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4 May 2002

United States Country Report to 2002 Worlds Council

At the 2002 Worlds Council countries were invited to submit a report to the council to let other nations know about debating in their country.  It was not compulsory but a number of nations gave reports.

United States Country Report to 2002 Worlds Council

Please note: The United States has two major parliamentary debate associations (and many other small, non-parliamentary groups), the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) and the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). The two circuits are autonomous, and do not compete at the same tournaments, and the American seat on the council has always been controlled by APDA. The following report regards APDA, of which I am President.

APDA is a parliamentary debate organization which recently became incorporated under New York State laws. It is comprised of paid member schools, which are simply American universities. The organization works on a "One school, one vote" system, with membership requirements consisting of an annual fee. The debate style is uniform on the circuit, with two two-person teams competing against each other in rounds. Other information regarding APDA, its By-laws, or its style description can be found at our web site at: It is temporarily down, but should be up in one week's time.

In this section I will outline the eligibility requirements for individual debaters, and in the process address degrees awarded at American institutions. Primarily, the majority of APDA debaters are UNDERGRADUATE students at member school Universities. However, a few debaters are GRADUATE students, receiving either Business, medical, or law degrees at member universities. Age is not a determinant of eligibility, nor is level of educational experience. What is a determinant is participation on the circuit. APDA allows members 4 years of "eligibility" receive consideration for cumulative year-end awards or compete at the national championships. However, anyone may come back and debate at a tournament in the regular season, north Americans, or worlds regardless of eligibility (they only lose their eligibility for nationals and end of the year apda awards). A year of eligibility on APDA is defined as competition at three in year tournaments and/or competition at a national championship.


This has never been an issue with APDA debate.

Scott Luftglass
President, American Parliamentary Debate Association

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