The basic idea of Congressional Debate is that you are pretending to be a representative, in Congress, arguing over pieces of legislation.
Representatives will take turns speaking for a piece of legislation (affirmative) or against a piece of legislation (negative).
Legislation changes each semester and schools can submit legislation to be considered!
Lincoln Douglas Debate
Lincoln Douglas Debate (LD) is a one-on-one debate; meaning students compete individually. The topic will switch every two months and is often a policy action. The affirmative is seeking to defend the resolution while the negative is seeking to criticize the resolution.
Students must conduct a wide variety of research and also have a grasp of philosophy in LD.
Policy debate is a team event. Students compete with a partner against another team. A policy topic is released for the entire year. Students will then prepare to debate both the affirmative and negative sides of the resolution. The affirmative team creates a plan that supports the resolution. The negative team will disagree with the resolution and find problems in the plan that will cause more problems than it solves.
Public Forum Debate
Public Forum Debate involves opposing teams of two, similar to Policy Debate. Students debate a topic that changes every two months. Students will either speak on the affirmative side (PRO) or the negative side (CON). Students are seeking to either support or criticize the topic based on their side of the debate, which is most often determined with a coin flip. This debate event is often judged by community members and is designed to be highly accessible.
World Schools Debate
World Schools is a team debate event. Teams can be made up of 3-5 students; only 3 students will speak in a round.
World Schools debate is a mix of prepared and impromptu motions. The TFA World Schools committee creates a list of 10 motions each semester for teams to research and debate at tournaments. Some rounds at each tournament will include impromptu motions where teams have a limited amount of time to research and prepare their cases.