National Educational Debate Association

Patrick Henry College's NEDA debate team at the 2006 NEDA National Tournament in Dayton, Ohio.

The National Educational Debate Association (NEDA) is a collegiate debate association emphasizing audience-centered debate. It was founded by debate educators who believe that the debate tournament is an extension of the communication classroom and that even competitive debates should provide students with skills of research, argument selection, and presentation style that will benefit them as public advocates. NEDA schedules eight invitational tournaments a year, primarily in the mid-west. The association debates two resolutions per year. The fall resolution is one of value, and the spring resolution is one of policy.

Several aspects of NEDA make it distinct from other debate organizations, including the ability to decide topicality at the end of the constructive speeches, the ability of judges to give "double losses" in those cases in which neither team argues in a manner consistent befitting a public advocate, closed cross examination, and a focus on argumentation and delivery. Also, half of all tournament judges are 'lay judges' - that is, they are not debate coaches. Membership in NEDA is awarded to individuals, not institutions, and all members must apply and be approved the governing body. The intended focus is on the clash over the issues central to the debate proposition. The debate is similar to Public Forum debate in that it is audience-friendly, but is more formal, and more evidence-based.


NEDA began in the fall of 1994 at the Central States Communication Association convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. About thirty debate educators and their institutions left the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) because they felt CEDA tournaments were no longer conducive to the audience-centered debate to which they were philosophically committed and desired to teach their students. The resulting organization was co-founded by Gary Horn, professor at Ferris State University, and Larry Underberg, then a professor at the University of South Dakota. There were quickly nineteen other founding members of the association. In 1999, the Western division of NEDA became the Great Plains Forensic Conference.


Teams in NEDA compete in one of three categories:

Institutions With Current NEDA Members

Institutions that formerly sponsored NEDA teams

Tiffin University


See also

External links

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