Rules and Procedures

Debate is often complex because it mixes competition, group learning, and individual learning constantly. Students are expected to study and practice with the people they may compete against in tournaments.

It is our goal at SEDA to always keep the environment during meetings, workshops, and tournaments positive. We recognize that the interests of debaters differ greatly: some may wish to be incredibly competitive, others may debate more recreationally. Every debater on that spectrum has a place in out events. We hold specific expectations of our debaters, parents, and volunteers at events to ensure they run smoothly and safely.

For those attending tournaments, read our tournament etiquette expectations.

Despite the competitive element that some debaters chose to participate in, we want everyone to appreciate and learn from one another. We ask that you keep the following in mind:

Debaters

  1. I will participate because I want to, not just because my parents or coaches want me to.
  2. I will treat other debaters, parents, judges, and volunteers with respect and kindness.
  3. I will remember that language is important. Using language carelessly or to hurt others is not in the spirit of debate or SEDA.
  4. I will remember that every judge, time keeper, moderator, or member of SEDA is a volunteer who is doing their best to make the event run smoothly. 
  5. I will control my temper even when I lose or disagree with a judge's decision.
  6. I will follow all the rules and compete with integrity.
  7. I will remember that winning isn't everything--that having fun, improving skills, making friends, and doing my best are also important.

Parents

  1. I will not force my child to participate in debate.
  2. I will encourage my child to follow the rules of debate and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility.
  3. I will never ridicule or yell at my child for making a mistake or losing a round.
  4. I will encourage my child and demonstrate the value of hard work over winning.
  5. I will provide encouragement during debates but I will not attempt to assist my child during a debate round.
  6. I will be a positive spectator and applaud good performances by both my child's team and their opponents.
  7. I will never question the judge's ruling or their qualifications in public.
  8. I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children's activities.
  9. I will respect and appreciate all the coaches and volunteers that help my child and make SEDA events possible.