2024 10th Annual Douglass Debates

2024 — Millersville, PA/US


Abbreviation Debate
Format Debate
Entry Fee $0.00
Entry Limit Per School 4
Entry Teams of between 1 and 2 competitors

Event Description:

Tournament Guidelines for Spring 2024 Debate Topic

Resolved: The PA State Government should implement school choice in K-12 education

Debate Format

Two-person team cross-examination style switch side debate. Debaters are expected to prepare argumentation on both sides (i.e., the Affirmative Side and Opposition Side) of the tournament resolution. Debaters are furthermore expected to incorporate research from qualified sources into their speeches.

Speaking Order and Time Limits

Affirmative opening speech (6 minutes)

Cross examination (3 minutes)

Opposition opening speech (6 minutes)

Cross examination (3 minutes)

Affirmative rebuttal speech (4 minutes)

Opposition rebuttal speech (4 minutes)

Preparation Time: Each team has 5 minutes total for the round

Debaters are expected to adhere to the format of the debate, including time limits. The judge is the official timekeeper of the round. Debaters are also expected to keep time. Debaters also have the right to time their opponents and to make a point of order to the judge, should their opponents go significantly over time.

Opening Speeches

It is the task of the Affirmative side to present and defend a case in support of the resolution. This case is presented in the Affirmative Opening Speech. It is the task of the Opposition side to cast significant doubt on the resolution. The Opposition Opening Speech typically includes their prepared case against the resolution as well as refutation of argumentation presented by the Affirmative in their opening speech.

Rebuttal Speeches

Each side concludes the debate with a rebuttal speech through which they aim to convince the judge why they should win the debate. In this speech, debaters are expected to rebuild their own case and advance refutation against the case of their opponent.

Cross-Examination (CX):

After each opening speech, one member of the opposing team will have up to three minutes to cross examine the speaker of the opening speech, who is obligated to respond. CX consists of question-answer exchanges used to clarify and weaken your opponent’s position (and to strengthen your own). Please refrain from “tag team” CX—only one member from each side should participate in CX.

Preparation Time

Each team has a total of five minutes of preparation time, which they can use at their discretion between speeches or before CX. The judge is the official timekeeper for preparation time, although teams should also time themselves.

Role of the Judge

It is the primary role of the judge to determine only one winner and only one loser for each round. Judges will also keep time and ensure that the debate progresses in an orderly manner. Judges are usually college professors or community members with debate experience who volunteer their time and service.