Indiana University hosts nation's top collegiate debaters

  • March 26, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The nation’s top collegiate debaters are headed to Bloomington this weekend: Indiana University is the site of the 68th National Debate Tournament. The opportunity to host the championship for collegiate policy debate is the latest example of the resurgence of interest in the competition at IU.

The Hoosier Debate Team is organizing the tournament. It will feature two-person teams from IU, Harvard, Northwestern, Weber State and many other universities.

“We’re ready to welcome more than 500 students and more than 200 debate directors, coaches and judges,” said IU debate coach Brian DeLong, a member of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs faculty. “These are the best of the best. We're proud that our Hoosier debaters will be a part of this tournament, and we’re excited that we have the opportunity to show off our campus and our community.”

Only teams ranked in the top 80 in the U.S. can qualify for the tournament. Many of the competitors are already in Bloomington, as IU hosted another tournament put on by the Cross Examination Debate Association last weekend.

“To have two major tournaments on back-to-back weekends really signifies that debate has made a comeback at IU and that we’ll be part of the national debate landscape for years to come,” DeLong said.

Debate had virtually vanished at IU until SPEA took control of the program and hired DeLong as coach four years ago. The team also receives support from the College of Arts and Sciences.

To participate in collegiate debate, students must spend hours in research and hours more polishing their strategies and presentations. The short-term payoff is the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Long-term, the analytical and speaking skills can help launch careers.

At IU, the National Debate Tournament is headquartered at the Indiana Memorial Union’s Biddle Hotel with registration beginning Thursday, March 27, and the opening rounds conducted Friday, March 28. The champions will be crowned Monday, March 31, and the public is invited to attend any of the competitions.

More information is available online about the tournament and its schedule and the Hoosier Debate Team. Follow the team’s progress on Twitter and Facebook.

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Media Contacts

Jim Hanchett

  • School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Office 812-856-5490

Brian DeLong

  • Hoosier Debate Team
  • Office 307-214-4189