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MSA's Debate Team






Please fill out and return all necessary forms and fees to the activities office before the season begins. If the office is locked please put forms and fees in an envelop, label with name and activity, and slide under the door. No forms or fees should go to the front offices. If you participated in a fall sport you will only need to pay fee and fill out coaches form

Remember you need a physical on file from the doctor's office that is within the last 3 years.

Click here for the forms.


School Year Debate Tournament Schedule

Sign up for tournaments happens during the class meetings. Meetings take place before school at least one day a week in room 10A in Building A. There will be meetings on Saturdays as needed on non-tournament days as needed to prepare for tournaments.

Tournament Calendar

 Note: the focus of this debate should be about the merits of the two systems not about how the change would be enacted.

The 2nd topic is voted on by all the classic Debate league students

Times (Tournaments and Meetings)
Debate tournaments usually start around 8:30 am and we are usually done around 3:30 in the afternoon. There are usually snack stands but not necessarily easily available. So you may want to pack a lunch.

Click here for the calendar and to sign up for notifications.

Debate Practice and Communications

Debaters should be working diligently once the topic is announced in August and should begin prepping their cases and evidence right away/early in the season so that they are ready for tournaments and meetings.


PLEASE TAKE NOTE. You will have to arrange your own transportation to the tournaments. PARENTS are encouraged on their own to help out if at all possible with car pools, as well. The coach cannot by policy help with transportation arrangements and will decline if asked so please do not ask.



Debate is open to all 7th-12th graders and you don’t have to try out.  Just show up, be prepared to work and to have fun.  You get to debate with a partner and there are different levels of debate at each tournament, Novice (for beginners in high school or for middle school – middle school does two years in novice), Junior Varsity and Varsity



Type of Debate

MNMSA competes in the Classic Debate League – which includes two-person teams.  At most tournaments, you will compete in four rounds of debate and you will be affirmative (or you will support the topic) for two rounds, and negative (or against the topic) for two rounds.


The format is has each team taking either in the affirmative or negative position to argue the resolution with evidence that must be accurately cited (from many sources mostly found on the internet) which focuses on debating a value versus a policy.  Classic debate topics focus on whether something is good or bad or right or wrong.



What is Debate?

Debate has an ancient and honorable twenty-five-hundred-year history as the heart of Western Intellectual Tradition reaching as far back as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  And debate is the oldest, competitive State Tournament sponsored in the state of Minnesota.  Debate is such an integral part of our society that most of us don’t realize the lengthy and important history that debate has.  Additionally, debate helped lay the foundation for the democratic traditions that are at the basis of our American civilization.  Our constitution was written after a series of lengthy debates by our founding fathers.

But more importantly debate is a FUN and challenging activity where you get the chance to crush your opponents with your verbal finesse and cross-examine them until they submit to your obvious superior skills or at least until the timer goes off!

Interesting Facts about Debate

  • One study showed that over 80% of the current Congress were former debaters.
  • Another survey showed that of 703 former debaters at Ivy League institutions, 633 had at least 1 advanced degree and 209 had more than one.
  • One 2004 study suggested that the reading scores of debaters improved 25% more than non-debaters in only 1 year of debate and that their GPAs also improved.
  • 1/3 of top debaters go on to become lawyers.
  • ALL scientific studies conclude that debaters go onto leadership positions in a variety of fields: university educators, corporate executives, members of all branches of government, clergy, writers, scientists, publishers and lawyers.
  • The most recent study concluded not only that participation in competitive debate enhances critical thinking skills, but that compared to academic pursuits of a similar time length, competitive forensics demonstrates the largest gain in critical thinking skills.


So, join Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Adam Sandler, John Wayne, FDR, Oprah, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Thomas Jefferson, Nelson Mandela, James Earl Jones, Antonin Scalia, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley, James Madison, Bill Clinton, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, JFK, Macolm X, Michael Strip, Lee Iacocca, John Wayne and Brad Pitt – Join Debate!  Learn about even more famous debaters through this youtube video sponsored by the National Speech and Debate Association:


 Sample Topics From the 2015 and 2016 Fall Seasons:

Resolved:  The United States should incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour by 2020. 

Resolved: The United States federal government should pay financial reparations to African Americans to compensate for historic racial injustices."

Resolved: The United States should increase its military presence in the South China Sea in order to deter Chinese expansionism.   This topic will start November 5th.

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Math and Science Academy
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Woodbury MN 55125
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