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By Colm Flynn
Auditor Limerick Deb U 1996-97 Speaker World Debating Championships Cork 96 Member Irish Team World Masters Tournament, Sydney 00 Chief Adjudicator Limerick Bid for European Championships 02 Adjudicator European Championships Grand Final 99 Adjudicator World Championships Athens 98, Sydney 00 & Glasgow 01
Last updated 1999 by Colm Flynn
General Rules and Guidelines to debating. Speaking Order in a Debate Researching your motion Structure of a Speech Speaking style Points of Information Roles in a debate Key extracts from Worlds criteria Irish Times Adjudication Criteria Debating related Books
Worlds Full Adjudication Criteria
Tab Sheets (what the judges get)
1 Page Summary
General Rules & Guidelines for Debating
Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn
The aim of this page is to give you an idea of how to debate. It's not just a simple case of standing up and saying the first thing that comes into your head. There are certain rules and guidelines which have to be adhered to if you want to have any chance in a competitive debate. This is not the page with all the answers. It is only a rough set of guidelines to help get you started. Everyone should try to find their own strengths and failings. In the Debating Union we practice British Parliamentary style, which is now the official style of the World Championships. In the U.S., Canada, etc. a very different style is practiced.
1. Speeches should be SEVEN minutes in duration. Speakers exceeding this may be penalised but should never be substantially less than this. In general you should speak for at least 6:45 and generally no more than 7:20-7:30. Ideally stay on your feet until you hear the 7th min bell and then finish (i.e. Mr. Speaker sir, I beg to........) and be in your seat by 7:15. Your times will be recorded by the timekeeper and given to the adjudicators as they leave to make their decision.
2. In general most debates are in English. The main competitions are all in English but occasionally there are other Language debates usually in conjunction with some other event/soc. Debating in Europe, Asia etc tends to be in the local language. At Worlds there is an English as a second language competition.
3. A bell will be rung after the expiration of one minute and six minutes. The bell will be rung again at seven minutes and at regular intervals after that. 4. If the chair of the debate is the head of the host society he/she usually has a title e.g. Speaker, Auditor, etc. Most often the proper form of address is Mr Speaker/Madame Speaker. You must also acknowledge the adjudicators, if there are any. Some speakers will also acknowledge other members of the house, it is basically just a matter of personal preference as to
how you begin your speech after acknowledging the chair and adjudicators. (e.g. "Mr Speaker, Madame Secretary, Adjudicators, Ladies & Gentlemen........................).
5. Points of information may only be offered after the expiration of one minute and may not be given after the expiration of six minutes. Points of information may only be given to opposing speakers and should generally be not more than 15 seconds in duration. The chairman may request a speaker to end a point of information at his/her discretion. Adjudicators also frown upon barracking (constantly interrupting the speaker by offering points) and the chair is expected to control this. Acceptance of points of information is at discretion of the competitor holding the floor. In competitive debates only the competitors may offer points of information however in non-competitive debates points will often be accepted from the audience. Once you have accepted a point of information you can't just ignore it and carry on. You must deal with it or risk the adjudicator's wrath.
6. In most societies Maiden speakers (i.e. speakers making a speech for the first time) have the protection of the chair. Other speakers may not offer them points of information unless they choose not to accept the protection of the chair. Even if they reject the protection of the chair most experienced speakers will not offer them a point unless they run into difficulty and it can help them. If you are good enough (or misfortunate enough depending on how you look at it) to be making your maiden speech in an intervarsity (rare but it has been known to happen) you do not have any special protection. 7. Points of order concerning the procedure of the debate must be addressed to the chair. These can be brought at any time and take priority over all other speeches. However these are only used in exceptional circumstances when the rules and standing orders are being abused and the speaker making the point must be certain that the point of order is appropriate. In British Parliamentary there is no such thing as Points of Personal Privilege (which are used in the US/Canada). At Worlds/Europeans it is made clear to the competitors in briefing that ONLY points of Information may be
12. Repeated attempts to offer any other sort of Point can be heavily penalised by the adjudicators. The sea is full of water is pretty hard to reasonably .offered.g. Points of order concerning the procedure of the debate must be addressed to the chair. • • 9. • 13. These can be brought at any time and take priority over all other speeches. You must debate the motion as presented and interpret it as best you can. Definitions must also be fair and debatable "Truistic" or Self Proving arguments are not accepted. speaker attempting to redefine may not go down well with the adjudicators. The speakers are evenly divided on both sides of the motion. If a definition is given and all the other speakers or teams completely ignore it then the defining speaker is effectively out of the debate. is basically the chairperson competitors audience etc.e. The "house". which will often be referred to. (e. Speakers must observe parliamentary language i. If this definition is unreasonable or irrelevant then the opening opposition speaker may challenge the definition. You cannot define a motion in a Place/Time Specific sense (i. • 8.e. speakers against are the "Opposition". In British Parliamentary there is no such thing as Points of Personal Privilege (which are used in the US/Canada). Speakers for the motion are the "Proposition" or "Government". • 7. The use of Props is not permitted in a debate. No amendment to the motion is permitted. you cannot set the debate in Dublin 1916 and therefore attempt to limit the scope of the debate and information which the other teams can use) • 11. At Worlds/Europeans it is made clear to the competitors in briefing that ONLY points of Information may be offered. But if the definition is relevant but just doesn't suit the opening opp. The opening Prop speaker (sometimes called "Prime Minister") has to define or interpret the motion. Repeated attempts to offer any other sort of Point can be heavily penalised by the adjudicators. bad language is not permitted. 10. However these are only used in exceptional circumstances when the rules and standing orders are being abused and the speaker making the point must be certain that the point of order is appropriate.
Management. If you say something important back it up.argue against)For full guidelines as to who can redefine and when please refer to the Rules of British Parliamentary (e. 18. Just because you may not be competing this does not . Computer etc student then you must remember that others in the debate may be "experts" in another field of study. Any argument left unchallenged is allowed to stand.g. Rebuttal is vital in any competitive speech. Rebuttal basically involves ripping the opposing side's argument apart and exposing its weak points. • 16. Unfair definitions would include things like why the case of Smith versus Jones is more important to company law than Ryan versus Kelly. Scientific. The later you come in a debate the more rebuttal you must use. However don't forget to make your own argument and ideally use that to rebutt. • 14. If you are a Legal. Just because you know something is true and where it came from that doesn't mean the audience/adjudicators know where it came from and why it's true. The last speaker on each side is expected to sum up his/her side's argument and rebutt or refute the arguments of the other side. 15. Be careful to avoid leaving statements hanging in mid-air. Generally this speaker will not add a great deal of new information to the debate. If the Government makes 19 points and you only manage to hammer 17 in the time allowed then you will win and any attempt by the Government to point out that 2 of their arguments are left standing is basically grasping at straws. the Sydney 2000 Rules). Specialised Knowledge should not be used to unfairly define a motion. To a certain degree the safest bet is to assume that the audience know little or nothing about the subject. It is important to also point out that unlike the style of debating in some countries you do not have to defeat every one of the opponents points (but of course all the Key ones must be knocked down). • 17. (These are just examples I have no idea if these cases even exist).
research etc are correct then the chances are you will not be challenged and the point will be made. which is not only used to raise issues but also where many speakers show off their wit and humour. to back up your argument use it. However there is a fine line between heckling and barracking and members of the audience should remember to respect the speaker. If the audience is giving you a hard time just remember that they probably want you to walk off so don't give them the pleasure. Heckling is also common in some debates. Heckling can be scary at first but you will soon get used to it. If an opposing member corrects you and gives . Speeches here are limited to 3 min. Often there is a prize for the best speaker here. to allow as many people take part as possible. or fact which you researched. • 19. Of course you have to be able to handle a reasonable amount of heckling. • 22. • 21. but time allowed is usually no more than 3 min. No matter how bad you think your speech is try to stay up for the full seven minutes. PMT. is a period of time at the start of each debate where members may bring up a motion or issue that they wish to see debated. However if you get stuck and can’t remember the exact details of the fact you want to use don’t worry about it. If the underlying details of the report. Private Members Time. In competitive debates you will have very little choice as to which side of a motion you get. Remember you do not necessarily have to believe the side of the motion you are on. • 20.mean that you can take no part in the debate. This involves members of the audience offering some good-humoured abuse to the competitors. All debates are usually opened up to the floor after the last speaker and once the adjudicators have retired. You don't have to be a genius for facts and figures to do well. If the chair doesn't control the audience ask him/her to and put him on the spot with the adjudicators. If you can remember an example. 23. You just have to make it appear as though you strongly believe in it for 7 min. This is often a part of the debate.
or fact which you researched. believe me) but it can be very effective if you get away with it. But don't go over the top. It can be risky if you get caught by a member of the opposing side who actually knows what they are talking about (it can be painful. try making one up. adjudicators may not be impressed by stand up routine with little substance. figure or example is needed and you don't have one. to back up your argument use it. This is not. only a fall back if you're in trouble.you the correct name of the report. a replacement for good research. You'll be surprised at the number of speakers who have to really struggle to include humour in a speech while others do it with ease . You can ridicule and destroy an opponent's whole speech with a one-line joke attacking it. If you can use humour it can be extremely effective in a debate. Although humour can be an advantage don't worry if you can't crack a joke to save your life (or speech). however. institute etc then they are an idiot for backing up your case. • 24. However if you get stuck and think that a fact. You don't have to be a genius for facts and figures to do well. researcher. while humour helps. If you can remember an example. • 23.
(8.Speaking order in a Debate Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn The speaking order depends on whether it is individuals or teams.) 2nd speaker from 2nd opp. Individuals: (1.) 3rd opp. (3. or both.) 1st speaker from opening prop. (2.) 1st speaker from 2nd prop team. (7. (4.) Last Prop.) 1st speaker from 2nd opp team.) 2nd Prop. .) 2nd Opp. (6. (8. (3.) 2nd speaker from opening prop. (5. Teams: Times: (1. (4.) 2nd speaker from opening opp.) Opening Opp. (7.) 3rd Prop. (2.) Last Opp. and the style being used in the competition but it generally follows either "Times" or "Mace/Worlds" format.) 2nd speaker from 2nd prop. (6. (5.) 1st speaker from opening opp.) Opening Prop.
(4. (5.) 2nd closing proposition. (2.) 1st speaker from 2nd prop. (2.) 1st opening opposition. (8. (3.) 1st opening proposition. . after the first speaker for the last team and before the last speaker for the for the first team.) 1st proposing individual. (4. and so on.) 1st closing opposition. (6. (3. (8. (6. (5.e.) 2nd proposing individual. (1.) 1st closing proposition.) 2nd opening opposition.) 2nd opening proposition.) 1st opposing individual (7. (7.g.) 2nd closing opposition. (9.) 2nd opposing individual.) 2nd speaker from opening prop.) 1st speaker from opening opp. If there is a mixture of teams and individuals (e. in Times final) the Individual speakers are inserted in the middle of the debate i.Mace/Worlds: (1.) 1st speaker from 2nd opp. Naturally the actual order depends on the number of teams/individuals debating.) 1st speaker from opening prop.
Remember that your argument is the most important part of your speech and your research should back it up. Sources: There are invaluable sources of information all around and you will very rarely come across a motion which you can find absolutely no information if you look hard enough. It should give you the book references you need. Your information should back up your argument and be memorable. I have yet to see the "later". black bound. If you don't know where to go for information take the keywords from the motion and type them into a nearby terminal. These are updated monthly. • Journals Room: . journals in the history section of a good college library. USE IT. • Library: Although we may complain about our library it is still an invaluable source of information. they are also boring. A good source of historical information are the "Chronicle" style. Place it at a crucial stage of your speech in a way that everything falls in together and the audience becomes convinced of the truth of what you are saying. Look around the sections which relate to your motion and flick through a few books that look relevant. If you find a little known fact that will surprise the audience and catch their attention use it strategically. While statistics can very handy for filling up a few minutes. Some people say that only a small portion of your research should appear in your speech and the majority will come into play later. not the other way round. Look for facts and examples more so than statistics. If you have information don't keep it to yourself.Researching your debate Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn Research is vital and cannot be avoided if you want to make a winning speech. This may be in the form of points of information but that is assuming that you can predict what information you will need to contradict what the speaker says.
If used effectively they should work well and we may start doing them on a more regular and organised basis. You don't have to go out of your way or sit there taking notes like a lecture but if you have nothing better to do you might be surprised how much of it you will remember if it comes up later. cultural. If you know that there is a documentary. or scientific subject then the first thing you should do is look through the back issues of Time and Newsweek. You could also look up the past issues of newspapers on microfilm but you really would want to know exactly what you are looking for.This is easily the best source of information on any campus. • T. Even if you don't want to hold a brainstorming session don't be afraid to ask other debaters for ideas. The group meets in a room and trash out the various issues involved from a definition and line to examples and the other sides possible strategy. special report or debate on a topical issue why not watch. If you want more information then there is bound to be some information about it in other more specialised journals but it may be harder to find. it. One member writes down all the ideas and this is best done on a blackboard so a tutorial room is sometimes used. • A word of caution . If you've never read them it is well worth spending a short time flicking through them so that you get a feel for the sort of information they carry and where to find it if you need it later. • Brainstorming: This involves a group of people getting together to discuss a motion and come up with ideas. However these can also become side-tracked (one I was at lasted over three hours and only twenty minutes were spent discussing the motion). or listen to.V. most will be glad to help and may even have debated the motion before. These contain a huge amount of information and not only on current affairs. & Radio: While it is unlikely that TV will oblige you by broadcasting a program dealing with the subject behind your motion while you are preparing for it you can still use them for information. If you have a motion dealing with a topical political.
from a certain point of view of course. However remember an outright lie can be considered unethitical and some more "conservative" people in debating would like to report students who break local codes of ethics to their home college officials. In my opinion this is an extremely dangerous trend in debating and while rare you should ask for clarification on the situation if debating outside the British Isles and Worlds competitions (particularly in eastern Europe). That doesn't make their central point any less valid. I will never condone blatant lies but I recognise that the world is far too vast for mere mortals to research the hundreds of topics that could arise at worlds and the human brain could never store that volume of information. These people have lost all sight of the goal of debating and believe that an inability to stick to the moral code they subscribe to means you can be expelled from college. If you remember some fact but are hazy on the exact details of where or when you heard it don't be afraid to use it. In response I say that my view of debating is that it is a passtime not a research confrence. A debate isn't an exam so the information you use doesn't have to be 100% accurate just sort of. . Facts will muddled. Of course by even advocating a lack of research I can be accused of unethical behaviour by these people.There are many other sources of information if you know where to look. Perhaps the best source is your own memory. They take no account of the fact that people get facts wrong and often in an attempt to win will use facts they have not "properly researched".
e. say. what your partner will say (or has said). . In fact if you have too rigid a structure then you will find it impossible to stick to it. short sentence. In general just use these as guidelines and. when you have to rebutt and deal with points of information. 2nd Minute (1:00-2:00): • Don't take any Points of information until foundation has been laid i. The following is a rough outline of how to structure your speech. develop a style and structure which you are comfortable with.Structure of a Speech Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn Ideally you should try to have a structure to your speech. If you don't have some form of structure you may be penalised by adjudicators and you may ramble. perhaps with a joke. roughly. Don't rebutt another speakers speech. Define your speech.e. You don't have to use a strict structure just have a mental layout of what you want to say and when. 1st Minute (0:00-1:00): (Can't be given a point of information). • • • • • Win the audience. Ideally be able to state your argument in a single. ideally.e. If you do then it is more likely to be a good speech. until you have developed your speech a bit. say what you will address and how. Define your team approach i. i. • Layout your argument.
3rd-6th Minute (2:00-6:00): • Accept 2 to 3 points of information.. Finish.I.. core sentence as the last thing you say. if possible. restate the single... Economic.". Say outline political aspects and deal with them. • Begin your first point. core sentence one or two times.. Do the same for the other aspects (i. immediately if possible. 7th Minute (6:00-7:00): • Once the sixth minute bell has gone you can't be offered any points of information.g.). 7:00 min: • • • Stay on your feet until you hear the bell. and no later than 7:30... • Ideally. "Mr Speaker. Sum up.. Economics & Social). Sir.• Usually best to propose/oppose on 3 points.O.. Social). • • • Finish the point you were on as quickly as possible.. Political.. Reiterate your main points and arguments (and those of your partner if you are the second team speaker. .. short. • Refer back to the single. (e. • Then take a P. Effectively this is your speech. Be back in your seat by 7:15..e. if possible.. • Use these four minutes to make all your points. Don't introduce any new points or arguments. on that. I beg to .
Keep eye-contact with the audience and don't stare at the podium. Others just speak to the audience as a whole. build-up and fall down again. You must speak clearly and loudly enough so that your voice can be heard by everyone. Use your body language to back up your speech. Try to slowly increase the stress and force behind your voice as you go through your speech. You will have to develop your own style and preferably one that comes naturally to you. Some people like to pick out individuals in the audience and look at them. fall down. It gets easier to do this after some experience and once you use fewer notes. Speaking style is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of debating to attempt to "teach". However there are a couple of things to be kept in mind. Build up to a high point and make this the crucial point of your speech. Don't start high.Speaking Style Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn One thing you are bound to notice at any debate is the different speaking styles used by the competitors. Remember the adjudicators will sit towards the rear of the hall so at the very least they must be able to hear what you are saying if you are to have any chance of winning. However you shouldn't shout as the halls have generally been designed so that your voice will carry towards the back. If you stand . However don't bring the audience on a rollercoaster ride. 4. • 2. Try to avoid monotone. If you are making an important point use your voice to stress it and make it stand out. it looks as though you are only convinced about the truth of half your speech. 3. 1. However you do it make sure to scan the audience and move your gaze to different parts of the hall regularly.
Move around a bit and face different sections of the audience at different times. 7. If your argument is too elaborate people may have difficulty following it. Try to make it sound spontaneous . If a joke sounds too prepared than it may bomb. You can work out a few put downs and one-liners in advance but be careful. don't go overboard. One way to ensure this is to leave your notes on the podium. • 6.rigidly and don't move then you will find it very difficult to have any real conviction in your voice. Some people like to carry a pen and end up waving it about like a baton which can distract the adjudicators. Use your arms and facial expressions to convey your emotions and back up your speech. even the most serious of us can be funny at times (often even without meaning it). 5. Apparently studies have shown that people tend to prefer to be able to see the whole person as this is supposed to indicate that you aren't hiding anything. However don't go overboard. If you have a natural talent for comedy or impersonations etc. If you don't then don't worry about it. Try not to have anything in your hands. However. then use it. you want the audience's attention to be focused on your speech not your arms. Don't use 15 syllable Latin words when a 2 syllable English word will do. It annoys people (and more importantly adjudicators) if you walk too far from the podium. Remember you are trying to convince the audience that your argument is the best and not that you consider your talent wasted on them (even if it is). You don't have to stand strictly behind the podium. you'll find yourself reluctant to move too far from them. Try not to go more than 1-2 meters away from the podium. Don't be too complicated. once again. If you really need something use index cards. Use humour to help win over the audience and make your speech stand out.
Experiment with different styles and try to find one that you are comfortable with. .and it's more likely to be successful. • The best thing to do is watch other speakers and see how they combine the various elements. However the only real way to develop a good style is to try to speak on a regular basis and listen to the advice of adjudicators and the more experienced debaters.
Different people use slight variations on this but this is the basic one. and even destroy. Often speed is important to get in first. So you should make sure that you have enough space to stand up quickly and at a split second's notice (without sending your notes flying towards the podium). ideas and argument. hold your left hand out (place your right hand on your head. and then use the time to check what they will say next while half listening to the person offering the point. Once you have been accepted stand facing the speaker at the podium but also try to half face the chair and audience.Points of information Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn • Points of Information are a vital part of any debate and should not be underestimated. Presentation: • When giving a point of information you are expected to stand up. especially if they have to ask you to .O. The max.O. If your point is only about 5 sec.I. an opponents speech. If you can do without a bench for writing. in duration it doesn't give them enough time and is more likely to catch them (especially if the point is weak and wouldn't work well if they had time to think about it).I. It looks bad if they have to stop to think what to say. Before and after your speech you can't just sit quietly and enjoy the other speeches. honestly!) and say "On a point of information sir". Once they know what the next part of their speech is they work out an answer to your point. short and to the point. If however you can't then use a seat at the end of a row so that you need only stand out to the side. Remember that many speakers like to take a P. You must keep the adjudicators aware of your presence.I. can be used as a weapon to undermine. if possible.O. Also P. time allowed is 15sec but you should try for between 5 and 10 sec. but that is no guarantee that you will be accepted. then a front row seat is ideal. Keep your P.
It has been known to annoy adjudicators if taken too far and there IS a precedence for having speakers disqualified. he/she is unlikely to accept a point. If you decide to use this type of style be very careful. for breath etc. • Timing is important. Different people have different styles when it comes to Points of Information. I've found that a point is more likely to be accepted in this type of case but you can't wait for too long as the point could then be out of place. by the speaker and then offer the point. Some people (no names) like to virtually barrage opposing speakers with every point which pops into their head. This can be very difficult to deal with and takes some getting used to. This involves leaving weak points go and use just one or two attacking the central core of the speech once it has developed a bit. This can be very difficult to deal with and takes some getting used to. If someone has killed off every other speaker on your side be careful and don't assume that you can handle them. Obviously you have to be quick and good reflexes are needed to be on your feet literally within a split second. It has been known to annoy adjudicators if taken too far and there IS a precedence for having speakers disqualified. Accepting: • When you are speaking you should accept 2-3 points. Accept someone else ideally someone who .repeat it. Styles: • Different people have different styles when it comes to Points of Information. • Most speakers prefer to just wait and see how a speech develops. Watch out for good speakers. The trick is to just ignore it if possible and make your speech. If a speaker is in full stride and knows exactly where they are going for the next few seconds. Wait for a pause. Some people (no names) like to virtually barrage opposing speakers with every point which pops into their head. The trick is to just ignore it if possible and make your speech. If you decide to use this type of style be very careful.
has been offering poor points all night. . Always try to dismiss a point as incorrect or irrelevant. Always deal with the point that is offered. but you can cut that person off before this if they are making a very poor point and particularly if you have a good put-down to use on them. A point ignored is allowed to stand and will go against you in adjudication. Never accept a point as true. unless the offerer has made a mistake and it backs up your argument. Points should not be longer than 15 sec.
Y. In some cases the motion will be worded in such a way as to permit a wide variety of Definitions (e.g. This is. which allow little flexibility for Definition (e. Worlds 98.g. Opposition Leader. . “This house believes that Northern Nationalists have nothing to fear from a United Kingdom” Irish Times 96). “What you are going to do” is the debatable part of the definition. Saying that something is wrong and this is how it should be is not enough. Example “This house favours Positive Discrimination”. a very difficult line to win from. Poor Defn: People have been discriminated against because of their sex/race/etc and they shouldn’t be in the future therefore we’ll use something called Positive Discrimination. and Z under the umbrella name of Positive Discrimination. It is the duty of the “Prime Minister” to define the topic of the debate BUT it must be clearly linked to the Motion. You must then fully outline what actions X. Or (b) that Nato should not expand membership eastward. When Defining make sure that you have an argument. You have to propose something. “This house believes that the Glass is half full”. You must say that something is wrong and THIS is what you are going to do about it.) Others will be tighter motions. Y.Roles in a debate Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn Prime Minister (Opening Speaker). Better Definition: People have been discriminated against because of their sex/race/etc and to correct that we are going to take actions X. in my experience. For example “This house would rebuild the Berlin Wall” (Worlds 96) is often defined as repartitioning of Germany and a return to Communism. As 1st Government you should look for a twist to the motion. and Z are and how they will work. Two more “successful” definitions which I have seen run are that the Berlin Wall represented a division between East and west and that (a) the EU should not allow Eastern Bloc countries membership until they have fulfilled certain Social and Economic Criteria.
Deputy Opposition Leader. If he/she has been torn apart then don’t jump ship. “CLARIFY” what your teammate said. very certain that it isn’t) then you must submit an alternative definition. Then deal with the points made by the government and link back the reason for them being flawed to whatever your team’s central case is. The rest should involve outlining a “substantive” opposition case. You must further develop your team’s argument. If it isn’t (and be very. Judges will look out for that and will penalise a “Dump” severely.It is your role to set out the opposition to the Governments case. You have only seen one speaker so you can’t make a “Last Opp Speech” Look at it in terms of proportions. You cannot simply say “That’s a Truistic/self proving” argument. You have only 7min (or less) to come up with your opposition case but provided that the Government have presented a debatable case you will be expected to handle the limited time for preparation. or at least to modify the Governments case to make it debatable. Rebut what the first opposition speaker has said but don’t spend all your time rebutting. You’ve only seen a quarter of the Government therefore at most a quarter of your speech should be rebuttal. It is also your duty to decide if the case is debatable. spend seven minutes outlining why and sit down. If you do that then you will have failed to do your duty as 1st opposition. Deputy Prime Minister. If you have the ability to spot a truistic argument then you should have the ability to redefine. Remember the role of last Opp is to rebut all four Government speakers in his/her 7 min and sum up the entire opposition case. Don’t abandon your case because you realise that it is flawed. Your team’s case can’t have been fully outlined and developed so to spend 7 min attacking one opposition speaker is no win tactic. Outline and develop your case. You will gain more marks for bailing your teammate out than for jumping ship and engaging the opposition on their ground leaving your teammate behind. You must back up your teammate. .
As with the second government speaker you must back up your teammate. and IF it was a valid redefinition then you must decide if you are going to follow the Government line or switch to the definition which the Opposition as offered and take them on at that. A good guideline is that you should spend double the amount of time rebutting that your teammate and therefore the rest of your speech is reserved for YOUR team’s case. . you must present a debatable definition. If you remember this it should help you avoid the trap that a lot of Opp speakers fall into of 100% point-by-point rebuttal. Constructive opposition always looks better than mere opposition for opposition’s sake. You may however bring in an “extension” this allows you to bring in a new point of view while still roughly following the Government line. It is also possible to take a combination of both but you will have to be careful not to tangle your argument up in trying to tie the two definitions together. which was debatable but weak and has been thorn apart you cannot simply stab them in the back. It is an easy way out and doesn’t really lend anything to the debate. Therefore simply by developing it you are rebutting the government. Remember that your team’s case should be set up in such a way that it in itself rebuts the government case. There is a misconception that the opposition just have to oppose and don’t have to lend any constructive argument or matter to the debate. You are the first speaker in the second half of the debate. Again just. as with 1st government. Now you have options to consider If there has been a redefinition. People will get away with this from time to time but the recent trend in adjudication is to frown on that. This applies in debating as well as most things in life. Don’t abandon your case because you realise that it is flawed. Be careful. If the Government presented a case. Fix it but don’t get an entirely new one. Member for the Government (3rd Gov Speaker).
and there will be no come back from your teammate. As you develop your case use it to rebut the opposition. It is up to you to set out AND fully develop your team’s case. You are almost in an individual debate against 3rd Opp speaker and your argument must be fully developed or he/she will destroy you. Member for the Opposition (3rd Opposition Speaker). You can’t give a 100% rebuttal speech and you also are limited in that your teammate will not be in a position to spend a lot of time developing your case (see Opposition Whip’s role). In short you must do . Remember as well that the 3rd opposition speaker has probably spent a sizable amount of time attacking your teammate so you should spend some time on your team line and counteracting the attack on it. (last Gov speaker) Both Whips will be penalised if you do not Sum up your side and rebut the opposition. Government Whip. showing how it links to AND backs up the original government case. You must rebut what the 1st Gov team said but it is primarily your duty to take on the extension provided by the 2nd Gov team. Remember you have to provide matter of your teams argument in such a way that it stands out from the other teams. Also remember that a sizable amount of your teammate’s speech will involve summing up the entire Government case and rebutting the opposition. As with all government speakers you cannot spend all you 7 min rebutting the opposition. If your teammate has to spend all his/her time bailing you out then you have failed and have dragged him/her down with you. In my experience this is a difficult position in terms of strategy. You can develop your team line a little but the vast majority of your time must be spent summing up the ENTIRE government case and rebutting the Opposition arguments.Your role is to develop your team line. You should concentrate on the third Government speaker in your rebuttal. If first opposition have done their job then the time you spend rebutting the 1st Gov team will in effect be going over what they have done and impinging on your teammate’s role. Outline and fully develop YOUR team line. He/She will have little time to further develop your team’s case so you must do a good job on your team line.
You should not bring new information into the debate but remember that by new information we mean new core arguments and examples. In your rebuttal you may bring in new examples. Rebut. You have had almost an hour to develop your speech and this is a huge advantage. it may go against the textbook structure of a speech but it is accepted practice. oh and sum up. unfairly. Opposition Whip. You are in pole position.3 distinct things: (1) Sum up your team line. . A lot of last Opp speakers make the mistake of just rebutting and not summing up. Don’t get carried away with your rebuttal and leave your sum up for the last 30 seconds. (2) Sum up the first Government’s arguments (3) Rebut the Opposition. Ideally aim to start your sum up of the Opp case with about 1. which relate directly to the points you are rebutting but you cannot make them the central plank on which your entire argument is based. A lot of last Opp speakers will deal with the Government speakers almost one at a time and this generally works quite well and lends a structure to your speech. penalise you for only spending a few seconds on sum up. Rebut. Remember that there are a lot of inexperienced judges out there who may not recognise that you have mixed summation and rebuttal in your speech and will.5 to 2 minutes left. You can use your last protected minute to sum up the entire debate and not just your speech. Remember that while you cannot stab the 1st government in the back you should really reinforce your team line and then sum up the rest of the Government argument. However you should also try to have a clearly defined period of summation. Ideally you should use a summary of what has been said by the opposition up to now as your rebuttal. Rebut. (Last speaker of the debate) Rebut.
4 Points of Information should not exceed 15 seconds in length.4.4. The member may announce that they would like to ask a “Point of Information” or use other words to this effect.4.5 The member who is speaking may ask the person offering the Point of Information to sit down where the offeror has had a reasonable opportunity to be heard and understood. . 1.6 Members should attempt to answer at least two Points of Information during their speech. place one hand on his or her head and extend the other towards the member speaking.1 Speeches should be seven minutes in duration (this should be signalled by two strikes of the gavel).5.8 Points of Order and Points of Personal Privilege are not permitted. a member should stand.2 Points of Information may only be offered between the first minute mark and the six-minute mark of the speech (this period should be signalled by one strike of the gavel at the first minute and one strike at the sixth minute).1 The definition o o 2.1 The definition should state the issue (or issues) for debate arising out of the motion and state the meaning of any terms in the motion which require interpretation. 1.7 Points of Information should be assessed in accordance with clause 3. 1.2 To ask a Point of Information.Key extracts from WUDC criteria Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn These are key sections from the Adjudication criteria of the World Universities Debating Championships and are increasingly used at British & Irish IVs and around the world.3 The member who is speaking may accept or decline to answer the Point of Information. Speeches over seven minutes and 15 seconds may be penalised. Members should also offer Points of Information.4.4 Points of Information o 18.104.22.168 of these rules.4.1. 1. 1. 1.1 Points of Information (questions directed to the member speaking) may be asked between first minute mark and the six minute mark of the members’ speeches (speeches are of seven minutes duration).4. 2.3.5. 1.5 Timing of the speeches o o o o o o o 1. 1. 1. 1.
1. 2. the Closing Government may challenge the definition of the Opening Opposition and substitute an alternative definition.3.1 The adjudicator should determine the definition to be ‘unreasonable’ where it violates clause 2.a definition is self-proving when the case is that something should or should not be done and there is no reasonable rebuttal.3 of these rules.3. 2.this means that the definition cannot restrict the debate so narrowly to a particular geographical or political location that a participant of the tournament could not reasonably be expected to have knowledge of the place. the opposition should substitute an alternative definition that should be accepted by the adjudicator provided it is not unreasonable.4 Where the definition of the Opening Government is unreasonable and an alternative definition is substituted by the Opening Opposition.2.2 The Prime Minister should provide the definition at the beginning of his or her speech. A definition is may also be self-proving when the case is that a certain state of affairs exists or does not exist and there is no reasonable rebuttal (these definitions are sometimes referred to as “truisms”). (c) not be time set .3.3 Assessing the definitional challenge o o 2. 2.2 The onus to establish that the definition is unreasonable is on the members asserting that the definition is unreasonable.3 Where the definition is unreasonable.2 The Leader of the Opposition should substitute an alternative definition after challenging the definition of the Prime Minister. and (d) not be place set unfairly . 2.this means that an average reasonable person would accept the link made by the member between the motion and the definition (where there is no such link the definition is sometimes referred to as a “squirrel”). the Closing Government may introduce matter which is inconsistent with the matter presented by the Opening Government and consistent with the definition of the Opening Opposition.5 If the Opening Opposition has substituted a definition that is also unreasonable.o 2.1 The Leader of the Opposition may challenge the definition if it violates clause 2. 2.3.2. The Leader of the Opposition should clearly state that he or she is challenging the definition.2 Challenging the definition o o 2.3 of these rules. 2.3 The definition must: (a) have a clear and logical link to the motion .this means that the debate must take place in the present and that the definition cannot set the debate in the past or the future. 2.1. o o o o .1.3.1. 2. (b) not be self-proving .
o 2. . the Closing Opposition may challenge the definition of the Closing Government and substitute an alternative definition.3.6 If the Closing Government has substituted a definition that is also unreasonable (in addition to the unreasonable definitions of the Opening Government and Opening Opposition.
This is best done by having a clear structure. (“The-always-compare-the-opposition-to-Hitlerrule”) Even if you really are in favour of assasinating Tony Blair. Content should be relevant. In a debate on an ethical or moral issue. from The Irish Times to The Economist. CARDINAL RULES Every aspect of your participation in a debate should be directed towards persuading the audience and adjudicators to either support or reject the motion. “Specialist” arguments based on knowledge acquired in your particular academic discipline are not welcome (and probably not very interesting if you are a neurophysics PhD) . Always try and present your argument as being more reasonable than that of your opponent. interesting and ideally. An argument must make an impact while remaining logical. 10 VITAL COMPONENTS OF A SUCESSFUL SPEECH 1.the content that you use in any debate should be available in popularly read quality current affairs material. The ability to address earlier contributions while remaining original is an important balance to strike in the presentation of an argument. this isn’t likely to be a winning argument in a debate on New Labour. extensive reading may be necessary unless you are particularly wellinformed in that area. some points are so commonly understood and accepted that they verge on the axiomatic. Whilst no specific marking scheme is used. but on a specific economic or political topic. and are offered here as general guidelines. Argument The basis of every successful speech is a coherent argument. innovative. according to what side you are on. little research may be required. and many adjudicators will legitimately disagree on what wins debates. 2. . Content Content distinguishes a good argument from an array of unsupported assertions. A chain of thought and clear progression is important to avoid losing the audience. A successful speaker will always have a clear argument which is continuously impressed upon the adjudicators in a convincing fashion. Experience shows that the only protection against irrationality or subjectivity is an experienced and qualified panel of adjudicators.Irish Times Adjudication Criteria Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn ADJUDICATION CRITERIA Adjudicating debates is an inexact science.
