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DDD's 30th debate: Physical Education SHOULD be a requirement in schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,875 times Debate No: 62391
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (3)





l can’t believe it has been 30 debates! Anyways, On to the debate! The resolution is “Physical Education should be a requirement in schools” I am pro, or for this resolution.



Comment (Or message me) if you would like to accept. RULES


Round 1: Acceptance ONLY

2: Up to 3 arguments, no refutations

3: Up to 3 arguments, no refutations

4: Up to 3 arguments, no refutations

5: Refutations and conclusion only, no new arguments outside of the refutations allowed.

-No posting links to google docs. I have made this mistake before.


-Forfeiting and/or breaking any of these rules means loss of all points.


Good luck!



I accept :D
Thanks to DDD for challenging me to this debate.
Debate Round No. 1



I would like to clarify that we mean GRADE SCHOOL! I am sorry for that miss, and I do hope you accept this definition. If not, please propose your own definition of the resolution, though remember there is NO ridiculos semantics.


Child obesity has been a problem around the world. What is obesity? “The condition of being grossly fat or overweight.” (taken from google, not sure where they get there definitions)

Now how exactly is this bad for an obese person’s health?

“Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.” {1} {2}

“Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes. Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.” {1} {2}

“Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults. Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate, as well as multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma." {1} {2}

Want to hear something shocking? Well, it turns out that out of all children, 20% (around) are obese. One in every five children are obese! {1} {2}

So now that you know the health risks that obesity comes with, you now need to know how to combat it. With physical activity:

“Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity”{1} {2}

Obviously in gym you get physical activity, and if it is a requirement it will MAKE SURE that these obese children start getting healthier. If it was optional, most of these children would most likely not go to gym, and thus develop the obesity more.

So now I ask anyone who is reading this, do you want ( I did the calculations based on the facts provided earlier) 14% of all children to have a major risk for cardiovascular disease? I don’t think so. To slowly lower this number, gym should be a requirement in all grade schools.


In grade school academics, the goal is for you to get smarter, and learn. So what is an effective way to help your brain get working? Your first reaction is mostly ‘well you go to your classes and academic subjects’ but I have reason to believe your reaction could be ‘go to P.E.’ I will provide multiple studies showing why:

“Look at the brain functioning after just 20 minutes of walking. Getting kids to move helps strengthen and stimulate their brains. This is why so many recent research studies are showing increased fitness = improved academics. Note: The blue color represents inactivity in the brain.” {3}

To see the image go here (sorry my computer can’t post images so I have to give links to them):

From the same interesting website came this overwhelming evidence from a different study:

They took 3 million children and compared the kids who had a higher fitness level to the corresponding academic level and kids who had a lower fitness level to the corresponding academic level and look what they found:

Shocking isn’t it? Here is some more studies:

“The California Department of Education (CDE) looked for a correlation between fitness scores and test scores. They found that kids who were deemed fit (by a standard test of aerobic capacity, BMI, abdominal strength, trunk strength, upper body strength and overall flexibility) scored twice as well on academic tests as those that were unfit. In the second year of the study, socio-economic status was taken into account, to possibly eliminate that variable as an explanation. As expected, those in the upper-income brackets scored better overall on the academic tests, but within the lower-income set of students, the same results were observed — kids who were more fit performed better academically.” {4}

Now, before I run out of space to finish this argument and argument 3, I would like to post one last study under this contention:

“Charles Hillman, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois, was able to duplicate these findings with 259 third and fifth-grade Illinois students. His team also noticed that two of the tests, BMI and aerobic capacity, were significantly more influential to higher academic scores than the other four fitness factors. Digging deeper, he isolated two groups of 20 students, one fit and the other unfit. They were given cognitive tests of attention, working memory and processing speed while their brain's electrical activity was being measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG) test. The fit kids' brains showed more activity in the prefrontal cortex, known for its executive function and control” {4}

So, just to clarify, if you make gym a REQUIREMENT then the test score of ALL the students will be very likely go up. But if it is optional or even non-existent, then obviously these kids who came to school would not be going to gym and thus not helping the brain enough.

When they mean a correlation from fit kids to high academic scores, I want to point out that a major way for a kid to start getting fit starts with gym. Look at this:

Alright, on to the next point.


