All posts by ejrutan3.admin

October 21 Scrimmage Motion Announced

Our first event of the year will be a scrimmage on October 21 at Bethel MIddle School.  Debaters will see an exhibiition round by experienced debaters and have two practice rounds, one on each side of the motion.

Our motion for the Scrimmage will be:

This House believes that (THBT) National Service should be compulsory in the United States.

Debaters should research and prepare Proposition (for) and Opposition (against) cases that they will use in their practice rounds at the Scrimmage.

As agreed at the Spring Coaches’ Meeting, we have prepared a short brief discussing the topic and outlining basic cases for and against.  Debaters may use these directly, or may further research the topic to deepen these arguments or to develop new ones.  The brief may be downloaded here in Word Format or in PDF Format.

If you have any questions, please email us.

2017-18 Calendar and Dues

The school year is about to begin and our middle school debate calendar is just about set.  We will begin with a scrimmage in October and tournaments in December, January and April.  The details are:

  • Scrimmage:  October 21, Bethel Middle School, Bethel
  • Fall Tournament:  December 2 (snow date Dec. 16), Middlebrook Middle School, Wilton
  • Winter Tournament:  Jan. 27, 2017 (snow date Feb. 10), Smith Middle School Glastonbury
  • Spring Tournament April 21, 2017, Eastern Middle School, Greenwich

You may download a pdf version of calendar for printing.

Dues for 2017-18 will be $50 per school, the same as last year.  The league does not charge any tournament fees.  Dues are paid to the Connecticut Association of Schools.  Please down load either a Word Version or PDF Version of the dues notice and payment instruction.

Please email us if you have questions.




Judges’ Workshop on August 14

It’s August already! That means our CT Middle School Debate League Judges’ Workshop is coming up:

  • Monday, August 14
  • 9:00 am — 2:00 pm
  • CAS (CT Association of Schools)
  • 30 Realty Drive, Cheshire, CT , 06410

Anybody who might ever want to judge a CTMSDL debate round is welcome and encouraged to attend — coaches, parents, teachers, school administrators, high school debaters — we have space. Coaches, please forward this invitation to those who might judge for you this year.

We’ll provide lunch for everybody and reimburse coaches for mileage.

Our schedule will be as follows:

  • 9:00 – 10:00 tournament-style Judges’ Workshop plus flowing instruction
  • 10:00 – 11:30 live debate with discussion after every speech and after the debate
  • 11:30 – 12:00 lunch
  • 12:30 – 1:30 2nd live debate with discussion after every speech and after the debate
  • 1:30 – 2:00 discussion and/or watching a MSPDP Championship Debate

Experienced judges who have attended many Judges’ Workshops are welcome to come to the 9:00 –10:00 portion or start the day at 10:00.

Everyone attending should download and review the Judge’s Instructions, even if you’ve judged before, so it is fresh in your mind.

Please RSVP by email so we have a count and can set the room up. Also please include any any questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions, etc.


Analyzing a Debate Round–an Example

I was asked by a Coach I know to write a more detailed review of a round I judged at the April 22 tournament.  We agreed it might be useful to share it with the other Coaches and teams in the league.

I realize the season is over, but take a look.  As a long-time coach, judge and debater I think this is what every debater should do for every round they debate after the tournament is over.  I’ve always found debate theory meaningless in the abstract, but very useful when you have a real debate in front of you.  And since you rarely get to see your own students debate, teaching them how to record and review their own performance is one of the most valuable skills you can impart.

You can download the following files:

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.


Spring Coaches Meeting May 24 at CAS

The Connecticut Middle School Debate League Spring Coaches Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24 at 4 pm at CAS in Cheshire.  The address is 30 Realty Drive, Cheshire, CT  06410.  Or you can visit their website: .

Please email ( ) if you plan to atend.  Include any items you would like to see on the agenda or questions, comments or concerns about the league.

This is our primary business meeting of the year so please try to be there on May 24.


April Tournament Results

211 debaters (76 teams) from 20 schools came together at Eastern Middle School in Greenwich on Saturday and debated the motion:

This House would colonize Mars.

First place was earned by The Hive’s team of Halle Hunt, Ava Prevey & Bronwyn Walsh, with second going to Smith Middle School’s team of Anana Turner and Leah Levebvre.

