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Ethics Bowl

Seattle Academy has an award winning National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) team that participates in respectful and rigorous discussion of ethics among high school students across the state of Washington and Nationwide. 

Our team practices ethical dialogue beginning in late October and continuing through winter break until the early February state competition hosted by the University of Washington. We work with a set of cases covering a broad range of issues, which then serve as the focus for the year. The SAAS Ethics Bowl meets together regularly after school, to research the cases, to discuss the issues they raise, and to identify clearly how they think those issues should be addressed. Due to high demand, we offer two competitive teams.

In competitions, both regional and national, teams are judged according to the quality of a team’s reasoning and how well team members organize and present their cases, analyze the cases' morally relevant features, and anticipate and preemptively respond to commentary and questions. Judges for the Washington State High School Ethics Bowl are drawn from the local legal, education, and philosophical communities.

Participation in Ethics Bowl is selective. Although we have a no cut policy, Ethics Bowl participation is guided by the regional participation rules, student skill, interest, and commitment.


Washington State High School Ethics Bowl

2019 Third place

2018 Second place

2017 First place

2016 First place

National High School Ethics Bowl

2018, 2017, 2016 Participated



Ethics Bowl at SAAS FAQ

What is the difference between debate and Ethics Bowl?

Although the High School Ethics Bowl is competitive, it is intended to promote collaboration. Teams do not have to take pro/con positions; in fact, they can agree with each other. They are not required to refute each other’s points, but rather to offer commentary on one another’s arguments.

Can I do a winter sport or show and participate in Ethics Bowl?

Winter sports, arts performances, and school can be demanding. Our number one goal is to have an Ethics Bowl team that shares a strong commitment to practice and team participation. If you have conflicts with our after school meeting times, it is hard to compete. 

Does Ethics Bowl have a no cut policy like other SAAS programs?

Ethics Bowl is governed by the rules and philosophy of the state organization and carried out by University of Washington. The league stipulates that SAAS can have two, five person Ethics Bowl teams and that is how we construct our program. 

Ethics Bowl News