Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
Group Photo at Stockdale Statue

Ethics Team Participation

Annual Roster of Competitions

 • University of Arizona Eller Business Ethics Case Competition

 • APPE Ethics Bowl Southeast Regional and Nationals

 • Mount Saint Mary's University ENACTUS Business Ethics Case Competition

 • Annual Military Ethics Case Competition, USNA

More than 140 colleges and universities from across the nation compete against one another by presenting solutions to interesting ethical dilemmas in a series of events called "Ethics Bowl." The USNA Ethics Team won the Southeast Regional of the Ethics Bowl, one of various regional meets, in November of 2012, and have placed in the top four every year since. The regional competitions serve as feeders for the national competition, which is held in late February or early March during the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. The USNA team placed third in the nation at the 2016 Nationals. These competitions are similar to panel debates, and use a set of 15 cases distributed to teams about two months before competitions.

In addition there are business ethics competitions sponsored by the University of Arizona Eller School of Management in Tucson Arizona, and the ENACTUS Business Ethics group of Mount Saint Mary's University, Emmitsburg. These two events are not debate competitions, but revolve around a team produced business ethics PowerPoint presentation dealing with ethical challenges or dilemmas faced in the business world. Teams and judges "role play" as players in the corporate world. All teams in these competitions handle the same case. They are given 2 weeks to prepare their presentations, executive summaries, and essays concentrating on the ethical aspects of the cases.

Finally, the team and the USNA Class of 1964 host the annual Military Ethics Case Competition, here at the Naval Academy, each April. Cases revolve around ethically challenging operational issues, and have included cases concerned with the Afghan practice of "bacha bazi," and escalation of force at security checkpoints on bases in Iraq. Teams from our sister service academies and ROTC units participate. The USNA team won the inaugural event, and has performed at a high level each year.

USNA participation

This has been a tradition at the Academy, attracting a small loyal group of midshipmen who thrive on the discussion and teamwork. Midshipmen interested in participating in the Ethics Competitions work with the Stockdale Center, in selecting a team and formulating arguments.

The USNA team attends the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl, late October to early November of each year, in Florida. The National Finals of the APPE Ethics Bowl rotate, and have been held in Cincinnati Ohio, San Antonio Texas, Reston Virgina. The 2017 Finals will be held in Dallas Texas. Finals take place late February to early March of each year.  The Eller Business Ethics Case competition is held in late October, and the Mount St. Mary's competition occurs in March.

In the past, the USNA Team has also competed in a Baltimore Area Ethics Bowl. This competition, was held by the Hoffberger Center of the University of Baltimore. Other competitors included the University of Baltimore, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, University of Maryland College Park, and Towson University. In 2010, three teams from this competition (including USNA) made the trip to the national finals where competition was intense. This area event may be reinstated in the 2013-14 academic year.

Since these competitions are annual events, prospective Ethics Bowl participants should consider ongoing involvement. Team members can participate in one, two or three of the events. Team members may also choose to play support roles for the traveling team, conducting research and serving as a 'scout team' prepping the team during rehearsals. Because the competitions are distinct in expectations, many of the skills needed and benefits gained are complementary to skills needed at the Academy and after graduation.

go to Top