National Topic | October – March

Middle School Debate

Debaters at Sojourner Truth Academy share about their experience in debate.


“Debate lets us learn how to be part of a team. I haven’t been in sports, so this is a different way to be part of a team and a community. I knew 8th graders even when I was in 6th grade and 7th grade because of debate, and I learned how beneficial it is to have a goal you’re working toward with others.”

Theresa, Sanford Middle School (MPLS)

We’re proud to host one of the largest middle school debate programs in the nation! Hundreds of area students in 5th-8th grade learn the fundamentals of debate using a relevant and challenging topic. This year, students will debate fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA).

Students compete at up to 6 debate tournaments from January to March. Debaters are paired into partnerships (2-person teams) with a classmate at the same level of competitive mastery. Our debate divisions are designed to get students at every point of entry excited about debate,  including Rookie, Novice, Junior Varsity, and Varsity. Rookie and novice are designed for beginner students. Junior Varsity and Varsity are designed for students who are ready for a higher level of competition.

We need middle school debate judges! Sign up to be a judge during our spring semester season. No experience? No problem. We’ll train you! Learn more at our volunteer page.

Get Involved with Middle School Debate

To volunteer as a judge during the middle school season, sign up on our volunteer page.

Sign up to Volunteer