The Nova Scotia Debating Society's first tournament of the school year is the Impromptu Debating Championships, taking place at Sacred Heart School of Halifax on Friday, October 18, 2019 and Saturday, October 19, 2019.

"Impromptus" features parallel competitions in the Junior High division (grades 7-9) and Senior High division (grades 10-12). The NSDS' Annual General Meeting will also take place during the event.

See below for the full event invitation, followed by a link to the registration form. AGM materials will be sent directly to the NSDS email list.



  • Friday, October 18, 2019, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm:
    • 4:00pm - Registration
    • 5:00pm - Debaters' and Judges' Briefings
    • 6:00pm - Rounds 1 & 2
    • 9:00pm - End of day 1
  • Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 9:00am to 6:00pm:
    • 9:00am - Briefings
    • 9:30am - Rounds 3 & 4
    • 12:00pm - Lunch & AGM
    • 1:30pm - Rounds 5 & 6
    • 4:30pm - Final rounds
    • 5:30pm - Awards
    • 6:00pm - Event concludes


  • Sacred Heart School of Halifax.
  • Google Map link: [ location ]


Eligible schools

  • Participating schools must be NSDS Members for 2019-2020.
  • New and existing members must complete our online registration form.
  • School membership fee is $25/year.
  • Membership fees may be paid at the tournament by cheque to the "Nova Scotia Debating Society", or by email money transfer to
  • Students from schools that do not have a debate club may participate as individual members. For more information on individual member registration, please email

Eligible student grades

  • Grades 7-9 for Junior division.
  • Grades 10-12 for Senior division.
  • Grade 6 students may compete if their grade is included in a junior high school. Coaches should exercise discretion as to whether a grade 6 student is appropriately prepared, as the difficulty of debate motions and level of competition will be at the grade 7-9 junior high level.

Team cap

  • Each school may send up to four two-student teams in each division (Junior and Senior).
  • Additional spots may be allocated as available once we have numbers in.
  • Spare debaters will be formed into teams as we are able.

Judging requirement

  • Schools must provide one adult judge for each two-student team entered in the tournament.
  • Schools must ensure they field the required number of judges for every round of the tournament.
  • It is strongly preferred that the same individual judges participate for all rounds straight through the tournament. If a school must fill their judging slots with different people for different rounds, it is essential that each judge attend at least one of judges' briefings, which take place on Friday at 5:00pm and Saturday at 9:00am.
  • Any experienced senior high debaters who are not competing may judge Junior division debates at the discretion of the Tournament Director.


  • At their first opportunity, coaches are asked to please send an email to indicating the number of debaters and judges you plan to send, with names if possible.
  • Step 1: To register for the tournament, fill out this online form. Submissions are due by Friday, October 11. Registering involves a commitment to pay the registration fee; if teams drop out after Oct 11, schools will still be required to pay the fee.
  • Step 2: Schools must be NSDS members to participate; since this is the first tournament of the year, new and existing members must complete the NSDS Membership Form.
  • Coaches are invited to email suggestions for debate motions to by Thursday, October 17 (the day before the tournament). When this is done, it greatly expedites the motion selection coaches' meetings that will occur during the tournament.


  • $20 per debater (i.e. $40 per two-person team, $20 per spare). No cost for judges.
  • Registration fees may be paid at the tournament:
    • by cheque to the "Nova Scotia Debating Society";
    • in cash; or
    • via email money transfer (Interac e-Transfer) to "".
  • As noted above, all teams registered as of October 11 are committed to paying the registration fee.

Debating topics

  • Topics (a.k.a. motions, resolutions) will be selected in consultation with coaches immediately before rounds are held.
  • Each round at the tournament will use a different motion.
  • Separate sets of motions will be used for each division (Junior and Senior).
  • After motions are announced, debaters will be given 15 minutes to prepare before rounds begin.
  • Coaches are asked to email their suggestions for motions to by Thursday, October 17.

Debating styles

  • Both divisions (Junior and Senior) will debate in Canadian Parliamentary style with two-person teams.
  • Junior division speaking times will be 3-5-5-5-2 minutes. For more details, see the Junior High Speaker's Script.
  • Senior division speaking times will be 5-8-8-8-3 minutes. For more details, see the Senior High Speaker's Script.
  • The tournament will be conducted according to the Rules of the Nova Scotia Debating Society. Per the Rules, the Provincial Coordinator of the Society shall be the Director of this Tournament and may make additions or modifications to the Rules, in their sole discretion.


  • NSDS Impromptus is now a qualifier in both the Junior and Senior divisions.
  • The Senior division is a qualifier for the Canadian National Debating Championships (a.k.a. Senior Nats), information will be shared as it becomes available.
  • Both Junior and Senior divisions are qualifiers to attend the Canadian British Parliamentary Debate Championships (formerly known as the Oxford Cup), which will be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from Friday December 6 to Sunday December 8, 2018. The full invitation will be shared when available.
  • BP Champs is itself a qualifier. The top teams in the U-15 Division will qualify for the International Competition for Young Debaters, held at Cambridge University in April 2020. The top teams in the Senior Division may qualify for either the Oxford Schools Debating Championship, or the Cambridge Schools Championship, in March 2020.


  • Lunch will be provided on Saturday.
  • Dietary requirements will be accommodated. Please ensure the dietary requirement info on your reg form submission is accurate and complete.

Transportation and accommodations

  • Teams are responsible for their own transportation to and from the tournament, as well as their own accommodations.


For more information, contact Matt Edmonds, Tournament Director, at 902-818-7254 or

Registration Forms

The NSDS Membership Form must be submitted prior to the start of the tournament.

The Tournament Registration Form must be submitted by the end of the day on Friday, October 11, 2019.


Hard copies of the documents below will be available at the tournament. Electronic versions are available here for your reference.