Topic Areas


All questions are written by a large committee of the nation’s best extempers and extemp coaches.

For the 2019 Tournament of Champions in Extemporaneous Speaking, the topic areas of each round will be as follows:


Round 1: Europe and Asia

Questions will focus on the social and political issues of European and Asian nations, including Oceania.  Some questions may consider relations between European and Asian nations or multi- or international organizations, and others may ask solely about one nation’s internal politics


Round 2: Domestic Politics

Questions will focus on US politics.  Topics that are ‘fair game’ include but are not limited to elections, party positions, policy debates, the presidential administration, and federal organizations


Round 3: Economics – Businesses

Questions will focus on economic issues and decisions affecting individual, identifiable markets, sectors, or companies.  Both US and international business interests are considered in this round. Questions may ask about mergers and acquisitions, the stock market, emerging competitive markets, energy markets, and company decisions and futures.


Round 4: Africa and the Americas

Questions will ask about the social and political issues of African and North, Central, and South America nations, including the Middle East, understanding it as part of the Middle East and North Africa region. Some questions may consider relations between nations or multi- or international organizations, while others may be solely about one nation’s internal politics.

Round 5: Domestic Social

Questions will focus on social issues within the United States, intending to focus on broad issues of societal importance rather than solely domestic political processes (while understanding that the two are related – a competitor may, say, analyse a piece of legislation in discussing a pending court case about said legislation).  Topics that are fair game include but are not limited to the Supreme Court and lower court decisions, educational policy, health policy, and social movements.

Round 6: Economics – Governments

Questions will be focused on economics that happen at a governmental level, considering how government actors shape and respond to the economy.  Topics that are fair game include but are not limited to monetary policy, fiscal policy, trade deals, infrastructure, structural economic factors (e.g., unemployment), and economic policy. Both US and international concerns are considered in this round.

Quarterfinals: US Foreign Policy

Questions will focus on how the US interacts with other nations. These questions ask speakers to analyze issues such as what ramifications US policy has on other nations, if the US should become involved in international conflicts, how the US could influence other nations, or ways in which the US operates within multinational organizations

Semifinals: Domestic Hypotheticals

Questions ask students to engage with a hypothetical scenario relating to the United States.  These scenarios can be political, social, or economic in nature and must have not happened yet but be reasonably something the US may face.  Students will be asked how known actors, entities, or governmental structures would respond to this scenario, and analysis is predictive in nature.

Finals: Triads

Questions ask students to analyze the relationship between three different actors.  These actors can be nations, factions within countries, individuals, organizations, or other relevant groups.  Successful speakers engage all three actors in their analysis of the the question.