Our high school debate program is one of the largest and most successful debate programs in the country. Our member schools have qualified and won top awards at every tournament from local tournaments to the National Tournament of Champions to the International Debate Championships. On any given weekend there are high school debate tournament opportunities for our students. We offer local, regional, out of state and national travel opportunities for our students.
Saturday Debate Tournaments
Each month we host a free citywide high school debate tournament. Registration ends at 9:00am and the tournament concludes between 5:00pm-6:00pm. There are 3-4 rounds of debate for each student. Breakfast and lunch is included. An Award Ceremony concludes the day where every student receives a participation certificate and their ballot/feedback from each round, and top debate teams, speakers, and schools are recognized.
The National Championships
The top two NYC high school teams at the end of the year receive full scholarships to attend the National Championships. In the event of Policy Debate, the top two NYC teams receive full scholarships to compete at the National Association of Urban Debate League’s National Championship. In the event of Public Forum Debate, the top two NYC teams receive full scholarships to compete at the National Debate Coaches Association National Championship.
Summer Debate Institutes
Our programs accelerate in the summer! From the first day of summer to the last day of summer, we offer summer debate institute opportunities for high school students at our Brooklyn, Bronx, Harlem, Queens, and Manhattan Debate Institutes. Each debate institute concludes with a debate tournament as well.
Policy Debate Division
Our most historic and most successful debate division is policy debate. Policy Debate is the oldest debate format in the United States and one of the largest and most competitive debate events at the college level. Our policy debaters have continued on to become national and collegiate champions. The Policy Debate division follows the annual high school policy debate resolution. Students for one year research and write policy solutions to a national or international public policy. We offer four divisions of Policy Debate – Beginners Policy Debate, Novice Policy Debate, Junior Varsity Policy Debate and Varsity Policy Debate. Policy debate is considered one of the most rigorous and evidence based debate events and students basically earn the equivalent of a master’s degree on that year’s topic.
Public Forum Debate Division
Public Forum Debate is the newest debate event in the United States and now one of the most popular debate event. Each month a topic is voted on by coaches and students across the country. Students devote a month to study, research and writing on that topic. The focus is more on persuading your audience – rather than the heavy evidence focus of policy debate. Public Forum Debate is also unique in that it was founded to be easily accessible for the “public” so that any one can serve as a “citizen judge” and any student can be a debater. Public Forum Debate with monthly rotating topics provides students a broad exposure in current events and civic engagement. We offer three divisions of public forum debate: Beginners Public Forum Debate, Novice Public Forum Debate, and Varsity Public Forum Debate.