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"Speech and debate gives students a voice. It's a wonderful feeling to see your students holding leadership roles at school. Regardless if they qualify for state or national tournaments, just seeing them excel and having self-confidence is amazing."

– Victoria Mathews, Coach

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Phone: (920) 748-6206
Fax: (920) 748-9478

Current Topics

Topic Release Schedule2016 National Tournament Topic Areas

Submit Topic Ideas for 2016-2017 by May 15!

Submit LD ResolutionsSubmit PF Topic Areas

Policy Debate

2015-2016 Topic
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.

2016-2017 Topic
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

topic ideas
2016 Nationals Topic
Resolved: Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.

2016 March/April LD Topic
Resolved: The United States ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.


Potential LD Topics for 2015-2016:
(in alphabetical order)

NOVICE LD TOPIC AREA: Civil Disobedience

Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.

Establishing a resolution for the first two months of the novice season enables the Association to create educational materials that can be updated and improved year-to-year, and allow educators to have a consistent topic geared toward novices that will enhance and streamline their novice LD curriculum, particularly after the first year of implementation.

Coaches are encouraged to check with tournament hosts in their area before exclusively prepping for one topic over another.
  • Corporations ought to value their responsibility to shareholders over the public interest when the two conflict.
  • Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.
  • Democracies ought to incorporate provisions for legal secession into their national constitutions.
  • Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.
  • In the United States, campaigns that support candidates for public office ought to be financed exclusively by public funds.
  • In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.
  • In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.
  • The privatization of civil services undermines democracy.
  • The United States ought to adopt carbon pricing.
  • The United States ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.

Online voting for LD occurs August 1 through September 11.

Public Forum
topic area ideas
Public Forum Debate

2016 Nationals PF Topic Area: Election Process

Resolved: On balance, a one-day national primary would be more beneficial for the United States than our current presidential primary process.

A total of 207 schools and 368 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 57% of the school vote and 47% of the student vote.

2016 April PF Topic Area: Income Inequality

Resolved: To alleviate income inequality in the United States, increased spending on public infrastructure should be prioritized over increased spending on means-tested welfare programs.

A total of 239 schools and 111 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 50% of the school vote and 65% of the student vote.

NOTE: The initial Public Forum topic is a two-month topic in September/October and then reverts to a month-to-month topic. This schedule beneftis novices who have more time to learn and improve their skills without switching topics.

The PF Topic Selection Committee chooses topic areas to debate at their summer meeting. These areas are then used throughout the school year. If you would like to submit a topic area for consideration, please submit by June 1 for the following school year.

Potential PF Topic Areas for 2015-2016:
(in alphabetical order)

  • East Asia
  • Educational Testing
  • Election Process
  • Energy Security
  • Floating X
  • Food and Water Security
  • Income Inequality
  • Migrant and Refugee Crises
  • Polar Development
  • Racial Justice
  • Russia
  • U.S. Foreign Policy

Online voting for PF occurs the last week of each month, with the exception of the Sept/Oct PF topic, which occurs August 7-14.

World Schools Motions

Use the following motions as a guide when practicing for World Schools Debate. Topics are updated monthly! You can also click the links below to log in to your dashboard and download the companion motion guides:

World Schools Motion Guide for Members (one motion) »
World Schools Motion Guide for Resource Package (three motions) »

Sample Prepared Motions:

  • This House would institute a basic minimum income equal to a national living wage.
  • This House would ban alternative medicine.
  • This House would begin experimenting on non-viable human embryos through CRISPR.
  • This House believes the FBI should stop attempting to force Apple to betray its own encryption system.
  • This House supports the Brexit.

Sample Impromptu Motions:

  • This House believes that memes are a detriment to politics.
  • This House would gender de-segregate public bathrooms.
  • This House believes that needle exchanges benefit society while harming addicts.
  • This House believes that E-Sports are the future of competitive entertainment.
  • This House believes that predictive policing is unethical.

Learn more about World Schools Debate here!

For National Tournament motions, click here.

Congressional Debate

Practice Dockets: By the first Monday of each month, members can access a set of ten pieces of legislation by clicking the link below (you may be prompted to log in first). These are great resources for tournaments who want unaffiliated legislation for a final round, or for coaches who want to practice with students at school! Click here for the current Congressional Debate Docket »

For National Tournament dockets, click here.


Online Publishing
Source Application
Form Is Now Closed
Submissions for online publishing sources must be received November 1 through March 1 for consideration the following academic school year. Submissions made after the deadline cannot be added to the list for use in competition until the following year. 

See our list of approved websites for online publishing sources in 2015-2016.

Extemporaneous Speaking

Practice Extemp questions are available by logging in to your dashboard and clicking the Speech Resources » Public Speaking tab in the orange navigation bar. A set of monthly Extemp questions are available to all members, and bi-weekly Extemp questions are available for Resource Package subscribers.

NEW! In addition to practice Extemp questions, we also provide Extemp questions at no additional charge for all district national-qualifying tournaments who request them. Invitational tournaments may purchase Extemp questions for a fee. Contact our Director of Community Engagement, Steve Schappaugh, to learn more!

For National Tournament topic areas, click here.

Topic Release Schedule 2016 National Tournament Topic Areas