Topics

Current Topics

Download a synopsis of the five problem areas proposed for the 2017-2018 Policy Debate resolution.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2016 Sept/Oct

Resolved: Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Novice Topic

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 allows 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.

Lincoln-Douglas Topic Analysis

Coming Soon

Public Forum Debate – 2016 Sept/Oct Topic Area: U.S. Constitution

Resolved: In United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.
A total of 196 schools and 734 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 71% of the school vote and 75% of the student vote.

Public Forum Debate – 2016 Nov Topic Area: Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)

(Note: The final resolution will be released October 1. Chapter advisors and member students can click here to log in and cast their vote before 4:00 p.m. CT on September 30.)
OPTION 1 – Resolved: On balance, smartphones have improved the quality of life for users.
OPTION 2 – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.

Public Forum Topic Analysis

Most Recent

Policy Debate – 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.

Policy Debate Starter Files

Coming Soon

Big Questions – 2016-2017 Topic

Resolved: Science leaves no room for free will.

Big Questions Topic Analysis

Most Recent

Potential Topics

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Potential 2016-2017 Topics

(in alphabetical order)

  • Resolved: A just government ought to abolish intellectual property protections for genetic resources.
  • Resolved: A just government ought to prioritize civil liberties over national security.
  • Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.
  • Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech.
  • Resolved: The United States government ought to curtail the Commander-in-Chief powers of the President.
  • Resolved: The United States has a moral obligation to adopt a single-payer healthcare system.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to become party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to end its provision of arms to foreign insurgents.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing.
  • Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers.

Online voting for LD occurs August 1 through September 11. The 2016 September/October LD resolution (voted on last fall) will be announced August 8.

Public Forum Debate – Potential 2016-2017 Topics

(in alphabetical order)

  • Africa
  • Cuba
  • Debt in America
  • Drug Policy
  • Federal Judiciary
  • Floating X (current event topic yet to be determined)
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)
  • Gambling Regulations
  • Gender Equality
  • Gun Violence
  • Middle East
  • U.S. Constitution
  • U.S. Military
  • Water Security

Online voting for PF occurs the last week of each month, with the exception of the September/October PF topic, which occurs August 1 through August 7 and is announced August 8.

