CHSSA Middle School State Championship

2024 — NSDA Campus, CA/US

SPAR Rules

Speech Timing and Order:

Prep - 3 min (Topics shall be different for each pair of speakers)

Aff Constructive - 2 min

Neg Constructive - 2 min

Open Cross-Examination - 5 min

Aff Rebuttal - 2 min

Neg Rebuttal - 2 min

  • Procedure: At the start of the round, competitors shall be paired together and assigned sides at random. Example: Speaker 1 on the Aff vs Speaker 2 on the Neg, Speaker 3 on the Aff vs Speaker 4 on the Neg, and so on).
  • Each set of competitors will be given three topics. Judges should paste the three topics into the chat. The Negative Speaker will choose to STRIKE, or NOT DEBATE, ONE of the three topics. They should announce the topic they struck in the NSDA Campus Room. Afterwards, the Affirmative Speaker will choose the debate topic from the two topics remaining. They should announce that topic to the judge and the Negative speaker.
  • The first pair of debaters will have 3 minutes to prep on a single topic. During these 3 minutes, Debaters are allowed to use the Internet, though most information and arguments should come from general knowledge and background knowledge on the topic.
  • After 3 minutes are over, the student assigned on the Affirmative side of the topic will speak for 2 minutes affirming the resolution. Then the student assigned on the Negative side of the topic will speak for 2 minutes negating the resolution.
  • Cross examination: During this period, either speaker will ask each other questions. The speakers may also choose to accept questions from the judge or the other competitors in the room. Speakers are expected to engage in a respectful exchange of questions, and appropriate allow their opponent to ask/answer questions as well. Students who are audience members and would like to ask questions should raise their hand. Judges will call on audience members if they see a hand raised. If the judge would like to ask questions to the students, please make sure that you let all students know PRIOR to the start of the round. Judges should seek to intervene as fairly as possible and should not intentionally ask tough hitting questions only for one side.
  • After the cross-examination period is over, the debater on the Affirmative gives a 2 minute rebuttal, and the debater on the Negative gives a 2 minute rebuttal, ending the first pair of debates.
  • This process is repeated with the next pair of debaters until all speakers have spoken.
  • Speakers who are double entered may go out of order! If there are an ODD numbered of students in the room, a volunteer may speak twice, but the volunteer shall only be judged on their FIRST speech, not their second speech.
  • Student shall be evaluated based on wit of their claims, persuasive ability, and overall argument construction. By in large, students should be using general knowledge.
  • This Tournament will ask judges to rank all speakers from 1st (as the BEST) to 5th, 6th, 7th, etc.