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Karl Popper debate format

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# of people in the debate: 6

# of people in a team: 3

# of teams in the debate: 2

Duration of the speeches: 5 minutes

Questions format: Cross examination

Short description: Special in this format is the prep time, where the teams can use 8 minutes, that they need to divide for all three speeches, and prepare before they go and make a speech. 

The debate is started by the 1st affirmation (aff) speaker. Followed by the 2rd oposition (opp) speaker cross examining the 1st aff speaker. Now 1st opp speaker speech. 3rd gov asks 1st opp. 2nd gov speaker and asked by the 1st opp speaker. 2 opp speech and asked by the 1st gov speaker. 3 aff speaker and last comes the 3rd opp speaker.

First aff speaker will outline a case, present a plan, if needed and present arguments/benefits. First opp speaker will challenge the definitions (if needed, but normally not) and negate the arguments of 1st aff. She also needs to present her own constructive arguments against the motion. 2nd aff speaker has to re-establish the aff arguments presented in the 1st speech, and develop them, and add (mostly one) new argument. He also has to negate the arguments that were presented by the 1st opp speaker. 2nd opp speaker has to do the same. Re-establish own arguments, present new arguments and  

Used in: High school and primary school in Europe and United states of America.

Lincoln/Douglas Debate Format

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# of people in the debate: 2

# of people in a team: 1

# of teams in the debate: 2

Duration of the speeches: The times are different from speech to speech, and are marked at the speeches

Questions format: Cross examination

This debate format derives directly from the US Presidential debates. It is a bit different, especially from the timing of the speeches. I have no information if it is being used for tournaments anywhere in the world, but it is used for training.


1st Affirmative constructive – 7 minutes

Cross examination – negative asks affirmative – 3 minutes

1st Negative constructive – 8 minutes

Cross examination – affirmative asks negative – 3 minutes

 Now follow the so called rebuttal speeches. The debaters should not present new arguments, but are allowed to present new evidence.

1st Affirmative rebuttal – 4 minutes 

1st Negative rebuttal – 7 minutes

2nd Affirmative rebuttal – 4 minutes