International debate competition: GHS advances to next round

There’s no argument here — students from Greenwich High School (GHS) have advanced to the “Top 32” round of an international debate competition.

By advancing to the Top 32 round in the Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum (IPPF), the students remain eligible to win the $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City in April 2013.

“This was perhaps the most competitive year in the history of this global competition,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at the law firm of Bickel & Brewer and a founder of the IPPF. “We are very proud of Greenwich High School and all of the teams that excelled in the opening round of the IPPF. The teams will now advance into a single-elimination tournament that will provide a unique test of their research, writing and advocacy skills.”

The IPPF is the only competition that gives high school students the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. This year, 213 teams — representing schools in 34 states and 29 foreign countries — submitted qualifying round essays either affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: Adaptation should be the most urgent response to climate change.” Those essays were reviewed by the Essay Review Committee, which determined the Top 32 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.

In the Top 32 round, GHS will compete against East Mountain High School in Sandia Park, New Mexico. The teams will volley a series of essays back and forth via e-mail. A panel of judges will review the essays in the order they are presented and the winning schools will advance to the “Sweet 16” round. This process continues until the “Elite 8” teams are named. These teams earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City, held April 12-14, 2013.

The IPPF Finals give students the opportunity to participate in oral debates in front of some of the world’s foremost experts in debate, business, law and politics. Judges will include Mr. Brewer, New York University President John Sexton and National Forensic League Executive Director Scott Wunn, among others. The winning team will take home the “Bickel & Brewer Cup” and a $10,000 grand prize.

GHS is the only high school from Connecticut to advance in this year’s competition. Overall, the Top 32 teams represent schools in 18 states and seven foreign countries. Each team will be awarded a cash prize, with the prize money increasing for each round in which the team advances.

For more information visit the IPPF at

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