Minggu, 24 Mei 2009

THE BASICS OF BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATING

CHAPTER I
THE BASICS OF BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY DEBATING

In second semester the ANU Debating Society conducts a British Parliamentary Debating Competition on Thursday nights. The nuts and bolts of BP are as follows,
Details
1) 4 Teams (two Affirmative and two Negative).
2) Each team has two speakers
3) Speaking times are 7-8 minutes. Bells are at 1, 7, and 8 minutes. Points of Information may be given in between the 1st and 7th minutes.
4) The speaking order in terms of teams is as follows,
 1st affirmative
 1st negative
 2nd affirmative
 2nd negative.
1) The speaking order for speakers is as follows,
 1st speaker (1st Aff team)
 1st speaker (1st Neg team)
 2nd speaker (1st Aff team)
 2nd speaker (1st Neg team)
 1st speaker (2nd Aff team)
 1st speaker (2nd Neg team)
 2nd speaker (2nd Aff team)
 2nd speaker (2nd Neg team)

Distinguishing Features
The first distinguishing feature of British Parliamentary Debating is the definition. It is generally accepted that the 1st Affirmative team has a divine right of definition. That is the affirmative can define the topic how they like.
Having said that an affirmative team that defines a topic unreasonably and as a consequence destroys a debate is unlikely to win favour with an adjudicator. Thus, it is in a teams interest to define a topic fairly.
Here are some examples of definitions,
1. Topics with wide latitude.
Let us take a wide open topic like “That Coke is it”. Due to its vague nature this topic gives great latitude to the 1st Affirmative team.
The topic could be defined as such,
* Coke represents American culture or economic policy. This debate is therefore about the superiority of American culture/economic policy.
* Coke represents globalisation and the spread of popular culture. This debate is about the benefits of globalization.
* Coke refers to Cocaine, therefore this debate is about drug legalization.
2. Topics with less latitude that get at a clear issue.
These are topics that while still open direct teams towards a clear set of issues. For example, “That this house would send the boats back”
Could either be a debate about immigration policy, mandatory detention, or establishing coast guard to stop boat people from landing in Australia in the first place. This topic provides much less latitude than the first and it is in the first affirmative team’s interest to choose one of the obvious lines.
3. Topics that can be narrowed.
Some topics can be defined so as to limit the debate to a particular case study or area.
For example
* That this House believes representative government has failed. - Could be defined as a debate about Australia’s parliamentary and electoral system. The affirmative team would therefore not change the issue of the debate, which is about the viability of parliamentary democracy but would merely be limiting to a debatable area.
* That this House would get tough on crime: - This could be narrowed to zero-tolerance policing, or the Death Penalty.
While, 1st affirmative team does have latitude in definitions it should be noted that the best debates are when the affirmative team defines the topic so as to set up a clear debate which all sides were expecting.
THE ROLES OF THE DIFFERENT TEAMS
Each team in British Parliamentary has a different role, as do individual speakers. Here is a brief outline of those roles,
1. The 1st Affirmative Team defines the topic and provides a positive case. Essentially the first two affirmative speakers are the same as the first two speakers in a 3per side debate. The 1st aff team should try and cover as much matter as possible in the debate so as to leave little room for the 2nd aff team to distinguish themselves.
- 1st Speaker: Defines the topic, states what the split will be between the 1st and 2nd speakers, and then produces positive Matter.
- 2nd Speaker: Rebuts the 1st Negative and produces more positive matter.
2. The 1st Negative team responds to the Affirmative team and produces there own case. The 1st Neg team should try and cover as much matter as possible in the debate so as to leave little room for the 2nd Neg team to distinguish themselves.
- 1st Speaker: Rebuts the 1st Aff speaker, provides the negative split, produces matter.
- 2nd Speaker: Rebuts the Aff’s team case and produces positive matter.
3. The 2nd Affirmative Team rebuts the 1st and 2nd Negative teams and produces a case extension (is explained later).
- 1st Speaker: Rebuts the 1st Negative and then outlines their teams case extension. Then produces positive matter.
- 2nd Speaker: The role of the 2nd speaker is to basically deliver a 3rd speakers speech. However, they should do this with particular reference to their teams case extension. The 2nd speaker should avoid introducing new matter.
4. The 2nd Negative Team operates identically to the 2nd Affirmative except for the fact that under no circumstances can the 2nd speaker of the 2nd negative team introduce new matter.
Case Extensions.
The second half of the debate is where BP differs from 3 on 3 debating. The 2nd Affirmative and Negative teams have to produce what is called a “Case Extension”. This means the teams have to produce a new positive case that is consistent with the 1st teams case but provides a different perspective on the issue. A case extension must not contradict the 1st teams case.
Suppose in the debate that we should abolish the death penalty the 1st affirmative team argues that the death penalty is inhumane, and does not deter crime. The second affirmative team could run any of the following case extensions,
(a) That the death penalty should be abolished because it targets racial minorities.
(b) That the death penalty should be abolished due to the possibility that innocent people may get convicted.
However, what does a second team do when the 1st team covers everything they’ve thought of? What the second team should do is take a small part of the 1st teams case that wasn’t covered in enough depth and make that their case extension. So in a debate about the Death Penalty if a 1st affirmative team only just touches on the death penalties inhumane aspects a 2nd affirmative could use that as a case extension.
The only rules to remember about case extensions is that,
(a) Your case must be clear.
(b) It must be different from the 1st teams case.
(c) It must not contradict the 1st teams case.
Winning and Losing.
In a British Parliamentary Debate teams are ranked 1-4. The teams will then receive points in accordance with their position. For example Let us suppose the following teams were ranked in this order,
 1st aff - 4
 2nd neg - 3
 2nd Aff - 2
 1st Neg - 1
In order to win a BP debate you have to do things,
* Convince the adjudicator that your side of the house (affirmative/negative) is stronger than the other side. (Thus, if you are Aff you want to demonstrate why the Neg is wrong).
* Convince the adjudicator that you were the stronger team on your side of the house. (Thus, if you are 1st affirmative you want to be superior to the 2nd affirmative team).

Points of Information
Points of Information (POIs) may be delivered any time between the 1 minute and 7 minute bells. A speaker may reject or accept a point of information.
POIs should be brief, and clear. They should last no longer than 10 seconds.
Points of information can be delivered in three basic ways, (note: this is not an exhaustive list nor are these rules on POIs. These are just some basic guidelines).
1. An Argument (sometimes phrased as a question.)
This format is basically delivering an argument as a question. For example in the death penalty debate a POI could be phrased as, “Don’t you think that the death penalty actually deters murder by increasing the consequences?” or “ What do you say to the argument that the death penalty deters crime by increasing the consequences of crime?” This type of POI is essentially an attack on the speakers case. Alternatively you could avoid phrasing it as a question by saying, “Well actually the death penalty deters murder by increasing the consequences.” Either type of phrasing is essential, the important point to remember is that these POIs are arguments.
2. A factual POI.
Often a team may be relying on a certain example or factual piece of information to support their arguments. If you have information that would stop them in their tracks this is worth delivering. For example if an individual is arguing that “The United States military is superior in every capacity and therefore would never lose…”, a POI along the lines of “what about Vietnam” would be quite devastating.
3. Exposing a weakness in their case.
POIs are useful to expose where a team’s argument is lacking, where their arguments are contradictory, or where they have failed to rebut a key argument. Suppose a team is debating that we should invade Iraq, and they are talking about all the benefits of having the UN administering Iraq after the invasion. A POI may point out that, “You’re talking about all these benefits of invasion but have failed to rebut our arguments about how invasion will not be possible.”
There are also three basic ways POIs can be used.
1. Foreshadowing your case.
In a BP debate in particular it is important for the second teams to get their case seen as early as possible. The way they do this is by delivering points of information that refer to their case.
2. To keep you’re case relevant.
In terms of the 1st Affirmative and Negative teams points of information are vital to keep their case relevant during the second half of the debate.
3. To attack the other team’s case.
Speaks for itself.
Things not to do when delivering POIs:
• Do not use POIs to nitpick examples, unless the example is important to their case and you have matter that will destroy them.
• Do not use POIs to clarify what you said. That is if you feel that someone is misrepresenting you do not use a POI to defend yourself.
• Do not ‘badger’ a debater, by offering too many POIs or offering them after they have said something along the lines of “I’m not going to take one for a minute”, it’s rude and basically just not cricket!
How to Deal with Points of Information.
Firstly, you should only accept 2-3 points in your speech. Accept more if you can or if you are short on time. However, remember it is important to keep control of your speech. If you accept more than 3 you waste a lot of valuable speaking time.
Also don’t let someone delivering a POI push you around. They have 10-15 seconds to deliver their point. If they don’t do it in that time sit them down. Further, don’t let them have a conversation with you, once they’ve made their point that’s it they should be silent again.
There are three techniques to deal with POIs once they’ve been made.
1. Respond to it: - This is the best option. If you are confident in your case just refute the point and move on.
2. Say I’ll cover it later: - If you have a section in your speech that relates to the point tell them you will cover it later. Then when you do cover explicitly point out to the adjudicator that you are covering it.
3. Dodge: - Sometimes you are going to be stumped by a POI it happens to everyone. If you are stumped don’t waffle for 30 seconds. You can, restate your caseline, provide token refutation, or say you’ll cover it earlier. The important point is that you shouldn’t allow a POI to make you lose your concentration.

