In ASAP’s Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League (PSDL), students debate a variety of topics determined by the National Speech and Debate Association, such as the Electoral College and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. To accommodate the influx of new teams and rookie debaters, ASAP splits the PSDL into Varsity and Novice levels. At both Varsity and Novice levels, each topic is debated at weekly competitions for one month, allowing students to refine their arguments and research the latest reports to cite in their presentations. Students must be prepared to defend the pro and con sides of each topic, requiring them to recognize the merits and pitfalls of their arguments and adjust their strategies accordingly. Match winners are determined by points assigned in 6 disciplines: (1) Analysis; (2) Evidence; (3) Reasoning; (4) Cross Fire; (5) Rebuttal; and (6) Delivery. Coaches and community volunteers serve as judges for each match, providing feedback on presentations and discussing areas of improvement for future competitions. From October to April, ASAP will organize more than 100 individual debates each month – nearly 800 student debates per year, including a finals competition at the University of Pennsylvania.
October Topic - Resolved: In United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.
November Topic - Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.
December Topic - Resolved: The United States should end Plan Colombia.
January Topic - Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.
February Topic - Resolved: The United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.
March Topic - Resolved: The United States should no longer pressure Israel to work toward a two-state solution.
Need to register for this week's high school debate match? Click here.
High School League Standings:
To view the current team standings of the Varsity PSDL, please click here.
For Varsity individual standings, click here.
To view the current standings of the Novice PSDL, please click here.
For Novice individual standings, click here.
For the school sweepstakes results, click here.
Middle School Fall Topic - Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections.
Middle School Winter Topic - Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
Middle School Spring Topic -
Middle School Tournament Results:
Congratulations to all the students who competed on Tuesday, February 14 at Mastery Charter School Hardy Williams Campus! After three intense rounds of debate on the topic of immigration reform, the results are as follows:
1st Place Team: Tafiq Williams & Joseph Oronto-Pratt from Mastery Hardy Williams Charter School
2nd Place Team: Douglas Johnson (maverick) from Thurgood Marshall School
3rd Place Team: Riley Keenan & Noel McClellan from Masterman School
Top Speakers: Joseph Oronto-Pratt (Mastery Hardy Williams Charter School), Akayla Brown (Laboratory Charter School), Riley Keenan (Masterman School), Tafiq Williams (Mastery Hardy Williams Charter School), Douglas Johnson (Thurgood Marshall School)
Full tournament results can be viewed here.