certificates were issued to all charter members—any school joining in 1967 was considered a charter member with the 1965 and 1966 group. The temporary constitution and bylaws were adopted by a 30 to 2 vote. More cross-examination debate was encouraged.

April 5, 1968
The meeting took place at Madison Memorial. Duane Lemcke was the president. Thirty-four members were present. It was established that no school can have more than two voting members. Final ratification of the constitution and bylaws was made by a unanimous vote. Rule and regulations binding on all member schools hosting and attending WDCA tournaments were adopted.

May 9, 1969
The meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Milwaukee. Father Heuser was the president. Special note: Dr. Herman Brochhaus from WHSFA was a guest. The State Tournament was held at Monona Grove this year because of the unrest at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The names A, B, C were changed to Varsity, Jr. Varsity, and Novice. The first annual WDCA Institute was hosted by Whitefish Bay in October 1969.

May 8, 1970
The meeting took place at the Whiting Motel in Stevens Point. Richard Dusterbeck was the president. The members voted to continue the fall workshop or institute. New ballot were approved. Also adopted was a provision for no oral comments by judges. No observers are allowed unless they follow their own team. A motion was passed to begin meeting with the Wisconsin Speech Association. This began in 1971.

April 30, 1971
The meeting took place at the Dell View Hotel in Lake Delton. Tony Busalacchi was the president. It was decided to permanently host a fall workshop. The workshop was held on October 2, 1971, in West Bend. The first official newsletter was published. The newsletter was to be mailed to each member school three times a year. A statewide list of all qualified judges was published and sent to all member schools. The judges were certified by a coach after they attended a judges learning session held by the executive board at different sites around the state.

May 5, 1972
The meeting took place at the Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh. The president was Dru Munson. It was adopted that cross-examination became mandated on all levels of debate. The T of C was cancelled because of lack of interest. A list of 93 certified judges was passed around. Ethics became a permanent standing committee. It was decided to try T of C next year. Rules for a one man team were passed. The two offices of the two separate secretaries were merged. The Development Resource Committee was established to help coaches set up new programs. The
newsletter was dropped.

May 4, 1973
The meeting took place at the Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh. Ron Ernst was the president. Thirty-seven teams competed in the T of C. Definitions of a Novice debater were placed in the Handbook. It was decided that college freshmen cannot be used to judge Varsity debate, and duplicate awardare to be given in case of ties.

May 3, 1974
The meeting took place at the Heidel House in Green Lake. Terry Parks was the president. This must have been a wonderful year—No big changes

April 25, 1975
The meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point. John Fortier was the president. A rule was passed stating that scouting is prohibited by coaches and debaters. The bicentennial youth debaters were discussed. The position of vice-president was changed to president-elect. There were 143 paid members that year.

May 7, 1976
The meeting took place at the Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh. Joe Blaske was the president. An eight-minute prep rule was established. A tie-breaker procedure was adopted. Schools were encouraged to enter the District Tournament. The idea of a Novice State Tournament was defeated. It was decided to have the T of C again. Rules were developed for the running of the T of C. Dissatisfaction was expressed by many regarding the continual meetings with the Speech Association.

May 6, 1977
The meeting took place at the Hilton Hotel in Eau Claire. Donna Frenzel was the president. It was determined that no judge shall shorten or cancel a round of debate without the consent of the Tournament Director. West Allis Nathan Hale was the host for the fall workshop. It was decided that if a school’s invitational tournament was not on the schedule by the fall workshop, the winners were not eligible for the T of C. There were 31 invitational tournaments on the 1977-78 schedule.

May 5, 1978
The meeting was at the Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh. Ron LaPoint was the president. The tri-ballot day was to become effective next year. The eight-minute prep rule was reduced to five minutes. The association went on record as being opposed to coaches certification for coaching. Rules were adopted for the T of C.

May 4, 1979
The meeting was at the Inn on the Park in Madison. Ron Ernst was the president. It was decided to continue to use the tri-ballot for next year at only one designated tournament. The Executive Board began the process of writing a Handbook for officers.

May 2, 1980
The meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point. Bob Rutter was the president. It was in this year that the T of C become a straight three round tournament. An announcement was made that schools that have a 3-0 record at District may now compete at the State
Tournament on that side. It was passed that the past-president become the ex officio member of the Executive Board for the 1980-81 year. It was decided that dues should be paid in the spring and not the fall so that we could have an updated directory for the year. The WHSFA Energy Policy was adopted. The Executive Board began acting as the nomination committee for the election of officers. Lincoln-Douglas debate went to a study committee. Very confusing motions were passed on entries of second varsities and second jr. varsities in invitational tournaments.

