Debate

The Pace Debate Dynasty

Excellence in debate is one of Pace Academy’s longstanding traditions. The program began during the 1971-72 school year, and the early teams quickly established a reputation for dominance that continues today.

Since its inception, Pace debate has earned 37 state championship titles. The team won the 2002 National Tournament of Champions, placed fifth in the nation in 2007, 2009, 2013 and took home the National Debate Coaches Association National Championship title in 2013 and 2015.

Notable accolades include Barkley Forum Champions, California and University of Michigan Round Robin Champions, St. Mark’s Sophomore Hoe-Down Champs, St. Mark’s Champions, Pine Crest Crestian Champions, Scranton Electric City Invitational Champions, Lexington Novice and Varsity Champions, Glenbrooks Invitational Champions, MBA Southern Bell Forum Champions and the University of Michigan National High School Tournament of Champions.

Pace also created, hosts and provides oversight to the J.B. Fuqua Middle School Debate Tournament, a celebration of top middle school debate teams in the Atlanta Debate League. In conjunction with the league, the school hosts Emory University’s summer camp for middle school debate and invites seven of the nation’s top teams to the Justin Wilson Debates every year.

Pace Debate Today


Our Upper School debate team is open to all students in grades nine through 12. We offer public speaking and debate classes in addition to extracurricular opportunities, and students travel the country to compete in tournaments. In the Middle School, debate is offered as a seventh- and eighth-grade elective course; students participate in four annual local tournaments.

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