Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl

The 7th Annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl will take place on Feb. 2, 2019!
See below for Registration Information

The Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies at UA Little Rock hosts the annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl. The 6th Annual bowl took place on January 27, 2018, and featured a keynote address from Dr. Claire Katz (Texas A&M University). Congratulations to Little Rock Central High School (pictured below), who won the bowl and will advance to compete in the National High School Ethics Bowl. The Future School of Fort Smith took second place, and Valley View High School (Jonesboro) came in third.

New to the High School Ethics Bowl? Click here for more information!

The 2018 Spirit of the Ethics Bowl Award – awarded by a vote at the conclusion of the competition each year by all of the participating students to the team that best embodied the Ethics Bowl’s spirit of civil discourse, collegiality, and collaboration – went to Bearden High School (pictured below). Other schools participating in 2018 included Bergman High School, Bryant High School, Conway Christian School, Dardanelle High School, Decatur High School, Kingsbury High School (Memphis), Maumelle High School, Northside High School (Fort Smith), and Robinson High School (Little Rock).

The 2018 Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl was supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a generous donation from the Better Business Bureau Serving Arkansas.


What is an Ethics Bowl?

Differing from long established debate competitions, the Ethics Bowl is a venue that encourages collaborative engagement in serious moral discourse. Teams consider and discuss cases drawn from current events, which range from social and political issues (voting rights, capital punishment, gun control), to environmental concerns (sustainable growth and development), to professional worries (hiring practices, workplace safety), to issues arising in the classroom (grade inflation, plagiarism). Teams have a couple of months to prepare the cases, though they do not know which of the cases they will discuss nor the specific question posed for a given case until they face another team. Teams from high schools across the country compete at the regional level, and winners then go to the national competition where one team emerges victorious. Emphasis is on reasoning and the ability to engage in civil, rational discourse rather than on persuasion and rhetorical technique. The scores of three judges who are recruited from both the academy and the local community determine winners. The competition can be fierce and the winning margins tight. Still, the atmosphere is unceasingly civil and collegial. (See these informational videos and other resources from the National Bowl.)

Registration for 2019
Ethics Bowl after High School
Contact Information



Registration for the 2019 Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl is now open!  Fill out this form to register. The registration deadline is November 30. Please contact the bowl organizers with any questions – especially if this year will be your first year participating in the bowl. The 2019 Bowl takes place on February 2.

All participating schools need to register both with the UA Little Rock Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies (using the link above) and with the National High School Ethics Bowl organization (using the link below).

Note that while the Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl does not charge a registration fee, the National High School Ethics Bowl organization requires payment of a $75 registration fee in order to be counted as a participating school and to be eligible to compete in the National bowl should your team win the Arkansas bowl. To pay this fee, and for more information, visit
(If the national fee presents an obstacle to your school participating, please contact us)

Contact Information

For more information about the Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl, contact:

Dr. Michael Norton (
Dr. Jana McAuliffe (
Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Stabler Hall, Room 307
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72204
(501) 569-3312


(2018 event photos by Carly Machen)