BINGHAMTON, NY – The Speech and Debate Team at Binghamton University, State University of New York will host a free international online debate tournament for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12. Registration goes until May 9 and speeches start May 11.
The tournament takes place asynchronously with students uploading one video a day, Monday through Friday, which will then be judged over the weekend. The top three competitors in each division will be mailed a trophy and will have a donation made in their honor to a local nonprofit in their area, ranging from $25 to $200.
“We decided to move forward with hosting this tournament after the huge success of our Broome County Digital Debate Workshops,” said Joe Schatz, director of Speech and Debate at Binghamton University. “Beyond reaching over fifty students from eighteen local schools, I’ve been contacted by debate programs and educators from across the United States asking about other opportunities.”
While Binghamton has hosted online tournaments before, drawing on average roughly 100 competitors, they stopped hosting them in 2017. Due to schools closing, national competitions being cancelled, and a surge in interest, they decide to host again this year. Schatz said that while some competitors might have debate experience, the format of the tournament doesn’t require students to have prior debate experience in order to be successful.
“While I’d much rather be hosting tournaments in person,” Schatz said, “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with students around the world and give kids who don’t have the debate teams at their school the opportunity to compete and give debate a try.”