Stress sucks, it is nerve racking and just really is almost painful. Now let me show you just how much stress sucks.

“Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress -- a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try to relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems. Consider the following:

Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually. The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.” {5}

Let me break this down a bit.

  1. The facts provided are obvious reasons for why stress sucks

  2. Let me point out the Alcohol, Drugs, etc… makes it worse. Now, I know this sounds a bit abstract, but just how much do kids in grade school drink, use drugs, etc?

“25% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol” {6}

So, wait, 1 IN 5 KIDS DRINK ALCOHOL? That is horrible! Ok so now how many kids take drugs or smoke? I am going to use marijuana as an example:

“7.0 percent of 8th graders, 18.0 percent of 10th graders, and 22.7 percent of 12th graders used marijuana” {7}

So a HIGH amount of kids drink and use drugs which, if you remember an earlier quote, make existing stress worse, then obviously we need to stop stress before it happens! Now what is an effective way to stop stress before normal kids and drinking and drug using kids get school/social stressed? GYM!

“Physical education classes provide the opportunity to participate in sports, exercise and perform other activities that promote physical fitness. These activities release chemicals in your brain known as endorphins, which help produce feelings of calm and relaxation. A study done by the University of Georgia in 2008 showed that people who exercise just 20 minutes a day can decrease their fatigue by 65 percent. If you're feeling tired and stressed out, getting exercise will help refresh you.” {8}



Thank you,




{2} GO TO {1} AND GO TO REFERENCE 7, 5,6,10, 15, 12, 11, 14








Thanks, DDD.
Sorry for the delay. Due to really tight time constraints, I will only be posting one contention this round (which is okay, according to the rules). My other ones will come in subsequent rounds.

C1) Physical Education classes are ineffective

In the average physical education education class period, students are only active for about 16 minutes ( Obviously, that is not enough to give any sort of substantial benefit, as health professionals recommend that at the *very least*, a human should get 30 minutes of physical activity per day in order to stay fit ( PE classes barely even provide for half of that, showing that they are not nearly useful enough to warrant making them mandatory. It would be much cheaper and effecient to just develop programs to create health awareness within students. I will go more in depth on the financial aspect and alternatives to PE classes with my later arguments. Anyways, this contention alone negates the resolution, because in order for something to be required, it must be necessary, and I have shown that PE classes are far from that.

Back to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 2



Thanks for posting, even though it was short, I still appreciate it.



So previously I made arguments about physical and academic and stress benefits. This time I will be talking about the social benefits of gym.

In gym you obviously play athletic sports, most of them being team sports such as dodgeball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, badminton, etc,etc…

Now besides the obvious physical advantages, there is a giant social advantage within these team sports. They are called team sports because to win you ultimately need to work as a good team. Group work is a key that is hard to learn but has lots of benefits. In gym, whenever you do (as an example) soccer, you need to be able to work in a group by passing and not arguing when you don’t get the ball.

Group work also rubs off during classes when you are asked to work in groups, but I won’t go too much into that.

“Activities in PE help children develop healthful social interactions. From a young age, children learn cooperation through group activities and form a positive sense of identity as part of a team. Such group activities are continually important as children grow older. The International Platform on Sport and Development states that “sport has been used as a practical tool to engage young people in their communities through volunteering, resulting in higher levels of leadership, community engagement and altruism among young people.” also notes that positive character development through group physical activities depends on the program curriculum”- {1}

Besides groupwork what is gym also socially good for? Sportsmanship!

Now what is sportsmanship?

“Sportsmanship (or sometimes sportspersonship) is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors.”- {3}

I have searched for sportsmanship within schools and I have come up with many examples of how different schools have a whole sportsmanship aspect in their gym mark which is absolutely great!

To conclude this particular point, I want to relate it back to the resolution and why gym should be mandatory for this particular social reason. If gym was optional, all the people who did not go to gym would not be a great social and group person, or kid. This also makes the job of teachers trying to get people to cooperate much easier.


A lot of arguments that I have made have discussed the short-term of P.E Classes, but what about the long term?

