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Hart House High School Debate Tournament 2017

  • Hart House Debating Society 7 Hart House Circle Toronto, ON, M5S 3H3 Canada (map)

Hart House High School Debate Tournament 2017

Dear OSDU Members, Coaches & Students, 

OSDU is happy to pass on the following debate tournament information from the University of Toronto's Hart House Debates Committee: 

"Dear Coaches, Debaters and Colleagues,

The Hart House Debates Committee is delighted to extend you an invitation to the University of Toronto’s annual Hart House High School Debate Tournament, scheduled for this February 17-18. The tournament’s aim will be to create an enjoyable, educational and competitive event that will capture the experience and competitiveness of university-style debating.

Rounds: There will be five rounds (two on Friday, three on Saturday) in which all competitors will participate, with hidden quarterfinals in the fifth round for which all teams (including juniors) are eligible. These will be followed by a Semi Final and a Grand Final. The rounds on Friday will have open adjudication, while the Saturday rounds will be closed.

Format: The format of the tournament will be British Parliamentary (BP). All five rounds will be impromptu. The resolutions will be accessible to the average high school debater who has general knowledge of contentious issues; squirreling will not be permitted.

Junior High Students: The High School Tournament will be open to students from grade eight to graduating year (not including CEGEP). Within the tournament, there will be a “junior” (Grade eight and nine) designation; grade nine students are allowed to choose their own designation. Teams that are mixed (i.e. one partner in grade 11, the other in grade nine) cannot register as a junior team. When registering, kindly note which teams are designated as junior teams. There will be an “open” Junior Finals Round, giving the top four junior teams the chance to debate in front of an audience. Top junior teams and speakers will receive awards for excellence in their division and will also be eligible for overall tournament awards.

Seminars: There will be two debating seminars, one taking place between rounds one and two on Friday, and the other between rounds three and four on Saturday. Their goal is to impart knowledge that will be useful to debaters both during their time in high school, and if they choose to move on to debate at the university level. They will be conducted by experienced Hart House members, and will cover material useful to both beginner and advanced high school debaters. This is a great opportunity to hear from Hart House’s best, many of whom have placed at or near the top of tournaments in Canada, North America and worldwide.

Judging: Our Adjudication Core is yet to be determined; more information will be released at a later date.

Accommodations: If your club needs help finding accommodation in Toronto, contact us at and we will be happy to help you.

Food: Light dinner will be provided on Friday night as well as lunch on Saturday. There will be no breakfast on Saturday. Any dietary concerns (inc. severe allergies, kosher, halal, vegan, etc.) should be indicated on the registration form so that we can properly accommodate your needs.

Registration: This year’s tournament will be large, with an initial cap of 132 teams and a team cap of six teams per school. The cap has been set to ensure that all rooms receive high quality judging; any increase will be due to high interest expressed by the coaches as well as an increase in the number of judges available to us. As per usual, coaches will not be asked to judge.

The registration deadline is January 30th, 2017. We advise coaches to register their teams as quickly as possible in order to secure a spot. As in past years, there will be a waiting list. The tournament cost has been set at $130 per team, with a deposit of $65 per team, in order to encourage greater participation and accessibility. If the deposit of $65 per team is not received by January 30th, spaces for your teams will no longer be secure. Furthermore, the deposit is non-refundable after the registration deadline. If your club cannot meet the registration cost, please inform the tournament directors, as there are funds available to subsidize clubs with financial needs.

Hart House is willing to accept cheques or credit cards as forms of payment. Cheques should be made out to the “Hart House Debates Committee”.

An update on how to pay with credit card will be coming soon.

Out of respect for your fellow competitors, we ask that teams arrive on time; if this is potentially problematic due to travel arrangements, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can try to adjust the schedule to accommodate you. We reserve the right to drop teams that unnecessarily delay the tournament. A finalized schedule will be released closer to the tournament date, but as a rough estimate, we would like to close registration and begin introductions and briefings on Friday at 3:30pm.

Style Guide/More Information: The Hart House Debates Committee will release a preparation package in mid-January. The package will contain a style guide with tips on note-taking, case-construction, refutation, role-fulfillment, and the finer points of debating, as well as a schedule, a map of the campus, directions and information about Hart House itself.

Tournament Schedule

Friday, February 17th, 2017

1:00-3:30 PM                         Registration

3:30-4:30 PM                        Introductions and Briefings

4:30-6:15 PM                         Round #1

6:15-7:00 PM                         Dinner

7:00-7:45 PM                        Seminar #1

7:45-9:00 PM                        Round #2

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

9:00-10:45 AM                      Round #3

10:45-11:30 AM                      Seminar #2

11:30 AM-1:15 PM                   Round #4 and Coaches Forum

1:15-2:00 PM                         Lunch

2:00- 3:45 PM                      Round #5 (Hidden Quarters)

3:45-5:15 PM                        Semifinals and Junior Finals

5:15-6:45 PM                        Grand Finals

6:45-7:15 PM                        Awards Ceremony

For all general inquiries, call 416-230-7404 or email the address below.

To register, email

Updates will be posted on our Facebook event as well as emailed to coaches.


We look forward to seeing you at Hart House,

Jeffrey Li and Navin Kariyawasam
Directors, Hart House High School Tournament, 201"

TOURNAMENT INVITATION: Hart House High School Debate Tournament 2017 Invitation