World Schools Debate
World Schools Debate features a dynamic format that combines the concepts of “prepared” motions with “impromptu” motions, encouraging debaters to focus on specific issues rather than debate theory or procedural arguments. This highly interactive style of debate allows debaters to engage each other, even during speeches. The challenging format requires good teamwork and in-depth quality argumentation.
Considerations for World Schools Debate
World Schools Debate is a three-on-three format. While a team may consist of five members, only three students from a team participate in a given debate. Resolutions come in two types: prepared motions and impromptu motions. Teams will be assigned one of two sides in each round—either the proposition team proposing the motion or the opposition team advocating the rejection of the motion. Debaters present their position on a motion, refute their opponents, and respond to questions throughout the course of the debate.
After students do an initial brainstorming session on prepared motions, they should conduct research. In World Schools Debate, evidence is viewed differently than people tend to view it in more traditional forms of debate (LD, PF, Policy). Trying to approach evidence like one would in other events is counter-productive to individuals participating in Worlds. Instead, in order to be competitive in this event, one should incorporate contemporary and historical examples, statistics that show data and trends, analogies, and experiential evidence.
For impromptu motions, students cannot conduct outside research. Instead, they must rely upon their own understanding of the motion plus an almanac and a dictionary. As a result, it is important for students to stay up-to-date on current events and understand global issues of significance. Researching not just current events but the history to understand how we’ve arrived at these current events is important.
Additionally, in the Worlds format, there are motions that focus on social, entertainment, and other issues, not just political ones. Research is useful to understand motions and be able to generate arguments. The emphasis in World Schools is less on individual pieces of evidence and more on developing analysis and showing understanding. Research is acceptable on a prepared motion; however, citing evidence is not the primary means of developing argumentation in World Schools Debate.
Proposition Team Speaker 1 8 minutes
Opposition Team Speaker 1 8 minutes
Proposition Team Speaker 2 8 minutes
Opposition Team Speaker 2 8 minutes
Proposition Team Speaker 3 8 minutes
Opposition Team Speaker 3 8 minutes
Opposition Reply 4 minutes
Proposition Reply 4 minutes