Among the most important activities of the American Forensic Association is recognizing achievement and quality in commitment to argumentation and public advocacy.

Each year the Association offers three awards selected by the appropriate committees: the Distinguished Service Award , the Speaker of the Year Award , and the Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award. Beyond these awards, the Association sponsors the National Debate Tournament and the National Individual Events Tournament, collegiate competition in policy debate and public speaking events. Affiliates of the Association sponsor many other competitions that recognize excellence in students of forensics.