Seattle University High School Speech and Debate Tournament

2022 — NSDA Campus, WA/US

Spar - how to

How to Spar –


The debaters will be assigned affirmative or negative until all debaters are assigned to a side by the judge prior to the start of the round. The speakers will have one minute before speaking to prep. The first affirmative speaker will give a two-minute speech in favor of the resolution; immediately after that speech, the first negative speaker will refute the position in a two-minute constructive. Following the opening statements, there will be a five-minute open cross-examination. The pair should question each other, and should be prepared to take at least a few questions from the audience, other competitors, and even the judge. Two rebuttal speeches of the affirmative and negative respectively (2 minutes each) complete the round. Judges should time and provide timing signals for the competitors.


Times: Aff-2; Neg-2; CX-5; Aff-2; Neg-2.


If an odd number of students show up for the round, one student may give a repeat (unscored) additional performance. Answers by debaters to questions from the audience during the open CX period should be used in the scoring of the competitors who are actually debating, but should not be considered as relevant in the scoring of those who are merely asking questions, particularly since some students may be double-entered and will not have the opportunity to participate in the questioning process.

The following is a sample ballot SIMILAR to what we will be using.

SPAR (Spontaneous Argumentation)

Judges: fill out every space in the form below. When ranking the speakers, award the rank of 1 to the best speaker, then 2nd, 3rd, etc. until every speaker has been ranked. Do not duplicate any ranks. Do not tie any contestants. Rate (also known as Speaker Points) are on a scale of 1-20 (20 being a flawless, amazing speech); 19-18 – Tremendous Speech; 17 – 16 Exceeds Expectations; 15 – Meets Expectations; 14-13 Below Expectation; 12 and below an inappropriate or deeply flawed speech.


Rank the speaker:

(1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)


Contestant Name:

Speaker Number:


Rate the speaker:

(20 – 1, 20 = best)


Judge’s Signature:

Judge’s school affiliation (don’t abbreviate):

Text Box: SPAR: Speakers will be debating against each other on a topic from a list provided by the tournament. The first speaker should debate the second speaker, the third speaker should debate the fourth speaker, and so on. If there is an odd number of speakers, he judge should ask a volunteer to speak a second time so a debate can take place. A contestant’s rank should be based on their [presentation and performance, not on whether or not the judge feels they won or lost the debate.
The judge will announce the topic, and a winner of a coin toss will choose which side of the topic they will defend.
              2 minute prep
	2 minute affirmative
	5 minute clash
	2 minute negative rebuttal
	2 minute affirmative rebuttal
Argumentation: Did the speaker provide  clear point in their speeches? Did they ask detailed questions in the clash period? Were responses to questions given?
Organization: Were the speeches clearly organized and easy to follow? Did the speeches contain evidence, examples, or expert opinions in support of ideas or conclusions? Did the speeches convey information accurately and coherently?
Delivery: Did the speaker present logical appeal, emotional appeal, and substantive support material.
Evaluate the speaker using the following criteria. Please offer justification for the ranking in the round and provide constructive suggestions to improve the student’s skills. Remember, both the student and their coach will see this ballot.
                                                                        Criteria for Evaluation