Past Topics

Past Topics - Lincoln-Douglas Debate
2016-2017
  • September/October – Resolved: Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.
2015-2016
  • 2016 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.
  • January/February – Resolved: In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.
  • November/December – Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.
  • September/October – Resolved: Adolescents ought to have the right to make autonomous medical choices.
2014-2015
  • 2015 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Inaction in the face of injustice makes individuals morally culpable.
  • March/April – Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.
  • January/February – Resolved: Just governments ought to require that employers pay a living wage.
  • November/December – Resolved: The “right to be forgotten” from Internet searches ought to be a civil right.
  • September/October – Resolved: A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased.
2013-2014
  • 2014 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The United States ought to prioritize the pursuit of national security objectives above the digital privacy of its citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust.
  • January/February – Resolved: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict.
  • November/December – Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.
  • September/October – Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.
2012-2013
  • 2013 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Oppressive government is more desirable than no government.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.
  • January/February – Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.
  • November/December – Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal health care for its citizens.
  • September/October – Resolved: The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens.
2011-2012
  • 2012 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: A government has the obligation to lessen the economic gap between its rich and poor citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.
  • January/February – Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
  • November/December – Resolved: Individuals have a moral obligation to assist people in need.
  • September/October – Resolved: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.
2010-2011
  • 2011 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: When forced to choose, a just government ought to prioritize universal human rights over its national interest.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United States is justified in using private military firms abroad to pursue its military objectives.
  • January/February – Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • November/December Topic – Resolved: The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.
  • September/October – Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.
2009-2010
  • 2010 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Compulsory inclusion of non-felons’ DNA in any government database is unjust.
  • 2010 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That the United States government has a moral obligation to afford the same constitutional rights to all people on United States soil.
  • March/April – Resolved: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.
  • January/February – Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.
  • November/December – Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.
  • September/October – Resolved: Public High school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
2008-2009
  • 2009 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Military conscription is unjust.
  • 2009 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: When in conflict, the preservation of minority cultural values ought to be valued above the preservation of a unified national culture.
  • March/April – Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
  • January/February – Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.
  • November/December – Resolved: In a democratic society, felons ought to retain the right to vote.
  • September/October – Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.
2007-2008
  • 2008 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Limiting economic inequality ought to be a more important social goal than maximizing economic freedom.
  • 2008 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That secondary education in America should value the fine arts over athletics.
  • March/April – Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States.
  • January/February – Resolved: It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat.
  • November/December – Resolved: In the United States, plea-bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust.
  • September/October – Resolved: A just society ought not use the death penalty as a form of punishment.
2006-2007
  • 2007 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: On balance, violent revolution is a just response to political oppression.
  • 2007 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That judicial activism is unjust in a democracy.
  • March/April – Resolved: The United Nations’ obligation to protect global human rights ought to be valued above its obligation to respect national sovereignty.
  • January/February – Resolved: The actions of corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals.
  • November/December – Resolved: A victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is a just response to repeated domestic violence.
  • September/October – Resolved: A just government should provide health care to its citizens.
2005-2006
  • 2006 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: In matters of collecting military intelligence, the ends justify the means.
  • 2006 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: When in conflict, an individual’s freedom of speech should be valued above a community’s moral standards.
  • March/April – Resolved: Juveniles charged with violent crimes should be tried and punished as adults.
  • January/February – Resolved: The use of the state’s power of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust.
  • November/December – Resolved: Judicial activism is necessary to protect the rights of American citizens.
  • September/October – Resolved: In matters of U.S. immigration policy, restrictions on the rights of non-citizens are consistent with democratic ideals.
2004-2005
  • 2005 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the pursuit of scientific knowledge ought to be constrained by concern for societal good.
  • 2005 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: the primary purpose of formal education ought to be to impart knowledge.
  • March/April – Resolved: to better protect civil liberties, community standards ought to take precedence over conflicting national standards.
  • January/February – Resolved: democracy is best served by strict separation of church and state.
  • November/December – Resolved: the United States has a moral obligation to promote democratic ideals in other nations.
  • September/October – Resolved: individual claims of privacy ought to be valued above competing claims of societal welfare.
2003-2004
  • 2004 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.
  • 2004 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: a nation’s citizens’ rights ought to take precedence over its security.
  • March/April – Resolved: as a general principle, individuals have an obligation to value the common good above their own interests.
  • January/February – Resolved: a government’s obligation to protect the environment ought to take precedence over its obligation to promote economic development.
  • November/December – Resolved: the U.S. has a moral obligation to mitigate international conflicts.
  • September/October – Resolved: in the U.S. judicial system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over privileged communication.
2002-2003
  • 2003 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: rehabilitation ought to be valued above punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system.
  • 2003 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: capitalism is the most just economic system.
  • March/April – Resolved: when in conflict, the letter of the law ought to take priority over the spirit of the law.
  • January/February – Resolved: when in conflict, globalization ought to be valued above national sovereignty.
  • November/December – Resolved: when in conflict, academic freedom in U.S. high schools ought to be valued above community standards.
  • September/October – Resolved: when the United States is engaged in military conflict, the demands of national security ought to supersede conflicting claims of individual rights.
2001-2002
  • 2002 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified.
  • 2002 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: the people’s right to know outweighs the government’s need for confidentiality.
  • March/April – Resolved: limiting the freedom of expression of adults is justified by society’s interest in protecting children.
  • January/February – Resolved: oppressive government is more desirable than no government.
  • November/December – Resolved: a lesser developed nation’s right to develop ought to take priority over its obligation to protect the environment.
  • September/October – Resolved: decentralized governmental power ought to be a fundamental goal of democratic society.
2000-2001
  • 2001 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: on balance, violent revolution is a just response to oppression.
  • 2001 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: providing for basic human needs of citizens in a society ought to be valued above individual property rights.
  • March/April – Resolved: the public’s right to know ought to be valued above the right to privacy of candidates for public office.
  • January/February – Resolved: the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.
  • November/December – Resolved: establishing a safe educational environment in grades K-12 justifies infringement of students’ civil liberties.
  • September/October – Resolved: colleges and universities have a moral obligation to prohibit the public expression of hate speech on their campuses.
1999-2000
  • 2000 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: inaction in the face of injustice makes an individual morally culpable.
  • 2000 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: discriminations made by society on the basis of chronological age alone are justified.
  • March/April – Resolved: the intervention of one nation in the domestic affairs of another nation is morally justified.
  • January/February – Resolved: violent juvenile offenders ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • November/December – Resolved: the use of economic sanctions to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals is moral.
  • September/October – Resolved: when they conflict, respect for cultural sensitivity ought to be valued above the commercial use of free speech.
1998-1999
  • 1999 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: capitalism is superior to socialism as a means of achieving economic justice.
