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UTS Junior Debating & Public Speaking Tournament

  • 371 Bloor Street West Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2R7 Canada (map)

UTS Junior Debating & Public Speaking Tournament

Dear OSDU Members, Coaches & Students, 

OSDU is happy to pass on the following debating and public speaking event invitation from University of Toronto Schools (UTS):  

"Dear Debate Coaches and Debaters, 

It is our pleasure to invite you to our second annual Junior Debating and Public Speaking Tournament, The Zommers’ Cup, at UTS on Saturday, December 10, 2016. Our tournament aims to provide enrichment and skill development for our junior level debaters and public speakers in grades 8 and 9. It is ideal preparation for the upcoming Ontario Junior Provincials in March and will help redress the dearth of competitive opportunities for young debaters and public speakers. Our four rounds of speech events will combine emphasis on debate skills with emphasis on persuasion and rhetoric. We look forward to welcoming you and your junior debaters to the University of Toronto Schools. 

DATE: Saturday, December 10, 2016 

LOCATION: University of Toronto Schools, 371 Bloor Street West 

TEAMS: Each school is invited to send as many two-person teams as it wishes; the debaters should be in grades 8 or 9, students eligible to participate in the Ontario Junior Provincials. Each school’s delegation must be accompanied by an adult who may be asked to judge. Our tournament can accommodate up to 50 teams. 


The registration fee is $50 per student ($100 per two-person team), payable to “University of Toronto Schools” at the registration desk on December 10. 


Each competitor will take part in two rounds of impromptu debate in Canadian National Debate format in the morning. After lunch, each competitor will deliver a Declamation speech before two different panels of judges. Declamation speeches allow debaters to examine the speeches of well-known orators or public figures. Awards will be presented for both speech types. 

DEBATING: The debates will be impromptu in Canadian National Debate format. Each team consists of two debaters from the same school. The resolution will be presented to the teams 30 minutes before the start of the debate. Competitors may not use any information resources, printed or digital, as they prepare for the debates. Speeches must be based solely on their knowledge of the subject. The resolution must be interpreted in a reasonable manner; 20 minutes prior to the start of the debate, the Proposition will give the definition of key terms to the Opposition. If the Opposition feels the 

definition is undebatable, it must appeal to the tournament director, whose decision is final. Proposition teams will prepare in the allocated room; the Opposition teams will prepare outside the room. All speeches are 6 minutes in length and summary speeches are 3 minutes in length; 30 seconds grace will be allowed for each debater. The results of the debate will be based entirely on speaker’s points, not on win-loss records. The length and order of speeches are as follows: 

1st Proposition - 6 minutes 

1st Opposition - 6 minutes 

2nd Proposition - 6 minutes 

2nd Opposition - 6 minutes 

1st Opposition summary - 3 minutes 

1st Proposition summary - 3 minutes 


Each participant will read aloud a speech, or part thereof, given by a famous orator from the past. The orator must be deceased. The reading should be in the spirit of the original in terms of passion and conviction, but the reader need not adopt an accent or try to assume the character of the deceased orator. The reading should be prefaced by a brief introduction indicating who delivered the speech originally, when, to whom, why, and noting why the speech has been chosen. The speech will be read, but practiced, so that delivery is fluent and the speaker looks up from time to time. The declamation should be from 5 to 8 minutes in length. 

PARKING: There is very little parking available at the University of Toronto Schools. We recommend that most participating teams travel by taxi or by public transit. 

REPLIES: Please return the enclosed registration form by Friday, November 25, 2016, to Aija 

Looking forward to welcoming you to UTS On Saturday, December 10, 2016

Co-Heads of UTS Speech & Debate Society: Rachel Sava and Kieran Kreidie-Akazaki 

UTS Debate Coaches: Aija Zommers, Sarah Harrison, Liz Stratton, Jaclyn Flom, Benjamin Levy and Swarochish Goswami"

FILE:  UTS Junior Debating & Public Speaking Tournament Invitation