Middle/High School Tournament

Middle/High School Tournament

Each year the Bard Debate Union hosts a free debate tournament for area Middle and High School students. For many of these students, this is their one opportunity to participate in a debate tournament each year. And for this reason, among others, this is a very special event!

History of the Tournament

The Bard Debate Union hosted the First Annual Middle and High School Debate Tournament at Bard in March 2012. The tournament hosted approximately 40 students from the Bard High School Early Colleges in Manhattan, Newark, and Queens as well as the Red Hook and Rhinebeck High Schools and the Red Hook Middle School. It was such a success that we decided to make this an annual tradition, expanding the tournament to include three rounds of debate and continuing to grow in size (over 120 students registered for our 2018 tournament). Over the years we have had the privilege of hosting students from the Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, Cold Spring, Pawling, Kingston, Germantown, and Woodstock school districts as well as students from the Bard Early Colleges in Manhattan, Newark, Queens, Harlem, Baltimore, and Cleveland.  We are thrilled with the success of this event and hope to continue hosting it long into the future. In fact, due to the enormous growth of the tournament, in 2019 we made the decision to split the event into two separate tournaments – 1. a middle/high school tournament for our local school districts and 2. an early college tournament for the Bard early colleges

This Year’s Tournaments

The 8th Annual Middle School/High School Tournament at Bard will take place on March 1, 2019. We welcome any and all middle and high school debate programs in the Hudson Valley to enter the tournament. To enter the tournament or learn more – email Co-Director of the Bard Debate Union Ruth Zisman (zisman@bard.edu). The motions for this year’s tournament are:

  1. This house believes that the United States should institute a junk food tax.
  2. This house would abolish the United Nations.
  3. This house believes that the world would be a better place without social media

The first annual Bard Early College Tournament will take place on May 11, 2019. More details coming soon!

Middle School/High School Tournament Awards