With the exception of a few debate formats such as Lincoln Douglas debating in the US, debating is a team event. This is especially true for the World Schools Debating format, with three speakers per team taking the floor.
Debate, without rebuttals, would be a series of speeches with no relation to each other. Like ships passing in the night, there will be no clash, no conflict and ultimately, no debate. Rebuttal, like argumentation, is one of the foundations of debate. What is rebuttal then? It is a speaker saying that an argument is not valid and showing why it is not valid. If argument is about building logic links in a case, then rebuttal is about the breaking of these links.
The set up provides the foundation for the debate. Consisting of the definitions, clarifications, parameter and the yardstick, the set up plays a critical role in establishing what the grounds for the debate are. Without a good set up, both sets of debaters and the judges could easily because confused over the course of the debate. Good proposition teams will ensure that their set up helps their case as much as possible (while being fair) and good opposition teams will have to check, expand and if necessary, challenge the definitions to get an edge. Failure to do the set up properly could lead to teams debating on their opponents’ terms, which is usually a recipe for defeat.
These are some types of Debaters whom I typical encounter on the circuit. Have you met them too? I think I will just let them do the talking. I am sure you recognise some of them too.
Seven little things I want to grip about in debate…. in no particular order…
Some pet peeves of mine have been showing up again when I last judged debates. So, dear debaters, I humbly ask that…
This guest post has been kindly contributed by my dearest friend, Miss Rohini Singh, who is one of the best debaters and coaches I know.
Sport – Are its ideals dead?
By Rohini Shashikiran Singh
About this Pamphlet
In a world where the interaction between so many influencing forces has increased at an alarming rate, it has become difficult to find any one entity which remains pristine and untouched. This is especially true in the sports arena where it often seems that the original ideals of sport have been sacrificed at the altar of commercialism, politicisation and professionalism. Some people feel that these new gods are benign ones that elevate the principles of sport; others feel that sport is better off without them. This pamphlet aims to examine whether sport as we know it today is a travesty of its original goals or whether it truly is what the founder of the modern Olympic games hoped it would be: “A festival of human unity, celebrating the triumph of human endeavour.”