The New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council has been promoting and coordinating debating in Aotearoa New Zealand’s secondary schools since 1988. Every year, hundreds of students take part in our competitions and events. We also are responsible for selecting, coaching, and supporting the New Zealand Schools’ Debating team which competes at the annual World Schools Debating Championships.


Part of the mission of the New Zealand Schools' Debating Council involves helping improve the debating of everyone who is eligible to participate in our competitions. We have assembled a number of resources for debaters, judges and coaches.

NZ Schools' Debating Championships 2016.  Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.  COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A’Court

How to Debate

This guide provides an overview of all aspects of a debate: how to prep a case, speaker roles, style tips, how to rebut an argument and how to structure your speech. It should be the starting point for all debaters, judges and coaches.


Style In Debating

Being engaging is an essential part of presenting a persuasive argument. It's also one of the criteria that debaters are assessed on at New Zealand Schools' Debating tournaments. This presentation focuses on giving a schools’ debating speech with style.

_NZSDC 2021_1710

How to Judge

To make debating a fair competition, it is important that judges assess debates consistently. This guide and presentation gives an overview of the rules of debating and the role of a judge. It also discusses how to judge a debate, give scores, and deliver an adjudication.