ACC Debate Tournament

The University of Miami School of Communication, The Department of Communication Studies and the UM Debate Team is pleased to invite all ACC member schools to compete in the third annual ACC Debate Championship Tournament, hosted in Miami, Florida on March 31–April 2. We look forward to outstanding and engaging debates involving students representing the excellent universities of the ACC. The tournament is a program of the ACC Academic Consortium.

Participants will enjoy complementary lodging at the beautiful Sonesta Coconut Grove Miami Hotel. We are planning delicious meals to offer you the taste of Miami, and will provide first class hospitality during your stay. Debates will be held on the University of Miami campus. We will provide for your local transportation during your stay, and all participants will receive a personalized engraved desktop nameplate and other gifts. Thanks to the generous support of the Atlantic Coast Conference, your only expenses for a coach and two debaters will be travel to and from Miami; there are no fees and all food, lodging, and local transportation will be provided free of cost.

Sign Up


Each member institution may enter one two-person debate team made up of degree-seeking full time undergraduate students. The format and judging are designed and selected to encourage a public audience-style debate. Student speakers with experience in policy debate, parliamentary debate, ethics bowl, model UN, forensics, and public speaking are all good candidates to compete, with no one format or background especially privileged. Select debates, including the final round will be live-streamed and live audiences will be encouraged.


There are no fees!


Resolved, that the United States Electoral College should be abolished.


The debates will be public with a goal of attracting media attention and local participation. The style, therefore, should be suitable for a public audience. Persuasive delivery style and appropriate argument selection for non-expert audiences will be rewarded.

We will use the format adopted by the Lafayette Debates, a hybrid between intercollegiate policy and parliamentary formats, and very good for audience debates:

1st Affirmative Speaker: 6 minutes

Cross examination by 2nd Negative Speaker: 4 minutes

1st Negative Speaker: 6 minutes

Cross examination by 1st Affirmative Speaker: 4 minutes

2nd Affirmative Speaker: 6 minutes

Cross examination by 1st Negative Speaker: 4 minutes

2nd Negative Speaker: 6 minutes

Cross examination by 2nd Affirmative Speaker 4 minutes

2 minutes of preparation time

Affirmative Rebuttal: 6 minutes

2 minutes of preparation time

Negative Rebuttal: 6 minutes


You will not be a judge! The ACC Championship will invite non-conference judges with diversity of experience, representing policy and parliamentary academic debate as well as special guest expert judges from outside academe. We will distribute a list of judges once they are confirmed.

Championship Debate

All teams will compete in at least four preliminary debates, with a winner being chosen and each individual speaker being awarded points on a 30-point scale. The team with the most wins from the Atlantic Division (BC, Clemson, FSU, Louisville, NC State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Wake Forest) will debate the team with the most wins from the Coastal Division (Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, UNC, Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech) in a final round, to determine the ACC Champion. Ties will be broken on adjusted speaker points, and then on total speaker points. As necessary, a team may be randomly relocated to equalize divisions. The ACC Champion will keep the traveling Championship Trophy for the subsequent year, and each team advancing into the final round and the top five individual speakers will receive trophies.

Tentative Schedule

Friday, March 31, 2017

7:00 -10:00 PM registration and Reception, Sonesta Coconut Grove Hotel (pairings released)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

8:00 AM Depart Sonesta,

8:30 AM Breakfast, University of Miami Faculty Club

9:30 AM Round 1

11:15 AM Round 2

1:00 PM Lunch, University of Miami Faculty Club

2:30 PM Round 3

3:05 PM Cuban Coffee Break, University of Miami School of Communication

4:15 PM Round 4

7:30 PM Dinner, Monty’s on the Bay, followed by Reception

Sunday, April 2

8:30 AM Depart Sonesta,

9:00 AM Breakfast, University of Miami Faculty Club

10:00 AM Round 5

11:30 Lunch and Awards, University of Miami Faculty Club

2:00 Final Round


If your travel brings you to Miami International Airport, we will provide transportation to the hotel and back to the airport. You may also wish to use Fort Lauderdale International Airport, however, we cannot promise to provide your transportation to/from FLL.


Sign Up


Please contact David Steinberg at, 305-284-5553, or 786-351-3813 (cell phone/text). You may also contact our Administrative Assistant, Marcia Sierra at 305-284-5106.