Your Debating Club

 

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:

 

Location

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.

 

Speakers

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.

 

Posters

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.

 

Prizes

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.

 

Sample Motions

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

 

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