Gambold Prep Wins First Annual Indianapolis Debate Championships

Debate Indy Hosts Citywide Competition on the Topic of Economic Engagement with Latin America
INDIANAPOLIS—On Saturday, the Gambold Prep Gators made history as the first Champions of Indianapolis debate. Jade Stiles and Michael Ivy, first year debaters at IPS’ newest high school, emerged victorious after three rounds of debate. The competition marks the culmination of a year of honing their debating skills with Debate Indy. debate_champion_2

This year, high school students from IPS and charter schools around the city have sparred on US economic engagement with Latin America. Students have debated whether to end the Cuban embargo, how to develop infrastructure on the southern border of the US, and giving development aid to rural areas of Mexico.At the championship, debaters learn only minutes before each round whether they will argue for or against engagement.IMG_0836

The organization hosting the event, Debate Indy, is a non-profit that seeks to empower youth voice through debate in underserved high schools. Representing schools across Indianapolis, the young leaders of Debate Indy learned new debate skills in the program’s first year of programming. Schools working with Debate Indy attend free tournaments and coaching workshops and get access to evidence on the topic.IMG_0824

Lavaris Knight, a Gambold debater who achieved second place at the competition, remarked that “debate is fun and mentally challenging.” He said that his work in debate gives him a higher appreciation for “argumentative strategies” that are often overlooked in other forms of education.debate_champ_1

Image_1397924478657 Tyler Ivy, Knight’s partner, reflected that “our team was able to expand our knowledge on different topics that we were able to apply in our academic lives.” Although “at times we were blindsided at different debates,” Tyler acknowledges that debate is a fun and effective way to build knowledge: “overall it was a roller-coaster ride that I’ll never forget!”

Debate has proven to be an excellent tool for creating college skills and connections. Debate Indy has built partnerships with the college debate teams at Butler University and IU-Bloomington to encourage those who want to continue the activity at the post-secondary level. Several of the Gambold debaters will prepare for next year’s debate season, in which the topic will be the exploration and development of Earth’s oceans, at the Hoosier Debate Camp at IU-Bloomington in June. IMG959734 3

 debate_2013Although hosting the first City Championship in Indianapolis history is an important landmark, Debate Indy remains committed to growing debate in the city. Gambold Prep was the only school from the IPS District to compete in this year’s Championship. Many schools that could benefit from the competition that have yet to take part, and Debate Indy looks forward to working with more schools during next year’s competitions.


The Indianapolis City Championships, April 19th!

Please join Debate Indy at the first ever Indianapolis City Championship Tournament. On April 19th, Butler University will host high schoolers in a competition to find the best debaters in Indianapolis!

Students of any experience level are free to attend and compete. Contact to see how you can take part. Like all Debate Indy events, the City Champs is completely free.

Please join us for your chance to be crowned the CIRCLE CITY CHAMPIONS!


The MLK Community Debates

Please join Debate Indy and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center on the January 18th for a community debate in honor of the eloquence and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The headline event: a debate between the IUPUI Jaguars and Butler Bulldogs on the topic: “This house believes that gentrification prevents the fulfillment of the ‘The Dream’.”

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The debate is a jumping-off point to discuss issues of community, service, and community development in Indianapolis in the spirit of Martin Luther King’s dream. The action will take place at the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center on 1802 N. Illinois  from 4pm – 7pm.

The event kicks off a year of programming by INRC called “MLK365,” a year long celebration showcasing the value of service every day. Find more info about the year’s activities on the MLK365 website.

January Newsletter

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe during the storm! Debate Indy has a ton of events coming up in the next months, so here’s some news to keep your brain warm.

INRC Day of Community Debate

On January 18th, Debate Indy and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center are hosting a “Day of Community Debate” in celebration and remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. Join us as local high schoolers, university students, and community members debate how Indianapolis is progressing towards King’s dream. Check our blog for details on the event.

2nd Debate Indy Tournament – The Titan Invitational at Arsenal Tech

It’s time already for the 2nd Debate Indy Tournament, this time hosted by Arsenal Tech high school on February 1st. Sign up today by emailing Check out our last tournament results on our blog: The next winner could be you!

NOBCChE Collaboration
NOBCChE (pronounced No-be-Shay) helps promote people of color in Science and Technology fields, and Debate Indy was honored to take part in their end-of-year celebrations at the Indianapolis Public Library. We’ll be collaborating with their Saturday science academy on February 22nd to show how debate can help further a rigorous education and a career in science and allied disciplines. Thanks to Dr. Paul Ardayfio and all the fantastic people involved with NOBCChE.
IU Debate Tournament
The weekend of the 18th is going to be a busy one. On January 18 and 19, IU-Bloomington is hosting its annual high school tournament, which will draw competitors from Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Several Debate Indy schools will be in the mix, so we’ll be sure to post updates for our followers.

Thanks for reading! You can follow us on twitter @debateindy or read our blog at

Contact us at

Debate Indy: The Indianapolis Urban Debate League, promoting debate education and opportunities for all students in Indianapolis.

Debate Indy Season Opener – Results

Here are the results of Debate Indy’s first tournament. Debaters from Manual, Shortridge and Gambold consistently impressed the judges with their logic and skill. Thanks to Butler for hosting and the IU debaters for running the show and judging as needed.

Top 5 speakers

1. Jade Stiles – Gambold

2. Iris O’Donnell-Bellisario – Gambold

3. Chris Ransom – Gambold

4. (Tie) Breanna Bastin and Andrew Short – Manual

3rd Place: Manual – Breanna Bastin and Andrew Short

2nd Place: Gambold – Jade Stiles and Michael Ivy

1st Place: Gambold – Iris O’Donnell-Bellisario and Isaac Vaught

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Awesome job everybody!