They should be short and directly relevant to the point that the speaker is currently making.as you are making your own points you should refer to the weaknesses that they expose in the opposition’s case. 7. too quickly or in monotone will detract from an otherwise strong performance. gesture. a clear and audible delivery. and freedom from notes. It is critical to undermine the arguments of opposing speakers and this should be incorporated into your own speech. such as speaking too softly or loudly. Reading is not debating and will be penalised by any adjudication panel. it is irrelevant and a waste of time. It includes conviction. eye contact. not an exchange of position papers. that while a successful stand-up routine might persuade an audience or adjudication panel that a speaker has a great sense of humour. Your speech is not a question-and-answer session. humour. Obvious stylistic weaknesses. Humour Humour can help you to win over an audience and can make your speech stand out from the rest. or failure to answer them undermines your argument. The whole point of your participation is to undermine the stance taken by the opposite side . by continually offering points at short intervals (“barracking”). Each speaker should offer points of information throughout the duration of the debate. Points of Information A speaker is not obliged to accept points of information but it is recommended that speakers accept 2 or 3 points during a speech. presence. They should be accepted at an appropriate time.3. 4. Style and Presentation This is a general heading incorporating a speaker’s general competence as an orator. 5. tone.never in the middle of outlining a particular argument or example and answered decisively. Remember though. Many of the best speakers have quite a quite a distinctive style. as it will excessively distract you from the central purpose of offering your own argument. A fluent speaker will be more persuasive as he/she will appear to be more convinced of the truth of what they are saying. Refusal to accept any points. as you appear unwilling or unable to defend it from attack. Frequently. while retaining your own argument and structure. the most effective use of humour is as a tool to ridicule the position of your opponents. unless there is a point to it. If you deliver a pre-prepared speech for five minutes. 6. Fluency A good speech must be delivered fluently with minimal use of notes. or by offering points at an . Abuse of this facility so as to upset or distract a speaker. and then say “now for some rebuttal” you are missing the point. Never forget that a debate is an argument with rules. Refutation/Rebuttal This is the ability to effectively attack the critical point of an opponents position. Accepting 4 or more points of information is generally regarded as unwise. .
and explaining what he/she believes is at issue in the debate. If the second speaker for a team departs from his/her partner’s argument. but a new argument. but should in almost every case. the greater the responsibility to refute arguments already made. Indeed. by showing how the arguments that have been offered in the intervening time have not effectively undermined the team line. accept it and work with it. Only in the very rare situation of a “squirrel” (where the proposition have defined the motion in such an unreasonable fashion that their definition bears no relation to any meaning that could reasonably be ascribed to the text of the motion) is the opposition entitled to disregard the definition offered by the proposition. it is often the case that successful individuals will in some way add a novel dimension or perspective to the debate. or a reworked version of an existing argument. Order of Speaking Different responsibilities attach to different positions on the order paper. The individual speakers are “sandwiched” in the middle of the debate.will be heavily penalised. and the principal arguments will typically have been made by the first speaker on each of the teams. The first speaker in a team should set out the argument of the team with supporting examples and the second speaker should defend it. the later a speaker is on an order paper. and substitute their own definition.inappropriate time . The first opposition speaker may respond to this definition. Teamwork A team speaker will be judged as such. Individual Speakers In the subsequent rounds of the Irish Times there are individual speakers as well as teams. The first proposition speaker has the specific responsibility of defining the motion. and the lesser the responsibility to introduce new material. each team is free to adopt its own different arguments. different structure and different examples to argue their side of the motion. the first speaker from each team should clearly state what that team will seek to argue. will be welcome.an individual will not be rewarded for introducing completely different subject matter. A successful team will have a coherent argument which unifies both of their speeches. Although what is at issue in the debate should now be apparent. 8. he/she will be heavily penalised. They should not introduce . Because they have no team-mate to reiterate their argument. As a general rule. Thereafter. as set out by the first speaker. 10. the last speakers for the proposition and the opposition should sum up the arguments made by all of the speakers on their side of the motion and rebut the arguments of the opposing teams. used to prove the same point.when a speaker is patently only introducing or outlining the basis of his argument . There is an important distinction between novelty and irrelevance . 9.
new arguments . .rather. they should confine themselves to reiterating the arguments advanced by their teammate.
there had been a new plastic invented that was stronger and cheaper than steel.utoronto. instead. If you do see one of your cases in here. A good friend of novelist G.sa. Stronger. These flaws didn't necessarily make the mysteries easier or harder to solve. the list of debating sins that is to follow is not a list of approaches to case-writing that will necessarily lead to either victory or defeat. in case we doubted. Cheaper. Rather. Then. a list of common problems which often lead to awkward debates. It is. DON'T DEBATE ISSUES OF PERSONAL TASTE. President of CUSID and two time Canadian National Champion In 1929. Knox was disturbed by many common flaws in detective stories of the time. In the same way. he compiled this list which has come to be known as "The Sins of Father Knox". Why ? Because it's very dull and you should be able to win a debate that isn't just factually true. a Catholic priest by the name of Father Ronald Arbuthnolt Knox put together a list of commandments outlining ten 'sire which he wished to bring to the attention of the public.K. and we're all still learning. Chesterton 'The Father Brown Mysteries'). I also want to make it clear that this list is neither exhaustive nor is it intended to condemn those debaters who ran the cases that serve as models for these 'sins'. one of them who was in engineer helpfully sketched the new plastic atom in the air with her finger.html The Sins of Father Noogan By Jason Brent former Hart House debater. I'll accept articles on this scientific miracle. don't be upset . Hmmnun. A team got up and told us that although none of us had heard of it.ca/sins_of_Noogan.we've all run cases like these at one time or another. and low scores. Thus. DON'T SIMPLY PROPOSE THE EMPLOYMENT OF A NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD BE AN OBVIOUS IMPROVEMENT (ESPECIALLY IF ITS NOT WIDELY KNOWN). Why haven't we heard about this plastic yet ? Please. it seems like years ago). They merely led to sloppy and ultimately unsatisfying stories. I searched my debating experience for an example of this until I remembered a round at a tournament (jeez. 1. jumbled reasoning. 2. . One or two of my own cases may be in here and I have attempted to choose cases run by top notch debaters so that their authors will likely be shielded by their egos. Sounds good to me. This was not a religious or moral text. Their proposal: use it when we build bridges. it was a list of guidelines for writers of mysteries.The sins of Father Noogan Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn Taken from the University of Toronto website at: http://hhdebate.
indeed. but what's the point of creating an unpleasant situation? This doesn't mean that you can't discuss emotionally charged issues but you should employ some common sense and try to give your opponents an out. it's generally a good idea to debate about something other people might care about. It isn't so much that it's unfair. It's funny when you're fourteen. it's time to grow up. True. and if it's very well done.'Freshly brewed coffee is better than instant'. What does better mean and who cares? This case have been better if four of these even arguments hadn't contained the word "smell". 6. 9. DON'T RELY ON JOKES ABOUT THE DEBATING CIRCUIT. can provide decent fodder for a pub round. At the last Dublin Worlds it was erotic auto-asphyxiation (if you don't know .DON'T RELY ON THE COMEDIC VALUE OF SEXUAL INNUENDO. 5. when all the jokes have more than run their course. DON'T USE THE STOCK ISSUE OR JOKE OF THE MOMENT AS THE BASIS FOR A CASE. DON'T DEBATE AN ISSUE WHICH COULD REQUIRE YOUR OPPONENTS TO TAKE AN EMOTIONALLY TRAUMATIC STANCE.don't ask). you probably shouldn't have been running it in the first place. DON'T DEBATE PAROCHIAL SUBJECTS WITHOUT BROADER PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES. and you will probably be blamed (quite rightly) for what has happened. When abortion was . to get good scores and gain the respect of other debaters. Often these can make for one or funny speeches but ultimately it would be dull and confusing for much your audience. Etiquette alone dictates that you not run other people's cases. The rules of conduct at Canadian Coast Guard College may. Aside from this. Despite the fact that your specialisation may hold almost limitless fascination for you. slightly amusing when you're sixteen. you're dead. what we do is a sport and you have to be able to speak from either side of controversial issues. it's just deathly boring. 4. You'll also have to speak last. It requires a much deeper understanding of an idea to defend it that to simply present it and you should consider that before you start. be unfairly enforced but does your judge really want to hear about it for more than a half an hour ? 7. Hint. if you propose a case about gay-positive activism and lose to a team that uses phrases such as 'turdburglar' and 'butt-pirate". DON'T DEBATE EXTREMELY COMPLEX PLANS. At my Novice it was Ben Johnson and steroids (a topic which my partner and I strayed dangerously close). it still sounds trite and if you don't. 8. Remember. If you do it well. DON"T DEBATE SOMEONE ELSE'S CASE (ESPECIALLYIFYOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT). This is obvious. 3. it's unlikely that anyone else wants to hear the details of your personal plan for senate reform or international economic union.
