There are many different debate formats that are used around the world. The one we use at Tampere Debate Society use is British Parliamentary format (BP), sometimes also called the WUDC format (World Universities Debate Championship), and it is also the format used in many competitions globally.
There are many detailed guides to the BP format you may find on the internet and as a matter fact we made our own to help newcomers!
Allright, allright. Have a TL;DR:
A motion (topic) for the debate is chosen. (e.g. “This house would legalize cannabis” or “This house believes that everyone should have the right to public nudity”)
Eight debaters are (pseudo-randomly) divided into four teams; two teams for the motion, two teams against it.
15 minutes of preparation time. Taking notes is highly recommended.
Everyone gets to give one 7-minute speech to present their arguments, with the two sides taking turns.
You are trying to convince the judges, not the opponents. After the speeches the judges decide and announce the winner and give constructive feedback to all teams.
Further discussion and socializing in the pub. (Not a part of the official rules)
At the beginning of almost every debate, we have a presentation about a particular role or subject. Here you can find the best of our presentations.
This presentation tells you more about debate extensions, in other words how to perform better in the closing half of the debate.
In this presentation we describe how to perform better when debating in the role of the Prime Minister, the first speaker of a debate.