Come to our Season Opener Tournament!

We would like to cordially invite you to our season opening debate tournament. We will be offering four rounds of debate plus a final round (if necessary), plenty of prizes for participants, and a fantastic day of competition on Butler’s beautiful campus.
Please spread the word by sharing our flyer with friends and colleagues. Do not hesitate to contact me with questions. We look forward to seeing you in October!

Season Opener Flyer – Debate Indy

Rules and Registration

Our tournament will be hosted through Please email for an invitation to sign up!

Evidence will be from the NAUDL core novice files. These can be found at Any file with Novice in the file name is fair game (6 files in total) –

Cuba Affirmative (Novice)
Cuba Negative (Novice)

POE Aff – Novice
POE Neg – Novice

Mexico Rural Assistance Affirmative (Novice)
Mexico Rural Assistance Negative (Novice)

Debate Indy Workshop at Butler U this Saturday!

Start the debate year off in style with our first 2013 workshop! Here’s our flier for the event.

What it is:

Come learn about debate at our first workshop on Saturday, September 7th from 12-3pm. We’ll be joined by debaters and coaches from Butler University and IU-Bloomington. We’ll go over what debate is, important skills, and how to compete.

Questions? Contact us at:

Who can attend:

High school students interested in finding out more about debate

Teachers/coaches looking for team practice activities and coaching tips

Community volunteers interested in judging

Parents who want to find out the benefits of debate


Time Students Coaches
12:00 – 12:30 IntroductionsThe Debate Indy program
12:30 – 12:50 Advantages of debateWhat debate is like
12:50 – 1:00 Break
1:00 – 1:30 Policy Debate Intro:- Rules- Affirmative and Negative
1:30 – 1:50 Introduction to the topic Beginning Coaching
1:50 – 2:00 Break
2:00 – 2:30 Debate Techniques
2:30 – 3:00 Demo Debate

How to get there:

Butler’s campus is located at 4600 Sunset Avenue.  Fairbanks Hall is on the West side of campus, and can be seen on this campus map (number 19 on the map): You can park in the lot just south of the building.


Debate Indy August Newsletter

Hooray for a new school year and a new year of debate! Our goal this year: more students will debate in Indianapolis than in any year before. With your help, we can make it happen.

2013-14 Schedule

Go to our blog to see a tentative schedule for 2013-14 Debate Indy events. We welcome any feedback (e.g., does your school’s prom date fall during one of our tournaments?). Thanks!

Get IndyVolved

Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at Get IndyVolved! We were able to make connections with dozens of young people looking to get involved in their communities as well as several fantastic organizations serving Indy. Keep up with news and events for young professionals in Indy at

Assistant Coaches Needed!

Anyone can inspire a student to achieve through debate. We’re looking for individuals who are passionate about education in Indianapolis to be assistant coaches who learn and lead alongside our school partners. No previous debate or public speaking experience is required to be a coach. Passion for educational equity and a willingness to learn are the only requirements.
If you or someone you know fits the description, contact Henry Fields at to learn more.


Thanks for reading! You can follow us on twitter @debateindy or contact us at

Debate Indy: The Indianapolis Urban Debate League, promoting debate education and opportunities for all students in Indianapolis.

Come see us at Get IndyVolved!

Come see us on Wednesday July 31 at Get IndyVolved!

From IndyHub’s eventbrite site:

“The 8th annual Get IndyVolved will showcase dozens of Indianapolis nonprofit and yp (= young professional) organizations for Indy’s twenty-/thirty-somethings looking for places to plug into the city. Stop by, chat with your peers representing groups they’re involved with, grab something to eat and enjoy an awesome night at City Market.”

Click this link to sign up and for more info:

Hope to see you there!


Debate Indy June Newsletter

As school winds down for the summer, Debate Indy would like to send out big congratulations to all the graduating seniors! Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

May School Visits

Our coaches met so many great people in the month of May.
– We attended debate practice at Arsenal Tech, where the debaters even included several of Tech’s state champion rugby program.
– We met the fantastic debate teachers at Arlington High, where the curriculum includes speech and two elective debate classes. Although new to the discipline, the teachers at Arlington have jumped headfirst into speech and debate. Thanks for your dedication!

–  We had the opportunity to speak in Mr. Pappas’s debate class at Herron High School about debate in high school and college. It was great to see so many smart students excited about debate.

Thanks for having us!

2013-14 Schedule

Go to our blog to see a VERY tentative schedule for 2013-14 Debate Indy events. We welcome any feedback!

Summer Camp @ IU

The Hoosier Debate Camp is a fantastic way to prepare for next year’s debate season. IU has several exciting deals for Indianapolis students.

  • IU is committed to cultivating student leaders from each school involved with Debate Indy, and is willing to significantly lower or eliminate the cost of attendance for one talented student representative from each school.
  • The camps holds two tournaments during the course of the camp. IU is interested in hosting students and teachers who would like to observe either competition.
  • Financial aid is still available.

Teachers or students can email IU Director of Debate Brian DeLong at for more information.
You can find out more information about the camp at

Debate in College!

Attention graduating high school seniors! Are you attending IU or Butler University next year? The coaches of both schools are looking for bright students who want to get involved in college debate. No past experience is necessary. Many college debaters did not compete in high school, and there is a novice division specifically for new competitors. Last year, IU won the novice division at the Illinois State tournament, and both squads have a substantial number of debate beginners. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Casey Kelly at or Brian DeLong at

Thanks for reading! You can follow us on twitter @debateindy or read our blog at

Contact us at

Debate Indy: The Indianapolis Urban Debate League, promoting debate education and opportunities for all students in Indianapolis.