A debating club starts when a few people get together and decide they want to organise their own debates. Once you have a committee of interested people, start holding your first debates. The best way to get people involved is to get a tournament up and running, open to whoever is interested in participating. You may need to consider dividing Junior and Senior cycle students into two separate competitions.
To run a tournament, here’s all you need:
Talk to your teachers or your principal about having a room open for you to use whether at lunchtime or for an hour after school.
Your first meeting should be about letting people sign up for the tournament. It might be useful for people who have debated before to run a show debate to show others what it looks like. Once you have sign-ups, you can get rounds organised and set the competition in motion
Chairperson and Judges
Judging is not terribly difficult. For the first debate or two, ask some teachers if they wouldn’t mind acting as adjudicators, but after that you should be able to manage on your own. Every person that enters the tournament should be obligated to judge at least one debate. Check out our judging guidelines to make things easier.
A debate is nothing without a crowd of supporters so get some posters drawn and get them up around the school the week before the debate.
Try the shops around town for sponsorship. Your teachers may be able to help you out. Alternatively, charge a one euro fee for participation in the tournament and then present the winning team with a cash prize.
This house would download music illegally
This house believes ASBOs are good for youth crime
THW ban boxing
THB celebrities have the right to a private life
THB child labour is justifiable
THW ban human reproductive cloning
THW legalise euthanasia
THW legalise the carrying of firearms
THB animal testing should be illegal
THW bring back corporal punishment in Irish schools
THB hospital workers should not be allowed to strike
THW ban gambling
THW legalise gay marrige
THB no-one should be allowed nuclear weapons
THW bring back the death penalty
THW remove the Irish language as a compulsory subject on the curriculum
THB the United Nations should assassinate dictators
THW ban religious symbols in schools
THW invade Iran
THB there should be a certain number of Dail seats allocated to women