Welcome to Ready Set Debate!

In-person and online debate education since 2015

Ready Set Debate students Jayel U. and Alan Y. compete for the championship title at our SLAM debate tournament, 2022. For more debate videos, see our video gallery.

Why participate in debate?

Participating in debate teaches many relevant skills, such as persuasive writing, critical listening and thinking, logical reasoning, organizing, speaking clearly in prepared and extemporaneous contexts, efficient note-taking, being creative and adapting, collaborating with others, evaluating and adapting to new information, asking relevant questions, acting professionally, and treating others with respect.

Debate clubs

Our in-person and online debate clubs simulate an academic debate team, with regular meetings at which club members debate assigned topics, receive feedback, and participate in speech exercises. We accept charter school funds.

Debate camps

During the summer, we host a series of in-person and online five-day camps, in which students have the opportunity to build their debate skills through a series of fun activities, drills, practice debates, and personalized coach feedback. 

Debate tournaments

Throughout the year, we host and attend a series of in-person and online debate tournaments to give our club and camp students, as well as others who meet attendance criteria, an opportunity to demonstrate their debate skills.

Our mission

The mission of Ready Set Debate is to provide high-quality opportunities for students aged 10-17 to become proficient in the techniques of competitive academic debate. Here are the values that support our mission:


Students receive coach feedback and assignments tailored to their specific areas for improvement.


Students learn and practice a set of core skills, then apply those skills in different debate formats. ​


We offer educational opportunities for a wide range of budgets and desired time commitments.

Peer review

In addition to coach feedback, students evaluate each other to build their critical analysis skills.

Hear what our students and families are saying!

Expert coaching staff

Our coaches are experienced current and former college debaters and coaches, including multiple national championship title holders. Most of our coaches have experience debating in and/or coaching multiple popular high school and college debate formats.


The value of learning debate

“These skills, loosely categorized as elements of emotional intelligence, include the capacity to persevere through setbacks (grit), the facility to bring existing knowledge to a novel situation (creativity), comfort in working with others and knowing when to lead and when to follow (collaboration), the capability to confront the seemingly infinite volumes of information on any topic and select the relevant data (research), and sensitivity to what a target audience is thinking so that such data can be presented persuasively (empathy). The debate curriculum teaches young people much of what they’ll need to know in these areas by active, engaging, and highly direct means.”

Comparing in-person and online debating

When the debate world moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic, we collectively realized that debate activities translate exceptionally well to video calls. Because of this, many debate activities – including those at the most prestigious levels – have remained online. We use the same material and procedures for our online and in-person debate activities, and in our experience, the student learning outcomes are about the same. Here are some unique benefits of each format:

Benefits of in-person debating

+ Opportunities to hang out and connect with other students

+ Experience modeling specific details of in-person debate tournaments

+ Opportunities to make local friends

Benefits of online debating

+ Time-efficient

+ Eco-friendly (no commute or printed copies of materials)

+ Opportunities to make friends in different parts of the country and world

General FAQs

Ready Set Debate is a competitive debate education organization founded in 2015 by speech coaches Julia Morgan and Price Morgan. Ready Set Debate views debate as a family of activities that are founded on the same core theory and strategies, meaning that Ready Set Debate students learn to approach debate in a way that is easy to adapt to different debate formats.

Tournaments and clubs that we host primarily use our own format, which is similar to IPDA and Lincoln-Douglas. However, in our clubs, we often conduct practice debates in popular high school and college debate formats to broaden students’ debate literacy. Our camps focus on a variety of popular debate formats. External tournaments that we attend typically use popular formats such as Lincoln-Douglas and Team Policy.

All kinds! In recent semesters, our students have debated everything from the moral permissibility of pineapple on pizza to the most efficient way to address the Medicaid “coverage gap.” Topics are often suggested by students, and are always vetted by coaches to ensure age-appropriateness. See our video gallery for more examples of topics. 

Camp participants and club members receive a copy of our proprietary Ready Set Debate Member Handbook, along with companion educational resources including in-meeting and at-home activities, training videos, and worksheets. Limited curriculum materials are posted on our documentation page. 

We accept students aged 10-17. No prior debate experience is necessary, and our current students range from beginners to experienced high school debaters. In our clubs and camps, older and more experienced students serve as peer mentors to younger and less experienced students.  

Capable younger students may be admitted to our educational activities on a case-by-case basis. Students who are able to grasp the material and keep pace with the other students can generally fit in well, even if they are under 10. Please contact us to discuss whether a Ready Set Debate activity would be a good fit for your student. 

At this time, students may participate in Ready Set Debate activities only until they turn 18. Please contact us if you would like to be notified about any debate activities for adults that we may start in the future.

Yes. Our tournaments provide excellent competition opportunities, and our clubs and camps focus on practice and detailed coach feedback. Our coaches typically try to maximize the value of this practice by having the club use whichever topic(s) that members who are also on outside debate teams are currently preparing for. Coaches may also personally debate more advanced members to help them further grow their skills.

In some cases, we are able to offer partial scholarships (based on need, not merit) to families who cannot afford to participate in Ready Set Debate activities without financial assistance. For more information, visit our financial aid page.

No. Our instruction is limited to the art of competitive debate, and we welcome students from any religious or political background.

Yes. Please arrange with the coach of your student’s club or camp, or the director of their tournament, if you would like to observe. If parents/guardians chose to observe, they should note that the coaches of the club are the only individuals who will provide feedback to the members during the meeting, unless requested. If parents/guardians want to mention something, they may raise it with the coaches privately (during a break, or after the meeting), rather than interject during the meeting.

Yes! Many students have joined multiple clubs, camps, and tournaments with us. Different clubs, camps, and tournaments focus on different debate formats and topics, and our coaches customize individual students’ activities and goals to offer them an optimized learning experience. For activities hosted by Ready Set Debate, multiple registrations also come with discounts: a student who simultaneously joins multiple activities receives the same discounts as if that student were multiple siblings joining a single activity. Please contact us to arrange this. 

Our coaches are drawn from a pool of experienced current and former college debaters and college coaches. To meet our coaches, visit the Coaches page. 

These fees cover the costs of running a debate activity, such as coaches’ wages, software subscriptions, website management, space rentals or mortgage payments, payment processor fees, physical awards, insurance, and printed supplies.