Notes on November’s Scrimmages

For a number of years I have been writing commentary about Connecticut Debate Association topics and debate.  You can find this material through the CDA Training Material page.

I’d like to extend this practice to the Middle School League.  This, Scrimmage Commentary Nov14, is my first effort, based on the demonstration debates at our Novice Scrimmages at Bethel and Smith Middle Schools.

There is a brief discussion of three topics:  taking notes, defining terms and covering arguments.  I also include a summary of my notes for each of the demo rounds, so your students can see examples of what debate notes might look like.

If you find this material useful, you should feel free to make copies and share it with your students as you see fit.  If you notice any mistakes, or have any suggestions for improvement, please email me.


January Tournament Announcement

The Connecticut Middle School Debate League will hold its first debate tournaments at the end of January.  January 24 and January 31 are the likely dates, and we are looking at two locations to make travel a bit easier.

These will be Saturday tournaments, beginning at 10 AM and running no later than 3PM.    Students will have 3 or 4 rounds of debate, and possibly a public final round.

The topic will be animal rights:

  • This House believes that zoos do more harm than good.

Your students should familiarize themselves with subject matter and develop their cases for and against the motion between now and January.  We will announce the locations and schedule just after the New Year.

If you have any questions, please email us:  January Tournament Questions .

November Scrimmage Results

The Connecticut Middle School Debate League is LIVE!

Special thanks to Cathy Emerick and Bethel Middle School, and John Rook and Smith Middle School in Glastonbury for hosting our first two events, practice scrimmages, on November 10 and 12.

We had 34 teams totaling 102 debaters from seven schools, some debating for the first time.  High school debaters fromGlastonbury, Greenwich, Joel Barlow, St. Luke’s, Stamford, and Westfield/Watkinson volunteered their time to provide demonstration debates and judge the middle school debaters.

The topic was:  This House Would permit schools to discipline students for internet and phone activity.

You may download a summary of the results:

Bethel Box Scores

Smith Box Scores

If you are missing any ballots or have any questions about the results, topic or event, please email us at .

Our next event will be a middle school debate tournament at the end of January.  The topic, dates and locations will be published shortly.

Scrimmage Invitation Nov. 10 and Nov. 12

On behalf of Bethel Middle School and Smith Middle School I would like to invite you to the inaugural event of the Connecticut Middle School Debate League, an introductory scrimmage. 

Bethel Middle School, November 10, 2014, 4PM to 7PM

Smith Middle School, Glastonbury, November 12 2014, 4PM to 7PM

The topic will be:

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

Students may come to debate or to observe.  Coaches and interested teachers are welcome to come and observe.  Debaters should have researched the topic and should be prepared to uphold either side of the issue.  We will be using the Middle School Public Debate Program format.  For more information download MSL Scrimmage Invitation Nov14.