2022 Registration Letter
2022 Registration Form
2022 Competition Schedule
UPDATE 9/20/2021: Dear Coaches and Mock Trial Participants,
Last week, the MTEC had a call with our district and regional coordinators. We all agreed that in-person mock trial in Pennsylvania remains the goal for this year, but we also collectively identified many challenges to getting there, including most importantly the possibility that some local courthouses may not be willing to accommodate trials this year and some school districts may not permit travel for competition. District and regional coordinators are investigating these issues, and we intend to survey them in a week or two to determine how many districts or regions could administer a normal competition this year, assuming no change in the COVID situation.
Throughout the history of Pennsylvania mock trial, we have tried to assure near-uniform rules of competition and competition formats, so students competed on similar playing fields in the district, regional, and state competition. It is unrealistic to expect that there will be no issues with in-person mock trial anywhere in the state this year, whether because of conditions today or the conditions that can reasonably be expected to develop locally over time. But if there must be virtual trials in some parts of the state, the principle of uniformity would demand that we have virtual trials everywhere. In other words, our primary goals - uniformity and holding in-person trials - are in acute tension. Likewise, we are aware that certain schools, school districts, or courts may only allow competition to occur under conditions we have not historically been forced to administer, such as by requiring participants or spectators to be vaccinated and/or masked. These questions have proved controversial in society, and we have to consider how the MTEC could enforce any such conditions placed on us. We are not alone in facing this conundrum, and states nationwide are addressing it in very different ways.
In order to give us time to consider our options and collect information about what our coordinators, coaches, and participants thinks we should do, we will be moving the registration date back from November 5 to November 19. Please keep an eye out for our survey in early October and complete it promptly, after you have had a chance to discuss the questions we ask with all appropriate stakeholders.
Posted 9/07/2021: Please be advised that the format for this year’s competition has not yet been determined. Please see the message below from the Mock Trial Executive Committee for more details.
We have heard from many of you in the last few weeks, asking about how the competition will work this year, when it will be held, and what our plans will be for managing the pandemic. Like you, we had hoped to be able to answer these questions in August this year, and like so many of you, we had hoped that these answers would be a simple, straightforward return to in-person normalcy.
Suffice it to say that we, like you, have been disappointed in that respect. As we write in early September, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 pandemic is still working its way through the country, and we are seeing transmission in schools and widespread disruption of court operations, including in Pennsylvania.
Please understand that we are faced with a tremendous logistical challenge every year, and this year that challenge is likely to be even more acute. We want to bring Pennsylvania mock trial back to Pennsylvania courthouses, but right now, many of those courthouses are not even fully operational for criminal trials, much less extracurricular activities. Few of them know what their operations can be for competitions like ours, and fewer still can predict with any confidence how things will look in January. We cannot plan to have mock trial in person without assurances that there will be a venue willing to have us, and those who could make that decision know little more than we do about what the next six months will bring for the Commonwealth and the nation.
We know that you want to know if our competition will be hybrid or in-person, or both. We know that you want to know if every district will have the same programmatic approach as every other district. And we know that you want to know what Regionals and States will be this year. So do we. But despite our best efforts, we don't yet, and we can't be confident when those answers will become clear, reliable, actionable. Many competitions around the country have already decided to go virtual for a second year, but right now, we are holding out hope. Whether we can preserve mock trial in-person or not remains to be seen, and we will let you know as soon as we do, after consulting with our district and regional coordinators and with our sponsor.
We know that everyone has already been patient, and we feel the same urgent need to return to normalcy as you and your students do. For now, though, we cannot be sure what mock trial will look like this year, only that our commitment to making it happen for every student who wants to participate and can participate is unwavering.
Thank you for your continued understanding as we do everything we can to make this the best experience, competitively and educationally, that it can be.
If you have any questions about the 2022 Mock Trial Competition, please contact PBA/YLD Coordinator Maria Engles at 1-800-932-0311 ext. 2223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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