The Texas Regional Ethics Bowl competition is held every fall on the campus of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. This year’s competition will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2015. The Ethics Bowl format is similar to a debate, except that teams are asked to debate explicitly ethical issues, the teams don’t know ahead of time what the questions will be, and the teams are free to take any position they’d like in response to questions they are asked. Prior to the competition teams are given different cases to study, each of which lays out a moral dilemma. In order to prepare students must identify all the issues raised by a case and consider ways to address them. At the time of the competition, each team is asked to answer a specific question based on the issues present in the case. If they have prepared well, the teams will have anticipated the kinds of questions they could be asked by considering the issues raised in the cases. After a team has responded to the question, the opposing side is given a chance to critique the first team’s position, and the first team is then given a chance to respond to the critique. Thus each team must both present on a case and critique another team’s presentation in every round.
If you’re curious about what a round of an Ethics Bowl competition looks like, you can watch the video below, which is taken from a regional competition in 2009. The entire video is 30 minutes, but you needn’t watch the whole thing to get a sense of how the competition works.
If you’d like to join TLU’s ethics bowl team and participate in this year’s regional competition, please, please, feel free to talk to me after class, stop by my office, or send me an email.
The cases for this year’s regional competition can be downloaded here.