We offer two modes of competing: local and national. Local circuit debaters will attend regional tournaments and enjoy reduced commitment expectations. Those debating on the national circuit will be required to practice twice a week every week, with the exception of the 4th week of each Block. Students traveling and competing on the national circuit are expected to practice and debate in order to become nationally competitive.


Debate Styles


CC debate primarily competes in International Public Debate. IPDA is normally 1v1 debate, though some tournaments do host the occasional team format. IPDA's emphasis is on effective communication and persuasion and is one of the most accessible forms of debate for participants and judges of all backgrounds and styles.

Like many forms of college debate, IPDA is limited prep. This means competitors are only given 30 minutes to choose a topic and prepare arguments. The round starts when five potential topics are announced. Topics range from metaphorical (Resolved: An apple a day keeps the doctor away) to political (Resolved: The United States Federal Government should join the Paris Climate agreement). The negative side strikes a potential resolution first, followed by the affirmative, until a topic is selected. They then spend the rest of prep time preparing arguments.

The debate itself lasts 26 minutes and features two "constructive arguments" (5 minute aff speech, 6 minute neg speech) by both sides each of which is followed by a two minute questioning period. The debate ends with three rebuttal speeches (3 min aff speech, five minute neg speech, 3 min aff speech).


Occasionally, the team may have the opportunity to participate in what is National Parliamentary Debate. This form of competition pits two pairs of debaters against each other in a limited-preparation policy debate. Teams are given a different policy resolution each round that can range from "This House should drop it like it's hot" to "The United States Federal Government should significantly increase it's cyber-defense of critical infrastructure." After the resolution is read twice students have 15-25 minutes to develop a case for or against the resolution and are only allowed to use what they hand-wrote during prep time.

Depending on the specificity of the prompt, creativity and interpretation are welcome. The debate round itself lasts approximately 45-50 min. This style of debate was generated from CEDA Policy Debate, and uses the same strategic positions and argument types as Policy Debate (Affirmative Shells, Disadvantages, Kritiks, Procedurals, and Theory). If you have had no exposure to Policy Debate, this is a great style of debate to learn the positions and pieces that make a good Policy case. This style of debate is great for those who want to learn a breadth of information about global and domestic affairs.

Mock Trial

Mock Trial is one of the country's most popular high school and collegiate activities. Here at Colorado College, our Mock Trial team enjoyed early success when it ranked among the top 20 (of more than 600) teams in the nation during the 2013-14 academic year. You can find out more about the team here.

Report an issue - Last updated: 03/01/2022