Helen M. Wise, past president, National Education Association stated, “No college freshman can project 25 years to decide what he wants to learn—subject matter is easily forgotten and in today’s world, the knowledge explosion makes constant learning an inevitability. But all adults today need to be able to communicate with clarity, to articulate ideas, to reason, to separate key facts from the barrage of ideas we all are exposed to every day. No single activity can prepare one better than debating—the ability to think on one’s feet, to summarize ideas are all processes which forensic activities develop and develop well.”  
Coach Dakota Wappes poses with award-winning debaters at a 2015 competition at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. The Ball State debate program competes in the National Educational Debate Association (NEDA). Students compete in two divisions: cross-examination and public forum. Ball State’s debaters rank among the top in the nation with a string of national championship awards, including first place in March 2010.  

Whether you’re majoring in political science, elementary education, architecture, or business, debate is the difference between an average candidate and an outstanding candidate for a job. Research, organization, group work, public speaking, advocacy, and critical thinking are all skills that debate students polish while competing. Join today!

Testimonials from past Debaters 

“Debate has given me a lot of direction in what I want to do with the rest of my life. It allowed me to express myself in a way I didn’t know that I could. As I prepare for grad school, debate has opened up a lot of doors that I didn’t even know were there. When it all comes down to it, debate changed my life.”
Lindsey Dixon, NEDA All American Debater & Ball State Grad, 2010

“I've enjoyed the chance to represent my teammates and my school, sort of like an athlete. It's especially gratifying when the team wins a sweepstakes trophy, and I can say I played a role in that accomplishment. The second benefit from debating has a more long-term importance. I've learned that debating and broadcasting require many of the same skills. As a debater, I had to work on keeping my thoughts short and concise, making my thoughts relate to an audience of average people, and showing that audience why they should care about what I'm saying. All of those skills are important in broadcasting, as well. So debating has helped me to sharpen the skills I'll need for the career I hope to have.”
R.J. Crace, NEDA All American Debater & Ball State Grad, Telecommunications, 2010

“I debate with my best friends. I can’t imagine my life without them. We work together, but we play together too. We hang out on weekends, watch movies and throw parties. Some of the people I’ve met on this team will be my friends forever.”
Carrie McMurray, NEDA All American Debater & Ball State Grad, 2010