Motion for November Scrimmages

The motion for the November scrimmages at Bethel and Glastonbury will be:

This House Would permit schools to discipline students for internet and phone activity.

Remember your students should be prepared to debate both sides of the motion, arguing both for and against.

We will be posting additional documents with information for students and judges shortly.

Middle School Scrimmage Announcement

The Connecticut Middle School Debate League will hold two scrimmages in November:

  • Bethel Middle School, Monday, November 10
  • Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, Wednesday, November 12

We expect schools will choose to attend one or the other, as they are located at opposite ends of the State.

These will be after school events, beginning at approximately 4PM and running until approximately 7PM.  Each scrimmage will feature a demonstration debate by experienced high school debaters from the Connecticut Debate Association, after which the middle school debaters will have two practice rounds, where they will debate in favor of the motion during one debate and against the motion in the other.

The topic will be whether or not schools should be permitted to discipline students for their conduct outside of school:  think cyberbullying, postings on social media, parties, substance abuse.  We are still working on the exact motion, but this should give you something to work with in the mean time.

The format of the debate will be the Parliamentary format used by the Middle School Public Debate Program.  You can access our short description of this debate format here, where you will also find links to other web sites with more detail.

If you wish to attend, please signify your interest by sending an email to .  We simply need your name, the name of your school and your email address (which we will add to our mailing list).  We will notify you of a more formal registration process to enter your debate team names as we get closer to the date of the event.  You may also use the email address for any questions you may have.

This is our first event for middle school students.  We look forward to a great turnout!

CTMSL Debate Format

The Connecticut Middle School League will use the Middle School Public Debate Program format, which is becoming popular across the country.  It is a variant of Parliamentary debate, which is the most popular debate format in the world.

In this format, two teams debate a motion, one side arguing in favor, the other side against.  Each team has three members, each of whom presents one speech:  a first constructive, a second constructive and a rebuttal.  The speeches alternate between the teams, with the team arguing in favor leading off.  The order of the rebuttals is reversed, however, with the opposing team speaking first, giving the supporting team the last word.  This is similar to a court trial where the prosecution has the burden of making its case, and is given the first and last word to support that burden.

We have a two page description of the format with more details.  You may download the pdf file CTMSDL Debate Format.  You may also find the Middle School Public Debate Program website a useful source of additional descriptive and educational material.



Welcome to Connecticut Middle School Debate!

This post announces the formation of the Connecticut Middle School Debate League (CTMSDL)!

Yes, middle school debate is coming to Connecticut in the 2014-15 school year.  We are planning scrimmages in mid-November and tournaments in 2015.

For more information, please email .

This website is a work in process, so please be patient.  We expect that the content will increase rapidly!