Middle School Debate Coach Weekly! Today 5pm is Registration Deadline for MS Tournament #3!

by Erik Fogel | Nov 21, 2018 3:26:12 PM |

Middle School Debate League, Coaches



Hi Everyone!  Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Holiday! A couple important announcements: 


1.  Tournament #3 Registration Deadline TODAY MONDAY (11/26) 5PM IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TEAMS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TOURNAMENT #3!!!  Even if you do not know the names, teams, etc - REGISTER NOW!  You can place "TBA" holds on your teams and change the names by Wednesday of the week of the Tournament! Click here to register or : https://www.tabroom.com/index/tourn/index.mhtml?tourn_id=10257


2.  NYCUDL Coach/Staff/Board Holiday Party - December 11th. RSVP Now! 


Thank you for another historical season of debate in New York City. Please join us to celebrate this Holiday Season at our office on Tuesday, December 11th from 6pm-8:30pm. All staff, board members and coaches are welcome!! It is a Pot Luck so make sure you bring a dish or drinks! And please RSVP because we will be ordering many other goodies and drinks! 


3.  MS Public Forum Coach Survey!! Double Flighting versus Double Debating!

A couple coaches asked about Double Flighting versus Double Debating. And this was a topic at the last middle school coaches meeting.  As you know our MS Public Forum Tournaments are pretty much at capacity - increasing number of students and limited number of rooms. So we do what the national debating circuit does called "Double Flighting" - two debates or "Flight A and Flight B" back to back in the same room with the same judge. This does extend the tournament schedule. But also (a) accommodates more debaters; (b) reduces strain on judge recruitment of schools (1/2 the judges needed since they judge two debates back to back in the same round); (c) learning - rather than two debates simultaneously, and debaters speaking over each other, 1 debate at a time.; (d) listening - all teams should go to the round and listen to each other.    THE OTHER OPTION IS "DOUBLE DEBATING" - two debates simultaneously in the SAME classroom with different judges.  The primary benefit here is speed of schedule. Two debates at once in the same classroom will speed along the schedule and leave early.  This would require (a) more judges so is not for schools who have problems recruiting judges; (b) debaters would be talking over each other especially in smaller classrooms.  Which is why the national, state, and local scene usually prefers double flighting to double debating.  But if primary consideration is speed of schedule, then Double Debating has been used at some tournaments as well. And feel free to message erik@debate.nycas well with any other comments.  Click here! for Poll! 


4.  Public Forum Debate Division will now offer 4 Divisions!!!  With nearly 100 Novice teams registered at the last Middle School Tournament, we are following our High School League and MSQI League by offering the Junior Varsity (Intermediate Division) and also the "Beginners" Division for Title I schools, new schools, schools rebuilding programs, and others special considerations. All schools subject to waitlist first and approval by staff.  Also reminder, that middle school experience means debaters should be debating in "Junior Varsity" (Intermediate division) since they are not "Novices."  Full explanation of all divisions on our website, under the "Tournaments" Tab and then scroll down and click on "Tournament Guide."  We have also copied them here.  *** Schools are still limited to the current 10 teams and can waitlist additional teams. So the number of divisions has changed, not the cap on total number of teams. ****


Middle School Divisions

For middle school events, we offer four divisions for public forum debate (Beginners, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced), two divisions for parliamentary debate (Beginners, Advanced) and one division for Congressional/City Council Debate.


Beginners Division

Beginners is meant for debaters from schools debating for the first time, in the process of building or rebuilding debate programs, or schools facing some other exceptional circumstance. Longtime UDL members with stable programs, schools with experienced coaches and schools with debaters with middle school debate experience are not eligible for Beginners. All teams registered in Beginners are automatically placed on a waiting list, pending approval by the Executive Director.


Novice Division

This is for students in their first year of debate. A team should only be registered in the beginners/novice division if all members of the team are first-year debaters. If a team competes in both novice and open/advanced or intermediate divisions in a single season, they can choose which division they want to compete in during the City and State Championship Tournament. Any debater or team can choose to compete in the open/advanced division. Four or more tournaments counts as a year of experience.


