Horace Greeley Debate Team

A Message to Parents of Greeley Debaters

Why Participate?
   Participating in the HGHS Debate Team is a challenging but rewarding endeavor.   The challenges involve extensive research, analyis and preparation for structured arguments, as well as competition.  For example, the March/April National Forensic League (NFL) topic for Lincoln Douglas debate is: Resolved: When in conflict, the letter of the law ought to take priority over the spirit of the law.
Rewards include improvement of academic and interpersonal skills, self-confidence, persuasiveness, and collaboration with other team members for both individual and collective support. There is ample opportunity to win both individual and team trophies at various tournaments.  In the 3 years of the team's existence, the team has gone remarkably far, sending students to State Championships each year.  (Click here for more information on current standings.)

What is “Debate?”  
   Debate takes essentially two forms: “Lincoln-Douglas” debate (2 persons) and “Policy” debate (4 persons).   Debate differs from Public Speaking because debate requires interaction with an opponent.    

Lincoln-Douglas Debate
   Lincoln-Douglas debate (often called “LD” for short) involves several interchanges of arguments and cross-examination by each of two debaters, each seeking to either affirm or negate a controversial proposition.   Under the controversial proposition, debaters explore an equitable balance between fundamental policy issues, such as the rights and responsibilities of individuals in society in contrast to the duties of groups and government. The resolutions change every two months, requiring new analysis, research and preparation on an ongoing basis.
   For more details, see the page of helpful links or Mr. Jim Menick's Hendrick Hudson debate team page on LD.


   In order to debate, students need their parents to be involved.  Roles parents play include:
•    Chaperon only.  (Our team needs one adult chaperon per tournament.  This role is to care for the kids like what we parents do - provide healthy food, water, tender loving care, and take care of other requests from our kids.)
•    Judge only.  (Our team needs to provide one judge for each 3 to 4 kids.  For example, if tournament X requires 1 judge to 3 kids and our team has 9 kids who want to attend that tournament, our team needs to provide 3 judges.)  
•    Chaperon and judge.  (You play both roles.  Many parents often do both; you can do it too if you want to.)
•    Driver only.  (If you are really so busy, you can always be a driver, dropping off and picking up our kids from/to the tournaments.  All the tournaments, except championships, are within 2 hours by car.)  

   This team cannot function without the active participation of each of us.  Your kid has signed you up to actively participate in the upcoming tournaments.  If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to Josh, Meagan, or any of the other JV/Varsity team members.  If you are a parent of a novice level debater in this team, I also encourage you to speak to parents of kids who joined last year.  I trust they will share with you their enriching experience from this active participation.  I believe, like other parents in this team, that you will gain something money cannot buy.
A schedule of the tournaments we participate in is available here.  Please match them with your calendar and inform Josh of the tournaments in which you can help out and the role(s) that you are interested in!

A Message From a Parent (Bill Bierce) To All Parents