  • 1999 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: the objectives of democracy are best fulfilled through a separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers.
  • March/April – Resolved: human genetic engineering is morally justified.
  • January/February – Resolved: in the United States, a journalist’s right to shield confidential sources ought to be protected by the First Amendment.
  • November/December – Resolved: capital punishment is justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: the individual ought to value the sanctity of life above the quality of life.
1997-1998
  • 1998 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: in the United States’ justice system, due process ought to be valued above the pursuit of truth when they are in conflict.
  • 1998 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: individuals ought to sacrifice their ideals for the sake of compromise.
  • March/April – Resolved: civil disobedience is justified in a democracy.
  • January/February – Resolved: a just social order ought to place the principle of equality above that of liberty.
  • November/December – Resolved: an adolescent’s right to privacy ought to be valued above a parent’s conflicting right to know.
  • September/October – Resolved: global concerns ought to be valued above conflicting national concerns.
1996-1997
  • 1997 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the public’s right to know is of greater value than the individual’s right to privacy.
  • March/April – Resolved: on balance, individuals ought to have a greater obligation to themselves than to their community.
  • January/February – Resolved: in United States policy, the principle of universal human rights ought to take precedence over conflicting national interest.
  • November/December – Resolved: when they are in conflict, a business’ responsibility to itself ought to be valued above its responsibility to society.
  • September/October – Resolved: when in conflict, society’s goal of eliminating discrimination ought to transcend an individual’s right to participate in exclusive, voluntary associations.
1995-1996
  • 1996 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That limiting constitutional freedoms is a just response to terrorism in the United States.
  • March/April – Resolved: when in conflict, American cultural unity ought to be valued above cultural diversity.
  • January/February – Resolved: an oppressive government is more desirable than no government.
  • November/December – Resolved: the pursuit of feminist ideals is detrimental to the achievement of gender equality.
  • September/October – Resolved: individuals with disabilities ought to be afforded the same athletic competition opportunities as able-bodied athletes.
1994-1995
  • 1995 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: when in conflict, the safety of others is of greater value than the right to privacy of those with infectious diseases.
  • March/April – Resolved: on balance, institutional censorship of academic material is harmful to the educational development of the students.
  • January/February – Resolved: laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified.
  • November/December – Resolved: when in conflict, community standards are of greater value than individual liberty.
  • September/October – Resolved: an individual’s freedom of expression is of greater value than political correctness.
1993-1994
  • 1994 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: when in conflict, protection of the innocent is of greater value than prosecution of the guilty.
  • March/April – Resolved: terminally ill patients have the right to die when and how they choose.
  • January/February – Resolved: when called upon by one’s government, individuals are morally obligated to risk their lives for their country.
  • November/December – Resolved: the public’s right to know is of greater value than the right to privacy of candidates for public office.
  • September/October – Resolved: secondary education in the United States ought to be a privilege, not a right.
1992-1993
  • 1993 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the protection of domestic order justifies the curtailment of First Amendment rights.
  • March/April – Resolved: the principle of majority rule ought to be valued above the principle of minority rights.
  • January/February – Resolved: when in conflict, the spirit of the law ought to take priority over the letter of the law.
  • November/December – Resolved: in the criminal justice system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over privileged communication.
  • September/October – Resolved: the U.S. military interference in the internal affairs of other countries is justified.
1991-1992
  • 1992 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the United States government ought to provide for the medical care of its citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: the possession of nuclear weapons is immoral.
  • January/February – Resolved: a victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is justified as a response to physical abuse.
  • November/December – Resolved: human genetic engineering is morally justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: a liberal arts curriculum is preferable to an employment-readiness curriculum in U.S. secondary schools.
1990-1991
  • 1991 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: members of the United States Congress ought to value the national interest above constituent’s interests when the two are in conflict.
  • March/April – Resolved: the pursuit of scientific knowledge ought to be limited by a concern for societal good.
  • January/February – Resolved: showing disrespect for the American flag is antithetical to fundamental American values.
  • November/December – Resolved: government limits on the individual’s right to bear arms in the United States are justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.
1989-1990
  • 1990 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: individual obedience to law plays a greater role in maintaining ethical public service than does individual obedience to conscience.
  • March/April – Resolved: development of natural resources ought to be valued above protection of the environment.
  • January/February – Resolved: communities in the United States ought to have the right to suppress pornography.
  • November/December – Resolved: all United States citizens ought to perform a period of national service.
  • September/October – Resolved: that the United States ought to value global concerns above its own national concerns.
1988-1989
  • 1989 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the American criminal justice system ought to place a higher priority on retribution than on rehabilitation.
  • March/April – Resolved: the public’s right to know ought to be valued above U.S. national security interests.
  • January/February – Resolved: limitations upon the content of student publications by secondary school administrators are justified.
  • November/December – Resolved: affirmative action programs to remedy the effects of discrimination are justified.
  • September/October – Resolved: the individual ought to value the sanctity of life above the quality of life.
1987-1988
  • 1988 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: violent revolution is a just response to oppression.
  • March/April/May – Resolved: when they are in conflict, the principle of privileged communication ought to be subordinate to the maintenance of law and order.
  • December/January/February – Resolved: the protection of society’s health interest through broad based mandatory testing of AIDS ought to be more important than personal privacy rights.
  • September/October/November – Resolved: the protection of public safety justifies random, mandatory drug testing throughout society.
1986-1987
  • 1987 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: when they are in conflict, the right to a free press is a higher priority than the right to a fair trial.
  • March/April – Resolved: a parliamentary system of government would better fulfill the values underlying the American Constitution.
  • January/February – Resolved: That decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in criminal cases ought to reflect the values of the American people.
  • November/December – Resolved: an unjust government is better than no government at all.
1985-1986
  • 1986 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: giving sanctuary to illegal refugees in the United States justifiably places moral law above positive law.
  • March/April – Resolved: allowing innocent people to be harmed is preferable than giving into terrorists’ demands.
  • January/February – Resolved: the restriction of civil liberties in the United States for the sake of combating terrorism is justified.
  • November/December – Resolved: the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.
  • September/October – Resolved: the use of sanctions to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals ought to be immoral.
1984-1985
  • 1985 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the American media works against the best interest of the American public.
  • March/April – Resolved: a just social order ought to place the principle of equality above that of liberty.
  • January/February – Resolved: nothing is politically right that is morally wrong.
  • Resolved: U.S. immigration policy is inconsistent with American ideals.
1983-1984
  • 1984 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: uniformity in education leads to mediocrity.
  • March/April – Resolved: civil disobedience is justified in a democracy.
  • January/February – Resolved: even in a democratic society morality can be legislated.
1982-1983
  • 1983 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Liberty is more precious than law.
  • March/April – Resolved: protection of the environment should take precedence over the development of natural resources.
  • January/February – Resolved: funding for human services programs should take precedence over a balanced budget.
  • Resolved: the right to a free press outweighs the right to a fair trial.
  • Resolved: the right to die takes precedence over other ethical and moral considerations.
1981-1982
  • 1982 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: the economic health of a nation is more important than the social programs for its citizens.
  • March/April – Resolved: it is undesirable to expend societal resources on the enforcement of laws against victimless crimes.
  • January/February – Resolved: the rights of the victim should take precedence over the rights of the accused in felony cases.
1980-1981
  • 1981 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the protection of human rights should have a higher priority in shaping America’s foreign policy.
  • March/April – Resolved: military conscription is a superior alternative to a voluntary army.
  • January/February – Resolved: it is morally unjustifiable to require an individual to join a labor organization as a condition of employment.
1979-1980
  • 1980 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The strength of the present methods of funding the social security system outweighs the weaknesses.

