General Debate Format
Note: That while the debate is to be informative and present fact based opinion it also has a license to be entertaining.
Debate opens with the affirmative team (the team that supports the resolution) presenting their arguments, followed by a member of the opposing team. This pattern is repeated for the second speaker in each team. Finally, each team gets an opportunity for rebutting the arguments of the opponent. Speakers should speak slowly and clearly. The judges and members of the audience should be taking notes as the debate proceeds.
Sequence for debate, is as follows:
- The first speaker on the affirmative team presents arguments in support of the resolution. (5–10 minutes)
- The first speaker on the opposing team presents arguments opposing the resolution. (5–10 minutes)
- The second speaker on the affirmative team presents further arguments in support of the resolution, identifies areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the opposition speaker. (5–10 minutes)
- The second speaker on the opposing team presents further arguments against the resolution, identifies further areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the previous affirmative speaker. (5–10 minutes)
- The rules may include a short recess for teams to prepare their rebuttals. (5 minutes)
- The opposing team begins with the rebuttal, attempting to defend the opposing arguments and to defeat the supporting arguments without adding any new information. (3–5 minutes)
- First rebuttal of the affirmative team (3 – 5 minutes)
- Each team gets a second rebuttal for closing statements with the affirmative team having the last opportunity to speak. (3–5 minutes each)
- There cannot be any interruptions. Speakers must wait their turns.
The moderator shall enforce the rules.
Post Debate Q&A
Members of the audience shall be given an opportunity to ask questions of debaters and to contribute their own thoughts and opinions on the arguments presented.