Rules

Rules Governing the Leeward Islands Debating Competition

Last amended at the 11th – 12th October 2007 Staff Sponsors’ Meeting

 

The Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC) is an annual event that first took place in 1972. Traditionally, it brought together sixth formers who debated issues germane to the region. Today, the debaters are not necessarily sixth formers. Secondary, and tertiary level students who are not sixth formers, have also represented their territories. The competition has become an important forum, promoting the interaction of young people from across the Leewards as they engage in one of the oldest activities of civilization.

At a special meeting of staff sponsors held in Montserrat 7th – 8th May, 1995, the rules governing the competition were standardized so as to establish and maintain uniformity. Amendments were considered and allowed at the 2002 and 2004 meetings of staff sponsors. These form the basis for these guidelines.

Over the years, the competition took place over the Easter weekend. However, with the advent of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations and the requirement for students to write external examinations annually—starting early in May—as well as three internal assessments per subject—with an April deadline for submission—the usual date proved less than ideal. Thus, the LIDC has been moved to the first weekend in March.

At the 8th October 2004 Staff Sponsors’ Meeting in Anguilla, it was decided that the title, Head of the Coordinating Committee, would be a revolving one. The chief staff sponsor of the host territory would automatically assume the title in the year when his/her territory is the host.
It was also determined that all decisions regarding membership, changing of rules, or any other major decision affecting the LIDC require a unanimous vote. Decisions of a lesser magnitude require a simple majority.
At the 11th to 12th October Staff Sponsors’ meeting in St. Kitts, further changes were suggested and agreed on. One decision made was to change the name of the Staff Sponsors’ Meeting to the Annual LIDC Coordinating Committee Meeting.

Officials

  1. A moderator to direct the evening’s proceedings and to whom all cases are to be addressed
  1. A timekeeper to time presentations
  1. An auditor to collect and compute the scores of the three judges to determine the winning team.
  1. Two special judges to select the debater adjudged best speaker and the overall best speaker—these adjudicators should be present at all of the debates
  1. A panel of three adjudicators to judge each debate, based on the prescribed criteria. One of these judges will be delegated to give a brief critique of the debate and announce the results.

Moderators

  1. They should be properly briefed on standard debate procedure and should be sent the score sheets and other relevant material at least two weeks in advance of the competition.
  1. They should be cautioned to use only neutral language in order to avoid any competition bias.
  1. They shall introduce the moot point and the criteria for judging.
  1. They shall introduce the debaters to the audience, starting with the proposition, and as each one is introduced, s/he will take his/her place on the stage.
  1. They shall introduce the adjudicators, giving their credentials.
  1. They shall introduce each speaker just before s/he makes his/her presentation.
  1. They shall remain seated until the speaker’s allotted time has expired.
  1. They shall give the amount of time used by each speaker right after s/he finishes his/her presentation.
  1. The moderator shall give five minutes of absolute silence immediately after the prepared presentations to allow for rebuttal preparation. They should indicate the start of the five minutes.
  1. The moderator shall direct a discussion about the moot, NOT the debaters, while the judges are deliberating.

Judges

  1. Judges must not be closely associated with the debaters, the school or the organisers of the competition. Individuals who served as resource persons for the debaters must not be selected as judges.
  1. As much as possible, judges should have a working knowledge of the issue being debated.
  1. If possible, an effort should be made to mix the nationality of the judges in order to avoid the appearance of bias.
  1. Prior to the competition, judges should be properly briefed in an effort to standardize the judging and to give them the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions.
  1. Score sheets and other relevant material should be sent to the judges at least two weeks in advance of the competition.
  1. Judges shall use the prepared score sheets as the basis for assessing the performance of the debaters.

Debating Team

  1. The debating team will comprise of two persons, a leader and a second speaker.
  1. The leader presents first, for a maximum of ten minutes, and presents the rebuttal.
  1. The second speaker presents for a maximum of seven minutes.
  1. A debater may be any fulltime student, 14 to 21 years of age.

Seating

  1. The moderator and timekeeper shall be seated between the teams—and centre stage if possible.
  1. Each team shall be seated together and provided with proper writing accommodations. Name tags shall be used to identify seating order.
  1. Judges shall be seated together and be afforded proper writing accommodations near the centre of the audience—not at the front.

Note Well

A step should be made available at the venue so that petite debaters can comfortably use the lectern.