° The National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) sets its own topics. The Association provides this for informational purposes only.

Past Topics - Public Forum Debate
2016-2017
  • September/October 2016 – Resolved: In United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.
2015-2016
  • 2016 National Speech & Debate Tournament – On balance, a one-day national primary would be more beneficial for the United States than our current presidential primary process.
  • April 2016 – 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.
  • March 2016 – Resolved: The United States should withdraw its military presence from Okinawa.
  • February 2016 – Resolved: The United States federal government should adopt a carbon tax.
  • January 2016 – Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests.
  • December 2015 – Resolved: On balance, standardized testing is beneficial to K-12 education in the United States.
  • November 2015 – Resolved: In response to the current crisis, a government should prioritize the humanitarian needs of refugees over its national interests.
  • September/October 2015 – Resolved: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.
2014-2015
  • 2015 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The benefits of First Amendment protection of anonymous speech outweigh the harms.
  • April 2015 – Resolved: Committing United States ground combat troops to fight ISIL is in the best interest of the United States.
  • March 2015 – Resolved: In the United States, students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community or technical college.
  • February 2015 – Resolved: On balance, economic globalization benefits worldwide poverty reduction.
  • January 2015 – Resolved: United Nations peacekeepers should have the power to engage in offensive operations.
  • December 2014 – Resolved: For-profit prisons in the United States should be banned.
  • November 2014 – Resolved: On balance, the benefits of genetically modified foods outweigh the harms.
  • September/October 2014 – Resolved: On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities.
2013-2014
  • 2014 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: NATO should strengthen its relationship with Ukraine in order to deter further Russian aggression.
  • April 2014 – Resolved: Prioritizing economic development over environmental protection is in the best interest of the people of India.
  • March 2014 – Resolved: Single-gender classrooms would improve the quality of education in American public schools.
  • February 2014 – Resolved: The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the Constitution.
  • January 2014 – Resolved: Development assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa.
  • December 2013 – Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
  • November 2013 – Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the NSA outweigh the harms.
  • September/October 2013 – Resolved: Unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation.
2012-2013
  • 2013 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: The benefits of American drone strikes against foreign targets outweigh the harms.
  • April 2013 – Resolved: The continuation of current U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America will do more harm than good.
  • March 2013 – Resolved: The U.S. government should not require its citizens to have health insurance.
  • February 2013 – Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States.
  • January 2013 – Resolved: On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process.
  • December 2012 – Resolved: The United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts.
  • November 2012 – Resolved – Current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East undermines our national security.
  • October 2012 – Resolved: Developed countries have a moral obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • September 2012 – Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
2011-2012
  • 2012 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Stand Your Ground laws are a legitimate expansion of the doctrine of self defense.
  • April 2012 – Resolved: State mandated administration of childhood vaccinations is justified.
  • March 2012 – Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan.
  • February 2012 – Resolved: Birthright citizenship should be abolished in the United States.
  • January 2012 – Resolved: The costs of a college education outweigh the benefits.
  • December 2011 – Resolved: In the United States, current income disparities threaten democratic ideals.
  • November 2011 – Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.
  • October 2011 – Resolved: Private sector investment in human space exploration is preferable to public sector investment.
  • September 2011 – Resolved: The benefits of post-9/11 security measures outweigh the harms to personal freedom.
2010-2011
  • 2011 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States should intervene in another nation’s struggle for democracy.
  • April 2011 – Resolved: The United States federal government should permit the use of financial incentives to encourage organ donation.
  • March 2011 – Resolved: North Korea poses a more serious threat to United States national security than Iran.
  • February 2011 – Resolved: Wikileaks is a threat to United States national security.
  • January 2011 – Resolved: In the United States, plea bargaining undermines the criminal justice system.
  • December 2010 – Resolved: Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense.
  • November 2010 – Resolved: High school Public Forum Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues.
  • October 2010 – Resolved: NATO presence improves the lives of Afghan citizens.
  • September 2010 – Resolved: Allowing deep water offshore oil drilling is in the best interest of the United States.
2009-2010
  • 2010 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: Current trends in American political dialogue compromise meaningful democratic deliberation.
  • 2010 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That the constitutional right of freedom of religion has wrongly evolved into freedom from religion.
  • April 2010 – Resolved: On balance, government employee labor unions have a positive impact on the United States.
  • March 2010 – Resolved: Affirmative action to promote equal opportunity in the United States is justified.
  • February 2010 – Resolved: In the United States, organized political lobbying does more harm than good.
  • January 2010 – Resolved: President Obama’s plan for increasing troops in Afghanistan is in the United States’ best interest.
  • December 2009 – Resolved: That merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools.
  • November 2009 – Resolved: Failed nations are a greater threat to the United States than stable nations.
  • October 2009 – Resolved: When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.
  • September 2009 – Resolved: United States policy on illegal immigration should focus on attrition through enforcement rather than amnesty.
2008-2009
  • 2009 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States should normalize relations with Cuba.
  • 2009 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: A society has an obligation to ensure adequate health care for its citizens.
  • April 2009 – Resolved: That the Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 serves the best interest of the American people.
