Both in Antiquity and on Medieval Universities, Trivium encompassed the three fine arts: grammar, rhetorics and dialectic. Possess these qualities and you would have been a great debater. Luckily, debating isn’t as dusty anymore as this sounds like. For Trivium, debating means above all a lot of fun!
What is debating
Simply put, debating is a discussion with rules. During a debate, two or more teams face each other. The moderator announces a motion, that usually has something to do with a societal question. They also decide who is in favour and who is against the motion. The teams, consisting of two or three members, get some time to prepare, and afterwards the debat can begin! The jury will decide which of the teams won. So as a debater, you’ll have to speak convincingly to win over the judges!
On our regular evenings, we debate in one or two of the following formats:
American Parliamentary (AP)
An AP debate consists of two teams of two speakers. All speakers have 5 minutes for a constructive speech, and both teams have one summary speech of 3 minutes. During the constructive speeches, members of the other team are allowed to interrupt between the first and last minute.
Want to learn more? Take a look at the official AP guidelines: (tot nu toe kon ik alleen het Nederlandstalig AP-document van de debatbond vinden. Is er ook een Engelse variant?)
British Parliamentary (BP)
A BP debate consists of 4 teams, of which 2 teams are in favour and 2 teams are against the motion. Each team consists of two speakers. In the first half the debate is set up, and the second half consists of an extension of the debate and a conclusion. Each speaker gets 5 or 7 minutes time for their speech. During all speeches, members of the opposing teams can interrupt between the first and last minute of the speech.
Want to learn more? Take a look at the official BP guidelines: (tot nu toe kon ik alleen het Nederlandstalig BP-document van de debatbond vinden. Is er ook een Engelse variant?)
World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC)
A WSDC debate consists of two teams of three speakers. All speakers get 5 minutes for their speech, and the first or second speaker gets 3 minutes for a concluding speech to round up the debate. Members of the opposing teams can interrupt during the first three speeches.
Want to learn more? Take a look at the WSDC guidelines.
Get ready to debate!
Besides our regular debating nights, we debate on tournaments organised by other debating societies, in the Netherlands and abroad!
Are you our next top debater? Come join us and find out!