that's great but if you're in a debate. DON'T PROPOSE SOMETHING THAT IS SOLELY HUMOROUS. several people left the room and many tears were shed. Entertainment may be demanded by crowds in open rounds and humour is a good way to win them over but save the legions of jokes for public speaking. If you're good enough to get there. SERIOUS OR IRONIC. If you're funny. 10. which is tough if you have neglected to introduce one. you have to defend your view on an issue. then you'd be good enough to say something worth listening to. A few years ago a Smith College team had to oppose the case: 'it is better to be gangraped than to be raped by only one person". WITHOUT ANY UNDERLYING DIRECTION. || .debated at Concordia last year. Many impromptu and final round debates in high school are like this. Would you really like to be remembered as the person who ran a case like that? Decency should be the key word in matters of this nature.
where specific subjects are covered individually. The ones contained in this book may finally give an insight on why Oxford has been so successful at bringing new speakers through their ranks faster than most major societies. that's probably a recommendation in itself. Every self respecting Debating society should invest in a copy. Since its first publication in 1896 the handbook has been regularly updated and this edition includes issues such as censorship of the Internet.co. structure. and types of debate and offering tips on how to become a successful speaker. I also recommend you purchase through amazon.99 is not much when compared to the thousands of pounds many societies spend travelling around the circuit each year. Most societies engaged in competitive debating hold workshops for new speakers. I paid £5 more through a bookshop and had to wait two weeks for them to order it. It contains Public Speaking tips and suggestions for everyone from those preparing for the World Championships to Wedding Speeches and Business Presentations.).Debating Books Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn The Two books listed below should compliment each other and are a must buy Pros & Cons: A debaters handbook by Trevor Sather.00 (Hardcover) (prices in sterling) This is an excellent book. The book is then divided into six thematic sections. Dom Hughes and Ben Phillips were finalists in the 1998 World Debating championships held in Athens. Official Blurb: This handbook is a guide to controversies. Will Hutton I strongly recommend this book. £11. It is a must buy for anyone interested in Public speaking. genetic engineering and legalization of prostitution. I recommend that anyone who is serious about debating purchase a copy of this book. World Championships) situation.99 (Paperback) £35. Arguments for and against each subject appear in adjacent columns for comparison and related topics and suggestions for motions are listed at the end of each entry. I purchased a copy some months ago and was surprised at just how good it was (it was "borrowed" at the Worlds in Sydney and not returned. It will not replace the need to do research (as the authors admit in the book) but it is an invaluable aid in training and helping to gather your thoughts particularly in a 15 min prep (e. The introductory essay describes debating technique: covering the rules. However methods of conducting these workshops vary from college to college and most have limited success. providing material for debate on a wide range of topics. Greece.uk Price: £11. amazon. As with P&C any serious debating society should invest in a copy of this book (several copies actually).co. However this book goes far beyond Debating and British Parliamentary. Certainly these workshops will .uk.g. The part I was particularly impressed by was the Workshops and Tutorials contained in the book.
The essential tool for anyone wishing to become an accomplished public speaker The guide to giving the best 'best man' speech ever Practical tips for presenting persuasive business presentations Advice on how to choose. Henry Kissinger.00 (20%) In The Oxford Union Guide to Public Speaking. Mother Teresa.99 You save: £ 2. Billy Joel. . It is the place US senators visited to ask advice on the conduct of debates. Official Blurb: The Oxford Union Guide to Successful Public Speaking Author: Dr Dominic Hughes and Benedict Phillips Published: 25 May 2000 Pages: 240 Price: £9. a breeding ground for great orators . Dr Dominic Hughes and Benedict Phillips. the Oxford Union's most successful debating pair in recent years.from the wedding address to the boardroom presentation. including the Dalai Lama. Stephen Hawking and Diego Maradona.99 Discount Price: £ 7. give tips and advice on all forms of public speaking . Yasser Arafat. Malcolm X.and it has attracted an unparalleled collection of speakers over the years. the Oxford Union has established itself as the world's leading forum for debate. prepare and present your speech The secrets behind writing and performing great speeches clearly explained Case studies and lessons from famous speeches and speakers Since it was founded in 1823. The Oxford Union is the only institution with the experience and stature to produce the definitive guide to public speaking. Ronald Reagan.form the backbone of the workshops to be conducted at the Limerick Debating Union next season.six former Union Presidents and Vice-Presidents have gone on to become Prime Minister .
Opening Opposition: "Leader of the Opposition" or "First Opposition member" and "Deputy Leader of the Opposition" or "Second Opposition member".1 The debate will consist of four teams of two persons (persons will be known as "members"). 1. .World Championships Criteria Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn World Universities Debating Championship World Parliamentary Debating Rules By Ray D’Cruz Part 1— Introduction 1. (2) Opposition Leader.1.2 Teams will consist of the following members: Opening Government: "Prime Minister" or "First Government member" and "Deputy Prime Minister" or "Second Government member". (3) Deputy Prime Minister. a chairperson (known as the "Speaker of the House" or "Mister/Madame Speaker" and an adjudicator or panel of adjudicators. 1.1.1. Closing Government: "Member for the Government" or "Third Government member" and "Government Whip" or "Fourth Opposition member".3 Members will deliver substantive speeches in the following order: (1) Prime Minister.1 The format of the debate 1. Closing Opposition: "Member for the Opposition" or "Third Opposition member" and "Opposition Whip" or "Fourth Opposition member".
1.2 The motion should reflect that the World Universities Debating Championship is an international tournament.3.2 The motion 1. 1.1 Points of Information (questions directed to the member speaking) may be asked between first minute mark and the six minute mark of the members’ speeches (speeches are of seven minutes duration). (8) Opposition Whip.4.3 The members should debate the motion in the spirit of the motion and the tournament.3.(4) Deputy Opposition Leader. (5) Member for the Government.2. . place one hand on his or her head and extend the other towards the member speaking. The member may announce that they would like to ask a "Point of Information" or use other words to this effect.1 The debate should commence 15 minutes after the motion is announced.3 The member who is speaking may accept or decline to answer the Point of Information.2. newspapers and other similar materials. 1.3 Preparation 1. 1. (6) Member for the Opposition.1 The motion should be unambiguously worded. a member should stand. 1.1.2 To ask a Point of Information.4 Members will deliver a substantive speech of seven minutes duration and should offer points of information while members of the opposing teams are speaking. 1.2. 1. The use of electronic equipment is prohibited during preparation and in the debate.4.4 Points of Information 1. 1. 1.2 Teams should arrive at their debate within five minutes of the scheduled starting time for that debate. 1. (7) Government Whip.3 Members are permitted to use printed or written material during preparation and during the debate. journals.4.3. Printed material includes books.
1. 2. The verbal adjudication should be delivered in accordance with clause 5.4.5. from first placed to last placed. 1. the adjudicators should confer and rank the teams. it is the duty of the Chair of the Adjudication panel to ensure that speeches are timed.4.1.2 Points of Information may only be offered between the first minute mark and the six minute mark of the speech (this period should be signalled by one strike of the gavel at the first minute and one strike at the sixth minute).6.1. Part 2 — Definitions 2.6 The adjudication 1. 1.5 Timing of the speeches 1. (see Part 5: The Adjudication).4 of these rules. where this is possible.1 The definition 2.1 Speeches should be seven minutes in duration (this should be signalled by two strikes of the gavel).6. 1. 1. 1. 1.3.5. Members should also offer Points of Information. 1.1 The definition should state the issue (or issues) for debate arising out of the motion and state the meaning of any terms in the motion which require interpretation. 1. 1. 1.5 of these rules.4 Points of Information should not exceed 15 seconds in length.3 It is the duty of the Speaker of the House to time speeches.2 The Prime Minister should provide the definition at the beginning of his or her speech.4 In the absence of the Speaker of the House. . 1.4.7 Points of Information should be assessed in accordance with clause 3.6 Members should attempt to answer at least two Points of Information during their speech.8 Points of Order and Points of Personal Privilege are not permitted.2 At the conclusion of the debate.4.3 There will be verbal adjudications of the debate after the first six preliminary rounds of the tournament.6. Speeches over seven minutes and 15 seconds may be penalised.5.1 The debate should be adjudicated by a panel of at least three adjudicators.5 The member who is speaking may ask the person offering the Point of Information to sit down where the offeror has had a reasonable opportunity to be heard and understood.4.5.