“Linear time trend forecasts suggest that by 2030, 51% of the population will be obese. The model estimates a much lower obesity prevalence of 42% and severe obesity prevalence of 11%. If obesity were to remain at 2010 levels, the combined savings in medical expenditures over the next 2 decades would be $549.5 billion.”{2}

I believe that is for the American population, so to contrast American obesity estimates, I will use American population estimates. The estimated number of Americans in 2030 is 363,584,435. {5} 51% of 363,584435 is 185,428,062. That is 182,428.062 MILLION OBESE PEOPLE IN THE USA ALONE! How can we prevent this? Simple. PE classes help encourage kids to not only stay active while in school, but to stay active for their whole lives and as a direct result these active adults may teach their kids to remain active, which means less overweight kids and less overweight adults.

School’s purpose is to make kid’s long term better, so why should PE not do the same?


Unfortunately, some kids do not have the privilege of being able to exercise outside of school, a lot of these kids are poor and they have to work at home/work in a part-time job to help out with their family, no time to play soccer or baseball.

“According to the 1998/99 National Population Health Survey, about 62% of persons with a

household income of $20,000 or less were considered inactive. The same survey also showed

that about 62% of persons without a high school education were considered inactive”{6}

“Low-income families and their children face significant barriers to recreation. Many of the key barriers have existed for decades. A 1994 Canadian study found that recreation services have a variety of systemic barriers:

socio-economic barriers

– the cost of recreation is prohibitive

organizational barriers

– a lack of supportive policies, facilities and financial resources

communications barriers

– information about recreation resources and services doesn’t

reach low-income families”{6}

So what is a way to make sure they get active? Gym. What is a way to go to gym? School.

In many many countries including the US, school is a requirement for children. {4} So if school is a requirement, then these poorer kids get to go to school. At school, they should get the exercise they need at school!

That is why gym should be a requirement and should be encouraged in school, to make sure that these less fortunate kids get the exercise they need.


Thank you!










Thanks, DDD.
Procrastination has trapped me again, so, like last round I will only be presenting a single contention.
Sorry that this had to happen twice in a row...

C2) Schools have limited budgets

The purpose of a school is to provide its students with an education; thus, a school's academic functions should obviously be prioritized above all its other functions. With that in mind, we can observe that the majority of public schools have very limited budgets, so for *any* of that funding to go towards non-academic functions, the said function must not only be somewhat inexpensive, but it must also provide a significant benefit to students. Extending C1, we see that PE classes do not provide any significant benefit, and if we analyze the costs of the average PE program, we see that it is not inexpensive at all, with all the spatial requirements of a gym and the necessary equipment and staff. Take the example of one Oregon school district which had to deal with the consequences of implementing mandatory physical education classes: "To meet the state mandate, the district would need to hire more than 66 physical education teachers for the elementaries, alone... In addition, there is not enough space at the schools to accommodate the additional physical education classes," ( Simply put, mandatory physical education is not economical-- there are many more important things that schools need to be spending their limited funding on, like textbooks, curriculum development, and building expansion. This contention, like C1, is enough on its own to negate the resolution.

Back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 3



Again, I thank you for posting. It seems you have taken up too many debates at the same time! It’s OK.



Besides gym being physical activity, and good for your mental health and whatnot, gym is also just fun!

As a kid in grade school, you would obviously find some joy in playing multiple sports or going outside and playing on the playground. It is just plain fun for kids to play gym.

So what are some (wait for it) health benefits of fun?

When you’re having fun, it’s hard to keep that natural grin off your face—and for good reason. A simple smile can turn a rotten day right side up. According to psychologist Cliff Kuhn, smiling immediately decreases stress levels and improves tolerance for pain—even when the smile you put on is “fake.” Not only do you feel good when you smile, your mental health improves, too.

This article on body language says that the body releases endorphins every time you smile. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that send a message of confidence and satisfaction to the brain. The result? A more cheerful and self-assured you. Smiling is just like eating chocolate. Unlike the latter, though, there’s no need to monitor just how often you smile in a day. The more you smile, the better you’ll look and feel. You’ll make others feel great too, so smile away!” {1}

So obviously when you are having fun you almost always smile. And thus smiling is good for you


Remember one of my earlier points? That gym allow kids to have stress release? Well, this point expands on that even more focusing on the male gender specifically (Sorry feminists.)

“ Girls receive better marks at school than boys because they are better behaved, not because they are more intelligent, a study suggests. Teachers give higher marks to reflect 'certain student characteristics' that are not related to ability, the international study claims. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which carried out the research, said that the bias could have 'far-reaching effects' for boys' self-esteem.”{2}

Us males are as this article says, not as well-behaved, but gym can help us exert these thoughts, making us better behaved.

