Students FAQs

Student Resources FAQs

How can I start debating?

The first thing you need to do is find a club to practice with. If you go to a school, check to see if your school has a club. If your school doesn’t have a club, look into possibly starting one by talking to a teacher, or join another school’s club. Contact the SEDA office to get a list of nearby schools, the homeschooled club, and other city clubs that you might be able to join.

There is no debate club in my school, can I still debate?

Absolutely! If it’s not possible to have a club at your school, you can join another school, or any of the city clubs to gain experience and access to tournaments. Contact us to find out about nearby clubs you can join.

How can I get better at debate?

There are many avenues to continue improving your debate skills. Check out our debater’s resources for free materials about debate. If you need more hands on practice, check out our calendar to find out about upcoming tournaments, camps, classes, and workshops. Or try contacting us to get in touch with volunteers who do individual coaching.

I do not have a partner, can I still join debate?

Absolutely! Most students don’t have a partner when they begin debating. If your school has a club, see if any students in the club don’t have a partner. If you have an odd number, try recruiting a friend from school. If you don’t have anyone to debate with at your school, contact other clubs in the city to find a partner for tournaments.

How can I be a member with SEDA?

Getting a SEDA membership is important because it allows you to debate in our tournaments. Make sure you have an interested adult who can support you and help sign up for tournaments. Go to our membership page and follow the appropriate links to sign up.

How do I qualify to go to National Competitions?

SEDA sends delegates to several different national competitions, each with a different process for qualifying. Check out our calendar to find upcoming tournaments.

Oxford Cup

A British Parliamentary guide tournament hosted in November for high school students. This tournament is the national qualifier for several tournaments in the UK. SEDA hosts a BP style tournament early on in the season that acts as the qualifier. If you qualify, your partner from that tournament would be your partner for Oxford Cup Qualifier. The number of teams SEDA can send depends on the capacity of the host school.


A nationals style tournament featuring the top teams from each province. The CSDF hosts two national tournament, one for junior students in grades 7-9, and one for senior students in grades 9-12. SEDA selects delegates based on your season rankings: 60% from your ranking at provincials, and 40% from your top two tournaments. This means you need to compete in at least three tournaments in order to be considered. The number of teams SEDA can send depends on the capacity of the host school.

Team Canada tryouts

A national intensive in Worlds style that are the tryouts for Canada’s World school’s team. SEDA holds a tryout in worlds style near the end of our season. Students are encouraged to start coming to the tryout early on so they can get practice in worlds style before being sent in later year to the Canadian tryout. SEDA typically sends 3 students to the Canadian tryouts, although numbers may vary.

Can I just do speech?

Yes. SEDA holds at least one speech tournament each year that also acts as a qualifier to speech nationals. We also hold camps and workshops throughout the year that have mixed content on debate and speech. Check out our calendar for more information about upcoming events.