(c) not be time set .1.1 The adjudicator should determine the definition to be ‘unreasonable’ where it violates clause 2. and (d) not be place set unfairly .1.2 The Leader of the Opposition should substitute an alternative definition after challenging the definition of the Prime Minister. 2.3.1 The definition of matter . the Closing Opposition may challenge the definition of the Closing Government and substitute an alternative definition. A definition is may also be self-proving when the case is that a certain state of affairs exists or does not exist and there is no reasonable rebuttal (these definitions are sometimes referred to as "truisms").3. The Leader of the Opposition should clearly state that he or she is challenging the definition.this means that the definition cannot restrict the debate so narrowly to a particular geographical or political location that a participant of the tournament could not reasonably be expected to have knowledge of the place.2.3 Assessing the definitional challenge 2. Part 3 — Matter 3.3.a definition is self-proving when the case is that something should or should not be done and there is no reasonable rebuttal. the Closing Government may introduce matter which is inconsistent with the matter presented by the Opening Government and consistent with the definition of the Opening Opposition. the Closing Government may challenge the definition of the Opening Opposition and substitute an alternative definition.6 If the Closing Government has substitued a definition that is also unreasonable (in addition to the unreasonable definitions of the Opening Government and Opening Opposition.3.3.3 of these rules. 2.3 The definition must: (a) have a clear and logical link to the motion .4 Where the definition of the Opening Government is unreasonable and an alternative definition is substituted by the Opening Opposition. 2.5 If the Opening Opposition has substitued a definition that is also unreasonable.3 Where the definition is unreasonable.2 The onus to establish that the definition is unreasonable is on the members asserting that the definition is unreasonable. 2.2.1.this means that an average reasonable person would accept the link made by the member between the motion and the definition (where there is no such link the definition is sometimes referred to as a "squirrel").2.this means that the debate must take place in the present and that the definition cannot set the debate in the past or the future.2 Challenging the definition 2.3 of these rules. 2. 2.1 The Leader of the Opposition may challenge the definition if it violates clause 2.3. (b) not be self-proving . 2. the opposition should substitute an alternative definition that should be accepted by the adjudicator provided it is not unreasonable. 2.
‘The elements of matter’ should assist an adjudicator to assess the persuasiveness and credibility of the matter presented. It is the arguments a debater uses to further his or her case and persuade the audience.2.1 The matter presented should be persuasive.3. race. Members should ensure that the matter they present is consistent within their speech.2. 3. logical and consistent.3.3. 3.1 Matter should be relevant.3 Matter includes positive (or substantive) material and rebuttal (arguments specifically aimed to refute the arguments of the opposing team(s)).3.4 Matter should be consistent. 3. Adjudicators should analyse the matter presented and assess its persuasiveness. Debaters should not be discriminated against on the basis of religion. their team and the remainder of the members on their side of the debate (subject to clauses 2.3 Assessing matter 3.3. colour.2. sex. 3.2 Matter should be relevant. facts and any other material that attempts to further the case. sexual preference. age.6 of these rules).2 Matter should be assessed from the viewpoint of the average reasonable person. 3.2.3 Adjudicators should not allow bias to influence their assessment.3 Matter should be logical.2. 2.1. Arguments should be developed logically in order to be clear and wellreasoned and therefore plausible.4 Points of information should be assessed according to the effect they have on the persuasiveness of the cases of both the member answering the point of information and the member offering the point of information.1. 3.1. The conclusion of all arguments should support the member’s case.3. 3. It is the style and structure a member uses to further his or her case and persuade the audience. Part 4 — Manner 4. case studies.3. examples.6 All Members should attempt to answer at least two points of information during their own speech and offer points of information during opposing speeches. 3.1 Manner is the presentation of the speech. . Matter includes Points of Information. The Member should appropriately prioritise and apportion time to the dynamic issues of the debate.1.3.4. 3. 3.2 Matter includes arguments and reasoning. social status or disability.2. while disregarding any specialist knowledge they may have on the issue of the debate.1 The definition of manner 4.1 Matter is the content of the speech. 3. The Government Whip may choose to present positive matter.5 All Members should present positive matter (except the final two members in the debate) and all members should present rebuttal (except the first member in the debate). 3.5 or 2.2 The elements of matter 3. nationality. It should relate to the issues of the debate: positive material should support the case being presented and rebuttal should refute the material being presented by the opposing team(s).
4.6 The use of notes is permitted.2 The elements of style 4. there are many styles which are . conclusion and a series of arguments. The team should organise their matter to improve the effectiveness of their presentation. 4. 4. and (b) be well-timed in accordance with the time limitations and the need to prioritise and apportion time to matter.2.4. and 4. Members who use language which is too verbose or confusing may detract from the argument if they lose the attention of the audience. and volume of the member’s voice and the use of pauses. tone. voice modulation.3 The elements of structure 4.3 The matter of the team must be structured.2. Excessive hand movements may however be distracting and reduce the attentiveness of the audience to the arguments. but members should be careful that they do not rely on their notes too much and detract from the other elements of manner.3.4. The team should: (a) contain a consistent approach to the issues being debated.1 Adjudicators should assess the elements of manner together in order to determine the overall effectiveness of the member’s presentation.2. 4.2 Eye contact will generally assist a member to persuade an audience as it allows the member to appear more sincere.2 Adjudicators should be aware that at a World Championship. the use of notes and any other element which may affect the effectiveness of the presentation of the member.4 Assessing manner 4. Some.1. 4. Adjudicators should assess whether the member’s presentation is assisted or diminished by their manner. and (b) allocate positive matter to each member where both members of the team are introducing positive matter. 4.5 Language should be clear and simple.1 The elements of structure include the structure of the speech of the member and the structure of the speech of the team.2. 4.3. 4.2. 4.2. but not all.3.4 Hand gestures will generally assist a member to emphasise important arguments. The substantive speech of each members should: (a) include:an introduction.2 Manner is comprised of many separate elements. This includes the pitch. language.1 The elements of style include eye contact. hand gestures. 4.2 The matter of the speech of each member must be structured.3 Voice modulation will generally assist a member to persuade an audience as the debater may emphasise important arguments and keep the attention of the audience. of these elements are listed below.4. The member should organise his or her matter to improve the effectiveness of their presentation.
3 Teams may receive zero points where the adjudicators unanimously agree that the Member has (or Members have) harassed another debater on the basis of religion. social status or disability. the decision of the majority will determine the rankings. sex. Where there is a member of the panel who has dissented in the ranking of the teams.3 Adjudicators should acknowledge that adjudicators on a panel may form different or opposite views of the debate. second placed teams should be awarded two points. and that they should not discriminate against a member simply because the manner would be deemed ‘inappropriate Parliamentary debating’ in their own country.2 Ranking teams 5. colour. sex. the Chair of the panel of adjudicators will determine the rankings.1 The role of the adjudicator 5. (c) Determine the team grades.2. nationality.2. (e) Provide a verbal adjudication to the members.3 Adjudicators should not allow bias to influence their assessment. colour. 5.3. Adjudicators should therefore attempt to base their conclusions on these rules in order to limit subjectivity and to provide a consistent approach to the assessment of debates. 5. and (f) Complete any documentation required by the tournament. that adjudicator will not need to .1.4. race. language (subject to Rule 4. (b) Determine the rankings of the teams. 5.1 The adjudicator must: (a) Confer upon and discuss the debate with the other adjudicators. 4. Where a majority decision cannot be reached.1 The panel of adjudicators should agree upon the grade that each team is to be awarded. Where a unanimous decision cannot be reached after conferral. First placed teams should be awarded three points. sexual preference.1. Each adjudicator may then mark the teams at their discretion but within the agreed grade. Part 5 — The Adjudication 5.4 Adjudicators should confer upon team rankings. 5. nationality.2 Teams may receive zero points where they fail to arrive at the debate more than five minutes after the scheduled time for debate.2.1 Teams should be ranked from first place to last place. sexual preference or disability. race.4). third placed teams should be awarded one point and fourth placed teams should be awarded zero points. Adjudicators should therefore confer in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect 5. 5. age.2 The adjudication panel should attempt to agree on the adjudication of the debate. (d) Determine the speaker marks.2. 5.1.2.appropriate. Members should not be discriminated against on the basis of religion.3 Grading and marking the teams 5.
The standard you would expect to see from a speaker at the finals level or in contention to make to the finals. The standard you would expect to see from a team at the finals level or in contention to make to the finals. The team has clear problems and some minor strengths. The team has clear strengths and some minor weaknesses. The team has many strengths and few. This speaker has clear strengths and some minor weaknesses.2 Individual members’ marks should be given the following interpretation: Grade A Marks 90-100 Meaning Excellent to flawless.4. The team has strengths and weaknesses in roughly equal proportions. Average.2 Team grades and marks should be given the following interpretation: Grade A Marks 180-200 Meaning Excellent to flawless. The speaker has strengths and weaknesses and roughly equal proportions.3. Very poor. Average. 5. Above average to very good. Above average to very good. The standard you would expect to see from a team at the Semi Final / Grand Final level of the tournament. if any. This speaker has many strengths and few. strengths. B 80-89 C 70-79 . B 160-179 C 140-159 D 120-139 E 100-119 5. 5. The team has fundamental weaknesses and few.1 After the adjudicators have agreed upon the grade that each team is to be awarded.4. The standard of speech you would expect to see from a speaker at the Semi Final / Grand Final level of the tournament.4 Marking the members 5.agree upon the team grades and may complete their scoresheet at their own discretion. if any. weaknesses. each adjudicator may mark the individual members at their discretion but must ensure that the aggregate points of the team members is within the agreed grade for that team. Poor to below average. if any. weaknesses.
