World Schools Debate (WS)

INFO: World Schools Debate Intro

VIDEO: Sample World Schools Debate Round

World Schools Debate is a new and very dynamic style of debate that is gaining more and more popularity in the United States. The NSDA has recently made it a regular fixture at the National Tournament, with each District sending teams to compete.  

It is a three-on-three debate (teams can be as large as five, but only three can debate in a given round) that deals with motions that are either traditionally prepared (with cases and evidence) or impromptu (released 30 minutes before). It uses a parliamentary style, meaning longer speech times, fewer speeches, questions during speeches, and an adjusted point scale.  

Topics tend to vary quite widely. World Schools is a great format for those unfamiliar or apprehensive about trying debate.

From the National Speech & Debate Association:

World Schools Debate features a dynamic format combining the concepts of “prepared” topics with “impromptu” topics, encouraging debaters to focus on specified issues rather than debate theory or procedural arguments. This highly interactive style of debate allows debaters to engage each other, even during speeches. This challenging format requires good teamwork and in-depth quality argumentation.

World Schools Debate is a three-on-three format. While a given team may consist of five members, only three students from a team participate in a given debate. Resolutions come in two types: prepared motions and impromptu motions. Teams will be assigned one of two sides in each round- either the government team proposing the motion or the opposition team advocating the rejection of the motion. Debaters present their position on a topic, refute their opponents, and respond to questions throughout the course of the debate.

Sample Prepared Motions:

  • This House believes that US foreign policy toward Russia has failed.
  • This House believes the school choice movement violates civil rights.

Sample Impromptu Motions:

  • This House believes that celebrities should use their status to promote social welfare.
  • This House would provide parental leave for both parents in the case of childbirth or adoption.

Are you interested in this new and interesting style of debate? Check out the NSDA’s information and resources: