Marking Standard

  •  Each speaker's substantive speech is marked out of 100, with 40 for content, 40 for style and 20 for strategy.

  • The reply speech is marked out of 50, with 20 for content, 20 for style and 10 for strategy.

  • In order to encourage consistency of marks, speeches are marked within the accepted range of marks and judges may not go outside that range.

  • Judges may not use any other marking standard or categorise of marks.

  • If a debater declares that they are unable to make their speech after a debate has begun, another member of their team who was announced by the chairperson as being a speaker in that debate may speak in their place. In such a situation judges shall award the speech the lowest possible score within the Marking Standard, regardless of the quality of the speech.

  • Content is the argument used by the speaker, divorced from the speaking style.

  • If an argument is weak it should be marked accordingly, even if the other team does not expose its weakness.

  • In deciding the strength or weakness of an argument, judges should not be influenced by their own personal beliefs or specialised knowledge.

  • Style is the way speakers speak.

  • Judges should make allowance for different accents, speaking styles and debating terminology.

  • Debaters for whom English is a second language shall be judged as if they were native English speakers.

  • In general, the use of palm-cards, lecterns, folders, notepads or other forms of speakers notes should not affect the mark a speaker is given.

  • However, speakers should not read their speeches, but should use notes that they refer to only from time to time.

  • Strategy covers two concepts:

    • Whether the speaker understands what are the issues of the debate, and The structure and timing of the speaker's speech.

    • A speaker who answers the critical issues with weak responses should get poor marks for content but good marks for strategy. 

The Judging

  • Judges mark independently of each other, and should sit apart from each other during the debate so that they cannot see each other's mark-sheets.

  • At the end of the debate, the judges fill in their mark-sheets independently, and hand them to the person chairing the debate before leaving the debate room briefly to confer.

  • The purpose of the conference is to brief one of the judges to give a short adjudication on behalf of the judges.

  • The adjudication should be short, and should explain the result to the audience. In particular, it should set out the key reasons why the winning team won, and comment on significant matters of debate style or technique that were displayed in the debate.

  • The adjudication should be constructive, not negative.

     

Motions

  • (a) There shall be a Motions Committee for a championship. (b) The Motions Committee shall consist of:

  • (i) two members nominated by the host, and

  • (ii) five members elected by the Council no later than four months prior to the start of the championships reflecting the geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity of the participants at the championships.

  • (c) A coach of a team at a championship is not eligible to be a member of the Motions Committee for that championship.

  • (d) The Motions Committee shall select all motions for debate at the championship.

  • (e) At least eight weeks prior to the start of the championship, the Motions Committee shall forward to the host the list of motions it has selected for prepared debates including the Grand Final.

  • (f) The host shall forthwith notify all teams of the prepared motions for debate.

  • (g) At least one day before the start of a championship the Motions Committee shall give to the host a set of motions for the impromptu preliminary rounds.

  • (h) That set of motions shall include at least one more motion than is required for the preliminary rounds.

  • (i) At least one day before the announcement of the draw for the Octo-Finals, Quarter-Finals and Semi- Finals, the Motions Committee shall give to the host a set of motions for those debates.

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