How to Prepare a BP Debate
I guess you’re wondering what to do in a BP debate seeing as sometimes you don’t know what the 1st Aff is going to do? Here is a brief outline of how individual teams should spend prep.
1st Aff: Be absolutely focused. Set up the definition, your model, and test. Make sure your split and arguments are clear. You are expected to have the clearest case.
1st Neg: In most topics you will be able to prepare like any other debate. However, if the topic gives the 1st Aff latitude it is worth preparing a couple of cases. For example if the topic is, “That we should get tough on crime” the Aff could focus on tough sentencing and zero-tolerance policing or something specific like the war on drugs. A neg team should probably focus their attention on the most likely interpretation of the topic but make sure you have something vague thought out in case the Aff decides to take a narrower or odd approach.
2nd Aff: A 2nd aff like the 1st neg should try to prepare one topic for most of the 30 minutes but be ready for a shift. At 2nd Aff you need to try and pre-empt the case from the 1st affirmative team, and thus, prepare an extension you don’t think they will cover. For example in the debate “That we should invade Iraq” the affirmative may not spend much time analyzing the benefits to the Western world of such an invasion. Thus, it may be advisable for the second affirmative to prepare such a case extension.
2nd Neg: This team should like the other teams focus on their most likely case extension but make sure they are prepared for any curve-balls they get thrown by the 1st Aff or 1st Neg. Remember if the 1st Neg runs your case extension you have to change it. Moreover, if the 1st Neg runs a case that is inconsistent with your extension you have to change your extension as well.
In conclusion a BP prep is likely any other debate accept that you need to be ready for the possibility that one of the teams may change the dimensions of the debate.
Conclusion:
British Parliamentary debating is an exciting style. However, it is also challenging do not be devastated or hurt if you lose your first couple of debates badly. You will slowly get used to speaking on your feet and dealing with 4 teams. The benefits of BP are numerous. It improves your ability to think on your feet because you often have to change your case in the debate. It also improves your ability to come up with creative arguments because when you are a 2nd Aff or 2nd Neg your case needs to be different and distinguishable. I hope you enjoy BP and do not hesitate to ask myself or other debaters for advice at any time.
Sincerely
Mat Kenneally
MatyK@yahoo.com
CHAPTER II
WHAT IS PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE?
Parliamentary Debate is, as its name suggests, modeled on the British Parliamentary System. Accordingly, motions begin with the phrase such as "This House believes that...", or "This House would...." (Here, "House" means the Parliament). A team is called either Proposition or Opposition depending on the side which is given. Both sides are comprised of two debaters who are modeled members of the House. In the same way as the Parliament, the Proposition side supports the motion while the Opposition side opposes it. Debaters of each side try to persuade adjudicators to vote for his/her side within a limited period. Debaters shall speak in the following order:
First Proposition Speaker 7minutes
First Opposition Speaker 7minutes
Second Proposition Speaker 7minutes
Second Opposition Speaker 7minutes
Opposition Summary Speech 4minutes
Proposition Summary Speech 4minutes
* Preparation time is 20 minutes in the ESUJ competition.
The First Proposition Speaker defines the terms of the motion and presents a case for debate.
The First Opposition Speaker must rebut the Proposition's analysis presented by the First Proposition Speaker, and provide arguments which supports their side. The role of the members is to rebut the other side and reconstruct their own stances.
Both speakers on a team can offer Points of Information when they wish to give or ask for information relevant to what the opposing speaker on the floor has said in his/her constructive speech. The speaker on the floor has the right to accept or decline the point.
The purpose of the Summary Speeches is to crystallize the whole argument and show adjudicators why his/her team has won the round. No new constructive arguments may be presented, although new examples are welcome.
In Parliamentary Debate, emphasis is placed on quick thinking and logical argumentation. It requires skills and a sense of humour in order to grab the attention of the audience and persuade them effectively. However, this is the attractiveness of the parliamentary debate!

CHAPTER III
WORLD SCHOOL DEBATING FORMAT
Format
1. (a) The format for debates in the Championships is three speakers a side with only two teams in each debate.
(b) After all speakers have spoken once, the first or second speaker for each side gives a reply speech, with the opposition reply going first and the proposition second.
2. The host is encouraged to run other competitions on different debating styles during the Championships.
3. (a) Speaking time for speeches is 8 minutes, and for reply speeches 4 minutes.
(b) The method of signaling timing for speakers is at the discretion of the host.
(c) In addition to time signals referred to in rule 3 (b), team members or the team coach may give time signals to a speaker provided that the signals are discreet and unobtrusive.
3. (a) Before a debate begins, each team must inform the chairperson of the names of their three speakers and the order they will be speaking in.
(b) The only persons who may speak in a debate are the three speakers for each team announced by the chairperson at the start of that debate.
(c) During a debate speakers may not communicate with their coach, other team members who are not speaking in that debate or any person in the audience except to receive time signals in accordance with rule 3(c).
(d) Notwithstanding rule 3A(b), if, during a debate, a speaker declares that they are unable to make their speech, another speaker from that team who was announced by the chairperson as speaking in that debate may give a speech in substitution.
(e) If a substitute speech is given in accordance with rule 3A(d), judges shall award that speech the lowest possible score within the Marking Standard, regardless of the quality of the speech. (If such a situation occurs, the marks for this speech shall not be used in the calculation for any individual speaker rankings or awards.)
(f) Rule 4(e) shall not apply in the case of reply speeches provided that, in accordance with rule 1(b), the reply speech is delivered by either the first or second speaker on the team.
Eligibility
4. (a) Each country may send only one team to represent it at the Championships.
(b) A member of a country's team must:
i. be ordinarily resident in the country
ii. have been a full-time student at a secondary school in the country within six months of the start of the Championships
iii. not to have reached their 19th birthday by the start of the Championships
iv. not be enrolled at a tertiary or post-secondary school institution
(c) The selection and composition of a national team is a matter for the debating organisation of that country.
(d) A team may have up to five members.
(e) For the purposes of 4 (b) (ii), where a student is between school and post secondary study, the period of six months is calculated from the end of the student's final school term.
(f) Definition of institutions:
i. Students completing an extra year of schooling beyond normal requirements at an institution that is plainly a secondary school only, but which gives no tertiary credits, are eligible providing they meet the age criteria.
ii. Students completing an extra year of schooling beyond normal requirements at an institution that is plainly a secondary school only, but who may be given credits at some subsequent tertiary institution, are eligible providing they meet the age criteria.
iii. Students completing at least one year or more, at an institution that spans both secondary and tertiary levels, but who may be given credits at the tertiary level, are eligible providing they meet the age criteria and are not clearly completing the first year at a tertiary level.
iv. Students completing at least one year or more, at an institution that gives credits at the tertiary levels for entry into another tertiary institution at the third year or above, are ineligible even if they meet the age criteria.
5. For the purposes of rule 4:
(a) The nations of the United Kingdom may be regarded as separate countries, but if only one nation of the United Kingdom is represented at the Championships, it may be regarded as representing the whole of the United Kingdom.
(b) Hong Kong is a country.

The Draw
6. (a) If the total number of teams at the Championships is ten or less, every team shall debate every other team in the preliminary rounds.
(b) If the total number of teams at the Championships is more than ten, every team shall debate eight other teams in the preliminary rounds. The draw for the preliminary debates is to be conducted by the Convenor using a system to achieve approximately equal and fair sets of opponents for all teams. A team may not debate any other team more than once in the preliminary rounds.
(c) As far as possible, each team shall have the same number of debates on any day as any other teams. A team may not debate more than three times in a day in the preliminary rounds unless the team agrees prior to the start of the Championships.
7. (a) At the end of the first rounds, teams shall be ranked according to the number of wins. If teams are tied on the same number of wins, they shall be separated where practicable by elimination debates and otherwise on the following priority:
(i) number of adjudications in favour of the team
(ii) average judges' scores for each team
(b) If the total number of teams is twelve or less, the top four teams shall debate in Semi-Finals, with the top team against the fourth and the second team against the third. The winners of the Semi-Finals compete in the Grand Final.
(c) If the total number of teams is more than twelve, the top eight teams shall debate in Quarter-Finals as follows:
Quarter-Final A Team 1 and Team 8
Quarter-Final B Team 2 and Team 7
Quarter-Final C Team 3 and Team 6
Quarter-Final D Team 4 and Team 5
The winners of the Quarter-Finals debate in Semi-Finals with the winner of Quarter-Final A against the winner of Quarter-Final D and the winner of Quarter-Final B against the winner of Quarter-Final C.
(d) If the total number of teams is more than 24, the top 16 teams shall debate in Octo-Finals as follows:
Octo-Final A Team 1 and Team 16
Octo-Final B Team 2 and Team 15
Octo-Final C Team 3 and Team 14
Octo-Final D Team 4 and Team 13
Octo-Final E Team 5 and Team 12
Octo-Final F Team 6 and Team 11
Octo-Final G Team 7 and Team 10
Octo-Final H Team 8 and Team 9
The winners of the Octo-Finals debate in the Quarter-Finals as follows:
Quarter-Final A Winner of Octo-Final A and winner of Octo-Final H
Quarter-Final B Winner of Octo-Final B and winner of Octo-Final G
Quarter-Final C Winner of Octo-Final C and winner of Octo-Final F
Quarter-Final D Winner of Octo-Final D and winner of Octo-Final E
The winners of the Quarter-Finals debate in Semi-Finals with the winner of Quarter-Final A against the winner of Quarter-Final D, and the winner of Quarter-Final B against the winner of Quarter-Final C. The winners of the Semi-Finals compete in the Grand Final.
(e) At the end of the championships, teams’ final rankings shall be determined as follows:
(i) The champions and runners-up shall be ranked 1 and 2 respectively
(ii) All other teams shall be ranked according the round of the championships the team reached and, where equal, their preliminary round ranking (in accordance with rule 7 [a]).
8. (a) Octo-Finals, Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals shall be Impromptu Debates.
(b) The Grand Final shall be on a topic announced at the same time as the topics for the prepared debates in the preliminary rounds. At the end of the second Semi-Final, the two teams in the Grand Final shall toss to decide which team shall take the proposition.
9. (a) If a team withdraws after the draw has been sent to the teams, the host may make a new draw only if:
(i) to do so would not alter the sides nor topics for any team, or
(ii) all teams affected by the new draw agree.
(b) Where a new draw has not been made, all teams who would have debated against the team that has withdrawn are taken to have won the debate by forfeit if they win at least a majority of their other debates, but are otherwise taken to have lost the debate by forfeit.
(c) Where a team has either won or lost a debate by forfeit, the team will be taken to have received the following number of judges in its favour for that debate:
(i) if the average number of judges in its favour in its other debates is higher than 2.5, it receives 3 judges for that debate;
(ii) if the average number of judges in its favour in its other debates is higher than 1.5 but less than or equal to 2.5, it receives 2 judges for that debate.
(iii) if the average number of judges in its favour in its other debates is higher than 0.5 but less than or equal to 1.5, it receives 1 judge for that debate;
(iv) if the average number of judges in its favour in its other debates is less than or equal to 0.5, it receives no judges for that debate.
Judges
10.(a) All championship debates shall be judged by an odd-numbered panel of at least three judges;
(b) Judges shall not judge the team from their own country.
(c) A team coach shall not judge a debate.
(d) A judge shall not assist in the coaching of a team at the championship.
(e) A judge may judge the same team more than once, provided that the judge does not judge that team a disproportionate number of times.

