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The rules for World Schools debating were invented in Australia decades ago, as an answer to the boring styles of debating that school debaters had to take part in

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THE RULES OF THE GAME What's up with World Schools style? Just being able to argue well does not make you a good debater - just as being able to kick a ball will not make you a good soccer player. There are various rules to debating, depending on what style of debating you are using. There can be British parliamentary debating, Oxford style debating, SACEE style, and most importantly - World Schools Style debating. The rules for World Schools debating were invented in Australia decades ago, as an answer to the boring styles of debating that school debaters had to take part in. At university level, debaters are allowed to interrupt each other and make all kinds of smart comments, as the focus is no longer on whether you are a good public speaker, but more on whether you could argue well, present your arguments clearly, and could make people believe what you were saying. No one cared what the Oxford definition of the topic was - what mattered was whether it was clear what you were arguing about, and whether your argument was the most understandable and believable. World Schools debating was invented to capture that exact spirit of debating at school level. The older, stuffier, more formal styles went out the window, and World Schools began to spread, as it was the first debating style that promised to be really entertaining to be involved in, as well as to watch. Debating was starting to become a real form of entertainment. The rules for the World Schools style of debating are really quite easy, once you have got the hang of it - and they change very little at all the different competitions. ...read more.


When your time is up, he will bang twice, just as he did for the other speeches, and you will have 30 seconds to finish before he starts banging non-stop again. In a neat diagram form, the times for a main speech look like this: The first minute Nobody can offer points of information From the first minute to the last Points of information are allowed The last minute No more points of information are allowed. Start finishing your speech After the last minute You have 30 seconds before the timekeeper will start banging non-stop And for a reply speech, it is something like this: The first two minutes The main part of your speech (Nobody can offer points of information) The last minute Start finishing your speech After the last minute You have 30 seconds before the banging starts... Points of information Points of information are by far the most fun part of World Schools debating. If you have ever debated before, you will know that there are times when you wish that you were allowed to challenge the speaker that what he is saying is wrong. Or to throttle him. While you will never be allowed to strangle an irritating speaker, points of information mean that you can challenge him on what he is saying. To stop the debate just being a screaming match between you and the speaker, there are a few rules about offering points of information that you will need to remember. Firstly, you can't just get up and start saying what is on your mind. ...read more.


You will find that most of the major competitions will choose topics that have something to do with what is happening in the country at the time, so if you keep yourself informed about the current news, you should be fine. In addition, you and your team can put together a "resource file", which is just a collection of news articles and facts on issues that you think you might be asked to debate on. Building a truly superb resource file is something that is covered in another manual, but the basics are very simple - it is just a matter of keeping an eye open for news on things that look like debating topics (like Zimbabwe, or AIDS), and keeping any articles, magazine cuttings or other information that you come across The End Bit This is a very basic overview of the rules you will need to know to get started in debating in the World Schools style. To become a better debater in the style and how to make the most of things like points of information, you will have to read the other debating guides in the Ferret series. Nevertheless, knowing the rules is at the core of developing yourself as a debater, and you will find that the more debates you do, and the more you practice, the better you will become as a speaker and as a debater. With enough practice and research, it is possible to reach the provincial championships for your province, and with enough work, perhaps even the national championships to battle for your place in the South African squad as it defends the country's debating against some of the top debating nations in the world! ...read more.

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