How to Participate

Work with your debate coach or English teacher to form a team. Most teams consist of three to eight students. Your team should then register for the competition on the IPPF website, The registration deadline is October 15, 2013.

After your team has registered, prepare a qualifying round essay on the 2013-14 IPPF topic, “Resolved: As a last resort, unilateral military force is justified to minimize nuclear weapons proliferation.”

Essays are limited to 2,800 words and may be written from an affirmative or negative perspective. Submit your essay by noon CST on October 22, 2013, to Sample essays and a topic primer are available on the IPPF website,

The IPPF is an English language competition. But please keep in mind, judges base their scores on the merit of a team’s arguments. They understand that English is not the primary language for some teams.

Entries will be reviewed by the IPPF Essay Review Committee, and on November 5, 2013, the top 64 teams will be announced. These teams begin a single-elimination, written debate tournament, with one school affirming the resolution and the other negating it. Judges blindly review the essays in the order they were written and select the advancing team. The process continues until the final eight teams are determined.

The “Elite 8” teams earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City, April 11-13, 2014. In New York, teams compete in oral debates in front of a panel of judges that includes professionals in law, business, politics, debate and academia. The IPPF Champion is awarded a $10,000 grand prize and the Bickel & Brewer Cup!