11. (a) A debate is won by the team which has a majority of the votes of the judges.
(b) The cumulative judges marks or winning margins of teams are not used to determine which team wins a debate.
12. (a) The marking standard, rules of debate, and principles of judging, are set out in the Judging Schedule which is an annex to these Rules.
(b) The Judging Schedule is a part of these Rules and may be amended in the same way that the Rules may be amended.
(c) The Council may authorize guidelines and instructional material for judges, consistent with the Judging Schedule and the Rules.
(d) The host shall ensure that judges are familiar with the Judging Schedule and any guidelines and instructional material authorized by the Council.
(e) All judges shall judge in accordance with the Judging Schedule and any guidelines and instructional material authorized by the Council.
13. (a) Subject to this rule, to be eligible to judge at a championship ("an eligible judge") a person must :
(i) be nominated by the organization or team of that person's country which is the member of the Council for that country as set out in rule 22,
(ii) be experienced at judging the highest level of senior school or university debates in that person¹s country and have judged such debates regularly during the two years prior to the championship, and
(iii) not have been a debater at the previous championship,
(b) The Chief Adjudicator may accept a person to be an eligible judge at a championship who meets the requirements of rule 13 (a) (iii) but who does not meet the requirements of the rest of rule 13 (a) if:
(i) that person has judged at a previous championship, or
(ii) In the opinion of the Chief Adjudicator, the person is sufficiently experienced and competent to be an eligible judge.
(c) Judges for all Championship debates, including the Grand Final, are to be selected for their ability to judge, not because they hold any particular office or occupation.
14. (a) The Chief Adjudicator may assess an eligible judge at any time before or during a championship to determine that judge’s:
(i) competence to judge, and
(ii) understanding of the Rules, the Judging Schedule, and any guidelines and instructional material authorized by the Council.
(b) The Chief Adjudicator may at any time, as a result of an assessment (in accordance with Rule 14 [a]), decide that that judge should not judge any debates, or should not judge any further debates without a further assessment.
15. (a) There shall be a Chief Adjudicator for each championship.
(b) The Convenor shall nominate the Chief Adjudicator. The nomination must be approved either by the World Council at its meeting the previous year, or by the Executive if the appointment is made after that.
(c) In accordance with the Rules, the Chief Adjudicator is responsible for:
(i) determining the eligibility of judges,
(ii) training judges prior to the start of the championship,
(iii) assessing whether eligible judges are competent to judge debates,
(iv) assigning judges to debates,
(v) recording results of debates,
(vi) determining the team rankings at the end of the preliminary rounds,
(vii) determining the draw for the Octo-Finals, Quarter-Finals, Semi -Finals and Grand Final, and
(viii) any other matter connected with the adjudication of debates at a championship.
16. (a) Prior to the start of a championship the Chief Adjudicator may nominate a panel of senior and experienced judges from different countries to assist the Chief Adjudicator in his or her responsibilities.
(b) A member of the Chief Adjudicator’s panel may advise and assist the Chief Adjudicator, but may not independently carry out any of the Chief Adjudicator’s responsibilities or exercise the Chief Adjudicator’s powers.

Motions Committee
17. (a) There shall be a Motions Committee for a championship.
(b) The Motions Committee shall consist of:
(i) two members nominated by the host, and
(ii) five members elected by the Council no later than four months prior to the start of the championships reflecting the geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity of the participants at the championships.
(c) A coach of a team at a championship is not eligible to be a member of the Motions Committee for that championship.
(d) The Motions Committee shall select all motions for debate at the championship.
(e) At least eight weeks before the start of a championship, the Motions Committee shall forward to the host the list of motions it has selected for prepared debates including the Grand Final.
(f) The host shall forthwith notify all teams of the prepared motions for debate.
(g) At least one day before the start of a championship the Motions Committee shall give to the host a set of motions for the impromptu preliminary rounds.
(h) That set of motions shall include at least one more motion than is required for the preliminary rounds.
(i) At least one day before the announcement of the draw for the Octo-Finals, Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals, the Motions Committee shall give to the host a set of motions for those debates.
Language
18. All Championship debates shall be in English.
19. (a) Special awards shall be given to:
(i) the highest-ranked English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) team, and
(ii) the highest-ranked English-as-a-second-language (ESL) team.
(b) Individual team members shall be classified as follows:
(i) As an EFL speaker if:
(a) They do not come from a first-language English-speaking family, and
(b) They attend a school where English is not used as a medium of instruction.
(ii) As an ESL speaker if:
(a) They do not come from a first-language English-speaking family, and
(b) They attend a school where English is used as a medium of instruction.
(iii) As a native English speaker if they come from a first-language English-speaking family.
(c) Teams shall be classified as follows:
(i) As an EFL team if:
(a) English is not an official language of the country, and
(b) All or all-but-one of the team members meet the criteria for being classified as an EFL speaker in accordance with 19(b)(i).
(ii) As an ESL team if:
(a) English is not an official language of the country,
(b) The team is not eligible to be classified as an EFL team in accordance with 19(c)(i), and
(c) No more than one of the team members meets the criteria for being classified as a native English speaker in accordance with 19(b)(iii).
(iii) As a native English-speaking team if they do not meet the criteria for being classified as an EFL or ESL team in accordance with 19(c)(i) and (ii).
(d) If a team wishes to be eligible for the EFL or ESL award (in accordance with 19[a] and [c]), the coach must submit a form to the Convenor prior the start of the championships outlining the family and educational linguistic backgrounds of each of the debaters on the team.
(e) Based on the information in the forms submitted in accordance with 19(d) and any other information available, the Chief Adjudicator shall determine which teams in the championships are to be classified as EFL teams and ESL teams in accordance with 19(c). The Chief Adjudicator shall publish a list of the teams eligible for the EFL and ESL awards (“the published list”) no later than the end of the first day of debates during the championships.
(f) Any team may appeal against the inclusion on, or exclusion from, the published list of any team, including their own.
(g) An appeal shall be in writing and submitted by the coach to the Chief Adjudicator. The Chief Adjudicator shall circulate any written appeals to the members of the World Schools Debating Council.
(h) The Council shall consider any appeal prior to the announcement of the winners of the ESL and EFL awards. If the Council feels there is sufficient justification (in accordance with these Rules) it may amend the published list by a simple majority vote.
(i) A team which reaches the Grand Final of the Championships shall be ineligible for the EFL and ESL awards.
(j) In addition to the special awards given to the highest-ranked EFL and ESL teams, special awards shall also be given to all teams which reach the Semi-Finals or Grand Final of the championships.
Impromptu Debates
20. (a) At the discretion of the host, up to one-half of the debates for any team in the preliminary rounds may be impromptu debates, provided that every team has as close as possible to the same number of impromptu debates as every other team in the preliminary rounds.
(b) The preparation time and procedure for impromptu debates are in the discretion of the host, provided that:
(i) both teams in an impromptu debate receive the topic (or choice of topics) at the same time,
(ii) insofar as possible, each team shall have the same number of proposition and opposition sides in impromptu debates, and
(iii) both teams in an impromptu debate are give similar preparation rooms and conditions.
(c) Where the preparation time allowed for an impromptu debate is longer than half an hour, only the members of the team may take part in the preparation.
(d) Teams may not bring any handwritten, printed or published materials with them into their preparation room for impromptu debates, with the exception of an English Language dictionary, a bilingual dictionary, and a single-volume encyclopaedia or almanac per team.
(e) A person taking part in the preparation of an impromptu debate may not take into the preparation room a telephone, computer or any other device capable of communicating or accessing information outside the preparation room.

World Schools Debating Council
21. There shall be a World Schools Debating Council, consisting of a representative of every country attending the Championships.
22. (a) Where a country has a national or regional debating organisation that is sponsoring the country's team at the Championships, that body shall select the representative for the country on the Council.
(b) In all other cases, the team shall select the representative for the country on the Council.
23. (a) The Council shall meet at least once at each Championships and shall decide:
(i) The venue and approximate dates for the next Championships,
(ii) Any amendments to be made to these Rules, as well as any other matters that it thinks necessary.
(b) The Council may amend or replace any motion set for debate by the host.
(c) A proposal under sub-rule 23 (b) must be passed by a majority of those members present and entitled to vote under rule 27 (c).
24. The Council shall meet when necessary to resolve any disputes or questions as to the meaning of these Rules and any other disputes that arise during the course of the Championships. All members may attend such meetings of the Council, but those directly affected by the dispute or question may not vote.
25. The quorum for a meeting of the Council is a majority of the members eligible to attend.
26. (a) A meeting of the Council shall be chaired by the representative of the host nation, or if that person is not available, by a member of the Council elected by the meeting.
(b) Apart from amendments to the Rules, a resolution of the Council is passed by a majority of those present and voting.
27. (a) Motions to amend the Rules must either be proposed by the Executive Committee, or proposed and seconded by two member countries. The Executive Committee or the proposing country must notify members of the Council of such a motion at least one month in advance of the meeting of the Council.
(b) A resolution to amend the Rules must be passed by a two-thirds majority of those members present and entitled to vote according to the Rules.
(c) Only a member whose team has attended at least two of the previous three World Schools Debating Championships shall be entitled to vote according to rule 27 (b).
(d) A resolution to amend the Rules may be passed by postal ballot (including post, fax or e-mail) between two World Schools Debating Championships with the following conditions:
(i) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the holding of the ballot, and must do so if requested by any two countries (as Proposer and Seconder). The Executive Committee may also hold postal ballots for motions it wishes to propose to the Council.
(ii) All countries entitled to vote according to the Rules are notified of the resolution no later than one month prior to the holding of the ballot. All other countries present at the previous World Schools Debating Championships without voting rights should be notified of the resolutions at this time and invited to give official comments.
(iii) A two-thirds majority of those entitled to vote cast votes in the postal ballot.
(iv) A two-thirds majority of those taking part in the ballot vote in favour of the resolution.
(v) A member of the Council is entitled to vote in postal ballots if that country's team has competed in at least two of the previous three World Schools Debating Championships (in accordance with Rule 27 [c]).
(vi)The official voting representative of each country shall be the same representative as at the preceding World Council meeting. If that person is not available, the country's National Committee shall appoint a successor. If there is no National Committee, the representative shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
(vii)Any postal ballot which seeks to amend the Rules must be completed at least two months prior to the start of the next World Schools Debating Championships.
28. (a) There shall be a Charter for the Championships.
(b) The Charter is a part of these Rules and shall be amended in accordance with the requirements for amending these Rules.
29. (a) Every participating team at a Championship must agree to abide by the Charter.
(b) A team will forfeit any debate in which it fails to abide by the Charter.
(c) Following the first rounds and before any draw is made for subsequent round, the all teams must declare their willingness to debate nay team which has qualified or any motion or will forfeit their place in the subsequent rounds in favour of the next ranked team.
(d) Every host must agree to abide by the Charter.
(e) The Council may consider the failure of a host to abide by the Charter and take such action as it sees fit.

