What events are available through Wellington's debate program?

Competitive Political Events

  • Congressional Debate: This is individual debate in a large group (20-30 students) setting. Legislative debaters research and write pieces of Congressional legislation that they feel will better the society in which we live. At a tournament, debaters will then speak on the legislation while using proper parliamentary procedure. Judges score each competitor based on argumentation ability, speaking technique, knowledge of parliamentary procedure, and overall participation.

  • Lincoln Douglas Debate: This popular style of debating features one person on each side. Propositions of value are debated with the emphasis on developing logical argumentation rather than an accumulation of information. You will learn values analysis, argumentation skills, sound and ethical uses of persuasion, and clear audience centered communication. You will have the opportunity to debate several topics during the school year. Topics change every two months.

  • Public Forum Debate: Public Forum Debate is audience friendly debate. You and a partner will debate controversial issues that are "stripped" from the newspaper headlines. A Public Forum Debate round begins with a flip of a coin between the competing teams to determine your side and speaker position. Public Forum will test your skills in argumentation, cross-examination, and refutation. The topic changes monthly.

  • Extemporaneous Speaking: A contestant draws three questions on a foreign or domestic topic, selects one, then has 30 minutes to prepare an answer to the question. The contestant utilizes a set of files that he or she has built as a resource for answering the question. Only published materials may be used as resources (books, magazines, newspaper, and on-line resources). At the completion of the 30 minute preparation time, the student will speak on the topic for 7 minutes.

    Competitive Acting Events

  • Dramatic Performance: This is an individual category in which the selections are dramatic or humorous in nature. Selections shall be cuttings from published-printed novels, short stories, plays, poetry, or any other printed-published materials. Presentations must be memorized, without props or costumes. Actors will utilize stationary blocking to enhance the interpretation. The time limit is 10 minutes, which includes an introduction.

  • Duo Interpretation: This is a two-person category in which the selection may be either humorous or dramatic in nature. Selections shall be cuttings from published-printed novels, short stories, plays, poetry, or any other printed-published materials. Presentations must be memorized, without props or costumes. Actors will utilize stationary blocking to enhance the interpretation. The time limit is 10 minutes, which includes an introduction. Each person plays only one character (CFL rules) or multiple characters (NFL rules).

  • Oral Interpretation: To compete in Oral Interpretation, students select a piece of prose and a piece of poetry (each 10 minutes or less in length) to perform before a judge. This performance is unlike Dramatic Interpretation in that the pieces are not memorized and they are not "acted out" to the degree that the Dramatic Interpretation pieces are. The competitor must use vocal imagery and facial expression to convey the emotion of the work.

    Competitive Public Speaking Events

  • Original Oratory: As orator you will be expected to research and speak intelligently, with a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some profit to your audience, about a topic you have chosen. Although many orations deal with a current problem and propose a solution this is not the only acceptable form of oratory. Your oration may simply alert the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an accepted cause, or eulogize a person. An orator is given free choice of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of development and presentation.

  • Declamation: In Declamation, students memorize a 10-minute long selection of a previously-given speech. The speech may be an old oratory, a public address, or anything that has been presented before. Judges focus on the presentation of the speech rather than the content of the speech. Speech choice factors into the judging also. While tournament competition is limited to freshmen and sophomores, all novice students will be introduced to this event.

    No Interpretive or Public Speaking Event is alike, even though they share some general, common denominators. DP, Duo, OO, Dec and OI are between 8-10 minutes in length. All involve using body language, eye contact, facial gestures, and pathos to create various moods and feelings. All are memorized (except for Oral Interpretation); all are performances of previously written or presented scripts.