Blog: Notre Dame High School Advances to 'Sweet 16' Round of Global Debate Competition

Hundreds of debate teams from around the world entered the Bickel & Brewer / NYU International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition, but only 16 remain, including Notre Dame High School.

Hundreds of debate teams from around the world entered the Bickel & Brewer / NYU International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition, but only 16 remain, including Notre Dame High School of Sherman Oaks, California. If Notre Dame can defeat its opponent in the next round of the contest, the team will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF finals competition in New York City from April 12-14, 2013.

“In an impressive display of writing and advocacy on the topic of climate change, the Notre Dame High School team has advanced to the next round of this global debate competition,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at the law firm of Bickel & Brewer and founder of the IPPF. “These students will now compete in the “Sweet 16”—only one round away from winning a trip to New York City to compete in the IPPF finals.”

The IPPF is a debate competition unlike any other. Now in its twelfth year, the IPPF gives high school debate students the opportunity to participate in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. The competition is open to all schools worldwide, public and private, for free.

This year, 213 teams – representing 34 states and 29 foreign countries – submitted qualifying round essays either affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: Adaptation should be the most urgent response to climate change.” The essays were evaluated by a review committee, which determined the Top 32 teams.

The Top 32 advanced into a single-elimination, written debate contest. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative), and the schools then volleyed papers back and forth via e-mail. In late December, those essays were reviewed by a panel of judges who selected the advancing teams. Notre Dame advanced by a vote of 2-1 over Rato Bangala School from Nepal.

The “Sweet 16” round is now underway, involving debate teams from 12 states and three foreign countries. The teams will spend the month of January engaged in a new round of written debates, with Notre Dame competing against Brookfield East High School of Brookfield, Wisconsin. On February 11, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced, and those teams will travel to New York City on an all-expenses-paid trip for IPPF Finals Weekend April 12-14, 2013. A team from Notre Dame was the runner-up in the 2010-11 IPPF Finals.

The IPPF finals will give students the opportunity to supplement their written scholarship with oral advocacy. A panel of some of the world’s foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics will judge these oral debates and select the 2012-13 IPPF Champion. The winning school takes home a $10,000 grand prize and the coveted “Bickel & Brewer Cup.”

 The “Sweet 16” teams are as follows:

 Bellaire High School, Bellaire, Texas

Bozeman High School, Bozeman, Montana

Brookfield East High School, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Brother Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Debate Development Initiative of Singapore

East Mountain High School, Sandia Park, New Mexico

Greenhill School, Dallas, Texas

Hamilton High School, Chandler, Arizona

Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio

Henry Clay High School, Lexington, Kentucky

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

Lakewood High School, Lakewood, Colorado

Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, California

Shanley High School, Fargo, North Dakota

The Dalton School, New York, New York

The Woodlands Secondary School, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

About the IPPF and the Bickel & Brewer Foundation:

The IPPF was founded by the Bickel & Brewer Foundation in 2001, and is now jointly administered with New York University. The program is available to all high schools around the world – public and private – for free. Since the IPPF’s inception, the Bickel & Brewer Foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million in support of forensic activities at the secondary school and collegiate levels. The IPPF is endorsed by leading forensic agencies, such as the National Forensic League, National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, the International Debate Education Association, the Impact Coalition, Associated Leaders of Urban Debate Leagues, and the National Debate Coaches Association. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities for 2012-2013.

 The Bickel & Brewer Foundation is a private, non-profit organization funded by companies, individuals and the national litigation firm of Bickel & Brewer. With offices in New York and Dallas, the Foundation has achieved widespread recognition for its efforts to create, fund and manage a variety of educational outreach programs.

 Visit the IPPF at www.bickelbrewer.com/ippf, www.facebook.com/ippfdebate or @IPPF1. 


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