  • March 2009 – Resolved: That, on balance, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has improved academic achievement in the United States.
  • February 2009 – Resolved: That, on balance, the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) has had a positive impact on the United States.
  • January 2009 – Resolved: That, by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by alternative fuels.
  • December 2008 – Resolved: That, on balance, social networking Web sites have a positive impact on the United States.
  • November 2008 – Resolved: That the United States government should implement universal health care modeled after the French system.
  • October 2008 – Resolved: The United States should significantly increase its use of nuclear energy.
  • September 2008 – Resolved: That the United States should implement a military draft.
2007-2008
  • 2008 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: US policies established after September 11, 2001 have substantially reduced the risk of terrorist acts against the United States.
  • 2008 NCFL° Nationals – Resolved: That the US Government should increase social services for indigenous peoples in America.
  • April 2008 – Resolved: That the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will successfully mitigate economic slowdowns over the next year.
  • March 2008 – Resolved: The US system of presidential primaries is contrary to democratic values.
  • February 2008 – Resolved: That Russia has become a threat to U.S. interests.
  • January 2008 – Resolved: In a democracy, civil disobedience is an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice.
  • December 2007 – Resolved:That the United States would be justified in pursuing military options against Iran.
  • November 2007 – Resolved: That eliminating United States government budget deficits should be prioritized over increasing domestic spending.
  • October 2007 – Resolved: That the United States should encourage the implementation of a soft partition of Iraq.
  • September 2007 – Resolved: That the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.
2006-2007
  • 2007 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the private ownership of handguns should be banned in the United States.
  • 2007 NCFL Nationals° – Resolved: That the President and Vice-President of the United States should be elected by a direct vote of the American citizens.
  • April 2007 – Resolved: United States corporations should honor all prior commitments to employee pensions.
  • March 2007 – Resolved: That the quantity of credit available to American consumers should be significantly reduced.
  • February 2007 – Resolved: The costs of legalized casino gambling in the United States outweigh the benefits.
  • January 2007 – Resolved: That lobbyists negatively influence the legislative process in the United States.
  • December 2006 – Resolved: Colleges and Universities in the United States should end their early admission programs.
  • November 2006 – Resolved: That participating in multinational diplomatic efforts is beneficial to U. S. interests.
  • October 2006 – Resolved: Current immigration laws in the United States should be enforced.
  • September 2006 – Resolved: That the benefits of NASA’s space exploration programs justify the costs.
2005-2006
  • 2006 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States government should ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
  • April 2006 – Resolved: That the American media work against the best interest of the American public.
  • March 2006 – Resolved: That big box retailers benefit the communities in which they are located.
  • February 2006 – Resolved: That the policy decisions of the current Israeli government toward the Palestinian state have improved prospects for peace in the Middle East.
  • January 2006 – Resolved: In the United States, public high school science curriculum should include the study of the Theory of Intelligent Design.
  • December 2005 – Resolved: That the National Basketball Association (NBA) should rescind its dress code.
  • November 2005 – Resolved: That the United States federal government should fund Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding by ending President Bush’s tax cuts.
  • October 2005 – Resolved: That the United Nations should be the primary agent to lead and direct the fight against terrorism around the world.
  • September 2005 – Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities should be permitted to pay stipends to their Division I athletes.
2004-2005
  • 2005 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That, when a choice is required for public high schools in the United States, government funding should prioritize vocational education over college preparatory education.
  • April 2005 – Resolved: The United States should issue guest worker visas to illegal aliens.
  • March 2005 – Resolved: Student aptitude should be assessed through standardized testing.
  • February 2005 – Resolved: In the United States, the current system of federal income taxation should be replaced by a flat rate income tax.
  • January 2005 – Resolved: The United States Constitution should be amended to establish a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices.
  • December 2004 – Resolved: Corporate offshoring aids in the economic development of the United States.
  • November 2004 – Resolved: The United States government should allow Americans to purchase prescription drugs from other countries.
  • October 2004 – Resolved: In the United States, public opinion polls positively affect the election process.
  • September 2004 – Resolved: That he United States should establish a cabinet-level position to oversee its entire intelligence community.
2003-2004
  • 2004 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: All young adults in every nation should be required to perform at least one full year of national service.
  • April 2004 – Resolved: English should be the official national language of the United States.
  • March 2004 – Resolved: The United States should provide universal health care insurance to all U.S. citizens.
  • February 2004 – Resolved: Americans should be allowed to share copyrighted media over the internet.
  • January 2004 – Resolved: The United States is losing the War on Terror.
  • December 2003 – Resolved: Congress should repeal the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • November 2003 – Resolved: That Federal judges should be elected in their district for a limited term rather than appointed by the President for a life term.
  • October 2003 – Resolved: That the United States should comply with United Nations’ decisions concerning international peacekeeping operations.
  • September 2003 – Resolved: Use of a cell phone should be prohibited while operating a motor vehicle.
2002-2003
  • 2003 National Speech & Debate Tournament – Resolved: That the United States should assume primary responsibility for the rebuilding of Iraq.
  • April 2003 – Resolved: Awards for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases should be limited to $250,000.
  • March 2003 – Resolved: Affirmative action should not be practiced in college and university admission.
  • February 2003 – Resolved: The death penalty should be abolished in America.
  • January 2003 – Resolved: The Federal Government should authorize oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
  • December 2002 – Resolved: The the “Bush” tax cuts should be made permanent.
  • October/November 2002 – Resolved: Commercial airline pilots should be armed in the cockpit.