“there is evidence that males are quicker to aggression (Frey et al. 2003) and more likely than females to express their aggression physically”{3}

So now we know that boys are naturally more aggressive than females. But do schools help with this?

“More boys have problems with attention and focus than girls. Because of their higher activity level, boys are likely to get into more trouble than girls. And they are not given enough opportunities to move around “{4}

I believe that this is talking about younger children (6-12) So we should also discuss teens (13-18)

“The teenage years are difficult to get through. Physical and emotional changes occur at a rapid pace, and the need for acceptance gains importance in a teenager's life. Hormones take over, emotions run high and every teen has to learn how to cope with the new changes.”{5}

Just imagine, a 14 year old boy with hormones going crazy that has no way to cope. Gym can help cope with the stress and aggression.


I am looking forward to your response.









Thanks, DDD.
I only have one contention and a concluding statement left to give... so this round is gonna be pretty short too. It's probably for the best that it worked out this way anyhow-- had I used up all three arguments in round 1, I would have none left by now and run something ridiculous like Zaradi's suffering K. Anyways, given how many arguments Pro has presented, my final round for rebuttals will surely end up being much longer :P

C3) There are alternatives the PE

This contention builds upon the other two. Simply put, if there are alternatives which are more effective than and cost less than PE classes, then they should be preferred over making PE mandatory, thus negating the resolution. The main alternative I will look into is educational programs to promote practices associated with healthy living such as nutritional diet and regular exercise. The saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," applies to this very well-- it is much more beneficial to teach students the value of actively pursuing good health (teaching them how to fish) than it is to force them to exercise for 16 minutes a day (giving them fish). Not only is the presented alternative more useful in that sense, but it is also less costly, mostly because it can be carried out in a traditional classroom setting (as opposed to the new gymnasium that would have to be built to host PE classes). Such a program is clearly preferable to PE classes, and, as such, PE classes should *not* be made mandatory.


First and foremost, physical education classes should not be made mandatory because they are not effective, barely even giving students *half* of their absolute *minimum* necessary daily physical activity. Just as importantly, PE classes are immensely expensive to schools, so coupled with their general uselessness and the limited budgets of most schools, implementing mandatory PE classes is neither feasible nor beneficial. Lastly, there *are* more practical alternatives to making PE mandatory, so naturally, those should be preferred.

The resolution is negated.

I turn the debate back over to Pro for the final round.
Debate Round No. 4



Thank you for posting another argument. Now it is time to post a rebuttal.


“Physical Education classes are ineffective”

I noticed a couple problems with your argument.

First of all, by saying that PE classes are too short therefore ineffective is your first problem. A gym class CAN be short yet effective. Your statement has a logical fallacy known as Non-Sequitur which is Latin for “Doesn't follow” {1} Your argument is like saying that all thumbs are fingers therefore all fingers are thumbs. You can have a short gym class yet still burn calories and fat. Here, think of it this way. The average weight of a 12-year-old boy is around 90 lbs and for a girl it is 93 lbs {2}.Three average girls and Three average boys play a game of basketball for 16 minutes. The boys would burn around 92 calories while the girls would burn 95 calories {3}. Because everyone is different amount of calories could be lower or higher, however considering the obesity epidemic that has plagued world I would go with higher. The amount of time physical education done does not make it more or less effective.

Second problem is that you have built yourself a strawman. By cherry picking your statistics you have built up a strawman. I will now give examples from several nations and regions.

British Columbia, Canada: ”In British Columbia, Canada the government has stated in the grade one curriculum that students must participate in physical activity daily five times a week. Also the teacher is responsible for planning Daily Physical Activity (DPA) which is thirty minutes of mild to moderate physical activity a day not including curriculum physical education classes.”{4}

The European Union:”European Union countries 109 minutes (range of 30-240 minutes) with clusters around 60 and 90 minutes in primary/basic schools and 101 minutes (range 45-240 minutes) with a cluster around 90 minutes in secondary and high schools”{5}

Malaysia: “Pupils from primary schools to secondary schools are expected to do 2 periods or 1 hour of PE throughout the year except a week before examination.”{4}

Latin America:”Central and South America (including Caribbean countries) 73 minutes in primary schools and 87 minutes in secondary schools. There is a gradual ‘tailing off’ in upper secondary (high) schools (post 16+ years) in several countries and optional courses become more evident”{5}

There you go.

