We are the national honor society for middle and high school speech and debate. We work to spark transformation in the lives of students, to help them become effective communicators, critical thinkers, and engaged, ethical members of our democratic society.
We provide leadership for the speech and debate community. Through our honor code, topic development, rigorous time-tested standards, mentorship and training efforts, and alumni and scholarship programs, we set the bar for speech and debate activities and curriculum across the nation.
We motivate and inspire our students and coaches to reach their greatest potential. Our Honor Society recognizes student participation in all speech and debate activities, while our annual National Tournament – the largest academic competition in the world – rewards the exceptional achievement of our membership and creates national champions in speech and debate. Additionally, our dedicated coaches achieve distinction over time through our merit degree awards.
We build community and excellence around our speech and debate students. Our growing membership boasts more than 120,000 middle and high school students, representing more than 3,000 schools nationwide. Over our 85 years of history, we’ve seen over 1.4 million students transformed into vibrant, engaged young adults. Domestic and international partnerships enable us to extend our community.
We share resources necessary for our activity to thrive. Our 501(c)3 not-for-profit status enables us to raise funds and provide scholarships to students and programs. We provide online resources for coaches and students to achieve excellence in speech and debate. Our coaching guides provide support and consistent training techniques to all of our members.
We increase awareness and exposure of our membership and the importance of forensics. Through our online news clearinghouse, student recruitment and advocacy resources, media outreach, and attendance at state speech and debate conventions, we work to raise the visibility of our organization and the activity.
Use the links to the left to learn more about both the League and how to support its life-changing work.