° The National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) sets its own topics. The Association provides this for informational purposes only.

Past Topics - Policy Debate
2016-2017

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

2015-2016

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.

2014-2015

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.

2013-2014

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.

2012-2013

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

2011-2012

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

2010-2011

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following: South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.

2009-2010

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the United States.

2008-2009

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

2007-2008

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.

2006-2007

Resolved: The United States federal government should establish a policy substantially increasing the number of persons serving in one or more of the following national service programs: AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps, Senior Corps, Peace Corps, Learn and Serve America, Armed Forces.

2005-2006

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially decrease its authority either to detain without charge or to search without probable cause.

2004-2005

Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy substantially increasing its support of United Nations peacekeeping operations.

2003-2004

Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish an ocean policy substantially increasing protection of marine natural resources.

2002-2003

Resolved: That the United States federal government should substantially increase public health services for mental health care in the United States.

2001-2002

Resolved: That the United States federal government should establish a foreign policy significantly limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction.

2000-2001

Resolved: That the United States federal government should significantly increase protection of privacy in the United States in one or more of the following areas: employment, medical records, consumer information, search and seizure.

1999-2000

Resolved: That the federal government should establish an education policy to significantly increase academic achievement in secondary schools in the United States.

1998-1999

Resolved: That the United States should substantially change its foreign policy toward Russia.

1997-1998

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a policy to substantially increase renewable energy use in the United States.

1996-1997

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime in the United States.

1995-1996

Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward the People’s Republic of China.

1994-1995

Resolved: That the United States government should substantially strengthen regulation of immigration to the United States.

1993-1994

Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee comprehensive national health insurance to all United States citizens.

1992-1993

Resolved: That the United States government should reduce worldwide pollution through its trade and/or aid policies.

1991-1992

Resolved: That the federal government should significantly increase social services to homeless individuals in the United States.

1990-1991

Resolved: that the United States Government should significantly increase space exploration beyond Earth’s mesosphere.

1989-1990

Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.

1988-1989

Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive program to guarantee retirement security for United States citizens over age 65.

1987-1988

Resolved: That the United States government should adopt a policy to increase political stability in Latin America.

1986-1987

Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive long-term agricultural policy in the United States.

1985-1986

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive national policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.

1984-1985

Resolved: That the federal government should provide employment for all employable U.S. Citizens living in poverty.

1983-1984

Resolved: That the United States should establish uniform rules governing the procedure of all criminal courts in the nation.

1982-1983

Resolved: That the United States should significantly curtail its arms sales to other countries.

1981-1982

Resolved: That the federal government should establish minimum educational standards for elementary and secondary schools in the United States.

1980-1981

Resolved: That the federal government should initiate and enforce safety guarantees on consumer goods.

1979-1980

Resolved: That the United States should significantly change its foreign trade policies.

1978-1979

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to significantly increase the energy independence of the U.S.

1977-1978

Resolved: That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to regulate the health care in the United States.

1976-1977

Resolved: That a comprehensive program of penal reform should be adopted throughout the United States.

1975-1976

Resolved: That the development and allocation of scarce world resources should be controlled by an international organization.

1974-1975

Resolved: That the United States should significantly change the method of selection of presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

1973-1974

Resolved: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual income to each family unit.

1972-1973

Resolved: That governmental financial support for all public and secondary education in the United States be provided exclusively by the federal government.

1971-1972

Resolved: That the jury system in the United States should be significantly changed.

1970-1971

Resolved: That the federal government should establish, finance, and administer programs to control air and/or water pollution in the United States.

1969-1970

Resolved: That Congress should prohibit unilateral United States military intervention in foreign countries.

1968-1969

Resolved: That the United States should establish a system of compulsory service by all citizens.

1967-1968

Resolved: That Congress should establish uniform regulations to control criminal investigation procedures.