Finally, You said that your argument negates the resolution. How? I have already proved that PE classes can be short and effective. Since I have shown that PE classes are actually effective this argument to not actually negate the resolution.

“Schools have limited budgets”

Again, I have a few things that upset me with this argument.

You said that the educational part of school should be a higher priority than anything else. However, the well-being a of a child's bodily health is also important, like stated before, not all kids can get PE outside of school. If a school does not have enough money to keep their students healthy then they should not be a school at all.

You also are going back to your previous argument to back this one up, however, I proved that you argument does not work.only some Gym classes are ineffective so why cut them out if they are important and work?

A PE class can also just be one soccer ball. A simple, not special soccer ball can cost up to 20 dollars only. Gym classes do not need to have the very best and fanciest sports gear for playing, just something that will get the job done.{6}

“The main alternative I will look into is educational programs to promote practices associated with healthy living such as nutritional diet and regular exercise.”

Is this not what mandatory gym enforces? “regular exercise”? Also, if I may give a personal story, in my gym classes, there are tasty tuesdays, and you are recommended to make a healthy nutritious meal.

“The saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," applies to this very well-- it is much more beneficial to teach students the value of actively pursuing good health (teaching them how to fish) than it is to force them to exercise for 16 minutes a day (giving them fish).”

But wouldn’t both be best? In gym, you first of all get that 16 minutes a day, and secondly, if you remember a few of my points, I clearly showed you how gym actually increases long term and extra-curricular physical activity! So thus mandatory gym gives BOTH!

Also, the 16 minute stuff has also been debunked. Secondly, that is what PE does, PE literally is the action teaching kids about Physical education and the importance of it, so essentially, you have just argued for us.

“Not only is the presented alternative more useful in that sense, but it is also less costly, mostly because it can be carried out in a traditional classroom setting (as opposed to the new gymnasium that would have to be built to host PE classes). Such a program is clearly preferable to PE classes, and, as such, PE classes should *not* be made mandatory.”

I love how you gave examples of the specific program you are talking about. *cough*

You have just said the word program and then assumed that we know what exactly you are talking about.

Also, even if this cost thing is true, do remember that I pointed out that a gym class can be 20 or less dollars with just a soccer ball! {6}

Finally, how does your argument negate the resolution? You did not say how it negates resolution and just saying it does negate the resolution is not enough.


I thank Uchicha for this debate, Also I thank him for not forfeiting. It is nice to actually debate instead of waiting for 3 days for someone to forfeit.











I must thank DDD for his patience with me and my procrastination throughout the debate. Hopefully I can make up for it all with this round ^_^
Based on the utility-centered framework of the debate, all I have to do in order to negate the resolution is show that PE classes does not cause enough benefit to society to warrant making PE classes mandatory.

== AFF CASE ==

A1: Obesity

Pro argues that because some children are obese, and PE could theoretically help reduce the number of children that are obese, PE should be mandatory in schools. Firstly, I can cross-apply my C1 to show that PE classes do absolutely nothing to reduce obesity rates; most PE classes miss (by quite a large margin) the daily requirement for simply *maintaining* the health of a person of average health, so there is basically no chance that such minimal levels of physical activity would make a significant impact on the health of an already-obese child. Secondly, this argument only supports making PE mandatory for students who are already obese or at risk for being obese, which is less than half of America's child population ( In other words, this argument doesn't show why PE should be mandatory for *all* students, as the resolution being debated supports.

A2: Academics

Pro argues that because physical activity stimulates students' brains and thus improves their academic performance, PE should be made mandatory. First of all, there are *many* things which which would significantly improve students' academics, such as better nutrition, doing extra practice outside of school, and attending tutorial sessions, but none of them are mandatory; having state enforcement of all of those would be nigh-impossible! Simply put, it is unfeasible to hold the state responsible for ensuring high levels of academic performance, and as such, this contention fails. This contention also fails because the vast majority of elementary schools recess periods, as shown by a survey by the National Association of Elementary School Principals revealing that "schools in 90% of school districts had at least one recess period during the day" ( These recess periods easily provide the students with '20 minutes of walking' (which Pro's first study describes as being all that is required to stimulate the brain), and since the majority of grade schools already have them, there is absolutely no reason to implement mandatory physical education classes on top of that.

