The National Debate Tournament (NDT) began in 1947 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Twenty-nine schools competed at the first NDT debating: "Resolved: That labor should be given a direct share in the management of industry". It remained at West Point until 1967 when it was assumed by the American Forensic Association in part because of the Vietnam War. Since then the tournament has moved to different member schools each year and only three schools have hosted it twice.

In the first NDT, teams were nominated by committees from their district. This was soon replaced with district qualifying tournaments. Eight, post district tournament, "second round" at-large bids were awarded beginning in 1968 and continuing through 1970, enlarging the field to 44 teams, and two of these second round selections "cleared", or finished in the top sixteen in the preliminary rounds, in 1968, three cleared in 1969 and four of the eight post district tournament qualifiers cleared in 1970.

Prior to 1970, a school could only send one team to the NDT, but the tournament committee relented to pressure from some of the more successful programs and a total of eight schools sent two teams to the 1970 National Debate Tournament that year. The winner of that tournament, designated Kansas "B", would not have been eligible to participate if the one team per school rule had remained in force.

In 1971, the format was amended to assign seventeen at large bids prior to district qualifying tournaments followed by the selection of an additional 27 teams by the district tournaments and another eight in a second at large selection round, enlarging the field to 52 teams. Ten regular season tournaments were designated to be "qualifying tournaments", such that winning one earned that team an automatic NDT berth, and the remainder of the first at-large round teams were selected by vote of the selection committee. That format lasted for just two years.

Starting in 1973 and continuing to the present, sixteen at large bids are awarded to teams based on records prior to the district tournament selections, and additional at-large bids are awarded after the district qualifying tournaments. The field was enlarged to 62 teams in 1973 and stayed that size until 1987, when it was enlarged to include 74 teams, and it then varied in size from 72 to 78 teams over the next decade.

UWG NDT Qualifiers

1973 Barry Banther & Elliott Pood

1974 George Knapp & JP Sakey         

         Ray McConnell & Lamar Garren

1975 George Knapp & JP Sakey

         David Tatum & Lamar Garren

1976 David Tatum & Lamar Garren

1977 Mike Stribling & David Smith

         Irwin Sperling & Harold Balcom

1978 Irwin Sperling & Paul Weathington

1979 Randy Evans & Paul Weathington

1980 Randy Evans & Paul Weathington

         Cary Ichter & Lewis Lamb

1981 Kelli Sager & Paul Weathington         

         Cary Ichter & Jeff Arrington

1982 Jeff Arrington & Alex Perragine

1983 Scott Forster & Lewis Lamb

1984 Scott Forster & Lewis Lamb

         Sindy Harris & James Sizemore

1985 Scott Forster & James Sizemore

         Dee Ann Butler & Kevin Wangerin

1986 Alfred Evans & James Sizemore

         Dee Ann Butler & Kevin Wangerin

1987 Alfred Evans & James Sizemore

1988 Tom Cramer & Alfred Evans

1989 Tom Cramer & Aurang Nassery

1990 Mike Hester & Dan Turner

         Brian Key & Lora Olliff

1991 Mike Hester & Dan Turner

1992 Mike Hester & Dan Turner

1993 Mike Hester & Nathan Holmes

1994 Dan Davis & Greg Norman

         Nick Alexander & Clarence Williams

1995 Dan Davis & Greg Norman

         Nick Alexander & Clarence Williams

1996 Dan Davis & Jay Harriman

         Sedgrid Lewis & Clarence Williams

1997 Michael Carver & Sedgrid Lewis

1998 Michael Carver & Kris Bonilla

1999 Phil Kerpen & Rachel Saloom

2000 Sarah Holbrook & Rachel Saloom         

         Rashad Evans & Elizabeth Goodwin

2001 Rashad Evans & Sarah Holbrook

2002 Rashad Evans & Sarah Holbrook

         Wallace Eastwood and James Thomas

2003 Rashad Evans & James Thomas

2004 Joe Koehle & James Thomas

2005 Joe Koehle & James Thomas

2006 Geoff Lundeen & Jane Munksgaard

2007 Jadon Marianetti & Jim Schultz

2008 Geoff Lundeen & Jim Schultz

         Jadon Marianetti & Zak Schaller

2009 Vince Binder & Jim Schultz

           Jadon Marianetti & Zak Schaller

2010 Tyler Boykin & Jim Schultz 

          Adam Grellinger & Jadon Marianetti

2012 Damiyr Davis & Miguel Feliciano

         Osayame Gaius & Vanova Robles

2013 Damiyr Davis & Miguel Feliciano

         Osayame Gaius & Hakeem Muhammad

2014 Marquis Ard & Hakeem Muhammad

2015 Osayame Gaius & Vanova Robles

2016 Hakeem Muhammad & Khalid Sharif

         Gershom Chan & Nick Charles