Silicon Valley Urban Debate League - 2018 Summer Debate Institute

July 23 -28, 2018
Hosted at Santa Clara University

Compete. Excel. Change the World.

2016 Group pic


Want to learn how to speak up for yourself?

Or just speak up for something?

The Silicon Valley Urban Debate League 2018 Summer Institute is accepting applications for rising 9th through 12th graders who are interested in delving into the world of debate!

Join us for an amazing week of workshops led by some of the nation's best debate coaches, community building, skill development, and FUN!

Spaces are limited for this amazing opportunity. Click here to reserve your spot today!

For more information please call or email us at or 408-337-2493.


SVUDL is one of 22 Urban Debate Leagues (UDLs) around the country, part of a national movement to train young people to speak, research, and make change on the most important issues of our time. SVUDL uses the joy of team sports and the thrill of competition to help young people become articulate and informed leaders in their schools and communities.

Partnering with schools and fueled by the dedication of many volunteers and donors, the league supports students of all backgrounds in becoming skilled critical thinkers ready to graduate from high school, succeed in college, and change the world. The great debaters of SVUDL have been featured in TV and print media including the Palo Alto Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, and EPA Now.

What is Debate?

Presidents debate. Sports commentators debate. You debate. Competitive debate is a team sport, just like football or basketball except that you make arguments and use your voice instead of a ball. Debate is a public speaking activity to improve your ability to form an opinion, develop it into an argument and persuade others of your perspective. During tournaments, you and a partner from your school will go up against a team from another school and try to convince a judge to vote for you because your position is stronger. 

SVUDL organizes and hosts workshops and tournaments for members throughout the year. Workshops are led by expert staff and are designed to prepare students for the upcoming competition. Tournaments are high energy, half day marathons where each team competes in three rounds of debate. The results of all the rounds (and individual speaker points) are tallied up and winners announced. 

Topics are selected beforehand to allow you time to prepare. Then, it’s up to you and your partner to beat your opponents, convince the judges and take home the gold! 

Why Debate?

No matter what you are interested in - business, law, education, politics, even music or sports - you will need to be able to speak your mind with clarity and power. Combining public speaking, critical thinking, teamwork and strategy, debate is a powerful activity to help you develop your positions, speak your mind and respond to those who disagree with you.

Thousands of students across America have earned scholarships to college because of debate. Debaters succeed because they learn how to use their voice as a meaningful, powerful tool. College admissions officers know this and look for debaters to recruit them. 

Ask anyone who has done it and they will tell you straight up: debate is fun. Speaking your mind in a competitive forum where people have to listen to what you say is an amazing feeling. Debate helps you build confidence and use your words to impress friends, parents, teachers, and more. 



The trophies you win, the friends you gain, the places you travel, all of these make debate an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Come out and make your voice heard!