Toowoomba Grammar School

Debating Information

Welcome to the 2020 season Debating Season. Please find important information about the QDU Secondary Schools Competition below. You can find further information on the QDU website:

Debating is a Team Sport:

Students are expected to attend all meetings and debates. Students need to be prepared well in advance so that all team mates can do their roles.

Preliminary Rounds

The QDU Secondary Schools Competition consists of four preliminary debating rounds held throughout Term 1 and 2 followed by a finals series for successful teams held in Term 3. The preliminary round debates are held at selected schools throughout the region. The draw, along with venues and times will be released by QDU in Week 4. Please visit the Sports and Activities Website to view this draw. It will be updated with any venue changes and postponements throughout the season.

Seniors and Year 9 Year 7, 8 and 10
Round 1 Wednesday, 26 February 2020 (Term 1, Week 5)  Wednesday, 4 March 2020 (Term 1, Week 6)
Round 2 Wednesday, 18 March 2020 (Term 1, Week 8) Wednesday, 25 March 2020 (Term 1, Week 9)
Round 3 Wednesday, 29 April 2020Term2, Week 2) Wednesday, 6 May 2019 (Term 2, Week 3)


Year 8 and Year 10 Year 7 and Year 9 Seniors
Round 4 Wednesday, 20 May 2020 (Term 2, Week 5) Wednesday, 27 May 2020 (Term 2, Week 6) Wednesday 3 June, 2020 (Term, 2, Week 7)


Teams will only progress to the finals in they win at least 3 out of the 4 preliminary rounds.

  • Wednesday, 15 July 2020 T3W1 PRELIMINARY FINALS – IF REQUIRED
  • Thursday, 16 July 2020 – Preliminary Finals (if required)
  • Wednesday, 22 July 2020 – FINALS 3 – TOOWOOMBA
  • Wednesday, 29 July 2020 T3W3 QUARTER FINALS – TOOWOOMBA
  • Wednesday, 5 August 2020 T3W4 SEMI FINALS – TOOWOOMBA
  • Wednesday, 19August 2020 T3W6 GRAND FINALS – TOOWOOMBA


Prepared topic debates for Year 7, 8 and 9 competitions are scheduled to commence at 6.00 pm, 7.00 pm and 8.00 pm.

Short Preparation debates for Year 7, 8 and 9 competitions are scheduled to commence at 6.45 pm, 8.00 pm. Teams must arrive 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to this time. i.e. 5:30 pm and 6:45 pm respectively. 

Prepared topic debates for Year 10 and Senior competitions are scheduled to commence at 6:45 and 8p.m.

Short Preparation debates for Year 10 and Senior competitions are scheduled to commence at 6.45 pm, 8.00 pm. Teams must arrive 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to this time. i.e. 5:30 pm and 6:45 pm respectively.

Round 1 Topics

The draw is released by QDU one week prior to Round 1. This will be posted to the Sports and Activities Site on the “Draw” page as soon as it is available.

Round 1 topics are below and students are encouraged to consider arguments for both sides of the debate.

Upcoming QDU Events

Toowoomba Regional Student Workshops (10.00 am – 2.45 pm): SUNDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2020

The 2020 Summer School will consist of a series of mini-lectures, workshops and discussion sessions. These sessions will be conducted by experienced debaters who will demonstrate the three key aspects of debating – matter, manner and method

On Sunday 9 February 2020 at 10:00am to 2:45pm


Highfields State Secondary College
10 O’Brien Road, Highfields , QLD 4352

This workshop is free and will be supervised by QDU. To attend you must book via the following link as all students will be required to bring a ticket:

Toowoomba Introduction To Debating Evening: WEDNESDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2020 6pm-7:45pm

The Toowoomba “Introduction to Debating” night is open to all students, parents, coaches and teachers that are all stakeholders in the QDU Toowoomba competitions. Specifically targeting all new comers to debating, this night is designed to introduce everyone to what is expected from a debate. Boys are to attend with parents or guardian and need to be in blazer fress.

Entry for all persons is by ticket only…and free.

On Wednesday 12 February 2020 at 6:00pm to 7:45pm


Toowoomba Anglican School
2 Campbell Street, East Toowoomba, Queensland 4350

General Reminders

Speech times for debaters:

  • Year 7 – 4 mins
  • Year 8 – 5 mins
  • Year 9 – 6 mins
  • Year 10 – 7 mins
  • Senior – 8 mins with POI.

Boys are to wear blazer dress and ensure shoes are shined.

Boys must represent Toowoomba Grammar School with pride and dignity. Respect towards the opposing team is an important aspect of debating. Rebuttal and key arguments need to be appropriate.

Teams are always required to arrive with four debaters, three speakers and one chairperson/timekeeper. It is preferred that these roles are covered by the boys within the team; however, it is okay for a boy who is not involved in debating at all to help out with one of these roles. Affirmative teams provide the chairperson and negative teams provide the timekeeper.

Boys must use palm cards. It is expected that boys arrive to the the debate with their speeches already written on palm cards.

Mobile phones and smart devices are prohibited. This includes before the debate, during the debate and especially in short preparation time. Teams will be awarded a loss if a smart device is believed to be used as it can be considered cheating.

Filming or the taking of photographs at QDU debates is prohibited.

It is preferred that boarders travel with a team mate to the venue.  Failing this, taxis are able to be organised.  Leave and appropriate forms will need to completed and submitted to House Masters.