Debate Announcements

“Virtual” Policy Debate Manual Supplemental Addition
During the June 2020 KSHSAA Executive Board meeting, the board unanimously passed a virtual debate policy beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
Click here to view the KSHSAA/KSCA supplemental manual document.

Debate (2024-25 School Year)
IMPORTANT - If your school plans on participating in Debate in Fall 2024, the athletic director must enter your school through the Fall Activity Participation Form due August 22, 2024.

2023-24 Debate Rule Changes

KSHSAA Debate Regulations

Sec. 9. National Tournament Qualifiers – see page 13 of the 2024-25 Debate, Speech & Drama Manual

Debate Regulations

Sec. 15.E. Grievances – see page 17

2-Speaker Debate Scheduling

Rounds II-VI.G – see page 26
Sec. 12. School Judging Responsibilities – see page 24

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Summer Debate Camp/Clinic Rules
Debate coaches may work with students all summer on a voluntary basis. Coaches may NOT make summer camp a requirement of students.

Coaches may host a 1 week camp in the summer for their own students. However, the school can’t pay a fee for any camp, or finance any camp (1 week host camp may be held in the school library or similar area). *Transportation: School districts may permit school owned transportation to be used to transport students to debate summer camps, clinics, workouts or scrimmages with other schools. KSHSAA catastrophic insurance does not cover these summer activities. Individual school districts will decide whether to permit school owned transportation to be used for these activities.

By interpretation, concerning debate summer camp rule, debate season doesn’t start until the first competition date. Thus invitational debate clinics/camps may be held up to September 14, 2023. If a school authorizes a field trip to a clinic, they may fund and provide school bus transportation. (Field trip means all students attending must be enrolled in an academic debate class). This type of trip could only be during the school calendar year.

Points of Emphasis

Sharing of Evidence – When called for by an opposing team, debaters will make available to the opposing team, in a form usable by the opposition, evidence that was read in the round. The team who is currently speaking, or the team whose prep time is currently running, shall have the right, upon request, to access all evidence that has been read to that point in the debate. All physical property, including paper evidence, must be returned to its owner at the end of the round.

Rule 30 Seasons of Activities Sec. 1 Art. 5 states Interschool scrimmages (practices) in all activities shall be prohibited. a) Schools may not hold interschool scrimmages (practices) in athletics, scholars’ bowl or debate/speech. Interschool is defined as senior high school with another senior high school.

Students from two different schools may not be pared up to debate. This is a violation of Rule 14 Bona Fide student rule – “in order to be eligible for participation, the student must be a bona fide undergraduate member of that school and in good standing.” The only way students from two different schools may compete together is if both schools have formed a Cooperative Agreement through provisions of Rule 29.

Electronic Retrieval Devices
Refer to the Debate, Speech & Drama Manual, pages 15-16, Sec. 8 for specific details.

“Approval of Events” --Attention Debate Coaches and Activity Directors
KSHSAA member schools may NOT attend Debate tournaments which involve two or more states unless the event is listed on our KSHSAA “approved list”. Upon receiving an invitation, schools need to check the “approved list” link on KSHSAA’s front web page before signing up. If the event isn’t on the list and you want to attend, contact the host school and ask them to contact their state’s athletic or activity association and complete the proper sanctioning forms to get it approved in Kansas. If this doesn’t work call Megan Hagaman for assistance. This does not guarantee that it will be approved, thus you must wait to make sure it appears on the approved list otherwise you may NOT attend.

If a Kansas school has an out-of-state school attending their tournament, a school administrator must fill out the online sanctioning application (formerly G form).

Clarification on 2-Speaker State Debate qualifying computation for win-loss record:
The manual reads: Sec. 2 State Qualifications — Each school’s individual debater shall have qualified during the current school year in the following ways:

  • Qualified in tournaments in which at least five (5) schools are in attendance.
  • Qualified in a minimum of four (4) tournaments above the novice division.
  • Each individual debater must have participated in at least four (4) rounds of competition at each qualifying tournament.
  • Each individual debater must have a cumulative win/loss record of 50 percent or better over four (4) in-state tournaments above the novice division. (You may choose any 4 tournaments, with 4 rounds or more, and total up the number of wins-losses your team participated in to determine the 50% or above qualification. You may NOT take out certain rounds within a qualifying tournament to make your win-loss higher. You must count all rounds the team actually participated in or no rounds from each tournament. You may NOT count only prelim rounds unless these were the only rounds the team participated in.)

Coaches have asked how to count a Bye and how to count a “walkover” (when two teams from same school meet but decide not to debate to settle placing). You are to count these scenarios as follows: A Bye counts as a win. A walkover counts as a win for both teams. IMPT-- Any round debated as a maverick cannot be counted for state qualification.


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Current 4-Speaker Champions
Topeka-Washburn Rural
Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest
Silver Lake
Current 2-Speaker Champions
Overland Park-Blue Valley North
De Soto
Wichita Collegiate

[Previous State Champions]