Executive Committee
30. There shall be an Executive Committee of the World Schools Debating Council.
31. The members of the Executive Committee are:
(a) a Chairperson elected by the Council;
(b) a Vice-Chairperson elected by the Council;
(c) a Secretary elected by the Council;
(d) six members, elected by the Council, who shall each chair one of the working groups described in Rule 35;
(e) up to three members appointed to each working group by the Chairperson of that group.
32. For the purposes of internal decision making, the nine elected members shall have a vote, but not the appointed members.
33. The elected members shall hold office from the Council Meeting at which they are elected until the following Council Meeting.
34. No person shall serve more than three consecutive terms in the same position on the Executive Committee.
35. (a) The Executive Committee shall be responsible for action in all areas falling outside the responsibilities of an individual Convenor, and will focus on key issues through its working groups.
(b) The Chairperson shall determine which areas each working group shall focus on and which of the elected members shall chair each working group.
(c) If the Council feels that there is a particular area which needs attention, it may mandate the Chairperson to establish a working group to focus on this area.
36. The Executive Committee may provide direction and interpretation of the Rules to the Convenor or host of the next Championships as and when required. In case of dispute, appeal may be made to the World Council by Convenor or Executive Committee.
37. Subject to Rule 36, the Executive Committee shall have no governing power over a Convenor, the Championships or the World Council; all decisions by the Executive requiring an amendment to the Rules or Charter shall be referred to the World Council.
38. The Executive Committee must make biannual written reports to the World Council.

Annex One - Judging Schedule
A. Marking Standard
1.1 Each speaker's substantive speech is marked out of 100, with 40 for content, 40 for style and 20 for strategy.
1.2 The reply speech is marked out of 50, with 20 for content, 20 for style and 10 for strategy.
1.3 In order to encourage consistency of marks, speeches are marked within the accepted range of marks and judges may not go outside that range. (See the Marking Standard - Annex 2).
1.4 Judges may not use any other marking standard or categorise of marks.
1.5 If a debater declares that they are unable to make their speech after a debate has begun, another member of their team who was announced by the chairperson as being a speaker in that debate may speak in their place. In such a situation judges shall award the speech the lowest possible score within the Marking Standard, regardless of the quality of the speech.
2.1 Content is the argument used by the speaker, divorced from the speaking style.
2.2 If an argument is weak it should be marked accordingly, even if the other team do not expose its weakness.
2.3 In deciding the strength or weakness of an argument, judges should not be influenced by their own personal beliefs or specialised knowledge.
3.1 Style is the way speakers speak.
3.2 Judges should make allowance for different accents, speaking styles and debating terminology.
3.3 Debaters for whom English is a second language shall be judged as if they were native English speakers.
3.4 In general, the use of palm-cards, lecterns, folders, notepads or other forms of speakers notes should not affect the mark a speaker is given.
3.5 However, speakers should not read their speeches, but should use notes that they refer to only from time to time.
4.1 Strategy covers two concepts:
4.1.1 Whether the speaker understands what are the issues of the debate, and
4.1.2 The structure and timing of the speaker's speech.
4.2 A speaker who answers the critical issues with weak responses should get poor marks for content but good marks for strategy.

B. Definitions and Cases
5.1 The Proposition must present a reasonable definition of the motion. This means:
5.1.1 On receiving a motion, both teams should ask: 'What is the issue that the two teams are expected to debate? What would an ordinary intelligent person reading the motion think that it is about?'
5.1.2 If the motion poses a clear issue for debate (i.e. it has an obvious meaning), the Proposition must define the motion accordingly. When the motion has an obvious meaning (one which the ordinary intelligent person would realise), any other definition would not be reasonable.
5.1.3 If there is no obvious meaning to the motion, the range of possible meanings is limited to those that allow for a reasonable debate. Choosing a meaning that does not allow the Opposition room for debate would not be a reasonable definition. Truisms and tautologies leave the Opposition no room for debate and are clearly illegitimate. Defining absolute words literally may prevent a reasonable debate, and they can therefore be read down.
5.1.4 When defining the words in the motion so as (i) to allow the obvious meaning to be debated or (ii) (when there is no obvious meaning) to give effect to a possible meaning which would allow for a reasonable debate, the Proposition must ensure that the definition is one the ordinary intelligent person would accept.
5.2 The definition must match the level of abstraction (or specificity) of the motion, so that the debate is as specific or general as the motion itself. Specific motions should be defined specifically and general motions generally.
5.3 Motions expressed as general principles must be proven true as general principles. A single example will neither prove nor disprove a general principle. Finding arguments that explain the majority of relevant examples will be more important.
5.4 When suggesting parameters to the debate, or proposing particular models or criteria to judge it by, the Proposition must ensure such parameters, models or criteria are themselves reasonable. They must be ones that the ordinary intelligent person would accept as applicable to the debate.
5.4.1 The Proposition's ability to set reasonable parameters to a debate does not provide a licence to restrict the motion arbitrarily.
5.4.2 When the motion requires the Proposition to propose a solution to a problem and the Proposition has to set out the details of its proposed solution to prove its effectiveness, the Proposition must ensure that the detailed solution given (the Proposition's 'model' or 'plan') is a reasonable one, such that the ordinary intelligent person would accept it is applicable to the debate.
5.5 If the Proposition's definition is unreasonable, the Opposition may:
5.5.1 Accept it anyway (and debate the Proposition's case regardless);
5.5.2 Challenge it (argue that the definition is unreasonable, put up an alternative, reasonable definition and a case based on this);
5.5.3 Broaden the debate back to the words in the motion (if the Proposition has unreasonably restricted the motion and is arguing a narrower version of it);
5.5.4 Challenge the definition (as in 5.5.2), but argue that 'even if' it is reasonable, the Proposition's case is flawed (as in 5.5.1).
5.6 The definition settled, each team has to present a case, supported by arguments and examples.
5.6.1 A case sums up the team's arguments and states why its side of the motion is correct.
5.6.2 Arguments are reasons or rationales why the team's case is correct.
5.6.3 Examples are facts, events, occurrences and the like that show the team's arguments are correct.
5.7 Whereas an unduly restrictive definition (such as limiting a general motion to a single example) is illegitimate and can be challenged or broadened, a Proposition that runs a restrictive case (such as limiting itself to a single argument) acts legitimately and cannot be challenged for doing so, but runs the risk of the Opposition being able to more easily counter that case (by disproving that one argument and/ or by raising other arguments that disprove the motion, as defined).

C. The Roles of the Speakers
6.1 The role of the first speaker of the proposition is to define the topic, establish the issues for the debate, outline the proposition case, announce the case division between the speakers, and present his or her part of the proposition case.
6.2 The proposition may define the topic in any way provided that the definition -
6.2.1 is reasonably close to the plain meaning of the topic,
6.2.2 allows the opposition team reasonable room to debate,
6.2.3 is not tautological or truistic, and
6.2.4 is otherwise a reasonable definition.
6.3 Squirreling, place-setting and time-setting are not permitted
6.3.1 Squirreling is the distortion of the definition to enable a team to argue a pre-prepared argument that it wishes to debate regardless of the motion actually set;
6.3.2 Place-setting is the setting of a debate of general application in a particular place
6.3.3 Time-setting is the setting of a debate of general application in a particular time, past or future.
7.1 The role of the first speaker of the opposition side is to challenge the definition if necessary, present an alternative definition if the definition is challenged, respond to the proposition case, outline the opposition case, announce the case division, and present his or her part of the opposition case.
7.2 The first opposition may challenge the definition only if it does not conform to 5.2 or 5.3. If it challenges the definition, the first opposition must propose a new definition that conforms to 5.2 and 5.3.
7.3 If the first opposition does not challenge the definition, the opposition is taken to have accepted the definition and the opposition may not challenge the definition in any other speech unless the proposition significantly alters the definition in their subsequent speeches.
7.4 In responding to the proposition case, the opposition team may produce a positive choice of its own, or merely attack the case presented by the proposition. If it chooses to produce a positive case of its own, it must in fact produce that case through its speeches, and not concentrate solely on attacking the case presented by the proposition.
8.1 The role of the second speaker of the proposition is to deal with the definition if it has been challenged, respond to the opposition case, and continue with the proposition case as outlined by the first speaker.
8.2 If the second proposition does not challenge a re-definition of the debate made by the first opposition, the proposition is taken to have accepted the opposition's re-definition and no further challenges to the definition may be made.
8.3 The role of the second speaker of the opposition is to deal with the definition if it is still in issue, respond to the proposition case, and continue with the opposition case as outlined by the first speaker.
9.1 The role of both third speakers is to deal with the definition if it is still in issue, and respond to the other team's case.
9.2 The third speaker of either team may have a small part of the team's case to present, but his is not obligatory as the third speaker's primary role is to respond to what has gone before in the debate.
9.3 If the third speaker is to present a part of the team's case, this must be announced in the case division by the first speaker.
10.1 The more the debate progresses, the more each speaker must spend time dealing with what has been said by previous speakers.
10.2 Hence the more the debate progresses, the less time will be spent by each speaker in presenting a new part of the team case and the more time will be spent responding to the other team's arguments.
11.1 The role of the reply speeches is to sum up the debate from the team's viewpoint, including a response to the other team's overall case and a summary of the speaker's own team's case.
11.2 The reply speaker may be either the first or second speaker of the team, but not the third.
11.3 The reply speakers are in reverse order, with the opposition reply first and the proposition reply last.
11.4 Neither reply speaker may introduce a new part of the team case.
11.5 A reply speaker may respond to an existing argument by raising a new example that illustrates that argument, but may not otherwise introduce a new argument.
12.1 The proposition team does not have to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, but merely that its case is true in the majority of cases or as a general proposition.
12.2 The oppositioin team must prove more than a reasonable doubt about the proposition case.
12.3 Where the topic is expressed as an absolute, the proposition must prove the topic true in the significant majority of cases, but not in every single conceivable instance.
12.4 Where the topic is expressed as an absolute, the opposition must do more than present a single instance where the topic is not true and prove that it is not true for at least a significant minority of cases.

