International Public Debate Association

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For another use of the acronym IPDA, see International Planetary Data Alliance.

The International Public Debate Association (IPDA), inaugurated on 15 February 1997 at St. Mary's University, Texas in San Antonio, is a national debate league currently active in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, and Oklahoma. The central focus of IPDA is to promote a debate format that emphasizes public speaking and real-world persuasion skills over the use of evidence and speed. To further this goal, IPDA predominantly uses lay judges in order to encourage an audience-centered debate style.¹ While most member programs within the International Public Debate Association are associated with colleges or universities, participation in IPDA tournaments is open to anyone whose education level is equivalent to secondary school or higher.²

Format[edit]

Individual Debate[edit]

IPDA primarily utilizes a one-on-one, or individual, debate format in which one debater takes the side of the affirmative where they have the burden of advocating and proving the resolution. The other debater takes the side of the negative where they have the burden of refuting the affirmative's case. For each round, the two debaters are given five possible resolutions. The negative begins the topic selection by striking one resolution, then the affirmative strikes one resolution. The negative strikes again. Thus, the affirmative has two resolutions to choose from. The affirmative then strikes one of the remaining resolutions, selecting the other as the topic for the round. After the topic has been selected, both debaters have thirty minutes to prepare a case.

The round itself has a maximum length of 26 minutes, divided as follows:

  1. Affirmative constructive speech (5 minutes)
  2. Negative cross-examination of affirmative (2 minutes)
  3. Negative constructive speech (6 minutes)
  4. Affirmative cross-examination of negative (2 minutes)
  5. Affirmative rebuttal (3 minutes)
  6. Negative rebuttal and summary (5 minutes)
  7. Affirmative summary (3 minutes)[1]

Team Debate[edit]

IPDA also offers a team format of public debate. The team format consists of 2 teams made up of 4 debaters, 2 representing each school, with one team representing the Affirmative and the other representing the Negative. Each debater will speak a maximum of 2 speeches each round, usually according to their speaker order determined by the team themselves, numbered as First and Second.

A team round itself has a length of 40 minutes and is divided as follows:

  1. First Affirmative constructive speech (4 minutes)
  2. First Negative cross-examination of Affirmative team (2 minutes)
  3. First Negative constructive speech (5 minutes)
  4. First Affirmative cross-examination of Negative team (2 minutes)
  5. Second Affirmative constructive speech (5 minutes)
  6. Second Negative cross-examination of Affirmative team (2 minutes)
  7. Second Negative constructive speech (4 minutes)
  8. Second Affirmative cross-examination of Negative team (2 minutes)
  9. First Negative rebuttal speech (3 minutes)
  10. First Affirmative rebuttal speech (4 minutes)
  11. Second Negative rebuttal speech (4 minutes)
  12. Second Affirmative rebuttal speech (3 minutes)[2]

Divisions[edit]

Most IPDA tournaments offer four divisions of competition. The Novice division is open to any person without a bachelor's degree who has competed in less than 8 debate tournaments in their entire life. The Junior Varsity division consists of students without a bachelor's degree and those that have either competed in the maximum number of Novice tournaments available to them (8) OR if they have competed in 16 debate tournaments in any capacity at the collegiate level in any combination. The Varsity division is open to any person without a bachelor's degree and those that have not competed within the division for more than 10 semesters. The Professional division has no restrictions on participation and includes participants who are undergraduates, graduate students, professors, coaches, and professionals. As of the 2009 Convention, the Open division has been renamed the Professional division.

Tournaments and Schools[edit]

IPDA tournaments are held approximately every other weekend from late September until early April. Some of the schools that host tournaments on an annual basis include the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Tech University, Bowling Green State University of Ohio, Union University, the University of Central Arkansas, Louisiana State University at Shreveport, East Texas Baptist University, Lee College, Tulsa Community College, and Mississippi College . Other schools that actively compete in IPDA but do not currently host a tournament are Tulane University, Louisiana College, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Louisiana Tech University, the University of Texas at Tyler, the College of Southern Idaho, St. Mary's University, Texas, Arkansas State University, and the University of Tennessee.

More recently, IPDA has spread to various parts of the nation, including the Northwest, West Coast, and Northeast parts of the United States. Many tournaments in the Northwest Forensics Conference now sponsor IPDA divisions, including Linfield College, Oregon State, Mt. Hood Community College and Clark College. States such as Georgia, New York, West Virginia, and Kansas will also host tournaments that include IPDA events during the 2015-2016 season.

Typical IPDA tournaments last two or three days, usually having six preliminary rounds and three or four elimination rounds per division, depending on the number of competitors.The tournaments that host Team IPDA events and/or individual events typically have four to five preliminary team rounds and two to three elimination rounds.

Speaker points are awarded during each round of a tournament. These speaker points are given to competitors by the judge and are determined based upon certain aspects within the round that each competitor would typically have, including organization, refutation, courtesy, delivery, tone, and logic. These speaker points are then added up, with the top 5 speakers from each division being recognized at the end of the tournament. Points are then awarded for each speaker based upon their position.

The culminating event for the IPDA season is the annual National Championship Tournament & Convention. The National Championship Tournament features eight preliminary rounds and at least four elimination rounds for individual competition and four preliminary rounds and at least three elimination rounds for Team IPDA. The final round for either the Professional division or the Varsity division takes place at an awards banquet, where season-long sweepstakes awards are presented in addition to tournament awards.

National Championships[edit]

National Champions are crowned at the conclusion of the National Championship tournament, most often held in April. Each division crowns three National Champions per year. One is designated the Season-long Champion; while one is designated as the National Tournament Champion. Newly added at the end of the 2014-2015 IPDA season, the top speakers for each division will be awarded and given recognition for being the one who earns the most cumulative points throughout the season. All three winners are referred to as "National Champion." There are also two other awards given for team performa56

Founder's Award[edit]

The Founder's Award is given annually to the school that earns the most amount of points in individual debate events throughout the year. The top 6 scores for each school are calculated, with the scores being derived from tournament performance throughout the regular season.

Scholastic Award[edit]

The Scholastic Award is give annually to the school who has the most amount of points in the Novice and Varsity divisions. Newly added in the 2015-2016 season, the Junior Varsity division will also be calculated in correlation with the Novice and Varsity divisions when determining a Scholastic Award winner.

Individual[edit]

Professional (formerly Open) Division[edit]

National Season Long Champion (Daniel Webster Award)[edit]

National Tournament Champion[edit]

Varsity Division[edit]

National Season Long Champion (Edmund Burke Award)[edit]

National Tournament Champion[edit]

Novice Division[edit]

National Season Long Champion (Susan B. Anthony Award)[edit]

National Tournament Champion[edit]

Team Division[edit]

National Season Long Champion[edit]

National Tournament Champion

Bennett Strange Coach of the Year Award[edit]

E-Mail[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Constitution and Bylaws of the IPDA". International Public Debate Association. September 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015. Article 1. Event Description, Section H. Format. 
  2. ^ "The Constitution and Bylaws of the IPDA". International Public Debate Association. September 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015. Article 1. Event Description, Section H. Format. 

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. IPDAdebate.org: Mission and History
  2. IPDAdebate.org: Constitution
  3. IPDAdebate.org: Event Description