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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
Group Photo at Stockdale Statue
Ethics Team

Ethics Team Participation

Annual Roster of Competitions

 • University of Arizona Eller Business Ethics Case Competition

 • APPE Ethics Bowl Southeast Regional and Nationals

• Stetson University Tempelton Business Ethics Case Competition

 • 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, the Tempelton School of Business at Stetson University and the ENACTUS Business Ethics group of Mount Saint Mary's University, Emmitsburg. These three 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 and write 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, and Code of Conduct failures during the 2016 Farsi Island incident. Teams from our sister service academies and ROTC units participate. The USNA team won the inaugural 2014 event, the 2017 meeting, 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 and Dallas Texas. The 2017 Finals will be held in Chicago Illinois. Finals take place late February to early March of each year.  The Eller Business Ethics Case competition is held in late October in Tucson, the Templeton competition in Deland Florida, March or April, and the Mount St. Mary's competition occurs in March.

Since these competitions are annual events, prospective Ethics Bowl participants should consider and plan for 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.

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