May 1, 1981
The meeting took place at the Olympia in Oconomowoc. Al Peckham was the president. It was reported at this meeting that the WHSFA turned down a request by the association to use 8th graders at District and State. It was announced at this meeting that dues would be increased from $10.00 to $15.00 a year. This went into effect in 1982-83. It was passed that the WDCA would not run the Lincoln-Douglas State Tournament. There were 130 paid members this year. There were 25 tournaments on the 1981-82 schedule.

April 30, 1982
The meeting took place at the Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh. Jim Juech was the president. The T of C was called off that year because of snow. It was decided that a new Handbook was be printed next year. It was passed that the Saturday of the Forensics State Tournament was to be the date for the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Tournament. The L-D Tournament committee was made up of three members of the WDCA and one member of the WHSFA. The two WDCA members were elected at the fall meeting. The WDCA president chaired the committee. L-D rules were to be printed in the Handbook. Discussion followed to please break from the Speech (WCA) convention—15 in favor, 7 against, but no action was taken. A committee was set up to study the Minn. Novice Plan.

May 6, 1983
The meeting took place at the Olympia in Oconomowoc. Duane Bosin was the president. This was the year of the BIG HANDBOOK RULE CHANGES. Over 13 lengthy discussions occurred about the problems at the T of C. The problems revolved around the original intent of having a T of C, and the age-old question of what is a Novice? It was moved and seconded that schools that are behind in their dues payments for two years were not to be allowed to participate in any WDCA functions

May 4, 1984
The meeting took place at Interlaken in Lake Geneva. Doris (Ormson) Sexton was the president. It was passed that college freshmen were not to be used to judge Varsity. This was ordered to be placed in the Handbook. The price of ballots increased from 10 cents to 15 cents. Many, many motions passed during the Novice committee report including no counterplans until after December 1 and eight topic areas (four of which have to be Minnesota’s). L-D was sent to committee again. It was passed that the Handbook was to be rewritten beginning on page 23 so everyone could understand the changes.

May 3, 1985
The meeting took place at the Mead Inn in Wisconsin Rapids. Jim Copeland was the president. A new supplement was added to the Handbook on one-man teams and teams composed of students from two different schools. Many, many new rules for the T of C were passed. The procedure for placing your tournament on the schedule was decided. Father Coopman’s resolution on “rapid-fire” delivery was passed and all members present signed it.

May 2, 1986
The meeting took place at the Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh. Sandy Hoecherl was the president. Many, many new rules were passed for the T of C. The limited topic areas became permanent. The bylaws were changed to include a Nominating Committee. For a fee of $10.00, the Executive Board decided it would include tournament invitations in a packet to be distributed at the fall workshop. There were 34 tournaments listed on the 1986-87 schedule.

May 1, 1987
The meeting took place at the Olympia in Oconomowoc. Bob Leet was the president. The Dialog computer system was discussed. Discussion on problems with novice debaters took place. The test that Milwaukee judges were asked to take was reviewed. It was determined that the WDCA did not need to produce a video because there are commercially made ones that would be more than adequate. A “Debate Coach of the Year” award was to be given annually. A committee was established to “set up” the criteria for the award. The first year this was to be issued was

May 1988
The meeting took place at the Mead Inn in Wisconsin Rapids. Terry Falk was the president. The WFA was considering a split with the WCA and wanted to know if we wanted to split. No action was taken. It was decided that qualifying coaches had the responsibility to get information to the T of C. New ballots were ordered.

May 5, 1989
The meeting took place at the Oshkosh Hilton. Sheryl Kaczmarek-Jackson was the president. All new changes in the Handbook were be printed on colored paper so all coaches would be aware of the changes. It was reported that we need an ethics code for coaches. Sanctions were established against schools who use college freshmen to judge varsity (unless he or she was a head coach). No high school students shall be allowed to judge at any level (or they may if a Tournament Director says they can on the invitation). More rules for the T of C were established.

May 4, 1990
The meeting took place at the Midway Motor Lodge in La Crosse. Dean Baerbock was the president. Letters were to be sent to school principals whose schools had not paid their dues in two years. They were sent. Thirty-six schools had not paid since 1988. It was decided that Tournament Directors who do not get entry fees in due time should write to the principal of the nonpaying school requesting payment, and if no response is given, should write to the superintendent of that school district. A discussion regarding equipment vandalism took place. Changes in constitution and bylaws were to be sent—none were listed in the minutes. It was also decided that videos will be produced for the cost of $500.00. A survey was to be conducted by Matt Payne at a cost of $100.