Procedure

  1. The leader of the proposition shall make his/her case for a maximum of ten minutes; the leader of the opposition shall then make his/her case for a maximum of ten minutes; the second speaker of the proposition shall maker his/her case for a maximum of seven minutes; and the second speaker of the opposition shall then make his/her case for a maximum of seven minutes.
  1. The opposition shall have a maximum of five minutes for rebuttal and then the proposition shall have a maximum of five minutes for rebuttal.
  1. At the end of each speaker’s allotted time, the speaker will vacate the lectern.
  1. The timekeeper shall give a warning signal one minute before the expiration of the speaker’s allotted time, and again at the end of the allotted time.
  1. Following the rebuttals, the adjudicators will be escorted to a secure venue for their deliberations. Deliberations should last no longer than fifteen minutes.
  1. Before the start of the deliberations, the auditor will collect the score sheets on which the scores achieved by each team will be recorded by the three judges. The auditor will then compute the final scores, determine the winning team and turn over the results to the special adjudicator. The auditor is allotted fifteen minutes.
  1. The moderator may lead an open discussion while the adjudicators are deliberating—for ten to fifteen minutes. This discussion must be about the moot point and must not be a discussion of the debaters.
  1. Upon the return of the officials to the debate venue, the chief best speaker adjudicator, and the chief prepared presentation judge will each give a brief, constructive critique of the debaters’ performance after which the results will be revealed

Awards

At each annual competition, the following awards are standard:

  1. The George Irish Oratorical Award
  1. LIDC shield which is brought to the competition by the previous year’s champion and is awarded to the champion of the series of debates.

Number of awards for six participating teams: 49

  1. 36 participant awards
  1. 5 best speaker awards
  1. 1 overall best speaker award
  1. 5 winner of debate awards
  1. 1 runner-up award
  1. 1 champion award

Number of awards for five participating teams: 41

  1. 30 participant awards
  1. 4 best speaker awards
  1. 1 overall best speaker award
  1. 4 winner of debate awards
  1. 1 runner-up award
  1. 1 champion award

Number of awards when there are four participating teams: 33

  1. 24 participant awards
  1. 3 best speaker awards
  1. 1 overall best speaker award
  1. 3 winner of debate awards
  1. 1 runner-up award
  1. 1 champion award

The G. A. George Irish Oratorical Award

  1. The LIDC logo should be incorporated into the design of the award.
  1. The inscription reads: “The George Irish oratorical award is presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in the literary or oratorical arts and/or the promotion of freedom of speech among the youth.
  1. The nominee must be from the Caribbean region or of Caribbean descent.
  1. The nominee must be nominated by a member of the LIDC fraternity.
  1. The host country does not require the approval of the LIDC Coordinating Committee in selecting the recipient.
  1. The host country is responsible for contacting the nominee and confirming his/her willingness to be the recipient.

Selection of Topics

  1. Members of the school’s debating society should be actively involved in the selection of the topics.
  1. Topics should address regional and extra-regional issues that are of importance to the region, rather than local issues.
  1. Topics should cover a wide area of subject matter—religion, philosophy, politics, economics, culture, history, science, the environment, the arts, and so on.
  1. A topic should not be repeated until the rotation of hosts has been completed.
  1. The selected topics should be pitched at the level of sixth formers/tertiary level students, not above them.
  1. Topics/the wording of topics should be tested to ensure that they are debatable and will not provide one side with an unfair advantage.
  1. Each participating territory should submit at least four topics to the host by 30th September.
  1. Final decisions with regard to the topics and the dates on which they will be debated should be submitted to participants by 30th October.

Scheduling of Teams for the Debates

  1. This is determined at the meeting of the staff sponsors.
  1. The defending champion does not debate on the opening night of the competition and, if applicable, gets a bye into the second round of the competition.
  1. Traditionally, the host has the option of not debating on the opening night of the competition.
  1. The decision as to when the others teams will debate shall be based on drawing a piece of paper from a bag indicating night one, night two, and so on.
  1. In years when there is an odd number of participants, the defending champion gets a bye to the second round. If there is an even number of competitors, the teams shall be placed in two groups and the winner of each group will proceed to the finals. Should there be a tie in a group, the team with the highest aggregate score will proceed to the finals.

Procedure for Determining if a Team Opposes or Proposes the Moot

On the evening prior to the debate, to determine whether the team will propose or oppose the moot, each team will draw a paper from a bag, which will indicate “opposition” or “proposition”. These papers are not to be folded and placed into the bag until they have been shown to both persons doing the draw.

