Debate is an activity that develops the most important skills needed in today’s workforce-reading, speaking, listening, and organization. The debate team is approximately 12 students and the season is from late September until early December (tournaments most Saturdays during that time). The North High School Debate team participates in 3 kinds of debate.
- Policy debate, the most popular debate format in Wisconsin,
is a team debate in which one side (the affirmative team) argues for
a resolution (a course of action) and one argues against it (the negative).
Policy debaters are great at research, critical reading, and speaking/thinking on their feet. The resolution doesn’t change throughout the debate season and is usually an important current event. North can boost of numerous state qualifiers/finalists in policy debate.
- Public forum debate
is also a team debate in which each side argues a resolution that changes
every month. Unlike policy debate which is full of jargon, public forum debate is “Joe Blow Debate”, anyone at any skill or age level can jump in and be successful. Emphasis is less on research and more on public speaking and quick analysis.
- Lincoln-Douglass debate is an individual competition and is theory debate rather than relying on in-depth research or analysis of current events. North has had 2 state champions in LD debate since 2000.