How to join

The most important first step to contact Professor David Steinberg at, or 305-284-5553 (phone) or 305-284-3648 (fax) for an interview. There is no screening or tryouts for membership; all UM undergraduates are welcome to participate.

CCS 304: Intercollegiate Debate Theory

CCS 304: Intercollegiate Debate Theory is a one-credit course offered by the School of Communication. It is repeatable up to a total of 8. Debaters are required to enroll in, and to attend CCS 304 in order to be eligible for debate participation. Permission of the Instructor is required for registration.

Debate Scholarship Awards

A limited amount of financial aid is available to debaters in the form of Debate Scholarship Awards. No preference is to be given debaters receiving these awards over those who are not when determining travel or coaching time. Students interested in applying should contact Professor Steinberg for application materials.

Scholarship awards are determined based on the following unweighted criteria:

Preference to Communication Majors

Grade Point Average and academic progress (minimum 3.0 G.P.A. required)

Participation in activities including campus and community volunteer work

Potential educational gain to the student from debate participation

Potential and past contribution to the UM Debate Team as measured by:

Contribution to the competitive success of the squad

Recruiting of and assistance to new team members

Service to the UM Debate Program and to the debate community

Cooperation and ability to work well with the debate team in a group setting

Ability to reflect well upon the UM Debate Team and the University of Miami through positive behavior and accomplishments

Seniority on the debate team

The following is NOT a criteria for making debate scholarship allocations:

past or potential debate research or other debate work considered to be a normal expectation for successful debate participation

Team Rules

Participation on the University of Miami Debate Team is a privilege earned by students who make a commitment to contribute to the overall success of the program through hard work and teamwork. Team rules will govern team participation and will be enforced. Debaters not following these rules may be sanctioned as deemed appropriate by the coaching staff. These sanctions will include, but not be limited to warnings, reprimands, additional assignments, and limitations on travel, revocation of scholarship money, temporary dismissal, and permanent dismissal.

Team Meetings

Prompt attendance at team meetings is mandatory. Absence from a meeting can only excused by notification at the prior meeting, emergencies withstanding.

Meetings will be conducted in a professional, business-like atmosphere by the coaching staff. Agendas will be set ahead of time so as to facilitate meetings.

Practice rounds may substitute for meetings when deemed necessary. These practice rounds will be announced ahead of time at the prior meeting. These rounds should be debated so as to simulate a real tournament. Full disclosure is expected, unless otherwise instructed by the coaching staff.

Course Registration

Debaters receive the privilege of early course registration. Before submitting registration, in addition to conferring with their academic advisors, debaters must receive approval of the Debate Program director for their course schedules. Unless unavoidable, debaters should register for courses that meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday only, to minimize classes missed as a result of debate team travel.

Tournaments and Travel

Debaters will participate in the tournaments selected by the director. Debaters who have a potential schedule conflict with a tournament must notify the director at least two weeks in advance. Failure to provide such notice will necessitate that person's participation in the given tournament, or financial reimbursement to the Debate Program for money lost in air fare and other advance payments; (emergencies withstanding.)

It is the debater's responsibility to notify all professors of missed class time. If necessary the coaching staff will send a memo authenticating the travel schedule. It is the responsibility of the debater to make up missed work, schedule tests, etc. Debate will not serve as an excuse for missed work.

Debaters will meet the coaching staff before and after rounds to discuss strategies, judges, etc.

Team meetings will be set and announced at tournaments. Attendance is mandatory.

Six hour sleep rule! Curfew will be announced and enforced. No exceptions!

Debaters will interact with the other debaters and judges in a courteous manner. This includes post-disclosure discussions with the given critic.


Assignments will be announced during meetings and will be due at meetings. Each debater is to complete his/her own assignment accordingly. The coaching staff is available for help or aid in the completion of said assignment. Evidence will not be distributed or used in a round unless approved by the coaching staff. All assignments are to be turned into the coaches for approval. All completed research assignments are the property of the UM Debate Team and must be made available to all members of the team. It is the debater's responsibility to inform the team of the available work product.

