Debate Competition

Competitors receive their topic in debate competition

How good are you at presenting and defending a position?

How well do you present yourself when arguing a point.  Can you “think on your feet?”  Can you connect with those whose opinion counts?  Are you clear and concise?  How do you respond when someone criticizes your position on a topic?

Debating is not simply a skill reserved for politicians and lawyers, it can be a very important skill in any field.  Whether, you have to defend your division’s budget to a manager, convince clients that they need your services, or rally a PTA to your position on a school fundraiser, the ability to debate is important in everyday life.

The Debate Competition is exactly what it sounds like.  Competitors debate a topic given to them by a moderator.  The Debate competition is open to all Jaycees.

At the state level this competition is an individual one-on-one debate, at the national level, teams of three people debate each other.


Before entering the room in which the competition will be held, competitors flip a coin to decide who will represent the ‘Pro’ side of a topic and who will represent the ‘Con’ side of the topic.  The topic is not known by the competitors prior to the beginning of the debate.

After entering the competition room, the competitors are given a debate topic by the moderator.

Each competitor is given time for an opening statement, rebuttal and a closing statement.  Each Debate competitor is scored based on his/her abilities to present persuasive arguments,  his/her ability to listen and respond to criticisms of his/her opponent, and his/her ability to connect with the audience through the use of humor, etc.  The final judgement is not based in any part on the position taken by the competitor on the topic at hand, but rather on the ability of the competitor to make a compelling argument.

The debate champion is qualified to compete on the State Debate team at the national competition.  The national competition team may consist of 3 debate team members with one captain.  The Debate competition is open to all Jaycees. Chapters may sponsor debate competitors at the Virginia Jaycees’ Spring and Fall State Meetings

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