Young debaters from around the city square off at a tournament Hollis to improve their reading and speaking skills.

About four hundred middle school students practiced cross-examining their opponents.

They argued  the pros and cons of whether or not citizens 18 and over should be required to vote.

The Middle School Quality Initiative and the New York City Urban Debate League organized the tournament.

"When it comes to confrontation or like arguments I might have, I more think about it as a debate so it doesn't become more confrontational,” said Olivia Lashley. The eighth-grader competed in the tournament.

In June, the best teams from each school will compete in a city championship.