1966-1967

Resolved: That the foreign aid program of the United States should be limited to non-military assistance.

1965-1966

Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory arbitration in labor-management disputes in basic industries.

1964-1965

Resolved: That nuclear weapons should be controlled by an international organization.

1963-1964

Resolved: That Social Security benefits should be extended to include complete medical care.

1962-1963

Resolved: That the United States should promote a Common Market for the western hemisphere.

1961-1962

Resolved: That the federal government should equalize educational opportunity by means of grants to the states for public elementary and secondary education.

1960-1961

Resolved: That the United Nations should be significantly strengthened.

1959-1960

Resolved: That the federal government should substantially increase its regulation of labor unions.

1958-1959

Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential feature of the British system of education.

1957-1958

Resolved: That the United States foreign aid should be substantially increased.

1956-1957

Resolved: That the federal government should sustain the prices of major agricultural products at not less than 90% of parity.

1955-1956

Resolved: That the government subsidies should be granted according to need to high school graduates who qualify for additional training.

1954-1955

Resolved: That the federal government should initiate a policy of free trade among nations friendly to the United States.

1953-1954

Resolved: That the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.

1952-1953

Resolved: That the Atlantic pact nations should form a federal union.

1951-1952

Resolved: That all American citizens should be subject to conscription for essential service in time of war.

1950-1951

Resolved: That the American people should reject the Welfare state.

1949-1950

Resolved: That the President of the United States should be elected by the direct vote of the people.

1948-1949

Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.

1947-1948

Resolved: That the federal government should require arbitration of labor disputes in all basic industries.

1946-1947

Resolved: That the federal government should provide a system of complete Medical care available to all citizens at public expense.

1945-1946

Resolved: That ever able-bodied male citizen of the United States should have one year of full time military training before attaining age 24.

1944-1945

Resolved: That the legal voting age should be reduced to eighteen years.

1943-1944

Resolved: That the United States should join in reconstituting the League of Nations.

1942-1943

Resolved: That a federal world government should be established.

1941-1942

Resolved: That every able-bodied male citizen in the United States should be required to have one year of full-time military training before attaining the present draft age.

1940-1941

Resolved: That the power of the federal government should be increased.

1939-1940

Resolved: That the federal government should own and operate the railroads.

1938-1939

Resolved: That the United States should establish an alliance with Great Britain.

1937-1938

Resolved: That the several states should adopt a unicameral system of legislation.

1936-1937

Resolved: That all electric utilities should be governmentally owned and operated.

1935-1936

Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for a system of complete medical service available to all citizens at public expense.

1934-1935

Resolved: That the federal government should adopt the policy of equalizing educational opportunity throughout the nation by means of annual grants to the several states for public elementary and secondary education.

1933-1934

Resolved: That the United States should adopt the essential features of the British system of radio control and operation.

1932-1933

Resolved: That at least one half of all state and local revenues should be derived from sources other than tangible property.

1931-1932

Resolved: That the several states should enact legislation providing for compulsory unemployment insurance.

1930-1931

Resolved: That chain stores are detrimental to the best interests of the American public.

1929-1930

Resolved: That installment buying of personal property as now practiced in the United States is both socially and economically desirable.

1928-1929

Resolved: That the English cabinet method of legislation is more efficient than the committee system is in the United States.

1927-1928

Resolved: That a federal department of education should be created with a secretary in the president’s cabinet.

Past Motions - World Schools Debate

2015-2016

April 2016

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • THW eliminate all occupational licensing requirements for practicing the law.
  • TH supports the creation of LGBT schools.
  • THW establish an international cap and trade system for refugees.
  • THBT a two party system is preferable to a multi party system.
  • TH supports the privatization of all government owned energy companies.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THW place pictures of suffering animals on all animal based products.
  • THW relocate the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
  • THW compensate individuals who are criminally prosecuted and found not guilty.
  • THBT developed nations should pay developing nations to not exploit their natural resources.
  • THW require a quota of voters be met to consider national elections legitimate.

March 2016

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • THW institute a basic minimum income equal to a national living wage.
  • THW ban alternative medicine.
  • THW begin experimenting on non-viable human embryos through CRISPR.
  • THB the FBI should stop attempting to force Apple to betray its own encryption system.
  • TH supports the Brexit.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THBT memes are a detriment to politics.
  • THW gender de-segregate public bathrooms.
  • THBT needle exchanges benefit society while harming addicts.
  • THBT E-Sports are the future of competitive entertainment.
  • THBT predictive policing is unethical.

February 2016

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • TH prefers high oil prices to lower oil prices.
  • THBT drug companies would rather treat the symptoms than cure the disease.
  • THW create graffiti areas in public spaces.
  • THBT digital currencies will cause more harm than good.
  • THW ban the sale of military weapons between countries.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THBT people who vote against their own interests are a sign of a failed democracy.
  • THBT arranged marriages are better than finding love by chance.
  • THBT workaholics should seek therapy.
  • THBT man-made climate change denial should be a justification for impeachment of those holding public office.
  • THBT discussing feminism as “the feminist movement” is counterproductive.

