St. Sebastian parliamentary extemporaneous Tournament For novice and advanced debaters

Sunday, October 7th, 2018  8:15 AM - 7:00 PM

St. Sebastian's HS, 1191 Greendale Ave, Needham, MA 02492

Novice 8th, 9th and 10th graders and & Advanced High school 9th-12th graders

Registration is closed


Parent Coordinator

Karen Koh


The tournament will consist of three rounds of Parliamentary debate, in both novice and advanced divisions. They will be debating straight resolutions and using only points of information (no points of order, personal privilege or heckling). Prior to doing so, they will attend a session explaining this type of debating. Our debaters are already familiar with it. There is an Awards Ceremony following dinner.

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maximum length and order of speeches

Prime Minister – 5 minutes
First Opposition Speaker – 8 minutes
Minister of the Crown – 8 minutes
Leader of the Opposition – 8 minutes
Prime Minister’s Rebuttal – 3 minutes

A 30-second grace period will be allowed for each debater, after which the speech will be terminated. The Government will be given 2 minutes to define the terms in the room with the Opposition and the judge, followed by a 10-minute preparation time for both teams. The Government Team should repair to the hallway for the preparation period. Debaters are strictly forbidden from consulting any reference materials during the preparation period or during the debate. Violation of this rule will warrant disqualification from the Tournament.


Mrs. Henderson will be driving up to the capacity of her car.    We will be meeting in West Hartford at 8:15 - details to follow. 

If they are running on schedule, we should be leaving at about 4:45 for an estimated return to West Hartford between 6:45 and 7:00.  We can call parents from the road to update them on our arrival time.

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 kids are fed two nice meals:  A brunch and a dinner.  

Parental Attendance

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.


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. Each of our competitors will be assessed a $25 judging fee for the tournament. If that competitor provides a judge, that $25 fee will be waived. In addition, everyone who judges will be reimbursed the registration and 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 do need to provide trained judges so Mrs. H. will provide materials and meet or talk to our judges prior to the competition to prepare them.


The fee for this tournament is $93. This includes the Registration and Participation fee, Judge's fee and coaches' expenses.