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2017 Queen's University High School Debating Tournament

  • Queen’s Debating Union 33 College St. Kingston, Ontario, K7L 4L5 Canada (map)

2017 Queen's University
High School Debating Tournament

Dear OSDU Members, Coaches & Students, 

OSDU is happy to pass on the following debate tournament information from the Queen's University Debating Society: 

Dear member of the debate community

I am very excited to invite you to the 2017 Queen’s National High School Debating Championships, held at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario from January 13-15, 2017.  The Queen’s Debating Union is the oldest debate club in Canada, having been established 173 years ago.  This tournament is one of the premier debate competitions on the high school circuit, always featuring a high level of debate quality.  Be sure to apply early, as this tournament fills up quickly, and you don’t want to miss it!

Tournament Information

This year’s tournament will consist of six rounds of preliminary debate (two on Friday and four on Saturday) all in Canadian parliamentary style. The top 16 teams will break to Octo-finals on Sunday. Winners will then proceed to Quarters, Semis and a Grand Final. There will also be a U15 final for all competitors aged 15 or under on the 31st of August 2017.  The first four rounds of debate will all have open adjudication, meaning that debaters will be told the outcome of the round and given constructive feedback from their judge(s). All motions will be straight motions with squirreling, or changing the motion, strictly prohibited.

ICYD and Cambridge

Again, the top five U15 teams will be invited to represent Canada at the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD) at Cambridge University. Be aware that to qualify for the ICYD, both debaters on a team must be from the same school, and no substitutions are permitted. Those eligible will be those aged students who will be aged 15 or under on the 31st of August 2017. If you have any specific questions about ICYD, please contact Chris George at More information can be found at

Additionally this year the top 4 teams from this tournament will be qualifying for The Cambridge Schools Debating Competition, held in February 18th at Cambridge University.  No hybrids will be permitted and no substitutions will be allowed for the qualifying team (i.e. both debaters must be from the same school, and the teams must match those that that competed at Queen’s). There is no age limit for this tournament. If you have any specific questions regarding this tournament please contact Frankie Cena at


The Chief Adjudicators of this tournament will be Sam Hargreaves and Ksenia Podvoisakia. Both are highly successful debaters and experienced judges. Sam is the treasurer of the QDU. She was the champion of the Guindon Cup in 2015, and has broken as a debater at Hart House 2016 and at the North American Women Debating Championship.  She has served as a finals judge at the 2016 CUSID Central Novice Tournament and at the 2016 Chancellor’s Cup. Ksenia is the Queen`s Debating Union Critic (VP). She was a North American Women’s Debating Championship Finalist, a quarterfinalist at Hart House 2016 and is going to be competing in the 2017 World Universities Debating Championship.  She also served as a Deputy Chief Adjudicator for our high school tournament last year, giving her great adj. core experience.  The adjudication pool at the tournament will consist of a large amount of experienced university debaters


Over the weekend mentoring will be provided as a resource for the debaters.  The experienced members of the Queen’s Debating Union will be running sessions to answer questions regarding debate, university life and Queen’s University in general. 

Betsy Studholme, the President of the 173rd Queen’s Debating Union will be running the mentoring sessions this year. Betsy is in her third year of university debate. She has broken as a debater at the Hart House IV, Winter Carnival, Leger Cup, and Colgate. She is the Central VP of Training for CUSID, and has judged at World's. Betsy DCA'd BP Championships; CA'd Chancellor's Cup, and has broken as a judge at tournaments including the North American Debating Championship, and the HWS IV.  She looks forward to working on an engaging mentoring program for attending students. 


Awards will recognize the top 10 overall speakers as well as the top three speakers from the U15 category. Awards will be given to all, Octofinalists, Quarterfinalists, Semi-finalists and Finalists.

Tabs Director

We are very excited to announce that Chris George will once again be tabbing our tournament. Chris has an immense amount of experience tabbing in the debate community including tabbing the last four Queen’s High School Championships. 


The QDU has group rates for the Delta Kingston Waterfront Hotel! The room rates there are $142.00/night for all the rooms we have on hold, with there being a variety of occupancy options.  The Delta is willing to work with individual schools to accommodate their specific needs. The hotel is approximately a 15 minute walk to Queen’s Campus. Saturday night, our banquet will be held at the Delta, making it a very convenient place for you to stay. They also offer many services such as free wireless Internet and an indoor pool. To access the deal, call the hotel as soon as possible and tell them you are with the Queen’s Debating Union. Act quickly because rooms are limited and the deal ends December 13th, 2016.

There is no obligation to use this hotel deal. However, it is difficult to find affordable places to stay near campus in Kingston.  As such we would highly recommend taking advantage of this deal. 


Registration, as in previous years, will be $200.00 per team. This includes six rounds of debate, Saturday banquet, Friday dinner, Saturday/Sunday breakfast and lunch. While we encourage everyone to attend the banquet, as it is an enjoyable social event for debaters as well a nice break from the tournament, you can opt out. The banquet cost is $30.00. That being said, with the opt-out for both debaters, registration is $140.00. With the opt-out for one debater, registration is $170.00. Coaches may also attend the banquet for $30.00.

A non-refundable deposit of $120.00 (per team) is due by December 5th, 2016. The deposit is $90.00 if one debater wants to opt-out of the banquet and $60.00 if both choose to opt-out. You are welcome to pay in full immediately, but you also have the option to pay the remainder of the $200.00 registration in person at the beginning of the tournament in January. Please indicate on your registration form, which you choose to do. You must pay by cash or cheque. Cheques should be made out to the “Queen’s Debating Union”. Please mail cheques to:

Michael Didow
Queen’s Debating Union
33 College St.
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 4L5

Be sure to include the tournament registration form in the envelope. You can reserve spots by submitting the form electronically to Please note that teams are not registered until the deposit is received. The team cap for each school is 5 teams for now. However, after the registration deadline, additional spots will be allocated allowing schools to have more teams if there is space. Please indicate on your registration form if you are interested in receiving additional teams, and if so, how many."

REGISTRATION FORM: Queen's University 2017 High School Debate Tournament Registration Form