January 2016

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • TH regrets the embargo on Cuba.
  • THBT the sharing economy will lead to a more socially just marketplace.
  • TH opposes the militarization of police departments.
  • THW eliminate plant biotechnology patents.
  • THBT illegal immigrants create a net gain in the economy.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THBT the climate summits are a waste of time.
  • THW not bring a child into this world.
  • THBT imperialists have an obligation to aid their former colonies.
  • THW trust Iran.
  • THBT equal opportunity is more important than equal outcomes.

December 2015

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • THBT the war on terror can only be won through the use of soft-power.
  • THW ban direct advertising by drug companies to consumers.
  • THBT the International Criminal Court should be abolished.
  • THBT universities have an obligation to reject students applying to low demand employment areas.
  • THW ban the ownership of drones for private use.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THBT Bert and Ernie should get married.
  • THBT Democracy may not be the best form of government for developing countries.
  • THBT Facebook is on its way out.
  • THW require that all student athletes that practice with the team are given equal playing time.
  • THW support space colonization.

November 2015

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • THBT the Arab Spring has done more harm than good.
  • THW ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
  • THW prohibit prisons from requiring or allowing prisoners to perform labor in exchange for money or other benefits.
  • THW ban the use of artificial turf by student athletes.
  • THW present a military challenge to China’s artificial islands.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THW press criminal charges against individuals who intentionally put themselves in danger if they require first responder’s assistance (refusing to evacuate, mountain climbing, extreme sports, etc.).
  • THBT parents have a moral obligation to buy their children genderless toys.
  • THW allow persons to legally identify with a race they were not born into.
  • THBT that there is an Illuminati-like group that controls world politics.
  • THBT employers and universities have no right to see a candidate’s personal social media accounts.

October 2015

Sample Prepared Motions:
  • THW support the Kurds in their plight for self-determination.
  • THBT African problems require African solutions.
  • THBT the rise of Socialism has not served Latin America well.
  • THBT the West should join Iran and Russia in resolving the conflict in Syria.
  • THBT cultural appropriation is a positive aspect of globalization.
Sample Impromptu Motions:
  • THBT political correctness has gone too far.
  • THBT Banksy’s crimes should be forgiven.
  • THW require the state to pay for elective sexual reassignment surgery for convicted prisoners.
  • THBT the music industry is all about the industry and not about the music.
  • THW ban all big game hunting for sport.

Topic Release Schedule

Topic Release Schedule - Lincoln-Douglas Debate

From August 1 through September 11, chapter advisors and member students may vote online for a new slate of LD topics chosen by the LD Wording Committee at its summer meeting. The September/October LD topic (voted on the previous fall) is announced August 8.

If you would like to submit an LD resolution for consideration, please submit by June 1 for the following school year.

In addition, we have established a separate LD resolution for the first two months of the novice season. Coaches are encouraged to check with tournament hosts in their area before exclusively prepping for one topic over another.

LD Topic Release Date
September/October August 8 • 9:00 a.m. CT
November/December October 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
January/February December 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
March/April February 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
National Tournament May 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
List of Potential LD Resolutions Announced for 2017-2018 June 23, 2017 • 12:00 p.m. CT
Voting for the 2017-2018 LD Resolutions Occurs August 1 through September 11, 2017
2017 September/October LD Resolution Announced August 8, 2017 • 9:00 a.m.
Topic Release Schedule - Public Forum Debate

The PF Wording Committee chooses a number of debate topics at its summer meeting. These areas are then used throughout the school year. During the last week of the month (or seven days prior to the topic release date), chapter advisors and member students may vote for one resolution to be used as the next PF topic.

If you would like to submit a PF topic area for consideration, please submit by June 1 for the following school year.

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

PF Topic Release Date
September/October August 8 • 9:00 a.m. CT
November October 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
December November 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
January December 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
February January 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
March February 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
April March 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
National Tournament May 1 • 9:00 a.m. CT
List of Potential PF Topic Areas for 2017-2018 Announced June 23, 2017 • 12:00 p.m. CT
2017 September/October PF Ballot Announced June 23, 2017 • 12:00 p.m. CT
Voting for the 2017 September/October PF Resolution Occurs August 1 through August 7, 2017
2017 September/October PF Resolution Announced August 8, 2017 • 9:00 a.m.
Topic Release Schedule - Policy Debate
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) handles selection of the annual topic. Each state organization, the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), the National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL), and the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) all have voting privileges. The national office submits one vote on behalf of the NSDA. Each chapter advisor may cast a ballot online from September-October, ranking five preliminary topics. In November-December, each advisor then selects one of two final topics. The national office tallies the results and submits one vote to the NFHS. The new topic is announced in early January.
Topic Release Schedule - Congressional Debate

Each district sets its own parameters for compiling a docket of legislation to be debated by students at the district tournament. Each district is invited to submit up to two items of legislation, preferably one bill and one resolution, for consideration in the National Tournament docket. This legislation is blind-reviewed by a committee that selects legislation from among a variety of geographic areas for debate, along with final session legislation provided by senior fellows with the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership. The National Tournament docket is released by May 10 of each year.

Legislation must meet specific parameters for subject matter and formatting, and use the Association’s official templates. Both the guidelines and templates can be found at www.speechanddebate.org/congress.

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