A debate focuses on one topic known as The Motion. The Motion is an action statement. In theory, if the motion were passed, it would become a new rule, policy, or law. The Proposition team is in favor of the motion. The Opposition is against the motion.

The Chair is responsible for keeping the debate running smoothly. The Chair introduces the motion and the teams. The Chair also tells speakers and people from the floor when it is time to speak or ask questions and when it is time to stop talking. The Chair may referee if necessary. The Chair is not a Judge.

At the end of the debate, people from The Floor will vote in favor or against the motion. The vote is confidential. The Vote will determine whether or not the motion is passed.

A debate also needs a Timekeeper. This person is responsible for watching the clock and notifying the Chair and Speaker when time is nearly up and when time is up.

The Rules

  • Speakers can only present arguments and rebuttals included in the speaker’s notes.
  • Speaker’s notes can be adjusted during intermissions.
  • Arguments must fit the PEE format:
    • Present – present only one argument
    • Evidence – your argument must have credible supporting evidence
    • Explain – use persuasive language to convince the floor
  • Rebuttals must connect to the arguments.
  • The Summary cannot introduce new arguments; however, the summary can include arguments presented by the Floor.

The Debate

Debating Schedule

Chair Script

Debate Planning Sheet

Proposition Guide

Opposition Guide


Debate Structure