PHC Debate

PHC Debate The Official Page for the Patrick Henry College British Parliamentary Debate Team [Taken from the Patrick Henry College Website]

Worlds Universities Debate Format, also known as British Parliamentary Debate or British Parli, is considered the most prestigious form of collegiate debate throughout the world.

PHC competes in British Parli as its primary form of debate amongst the powerhouses of Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Sydney, Oxford, Toronto, the London School of Economics, and more. Participants compete in teams of two and rely on general knowledge, understanding of current events, and quick wits to win rounds, since the topic of debate is only released fifteen minutes before each round and changes with each new set of opponents. PHC’s strong academic environment supplies students with ready lines of argument and the wit to employ them with style and grace. What differentiates British Parli from other forms of Parliamentary debate amongst colleges is the structure of the debate. Instead of a normal two-on-two round, British Parli features rounds with four two-person teams, two of which represent the government side in the debate, while the other two represent the opposition. Immediately following the round, the judging panel ranks the teams from first to last. Unlike policy debate, there is no prep time once in the round and no cross-examinations. Instead, speakers are allowed to stand and ask “points of information” during speeches. British Parli presents unique opportunities for traveling abroad. Students have and will visit Toronto, Cambridge, Oxford, and Berlin internationally, as well as regional colleges in Rochester, Cape Cod, and Vermont. Recently, two freshmen, Ryan McDonald and Joseph Samelson, took home a victory in the novice finals at the Rochester tournament. This was the first of hopefully many victories for the PHC Debate squad.


Announcing the Inaugural Patrick Henry College Invitational Tournament! Dates are September 12-13, and we are capping registration at 48 teams, so register quickly!

(Contact [email protected], or [email protected] for registration and tournament information.)


We didn't advance to the final, but PHC took home the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place novice speakers and the 1st place non-breaking novice team overall: Patrick Henry OV (Olson/Van Ness).


King's update: Patrick Henry CT (Collins/Tague) broke to open semifinals. Just finished debating the importance of historical buildings/districts in cities.


West Connecticut Tournament Update:

Patrick Henry MN (Millhouse/Napier) advances to open quarterfinals and Patrick Henry OV (Olson/Van Ness) advances to novice semifinals.


The United States Novice National Championship is concluded, and Patrick Henry racked up the following awards:

- Finalist, Patrick Henry CC (2nd seed with 15 points)
- Quarterfinalist, Patrick Henry OV (7th seed with 12 points)
- 6th Place Speaker, Ryan Collins
- 7th Place Speaker, Ashlyn Olson
- 8th Place Speaker, Johanna Christophel

Congratulations to all of our amazing novices!

Patrick Henry didn't get the win, but let's hear it for our awesome finalist team, Christophel/Collins!

Patrick Henry didn't get the win, but let's hear it for our awesome finalist team, Christophel/Collins!



Patrick Henry CC (Ryan Collins/Johanna Christophel) is about to take the stand as closing opposition in the final round at the United States Novice National Championship!


Patrick Henry CC (Ryan Collins/Johanna Christophel) is Opening Opposition against the motion:

This House would require a randomly selected population of students from wealthy school districts to instead attend public school in nearby low income districts.

Pray for Johanna and Ryan as they fight for finals!


Unfortunately, only one Patrick Henry team was able to break into semifinals, with Patrick Henry CC (Ryan Collins/Johanna Christophel) taking the first place spot in the round.

We are awaiting positions and motions.


Breaking to outrounds at US Novice Nationals:

Patrick Henry CC (Ryan Collins/Johanna Cristophel)
Patrick Henry OV (Ashlyn Olson/Jacob Van Ness)

They will compete in quarterfinals at 11:00 EST on the motion: This House would allow deaf parents to use medical technology to ensure that their children are born deaf.

Unfortunately, the two teams are facing each other in the same round. Both are on the proposition side, and two out of the four teams can move on. Pray for a Patrick Henry Sweep!


All the rounds are finished. PHC definitely will have one team advancing to outrounds. It also appears that we have the chance to advance up to three additional teams as well. Breaks are shortly.


Round 2 is over. Jacob and Ashlyn captured another first, with three other teams locking in seconds.


The Patrick Henry novice teams have completed their first round at novice nationals! Four teams finished second in their rounds and two teams finished first!


Our team of Lanson Hoopai and Lydia Bode made it into the novice final round of the national championships! Praise God! The round happens tomorrow morning. Prayers are certainly appreciated.

Some of our debaters practicing over dinner on Wednesday of this past week.  Debate > food?  PHC Debate thinks so.

Some of our debaters practicing over dinner on Wednesday of this past week. Debate > food? PHC Debate thinks so.


