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Middle School Debate Coach Weekly (3/15/18)

by Erik Fogel | Mar 15, 2018 4:02:31 AM |

Middle School Debate League, Coaches



Hi Everyone!  Before we begin, please sign up for free Mets tickets (need to know by 5pm tonight!).  Thanks to the Citi Foundation and the NY Mets, free tickets for NYCUDL debaters on April 2nd (7pm), 3rd (7pm), and 4th (1pm).  Only available for active NYCUDL member schools, coaches and teams. Please only sign up if you can commit. Click here. 


First, thanks so much for making City Champs our largest and most incredible yet!! 2 different sites for the first time- thank you to Hamilton Grange and PS 161!  Click here for complete results!  Thank you also for everyone who completes the surveys after each tournaments which is instrumental in providing feedback. We do want to follow up with conversations regarding "hyper-competitiveness" at tournaments.  The Urban Debate League mission is about accessibility and education. We are a learning debate league.  Debate is competitive but that is the least of our priorities. There were many complaints especially towards parents (yelling, cheating, videotaping, harassing judges, harassing students). And this spills over to students as well with incidents of hyper-competition, school rivalries, teasing, bullying, racism, and discrimination. So please join us at our next Debate Conference (June 7th, Chancellors PD Day, click here.) We are also planning on a Coach Council meeting afterwards which also allows folks who cannot make the PD day to join us in the evening. And please check in with your students and parents about the ethics of debate, competition, winning, losing, humility. Debate is one of the most powerful learning experiences with infinite benefits. But hyper competition of students, parents, coaches, schools - will undermine and reverse every benefit of debate and hurt children. Winning rounds and plastic trophies and medals is cool in the short term, but its about the long term benefits of debate on character, skills, and knowledge.  Indeed, all the debaters who went on to incredible achievements from Sonya Sotomayor (Bronx high school debater becoming first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice) to Martin Luther KIng Jr. to Margaret Thatcher to Oprah Winfrey .... were never national debate championships. Often lost more rounds than they won. So winning is cool, but being a Great Debater is far more. So please join us at our next Debate Con to continue these conversations. Please start these conversations if haven't already with your teams.  I was very inspired by the shout outs during the awards ceremony - every single student who spoke demonstrated great humility by shouting out competitors, friends, family, coaches. We need more of this and not just during the awards ceremony but before, during and after debate rounds as well. 


Second, Girls Debate Tournament sign up for next week!!! 3/23 - Friday!!!!  A break from our regular Saturday Tournament thanks to our partnership with Bella Abzug Leadership Institute!  If you are able to make Friday into a school trip then join us at the Silberman Graduate School for our second all girls debate tournament of the semester!!  No preparation required! Join us in the morning for workshops! Afternoon is debates!  Click here to register!


Third, Middle School State Champs is coming up in April! Sign up below.  Just reminder this is NOT a regular UDL tournament. This is the States Champs and so there are fees for this tournament. We will have a limited number of fee waivers which should be sent out next week.  Fees go to cover the cost of the tournament, hiring judges, and proceeds go to providing summer debate camp scholarships. So please keep in mind when registering for this tournament! 


Upcoming Events

  • 3/15 (by 5pm!) - Free Mets Tickets for Debate Teams!  Click here. 
  • 3/23 (Friday!!!)  - Girls Debate Tournament.  Click here.
  • 4/21-4/22 (Saturday AND Sunday) - Middle School State Championships.  Click here.
  • 6/7 - Spring Debate Educators Conference (Debate Con) & Coach Meeting Happy Hour (Coach Con). Click here.  

Coach Notes! 


1.  Girls Debate League Tournament (3/23)

The topic is women's control over sexual reproduction. The tournament is from 9am-3pm.  Workshop in the morning. Lunch in the afternoon. And two rounds of debate

Registration Link: https://www.tabroom.com/index/tourn/index.mhtml?tourn_id=9322


2.  Middle School State Championships (4/21-22)

The States Tournament is April 21st - 22nd.  Reminder this is not a regular season UDL tournament and so there are registration fees for this tournament. So please keep in mind when registering. We have a limited number of fee waivers that will be sent out by next week.  But please keep in mind the registration fees!!! 

Registration Link: https://go.debate.nyc/the-new-york-state-debate-championship


3.  Spring Debate Educators Conference and Evening Coach Council Meeting and Happy Hour

Join us June 7th for our last Debate Con of the year and evening Coach Council Meeting and Happy Hour! Drinks on us! We understand that many coaches are unable to take the day off because it is Chancellors PD Day - while some coaches can. Varies school by school. So in the evening we are hosting an Happy Hour for Coaches at our office and Coach Council Meeting.  More information - https://go.debate.nyc/debate-con


4.  Need Help? Schedule an Outreach Visit, Phone, Email, Chat with our Program Coordinators 

Schedule a visit to your debate practice!  Chat on the phone about any help needed!  Email us questions!  Need someone to talk to!!  Then contact your borough program coordiantor! 

5.  Middle School Debate Topics

a. Parliamentary Debate.  Click here for latest topics.

b. Public Forum Debate. Click here for latest topics.




1. Middle School Tournament Calendar and Registration (Public Forum, Parliamentary)

Click here to register for upcoming tournaments and events on our Middle School Calendar  You can register now for tournaments. The deadline is the Wednesday at 5:00pm the week of the tournament to make any more additions. We do have to close the tournament on Wednesday because we have to make final decisions on food orders, judge numbers, and building space issues. You can also view all Tournament Results.


2.  Middle School State Championships Bid List.  * Students qualified for State Championships



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

4. Got Resoures? Check out our Debate Resources Page (Need to be a member of the NYCUDL)



5.  Have you signed up for Debate Con? 

Click here to sign up for our Coach Training sessions which occur on Chancellor Professional Development Days. Besides an awesome day of workshops, resources and training. Its our chance four times a year to CELEBRATE YOU with good food, good snacks, good conversations, and inspiring guest speakers! And contact us if interested in teaching at any of our Teacher Conferences. 


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



Erik Fogel



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