In addition to attending weekly APDA tournaments, HSPDS members often participate in other events, which you will familiarize yourself with below. If you are or will be participating in these events, we advise you to contact with any questions because there is a lot of useful material on

On-Campus Events

HSPDS has hosted several on-campus events, sometimes in conjunction with other student organizations at Harvard.  In the fall of 2009, for example, one HSPDS member debated PETA on the ethics of eating meat.  A few years earlier, in 2005, HSPDS sponsored a debate on Israel and Palestine between Alan Dershowitz and Noam Chomsky.  In 2011, the team co-hosted an event with the Harvard Political Review, engaging in a series of debates on women’s issues with members of the HPR. We look forward to organizing similar events in the future.

Show Debates

HSPDS is invited to participate in several show debates each year.  Recently, members have debated in Ireland against Trinity College Dublin, in Seattle in front of hundreds of members of a Microsoft PAC, and at the Westchester Debates against debaters from Brown and Yale, in front of alumni.

World Universities Debating Championship

Harvard sends at least one and usually two teams to the World Universities Debating Championship, a British Parliamentary style tournament that brings together hundreds of debaters to a different city each year for the most prestigious parliamentary debate championship tournament.  HSPDS won the WUDC in 1993 and recently reached the Grand Final in 2009 and 2010.

North American Debating Championship

The North American Championship alternates locations between the United States and Canada, and brings together the best American and Canadian teams for a hybrid of the APDA and CUSID styles.  The tournament is held in January each year, and Harvard reached the final round most recently in 2008 and 2005.

U.S. Universities Debating Championship

The United States Universities National Championship tournament is the championship tournament for U.S. British Parliamentary debate.  Although Harvard competes primarily in the American Parliamentary format, we sometimes send teams to this tournament, which is held in the spring each year.  Harvard won the tournament in 2009 and then again in 2011.

APDA National Championships

The most prestigious tournament in American Parliamentary debate, the American Parliamentary Debate Association National Championship is held each year in April.  Debaters must qualify to attend based on performance in elimination rounds.   Harvard won the National Championship most recently in 2004 and 2005, and reached the final round in 2010.

Triangular Debates

The Triangular Debates date back to roughly 1908 and are held between Harvard, Princeton, and Yale each year.  Each school hosts a debate against one college and sends a team to another to debate (for example, Harvard hosts Yale and sends a team to Princeton).  Debates are sometimes adjudicated by faculty members at the host school and are intended to be public events that showcase public speaking. Participants are chosen based on qual points received during the APDA season.