D. Points of Information
13.1 Between the first and seventh minutes of a speaker's substantive speech, members of the other team may offer points of information.
13.2 The purpose of a point of information is to make a short point or ask a short question of the speaker.
13.3 Points of information need not be addressed through the person chairing the debate, and may be in the form of a question.
13.4 A point of information should be brief, and no longer than 15 seconds.
14.1 Points of information are an important part of the clash between the teams, and enable speakers to remain a part of the debate even when they are not making a speech.
14.2 Hence a speaker should offer points of information both before and after that speaker has given his or her substantive speech.
15.1 The speaker has the absolute right to refuse to accept a point of information, or to accept it only at the end of the next sentence.
15.2 However, a speaker is obliged to accept some points of information, provided that they have been offered at reasonable times in the speaker's speech.
15.3 As a general rule a speaker should accept at least 2 points of information in his or her speech. But a speaker who accepts a significantly greater number of points of information risks losing control of his or her speech.
15.4 Members of the opposing team should not offer an excessive number of points of information to the point that they are barracking. As a general rule each team member should offer between 2 and 4 points of information per speech, and should not offer them within a short time of a previous point of information having been offered.
16.1 The response by the speaker to a point of information should be included in the mark for that speaker's speech.
16.2 The offering of points of information should be included in the mark for the speaker offering points.
E. The Judging
17.1 Judges mark independently of each other, and should sit apart from each other during the debate so that they cannot see each other's mark-sheets.
17.2 At the end of the debate, the judges fill in their mark-sheets independently, and hand them to the person chairing the debate before leaving the debate room briefly to confer.
17.3 The purpose of the conference is to brief one of the judges to give a short adjudication on behalf of the judges.
17.4 The adjudication should be short, and should explain the result to the audience. In particular, it should set out the key reasons why the winning team won, and comment on significant matters of debate style or technique that were displayed in the debate.
17.5 The adjudication should be constructive, not negative.
In marking reply speeches it might be easier to mark them out of 100 and then halve each mark. That will leave you with half-mark steps, but that is not a problem. Thus a reply speech could be given, say, 13.5 for content, 14.5 for style and 7.5 for strategy, for a total of 35.5.









CHAPTER IV
THE WORLD STYLE
compiled by Christopher Erskine (Australia)
with Rosemary Dixon and Andrew Stockley (NZ),
Elizabeth Virgo (Bermuda) and David Pritchard (Wales)

Introduction: The Worlds Style
The rules of debate at the World Schools Debating Championship are a unique blend of rules from different nations. No single country invented the style, and no single country uses the style as its own national standard.
Each debate has two teams. Each team has three debaters, who each speak once. After each speaker has spoken once, each team has one reply speech. This can be given by the first or second speaker on the team. The reply speech is half the length of the main speeches. During the main speeches the opposing team can offer points of information (see section 5). However, no points may be offered during the reply speeches.
The motions that the teams debate are general issues rather than specific programs or proposals. Thus the government team may have to argue in favour of voluntary euthanasia as a principle: it would not have to put forward a specific legislative proposal to implement euthanasia except, perhaps, to define the motion or demonstrate that regulating euthanasia is practical. The emphasis is upon the principle, not the specifics.
The debate is between teams, not individuals. Each team member has a specific part of the team case to present, and must also attack the other side and defend the team from attack. As the debate progresses, more and more time must be spent dealing with issues already raised in the debate, and less and less time must be spent on new argument and issues.
Each team must persuade the audience that its argument is superior. To do this it must present sound logical arguments, it must present them in an interesting and persuasive speaking style, and it must structure and prioritise its arguments. All three aspects of debate are given emphasis. This competition does not encourage just pure argument or pure rhetoric on their own, but an effective blend of both.
It is an international contest. Issues must have an international perspective, examples must be relevant to the global community, and there must be tolerance of difference to a far higher degree than in national or local competitions. In particular there must be tolerance of differences in language and accent, or if we are not careful the English language can divide us instead of uniting us.
The competition includes teams of vastly different background, not only in debating but even in English itself. While each team nurtures the hope that it may win the Grand Final, mere participation is a worthwhile experience in itself for all the teams. Success in the competition can be measured according to who wins the Grand Final : success can also be measured by exposure to new ideas and development of personal skills. Both aspects of success must be given due allowance by judges.
Before discussing specific matters, let me outline three fundamental principles :
1. A good argument is a good argument, no matter where a team comes from.
2. Everybody else except you has a funny accent.
3. Just because teams back home wouldn't do it doesn't make it wrong.
The first principle says that logic is universal: your country doesn't have a monopoly on it. To put it another way, don't prejudge debates by the nationality or background of the teams. Non-English-speaking teams have defeated some of the top teams in past years, teams from small nations have won the Grand Final, and teams from countries in their inaugural year in the tournament have beaten long-established teams.
The second principle says that you should be prepared for major differences from what you are used to back home - accents, terminology, even the examples used to illustrate an argument. Your first international debate can be a real culture shock.
The third principle says that not everything that we do back home is essential to good debating. Each country has its own style of debating, which leads to particular national rules about what debaters can and can't do. But in the different style at a world competition. some of these rules from back home might be inappropriate. So leave your rule books in your suitcase and concentrate on the essentials of good debating.
(1) The Mark Sheet
In 1993 the World Council adopted a standard marksheet. Marks are awarded to each speaker as follows:
Content 40
Style 40
Strategy 20
TOTAL 100
In the reply speeches, the marks are halved. There is no global mark for teamwork.
Remember that this is a different marksheet from what you are used to at home. You can't judge these debates by adapting the international marksheet to fit domestic marksheets with which you are more familiar. So leave your own marksheet in your suitcase along with your national rule books, and look at this mark sheet with no preconceptions of what the categories mean.
1.1 Content
Content covers the arguments that are used, divorced from the speaking style. It is as if you are seeing the arguments written down rather than spoken. You must assess the weight of the arguments without being influenced by the magnificence of the orator that presented them.
Content will also include an assessment of the weight of rebuttal or clash. This assessment must be done from the standpoint of the average reasonable person.
The adjudicator's job is to assess the strength of an argument regardless of whether the other team is able to knock it down. If a team introduces a weak argument, it will not score highly in content even if the other team doesn't t refute it. Two consequences flow from this, however:
First, if a major team argument is plainly weak, an opposing team which doesn't refute it may well have committed a greater sin than the team which introduced it. In effect the team has let the other team get away with a weak argument. This is not an automatic rule, but is true in many cases. Of course, it must be a major argument, not a minor example which the opposing team correctly chooses to ignore in favour of attacking more significant points.
Second, adjudicators have to be careful not to be influenced by their own beliefs and prejudices, nor by their own specialised knowledge. For example, if you are a lawyer and you know that a team's argument was debunked by the International Court of Justice last week, you should probably not take into account this special knowledge unless the ICJ's decision was a matter of extreme public notoriety.
Distancing oneself from personal attitudes is particularly difficult in international competitions. Teams may use examples from your part of the world that you know to be wrong, but would you expect people from other countries to know that the example is wrong ? For example, I doubt that I would penalise a team which had an incomplete though superficially correct understanding of Australian foreign policy. But I would be less understanding of a team which displayed an incomplete understanding of American or Japanese foreign policy, for example, because of the importance of' those countries in so many international issues.

1.2 Style
The term is perhaps misleading. Adjudicators are not looking for speakers who are stylish, but rather they are looking at the style of the speakers.
Style covers the way the speakers speak. As has already been noted, this can be done in many ways, in funny accents and with the use of strange terminology. Put the strangeness out of your mind and be tolerant of different ways of presenting arguments.
There are some particular things that you need to be warned about in advance:
Debaters from some countries (especially Australia and New Zealand) tend to speak very quickly and can be quite aggressive.Debaters from other countries (especially North America) tend to be slower and more conversational.
For some teams, English is a second language and there are occasionally strong accents, odd words and (once or twice) a pause while the speaker thinks how to express the thought in English.
North American teams tend to use large foolscap pads and speak behind lecterns: Australian and New Zealand debaters use small palm cards and speak in front of the lectern.
None of this matters!
Yet things as trivial as the use of palm cards and standing in front of lectern have been commented on in international debates, on one occasion a Grand Final! Any adjudicator who finds these things important should seriously consider whether they should be adjudicating in this competition. You will be seeing highly skilled debaters presenting very sophisticated arguments. If the best you can say is that they should be using palm cards rather than writing pads, you've probably missed the point of the debate.
Of course a speaker's style may cease to be an expression of a particular national debating style and become intensely irritating to everyone. For example there is still a speed limit on speaking, even though it may be higher than you are used to back home. But be tolerant of differences, and only intervene when a speaker's style has gone beyond what everyone would accept.

1.2.1 Accents and National Characteristics
Linguists tell us that some accents are more "acceptable" than others. For example, BBC Southern English has become the Received Pronunciation in Britain. Regional accents such as West Country are quaint and rustic, but are often thought to be a handicap for someone who wants to be successful in politics or big business.
Virtually every English speaking country faces this problem. It affects accents within a country, and also accents between countries. The comedian Peter Sellers was responsible for a great deal of humour at the expense of Indian accents, yet in reality these accents are no more lilting or incomprehensible than Welsh or Irish accents. Australians snigger at New Zealand accents - but other countries can't tell the difference between them.
Teams should not be penalised just because their accent is less acceptable than others. Nor should teams be rewarded for the good fortune of coming from a region whose accent is more acceptable than others. Of course nobody would consciously penalise a team in this way, but the influences of acceptability of accents are subtle and pernicious. Can we truly place our hand on our heart at the end of a debate and say that we were not swayed by the "cuteness" of one team's accent or the "stridency" of another's? Perhaps we weren’t: speakers can be cute or strident in the way they speak but were we marking the speaker or the accent?
There is a further and more difficult issue involved here. Teams from non-English speaking backgrounds may well speak English with a "foreign" accent. We tend to judge them more harshly because of this fact, whether we are conscious of it or not; but if we analyse closely the way these teams speak English, we find that many of them are very fluent in English and are readily understandable. If anything some of these teams are more understandable than the occasional broad Glaswegian or high-speed Australian that we get from native English speaking teams.
However, while we must give due credit to teams for whom English is a second language, this is not the same thing as giving credit to these teams for the very difficult task of debating in a foreign language. Judges might be tempted to be sympathetic and mark these teams on a more generous scale. This is against the rules (see Rule 18(b)).
Non-English-speaking teams take part in the competition on the same footing as native English speaking teams. They take part knowing that they will be against teams for whom English is a first language. If this sometimes leads to one-sided debates, that is a fact of life in the competition and should be reflected in the marks. But if they are genuinely as fluent and persuasive as the native English speakers, one should mark them accordingly.
1.3 Strategy
Strategy requires some attention. I think it covers two concepts:
1. the structure and timing of the speech, and
2. whether the speaker understood the issues of the debate.
These matters are sufficiently important to justify taking them separately.

