MIFA organizes two State Debate Tournaments (one Novice, one Varsity) in three disciplines of debate competition. Policy Debate and Public Forum Debate are both 2-person TEAM events in which students argue in favor or against a domestic or foreign policy of national importance. Congressional Debate is an Individual event in which which students emulate members of the United States Congress by debating bills and resolutions.
MIFA awards numerous State Championships every year including:
Novice Policy, Novice Public Forum, Novice Legislative, Open (Varsity) Poliocy, Varsity Public Forum, Varsity Legislative.
MIFA also presents the George Ziegelmueller Award, recognizing the best team in the state. A mathematical formula is used to compile points for all debates won and lost across all disciplines (Legislative, Policy and Public Forum) at both the Varsity and Novice State Debate Tournaments. Details.
In addition, MIFA presents the Elice Howard Award, recognizing the achievements of Directors of Debate in Michigan. Details.
2021-22 Jake Weir, Dexter
2020-21 Ruth Kay, Detroit Country Day School
2019-20 Ryan Nierman, Groves
2017-18 Deb Marsh, Dexter
2022-2023 Season: Key MIFA Dates & Forms
Sept 17, 2022 Public Forum Student Workshop @ online
>Coaches & Students are invited to attend a PF workshop designed to prepare them to debate and get them up to speed on the fall topic. Register here. Email Courtney Bassett with any questions.
Oct 8, 2022 Pappas Invitational @ Online
Dec 10, 2022 Debate State Finals @ ONLINE
May 20, 2023 Public Forum w/MSCI @ Grand Hotel, Mackinac
List of Invitational Tournaments
Are you hosting an invitational? Send details HERE! so the MIFA can put it on the calendar!
Registration for most invitational tournaments in Michigan can be found on: tabroom.com
Traveling to an upcoming tournament? Check out MIFA's pre-arranged hotel blocks and rates.
Travel Questions? Contact Becca Weissman, Business Manager
Speech Activities - Relevant portions of our "rule book", SPEECH ACTIVITIES for all MIFA events can be found under the "Resources" tab.
Other helpful documents for policy debate, public forum debate and legislative debate (student congress document) are available here.
Policy Debate is a two-person team format in which teams argue in favor or against various interpretations of a nationally agreed upon resolution.
“The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity.”
Public Forum Debate
Public forum debate is often compared to a nationally-televised debate, such as 'Crossfire' in which the debaters argue a topic of national importance. Successful public forum debaters must make persuasive and logical arguments in a manner that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences.
Nationally, Public Forum debate changes its topic monthly however in order to provide students with a little more preparation time our schedule is slightly modified. Tournaments in September and October will use the September topic. Tournaments in November and December will use the November topic. Tournaments in January will use the January topic.
Current Topics can be found on the NSDA website HERE.
Public Forum Topic Release Date
September/October August 15 — 9a CT
November October 1 — 9a CT
December November 1 — 9a CT
January December 1 — 9a CT
February January 1 — 9a CT
March February 1 — 9aCT
April March 1 — 9a CT
National Tournament May 1 — 9 a.m. CT
Legislative Debate (aka Congressional Debate) is a format in which students emulate members of the United States Congress by debating bills and resolutions. Before the event, each school submits mock legislation to each tournament. After the legislation has been compiled, it is distributed to each participating team. Each team researches as many topics as possible, with the goal of being able to speak on both sides of every legislation