AHS/SILSA Speech and Debate

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. All in one class!

Sponsor our first ever AHS Speech and Debate Talk-A-Thon.

The pandemic allowed us to be creative this year.

Normally in early December, the team does the Silent-A-Thon, where our team members take pledges to NOT talk for a full school day.  But since COVID has flipped our entire world upside down, this year the AHS Speech and Debate team held its first ever Talk-A-Thon. During the week of Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11, the AHS Speech and Debate team talked non-stop, 24 hours a day, without interruption. The students performances were live-streamed for some Live-Streaming Pure Madness! Use the Donate button to sponsor our talkers.

Our life-changing Club regularly competes on a State and National level. Students learn to present ideas and argue points both pro and con in a convincing and effective manner. Speech and Debate Students at ASHEVILLE HIGH/ SILSA are active in our community, regularly receive College Scholarships and become better leaders in our society. Want more proof on the intellectual and social and emotional benefits of students participating in Speech & Debate? Read how Speech and Debate changed an AHS alumna life.


Speech and Debate Tournaments will be virtual this semester!! We still have a full roster of tournaments, which includes 9 local circuit and 4 national circuit on our teams schedule.  The virtual format is allowing us to attend many more national tournaments this year!  Virtual tournaments will take place on Saturdays for one-day tournaments and will be conducted live via video conferencing through the National Speech and Debate Association’s online tournament platform.  A decision will be made later this fall regarding spring semester tournament formats.

Speech and Debate in the Virtual World:

  • Judging–parents, we still will need judges on a weekly basis.  The difference is that you will judge the round on your computer from your recliner, kitchen table, back deck, or wherever you feel comfortable.  Rules do not allow us to purchase judges regularly this year so WE NEED YOU! All judging will be conducted through Tabroom.com so be sure to set up your account.  Returning parents will use their same Tabroom.com account from last season.  ACS background checks are still required before judging. Background checks can be completed HERE!
  • TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:  2020-2021 Speech & Debate Schedule
  • COUGAR CLASSIC is also virtual this year! We will need plenty of parent judges but no need for hospitality volunteers.
  • IMPORTANT FORMS:  Don’t forget that students are required to re-register for the team each year.  Before you can participate or go to tournaments, you need to complete EACH of the following: Team Registration Form, Parental Permission Form, Code of Conduct, and Medical forms. Please see the Parent/Student Forms page in tabs for access to these forms.
  • TEAM RETREAT:  Leadership is planning a virtual one for early September.  We’ll give you more details once their plans are finalized.
  • TEAM MEETINGS AND SQUAD MEETINGS:  These will be all virtual until things get back to normal. Currently, our weekly meeting is scheduled for Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 with additional coaching and squad practices scheduled as needed.

Thanks to our Sponsors–without you we would not be able to support our students and coaches!