Code of Ethics

  1. Teams and supporters should be in uniform for the opening and closing of the competition and on evenings when they are debating.
  1. Debaters shall address only the moderator—never the opposing team. Their language must not be insulting or abusive.
  1. After the announcement of the results, there shall be mutual congratulations by the debaters of both teams.
  1. Both debaters and supporters are to be instructed to respect the decision of the judges, especially within the walls of the auditorium. Jeering and mocking is prohibited.
  1. Staff sponsors, coaches and debaters should make every effort to attend the official cocktail party. This should be scheduled so that it does not put undue pressure on the teams involved in debates that evening.
  1. Two liaison officers should be assigned to each territory. These persons should be capable of dealing with any difficulties that the visitors may experience.
  1. Staff Sponsors are required to monitor the behaviour of their charges so that misconduct and the damage of accommodation can be avoided.

Offences and Prescribed Sanctions

  1. Use of profane language – $50.00 fine
  1. Taunting, teasing and jeering – $50.00
  1. Drinking and smoking – Send home
  1. Failure to attend scheduled LIDC activities – $25.00
  1. Failure to use designated LIDC transportation, going off on one’s own or other dangerous activity – $100.00
  1. Publicly disrespecting the judges’ decision – Ban from all LIDC activities

Note well:

  • Repeat offenders will be banned form all LIDC activities.
  • Where the entire delegation, including the staff sponsors, proves offensive, the entire delegation will be banned from all LIDC activities.

Hosting Schedule

Responsibility for hosting the competition revolves through the participating territories—Anguilla, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Nevis—except where the next host in line is unable to accommodate the competition.

Responsibilities of the Host

  1. The host provides accommodation for 1 staff sponsor, 4 debaters and 2 alternates per participant.
  1. The host provides information with regard to accommodation for 24 supporters and staff sponsors per participant, and if required, makes the necessary reservations.
  1. The host provides ground transportation for the official party—31 persons per participant.
  1. The host provides at least 2 capable liaison officers per participating territory.
  1. The host organizes a number of official activities to entertain the visitors. Every effort must be made to ensure that these do not detract from the debates.
  1. The host liaises with participants through hosting a meeting of staff sponsors from each territory prior to the competition to discuss plans for and issues surrounding it, and provides participants with any relevant information as it becomes available.
  1. The host invites the input of participants with regard to possible topics and considers their preferences when making the final selection.
  1. The host selects a suitable venue for staging the debates, and suitably qualified officials, ensuring that they are briefed and available for the relevant dates.
  1. The host is responsible making every possible effort to arrange for the videotaping and broadcasting of the debates to the participating islands.
  1. The host provides trophies for all participants, winners of the individual debates, best speakers, overall best speaker, second place overall and overall winner.
  1. The host ensures that there are medical personnel on call and/or stationed at the debate venue, and that such personnel are available throughout the competition weekend.
  1. The host arranges for two members of each debating team (monitored by a staff sponsor) to meet with the media before the start of the competition.
  1. The host provides guidelines for the media as it relates to its interactions with the LIDC contingents.
  1. The host provides the chief staff sponsor of each visiting delegation with a directory of names and numbers of the persons to be contacted regarding security, medical emergencies, technical problems, activities, transportation, liaison officers, etc.

Chief Staff Sponsor

  1. Each territory is expected to designate one individual as the Chief Staff Sponsor.
  1. The chief staff sponsor ought to be the senior staff sponsor of the debating society.
  1. The chief staff sponsor should serve on the local LIDC Organizing Committee.
  1. The chief staff sponsor is responsible for attending the annual LIDC Coordinating Committee meeting.
  1. The chief staff sponsor serves on the LIDC Coordinating Committee and takes charge of the proceedings in the year in which his/her territory hosts the LIDC.
  1. The chief staff sponsor bears ultimate responsibility for his/her territory’s delegation.
  1. The chief staff sponsor is ultimately responsible for communication with other member territories.
  1. The chief staff sponsor must be familiar with the prescribed LIDC rules.

Liaison Officers

  1. These are usually students assigned to each delegation.
  1. At least two should be assigned to each territory.
  1. They must be guided by a responsible adult.
  1. They should be familiar with the programme, the scheduled events, the venue and the transportation arrangements.
  1. They should be in possession of the directory of persons responsible for to be contacted regarding security, medical emergencies, technical problems, activities, transportation, liaison officers, etc.
  1. At the very least, they should check on their assigned delegation each morning and again after each debate.

Responsibilities of Visiting Teams

  1. A taped musical version of the national anthem and the national flag must be made available upon your arrival for the competition.
  1. Blank DVDs should be made available if you wish to procure recordings of the debates.

