Requesting Specific Debate Formats

Debate Formats

In Open Debates, we celebrate the art of argumentation and want to encourage engaging in debate and productive discourse. While the typical free flow of arguments is often able to accommodate this, we have decided to make it easier for members to debate in specific and recognised debate formats if they wish to do so. Settling on a format prior to a debate can allow for a more productive allocation of time within the debate and creates an innate pace; in addition, it prevents your opponent from not giving you the chance to reply to their arguments and ensures equal opportunity for all members wishing to debate in a team.

If you wish for a member of staff to facilitate a debate in a specific format, you should send a DM to the Support Bot; thereafter we will match you with a member of staff who will work to settle on a time and date to suit you and your opponent(s).

We are able to host all formats as either impromptu or prepared debates and you can find sample motions in the “additional resources” section under each format.

Here is a list and brief introduction of formats our staff is currently equipped to enforce:

WORLD SCHOOL’S (WSDC)

Number of debaters required: ≤3 per side
Approximate length per debate: 63 minutes (without preparation time), 8/4 minutes per speech
Useful for: in-depth discussion, improving rebuttals, practicing team debate, practicing points of information
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY (BP)

Number of debaters required: 2 per team, traditionally 2 or 4 total teams
Approximate length per debate: 28/56 minutes depending on the number of teams (no prep time)
Useful for: policy debates, spontaneous argumentation and critical thinking, learning in-depth material on a certain subject, practicing points of information
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

ASIAN PARLIAMENTARY

Number of debaters required: ≤3 per side
Approximate length per debate: 36 minutes (without preparation time)
Useful for: policy motions, more sophisticated argumentation than WSDC
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

CANADIAN PARLIAMENTARY

Number of debaters required: 2 per team, 2 teams
Approximate length per debate: 40 minutes (without prep time)
Useful for: practicing squirrable motions, team debates with fewer members, policy motions
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions

SPONTANEOUS ARGUMENTATION (SPAR)

Number of debaters required: 2 or more
Approximate length per debate: 18 minutes
Useful for: fast-paced argumentation, cross-examination, broader motions that do not require research
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

LINCOLN DOUGLAS

Number of debaters required: 2
Approximate length per debate: 32 minutes without prep time.
Useful for: Value propositions
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

TEAM POLICY DEBATE

Number of debaters required: 2 per team, 2 teams
Approximate length per debate: 1.5 hours
Useful for: In-depth argumentation, cross-examination, extended speeches, several speaking opportunities
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

CROSS EXAMINATION DEBATE

Number of debaters required: 2 per team, 2 teams
Approximate length per debate: 60 minutes
Useful for: value propositions, improving rebuttals
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

PUBLIC FORUM DEBATES

Number of debaters required: 4 per team, 2 teams
Approximate length per debate: 30 minutes
Useful for: arguing currently relevant topics, cross-examination, refutation skills, fast-paced debating
Additional Resources:
Format
Sample Motions
Sample Debate

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