Northport High School’s Debate Club Finishes Third in the Ethics Bowl, A New School Best

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Hofstra University

For Northport High School’s Debate Club, the National High School Ethics Bowl is the primary focus each season. From September to February, the Debate Club prepares to compete with other teams from across Long Island, debating the ethics behind current and controversial events.

Nick Crafa, Freelancer

For Northport High School’s Debate Club, the National High School Ethics Bowl is the primary focus each season. From September to February, the Debate Club prepares to compete with other teams from across Long Island, debating the ethics behind current and controversial events. This year, the Debate Club consisted of JV and Varsity teams, with both working tirelessly to ensure that when the Ethics Bowl arrived, Northport would be ready.

The Ethics Bowl consists of three rounds against other high school teams, before four teams out of a total of 24 advance to the semifinals. Two teams compete against each other in a single round. One team presents their argument over a specific case, while the other provides commentary on this presentation, attempting to expose weaknesses in their argument. After this, the presenting team responds to the other team’s commentary, using their criticism to clarify their argument and elevate it further.

Finally, the three judges watching the competition are given ten minutes to ask questions about the presenting team’s argument. After this process is complete, the roles are switched and a new case is presented by the opposing team. After both teams have been given the chance to present, the three judges score the teams on a numerical scale and then cast their votes as to which team is the winner.

Once the votes are cast, the winning team is announced and the round is concluded. After all three rounds have been completed, every team’s numerical scores are added to determine the current rankings before semifinals. From these rankings the top four advance to the semifinals. 

Overall, Northport Varsity finished 3rd out of all 24 teams competing in the Ethics Bowl. This ranking was the highest the club has ever earned at the Ethics Bowl, shattering all prior expectations.”

— Nick Crafa

Northport’s Debate Club represented our high school well, with JV finishing 9th before semifinals, and Varsity finishing in an astounding 2nd place before semifinals. Varsity’s ranking allowed them to advance to semifinals, where they faced Farmingdale High School. Despite their best efforts, Northport Varsity lost this round, with one judge casting a vote for Northport and the other two each casting one for Farmingdale. Farmingdale then advanced to the finals where they lost to Bethpage. 

Overall, Northport Varsity finished 3rd out of all 24 teams competing in the Ethics Bowl. This ranking was the highest the club has ever earned at the Ethics Bowl, shattering all prior expectations. Thanks to the hardwork of all members of the team, and the effective leadership of captains Bella Fournier and Peyton Brill, the Debate Club was able to accomplish all the goals it set out to achieve.