Middle & High School Debate

  • These events proceeding as planned are dependent on state and district guidelines regarding school closure due to COVID-19.  Please check this website often for the most up-to-date information, or contact the event coordinator listed on this page.


    Debate WorkShop
    Friday, November 6, 2020
    8:00 - 4:00 at the FNSBSD Admin Center (520 Fifth Avenue, Fairbanks)
    See below for more information.


    Middle School Debate Competitions
    Saturday, January 30, 2021 - location TBD
    Saturday, March 27, 2021 - location TBD
    Saturday, April 24, 2021 - Middle School State Competition in Anchorage at UAA


    High School Debate Competitions
    Saturday, November 7, 2020 - location TBD
    Friday, January 29, 2021 - location TBD
    February 2021 - High School State Competition in Anchorage - date and location TBD


    Debate Judges' Training
    January 29, 2021 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the FNSBSD Admin Center (520 Fifth Avenue)
    March 26, 2020 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the FNSBSD Admin Center (520 Fifth Avenue)


    At this time, students are responsible for their travel expenses to the state competition.  We are currently seeking sponsors.  If you are interested in sponsoring this event and students' travel, please contact Michelle Daml at 452-2000 ext. 11419.

Debate Workshop - Additional Information

  • November 6, 2020
    8:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m. at the FNSBSD Admin Center (520 Fifth Avenue, Fairbanks)

    This is workshop is a single-day training for interior Alaskan students interested in competitive speech and debate. This training is open to all high school and middle school students. All students will begin the day with a demo round of debate by members of UAA’s Seawolf Debate Program. From there, students may choose one of two tracks: debating or speaking. The choice of which track to attend is up to participants, but generally we recommend that those students in middle school with no debate experience follow the debating track and those in high school with more debating experience AND who are interested in becoming familiar with the events available at the formal Alaska State High School Drama, Debate and Forensics State Championship pursue the speech track. High school students who have no debate experience or who have no interest in the speech track are absolutely welcome to follow the debate track.  

    Students will be provided a lunch break during the day but are responsible for bringing their own lunch.


    Debating Track
    The debating track will focus on introducing those with little or no experience in competitive debating. We’ll provide a lecture on the basics of engaging in debate and follow that with three practice rounds overseen by members of UAA’s Seawolf Debate Program. We don’t have enough rooms and judges to have everyone debating at the same time, but will be sure to cycle through all who are interested to give everyone a chance. The topic for the demonstration debate and for all practice debates will be “Zoos should be abolished.” Students are welcome to research and prepare for this topic in anticipation of debating. We don’t expect that students will have full-blown cases prepared, but a working familiarity with the topic and some choice evidence will empower them to make more powerful arguments.

    To participate in the practice rounds, students will be organized into teams of 3. If you have sufficient students to do so and would prefer that your students work with each other, you may organize these teams prior to the event. If you don’t come to the event with designated teams, we’ll organize teams and schedule practice rounds during the UAA debaters’ demonstration debate.

    For students participating in the debating track, the following materials will be helpful to review prior to the training.


    Speaking Track
    The speaking track will focus on extemporaneous speaking and original oratory, two events featured in Alaskan high school Drama, Debate and Forensic competitions. Students will learn about the rules and practices of each event and then have the opportunity to practice giving speeches.

    Extemporaneous speaking practice will be held for the first two practice rounds. The pool of topics from which students will randomly draw have been provided in advance, giving students the opportunity to increase their general familiarity with recent news and current events. Additionally, students may- though are not required to- prepare ‘extemp file’ materials (e.g. magazines and/or news articles) to consult as evidentiary sources during their 30 minutes of preparation time during the simulated rounds.

    A third speech round will be dedicated to an ‘opt-in’ workshop for prepared speeches. Students are encouraged to bring any previously prepared speech materials (e.g. topic ideas, outlines, full manuscripts from FFA, American Legion, etc) to discuss how they might be developed and/or adapted to high school DDF competitions.

    Students pursuing the speech track should review these documents before attending.

Contact Information