Types of Intercollegiate Individual Events and Debate
So what do we do? There are two different kinds of debate and 12 different individual events we participate in:
- Parliamentary Debate:
students work together in a form of debate based loosely on the British
Parliament. They have 15 minutes to prepare a case on a topic that is
revealed at the start of the round. One interesting difference between
Parli. and other forms of debate is that students are encouraged to
heckle and cheer, as well as to interrupt the speakers during their
speeches. It's a lot of fun, and it's taken off in Minnesota and other
parts of the country.
participate in NFA Lincoln-Douglas debate. Students compete as
individuals against debaters from other teams. This year's topic will
deal with transportation.
- Policy Debate:
- We don't participate in 2-person college policy at this time. If you want to learn more, we suggest you consult the CEDA (Cross-Examination Debate Association) or the NDT (National Debate Tournament) websites for more information. LD on the college level is 1-person policy.
The Individual Events are divided into three categories: Interpretation, Limited Prep., and Public Address:
Interpretation events: All the interpretation events are performed with the script in front of you. Your program is up to 10 minutes.
- Dramatic Interp.:
- Similar to solo drama. You perform multiple characters from a stage play or screenplay.
- You perform one or several poems, organized around a theme or author.
- You perform sections of essays or short stories.
- Oral Interpretation:
perform 2 of the 3 genres (prose, poetry, drama) in a program organized
around a theme. You can even perform your own original literature--but
only if you want to!
- Duo Interpretation:
work with a partner. Both of you perform from a stageplay or
screenplay, without looking at each other. There is some movement
- Reader's Theater:
- Three or more
people work together on a script that can last up to 25 minutes.
There's some movement allowed, and there's a wide variety of literature
Limited Preparation events: There are two kinds of limited preparation events.
- Extemporaneous Speaking:
have 30 minutes to prepare a 7 minute speech on a topic in current
events. We keep files of research to help you in preparing.
- Impromptu Speaking:
have 7 minutes to divide between preparing the speech and giving the
speech. Topics can be quotations, cartoons, posters,
Public Address Events: There are several different public address events.
- 10 minute speech designed to inform an audience. The speech is memorized and uses a variety of sources.
minute speech where you identify a problem and present a solution to
that problem on both an individual level and a larger level.
- After Dinner:
- 10 minute speech where your goal is to illustrate a serious topic through the use of humor.
- Rhetorical Criticism:
is an event unique to the college level. You take a speaker or speech
or movement and analyze it through a critical methodology.
If you want to learn the exact rules, the NFA website has them both for individual events and LD debate. The NPDA website has the rules for debating
as well. Note: the NFA website doesn't list descriptions for Oral
Interp. and Dramatic Interp. since those events aren't done at the NFA
National tournament. However, the AFA-NIET website has the complete rules for POI and DI (see the rules link), and the Phi Rho Pi site has the rules for Readers' Theater.