1.3.1 Structure and timing
A good speech has a clear beginning, middle and end. Along the way there are signposts to help us see where the speaker is going. The sequence of arguments is logical and flows naturally from point to point. This is as true of a first speaker outlining the government case as it is of the third speaker rebutting the government case. Good speech structure, therefore is one component of strategy.
Timing is also important, but it must not be taken to extremes. There are two aspects to timing.
1. speaking within the allowed time limit, and
2. giving an appropriate amount of time to the issues in the speech.
As to the first, a speaker who goes significantly over time (for example, 9 minutes in an 8 minute speech) ought to get a penalty . Equally, a speaker who goes significantly under time (for example, 7 minutes in an 8 minute speech) in most cases would get a similar penalty. Bear in mind, however, that timing is only one element of strategy. A speaker whose only sin is to go over time might still get a reasonable strategy mark if every other aspect of strategy was quite outstanding. It would not be a brilliant mark - there would still be a penalty - but it would not automatically be a very low mark either. It all depends how good the rest of the elements of strategy were.
As to the second, a speaker ought to give priority to important issues and leave unimportant ones to later. For example it is generally a good idea for a rebuttal speaker ( i.e. anyone other than the first speaker for the government) to begin with the attack on the other side before going on to the speaker's positive case This is because it is more logical to get rid of the opposing argument first before trying to put something in its place.
A speaker should also give more time to important issues. If there is a critical point that buttresses the whole of that team's case, it ought to get a fair amount of time so that it can be properly established. But if there is a point that is fairly trivial, it doesn't deserve more than a trivial amount of time.
So the adjudicator must weigh up not only the strength of the arguments in the content category, but also the proper time and priority that was given to them in the strategy category.

1.3.2 Understanding the issues
Closely related to the last point is that debaters should understand what the important issues were in the debate. It is a waste of time for a rebuttal speaker to deal with trivial points if crucial arguments are left unanswered. Such a speaker would not understand the important issues of the debate, and should not score well in strategy. By contrast, a speaker who understood what the important issues were and dealt with them thoroughly should score well in strategy.
It is very important that adjudicators understand the difference between strategy and content. Imagine a debate where a speaker answers the critical issues with some weak rebuttal. This speaker should get poor marks for content, because the rebuttal was weak. But the speaker should get reasonable marks for strategy, because the right arguments were being addressed.

(2) Logical Argument
There are two ways to prove that a proposition is true.
1. You can look at every known instance and show that in each case the proposition holds good.
2. You can analyse the proposition and show that it is supported by other known principles.
In debating it is usually impossible to use the first type of reasoning, because we debate generalisations with millions if not billions of known instances. So, we have to use the second type of reasoning. However, an amazing number of debaters don't seem to understand the difference.

2.1 A Hypothetical Example
Suppose that two teams are debating the motion that "this house believes that we are all feminists now". The government chooses to interpret the motion reasonably literally: How does it prove its case?
Obviously it cannot ask everybody in the world whether or not they are feminists. Nor can it rely upon opinion polls: if the motion was as simple to prove as that, it wouldn't have been set for debate. Instead, it is going to have to make some generalisations about the motion in order to present a coherent argument within the time allowed.
For example, it could look at the public attitudes of important institutions in society such as governments big businesses, schools, religions, the media and sport. Part of its reasoning process would be that when the major institutions change their attitudes they either reflect the views of' the general public or, perhaps, lead the general public towards new attitudes.
The first government speaker could outline a central thesis that went something like this: "In today's society the major institutions generally adopt feminist attitudes. These institutions either lead society (such as the media) or reflect the views of the majority in society (such as parliaments and big business).
From that point onwards we know what the government team Is going to prove. When it discusses the role and attitudes of each major institution in society we can see why it is doing it and where the argument is going. The same thesis will run through all three government speakers so that all of them have made their contribution to proving the government case.
I don't want to get side-tracked into an argument whether this is a winning case or not. Rather, I want to illustrate the point that the government team has to present a generalised case and prove it logically, rather than relying upon large numbers of examples in the hope that these will do the job instead.

2.2 One Case or Several?
If we accept that a case has to be a central thesis supported by each speaker, it is obvious that a team cannot be internally contradictory in its team case, it is a debate between teams, not a discussion between 6 individuals. All speakers on a team must be contributing to the same case, not to different ones.
Using the feminist example above, suppose that the first government speaker had outlined the case set out above. The second speaker could not present an argument that said that we were all hypocrites who merely gave lip-service to feminism. While this is a valid government case it is quite inconsistent with the case presented by the first speaker, if we were all hypocrites, then the major institutions in society would not be reflecting any general attitude in support of feminism.

2.3 Rebuttal or Clash
The use of generalised cases has consequences for rebuttal or clash. The opposition team cannot concentrate on attacking the examples used by the government. The examples might be weak, but the central case might still be sound. Instead, it will have to concentrate on attacking that case, because that is where the debate actually lies.
In the feminist motion above, suppose that the government team used as an example the pro-feminist attitudes of one newspaper from a small country town. If the opposition team attacked just that example, it would show only that the government has chosen a particularly weak example to illustrate its argument. But the government case might still be sound. It might be true that the media generally had feminist attitudes, even if the example it chose to illustrate the point was a poor one.
Therefore, to succeed in this part of the debate, the opposition would have to show that the media generally did not have pro-feminist attitudes. Of course: It could ridicule the government: "Is such a trivial example the best that you can find to illustrate your case?". But this would merely be part of the process of attacking the general proposition that the media is pro-feminist rather than an end in itself.
There is another consequence for rebuttal. It may be that the government has used a number of examples to illustrate the same point. If they can all be disposed of with the same piece of rebuttal, the opposition does not have to attack each of the examples individually as well.
For example, suppose that the government in the feminist debate looked at the attitudes towards feminism in the major religions of the country. The opposition could respond in two ways to this argument. It could rebut the supposedly pro-feminist attitudes in each of those religions. Alternatively it could argue that religion plays such a minor role in society that the feminist attitudes of religions are largely irrelevant to the debate. Thus it would be unnecessary for it to deal with each example of a major religion dealt with by the government, because all of them are irrelevant according to its arguments.

2.4 The Reply Speech
The thematic approach to argument outlined above becomes critical in the reply speeches. These have been described as "an adjudication from our side" and really amount to an overview of the major issues in the debate.
A reply speaker does not have time to deal with small arguments or individual examples. The speaker must deal with the two or three major issues in the debate in global terms, showing how they favour the speaker's team and work against the opposition team. As a general rule, a reply speaker who descends to the level of dealing with individual examples probably doesn't understand either the issues of the debate or the principles of good argument.

(3) Three-a-Side Debating
Three-a-side debating is not just a two-a-side debate with an extra speaker on each side. There is a clear progression from the opening speaker who presents entirely new material to the closing speaker who deals entirely with what has been said by the previous 5 speakers. Each team has to work closely together, and understand that they are members of a team rather than individuals.
We can all agree on that part, but there are two particular issues that have arisen in previous World Championships that need some further discussion.
3.1 The Case Division
With three speakers on a team, the positive argument has to be divided between the first two (and perhaps the third government as well). This sounds very simple, but there is one major principle that must be looked at more closely.
The division cannot be along the steps of the team case, but instead has to be along some other lines. This sounds like an essay in university logic, so let me illustrate the point with an actual debate from the 1990 Championships.
The motion for debate was "that Mr Gorbachev's reforms will fail" (amazing how out of date these motions have become in just a few years!).
The first government set out what Mr Gorbachev's reforms were.
The second government demonstrated the growing backlash to those reforms.
The third government tied this together by showing that because of the scale of the backlash, the reforms would fail.
This case was quite logical. But at the end of the first government speaker, what did the opposition have to refute? The answer was, absolutely nothing. There was no disagreement on what the reforms were, so there was no debate at this stage. At the end of the second government speaker, there was still nothing to refute. The opposition agreed entirely that there was a backlash. We were now two-thirds of the way through the debate, and we were yet to have a debate! It was only at the third speakers that any debate happened at all, because this was the first point where there was any disagreement between the teams. Debate is not confined to the third speakers. It takes place throughout the debate. While early speakers must concentrate on presenting positive arguments, they still have some obligations to rebut the other side. But if all this has to wait until the third speakers, it means that over 80% of the debate is over before anyone gets to debate anything, it also means that the government sets just one short reply speech in which to deal with the opposition's attacks.
The problem with this case division was that it divided the argument along the steps of the reasoning process. An opposition team does not have to disagree with all those steps. So long as it disagrees with the final conclusion, it can still win a debate.
So the government must find some other way of dividing the argument. It can be on significant themes, or (less attractively) on examples. For example, in the debate discussed above the first speaker might look at reforms in economic policy, while the second speaker looks at reforms in the military and the government.
The problem with this division is that both speakers would be repeating the same major argument and merely using different examples to illustrate it. To that extent it might be repetitive and boring. But the important point is that each speech can stand on its own to prove that the whole case is true in at least some situations. It is only in this way that a speech can be rebutted, and thus that a debate can take place.

3.2 The Opposition Case
The opposition is not obliged to present its own positive case in world championship debates. It can, if it wishes, merely attack the government case throughout without putting up a case of its own. However, this is potentially weak, and most opposition teams in fact present their own positive argument as well.
This proceeds in much the same way as the government's with one important exception. The third opposition's job is primarily rebuttal of what has gone before. This speaker can (but does not have to) introduce a small line of argument which has been clearly outlined in advance by the opening speakers and which ties in with the opposition case. But she or he cannot introduce any substantial new argument, especially one that has not been clearly outlined in advance by earlier speakers. The reason is obvious: the government gets only one brief reply speech in which to deal with it. This is unfair, and also makes the bulk of the debate meaningless because the significant arguments have taken so long to come out and be discussed.
In a debate in the 1992 Championships, one opposition team left its major argument until the third speaker. The argument was announced by the first speaker in only the most elliptical terms. The third speaker refused all points of information, and instead of rebuttal presented the major new argument in the bulk of his speech. No matter hour good the argument was, it could not have won the debate. Because their team's most important argument had been left so late, the first two opposition speakers had little to say and were a long way behind their opponents from the government team. The third speaker had to lose marks for refusing points of information, and also strategy and content marks for introducing such a substantial amount of new argument.

