Attention: Plans for Virtual Coaches Meeting

The next BCFL Coach meeting will be on June 23rd at 6 PM. This will be in a virtual setting as we cannot yet expect to be able to meet in person. An agenda will be sent before the meeting, but here is a list of agenda items:

  • Elections will be held for the following Director positions: Student Congress, Policy and Speech. Current officers will continue their duties and newly elected officers will begin in the fall as per our August 2019 meeting.
  • We will set a tentative tournament calendar.  Please consider hosting a tournament at your school.
  • We will discuss the possibility of running a virtual tournament should restrictions still be in place in the fall. Please contact the Diocesan Director at [email protected] if you are a coach who has experienced a virtual tournament and you are willing to serve on this committee.
  • If you would like to submit a proposal for discussion at this meeting, please submit it to the Diocesan Director at [email protected] by May 23rd so that it can included in the agenda and can be distributed for consideration before June 23rd.

Notice: Changes to PF Rules

If your school has Public Forum debaters, you may have heard that the NCFL will be changing the lengths of the summary speeches and prep time to 3 minutes. Currently these are all 2 minutes.

Since the NCFL rules change for PF does not take effect until May, we have decided that the BCFL will implement the rules change as of January 1, 2020 to give our teams a chance to compete with the new format.  Until then, we will continue to use 2 minute final focus and summary and 2 minutes prep time.

In Memory of Trish Ostermann

The BCFL was sad to lose one of its founding members this year.  We wanted to share some memories of Trish Ostermann from those who knew her well.

From Tom Durkin:

When I first met her, I knew Trish Ostermann as Mrs. Ostermann. She was an English teacher at Towson Catholic High School as well as Speech and Debate coach. She was also co-director of what was then called the Baltimore Forensics League (BFL). Most who know her in speech and debate think she  was the queen of oratory and extemp, but she also had some really competitive policy debate teams. As her role of co-director, she helped run the local tournaments, which ran on time, because of Mrs. Ostermann. I know, I did policy debate starting in 1974, and her teams were really tough. Her goal was to make all debaters better. She did. 

Later, when I did extemp in 1977, she judged me often, and her comments were always constructive but developmental. Sometimes, her comments were highly critical, but always with the intent of making me better. She did.

She not only helped start the BFL, which later became what is now the BCFL, she also helped start the Mid-Atlantic District of the NFL, allowing students to attend two national tournaments. Her efforts were to help students expand their talents. She did.

When I became a coach in 1985, she became a mentor. She provided laughter and guidance. She allowed our league to expand and change rules, as long as these rules helped kids. She often offered to judge finals in any event we needed her. She did. 

When we hosted Nationals in 1986, 1997, and 2012, we could always count on Trish to be there to help, work, sort, judge, and make us laugh when things were stressful. Her goal was to help us be the best league we could be.  She did. 

Wherever we have tournaments, whenever we are looking for that missing judge or student, and whenever we gather to celebrate students’ success in speech and debate, we can do this because of Mrs. Patricia (Trish) Ostermann, because of what she did. 

Thanks, Trish.

From Howard Scott:

What can I say about Trish Ostermann?  It would be hard to encapsulate her influence in a book, much less a paragraph!  She was an educator, mentor, and friend without parallel.  This, however, is a Forensics site.  Without her leadership, there would have been no BCFL.  She and Frank Sharp began the BCFL and she acted as its director  at various times.  Trish Ostermann’s dedication to Forensics was remarkable.  She was involved on her Forensics Team as a student in high school herself in the 50’s and coached students at various schools including her alma mater, The Catholic High School of Baltimore, until this past Spring.  Speech had no stronger advocate in Baltimore.  Her wisdom, spirit, insightful ballots, and ready, hearty laugh will be sorely missed.  She was quite a lady!

Dues are Due!

This is a reminder that dues and the NCFL Data Form are due by November 1 (post-marked).  If your school’s processing of the these two items is not going to meet this deadline, please let me know so that your school is not charged with a 10% late fee.

Aimee Sann
Message from the League Director

We are almost at the end of the 2023-2024 tournament season! Good luck to everyone for a strong finish of an amazing year of competition!