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National Speech & Debate Tournament

About the National Tournament

Since 1931, the National Speech and Debate Tournament has elevated public speaking. Every summer, more than 6,000 middle and high school students travel to the largest academic competition in the world to debate current events, voice their views, and share their stories. After months of preparation, rigorous qualifying tournaments, and five days of prestigious national competition, the best of the best will be crowned champions in front of a live audience of thousands and tens of thousands more streaming the events online.

Future Host Sites

2023 | Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona – June 11-16

2024 | West Des Moines, Iowa

2025 | West Des Moines, Iowa – Centennial Year

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the 2021-2022 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students.

Feel the energy at Nationals!

Group of students on stage with trophies at the National Tournament

The Road to Nationals

Only the best of the best make it to this pinnacle of public speaking. Learn more about competitive events, the qualification process, and student membership.

Student on a national stage performing

Watch #Nats!

Stream live postings, final rounds, and award ceremonies to experience the magic of Nationals. Tune in at live.speechanddebate.org.

2022 National Tournament

This year’s tournament was the largest in NSDA history with over 8,500 students participating across the three divisions offered: Online Supplemental Events, online middle school, and in-person high school.

Help take their stories to the stage!

Donate to provide more students with the resources they need to bring their stories to the stage.

Your organization can provide the platform for more than 6,000 students to share their stories. Click here for more information on becoming a sponsor.