Results are now available on under  the tournament entry, CTMSDL Apr 22.  Select the Results tab.  Or you may download the results here:

Proposition prevailed in 47% of the debates.

Congrats to all of our Middle School debaters! Many, many thanks go to everyone who makes our tournaments possible: coaches, parents (including Eastern’s fabulous team of volunteers!), judges (including 29 High School and college debaters!), Everett Rutan, Eliza Posner, Jennifer Hunt, and Evan Streams on tab, and our hosts Bruce Johnson and Eastern Middle School. Thank you to the Greenwich Branch of the English Speaking Union and Robert Whitby for their sponsorship and support.

If you are missing any ballots in your envelopes, please let me know and I’ll send you copies.

As always, please email us with questions, comments and concerns.



April Tournament Motion Announced

The motion for our April 22 tournament will be:

This House would colonize Mars.  

The tournament will be held at Eastern Middle School, 51 Hendrie Avenue, Riverside, Greenwich, CT 06878, on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Thanks to Eastern Middle School and Coach Bruce Johnson for hosting.

As always, please email us with questions and concerns.

Have fun learning some science! See you in April!


January 28 Tournament Results

The Connecticut Middle School Debate League held another successful tournament at Middlebrook School in Wilton,  One-hundred sixty-six students from 17 schools debated the motion:

This House would eliminate life without the possibility of parole sentences for all adults.

Proposition prevailed in 55% of the rounds.

The team of Concordia Zito, Laney Goral, and Aiden Gilles from the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts repeated their December performance, winning the Final Round on Opposition.

The full results are:

Results may also be found on under the entry for the tournament.

Thanks go to Middlebrook Coaches Michael Panoli and Michael Wallace and the Wilton High School debaters and parents who helped out and judged; the English Speaking Union, Greenwich Branch for sponsoring us and their Vice President Robert Whitby for judging; our amazing judges including 18 high school and college students; and all of the coaches and parents whose hard work and support allow Middle Schoolers in Connecticut to debate competitively.

Our next tournament will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Eastern Middle School in Riverside, Greenwich, CT. The motion will be released by the end of February.

If you have any comments or questions, please email us.

January 28 Tournament Invitation

On behalf of Middlebrook School and coach Michael Panoli, the Connecticut Middle School Debate League would like to invite you to our second tournament this season to be held at Middlebrook School, 131 School Road, Wilton, CT, on Saturday, January 28, 2017, from 9:30 am — 3:45 pm, sponsored by the English Speaking Union, Greenwich Branch. (Please park behind the school near the playground.)

Debaters who will compete should research the topic:

This House would eliminate life without the possibility of parole sentences for all adults.


They must be prepared to uphold both sides of the motion. Please refer to the CTMSDL Handbook for information on our format and rules. Observers are welcome.

Coaches should register their debaters through Download our instructions for more information. On the event name is “CTMSDL Jan 28.” There is no cap on the number of teams each school may enter.

Coaches should register one judge per every 2 teams they register. We’ll use Varsity High School debaters as judges first, but we need to have back-up judges. Coaches should make sure their judges understand the information in the CTMSDL Handbook and our Judges Instructions. The day’s schedule will be as follows:

Arrival & Registration…………………………9:30 – 10:00

Workshops……………………………………10:00 – 11:00

Round 1………………………………………..11:15 – 12:00

Round 2………………………………………..12:00 – 12:45

Lunch……………………………………………12:45 – 1:30

Round 3…………………………………………..1:30 – 2:15

Final Round……………………………………….2:45 – 3:30

Awards & Departure……………………………..3:30 – 3:45

How you purchase pizza this time is your choice — coaches may collect money ($2 per slice, $1 per drink) and place a team order OR individuals may buy their own.

Please email us as soon as possible to let us know if you plan to attend, or with any questions or comments.
I’ll see you on the 28th,



January Motion Announced

The next CTMSDL tournament will be held at Middlebrook School, 131 School Road, Wilton, CT 06897 on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Our snow date is February 25. Thanks to Middlebrook School and Coach Michael Panoli for hosting.

The motion will be:

This House would eliminate life without parole sentences for all adults.

If your school hasn’t paid dues yet, please send a check along with the Dues Form to CAS.

As always, please email with questions and concerns.

See you in January!