Messiah and Mausjon work together during the Summer Debate Academy to create their rebuttal.
Thurgood Marshall student Jaymaba delivers her debate case as her partner Douglas concentrates on creating his next argument.
A student from Laboratory Charter School creates his rebuttal speech in response to his opponents' claims.
Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League champions pose with their awards at the high school finals at the University of Pennsylvania.


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.


League Standings:


After week 1, you can find the league standings posted here as a Google Sheet.



November/December Topic: Cybersecurity


Resolved: The benefits of the United States federal government’s use of offensive cyber operations outweigh the harms.



January Topic: Latin America


Undecided. Official wording will be announced December 1st. Here are two potential resolutions: 

Starter Resolution #1 – Western countries’ recognition of Juan Guaidó was in the best interest of the Venezuelan people.

Starter Resolution #2 – On balance, the rise of Russian influence in Latin America increases regional instability. 





Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. 
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