The English-Speaking Union

ESU Middle School Debate

East Coast High School Public Debate Program

hspdp 2017-2018 winners

Welcome to the East Coast High School Public Debate Program!

click to REGISTER for 2022-2023

2022-2023 School Year

  • Saturday, December 10, 2022 at Hackley School
  • Saturday, February 11, 2023 at Dwight School
  • Saturday, March 4, 2023 at Horace Greeley School
  • Championship Tournament April 2023 (Date &  Location TBD) 
Topics for THE FEBruary 11th Tournament

- The UN should have more power to enforce international laws and regulations.

- The United States should adopt a nationalized education system.

december 10, 2022 tournament topics

-  The Biden Administration's Student Loan Debt Relief Plan does more harm than good.

-  New York State should not ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035.

past Topics 

- End Presidential Executive Privilege!

-  CRISPR/Cas9 will do more harm than good.

- All currently illegal drugs should be legalized, regulated, and taxed.

-  The US federal government should regulate cryptocurrency.

Impose term limits on the US Congress

- Cancel culture does more good than harm.

- Abolish the CIA!

Additional impromptu topics will be selected from current events & enduring ethical controversies

Tournament Format & Schedule:

The tournament will consist of four rounds.

Two of the rounds will cover two pre-announced topics (usually announced about four weeks prior to the event) and two rounds will include two extemporaneous motions for debate.  Impromptu topics, drawn from current events and notable public policy issues, are announced twenty minutes prior to debates.  Pre-announced and impromptu topics can be in any round order.

Rounds three and four are power-matched and at some tournaments (time permitting) we will have a final public debate between the top two teams on a third extemporaneous topic.

Please note: the timing of the East Coast tournaments will start at 8am and the West Coast tournaments will start at noon. 

Tentative Schedule for the Day

Time Activity

8AM - 9AM 


9AM - 9:30AM

General Assembly and Welcome

9:30AM - 11AM 

Round 1 

11AM - 12:30PM  

Round 2

12:30PM - 1:00PM      


1:00PM - 2:30PM

Round 3

2:30PM - 4:00PM  

Round 4 

4:00PM - 4:30PM

Break/Coaches Meeting

4:30PM - 5:00PM

Publice Debate Finals

5:00PM - 5:30PM


Looking for more debate opportunities in the New York Metro Area? Check out Rutgers University Debate Union.