Coaching and breakfast at Washtech Opener

The Minnesota Urban Debate League serves young people in Minneapolis and St. Paul through academic competitive debate.

Each year the National Speech and Debate Association chooses a policy topic that debaters affirm (propose a policy to solve a problem) as well as negate (show why that policy won’t solve the problem, will make things worse, or will cause other problems if enacted).

During the 2015-2016 school year, the topic is: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance. 

Next year’s topic (2016 – 2017) will be: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.


Students must research, analyze, and defend different policy options, and in the process increase their critical thinking, reading comprehension and public speaking skills. Students compete against other schools throughout the region at weekend debate tournaments held during the school year.