About Us

The Connecticut Debate Association (CDA) is the state's premiere high school debate league. We have been providing a regular program of competition for over twenty-five years.

We work to provide an educational competitive experience for the students. We believe that debate and other forms of forensic competition develop skills which transfer well into school, career and personal life. Debate helps student develop valuable speaking, listening and analytic skills. It places a premium on quick thought and precise expression. Many noted public figures are former high school and college debaters. We approach this task in a cooperative spirit that recognizes the overriding goal is to benefit the students.

The CDA provides a complete debate experience close to home and at low cost. Annual dues include all tournaments for as many debaters as you care to bring, limited only by the capacity of the site. There are no additional fees for attendance, though schools are responsible for their own transportation and providing judges.

We hold a scrimmage for new debaters in September and tournaments monthly from October through March followed by a championship meet for qualifying teams. Tournaments are held on Saturday from 8AM to 5:30PM. We typically run simultaneous events at 3 high schools in order to accommodate all who wish to attend. During the 2015-16 season we held 2 novice scrimmages and 18 tournaments. In November, over 500 debaters from 42 schools competed in tournaments at three schools. On our monthly regular tournament dates we average over 35 schools and over 400 debaters in attendance. Tournaments have a novice and varsity division to accommodate different levels of skill and experience.

The CDA can also be an adjunct to debating in other leagues and styles of debate. Many CDA members participate in tournaments sponsored by colleges such as Yale, UPenn, Harvard, Columbia, and elsewhere. CDA teams have won or placed in the Parliamentary Divison of the Yale Invitational, the UPenn Liberty Bell Classic and the Yale Osterweis Tournament. Many CDA members also participate in model congress, model UN and mock trial competitions.

For a more extended description of the league and how to join, please read or download our Brochure.

For information on starting a team, coaching, our debate formats, our past topics and tournaments and much more, please see our Training Material page.