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Binghamton Speech & Debate


Table of Contents:

Why compete?

Our debate tournaments give students the ability to utilize argumentation in a structured setting. This gives them skills that will help them succeed in a variety of settings both in life and within the debate community. The proposition teams get to learn about advocating for a general idea, or resolution, in any way and for any reason that they choose. Opposition teams, by contrast, can attack these advocacies from multiple view-points. Competing with people of all experience levels around the world, you will gain all of this knowledge plus perhaps a prize! Your friends and family can join in the fun by watching your rounds and showing their support on site.

Am I eligible?

Anyone who is currently enrolled in a high school or college can enter in our tournaments. Participation in the preliminary rounds is mandatory; forfeiting one round will result in forfeiting the entire tournament. Failing to upload speeches before the deadline will result in such a forfeit.

How does this format work?

Debaters will upload speeches through YouTube videos. Each speech should respond to the previous one in the round. Once you have recorded your video, you will upload it to YouTube and submit the URL for it using the forms provided on the tournament page. It will then be distributed to viewers and your opponent, who will then post a video response. This is an English speaking tournament.

During each week-long round, competitors will participate in two simultaneous debates on alternating days: one proposition, one opposition. To elaborate, you will have 5 speeches per round in the order of proposition, opposition, proposition, opposition, and finally proposition. The top 50% of competitors will advance to the next week, and the top two debaters will compete in a final bout the following week. For specific dates, please check the invite for the tournament. Once entered, you will be given constant reminders regarding the deadlines for speeches.

How do I enter?

Simple: just go to the Tournaments section, select the tournament to enter, and click the link provided to enter. After filling out the provided form, you are all set. Make sure to enter before the tournament's deadline is met!

How do I compete?

You will receive an E-Mail notifying you of the matches you are paired for. You will debate in two matches a week against different people: one on the Proposition (The side that says yes to the resolution), and one on the Opposition (The side that says no to the resolution). Once you have a match to participate, follow the below steps to compete:

  1. Create a YouTube Account and Log-In
  2. Create and Upload your speech following the time guidelines provided in the tournament invite.
  3. Find your match. You can do this by clicking the link provided in the E-Mail or going to My Profile > Matches > Current > Show.
  4. Once you get to that page, if you are logged in, you should see a input box next to YouTube Video URL. Paste the URL to your video in that box.
  5. You are also highly recommend to add Citations to go along with your speech. To do this, simply name and / or link to the sources you referenced in your video. A suggested format is provided on the page
  6. Click preview. Make sure your YouTube video shows up properly and your citations look as expected. If either are an issue, click "Go Back" and try again.
  7. Once you are satisfied with your submission, click Submit Speech. This submission is final, and your opponent will receive an E-Mail notification of your submission.
  8. Check your E-Mails regularly for your opponents notifications. Make sure to check your Spam folder! Remember, you will be submitting every single day for the 5 days of your round. If you do not get your submissions in within the given time restrictions, you will forfeit.

If you are having any issues with this process, send an E-Mail to Good luck!

How do I judge?

You will receive an E-Mail notifying you of the matches you are judging in for. You do not have to do anything until the match is done; you don't necessarily even have to watch the match as it progresses. You will receive an E-Mail letting you know when the match is over, and then you can judge by going to the link it provides and fill out the form. If you are having any issues with this process, send an E-Mail to Thanks for judging!

How much does it cost?

Currently, we are only running tournaments without an entry fee. This may be subject to change for future tournaments. Please check the tournament invite for more details.

Who are the judges?

We request that each affiliation provide one judge for every two competitors they register. If you are unable to provide the adequate number of judges please contact Joe Leeson-Schatz at to arrange for alternative arrangements.

How are rounds evaluated?

Each judge has sole discretion to evaluate rounds however they deem fit. The judging pool may vary from debate veterans to lay judges who have never seen a debate before. That being said, your primary goal should be to persuade, no matter who is judging you. We recommend that arguments are supported by credible evidence related to the topic. Responding directly to your opponents arguments is the key to deploying your own.

After the round is over, the judge will decide who has won and how effective each debater has been. Effectiveness will be measured over five categories ranked from 1 to 6. When win / loss records are not enough to determine who advances, these rankings will be the tie-breaker. The categories are as follows:

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