Rules for Mini-Debate

This debate is like a practice round for a real debate. However, for a real debate, there are extra rules, and the time limits are longer.

Topics: The topic of the debate is called a motion. Motions must be about regional and global issues. Teams gather information about the topic to prepare for a debate.

Teams: There are two teams. One team is the Government Team, which has a prime minister, a deputy prime minister, and a government whip. The government starts the debate with an opening speech about the motion.

The other team is the Opposition Team, which has a leader of the opposition, a deputy leader of the opposition, and an opposition whip. The opposition team opposes the government’s motion, but they also have to present their own point of view; not just say the government is wrong.

Debaters give 1-minute speeches in this order:

1.   prime minister
2.   leader of opposition
3.   deputy prime minister
4.   deputy leader of opposition
5.   government whip
6.   opposition whip
7.   leader of opposition (reply speech)
8.   prime minister reply (reply speech)

Speeches are judged on Matter, Manner and Method.

Matter is the score for information used to support an argument. Matter should be relevant, logical and persuasive. It should be presented for the average person to understand.

Manner is the score for a debater’s speaking style and ability to persuade people.

1.   Vocal style: volume, clarity, pronunciation, pace, intonation, fluency, confidence, authority.
2.   Language: should be conversational.
3.   Notes: should not distract, should not be read.
4.   Eye contact: should focus on the audience.
5.   Gestures: should be natural, appropriate.
6.   Sincerity: believability.
7.   Politeness: no personal attacks or insults.
8.   Humor: should be appropriate and effective.
Method is the score for the following:

Individual method: The speech is organized, and time is managed well so extra comments can be included.

Team method: There is teamwork and the effort is shared.

Response to dynamics of the debate: Arguments and responding well to whatever the other team says.

Time limits: Debaters should work on the most important issues first, because the chairman will time the speeches. When time runs out, a debater has 30 seconds to finish his sentence. If speeches are short, a debater loses points for not having enough matter.

Judges: There are three judges. One judge is the chairman and the timekeeper. Debaters must obey the chairman.

After hearing the debate, the judges combine their scores and announce the winner. Then they give feedback on the debate, and decide who the best speaker was.

Awarding Points:

Each good speech is awarded 80 out of 100 points.
Each good reply speech is awarded 40 out of 50 points.
Total: 80 + 80 + 80 + 40 = 280 points.

Each average speech is awarded 75 out of 100 points.
Each average reply speech is awarded 38 out of 50 points.
Total: 75 + 75 + 75 + 37.5 = 263 points.

Each terrible speech is awarded 70 out of 100 points.
Each terrible reply speech is awarded 35 out of 50 points.
Total: 70 + 70 + 70 + 35 = 245 points.
An average speech is awarded:
Matter: 30 out of 40
Manner: 30 out of 40
Method: 15 out of 20
Total: 75 out of 100

Half marks cannot be awarded for constructive speeches.
Reply speeches are to be marked out of a total of 50 marks or 100 out of two.

The average mark for an average team is there for 75 + 75 + 75 + 37.5 = 262.5

Downwards from this average, the worst speech in the history of debating would still get 69 or 70 out of 100.

A terrible speech is awarded:
Matter: 28 out of 40
Manner: 28 out of 40
Method: 13 out of 20
Total: 69 or 70 out of 100

Half marks cannot be awarded for constructive speeches.
Reply speeches are to be marked out of a total of 50 marks or 100 out of two.

The weak low is therefore: 70 + 70 + 70 + 35 = 245.

Upwards from this average, the best speech in the history of the world would only get 80 or 81 out of 100.

A good speech is awarded:
Matter: 32 out of 40
Manner: 32 out of 40
Method: 17 out of 20
Total: 81 out of 100

Half marks cannot be awarded for constructive speeches.
Reply speeches are to be marked out of a total of 50 marks or 100 out of two.

The strong high is therefore: 80 + 80 + 80 + 40 = 280.

At the conclusion of a debate adjudicators decide whether the standard of the debate was average, higher than average were lower than average, and whether the margins of win or loss was subjectively close, clear or a thrashing.

Close when there is a 1 (changed from 0.5)  to 3 points difference.

Clear when there is a 4 to 7 points difference.

Thrashing when there is an 8 to 12 points difference