Academics

Overview

The Youth Debate Bowl is a marquee event on Gallaudet’s Youth Programs calendar. Created to foster critical thinking and public speaking skills in a fun, inclusive environment, the Youth Debate Bowl is open to all individual middle school (Grades 6-8) and high school (Grades 9-12) students. Students from mainstream programs, Deaf schools, and even homeschool programs are welcome to participate.

For more information, the Rules and Guidelines manual can be downloaded here.

2023-2024 Youth Debate Bowl Timeline

  • Submissions period will be from September 15 to November 17th, 2023. 
  • Top four submissions for each age group (middle school and high school) will be selected. An orientation will be held for the semifinalists. The Youth Debate Bowl semifinals for both age groups will be held during the week of January 22, 2024.
  • The Youth Debate Bowl finals for middle and high school students will be held on March 8 – 10th, 2024 at Gallaudet University.
SUBMIT YOUR INTEREST

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Information

FAQs

Common Questions

We follow the procedures used in the Great Communicator Debate Series which includes the following:
  • Affirmative/Negative Opening
  • Affirmative/Negative Rebuttal
  • Crossfire
  • Judges’ Questions
  • Affirmative/Negative Closing
During the Quarterfinals and Semifinals, debaters will meet the moderator and judges on Zoom and debate virtually. During the Finals, debaters will debate live on stage at Gallaudet University in front of a live audience.

Watch the orientation video found in the resources tab to learn how to get involved and successfully participate in Youth Debate. If you have further questions, contact us using the contact form below. 

The Youth Debate Bowl is open to all individual middle school (Grades 6-8) and high school (Grades 9-12) students. Students from mainstream programs, Deaf schools, and even homeschool programs are welcome to participate.
Students are welcome to submit a qualification video to attempt to qualify for the Quarterfinals. The judges will select the top 8 middle school and the top 8 high school students to advance to the Quarterfinals. We have no limit on how many students can submit a qualification video.
No! It costs nothing to submit a qualification video. The High School and Middle School finalists will be given an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Finals at Gallaudet University.
The Youth Debate Bowl was established in 2021 to address the need to foster critical thinking and public speaking skills; healthy democratic skills and habits; promote a spirit of academic competition and good sportsmanship; and encourage social opportunities and collegiality among students.
There are three stages to the Youth Debate Bowl. Qualifying Stage: This stage will consist of all participating students submitting their 3 to 5 minute presentation videos on a pre-assigned topic. Judges will select the top 8 students from both high school and middle school age groups based on the rubric found in the Rules and Guidelines manual. Quarterfinals/Semifinals Stage: This stage will consist of the top 8 students from both high school and middle school age groups competing in head to head debates using the procedures outlined in the Rules and Guidelines manual. Finals Stage: This stage will consist of the top 2 students from both high school and middle school age groups competing in head to head debates at Gallaudet University in person(if conditions allow for it).
The Youth Debate Bowl is an annual hybrid competition sponsored by Gallaudet University through its Youth Programs office and the Center of Democracy for Deaf America (CDDA).

Contact Us

Youth Debate Bowl

Monday
8:00 am-4:30 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am-4:30 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am-4:30 pm
Thursday
8:00 am-4:30 pm
Friday
8:00 am-4:30 pm

Select what best describes your relationship to Gallaudet University so we can effectively route your email.
By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.