All PHC teams got first place in the round that just wrapped up! The topic was pertaining to the legitimacy of female vigilantism in an male dominant/oppressive society.


Teams are returning from round three; looking like really positive results so far! Round was about whether or not to ban cosmetic anglocisation.


First round complete - motion was regarding whether or not colleges out to give a platform to extreme speakers. PHC teams performed decently; hoping to step it up next round. Round two starts soon!


We are on site at University of La Verne and waiting for orientation and first rounds which will be starting in about an hour and a half. Pray for success!


Our teams are on the road to the airport, and will be in California by the day's end! Please pray for safe travels and for no complications.

ULV National Debate Championships » Welcome

This Thursday, four of our teams will be flying to La Verne, California to compete at the debate national championships! We'll be facing off against the likes of Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Alaska, UCLA, and many more.

Check out the tournament info page here if you are interested!

Welcome to the University of La Verne! We are delighted to host the 2013 U.S. Debate Nationals on our campus April 12-14, 2013. More than 50 universities and colleges, including international institutions, are represented among 160 teams competing for the prestigious title of U.S. National Debate Ch...


PHC Debate's Leadership Team members met today at a retreat, in order to plan some future aspects of the program. Big things are coming!


Bode/Ho'opai did not advance into semis, but they put on a great show. Praising God in our success in at least breaking into quarters this time around.


PHC team Bode/Ho'opai broke into quarterfinals as tenth seed!


Teams are on site and about to start round one. Pray for decent motions, confidence for the debaters, and great performances for the day!


Teams are departing for Danbury, Connecticut, as this message is being typed. Time to go compete to win!


It is official: The Cornell Novice National Championship tournament had been cancelled due to treacherous winter weather. As such, no PHC British Parliamentary teams will be travelling this weekend.


PHC will be sending teams to Cornell University this weekend to compete in the Novice National Championship Tournament! Please pray for safe travels; there is a massive winter storm that will be hitting as we arrive in New York.

Open Finalists at the Empire Debates: Top novice speaker Lydia Bode and Lanson Ho'opaiPC: Samelson

Open Finalists at the Empire Debates: Top novice speaker Lydia Bode and Lanson Ho'opai

PC: Samelson


Debate > Super Bowl.

You know it is true.

The Empire Debates

The Empire Debates

PHC Debate sent six teams to New York to compete in the Empire Debates, a tournament hosted by the King's College.


Two PHC teams (McDonald/Samelson and Bode/Ho'opai) made it into the semifinal round, and and now Bode/Ho'opai just advanced to finals!


All debaters are on-site and ready to roll. Waiting for the first round to start.


Day one complete, and we have multiple teams poised to break depending on performance in tomorrow morning's round. God is good! Now it is time for dinner and maybe just a little bit of sightseeing. :)


Two more rounds left today; pray for stamina for the debaters as we close out the first day over the next few hours!


10 Patrick Henry Cir
Purcellville, VA

General information

In 2010, the Patrick Henry College debate team stood at a crossroads. Traditional, or “American-style,” avenues of parliamentary debate had witnessed a deterioration in quality. A focus on “speed-and-spread” argumentation - essentially, spitting out as many arguments as possible in a short time, with no regard for actual substance or communication - caused a jarring transition for PHC debaters fresh off the NCFCA/Stoa circuit. And then, PHC discovered Worlds - or “British Parliamentary” - debate. With only 15 minutes of preparation time, BP debaters are thrust into high-stakes arguments centered on critical current-events topics (example: “This house would put boots on the ground in Syria”). Four teams of two speakers each - two defending the Proposition in question, and two opposing - employ logic, charisma, and razor-sharp wit to achieve success. Combining extemporaneous and impromptu speaking skills with elements of both team-policy and Lincoln-Douglas debating styles, British Parli proved to be truly the best of all worlds. In this new league, PHC quickly established itself as a school to be reckoned with. When two PHC freshmen brought home a victory in the novice finals at Rochester, this point was driven home with force. In 2011, 2 PHC teams competed at the annual Inter-Varsity tournament in Cambridge, England, foreshadowing a coming emphasis on international travel. Aiming for success on the world stage, in 2012 PHC sent teams to Toronto, Oxford, and Cambridge. When PHC finished in the top 20% of teams at Oxford, a powerful message was sent to the rest of academia: Christian conservatives aren’t afraid of engaging the culture; instead, they’re shattering outmoded stereotypes without compromising integrity. The 2012-2013 season was further highlighted by PHC’s finish, with a winning record, at the 2013 World Universities Debating Championship in Berlin, Germany. As PHC’s debate team continues to ascend up the global rankings, its members and coaches are eager to see what the future holds.


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