TAN SRI DATUK WIRA ABDUL RAHMAN ARSHAD CHALLENGE TROPHY PARLIAMENTARY STYLE ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEBATE RULES AND GUIDELINES1. Name Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad English Language Debate2. Format 2.1 A team representing a school shall consists of 3 main debaters and 2 reserves 2.2 The proposition team is known as the Affirmative or the Government while the opposition team is known as the Negative or Opposition. 2.3 Allocation of time and speaking order; AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE TIME 1 1st Speaker 2 1st Speaker 8 minutes 3 2nd Speaker 4 2nd Speaker 8 minutes 5 3rd Speaker 6 3rd Speaker 8 minutes 8 Reply Speech 7 Reply Speech 4 minutes 1st / 2nd Affirmative 1st / 2nd Negative 2.4 The third debater from both teams shall not introduce any new arguments. Their role is mainly to rebut. 2.5 While the debater is speaking the opposition team can offer ‘Point(s) of Information’ (formal interjections). The debater may accept or decline it. 2.6 After all the debaters have spoken once, the 1st or 2nd debater for each side gives a reply speech with the Negative’s Reply being delivered first and the Affirmative second.
3. Eligibility 3.1 The competition is open to all students from Form 1 – 5 from all Government-aided secondary schools Malaysia, excluding fully residential schools. 3.2 A school is allowed to send only one team to participate in the competition. 3.3 Each team should comprise of at least one Bumiputera student who is a speaking member of the team. 3.4 Every member of a participating team should come from the same school.4. Adjudication 4.1 All debates shall be adjudicated by an odd numbered panel of at least 3 adjudicators. 4.2 At National level competitions, a panel of 5 adjudicators should adjudicate. 4.3 Adjudicators should be briefed on the rules of adjudication 30 minutes before the debate. 4.4 Adjudicators should not adjudicate the team from their own schools/districts/states unless there is no adjudicators available. 4.6 A debate is won by the team which scored a majority of votes from the adjudicators on the panel. Team marks or winning margins of adjudicators are not to be added together to decide the winner. 4.7 Immediately after a debate, the Speaker will collect the score sheets from the adjudicators. There should be no discussions among the adjudicators when deciding the winner of the debate. 4.8 Once the score sheets has been handed in, the adjudicators shall meet and confer to decide the Best Debater. They shall refer to the adjudicators’ comment sheets to decide the winner.
5. Procedure of Debate 5.1 The Debate Process 5.1.1 The debate topics will be given to the competing teams 2 weeks before the competition. 5.1.2 The teams will draw the stand ONE hour before a debate commences. 5.1.3 The draw should take place as schedule on time. 5.1.4 Any team that is late would have to inform the organizers within 5 minutes of the scheduled time, failure of which, the team already present will be allowed to draw. 5.1.5 A team which is late (more than 5 minutes without information on whereabouts) would automatically take on the other position. 5.1.6 The team will then be quarantined in their quarantine rooms for ONE hour to prepare for the debate. 5.1.7 Only the team members competing (3 main debaters and 2 reserves) will be allowed in the quarantine room. 5.1.8 The team is allowed to use only printed reference materials in the quarantine room. No electronic gadgets are allowed in. 5.1.9 Teams are required to be seated at the debate venue (s) 5 minutes before the start of the debate. 5.2 The Role of the Chairperson / Speaker 5.2.1 Each team will be chaired by a Chairperson who will be addressed as Mr. Speaker or Madam Speaker. 5.2.2 The Speaker is responsible for the smooth running of the debate. 5.2.3 The Speaker will read out the rules of the debate and then proceed to introduce the timekeeper, adjudicators and debaters. 5.2.4 The Speaker must refrain from making any comments concerning the debate or debaters during the debate. 5.2.5 The Speaker must ensure that the adjudicators must be given enough time to fill in their marks before the next debater is called.
