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Glossary

(including terms not used here but cropping up in debates)

ADJUDICATORS The judges, an odd number, usually three, but up to nine at a WSDC Final. Play no part in the actual debate, except to admonish unruly debaters or audience.
CHAIR

The Chairman or Chair ("chairperson"?) is neutral and leads through the debate. He/she announces the motion and introduces the speakers by name. He/she calls on each speaker in turn to start speaking and asks the auience to applaud (but is not normally responsible for timing or for points of information.)

At the end the Chair repeats the motion, puts it to the vote, announces the decision, and closes the debate. The Chair is addressed as "Madam Chair" or "Mr Chair."

The Chair must also decide on (rare) "points of order" unless the chief adjudicator does so.

CLASH:    A debate is ipso facto a series of clashes between two sides. With its emphasis on  formalisation, American debating tends to insist on clashes being worked out and clearly stated at each stage of the debate
CROSS-EXAMINATION:  In the "Karl Popper" format, after their speech each first and second speaker is cross-examined by the third and first speakers respectively of the opposing side. (Third speakers are not cross-examined, and second speakers do not cross-examine.) This consists of question & answer as in a court of law; the examination is intended to expose flaws and inconsistencies in the speech. Answers can be very short. Teams are allocated a number of minutes during which they can put their heads together to prepare the cross-examination. (-> annex 8)
DEBATOR: American for debater  and now, thanks to American sponsorship, the current spelling in Eastern Europe (-> annex 8)
FLOOR DEBATE: One with an audience (floor) but usually without judges. The  floor has a triple function: to make points of information; to make short speeches between the third and the reply speeches; and to vote on the motion.
FORENSICS:  in BrE the science of law -court examination, but in AmE another term for "debating."
KARL POPPER:   (Actually Sir Karl Popper, the German philosopher working in England.) One format of American debating, now the usual format for countries with debating sponsored by the George Soros Foundationand IDEA.
MOTION: The topic or subject of a debate. As it's not a discussion, it's invariably in the form of a yes/no vote. Generally framed as: "This House believes that..." (-> step one)
POINT OF INFORMATION: In parliamentary-style debating, any speaker except reply speakers can be interrupted by anyone on the opposing team (and sometimes from the audience) standing up and asking a question in the form of "On a point of information!", or making a short statement. "Short" means up to 15 seconds. The speaker may accept this point ("Yes, please?"or."Just a moent , lease." or: "I'll take that in a moment.") or refuse to allow it ("Declined!"or "No, thank you!"). He/she may allow the complete question, or interrupt ("Yes, I got that!") and wave the questioner down. The actual speaker is in complete charge; there is no dialogue, and the questioner must sit down when asked to. There are no points during the first or last minute of each speech (as announced by the timekeeper), nor during the reply speech. (-> step 3 and annex 8)
REBUTTAL: Debaters rebut their opponents' arguments by subjecting the previous speech to a critical analysis point by point, demolishing arguments and questioning facts. Essentiaö for speakers 2 and especally 3.  (-> step 4)
REPLY:     At the end of the debate the first or second speaker (but never the third, who has just spoken) may make one final uninterrupted speech. This is half the length of the other speeches, e.g. four instead of eight minutes. Contrary to preceding speeches, the opposition speaks first, followed by the proposition (who has thus had the first and the last word in the debate.) The reply should contain no new information and should confine itself to summing up what each side has said, so as to leave a last favourable impression. (step 5)
SUMMATION: Another term for the reply speech. The reply speaker is the summator.
TEAM-LINE:  All three speakers of a team have agreed in advance on what aspects each is going to deal with, so at some time during his/her speech the first speaker will mention the arguments the other two in the team are going to make; i.e. he/she will suggest a structure for his/her side. It's then interesting to see whether they do actually deal with them! It's not enough for each speaker to show clearly what just he/she is talking about individually; they are a team.The team-line will later be useful for the repy speech summing  up! It shows the adjudicators that the team has a structured case. (-> step 5)
TIMEKEEPER:     Sits beside the judge and announces (usually by ringing a bell, knocking with a gavel or a gong, or banging a glass) that one minute of any speech is up, or that there is one minute to go to the end of the speech (during which times there may be no points of information.) At the designated end of the speech the bell is rung once, and half a minute later is rung continually or continuously until the speaker stops.
VOTE:   At the end of the debate, if there are no judges, the audience (floor) votes on the motion. This is done by acclamation; the Chair asking those in favour of the motion to cry "AYE!", & then those against  to cry "NO!"; & then announcing the winning team. In the event of protest, the Chair will repeat the vote "by show of hands." If there are now equal votes, the Chair casts the deciding vote; there can be no draw!

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