Entertainment

There are a number of traditional activities, which include the following:

  • Official Cocktail Party
  • Free/Shopping Day
  • Cultural Evening
  • Church Service
  • Farewell Party

Opening Ceremony

  1. The length should be approximately thirty minutes or less.
  2. There should be an official welcome by the principal of the host school or his/her representative.
  3. There should be brief remarks from an Education Department official.
  4. A member of the executive of each visiting debating society should thank the host for extending the invitation to compete.
  5. A member of the executive of the host debating society should welcome the visiting societies.
  6. There should be a flag raising ceremony and the playing of the national anthems.
  7. Each member of the participating debating teams and the designated staff sponsors should be introduced.
  8. The debaters should recite/read the LIDC Pledge.

Closing Ceremony

  1. This may be part of the farewell banquet if the host so decides.
  2. The awards and trophies are presented at this time.
  3. The George Irish Award is presented at this time.
  4. The traditional gift exchange among the debating teams also takes place.
  5. A vote of thanks is to be given.

 

Score Sheet

Criteria

Maximum points each category

Proposition Opposition
Leader Seconder Total Leader Seconder Total

Section 1

Content Soundness of Points(35) Outline structure(5)

5

Sound argument(10)

10

Subject adequately explored(5)

5

Adequate reference and supporting (10)

10

Coherence(5)

5

Logical Development(20) Opening statement was clear and engaging(4)

4

Clearly defined moot and key terms(5)

5

Clear path from premise to conclusion(9)

9

Effective concluding statement (2)

2

Presentation Audibilty and Clarity(15) Fluency (5)

5

Diction and Articulation(5)

5

Voice Modulation and Control (5)

5

Posture and Personality(15) Charismatic delivery(4)

4

Body Language, Posture and Eye Contact (6)

6

Command of audience’s attention/ability to keep the audience engaged(5)

5

Command of the language(15) Grammar Usage and appropriate vocabulary(6)

6

Expression and sentence structure (6)

6

Pronunciation(3)

3

Total Individual Performance(Section 1)

100

Section 2 Group Coordination

10

Rebuttal Recall of Points

10

Recall and general analysis of debate (14) Structure

4

Ability to identify the key arguments

5

Shows understanding of Opponents argument/effective analysis

5

Ability to refute (20) Evidence in support of rebuttal of key points

8

Soundness of counter argument

8

Convincing and Confident

4

Spontaneity

6

Total Section 2

60

Grand Total

160

Grand Total

Proposition

Opposition

160

Exceeding the Allotted Time

A debater will be given a 10-second window to wrap up his/her debate. After this period, the moderator will ask him/her to vacate the lectern.

Tied Result

In the event of a tie, the score sheets of the two judges’ with the highest scores will be used to determine the winner.

 

 

 

Score Sheet

 

Best Speaker and Overall Best Speaker

The best speaker for each debate and the overall best speaker will be determined by two special judges.

Criteria

Maximum

Points

Proposition

Leader

Proposition

Seconder

Opposition

Leader

Opposition

Seconder

Adibility and Clarity

15

Articulation

15

Voice Modulation

10

Command of Material

10

Persuasiveness

15

Fluency

15

Eye Contact

5

Body Language

15

Total

100

Note Well

The rebuttal is not to be considered when judging the best speaker.

Overall Best Speaker

  1. Only the winners of best speaker for each debate qualify for this award.
  1. It is not necessary for a debater to have debated more than once, or to be on a winning team, to qualify for this honour.

Glossary of Score Sheet Terms

  1. Soundness of points: accuracy of points, substantiation by examples, quotes, statistics, etc.
  1. Logical development: argument developed along logical lines and presented in a well-ordered manner.
  1. Audibility and clarity: must be able to present the argument loudly, clearly and distinctly.
  1. Posture and personality: ability to reach out, capture and hold the audience’s attention through the effective use of body language.
  2. Command of language: must be comfortable with the proper usage of grammar, vocabulary and expression.
  1. Coordination: There should be a clear link between the leader’s and the seconder’s argument
  1. Recall and analysis: Remembering and explaining or paraphrasing the opponent’s points.
  1. Spontaneity: an impromptu delivery.
  1. Command of material: awareness of all matters relating to the subject and familiarity with the script.
  1. Body language: appropriate facial expression, moderate and appropriate gestures and movements.

 

Leeward Islands Debating Competition Pledge

I pledge, on behalf of my territory and on my own behalf, to be governed by the rules of the Leeward Islands Debating Competition.

I pledge to respect the traditions and conventions of the competition.

In so doing, I affirm that I will not misrepresent factual information, insult fellow competitors, nor indulge in any behaviour that would

bring the competition into disrepute.