Debate League

About our ongoing debate clubs

Irving Debate League
2nd & 4th Mondays, 7pm-9pm
Starting September 2019
Christ Church Irving
1750 E Airport Fwy, Irving, TX 75062

Click here to join

Dallas Homeschool Debate League
1st & 3rd Thursdays, 11am-1pm
Starting September 2019
K.B. Polk Recreation Center
6801 Roper St., Dallas, TX 75209
Click here to join
Join Mailing List for more info.

Limit 16 students per club
Recommended for Ages 10-17
No Prerequisite.

Debate League clubs meet for 2-hours, twice per month, between September and May (plus free entrance to the SLAM annual event).

We combine the learning of advanced debating skills with quick, fun, and creative games, activities, and debate sparring to learn the relevant skills to succeed in any competitive format of debate. 

In the main debate learning, we emphasize structuring a case, referred to as the “Constructive,” developing a “Framework” (how the judge should decide the winner), understanding your opponents’ case through “Cross-Examination,” effective techniques for “Rebuttal”, and how to summarize and convey your win to the judge.

While members learn to conduct full competitive debates, we frequently mix in debate sparring sessions which are short, fun, and easy, one-, two-, or three-person debates on topics that don’t require deep research, e.g., “School uniforms should be required,” “The rise of selfies is a troubling cultural problem,” “Whataburger vs. In-N-Out,” etc.

Useful skills like speaking clearly, note-taking (referred to as flowing), thinking on your feet, organizing your thoughts, being creative and adapting, and determining what is relevant in material are also developed.

Light to moderate homework is assigned to help reinforce what’s been learned and prep for debates. 



What are some helpful qualities for a child considering Debate League?

  • Ability to pay attention, process verbal information quickly, and to pick up the meaning of words from context.
  • Strong handwriting skills (or use of a device with strong keyboarding skills).
  • An expressed interest in debate, preferably with an interest in, or curiosity about, world or political affairs.
  • A self-starter who takes personal responsibility for results.
  • Good public speaking presentation skills (if not, it may be a good idea to join a Speakers League club in addition to Debate League).
  • Has a competitive streak.
  • Works well with others.

Are there other helpful elements for Debate League success?

  • Capability and access to do independent research.
  • Can bring a device for research to club meetings (e.g. smartphone, tablet).

Can I visit a club meeting before I decide about joining?

Yes, you are welcome to visit the group to “check us out.” Guests are seated with the members, and are sometimes given the option to participate in some of the meeting’s activities. To arrange for a visit, call or text us at 214-972-8046, or email

Is there a “best” time of year to join Debate League?

The best time to join is when there is an opening in the club. Membership is limited to 16. After that, we add names to a waiting list. To find out if there is space in your desired club, call or text 214-972-8046 or email

How do you integrate new members into an ongoing club?

We have a series of activities, videos, and take-home work for new members to get them caught up on the basics. Typically new members are able to jump right into impromptu sparring debates (at which they will improve, with experience), and of course games don’t require special experience.

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I’m not 10 yet. Can I still join?

Look at the first FAQ above to get a general idea of whether you already have traits considered helpful for debate. That’s a great start. What will determine if you are a good fit is if you can grasp the material and implement the techniques you are learning. Membership is monthly, so if it’s not a good fit, you can easily withdraw.

I’ll be turning 18 this year. Can I still join?

You may stay in Debate League until you graduate high school or turn 19, whichever is later.

What style of debate do you use in Debate League?

How do members prepare for their debates?

Much of a debater’s success is based on the preparation that goes in before the debate begins. In sparring that often means quick thinking and creativity. For debates prepared between meetings, success usually hinges on research, strong arguments with evidence, anticipation of the opponents’ arguments, and a compelling explanation for how the debate should be judged.

We teach members to examine the resolution, determine the issues at play, structure arguments and rebuttals, plan for effective cross-examination, conduct evidence research, summarize the state of a debate, cite impacts, learn how to identify and combat logical fallacies, and understand the elements of judging.

Is there a member handbook or textbook provided?

All of our members are provided our proprietary Debate League Member Handbook.

What should members bring to the meeting?

We encourage members to bring their Member Handbook, notebook paper, and, if possible, a wifi and/or cellular-connected research device, e.g. laptop, smartphone, or tablet, to each meeting. Where possible, we will provide wifi access.

Do members argue respectfully?

At Debate League, members learn and communicate in a persuasive and respectful way. We follow the H.E.R.O. code of conduct:

  • Honest – Arguments should not mislead or distort the truth. Statistics and sources must be accurate and never made up.
  • Equal – While we may not agree on topics, each side of a debate, and each member, is presumed to have the dignity of an equally valid voice
  • Respectful – Members, parents, and coaches do NOT engage in belittling, bullying, rude, or nasty behavior/commentary toward members or their families. Timely responses between teammates and coaches is expected.
  • Open-minded – Members, and parents acting as judges, will not pre-judge based on the topic, but will instead focus on the relative success of teams to prove the arguments on their side of the proposition through providing clear contentions, evidence, and impacts.

Where do the clubs compete?

We focus on intra-club competitions, usually offering two tournaments per year – the Winter Classic in December, and the SLAM Tournament in late May or early June. 

1st place in the SLAM 2016 debate tournament went to Alex and Scarlet.
1st place in the SLAM 2016 debate tournament went to Alex and Scarlet.


Should I do Speakers League instead of, or in addition to, Debate League?

