The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has announced the selection of “Water Resources” as the National High School Policy Debate Topic for the 2021-22 academic year.
Water Resources prevailed by a one-vote margin over “Russia” in the final balloting process, which saw participation from a record 39 state associations, the National Speech and Debate Association, the National Catholic Forensic League, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues and the Nation Debate Coaches Association.
“We are really glad that we had 43 states and national organizations take part in this important process,” said Dr. James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports. “Water Resources and Russia are both excellent topics. To have the final tally be separated by one vote shows how important it is for our membership to have their voices be heard.”
Focused on the issue of water quality and conservation in the United States, the debate resolution will be as follows: “The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States.”
“Water resources have only been debated three times in the past 91 years of high school policy debate,” Weaver said. “The 2021-22 resolution is timely and relevant with a focus on protecting a resource that is vital to the health, environment and economy of the United States.”
Three stages of voting were used to determine the winning topic. The first was held during the virtual NFHS Policy Debate Topic Selection Meeting December 28-29, where 76 attending delegates from 29 states compiled five potential choices. In addition to Russia and Water Resources, that list included “Election Law,” “Nation State Recognition” and “Pakistan.”
Approximately two weeks later, 39 organizations ranked the five options in order of their preference, with the two lowest aggregate totals then advancing to the final vote. Use of the second ballot assures a majority of coaches across the nation favor the chosen topic area and resolution.
For more information on the 2021-22 national high school policy debate topic, including a visual breakdown of how each organization voted on the final ballot, please visit: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/water-resources-selected-as-2021-2022-national-policy-debate-topic/.