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Encyclopedia > National Parliamentary Debate Association
University Parliamentary Debating
World University Debating Championship
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John Smith Memorial Mace  · North America
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The National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) is one of the two national intercollegiate parliamentary debate organizations in the United States. The other is the American Parliamentary Debating Association (APDA). The NPDA is a relatively young organization, but it is now the largest college debate organization in the United States. Its membership is national, with participating schools on both coasts and throughout the country. Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modelled after that of the United Kingdom. ... Debate is a formalized system of (usually) logical argument. ... The World Universities Debating Championship is the highest-profile tournament in university debating. ... There are two major regional debating championships for universities in Asia. ... The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (known colloquially as Australs) is one of the worlds largest debating tournaments, second only in size to the World Universities Debating Championship, and one of the largest annual student events in the world. ... The European Universities Debating Championship (colloquially known as Euros or Europeans) is a regional equivalent to the World Universities Debating Championship (Worlds) held in British Parliamentary style. ... The John Smith Memorial Mace (known between 1954 and 1995 as the Observer Mace) is the foremost student debating competition in the British Isles and Ireland. ... The North American Debating Championship is the premier parliamentary debating championship in North America, sanctioned by the national university debating associations in the United States and Canada, the American Parliamentary Debating Association and the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate. ... The American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) is the oldest intercollegiate parliamentary debating association in the United States, and one of two in the nation overall, the other being the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). ... The Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID generally, and SUCDI in French) is the national organization which governs and represents university-level debating and public speaking in Canada. ... The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity founded in 1918 to promote international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. ... Australia-Asia debate is a form of academic debate. ... British Parliamentary style debate is a common form of academic debate. ... This is a list of top-ranked university debaters from official international competitions, in any debating style. ... The coat of arms for the Cambridge Union Society, which shares much in common with the coat of arms for the University of Cambridge. ... The front aspect of Glasgow University Union Glasgow University Union (GUU) is one of the students unions operating at the University of Glasgow. ... The Otago University Debating Society (OUDS) was established in 1888 and is the oldest Otago University Dunedin, New Zealand society. ... The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a private debating society in the city of Oxford, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The UCC Philosophical Society the Philosoph is the largest debating society at University College Cork, Ireland. ... The stage of Conron Hall at University College, the main debating chamber of the University of Western Ontario Debating Society Gallery at Conron Hall The University of Western Ontario Debating Society is the oldest student association at the University of Western Ontario, and is one of the largest and most... The College Historical Society (commonly known as The Hist) was founded in Trinity College in 1770 and traces its creation to the historical society founded by the philosopher Edmund Burke in Dublin in 1747. ... The University Philosophical Society (commonly known as The Phil or The Auto-Phil) is a student paper-reading and debating society in Trinity College, Dublin. ... Parliamentary Debate, is an academic debate event. ... The American Parliamentary Debating Association (APDA) is one of two major intercollegiate parliamentary debating associations in the United States, the other being the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). ...

Contents

The Rules of NPDA Debate

In tournaments sponsored or sanctioned by the NPDA, teams of two persons debate head-to-head. Tournaments issue a new topic each round, generally on issues such as politics, philosophy, and current affairs, and speeches begin after limited preparation time.


Parliamentary debate, which is often shortened as "parli," is a debate format in which tournament officials assign a new topic every round. After the announcement of the topic, the two teams have a limited preparation time (usually 15 minutes) during which to write out their respective cases. Parliamentary Debate, is an academic debate event. ...


The second important rule is time limits. The standard time limits for an NPDA debate are:

  • First Proposition Speaker: 7 minutes
  • First Opposition Speaker: 8 minutes
  • Second Proposition Speaker: 8 minutes
  • Second Opposition Speaker: 8 minutes
  • Opposition Rebuttal: 4 minutes
  • Proposition Rebuttal: 5 minutes

There are tournaments, however, at which these are modified, generally to a 7-7-7-7-5-5 format. The Claremont Colleges tournament, for instance, uses this 7-5 format. During constructive speeches, debaters may introduce new arguments and the speaker's opponents may rise to ask questions of the speaker. Constructive speakers can accept or reject any given question. Rebuttals are exclusively for summarizing the arguments that were made during constructives. The Claremont Colleges are a consortium of seven schools of higher education located in Claremont, California. ...


Over the past few years many coaches and competitors have referred to the official title of speeches with different names. These are unofficial yet very popular with many judges:

  • Prime Minister Constructive
  • Leader of Opposition Constructive
  • Member of Government Constructive
  • Member of Opposition Constructive
  • Leader of Opposition Rebuttal
  • Prime Minister Rebuttal

The third rule of importance is the ban on quoted evidence. Literally, this simply means that the debaters may not bring in printed, published evidence and consult it during the round. It is expected that debaters will use their own preexisting knowledge and research conducted prior to the start of the actual round to back their arguments with reasoning and empirical data.


