Hamden Hall Debate COmpetition

1108 Whitney Ave Hamden, CT 06517

Sunday, April 24th - 10:00 to 5:00

Middle and High Schoolers, 8th grade and up; Interested 7th graders should contact Ann

Registration will close Thursday, April 14th at 8:00PM


It will be essentially an Extemporaneous Pairs event with a few wrinkles, including two cross-examination periods (after the first two speeches, one per side) and modified speech times for Constructive and Rebuttal speeches, as follows:

Parliamentary Debate Format

Preliminaries (20 mins): Topic read, coin toss/sides picked, topic def (5 mins), prep time (10 mins)

  • First AFF 5 mins.
  • c-x 2.5 minutes (open cross-ex; second NEG leads)
  • First NEG 5 mins
  • c-x 2.5 minutes (open cross-ex; first AFF leads)
  • Second AFF 5 mins
  • Second NEG 5 mins
  • First NEG Rebuttal 3.5 mins
  • First AFF Rebuttal 3.5 mins.
  • Second NEG Rebuttal 3.5 mins
  • Second AFF Rebuttal 3.5 mins.
  • Prep time per side- 3 minutes

Three Rounds, three topics (straight resolution):

1) mid-east: Syria, ISIS, migrations

2) national election primaries (up-to-date topic)

3) school topic- athletics/extracurriculars

Dress Code

Western business attire. Boys wear a jacket and tie; girls wear a skirt or dress and a sweater or jacket.  If you are in need of any article of clothing please let Ann know so she can put out a group email.  We have been pretty good at coming up with clothing to share.  


The fee for participation,  judging, and meals is $78.  Pay the fee here:

Judging: we need judges!

If a competitor provides a judge, the judging fee will be waived.  In addition, everyone who agrees to judge will not be required to pay the participation fee - that fee is paid for by the judging fees of the other competitors who are not providing a judge.  This distributes the judging responsibility among all the debaters and ensures that everyone who wants to can compete regardless of finances.  If we are short judges, we try to find non-competitor parents, or friends or neighbors to judge and offer them the fees for their services.  We must provide trained judges, and to prepare them, Ann will provide materials and meet or talk to the judges prior to the competition. You can pay online below.  We are required to provide trained judges.  The number of judges we need depends on the number of competitors we bring.  This is the way these competitions work: If we do not provide judges, our kids cannot compete.  Judging is a very big time commitment.  We leave early and return late.  Judges are "on" for a big part of the day.  Judges also have to be prepared and willing to be trained before judging. Having said this, judging is very fun.  Although it might seem intimidating the first time, people always want to do it again. In order to be as fair as possible, we distribute the judging responsibility among all those competing. 


Ms. Posner will meet you at Choate Rosemary Hall. Upon arrival, please do not register or sign in. This must be done by the coach.  Head to the cafeteria and wait for Ms. Posner to arrive.  Ms. Posner will sign the Westfield participants in as a group once everyone has arrived.


Parents do not attend these competitions. You are warmly invited and encouraged to attend the state competitions in the spring. You are more than welcome to come judge although please realize this does not allow you to watch your own child debate.


The students will be fed two meals: a brunch and a lunch. Students may want to bring snacks for between rounds and a water bottle to prevent dry mouth during the rounds.