Junior Varsity

Students with 1-2 years of middle school UDL debate experience should register for the intermediate division. Four or more tournaments counts as a year of experience.



Students with two or more years of middle school UDL debate experience should register for the open division. Four or more tournaments counts as a year of experience.


General Reminders! Top 10 Reminders! 


1.  Middle School Tournament #3 Registration 



2.  Screening of Harlem Legacy

NYCUDL Debaters on the Big Screen at the African Diaspora Film Festival! Last week our debaters were featured on the evening news. The next few weeks our debaters will be on the Big Screen! "Harlem Legacy "follows two middle schoolers from P.S 161 Pedro Albizu Campos Middle School, who defy both academic barriers and racial stereotypes through the “rigorous academic sport of debate." Showing at the Riverside Church and Columbia University the first week of December! http://bit.ly/2A2DGxN On SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2ND the FREE SCHOOL AND STUDENT screening will be held . That screening is free for students and teachers. The schools have to sign up. The forms and more information to sign up are available here: https://nyadiff.org/ny-2018/download-schedule/


3.  TOPICS AND REGISTRATION FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TOURNAMENT #3!!    Getting Ready for Tournament #3!!!! New topics!!! New Registration! Click here to Register your teams! Deadline is always the Monday of the week of the tournament at 5:00pm!  Parliamentary Debate & City Council/Congressional Debate at JHS 278/Marine Park and Public Forum Debate at Hunters Point Community Middle School! 


Middle School Parliamentary Debate Topics for Middle School Tournament #3

  • This House would grant adolescents the right to their own medical decisions.
  • This House would implement a carbon tax.
  • This House supports Bill DeBlasio’s SHSAT admissions proposal.
Middle School Public Forum Debate Topic for Middle School Tournament #3

Resolved: The United States federal government should impose price controls on the pharmaceutical industry.


Middle School City Council/Congressional Debate Topics for Middle School Tournament #3

Topic #1 - A Resolution to Establish the Moon as a United States Colony


Topic #2 - A Resolution to Implement Open Borders


Topic #3 - A Resolution to Protect Young Citizens From the Harms of Social Media


Topic #4 - A Resolution to Enact an Excise Tax on Meat Sales in New York


Topic #5 - A Resolution to Increase Students’ Physical Activity


Topic #6 - A Resolution to Limit the Amount of Time Spent Playing Video Games


Topic #7 - A Resolution to Reduce the Prevalence of Co-Education in Favor of SingleGender Schooling


Topic #8 - A Bill to Overturn District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)


Topic #9 - A Resolution to Make the Evacuation of Incarcerated People in Emergencies a High Priority


Topic #10 - A Resolution Against the Implementation of Mandatory Career Exploration Courses for Middle School Students in New York City


Topic #11 - A Resolution to Prohibit Slavery and Involuntary Servitude as Punishment for a Crime**


4. Permission Slips!  All students need to complete a 2018-2019 permission slip for the season!  - https://www.tfaforms.com/348080. And please let us know if you do not see your school on the list. 


5. 2018-2019 Tournament Calendar! Save the dates!  NEW CALENDAR SYSTEM! 


We have a new calendar system on our website so you can add the Tournament Calendar to your Google Calendar, iCalendar or other feeds. As well as share via social media, Email, etc. Each tournament location is also linked to Google Calendar for directions. And you will also see a button that takes you to Tabroom.com to register for that tournament. Visit our Middle School Calendar: https://www.debate.nyc/ms-calendar


