Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2009-09-29

Samford University will host high school debaters from throughout the U.S. at the annual Bishop Guild Debate tournament Oct. 2-3. The annual competition is a Tournament of Champions qualifying event, meaning that the best teams will receive a bid to the high school national championship tournament.


Teams will represent about 50 schools, including Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills high schools.


Students will compete in policy debate, public forum debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, prose/poetry, duo interpretation, impromptu speaking and extemporaneous speaking.


Topics for the three debate styles are: that the U.S. federal government should substantially increase social services for persons living in poverty in the U.S. (policy); that public high school students in the U.S. ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate (Lincoln-Douglas); and, when in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection (public forum).


The tournament honors former Samford debate coach Brad Bishop, who directed Samford teams to three national titles and is now a professor at Samford’s Cumberland School of Law.



Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.