A3: Stress Reduction

This is more or less a repetition of Pro's second point, except it substitutes academic performance in general with student stress levels. The same rebuttals apply: 1) it is unfeasible to hold the government responsible for student stress levels, as there are far too many other things the government would be obligated to do as well if that were the case, and 2) recess periods also involve physical activity and thus bring many of the same benefits, thus rendering mandatory PE to be unnecessary. Pro's attempt at drawing a connection between childhood stress and drug use is a blatant slippery slope fallacy; even according to Pro's own articles, exercise is a short term relief for stress-- engaging in daily physical activity activity is important because it continually releases stress acquired on a day-to-day basis. In other words, having PE classes in grade school will in no way prevent a child from being stressed at a later age and start doing drugs...

A4: Social Benefits

Pro argues that PE classes improve social skills. Again, the rebuttal about the non-feasibility of holding the government responsible for such issues applies, as well as the rebuttal about perfectly viable alternatives already existing, such as recess periods, general classroom activities, and socialization outside of school. Pro claims that "all the people who did not go to gym would not be a great social and group person", but that is simply fallacious; the fact that PE may help aid in social development does not even come close to implying that social development cannot occur without PE classes...

A6: Lower-Income Families

Pro argues that children from lower-income families cannot engage in physical activity outside of school due to their living conditions. The biggest problem with this is that children at that level of impoverishment are far from being the majority, and so their predicament does not warrant making physical education mandatory for *all* students. At most, it makes it justifiable for the government to provide incentives to schools to make optional PE programs available. Besides that, a few of the rebuttals I've already made can be extended to even further refute this... 1) recess periods provide adequate physical activity for practical purposes, and 2) PE classes don't really help with 'curing' obesity or making any sort of significant impact on physical fitness.

A7: Fun

Pro has got to be kidding me with this argument. First and foremost, what is "fun" and what is "not fun" is entirely subjective, and thus does not serve as an objective reason to make PE mandatory. I personally hated gym class for the most part... furthermore, previous rebuttals can be extended, such as government responsibility and recess as an alternative.

*Pro's A5 and A8 have been skipped because they are virtually re-iterations of earlier arguments.*

== NEG CASE ==

A1: Ineffectiveness

Pro gives two rebuttals. His first one basically objects that 16 minutes of physical activity is better than no physical activity ("look, a couple of calories got burnt!"). This may be true, but it is irrelevant; I am merely showing with this contention that the positive utility of PE classes is minimal, thus rendering the effort necessary to enforce mandatory PE to be not be worth it. If there is a certain minimum amount of physical activity needed to make an actual difference in students' health, and PE classes do not meet than minimum, then PE classes are ineffective-- Pro has essentially conceded this with his failed attempt at dodging the main point of the argument. Pro's second rebuttal is non-topical, as it randomly brings in statistics from other countries when literally the entirety of his own case is USA-specific. The resolution is implicitly USA-specific as a result of the stats used by both debaters; what Pro attempts to do here is both non-topical and unfair. Pro has failed to refute the fact that PE classes ultimately have no significant impact on a child's health, and it is thus not worth making them mandatory, especially given the costs of implementing a successful PE program.

A2: Cost

Pro objects to the notion that a school's primary function should be education by stating that "the well-being a of a child's bodily health is also important". This is a red herring which has nothing to do with the substance of my argument. Sure, a child's physical health is important, but so is their spiritual/religious development, their economic well-being, and their social life , None of those are the school's responsibility! The child's family and community is responsible for such things; Pro has not actually directly contested that a school's primary function is to educate, so we can safely arrive at the conclusion that academic concerns should take precedence over all else, as far as a school's budget is concerned. As for Pro's response to my cost argument, he claims that all one really needs to start a PE class is a soccer ball. That is absurd; throwing a bunch of kids a soccer ball is called recess time. All of Pro's other arguments rely on the common conception of a PE class, and at the very least, that requires a well-maintained gymnasium and/or outdoor field as well as at least one full-time employed coach. Forcing a school without a PE program to adopt one is not nearly as inexpensive as Pro would lead us to believe; and since a school's primary purpose is academics.

