The New York City Urban Debate League’s mission is to provide equitable access for academic debate opportunities.
Access can mean many different things and we strive to provide the needed level of support for each of our member schools to have meaningful tournament experiences.
The NYCUDL is a teaching league first and foremost. We provide debate tournaments for all our members. While these tournaments are a competitive endeavor, we feel strongly that all students benefit from participation in debate.
Our goal is to have all our debaters engage in the process of debate from prep to tournament for the whole tournament season. We value the journey more than the destination. As such it is the responsibility of all our member schools to foster a community of learning. This means abiding by community agreements and creating a safe and encouraging environment for all members of the League. Coaches are expected to reinforce this messaging with team members and anyone they bring to a tournament as a coach, judge, participant, observer, or guest.
We recognize that there are many different types of debate leagues. If you seek a competitively focused environment, you may find a better fit elsewhere. If you seek to expose your students to debate and nurture all NYCUDL students in development through this wonderful activity, we think you will be happy to call the NYCUDL home!
The League membership fee covers participation in five regular season tournaments and the City Championships with up to ten entries for our regular season tournaments (maximum of 20-30 students based on debate events) and all qualified entries at our end of the year championships.
Membership also includes curricular materials, professional development workshops, debate night opportunities, summer debate institute scholarship opportunities, and other year round debate programming.
This year we are also redoubling our efforts to provide expanded support for virtual outreach. We know that students and coaches are both under a lot of pressure and we aim to provide as much support as possible.
Only member schools may participate in our League tournaments.
This fee does not include judges. Each school is responsible to bring 1 judge per 2 teams or 3 teams. Judges need not have debate experience (ie parents, teachers, alumni, etc are welcome) or even Varsity/Experienced High School Juniors and Seniors can judge Beginners and Novice divisions. There is a $100.00 fee per judge (one judge covers two teams) for schools that do not bring their quota of judges. Please also make sure to drop any students, make judge changes, etc. by 5:00 pm the Wednesday before the Tournament.
Our membership fees are $799 for Title 1 schools and $1199 for non-Title I schools. Our League defines a school as "Title I" if it has 50% or more students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. This helps to grow the debate league sustainably, but also helps to partially cover costs. The true cost of membership is in the thousands of dollars.
Title 1 schools in the first or second year of their debate programs can also purchase 15 hours of dedicated school outreach to help their programs get start for $1699. This includes the cost of membership.
We are an MTAC Authorized Provider and NYCDOE approved vendor for the College Access for All (CA4A) and Equity and Excellence for All initiative.
All students must fill out a permission slip for the year prior to participation in their first NYCUDL event. Schools and institutions must have a coach or chaperone at all times during the event and said individual must be known to students.
Coach/Institution Representative Conduct Policy
In all personal contact with students, judges, tournament officials, activities directors, school administrators, other coaches, the media, and the public, coaches and any other representatives of their institutions shall strive to set an example of the highest ethical and moral conduct. Coaches shall respect and support tournament officials, coaches, students, staff, parents and volunteers. Coaches will not incite or encourage disrespectful or unlawful behavior. Public criticism of students, coaches, tournament officials, or others is inappropriate. Any concerns that coaches have related to tournament administration should be directly addressed to said officials. Coaches shall be expected to uphold the NYCUDL and their school’s/institution’s Conduct policy in regards to all matters related to conduct at tournaments and abide by all local, state and federal laws, Coaches shall exert their influence to enhance sportsmanship and fair-play by competitors and other coaches. Tournaments and Events are safe educational spaces. Any form of solicitation is prohibited at tournaments.
By participating in the NYCUDL or in activities associated with the NYCUDL, each individual shall be deemed to have agreed to comport themselves in accordance with this Policy. If Coaches fail to follow these guidelines, the institution they represent will be notified and they may be prohibited from participated in league activities and events.