Here is a listing of events that are offered at most competitive tournaments. A brief summary of the event follows each heading.
IPDA (International Public Debate Association)
Individual IPDA Debate. 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. The current ACU team finds this style of debate to be the most beneficial and useful for students once they leave school, as well as being one of the most civil forms of competitive collegiate debate available.
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 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.
TIPDA (Team) Debate. 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.
Individual Events (Also called IE’s).
Persuasion. A speech to convince, to move to action, or to inspire on a significant issue, delivered from memory. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
Extemporaneous. For each round, contestants will select one of three topics on current national and international events. The contestant will have thirty minutes to prepare a five to seven minute speech on the topic selected. Notes are permissible but should be at a minimum. Maximum 7 minutes.
Impromptu. Contestants will receive short excerpts dealing with items of general interest, political, economic, and social issues. The contestant will have a total of seven minutes to divide between preparation and speaking. Students should speak for at least three minutes. All contestants in the same section shall speak on the same topic. Maximum 7 minutes.
Rhetorical Criticism. Contestants will deliver an original critical analysis of any significant rhetorical artifact. The speaker should limit the quotation of, paraphrasing of, or summary of, the analyzed artifact to a minimum. Any legitimate critical methodology is permissible as long as it serves to open up the artifact for the audience. The Speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum 10 minutes.
Informative. The contestant will deliver an original factual speech on a realistic subject to fulfill a general information need of the audience. Visual aids that supplement/ reinforce the message are permitted. The speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum 10 minutes.
After Dinner. Each contestant will present an original speech whose purpose is to make a serious point through the use of humor. The speech should reflect the development of a humorous comedic effort, not a stand up comedy routine. The speech must be memorized. Maximum 10 minutes.
Prose. The contestant will present a program of prose literature. Original introductory comments and transitional remarks are permitted. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Plays are not permitted. Manuscripts are required. Maximum 10 minutes.
Poetry. The contestant will present a program of poetic literature. Original introductory comments and transitional remarks are permitted. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Manuscripts are required. Maximum 10 minutes.
Dramatic Duo. A cutting from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. This is not an acting event. Thus, costumes, props, etc. are not permitted. Presentation must be from manuscript and focus should be off stage. Maximum 10 minutes.