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Nationally Recognized Medina High School Debate Team Celebrates Quarter Of A Century Of Success

This year, the nationally recognized Medina High School Debate Team celebrates a quarter century of success. The team exists in two capacities: first, in its academic capacity as a Medina High School course, Honors Debate, and second as one of the largest and most successful debate programs in the country. Currently, 32 debaters are on the team.


From early September through mid-June, this year’s team will have competed in tournaments for approximately 500 hours. In addition to tournaments throughout Ohio almost every weekend, the team competed in international debate tournaments hosted by The University of Kentucky and Princeton University. Both are on the itinerary again for next year. This year’s tournament season has been successful, with team members placing in the top five at every tournament (typically in fields of 200 or more). Highlights include students finishing in the top sixteen in every event in which they competed at Kentucky and Princeton. Additionally, the team participated in its 16th consecutive state championship tournament and qualified to its 10th national championship tournament, this year qualifying in two different debate events-a first for Medina. There are roughly 300,000 high school students who compete in speech and debate in the United States.


In order to become a member of the Medina High School Debate Team, students must first take the semester debate class, preferably as a freshman or a sophomore. Students who demonstrate their potential to be competitive on the team are then recommended for the Honors Debate course and compete as an extension of that Honors class. Some students compete five or six times during the year, but most compete fifteen to twenty times during the year. Students earn recognition through the National Speech and Debate Association by receiving merit points for their tournament successes and service.


Many students from Medina High School have earned debate based scholarships, some of them full scholarships, at colleges and universities which include The Ohio State University, Ohio University, Bowling Green University, Miami University, Princeton University, and Harvard University. Many Ivy League schools host international debate tournaments to attract prospective debate students from around the world to their campuses for recruitment. Our debate program is ranked and recognized nationally, and college-bound students who can list Medina High School debate team membership on their applications are at a distinct advantage.