Debate and Judging Criteria

The debate will consist of two rounds and a summary as follows:

Round One:
Pro - 5 minutes to present the issues, definitions and arguments
Con - 5 minute to present the issues, definitions and arguments

Round Two:
Second Pro - 5 minutes to rebut Round One
Second Con - 5 minutes to rebut Round One

Third Pro - 5 minutes to summarize (no new evidence)
Third Con - 5 minutes to summarize (no new evidence)

The categories for judging shall be:
Content - 10 marks
Delivery - 10 marks
Teamwork - 5 marks
Time Keeping - 5 marks
Overall Impression - 10 marks

Total - 40 marks

0-2 marks
Weak or irrelevant argument, poorly structured. Inconsistent with previous speakers' definition or an unreasonable attempt to define or redefine the case. Fails to adequately explore the subject.

3-5 marks
Below average argument. Perhaps coherent but clumsy; mainly consistent but stale and lacking in imagination or originality. Has little evidence to support case.

6-7 marks
Sound argument. Relevant, reasonable and consistent with a defined structure and coherent points. Introduces some evidence to support argument but fails to reach beyond stereotype formula debate for the topic.

8-9 marks
High quality argument, imaginative and coherent. Good points backed up by examples or evidence. Deals fully with the subject and is challenging for the other side to respond to.

10 marks
A rare occurrence. A debate winning argument which the other side cannot respond to. Original, well structured and convincing. Only to be awarded to a very high quality debater.


0-2 marks
Hesitant, floundering; has little idea of what to say; inarticulate, incoherent and obviously lacking in any confidence. Would struggle to make him/herself heard in a larger venue.

3-6 marks
Varying degrees of weak to average delivery.

7-9 marks
This is a good quality performance in which the speaker only uses brief notes occasionally, only uses wild hand actions where appropriate and has a confident air which is rarely put off by the acrobatics of other competitors. The speaker speaks clearly and makes eye contact with the panel and the competitors and does not appear to be rushing or dragging out their speech. A speaker who loses his/her way once but manages to recover effectively can still achieve as high a score as seven or eight.

10 marks
Again a rare mark to give; to achieve a perfect ten, the speaker must have no notes, must speak confidently at the perfect tempo and must be able to deal with heckling and requests to give way effectively. He/She must never lose his/her place and appear to have the entire debate under his/her control.

Team Work
This is a subjective section based on judge's decision. It should reflect:

Time Keeping
All speakers in the opening rounds will have five minutes to speak. Speaking too long or too short will cost them marks roughly as follows

Overall Impression
This is a fairly subjective section which allows for the judges' discretion. It basically represents a rough average of the other marks but judges can increase or decrease marks taking into account:

Blackline Master #22