Success in debate is a combination of preparation and presentation, resulting in perceptual dominance by one team over the other. While the words are the most important part of debate, judges are also influenced by excellent presentation. Speakers League focuses on impromptu speaking, presentation techniques, and critical evaluation, all indispensable skills in debate.

While not required, many of our debaters participate in Speakers League as well.

How much does it cost to join? 

There is a one-time, non-refundable, $50 registration/materials fee per child when you join a Debate League club. Dues, if paid annually, are $275. If you would prefer a month-to-month arrangement, you may opt to pay dues of $25 per month, year-round, until you withdraw from the club.

Are dues, fees, or tuition refundable? 

There are no refunds for club registration fees or dues, once paid. For camps, workshops, and short-term classes, a full refund can be made up to 30 days before the first session; a full refund less 50% can be made up to 72 hours before the first session. No refunds will be made within 72 hours of the first session.

Why are monthly dues collected during the summer when the club doesn’t meet?

All of our Debate League dues are essentially annual. You can either pay $275 per year all at once, or $300 per year in $25/month increments. There are three reasons for this:

  1. We found that parents like the flexibility of a paying a smaller month-to-month figure, especially because dues are non-refundable.
  2. We found that stability in our membership was enhanced by a year-round arrangement.
  3. We are able to keep our dues lower because there is less paperwork, staffing, and marketing involved in managing membership.

Is there a sibling discount?

Yes. As long as you are not receiving a different promotion, siblings in the exact same club or camp/class receive a 10% discount on both registration and dues. Use the promo code “SIBLINGS” on your online order form.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal for our monthly payment option. If you are paying annually, you may use these same methods, as well as cash or checks.

What do my payments cover?

Any registration fees, tuition, or dues cover such items as room rentals, equipment and supplies, trophies, staffing, videotaping, database entry, textbooks, forms, etc.

How often do the clubs meet?

Debate League clubs meet twice per month between September and May, plus our annual conference in late May or early June. Some adjustments are made to the schedule when holidays conflict.

Do I have to come to every meeting?

No. However, it is a good idea to request that someone take notes for you of what happened at the meeting.

How do I withdraw from the club?

You may withdraw your child from the club at any time by notifying the coach. Payments made up to that point are non-refundable. Future scheduled payments are immediately halted. If a member attends a SLAM that is held in May, June dues would be payable.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 6.54.06 PMDo you offer financial aid?

If you feel that you could not otherwise participate in Debate League without financial assistance, we are able to make special arrangements for families that request it. We offer partial scholarships, and they are based solely on need, not merit. To request a scholarship, we ask that the parent submit a statement in writing, or verbally, describing the reason assistance is desired, and what amount is requested. Members/parents who receive scholarship assistance may be asked to contribute volunteer time, on occasion.

When we are ready to join, what should we do?

The quickest way to join is through our online enrollment portal at this link. (If you are requesting financial aid, contact us at the email or phone number at the bottom of this page, and a different ordering method will be used.)

What happens after my child joins?

Once you have paid and completed our online member data form, an automated, short series of emails will start to come to you to help your child get ready for the club. The Member Handbook will be provided at your first meeting.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact or call/text

"Be on the lookout for Millennials who have participated in speech and debate training. Hire them and put them on your leadership fast track."

Robert Sher, “How to Find Millennials Who Will Lead Your Company.” March 2, 2014

As space permits, we accept new members throughout the year. Join our mailing list below to receive more details. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

REFUND POLICY There are no refunds for club registration fees or dues, once paid. 


Join a Debate League club using the table below.

Debate League
$50 one-time materials & registration fee, and $25/month club dues
Location: Christ Church Irving, 1750 E Airport Fwy., Irving, TX 75062
1st & 3rd Mondays from 7:30pm-9pm (except September when we’ll meet on 3rd & 5th Mondays). Meets September through May.
Club dues include SLAM (our annual conference held in late May or early June).
Sibling Discount: If siblings joining the exact same club, use promo code “SIBLINGS” at checkout to save 10%.
Fees and club dues are non-refundable. Monthly dues are charged year round until you withdraw from the club. (See FAQ page for details.)
Debate League
$50 one-time materials & registration fee, and $25/month club dues
Location: K.B. Polk Recreation Center, 6801 Roper St., Dallas, TX 75209
1st & 3rd Thursdays from 11:00am-1pm. Meets September through May.
Club dues include SLAM (our annual conference held in late May or early June).
Sibling Discount: If siblings joining the exact same club, use promo code “SIBLINGS” at checkout to save 10%.
Fees and club dues are non-refundable. Monthly dues are charged year round until you withdraw from the club. (See FAQ page for details.)

The value of learning debate

These skills, loosely categorized as elements of emotional intelligence, include the capacity to persevere through setbacks (grit), the facility to bring existing knowledge to a novel situation (creativity), comfort in working with others and knowing when to lead and when to follow (collaboration), the capability to confront the seemingly infinite volumes of information on any topic and select the relevant data (research), and sensitivity to what a target audience is thinking so that such data can be presented persuasively (empathy). The debate curriculum teaches young people much of what they’ll need to know in these areas by active, engaging, and highly direct means. Click here to read the full article.


Debate really opened the world to my son this year.  It challenged him to substantiate his claims, learn how to research a topic, see the advantages and disadvantages of both sides of an argument, and get up and debate. 

Ayala S., Parent


Phone: 1-214-972-8046
Fax: 1-310-868-2891
PO Box 866092 Plano TX 75086