Asheville High/SILSA Speech & Debate Club

Welcome to the Asheville High/SILSA Speech and Debate team. Speech and Debate allows students to explore public speaking and performance, debate styles and procedures, deepen critical thinking and writing skills, gain confidence as a public speaker, and increase awareness of public events.

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asheville high school

The AHS Booster Club fundraising ensures ALL students can participate in AHS Speech and Debate. They are a non-profit 501(c) (3) that raises funds to support the AHS Speech and Debate Team. All donations go towards scholarships, offsetting coaches expenses and funding travel expenses for our team.

Speech & Debate


Currently, our weekly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday afternoons with additional coaching and squad practices scheduled as needed.

Our life-changing club regularly competes on a state and national level. Through speech and debate, students improve their speaking and writing skills in a fun, collaborative environment. Speech and debate students at Asheville High School and SILSA are active in our community, regularly receive college scholarships and become better leaders in our society.

Want more proof on the intellectual, social, and emotional benefits of students participating in speech & debate? Read how Speech and Debate changed an AHS alumna life.

Judging and Registration

Judging is easy and fun. We have all the information you need to get started, trained, and registered to participate in a tournament.


There are two main tracks for judging — Speech and Debate — which are subdivided into categories. Click here to learn more about judging.

Judge Training

Training to judge a tournament is not difficult once you learn the basics. We provide information and links to everything you will need. Click here to learn more.

Parent/Student Forms

This page collects all the forms for parents and students that you need for participating in tournaments, signing up for events, and more. Click here to see all forms.


Upcoming Events

Events posted here are subject to change.

November 18, 2023:
Cougar Classic

Time: 8am – 6pm | Location: Asheville High School

The Cougar Classic is AHS/SILSA Speech and Debate team’s home tournament. As the tournament hosts, we judge the student events, award the winners, and show off AHS/SILSA’s amazing Speech and Debate team.


AHS/SILSA news and announcements.

Cougar Classic November 18 – Save the Date

Volunteer for the Cougar Classic The Cougar Classic is Asheville High/SILSA’s own speech and debate tournament! Held on November 18th (the Saturday before Thanksgiving), the Cougar Classic is our opportunity to show our hometown hospitality and is an event that...

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Judge Training Sessions

Get trained We will offer judge training sessions at the beginning of the school year. See dates below. You can also complete the full judge training for any event with the resources on our site under Judge Training. Speech/Congress Events Judge TrainingSeptember 13,...

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