5.D 60-69 Average.6 The members may approach an adjudicator for further clarification following the verbal adjudication.5. Very poor.5. ensuring that each team is referred to in this explanation. these inquiries must at all times be polite and non-confrontational. 5.2 The verbal adjudication should be delivered by the Chair of the adjudication panel. by a member of the adjudication panel nominated by the Chair of the panel. 5. or where the Chair dissents.5. strengths.1 At the conclusion of the conferral.5 The members must not harass the adjudicators following the verbal adjudication.4 The verbal adjudication should not exceed 10 minutes. 5. if any.5.5 Verbal adjudications 5.5. . these inquiries must at all times be polite and non-confrontational. 5. the adjudication panel should provide a verbal adjudication of the debate.3 The verbal adjudication should: (a) identify the order in which the teams were ranked (b) explain the reasons for the rankings of team. and (c) provide constructive comments to individual members where the adjudication panel believes this is necessary. 5.5. This speaker has fundamental weaknesses and few. The speaker has strengths and weaknesses and roughly equal proportions. 5.4 The verbal adjudication should not exceed 10 minutes.5.5. 5. E 50-59 5.5 The members must not harass the adjudicators following the verbal adjudication.6 The members may approach an adjudicator for further clarification following the verbal adjudication.5.
strengths. Average. This speaker has fundamental weaknesses and few. B 80-89 C D E 70-79 60-69 50-59 . Above average to very good. This speaker has many strengths and few. The standard you would expect to see from a speaker at the semi-finals level or in contention to make to the semi-finals.L.Tab Sheets “What the judges get” Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn U. The standard of speech you would expect to see from a speaker at the Grand Final level of the tournament. Very poor. This speaker has clear strengths and some minor weaknesses. if any. Average. Debating Union IV Meanings of Grades & Marks Grade A Marks 90-100 Meaning Excellent to flawless. weaknesses. The speaker has strengths and weaknesses and roughly equal proportions. The speaker has strengths and weaknesses and roughly equal proportions. if any.
2 or 3) . 2 or 3) Team Points: (0. 1.University of Limerick. 1. 2 or 3) 2nd Opposition Team: (0. Otherwise the tab system will not work 1st Government Team: Team Points: 2nd Government Team: Team Points: 1st Opposition Team: (0. 1. Debating Union Intervarsity Speed Ballot Round: Venue: Motion: Chair: Please use the recommended marking system. 1. 2 or 3) Team Points: (0.
. 5. 2. is more sinned against than sinning. 6. This house believes that the U. 3. This house believes the father should be present at conception. This house believes ASEAN should rally behind Anwar.S. This house would let the information superhighway run free. This house supports the bombing of Iraq. 2. This house believes democracy is the best way forward for Russia. 9. 3. This house believes religious leaders should listen to opinion polls. This house would rehabilitate criminals. 5. This house would legalize prostitution.Motions from Past Worlds Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn List of Past WUDC motions Sydney 00 Final This house believes Marx would have approved of the internet. MANILA 99 First Rounds 1. This house believes art should be free from censorship. 4. 8. This house believes that federalism will not work for europe Octo Final: This house believes that old dictators should not have to face the music Qtr Final: This house believes that Media is more Powerful than the Government Semi Final: This House would get US bases out of Asia Final: This house believes Nethanyahu is the biggest obstacle to peace in Israel Masters: Semi-Finals: This House believes that Child Labour is necessary in developing countries First Round: This house would support global nuclear disarmament ATHENS 98 First Rounds This house believes in Economic policy before social policy This house would look to the East This house would put an immediate ban on land mines This house believes he who controls information technology controls the world This house believes that the glass is half full This house believes that marriage is an outdated institution This house believes that environmentalism is mostly hot air This house believes that liberty should be rationed This house would protect the rights of smokers Qtr Final : THis house would give national treasures back to its people Final: This house believes that humanitarism is a first world affectation STELLENBOSCH 97 First Rounds 1. 7. 4. This house has an unhealthy obsession with sport. This house believes that developing nations need strong dictatorship. This house believes globalization marginalises the poor.
6. 3. This House would open its doors to the world. Qtr Final: This house believes that the melting pot has failed. (enforced humour round) 7. This house would give racists a platform. 3. governs best. . This House believes that American culture is an oxymoron. 2. 3. This house would test nuclear weapons. This House believes that the government that governs least. Semi Final: This house would let the language die. This house would heed its priests. 4. This house would allow same-sex couples to adopt children. 8. 5. 9. This house believes that developing nations should adopt Western feminism. This House believes that Islam has had a bad press. 6. This house will regret the trade bloc. This house would sacrifice economic growth for the good of the environment. 5. Final: This house believes that strong dictatorship is better than weak democracy. This House believes that space exploration can no longer be justified. This House believes that the blood of East Timor is on Australia's hands. Octo Final: This house would reject big government. 6. 9. Octo Final: This house supports privatization Qtr Final: This house would adopt quotas. This House would plan for peace by preparing for war. 2. This House believes that the separation of church and state has gone too far. PRINCETON 95 First Rounds 1. (enforced humour round) 7. This house believes that fanaticism works. This house believes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a weak response. 8. This House believes economic sanctions should not be used to influence domestic policy. This House believes that the United Nations belongs on the ash-heap of history.6. 2. This House believes that capitalism is a dead end. This House believes that political correctness is the new McCarthyism. CORK 96 First Rounds 1. 5.This house would put pragmatism before its principles. 4. Final: This house would legalize all drugs. 9. Semi Final: This house believes that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. 7. This house would in trial by jury. This house believes that right is more important than peace. 8. This house would make the blood of the patriarchy run in the streets. Octo Final: This House supports the statement. 4. This house would rebuild the Berlin Wall. This House believes that there is in this age a dearth of heroes. "Yankee Go Home!" MELBOURNE 94 First Rounds 1. This House has more to fear than to hope from genetic engineering.
7. Reserved. (enforced humour round) 6. 8. DUBLIN 92 First Rounds 1. Final: This House believes that Machiavelli is the way to go. 5. This house would support the right to strike.Short men cast long shadows while the sun sets. 2. 9. 3. Semi Final: This House believes that the Pope should get married.7. Octo Final: The problems of the nation are better solved by the private sector than by government. Qtr Final: This house would give land for peace. This house would out-closet homosexuals. This house would abolish capital punishment. 8. This house believes that sex kills romance. This House believes that cricket is to sport as Rolls-Royce is to motorcars. This House believes that feminism should give way to multiculturalism. This house believes that freedom of the individual is a myth. (enforced humour round) Octo Final: This House believes that the state of the union is stuffed. Qtr Final: This House would support affirmative action. This House believes that the West will regret free trade. 4. Semi Final: A Federated Europe will protect the weak from the strong. This house rejects consensus. This house reveres the memory of the British Empire. This house would support positive discrimination. 9. . Final: Nationalism is a hangover from history.
Think of the argument/Core-team-line first. Don’t base your case on loads of facts and try to work towards an argument. A l . Explain & Rebut st O p p : R e b u t . then 3 main points to back it up and then the facts to back those up Analyse yourself & others (Thanks to Mark Dowling for this) Gov Case (4 steps) There is a problem This is the cause Here is our solution And it's effect Opp Case (pick one & attack) The problem doesn't exist That's not the right cause The solution isn't workable It won't have those effects Problem Cause Solution Effect This is one way to give structure to a government speech. It is also a highly effective method for the opposition to look at the Government case and say it falls down for any of the above four reasons (Opp doesn’t have to attack each area usually just one will do) Know your role 1st Gov: Define & Outline 12nd Gov: Defend. Have an argument. This should give you an edge in the debate as you will be talking about something you know well. Be Prepared Have a broad general knowledge of events issues etc BUT be sure to prepare 3 or 4 cases in advance for when you are defining “Open” motions.Summary Last updated 2000 by Colm Flynn So after all that how do you apply it in 15 min to prepare your speech.
Rebut. Extend. Backup & 4th Opp: Rebut.t e r n a t i v e . & Rebut n d O p p : R e b u t & D e f e n d 4th Gov: Explain. sum up . Sum up & Rebut3rd Opp: Rebut. ( R e D e f i n e ) 23rd Gov: Backup.
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