A3: Alternative

Pro has missed the point of my argument. PE classes do nothing more than force a child to engage in physical activity for several minutes a day, which does nothing for the child's long-term health. Pro attempts to conflate my alternative with PE classes in order to benefit his case; however my alternative is significantly distinct in that it motivates children to continue exercising outside of class and keep up good health habits throughout their lives through actual classroom instruction. In a gym class, a student simply learns to jog laps and play sports; in a health education class, a student learns how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in all its aspects, be it physical fitness, balanced nutrition, or mental/emotion well-being. In addition to much greater utility, it is also much cheaper since it can be carried out in a traditional classroom setting just like any other class. A mandatory health education program would clearly be preferable to a mandatory PE program.


1) PE classes barely give any actual benefit to students, so making them mandatory is a waste of time and effort.

2) Considering that the vast majority of a school's budget must be reserved for academic concerns, PE classes are far too expensive to feasibly be made mandatory.

3) A mandatory Health Education program would be preferable to a mandatory PE program anyways, which, again, renders the latter to be useless.

Any one of those three arguments are enough to hold up the resolution, and I have affirmed all three. Moreover, none of Pro's arguments actually hold up; they all ignore the fact that the government cannot feasibly be held responsible for ensuring success in every aspect of a student's life, and that PE classes are not the best solution to any of his presented dilemmas.

The resolution is negated.

Thanks to DDD for the debate, as well as to anyone who takes the time to read and vote :)

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 9spaceking 1 year ago
RFD overview
I agree with debatability about the unfairness of the debate structure. With no rebuttals possible for pro, and only new construction of arguments, this debate was literally impossible for pro to win.
Uchi wins basically due to his ability to be able to manage to rebut pretty much every contention by pro.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
thanks for the RFD, debatability!

DDD, I must say that I agree with her fully on the thing about the debate's structure... not being able to give counter-rebuttals is a REALLY big disadvantage.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
this is really going to be an annoying debate to judge. pro, you kind of screwed yourself over with that structure because you have basically no chance to defend your own case. con's attacks against your case must be seen as viable (to me as a judge) because you have not responded to them unless they are outrageously abusive.

Usually any notes that I, as a judge, decide to make pertaining to flaws on either side did not affect my decision UNLESS the other party noted this flaw in the rebuttal. However, with this structure, I'm a bit confused on how I should go about evaluating this. I guess I'll figure out as I read the debate. I'll go through pro's case and critique it, and then con's case. Afterwards, I'll evaluate what really matters to me as a judge, rebuttals.

Pro's biggest flaw is not focusing on solvency. Understand that solvency is key to this debate. Pro consistantly points out problems such as lack of excersize, low grades, and obesity, adding that excersize can help these problems. The problem is, pro never tells me how much excersize gym gives and if gym itself (rather than genuine excersize done through motivation, rather than requirement) can solve these prroblems. Pro's charts are based on pysically active kids who obtain such excersize through outlets besides gym. How am I supposed to believe that gym can render the same results. Pro has covinced me that kids should excersize, but pro has not convinced me that kids should excersize through gym. One thing I would suggest is that Pro frames their contentions in later rounds to clash with con's case, rather than completely ignoring con's case. If pro had given me even one contention about how gym is genuinely productive, or examples of productive gym programs, I may have been inclined to vote for Pro. Pro made some claims that I absoluetly cannot buy as well. Firstly, pro literally says that compulsory PE will result in higher test scores for ALL students.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
All pro has done is provide a graph in which students who excersize more get higher test scores. Pro, correlation is NOT causation. There are a multitude of factors that could have contributed to such high test scores besides excersize. Also, keep in mind that the excersize listed in your chart is not "gym excersize." Secondly, pro makes a claim that kids will become less stressed through gym, thus use less drugs. Firstly, I am not very inclined to buy such an argument because as pro said, this debate pertains to younger students. Even then, pro hasn't shown that excersize via gym will give ENOUGH edorphins to reduce stress to such an extent. Lastly, I can't quite buy the "kids who cannot excersize out of school" point. Again, pro has only provided a correlation between low income families and excersize (rather than a causation).

