Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl

The 8th Annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl will take place on Feb. 1, 2020!
Registration is now open!

Cases have been released – they’re available at the National HSEB website!
Teams participating in the 8th Annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl will discuss six cases drawn from the following short list from the Regional Case Set:
Cases 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14

The Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies at UA Little Rock hosts the annual Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl. The 7th Annual bowl took place on February 2, 2019, and featured a keynote address from Tim Jackson (Category One Entertainment). Congratulations to Little Rock Central High School (pictured below), who won the bowl and advanced to compete in the National High School Ethics Bowl. Dardanelle High School 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 2019 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 Arlington High School (Tennessee). Other schools participating in 2019 included Bearden High School, Bergman High School, Conway High School, Decatur High School, The Future School of Fort Smith, Kingsbury High School (Memphis), Harrison High School, Maumelle High School, and Joe T. Robinson High School (Little Rock).


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 2020
Ethics Bowl after High School
Contact Information



Registration for the 2020 Arkansas High School Ethics Bowl is now open! Visit this link to complete the short registration form:

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 $125 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 or the NHSEB)

Contact Information

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

Dr. Jana McAuliffe (
Dr. Michael Norton (
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


(event photos by Carly Machen)