5.3 The Role of the Timekeeper 5.3.1 The Timekeeper must ensure that each debater is given 8 minutes to deliver his / her speech. 5.3.2 The Timekeeper will ring the bell once after the 1st minute and at the end of the 7th minute to signal the time allocated for Points of Information. At the end of the 8th minute, the bell will be rung twice.(placards may be used by the timekeeper to indicate the remaining time left, at intervals of one minute). 5.3.3 A maximum time of 3 minutes will be given to both teams to prepare for Reply Speech. 5.3.4 During the Reply Speech, the Timekeeper will ring the bell once at the 3rd minute to signal that the debater has 1 minute left. At the end of the 4th minute, the bell will be rung twice to signal the end of the debate.6. Points of Information 6.1 A Point of Information is a formal interjection. It can be: i. a question ii. a remark iii. a clarification iv. a correction of word (s) or statement (s) 6.2 A Point of Information may be offered by a member of the opposition team from the 2ND minute to the 7th minute of the time allocated to the debater. Points of Information are not allowed during the 1st and Final minutes of the speech. A bell will be rung to signal the beginning and the end of the time allocated for Points of Information. 6.3 A time limit of 15 seconds is allowed for each Point of Information. Therefore, the Points of Information put forth must be concise and to the point. 6.4 No heckling or harassment or barracking is allowed at any time during the debate. 6.5 Giving and taking Points of Information should be done politely. A debater is required to raise his / her hand and to stand when putting forth a Point
of Information. Rude, abusive or aggressive behaviour in both instances will lead to a reduction of marks from the STYLE section.6.6 A debater may either accept the Point of Information or decline it. If accepted, the opponent may make a short point or ask a question that deals with some issues of the debate (preferably one just made by the debater).6.7 A debater MUST give or take at least 2 Points of Information during the course of the debate. 6.7.1 A debater who does not offer the minimum number of Points of Information will be marked down for SUBSTANCE and STRATEGY. Substance for failing to take advantage of opportunities. Strategy for failing to understand the role of the debater under this style. 6.7.2 A debater who fails to accept any Points of Information would be marked down for SUBSTANCE AND STRATEGY. Substance for failing to allow the other side to make their point. Strategy for not understanding the role of the debater under this style or cowardice in not accepting a challenge.6.8 No Points of Information may be offered during the Reply Speeches.6.9 The Etiquette of Points of Information A Point of Information is offered by standing and saying “Point of Information” or something similar. The debater on the floor is not obliged to accept every point. He / She may ; Ask the interrupter to sit down; Finish the sentence and then accept the point Accept the point there and then
REFERENCE FOR THE SCORE SHEET1.0 Marks are awarded to each debater according to : SUBSTANCE STYLE STRATEGY LANGUAGE1.1 SUBSTANCE a. Substance covers the arguments that are used divorced from the speaking style. It is as if you are seeing the arguments written down rather than spoken. You must assess the weight of the arguments without being influenced by the magnificence of the orator that presented them. b. Substance also includes an assessment of the weight of the rebuttal or clash. This assessment must be done from the standpoint of the average reasonable person. c. The adjudicator’s job is to assess the strength of an argument regardless of whether the other team is able to knock it down. If a team introduces weak arguments it will not score highly in substance, even if the other team does not refute. Two consequences flow from these. d. First, if a major argument is plainly weak, an opposing team which doesn’t refute may well have committed greater sin than the team which introduced it. In effect the team has led the other team to get away with a weak argument. This is not an automatic rule but it is true in many cases. Of course, it must be a major argument not a minor example which the opposing team correctly chooses to ignore in favour of attacking more significant points. e. Second, adjudicators have to be careful not to be influenced by their own beliefs, nor their own specialized knowledge. For example if you are a lawyer and you know that a team’s argument was debunked by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week, you should probably not take into account this special knowledge unless the ICJ’ s decision was a matter of extreme public notoriety .
1.2 STYLE a. The term is rather misleading. Adjudicators are not looking for debaters who are stylish. b. Style covers the way the debaters’ speak. This can be noted in many ways, in funny accents, body language (movement, poise, meaningful gestures and eye contact) and with the use of specific terminology. Be tolerant of different ways of presenting arguments. c. Use of palm cards and notes are allowed and should not be penalized, unless a debater is reading from them heavily. d. Be tolerant of speaking styles and speed of delivery. Penalised only when a debater’s style has gone beyond what everyone would expect.1.3 STRATEGY a. Strategy requires some attention. It covers two concepts: i. The structure and timing of the speech. ii. Whether the debater understood the issues of the debate.. b. Structure A good speech has a clear beginning, middle and end. Along the way there are signposts to help us see where the debater is going. The sequence of arguments is logical and flows naturally from point to point. This is true of the first debater outlining the Government’s case as it is of the third debater rebutting the Government’s case. Good speech structure, therefore, is one component of the strategy. c. Timing is also important, but it must not be taken to extremes. There are two aspects of timing: i. speaking within the allowed time limit. ii. Giving an appropriate amount of time to the issues in the speech. d. A debater ought to give priority to important issues and leave unimportant one to later. It is generally a good idea to rebut or begin with an attack on the other side by subsequent debaters, before going on to the debater’s own case. This is because it is more logical to get rid of the opposing arguments first before trying to put something in its place.
