The competition is divided into two rounds: the Regional Finals and Finals Day. The Regional Round will be hosted at a University or school in your area.
This year the competition will take a slightly different format. There will be just one regional round (instead of a local and regional round), which will take a more traditional competition format. There will be 3 debates, with teams award points depending on their position in each debate and changing rooms each round. In a regional round with 32 teams or more, there will also be a break to a final.
This has three key benefits; firstly and most importantly it means more debating! Secondly, it means competitors will have an opportunity to debate against a wider variety of different teams and finally means that debaters will be judges by different adjudicators. This will allow for a wider variety of feedback from experienced debaters who will each have their own insights to add.
Debates will be in the standard British Parliamentary format (click here to download our guide on this style of debating). The second motion for the regional rounds will be pre-announced, although teams will not know their position. The first and third debates will have their motions announced 15 minutes before the start the debate, and teams can use this time to prepare their speeches.
At the end of three rounds, the team with the most points get the honour of being invited to the Cambridge Union to compete on Finals Day (For an explanation of the criteria used to make the decision, please see the BP debating guide). In regional rounds with a break to a final both the winner of the final and the team with the most speaker points will be invited to Finals Day.
More details regarding the process for sending teams to Finals Day will be posted after registration has closed.
NB: The local and regional rounds may take a different format in Scotland and Ireland. Please email us for further details.
Finals Day features a mere
handful of teams compared to the number who originally
entered (1/16 entered teams reach finals day), and making it
this far is quite an achievement. Finals Day follows a
different format to the earlier rounds. There will be four
rounds of debating, with points awarded depending on your
position in each debate. After the first 4 rounds in which
everybody competes, the 8 teams with the most points will
proceed to the knockout semi-finals. After these debates,
the best 2 teams in each Semi final will advance to the
grand final, where one will be crowned Schools Champion!
Hall of Fame
- 2015 - Dulwich College (Ronan Patrick & Raffy Marshall)
- 2014 - Dulwich College (Louis Collier & Will Cook)
- 2013 - Eton College (George Clay & Jamie Jackson)
- 2012 - Dulwich College (Sam Collier & Will Cook)
- 2011 - Westminster School (Barnaby Raine & Indi de Graaf)
- 2010 - RGS Newcastle (Luke Hughes & Hugo Wallis)
- 2009 - Cheney School (Alice Stott & Zoe Lake Thomas)
- 2008 - Aberdeen Grammar School (Natalie Smith & Rachel Watson)
- 2007 - Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School (James Fox & Jamie Susskind)
- 2006 - Dulwich College (Jack Devlin & Tom O'Reilly)
- 2005 - The Latymer School (Ben Jasper & Tom Evans)
- 2004 - Aberdeen Grammar School (Rose Grogan & Will Jones)
- 2003 - High School of Dundee (Gavin Illsley & James Moir)
- 2002 - Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School (Adam Berlin & Nicholas Sloboda)
The Cambridge Union Society
Cambridge Schools is run by members of the Cambridge Union Society. The Union dates from 1815, and has a long history of hosting Presidents, Prime Ministers, Statesmen, Celebrities and Sports Stars. The Unions weekly debates serve to engage and to challenge presumptions and prejudices.
Finals day will be hosted at the Union itself, with the Grand Final held in the Union's famous chamber.
For more infomation on the Cambridge Union and to see some Cambridge Union speaker events, visit cus.org.