3.3 The Roles of the Speakers
The debate begins with a speaker whose arguments are entirely new. As it goes on, more and more time is spent dealing with what has been said by previous speakers, and less and less comes in that is new. By the end of the debate there is no new argument, and the speakers deal only with what has gone before.
If you were to graph this, there would be a line dropping from 100% new matter at first government to almost O% at third opposition and replies, and a corresponding line rising from O% rebuttal at first government to almost 100% rebuttal at third opposition and replies.
The first government defines the motion, outlines the government case, announces the case division, and presents her or his part of the case.
The first opposition deals with the definition if it is a problem, explains the important differences between the two team cases, and either outlines the opposition case, announces the case division, and presents her or his part of the case, oroutlines the opposition's rebuttal case (i.e. the broad themes the opposition will use throughout the debate to rebut the government case) and expands on it.
The difference between these two approaches depends on whether the opposition is content just to present a rebuttal case, or takes the stronger route and presents its own alternative case as well.
The second government defends the government definition (if required) and case from the opposition attacks, rebuts the opposition case, and proceeds with her or his part of the government case. Somewhere around 2 to 3 minutes into the speech the speaker will turn from attacking the opposition to presenting the new part of the argument.
The second opposition does much the same as the second government, If the opposition is presenting its own alternative case as well, this speaker will turn from attacking the government to presenting the new part of the argument somewhere around 3 to 4 minutes into the speech.
The third government is going to spend a large part of her or his time attacking the other side. However, she or he can have a small part of the government case to present - Perhaps 1 or 2 minutes at the most. This is not obligatory, although many teams do it.
The third opposition is going to spend most of her or his time attacking the other side, rather than presenting significant new arguments, She or he can have an even smaller part of the opposition case to present, but again this is not obligatory. Note that the opposition reply follows straight on from this speech, so it is better for the third opposition to deal with the detail of the government case and leave the broad overview to the reply speech.The reply speeches are not going to delve into fine detail, but will take a broad approach to the issues of the debate. They should also summarise their own case either as part the analysis of the issues or towards the end of the speech as a separate section. For obvious reasons the reply speeches cannot introduce new arguments. Not only is this unfair but a complete misunderstanding of the role of reply speeches The reply speech is a summing up of the whole debate, not a chance to introduce new ideas.

(4) Motions

4.1 Weighted motions
In the 1992 Championships most teams debated the motion "that this house would ban all alcoholic drinks". The consensus among the judges was that the motion was heavily weighted against the government. Yet look what happened in three different debates on this motion when the judges grappled with the weighting of the motion:
in the first, the judges weighted the debate to the government because the motion was weighted the other way - in other words, they compensated the government in marks for having such a tough side to argue;
in the second, the judges felt that weighting was impossible to assess, and did not try to redress the balance;
in the third, the judges decided not to redress the weighting because the government team had actually chosen to be the government and thus voluntarily taken the harder side.
The problem here is the inconsistency. If the opposition team which narrowly lost the first debate had had the judges from the second debate, it would have won convincingly.
It is very hard for judges to assess just what advantage one team has because of the motion. It is better not to try to compensate for perceived advantages, and leave it to those who set the motions to choose reasonably balanced ones.

4.2 General Motions - From What Perspective?
In national debating it is sometimes legitimate to take a motion that is expressed very broadly and debate it in the context of some national issue of the day. For example, in Australia we might approach a motion "that feminism has won" in the context of Australian attitudes to feminism, rather than dealing with feminism globally. Of course, you don't have to, but such a limitation can sometimes be acceptable.
At the international level however, such a limitation is generally not acceptable. The competition includes a diverse range of countries and it is certainly not confined to one group of countries such as liberal western democracies or countries of the third world. This means that general motions have to be taken in the context of' the whole world, not one part of the world.
Once again, we have to rely upon those who set motions to be sensible. A debate on the motion "that God is dead' is meaningful to western nations where religion has been in decline for some time. But it is fairly meaningless to many Islamic nations which are undergoing a religious revival. Such a motion would not be a sensible one to set at a world competition because the experience of different parts of the world is so varied that it makes debate almost impossible.
And for those used to North American rules, time-setting and place-setting are not allowed. Time-setting puts the motion In a particular era in history. Place-setting puts the motion in a particular place. Thus we could time- and place-set the motion "that God is dead" in Israel shortly before the birth of Christ and argue the motion as if we were alive in that place at that time. But in World rules we can't, because this is not allowed.

4.3 Objectivity in Judging
It goes without saying that judges have to be as objective as possible. But in the international context this causes some interesting problems, because national perspectives on issues can be so different.
One of the most spectacular instances of this occurred in 1992 when Australia debated Pakistan on the motion "that the West should leave the Middle East alone". Australia, like most western countries, accepted without question that Israel had a right to exist, and developed its argument assuming this basic proposition. But Pakistan questioned this proposition, asserting that Israel had no right to exist.
It was a fascinating debate in which many apparently unarguable assumptions were argued strenuously. And if it had been judged by an Israeli judge, what then? This is not a dig at Middle Eastern attitudes, but an instance where an international debate raised highly contentious issues which required judges to step outside their own narrow perspectives and try to judge a debate from the standpoint of a hypothetical reasonable citizen of the world.
Objectivity in intentional debating is much harder than in national debating. Our views on the world are shaped to a large extent by our national media.
Take the example of European and American farm subsidies. In Europe and America the media emphasis is frequently on the effects on local farmers if the subsidies were withdrawn. But in Australia and Canada the media concentrates on the serious adverse effects of those subsidies on their own farmers. Thus a debate between, say, Australia and the USA where farm subsidies arose as an issue could be difficult to judge because national perspectives might tend to colour the judges' assessment of the weight of the various arguments.
Judges also have to recognise that some motions require teams to take hard options in argument rather than soft ones. If the motion were "that we should abolish third world debts", the opposition would almost certainly have to argue the need for international financial responsibility by governments, no matter how tough and unfeeling this may sound. The best debates are often ones between two strongly opposed arguments, rather than between two wishy-washy cases that try to compromise at every opportunity.

(5) Points of Information
Points of information were borrowed from British debating. However, in a couple of respects they have taken on a life of their own in the World Championships, and have to be treated as a phenomenon new to British and non-British judges alike.
A point of information is offered in the course of a speech by a member of the opposing team. The speaker may either accept the point or decline it. If accepted, the opponent may make a short point or ask a short question that deals with some issue in the debate (preferably one just made by the speaker). It is, if you like, a formal interjection.

5.1 Debating is More than a Speech
Points of information bring about a major change in the role of speakers in a debate. In this style each speaker must take part in the debate from beginning to end, not just during their own speech. A first speaker for the government continues to play an active role in the debate even when the third speaker for the opposition is speaking. Equally, the third speaker for the opposition must play an active role in the debate when the first speaker for the government is speaking.
The speakers play this role by offering points of information. Even if the points are not accepted, they must still demonstrate that they are involved in the debate by at least offering. A speaker who takes no part in the debate other than by making a speech should lose marks for content and strategy - content for failing to take advantage of opportunities, strategy for failing to understand the role of a speaker under this style.
Equally, speakers must ensure that they accept at least some points of information during their speech. In an 8 minute speech, taking at least 2 would be expected (depending, of course, on how many are offered). A speaker who fails to accept any points of information must lose marks for content (failing to allow the other side to make points, thus reducing the amount of direct clash between the two teams) and particularly strategy (for not understanding the role of the speakers in this style - or, to put it another way, for cowardice!). Of course, a speaker who takes too many will almost certainly lose control of the speech and thus lose marks for style and probably also for strategy (poor speech structure) and content as well.

5.2 The Etiquette of Points of Information
A point of information is offered by standing and saying "Point of information;' or something similar. The speaker on the floor is not obliged to accept every point. She or he may - ask the interrupter to sit down, finish the sentence and then accept the point, or accept the point then and there.
More than one member of the opposing team may rise simultaneously. The speaker on the floor may decline all or some, and may choose which one to take. The others then sit down. Opposing speakers must sometimes tread a fine line between the legitimate offering of points of information on the one hand, and barracking on the other. The fact that points must be offered makes the style more aggressive and more prone to interruptions. However, continuous offering by a team really amounts to excessive interruption and is barracking. This should incur penalties in style for the team members involved.
It is impossible to put a figure on how many points of information a team may offer before its behavior constitutes barracking. Judges should determine when the offering of points of information, far from adding to the debate, begins to infringe on the right and/or ability of the speaker to address the audience. This determination requires sensitivity to the context of the particular debate: two well-matched and highly-skilled teams may offer each other many points of information without disrupting the debate or unsettling the speaker on the floor, but points offered at this same high rate to a speaker who is less confident may constitute barracking. In general, speakers should not offer points of information only a few seconds after a previous offer has been declined or while the speaker on the floor is clearly in the early stages of answering a point of information she just accepted: frequent violations of these principles might reasonably be penalized.
The point of information may be in the form of a question to the person making a speech, or it may be a remark addressed through the person chairing the debate. Some teams tend to use the latter format, while most teams tend to ask a question. Let it be clear that either format is perfectly acceptable.
The point of information must be brief. 10 to 15 seconds is the norm, and over that the interrupter should be told to sit down by the speaker. As well, when the person making the speech understands the point, she or he can tell the interrupter to sit down - the speaker does not have to let the point get right through to the end in all cases. Always remember that the speaker who is making the speech has complete control of points of information - when to accept them, whether to accept them and how long they should go on for.
Which, of course, puts a premium on clear simple points. In one debate the interrupter began by saying "I may be particularly dense... " and paused, whereupon the speaker said "yes you are" and continued with his speech. This was a waste of a good opportunity, all because the interrupter chose to indulge in pompous oratory rather than a crisp clear point.