e. So, the adjudicator must weigh not only the strength of the arguments in the SUBSTANCE category, but also the proper time and priority given in the STRATEGY category. f. Understanding the Issues Closely related to the last point is that the debater should understand what the important issues were in the debate. It is a waste of time for a rebuttal speaker to deal with points if crucial arguments are left unanswered. Such a speaker would not understand the important issues of the debate, and should not score well in Strategy. By contrast, a speaker who understood what the issues were and dealt with them thoroughly should score well in Strategy. g. It is very important that adjudicators understand the difference between Strategy and Substance. Imagine a debate where a debater answers critical issues with some weak rebuttal. This debater should get poor marks for Substance, because the rebuttal was weak. But the debater should get reasonable mark for Strategy because the right arguments were being addressed.1.4 LANGUAGE a. Language refers to using appropriate expressions containing correct sentence structures and grammar. b. It also covers pronunciation, fluency, rhythm, intonation and clarity of speech. Of course, English being a foreign language here, adjudicators shouldn’t be looking for Queen’s English in our debaters. But any expression which is mumbled or not clearly understood should not merit high marks in the Language section. c. On the other hand, any good language expression, including the use of figures of speech, idioms, etc. appropriate and apt to the occasion, may merit positive marks for Language.1.5 REBUTTAL a. The use of general cases has consequences for rebuttal or clash. The Opposition team cannot concentrate on attacking the examples used by the Government. The examples might be weak, but the central case might still be sound. Instead, the team will have to concentrate on that case, because that is where the debate actually is. b. There is another consequence for rebuttal. It may be that a team has used a number of examples to illustrate the same point. If they can all be
disposed off by the same piece of rebuttal, the rebutting team does not have to attack each of the examples individually as well.1.6 THE REPLY SPEECH a. The thematic approach to argument outlined above becomes critical in the Reply Speeches. These have been described as an `adjudication from our side’ and really amount to an overview of the major issues in the debate. b. A Reply speaker does not have time to deal with small arguments or individual examples. The debater must deal with the two or three major issues in the debate in global terms, showing how they favour the debater’s team and work against the opposition team. As a general rule , a Reply speaker who descends to the level of dealing with individual examples probably doesn’t understand either the issues of the debate or the principles of good arguments.1.7 POINTS OF INFORMATION a. A `Point of Information’ is offered in the course of speech by a member of the opposing team. The debater may either accept or decline. If accepted, the opponent may make a short point or ask a question that deals with some issues in the debate (preferably one just made by the debater). It is, a formal interjection. b. Points of Information bring about a major change in the role of the debaters in a debate. In this style, each debater must take part from beginning to end, not just during their own speech. c. The debaters play this role by offering Points of Information. Even if the points are not accepted, they must still demonstrate that they are involved in the debate by at least offering. A debater who takes no part in the debate other than by making a speech would be marked down for Substance and Strategy.
LIST OF EXPRESSION TO REQUEST, ACCEPT OR DECLINE POINTS OF INFORMATIONTO REQUEST i. Point of Information, please. ii. Point of Information. iii. P.O.I. please. iv. P.O.I v. Point.TO ACCEPT i. Yes. ii. Yes, please. iii. Yes, Sir / Miss. iv. Please. v. Please go ahead. vi. Yes, accepted.TO DECLINE i. No, thank you. ii. No, thanks. iii. Denied. iv. Sorry, Sir / Miss. v. Sorry.If the opponent ( during his / her Point (s) of information ) is taking too much of yourtime, you can ask him / her to sit down if he / she has exceeded the 15 seconds timelimit.You may use these expressions: i. Please sit down Sir / Miss. You are taking too much of my time. ii. You are taking too much of my time. Please sit down. iii. Kindly sit down. You have exceeded the time limit for POI. iv. Your time limit is up.*** please note that it is of utmost importance that debaters be polite at all times during the course of the debate especially when accepting or declining Point(s) of Information.
GLOSSARY1. adjudicator - a person called to judge a debate to determine the winner2. barracking - to criticize loudly, shout or jeer against a team or debater.3. case line - please refer to Stand4. clarification - to seek further information or explanation on matters.5. comment sheet- a sheet where the adjudicators write his / her comments during the proceedings of the debate.6. confer - to discuss and come to a consensus decision.7. electronic gadgets- electrical items such as computers, hand phones, radio cassette player, Walkman, etc.8. harassment - to trouble, torment or confuse by continual persistent attacks, questions, etc.9. heckling - to interrupt by taunts.10. majority vote - the winner is determined by the number of votes given to the winning team.11. marked down - please refer to the reduction of marks12. point(s) of - a formal interjection where the opposing team can ask information questions , clarify, make a remark or correct a word or statement.13. rebuttal - to refute or disprove the opponent’s arguments by offering contrary contentions or arguments.14. reply speech - an arena where a debater will sum up the team’s arguments and then rebut the opposition’s major arguments brought up during the debate.15. reduction of marks- in Parliamentary Style Debate marks are not deducted from a team’s or individual’s marks but are reduced.
16. Speaker - a person who chairs a debate and ensures the smooth running of the proceedings.17. stand - from which angle the team is going to argue the case18. strategy - how each team member work together to argue the case.19. substance - the arguments presented during the debate.