Middle School Tournament Calendar (Parliamentary Debate & City Council Debate Calendar)
9/29 - NYC Middle School Tournament #1  - PS 161 (Confirmed).  CITY COUNCIL DEBATE WORKSHOP! 
11/10 - NYC Middle School Tournament #2 - Marine Park (Confirmed)
12/1 - NYC Middle School Tournament #3 (Inwood Academy (Confirmed)
1/19 - NYC Middle School Tournament #4. WHEELS  (confirmed)
2/9 - NYC Middle School Tournament #5: Hamilton Grange (Confirmed)
3/15-16 - NYC Middle School City Championships (PS 161 & Hamilton Grange Confirmed)
Middle School Tournament Calendar (Public Forum Debate Calendar)
9/29 - NYC Middle School Tournament #1: IN Tech Academy (Confirmed)
11/10 - NYC Middle School Tournament #2: Hunters Point Community MS (Confirmed)
12/1 - NYC Middle School Tournament #3: In Tech Academy (Confirmed)
1/19 - NYC Middle School Tournament #4 (Hunter MS?)
2/9 - NYC Middle School Tournament #5 - PS 180 Hugo Newman (Confirmed)
3/15-16 - NYC Middle School City Championships: PS 161 & Hamilton Grange (Confirmed)


6. Register Now for the 2018-2019 Debate Season! New School Membership Form is now Live!  DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS DECEMBER 31ST FOR NEW SCHOOLS!  After that date you can still register but tournament participation and training will take place the following season.

Our 2018-2019 Membership Form is now Live. Click here! Membership pricing remains the same as last year - $999.00 is our regular membership, $599.00 Title I NYC public schools that demonstrate need, and membership fees are waived for schools that can host Tournaments (minimum requirement of 50+ classrooms, auditorium, cafeteria, and help with set up).  Membership benefits include: monthly tournaments, tournament meals, curriculum, professional development, site visits, drop in Debate Center, Debate Club, Summer Camp scholarships, outreach visits, Girls Debate League, debate field trips, law firm debate nights and more!  We will also be piloting Congressional Debate at our middle school tournaments after rave reviews from City Champs and State Champs and a new grant to support. Questions about membership please contact erik@debate.nyc or 917-455-1079.  When you complete the membership form, you will be sent an invoice. Schools that have not paid 2017-2018 membership invoices - please do so immediately!   Registration for next school year - https://go.debate.nyc/school-registration-2018-2019.


7. Introducing You to Your Support Coordinators! Schedule a Visit! Training! Meeting!
We have several School Support Directors who will be your point person with the league to help you with tournament registration, curriculum, and can even schedule several visits and meetings via phone, video or in person. You must be a registered NYCUDL member school to schedule meetings!!! 

a. Middle School Public Forum Debate Director (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island): Mr. Taylor Wofford (taylor@debate.nyc). Click here to Schedule Meeting.

b. Middle School Public Forum Debate Director (Bronx): Ms. Loretta Brady (loretta@debate.nyc). Click here to Schedule Meeting with Loretta for Bronx middle schools!

c. Middle School Parliamentary Debate Director : Mr. Tyler Beattie (tyler@debate.nyc)

d. High School Director: Mr. Aubrey Semple (aubrey@debate.nyc). Click here to Schedule a meeting with Aubrey for high school member schools.


We are so proud to announce the expansion of our Congressional Debate pilot as "City Council Debate." For years we have offered it at City and State Champs, and due to growing demand of students and coaches, we are expanding Congressional Debate to all our parliamentary tournaments. Several benefits of Congressional Debate; (1) Do not need a partner; (2) Civic Engagement with local and national officials and debating actual legislation; (3) engaging in City Council Debate Topics as well as Congressional Debate Topics!  (d) Large Teams! We do have a registration cap, but Congressional Debate is a great option for large programs so not to exclude students.


Monday, October 15th is the Topic Nomination deadline. Students can submit their legislation by clicking here! 


Legislation Packet for Middle School Tournament #2!  Three new resolutions will be added after we receive nominations on October 15th! Click here for the first three resolutions!  


9.  Getting our Updates? Our Weekly Newsletter and Social Media Updates

Thank You for your support to make debate accessible for all! 



Erik Fogel



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