5.3 Marking Points of Information
It is relatively easy to mark the responses to points of' information, because each response is incorporated into the speech and that is where it gets marked.
The problems come in marking the offering of points of information, because speakers will offer points other than during their own speech, at a time when the judge is making notes about another speaker altogether.
To begin with there is a practical problem. Judges must have some system of recording points of information from the beginning of the debate even for speakers who will not speak until the end of the debate. In other words, during the first speaker for the government, a judge must be able to record something about the offering of points of information by the third speaker of the opposition.
A simple solution has been devised in Australia by Annette Whiley. Each judge has a separate sheet of paper, divided into six boxes (one line down the middle, three across the page). Each box represents the offering of points by a speaker. During the first speaker for the government, the three boxes on the right hand side will be used to record the offering of points by the three opposition speakers. A simple tallymark shows one was offered. If one was accepted, a brief note about it can be included in the box. At the end of the debate this allows the judge to see what sort of contribution was being made by each speaker in offering points of information.
At the 1994 National Schools Championships in Australia we experimented with a separate category worth 5 marks for the offering of points of information. On the whole I don't think this worked very well. So we seem to be back with marking the offering of points within each speaker's speech marks.
A speaker's speech mark should only be adjusted if her contribution to the debate through offering points of information differed significantly from her contribution in her speech. (Contribution to the debate through offering points of information involves both the quantity of points of information offered and the quality of those accepted: speakers should not be penalized if they offer plenty of points but none is accepted.) A speaker's speech mark may be adjusted by up to two marks in either direction to take account of points of information offered: if such an adjustment is being made, the judge should write, e.g., +1 or -2 in the appropriate column on the ballot. So, a speaker whose speech deserved a 70 but who offered remarkably good points of information might receive an overall mark of 71, or perhaps 72 if the points were truly outstanding. A speaker whose speech deserved a 76 but who offered almost no points of information might receive an overall mark of 74 or 75. But a speaker whose speech deserved a 64 should not lose marks for failing to offer many points of information, because his contribution through offering points was no worse than his speech. Likewise, a speaker whose speech deserved a 78 does not get extra marks for making a couple of very good points of information, because those points were no better than her speech
A summary of how to mark points of information is as follows:
The primary component of the speaker's marks is the speaker's speech.
That mark can increase by up to a couple of marks if the speaker offered superb points of information during the rest of the debate.
That mark can decrease by up to a couple of marks if the speaker:
(i) offered no points of information (or almost none) during the rest of the debate;
(ii) offered bad points of information during the rest of the debate;
(iii) failed to accept points of information during her or his own speech.
Note that just because the response to a point of information was good, it doesn't mean that the point was not a good one. Don't judge the worth of the point on the response. After all if a motion is strongly arguable on both sides, then the major points on each side should have good counter-arguments.

(6) Marking Standard
Consistency is a virtue. It ought to be possible for a debater to pick up a marksheet from any judge and work out how good the debate was just from the marks that were offered.
But if one judge thinks a good speech was worth 95% and another judge thought it was just as good and therefore worth 75%, we have a problem.
Marking standards are imposed in every competition. They are necessarily arbitrary. There is no reason why any particular standard is better than any other. But there must be a standard, and here it is.
The expected range of marks is from 60% for an appalling speech to 80% for a brilliant one.
A good average speech at this competition is worth 70%.
Judges shall never give a speaker mark greater than 80 or less than 60.
It is true that this marking standard means that we are really marking each speaker out of 20. But that doesn't matter. A standard is a standard, and this is what should be used.

6.1 A Relative Absolute, or Merely Relative?
Adopting this standard means that you do not mark the first government speaker at 70 and mark everybody else up or down from that point. Instead, you must have a mental picture of a good average speech for this competition and mark every speaker including the first government) according to that hypothetical. Thus the first government is as likely as the third opposition to score 80 or 60.
This allows some basis of comparison between marks in different debates (although the system isn't foolproof). The alternative, of marking everybody relative to the first government at 70, means that the marks for a brilliant debate and for an abysmal one will be about the same.
This standard begs the question of what is a good average speech for this competition. Unfortunately the question is impossible to answer. We could not say, for example, that a good average speech was likely to come from the team from a particular country, because the standard of most teams varies considerably from year to year.
There is often a huge gap between teams at the top and bottom of the marking range. The competition attracts both highly skilled and experienced debaters at one end of the range, and novice debaters from non English speaking countries with no exposure to debate at the other.
It is theoretically possible that the overall standard one year is very high while in another year it is very low. This ought to be reflected in the marks for the whole competition. But it is not necessary for an individual judge's marks to average around 70 throughout the competition, although this is likely if the judge is judging teams from across the whole spectrum of abilities at the competition. If your marks are consistently coming in above or below 70, you might swap thoughts with your fellow judges to see if it is just you or whether you really have been judging a distinctly non-average group of teams.
The last word on this point is that nobody can enforce this particular part of the standard precisely. To achieve consistency in adjudication it is more important that the relative marks of judges on a panel should be about the same, even if the absolute marks vary to a small extent. Thus if I give three speakers 75, 78 and 73, and one of my fellow judges gives the same speakers 74, 79 and 71, we have clearly seen the debate the same way, even though our actual marks vary a little. Try to mark according to the hypothetical standard, but don't be too worried if you are a little bit different from your colleagues on this point.

6.2 Internal Marks and Reply Speeches
If we adopt an overall standard, we must have the same standard applied to each internal category of marks. Thus a good average speaker for this competition would be expected to score 28 for style, 28 for content and 14 for strategy (i.e., 70% of each category). A brilliant speaker would score 32 for style, 32 for content and 16 for strategy (i.e. 80% of each category). An appalling speaker would score 24 for style, 24 for content, and 12 for strategy (i.e. 60% of each category).
If we do not adopt these standards internally, the internal divisions become meaningless. If I decide that I will mark style on a range from 20 to 40, I am giving the same range of marks to this category as I would for the entire speech. In effect I am marking style out of 100 rather than out of 40.
This problem becomes particularly significant for strategy marks because strategy is worth only 20. There is a great temptation to expand the range for this category to differentiate between speakers of otherwise similar standards. It must be resisted: this category is worth only 20, and if 2 speakers are similar in standard they get the same mark, even if one is slightly better than the other.
The same problem arises in the reply speeches because all the categories are halved. The best way to deal with this problem is to mark the reply speech out of 100 and then halve all the marks. This allows half-marks, which ought to solve all your problems.


6.3 Who Wins the Debate?
If you find yourself saying "I thought the proposition won the debate but when I added up my marks I found that the opposition had won instead," something is wrong. It might be your belief about who won the debate or it might be your marks: somehow the two things must be reconciled before you cast your vote. Look back over your marks to make sure that you were evaluating all speakers by the same standards and therefore that the marks accurately express your view of the relative performances of the speakers. Was the third opposition speaker really eight marks better than the first proposition speaker? Was there really no difference in the quality of style or content in the first four speeches? Also, make sure that your belief about who won the debate is not being unduly influenced by the last few speeches: all speeches count equally (except for the reply speeches, which count at half value) and the speaker marks help to ensure that this fact is reflected in your decision. Likewise, make sure that your belief is not being unduly influenced by one category in the marks: perhaps you think that the proposition won only because you are not giving full (i.e. 40%) weight in your mind to the fact that the opposition were significantly ahead on style or content. If your marks for each category and each speaker accurately reflect your view of the debate, then your total marks should reliably indicate which team won the debate, given the particular weightings of different categories we use at World Schools.
It is also worth noting the phenomenon called "the accelerating rebuttal mark". Some judges are swayed by rebuttal or clash. The more there is, the more they believe the speaker is doing a good job. This is logical until you realise that the government has one less opportunity to rebut the other side than the opposition does. The accelerating rebuttal mark means that opposition teams get a big advantage. Always be sure that you are giving full credit to the way a team has proposed an argument as well as to the way their opponents have attempted to knock it down.

6.4 Judicial Discussions
The practice in the World competition is for the judges to go outside after the debate to discuss the issues so that one can present a short commentary on behalf of the judges. It ought to go without saying that a judge cannot go outside to discuss the debate without having reached a decision. The easiest way to ensure this is to insist that each judge hand in their completed marksheet to the person chairing the debate before they go outside to discuss the result. Once handed in, it cannot be changed as a result of the discussions outside. If we did not insist on this rule, the debate outside the room would be more important than the one inside it!

6.5 The Adjudication Speech
Before the adjudication speech, but after ballots have been completed and handed to the chairperson, the judges have a brief opportunity to confer. This is not the time to try to persuade your fellow judges that they made a mistake on a particular issue or in their overall result. Their ballots are locked in like yours, and the only point of conferring is to help one of the judges give the adjudication speech. So, keep the discussion short and to the point. If you dissented and your views are quite different from the rest of the panel, briefly express your reasons and then stay out of the discussion.
The adjudication speech should explain the result of the debate to the audience. Teams can and should speak to the judges individually after the debate, but this is the only opportunity for the audience to hear the reason for the decision. The adjudication speech should not refer to mistakes made by individual speakers: you can discuss these privately after the debate instead of belittling a speaker in public.
Explaining the result to an audience that has just seen its first World Schools debate may require outlining the three categories in which we award marks and, where appropriate, identifying the category in which the decisive difference between the teams was to be found. The adjudication speech should not summarize the content of the debate except insofar as is truly necessary to explain the result. The speech should be as short as possible – typically between 2 and 4 minutes – while communicating to the audience a clear, explanation of the result of the debate (and expressing thanks to the hosts and sponsors).
When giving the adjudication speech you should remember that you are speaking for the panel, not just for yourself. Where there are importantly differing views, especially if the decision is not unanimous, you need to try as far as possible to explain how those differences came about. If at all possible, you should explain the grounds on which one or more judge dissented in a way that emphasizes the reasonableness of the disagreement, rather than leaving the audience to think that one judge got it wrong. In the unlikely and unfortunate event that you cannot present the dissenting view in a way that makes it sound reasonable, it is better to say nothing about it: just explain that the panel reached a majority verdict and then present the views of the majority.
Annex – Range of Marks
1. Substantive Speeches (Out of 100)
Standard Overall
(100) Style
(40) Content
(40) Strategy
(20)
Exceptional 80 32 32 16
Excellent 76-79 31 31 15-16
Extremely Good 74-75 30 30 15
Very Good 71-73 29 29 14-15
Good 70 28 28 14
Satisfactory 67-69 27 27 13-14
Competent 65-66 26 26 13
Pass 61-64 25 25 12-13
Improvement Needed 60 24 24 12

2. Reply Speeches (Out of 50)
Standard Overall
(50) Style
(20) Content
(20) Strategy
(10)
Exceptional 40 16 16 8
Very Good to Excellent 36-39 15 15 7.5
Good 35 14 14 7
Pass to Satisfactory 31-34 13 13 6.5
Improvement Needed 30 12 12 6

In marking reply speeches it might be easier to mark them out of 100 and then halve each mark. That will leave you with half-mark steps, but that is not a problem. Thus a reply speech could be given, say, 13.5 for content, 14.5 for style and 7.5 for strategy, for a total of 35.5.


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