All evidence must follow ethical standards of academic research. At the very minimum, briefs should be identified by the debater's name, the position, and have UM identification somewhere. Full cites on each page of evidence. The citation should include the qualifications of the author as well as where it was found.

At tournament evidence production will be made available as possible to all teams. Again it is the responsibility of the debater to make known the existence of the evidence.

No UM Debater will trade or give evidence to, or receive evidence from a member of any other squad at a tournament site. Cooperative research with other squads if approved by coaches of both (or all) squads involved is acceptable. Any evidence read by a UM Debater in a round must be identified as UM evidence by letterhead.

The Master File of evidence is for copying purposes only. Never will a debater substitute a Master File for making a copy. The Master Files are never to leave the UM Debate Office.

Tournament Behavior

Debaters and coaches should dress and groom themselves in an appropriate, professional manner.

Use or possession of illegal drugs is prohibited and will result in automatic dismissal from the team and revocation of any scholarship.

Legal and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages, as consistent with local rules and regulations, should not interfere with competition or behavior. If it is believed that a debater's use of alcohol impairs his/her ability to compete or represent the University responsibly that debater will be disciplined.

Debaters may not use obscene language, be rude, call names (unless in obvious humor), or be otherwise unpleasant in debates.

Sleep and Work have obvious priority over socializing and partying. Those in the hotel rooms have the right to reasonable sleeping and working conditions.

Debaters will treat team members with respect. Team members will never make any derogatory comments of any kind regarding the team or its members to anyone outside the team, and will only offer constructive criticism about team members in private with those individuals. Any negative comments about any aspect of debate, tournament, judge, etc. are never! to be made in public at a tournament. If a conflict with another team member occurs it should only be discussed with the individual in question or a coach.

Leave no trace. UM Debaters will leave debate rooms and hotel rooms in at minimum the condition they were in when entered. We will respect our hosts and facilities, including classrooms, equipment and campus environments. We will abide by the local rules and clean up after ourselves. We will not disturb others in hotels, on airplanes, in restaurants, etc….

Academic performance. Every debater's first priority is his or her schoolwork. To qualify for team travel the debater must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.. To qualify for debate scholarships, the debater must maintain a minimum 3.0 G.P.A.. It is the debater's responsibility to inform the coaches if their grades are below that level.

Debate Team Files

Goal: A system of maintaining squad and individual team files which is efficient and protects the debater's decision making about their own files; a system which recognizes and respects the value of their debate files to each individual.

Central Files. The assistant coach(s) will be responsible for maintaining a central file of all files and evidence produced by the team. It is the responsibility of team members to give copies of all relevant debate work to the coach for inclusion in the central file. Files should not be discarded without unanimous agreement of all team members.

Individual Files. Each debater is responsible for creating and maintaining his or her own set of files (individually, or by agreement, with a partner). It is the responsibility of the debater to make those files available to others upon request, as is reasonable and convenient to the file owner. It is also the responsibility of the debater to maintain his/her files in a neat and orderly fashion, clearly identify boxes and other file containers as theirs, and keep files out of the way of others (i.e., keep files in closed boxes, stacked against a wall or otherwise out of the way). Each debater and coach should respect all debaters’ files with respect to privacy and property. No person should enter another's files without explicit permission of the person responsible.

Squad Room

Goal: a neat, useful, and pleasant place to meet, practice, work, and organize and store debate materials.

Policies and use: The squad room is intended for use by debate team members (debaters and assistant coaches) for debate related activity. It is the responsibility of the debate team to maintain a neat and orderly office. Decisions regarding the squad room should be made only upon unanimous agreement or consensus of all debate team members and notification of the director. Debaters should limit storage of personal items (excepting debate files and materials) in the squad room at any time, including summer. Personal items left in the office should be clearly identified. Only the director may discard personal items from the office. No smoking is allowed in the debate office. The photocopy machine is for use by debaters to reproduce debate materials only. Long distance calls should be debate-related, approved by the director, and kept to a minimum.