Sign Up Now for Fall 2019
High School Debate Club!
Register by September 1st to reserve your spot!
Debate helps participants hone key skills. By joining NYC Urban Debate League this fall, debaters will come away with:
- First-hand experience building and delivering persuasive and compelling speeches
- Critical thinking and problem solving abilities that are applicable across real-world scenarios and help prepare for university-level courses
- Invaluable friendships and unforgettable experiences
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - See Below!
Why Debate Club for my Child?
- Practice Public Speaking Skills in a fun environment. #1 Fear in America is public speaking! Public Speaking is essential for school, college, career, and community. Debaters practice public speaking daily and participating in one tournament every month and three debate practices each month during a year = 40+ hours of public speaking time!
- College Preparedness. Study after study shows debate increases every Academic Skill (Reading, Writing, Researching, Critical Thinking, Listening) and every Academic Subject (Current Events, Philosophy, Civics, Political Science, Economics). Click here to learn more about the academic benefits of debate.
- Gain Confidence. "Hello, I am 12 years old, and I am a debater. When I got my first trophy it was amazing. I felt like a queen. That trophy was the first trophy I have ever gotten in my life. That trophy changed my life forever. I was nervous when I got it too. I just want to say thank you, thank you for everything. – Anissa P., 6th Grade, Great Debater. Read more student testimonials.
- Build Leadership Skills. “Maybe you could be a mayor or a senator or a Supreme Court justice, but you might not know that until you join the debate team." - President Barack Obama. Click here to learn more about debaters throughout history.
- 21st Century Skills. “Competitive debate is one of the great equalizers of educational opportunity. In a number of respects, competitive urban debate is almost uniquely suited to building what’s been called the ‘Four C’s’ of 21st century skills—critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. And to that list I might add a fifth ‘C’— for civic awareness and engagement.” – US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, honoring our debaters in Washington D.C.
- Fun! Participate in fun, competitive, educational Debate Tournaments every Month! Click here for our Middle School Tournament Calendar. Click here for our High School Tournament Calendar
- Community. The NYC Urban Debate League is like no other debate league in the nation. We build an incredible vertical community of adult debaters, alumni debaters, college debaters, high school debaters and middle school debaters who all work together. Participate in our Girls Debate League Tournaments and Special Events. Learn more. Learn from Parents how we build an incredible community for students.
- Field Trip Opportunities for Students and Families. Past trips have included the Harlem Globetrotters, Michelle Obama, the White House, Trevor Noah Show, Law Firms, and More! Learn more.
- Year Round Opportunities. In addition to our Fall and Spring Semester Debate Club, we also offer Summer Debate Programs. Learn more.
The New York City Debate Club meets downtown near the Wall Street area of Manhattan right across from the Charging Bull Statute. Our address is 25 Broadway, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10004.
If registration exceeds capacity we have an alternative location 3-4 blocks away (less than 5 minute walk) at our offices at 85 Broad Street. So please note that we may have the Debate Club at this location or move there during the semester. For now we are planning to continue at 25 Broadway. Both locations are blocks from nearly every subway/bus line in the downtown, Financial District, Wall Street area of New York City.
Please note that adults will need ID (Passport, State ID, Drivers License) to enter the building. Children do not need ID but will need to be on the security list and be escorted by an adult.
The New York City Debate Club meets on Saturdays 10:00am-12:00pm (Middle School) and 12:00pm-3:00pm (High School) at our Offices (25 Broadway, NY, NY 10004) during the Fall and Spring Semesters for drop in debate practices for 5th – 12th grade students.
Yes. We provide work-study scholarships for 9th-12th grade students to attend debate club. There is still a registration fee of $25.00. In turn, students agree to volunteer once a month to help at our monthly middle school tournaments in different capacities. Tournament work study positions include: cafeteria/hospitality (helping to serve breakfast and lunch), floor management (helping at each floor, helping students find their debate rounds, helping judges, making sure rounds start and end on time), Ballot Table (helping judges complete their ballots), and other positions. Click here to register for our Financial Aid Form.
Every Debate Club session starts with a warm up including: current events, interactive current events trivia game, short debate lesson and activity and announcements. Students then break out into individual groups by debate event for smaller lab sessions where instructors can focus on smaller groups. Lab Activities include lectures, practice debates, public speaking activities and more. Additionally, we have a Debate Club Google Drive with all the debate resources to help students prepare for tournaments.
Middle School Sample Schedule
10:00am - Arrival & Snacks
10:0am-10:30am - Current Events Activity
10:30am-12:00pm - Breakout into Debate Labs
- Parliamentary Debate Lab
- Public Forum Debate Lab
- Congressional Debate Lab
12:00pm - Debate Club Ends
High School Sample Schedule
12:00pm - Arrival
12:00pm-12:30pm - Current Events Activity
12:30pm-1:o0pm - Breakout into Debate Labs
1:00pm - Lunch Break
1:15pm-2:00pm - Debate Labs
2:00pm - Debate Club Ends
1. Extended Practice Time. Our High School Debate Club is 3 hours in contrast to our Middle School Debate Club which is 2 hours.
2. The best training for a high school debater (brand new, beginner, intermediate, advanced, or even national champion).... is at a debate tournament. While two hours of debate club practice is nice... nothing beats 5-6 hours of judging on a Saturday... and you are judging, teaching, learning, listening - the same debate format and exact same topic that you will be debating. Additionally, serving as a judge gives you the best training on how to win over a judge - judge adaptation, learning how audiences respond to arguments, how it feels to be a judge, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention, great for the Resume. Great for the college application. Great for a story during college or career interviews. Great to network and meet the judges and staff (who will be judging you!). Great to learn leadership skills. Great to learn education skills. Great to learn nonprofit skills. Great to learn business and event management skills. And so that is why we do not hold High School Debate Club practices on the same date as an all day debate tournament - where you can and should be learning everything!!