Pro has the burden of proof so really their arguments matter more. Now that I've finished the debate, I can conclude that con probably would have won even if they forfieted all the rounds except for the rebuttal round (i'll expland later). But nevertheless, I'll make a few comments on con's arguments. The only argument I'm iffy on is C1. The lack of time spent on excersize is because of flaws in authority and the PE system, however con's point on limited budgets shows me that it probably wouldn't be benificial for schools to spend money on bettering the PE program, especially if there are better alternatives.

Pertaining to pro's attack on con's first contention, I really can't buy that short =/= ineffective. I wish pro spent more time on the point. I can buy that con is cherry picking his statistics though. Pro's counter examples were pretty good and I wish that they had included them as a contention in their constructive.
I don't think pro can try deny that a PE facility costs a large amount of money to keep up. It's more than just buying a few soccer balls. I'm interested in seeing how con respon
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
Pro however, is correct in saying that if their attack on con's first point goes through, than I can't buy con's second point because it depends on whether or not gym classes are effective. Pro does a pretty inadiquate job of attacking con's proposed alternative, which I'll get into later.
Since pro's 8 contentions were basically saying the same thing over and over, I expected con's rebuttals to be very repetitive (and they were). Con's main arguments are that pro's proposed problems only support compulsory PE for *some* of the population and that recess and health class can solve for the same thing. I can totally buy con's attack on the "fun/happiness" contention. I didn't even consider that contention to be viable because what is considered "fun" is so subjective. I just thought I would add that in as a brief note. Moving on to con's defense of his own case, The only thing that con says that I am iffy on is that this debate is USA specific, however, given that pro's evidence pertains to the US through the whole debate, I'll take this point. Even if I didn't buy this, I buy that pro never refuted the lack of health impacty through PE. Con is completely right in saying that con's arguments rely on a well developed class. Con's goals cannot be achieved with a 20 dollar soccer ball. Also, I buy that con's alternative is more likely to achieve long term health.

I negate based on the proposed alternatives which con has proved more effective and efficient. Pro needs to learn more about logical fallacies. Pro greatly misunderstood the term "strawman" for example. This didn't factor into my decision but I felt that it was worth noting. Pro, that structure hurt you so so much. You didn't get a chance to defend your cases which was a huge issue in the end of the debate. At least reformat the structure so you get a chance to defend yourself. Your 8 contentions didn't help you either. Quite frankly I could have said every important point you made,
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
in a single round. Rebuttals are the most important part of a debate. Without rebuttals, it turns into more of an "essay competition" so to speak. I want to say this was a good debate, but it was actually awful. Con could have forfeited every round but the last one and still won because pro has BoP and they wouldn't have been able to defend their case anyway. My harsh critiques don't mean that con is a *bad* debater, I'm simply trying to convey exactly how bad this structure is. Even with a shared BoP, pro has a significant disadvantage. I probably couldn't have won a debate with this structure as pro either... because it puts pro in at a horrible disadvantage no matter how you look at it.

DDD, if you want to salvage this format... I'd do it like this

R1: accpetance
R2: contentions for both sides
R3: contentions for both sides
R4: contentions for pro, con attacks pro's case
R5: pro rebuilds case, attacks cons
con rebuilds case, summarizes
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
i will be voting today. interesting because i am about to do a similar debate. im almost tempted to give conduct to con for that awful structure, but i'm not going to be an @sshole. looking forward to evaluating this debate!!
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago

C3 heading-
"There are alternatives *to* PE"
Posted by flash7221 2 years ago
Ok, this is not a well structured debate. No refutations? How is this even a debate if you cannot prove the other side wrong? That is what makes a debate a debate lol
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
We had one PE class a week when I was in school.Afteer school I went hunting or we played ball. We did not have video games to waste time on.In fact, there was only 3 TV channels.Those were the good old days.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: In the comments.
Vote Placed by debatability 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: in case you are interested in seeing my thought process, i'll go ahead and post my flow. i make a flow for every debate i judge so why not lol. . rfd in comments btw.
Vote Placed by RainbowDash52 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides had good arguments and good rebuttals, but pro had more arguments, and con had better rebuttals. Since both sides gave good arguments and all arguments from both sides had successful rebuttals, the arguments are tied. Pro sited much more sources, but the few sources con sites seem credible so tied on sources. Both sides follow the rules of the debate, so tie on conduct.