What is Debate?

Debate is an academic activity where you get to research, write, and argue social topics in a structured forum.  It will make you more informed, it will make you a better thinker, it will make you a better speaker, and it will make you more confident.  To get there, you will work like crazy, build positive relationships with your teammates and coaches, and engage in one of the most rigorous academic activities in the nation.

Debate Events

Public Forum:  A team of two competes against another team of two.  The teams have prepared speeches and also give rebuttals to opponent speeches and compete in crossfire questioning.  Public Forum gets a new topic every month, and is designed to be accessible to any intelligent person.

Lincoln Douglas:  An individual competes against another individual.  Both teams have prepared speeches and give rebuttals.  Lincoln-Douglas is argued in a more philosophical way, and can only be judged by trained judges.

Congress:  A group of roughly twenty students act as legislators and give speeches debating bills; then they vote on whether or not to pass them.

Tournament Requirements

All debaters are encouraged to participate in as many tournaments as possible. With each tournament, students receive a number of points based on wins, losses, or number of speeches. These points are tabulated through the National Speech and Debate Association and will determine whether a debater qualifies for State or National tournaments in March. The schedule is provided at the beginning of the season and all conflicts are to be discussed with either the Head Coach or Assistant Coach as soon as possible.

The team season starts in September, with weekly practices to prepare for the tournament season. Tournaments start at the beginning of November and run through the end of March.  Typically, tournaments are held on Saturdays, but can also include Friday evenings.  Tournaments are all day events with transportation provided by the school.


Head Coach: Tiffany Bukacek
Assistant Coach: Phil Maas