Each summer, the sporting mights of York and Lancaster meet over the Roses weekend in an attempt to continue their historic bitter rivalry.

In 2008, York and Lancaster Debating Societies decided that it was time that the brains as well as the brawn of York and Lancaster were pitted against each other, and the Roses Debate was born. Hosted at whichever University is hosting the sporting Roses event, and held the same weekend, judging is done by an independent panel (last year from Manchester) who also decide the motion.

Currently both societies are trying to convince their respective Athletics Unions that debating is a legitimate sport (we have it over darts, surely) in order that we be included in the final rankings of the weekend. The inaugural debate in 2008 was hosted by Lancaster and won by York.