May 3, 1991
The meeting took place at the Sheraton Inn in Madison. Deni Johnson was the president.

May 1, 1992
The meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Green Bay. Doris Sexton was the president. Discussions on the State WDCA Tournament occurred. Discussions on students in high school judging also took place. Changes in the constitution and bylaws were made.

May 1993
The meeting took place at the Mead Inn in Wisconsin Rapids. Jeff Holt was the president. Major changes to the constitution and bylaws were passed. The WDCA tournament name was changed to the State Tournament of Champions with a new division of nonvarsity switch sides. Another attempt to define a novice was made. Changes in rules for invitational tournaments were made. Fines and letters were established in an attempt to control judges. Debaters were now required to have complete source citations on request. L-D topics were to be selected instead of using NFL topics.

May 6, 1994
The meeting took place at the Mead Inn in Wisconsin Rapids. Cliff Morton was the president. The “Debate Adjudicator Procedures, Guidelines, and Ethics” form was established. Other STOC changes were made.

May 5, 1995
The meeting took place in Wisconsin Dells. Jim Sauer was the president. Fourteen recommendations were made regarding the STOC, many of which were passed. “Tag Team” cross-examination was defined and prohibited. Additionally, an eighteen-point minimum was established for speaker points at the STOC. The procedure for hosting a sanctioned tournament was re-created. Lastly, the “Games Playing” judging paradigm was prohibited.

May 3, 1996
The meeting took place at the Hilton in Oshkosh. The president was Marilyn Schiel. The procedure for obtaining a tournament date was clarified. Several STOC changes were made, including judging strikes, judging fines, and judging obligations. The Judging Standards and Ethics Committee’s ethics and grievance procedure was amended. It was moved that the secretary and treasurer positions should become two-year terms.

May 2, 1997
The spring meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point. Bill McBride was the president. Evidence citation and challenge procedures were adopted. The open switch-side division of the STOC was eliminated. The Handbook was restructured and six years of updates were included.

May 1, 1998
The spring meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Eau Claire, WI. Mary Knutson was the president. Dues were increased from $15 to $30. The Media Communications was retooled in an effort to spread greater awareness and recognition for Wisconsin debaters. The Coach of the Year Award was established and presented to Thomas Noonan at the STOC hosted by Waukesha South High School. Standards were passed to deal with unsanctioned tournament events. A comprehensive survey was conducted to ascertain information related to the relative strength and viability of programs statewide. The First Annual WDCA Golf Outing was held, yet no records of the scores remain.

April 30, 1999
The spring meeting took place at The Heidel House in Green Lake. The president was Thomas Noonan. The STOC, hosted by UW-Oshkosh/Sheboygan High School saw several distinct changes including a move from January to December, a operational structure for V-4 power pairing, a shift away from judge strikes to mutual judge preferencing, and an upgrade in the computer technology used to run the tournament. New Coaches Handbooks and New Judges Handbooks were introduced, as well as a New Coaches Mentoring Program. A web site for the WDCA was introduced for tournament results and information. The Second Annual Golf Outing took place, and again no scores remain on record. Stressing that historical relics be sent her way (but not Bob Leet), Doris Sexton became the Historian.

May 5, 2000
The spring meeting took place at the Valley Inn in Neenah. Ken Sajdak was president. The second STOC of the 1999 calendar year was hosted by Appleton West and Appleton North High Schools due to the shift in dates. Media Communications and publishing student written articles were a big topic, and the decision was made to go ahead with a media plan despite earlier difficulties. A proposal to adopt a Lincoln-Douglas Debate under a probationary type period was accepted. If the LD division meets certain criteria, it will become a fully sanctioned event. The WDCA web site was changed and became wdca.net. The Third Annual Golf Outing was again held.

May 4, 2001
The spring meeting took place at the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Steve Gargo was president. Lincoln-Douglas debate obtained sanctioned status for the upcoming STOC. Tournament procedures of the STOC were overhauled to meet updated technology usage. The Sweepstakes and Coaches Awards were modified to include LD and increase participation among member schools. The Forth Annual Golf Outing was modified to include “amateur,” however, it was cancelled due to inclement weather.

April 26, 2002
The spring meeting was held at the Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, and is now held in conjunction with the state English teacher’s association. Terry Falk was president. The WDCA instituted a “Debate Code of Conduct” for students. LD was held as a sanctioned event at the year ending 2001 STOC as it was well received. Judging standards and ethics was an important area of discussion over the course of the season, and an ongoing dialogue was established that is expected to continue. A budgeting process was formally established by the organization with the president-elect being responsible for drafting a working budget for their year as president. With the earlier date, the golf outing was not attempted.