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What is Public Forum?

This is a ‘gentlemen’s style’ of debate.  You work with a partner to research the topic of the tournament (it will vary).  Then you and your partner will debate a team from another school.  You need to prepare BOTH a negative and an affirmative side for your debate.  It is not extemporaneous.  You will have prepared speeches and then will participate in a ‘crossfire’ versus your opponents where you will only ‘win’ if you have logical arguments based on hard evidence. 

 How Do We Debate?

We will debate on Saturdays once a month.  Tournaments start at 8 a.m. and typically last until early evening.  Your entire Saturday on tournament day will need to be free.  You will be given the resolution a month in advance to prepare.  You will be paired with a partner and will generally debate at least three separate times versus three different teams from different schools.  You will not know whether you are debating PRO or CON until less than 5 minutes prior to the debate.  You must have both sides ready to debate.  

Public Forum September/October Resolution:

Resolved: In United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.

 Important Dates:

  • First week of October - Next Meeting
    • Public Forum PRO AND CON papers DUE on September/October Resolution
    • Returning members will debate September/October Resolution
      • New members will watch/take notes to see format of Public Form Debate
  • October 15  - First debate tournament
  • November 1 - Papers due for November Topic/Debate
  • November 7 – 11 - Debate Practice for those competing in November Tournament
  • VHSL District Tournament Dates TBD       
  • Washington/Arlington Catholic Forensics League Debate Tournament Schedule






Public Forum 1

Yorktown or Stone Bridge


Public Forum 2

South Lakes



Lake Braddock


Public Forum 3

Eleanor Roosevelt


Public Forum 4

Lake Braddock


Public Forum Metro Finals

Loudon County


NCFL Nationals

Louisville, Kentucky