Categories and Rules

WFCA rules and evaluation sheets are available in the WFCA Handbook.

See the Category Topics page for the current topics for some categories.

The WFCA State Tournament has competition in the following categories. These synopses are general descriptions of the categories; refer to the current handbook for full rules.

Demonstration Speaking

A demonstration speech explains how to do something or how something works. The speech must be instructive and present valuable and significant information in a well-organized and clear manner. Visual aids, if used, should enhance the demonstration but not to take the place of objects or activity.

Duo Interpretation

Duo Interpretation is performance that creates an atmosphere of time and place, emphasizing development of character and appropriate physical movement. Lines are spoken from memory using offstage focus.

Extemporaneous Speaking

The extemporaneous speech should provide a direct response to the question drawn. The challenge to the speaker is to phrase a clear proposition and support it with contentions, which in turn, are supported with evidence and reasoning. Questions will be based on current events.


The challenge of farrago is to select material from a variety of literary genres (poetry, short stories, speeches, essays, drama, novels), which addresses a central specific theme or emotion, and to interpret the material through oral presentation. This is an interpretive category, not an acting category.

Group Interpretive Reading

Contrary to dramatic performance, the challenge of this category is to present a literary script in such manner that the audience imagines action being described rather than witnessing it being performed. Symbolic characterization and vocal and physical action rather than a literal dramatization or pantomime is required. Ideas are imagined though oral reading and interpretation and not through acting.

Impromptu Speaking (new standard category beginning 2017-18)

The impromptu speaker should be able to quickly create and effectively deliver an original, well-organized and imaginative interpretation of the designated topic, supported by varied materials. The information presented should be well-chosen, pertinent, and sufficient to support the central thought of the topic and organized according to some logical plan to produce a complete speech within the time allowed.

Informative Speaking

The challenge to the speaker is to present well-developed material that has the primary intent of informing, although persuasive elements may be present. The speech is to be coherent, unified, and clear. A range of support materials and devices are to be used which can include quotations, statistics, examples, comparisons, and analogies.

Interpretation of Poetry/Prose – see below under Poetry or Prose

Moments in History

The challenge to the speaker is to select and explore an historical topic within the limits presented each year. Students may consider (but are not limited to) using the following areas of research: archival records,diaries, personal interviews, letters, newspapers, etc. The speaker is to use this research information to compose and present a well-organized, informative speech. This is an original informative speech category, and not an acting category.

Oral Interpretation of Literature

The presenter prepares a literary program in poetry and a program in prose (short stories, cuttings from novels, monologues and soliloquies, essays, or other non-fiction work) – each centering on a theme or emotion – for interpretation in alternating rounds of competition. This is an interpretive event, not an acting category.


An oration is expected to be a thoroughly prepared, well-composed, persuasive speech on a topic of significance to general society. A good oration is characterized by vivid and forceful language and appropriate stylistic devices such as metaphor, comparison/contrast, irony, etc. Thoughtfulness in the choice of and approach to the topic and the quality of supporting materials is a necessary part of the good oration.

Play Acting

Play Acting is a group presentation of a memorized scene or cutting from a play without costume, make-up,lights, or properties other than an available table (or desk as a substitute) and chairs, if required. Emphasis is on character development and movement, with physical actions – other than stage movement –pantomimed.

Poetry, Interpretation of

The student should select a poem or a group of poems centering on a specific theme or emotion. This is an interpretive category, not an acting category.

Prose, Interpretation of

A selection from prose literature, including short stories, cutting from novels, monologues and soliloquies,essays, or other non-fiction work centering on a specific theme or emotion, is to be interpreted. This is an interpretive category, not an acting category.

Radio Announcing

The challenge to the speaker is to present a well-organized, clearly communicated newscast. Source material provided by the tournament director of approximately 15-20 minutes in length is to be cut and edited with special efforts made to end right at 5 minutes.

Solo Acting Humorous

By using self as a medium between the selection and the audience, the student shall use vocal and physical skills to develop a complete humorous performance, creating distinct character(s) and actions motivated by the text that are appropriate to the characterization(s) within the control of the setting.

Solo Acting Serious

By using self as a medium between the selection and the audience, the student shall use vocal and physical skills to develop a complete dramatic performance, creating distinct character(s) and actions motivated by the text that are appropriate to the characterization(s) within the control of the setting.

Special Occasion Speaking

The challenge to the speaker is to make an appropriate presentation that responds to the constraints of the occasion, including the probable audience. In considering the "appropriateness" of the speaker's work attention will be paid to the purpose the speaker chooses, the position taken, the content, organization and general stylistic tone, and the manner of delivery. It is possible that a speech may pursue more than one of the standard general purposes of informing, persuading, and entertaining.


To tell a story is to chronicle events. The burden of the storyteller is to chronicle those events in a coherent, unified, clear, and interesting manner. The storyteller may use vocal variation and physical movement from a seated position to suggest different characters and character relationships in order to make the story clearer and more interesting. It should be remembered throughout that the emphasis of the storyteller's art is on the teller as intermediary or narrator.The student is expected to "demonstrate a sense of audience," that is, tell the chosen story in such a manner that would be suitable for the intended audience, be it young children, teenagers, adults, or chronologically advanced.

The WFCA State Student Congress is held the day before the State Tournament, and at some invitationals on the evening before the main tournament

Student Congress is a mock legislative assembly for which students draft legislation, which they later debate and vote to pass into law. Prior to a Congress, students research and prepare arguments for the legislative docket. At the Congress – moderated by a student presiding officer –students support or oppose each issue by delivering brief extemporaneous speeches to establish their position, rebuild complementary arguments, and refute divergent claims.