Once they enter the debating chambers, parliamentary debaters are prohibited from using published materials to supplement their arguments. This places parli in stark contrast to the other common intercollegiate debate format: policy debate. Policy debaters utilize quoted evidence. Though thousands of words have been written about the differences between the two in practice, that is the only meaningful structural difference between them. Policy debate is a form of speech competition in which teams of two debate whether or not a specific policy action should be enacted. ...


Any mature debate circuit will develop its own customs and practices. Some people argue that the NPDA rules are very laissez-faire, preferring to let the norms of what constitutes valid argumentation be subjects for the debate itself. Others believe that, in recent years, the NPDA has been hesitant to allow its participants to engage in controversial, avant garde or "nontraditional" debate practices at its national championship tournament.


The NPDA Championship Tournament

The NPDA runs one debate tournament each year: the NPDA Championship Tournament, held in late March or early April at rotating host sites. While the inaugural tournament in 1994 only hosted around 40 teams, the 2004 Championship Tournament was the largest debate tournament in world history with over 300 teams in the field from over a half-dozen nations. The tournament also features an exhibition debate between a team of Irish debaters and a team of debaters selected by the NPDA; ironically, the US audience consistently votes for the Irish team.


This tournament's practices are generally modeled by smaller invitational tournaments, which provide the bulk of year-long competition. NPDA sanctions many of these tournaments, and the school that does the best at sanctioned invitationals over the course of the year is awarded a year-long sweepstakes championship.


Relationship to Other Tournaments and Organizations

There are usually several NPDA-sanctioned invitational tournaments throughout the country to choose from on almost every weekend of the academic year. The largest of these tournaments include the Sunset Cliffs Classic held in February at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, the season-opening Top of the Rockies tournament at the University of Wyoming in September, the Al Johnson Invitational at the Colorado College in October, and the Hatfield Debates at Willamette University in February. Point Loma Nazarene University is a liberal arts university located in San Diego, California on the Point Loma oceanfront. ... Flag Seal Nickname: Americas Finest City Location Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates , Government County San Diego Mayor City Attorney         City Council District One District Two District Three District Four District Five District Six District Seven District Eight Jerry Sanders (R) Michael Aguirre Scott Peters Kevin... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The University of Wyoming is a land-grant university located in Laramie, Wyoming, situated on Wyomings high plains, at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2194 m), between the Laramie and Snowy ranges. ... The Colorado College is a private four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. ... Willamette University is a private institution of higher learning located in Salem, Oregon. ...


Communicating Between Tournaments

Almost from its inception, the NPDA community has taken advantage of the Internet to continue debates (and to debate about debates) between tournaments and in the off-season. For years, this took place via the official electronic mailing list, much to the chagrin of those who saw that resource as best used for official communication such as posting tournament invitations and results. An electronic mailing list, a type of Internet forum, is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ...


Today, much of the online debate (especially between competitors) in the NPDA community takes place via the online forum Net-Benefits.net, founded by University of Southern California then-undergraduate Jed Link. The name "Net-Benefits" is a pun, referring to the debate paradigm by which the debate judge weighs the net benefits of two competing policies. The site is now an electronic hub for discourse and information on parliamentary debate. The Trojan Shrine, better known as Tommy Trojan in June 2006. ... A pun (also known as paronomasia) is a figure of speech, or word play which consists of a deliberate confusion of similar words within a phrase or phrases for rhetorical effect, whether humorous or serious. ...


NPDA National Champions

Every year since 1994, the organization has held a national championship tournament. Winning teams include:

Point Loma Nazarene University is a liberal arts university located in San Diego, California on the Point Loma oceanfront. ... The University of Puget Sound (often called UPS or just Puget Sound) is a private liberal arts college located in the North End of Tacoma, Washington, in the United States. ... Lewis & Clark College is a private liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. ... Truman State University is a public liberal arts and sciences university in the U.S. state of Missouri. ... The University of Wyoming is a land-grant university located in Laramie, Wyoming, situated on Wyomings high plains, at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2194 m), between the Laramie and Snowy ranges. ... The University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest member of the University of Alaska System, with over 17,000 students (14,000 of which attend classes at the campus in Anchorage proper). ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ... Truman State University is a public liberal arts and sciences university in the U.S. state of Missouri. ... Colorado State University is a public land grant institution of higher learning located in Fort Collins, Colorado in the United States. ... Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska is a university of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synods Concordia University System. ... Regis University is a private, co-educational Roman Catholic university in the United States. ... Lovett Hall William Marsh Rice University, commonly called Rice University and opened in 1912 as The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art, is a private, comprehensive research university located in Houston, Texas, USA, near the Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. ... The University of Wyoming is a land-grant university located in Laramie, Wyoming, situated on Wyomings high plains, at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2194 m), between the Laramie and Snowy ranges. ... Regis University is a private, co-educational Roman Catholic university in the United States. ...

External links

  • National Parliamentary Debate Association - homepage of the organization
  • National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence - view current and old NPTE rankings
  • Net-Benefits.net - online community for college parliamentary debate
  • Debate Cooperative - online community that includes message boards for NPDA and NPTE parliamentary debate

 
 

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