Australian National Virtual Debating Competition 2022


While ANVDC is a competition, it is primarily designed to give students more speaking opportunities and as such, there is less focus on strict technical rules.

The rules have been designed to encourage participation and make it easy for students to get the most enjoyment out of each debate.

Positive behaviour, friendly competition and polite, light-hearted enthusiasm is encouraged, promoted and essential for students to gain the most from the competition.

Poor attitudes, unsportsperson-like behaviour and disruptive, anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Adjudicators have the responsibility to halt a debate at any time and award a winner or dual-forfeit in the case of poor behaviour or conduct. Any teams violating these behavioural rules will be removed from the competition.

Competition Rules

For specific competition, please see the Rules Page

Competition Structure

The competition will be run as a Round Robin + Knockout event across the following divisions:

  • Primary School (Years 5+6)
  • Junior School (Years 7+8)
  • Middle School (Years 9+10)
  • Senior School (Opens)

Teams will be placed into groups with the top two teams from each group progressing to the knockout stages.

The knockout debates will be single-elimination format.

All match-ups in the competition are to be negotiated by the school coordinators in advance of the match-up.

Each team will be required to coordinate a match-up with each of the other teams in their group, these matches must occur within the group stage time frame (terms 2 and 3).

The knockout stages will then occur in term 4. Teams that are unable to negotiate a suitable time within the allotted window will automatically forfeit the match/es that are incomplete.

Group Stage (Round Robin)

The group stage will start on 8th of May and run until 11th of August.

Each team will have 3 matches to negotiate during this period and teams may schedule them at any time throughout the group stage period. Please keep in mind that the Primary division requires one week's notice for topic release.

Importantly, These match-ups do not need to be completed in the order shown on the draw. The only requirement is that all three match-ups are completed within the group stage period.

Any match-ups that have not been scheduled within the group stage window will be void.

The ANVDC coordinator will either mark the result as null and void or in the event that one team has been trying to organise the match-up and had difficulty with the other team a win by forfeit may be granted.

Progressing to Knockouts

The top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stage.

Where two or more teams have the same simple point score, the teams to progress will be determined by the rank of the complex point score.

Knockout Stage (Single Elimination)

The knockout stage is single-elimination and will be held between 1st August & 22nd September.

Where all teams in a group have completed their group debates, the progressing two teams may be offered their knockout match-ups before the official start of the knockout period.

Any match-ups that have not been scheduled within the relevant time period will be void.

The winner will be determined by the ANVDC coordinator. Where a clear decision can not be made, the winning team will be decided by a tally of the complex point score.

Debate Structure

All debates in the competition are formatted as a 3v3 debate with the option of a 4th “silent” speaker.

There are no Point of Information or Replies (brief interruptions from opposing team of the speaker to provide a question or statement regarding information in the speaker’s argument) in this competition.

The adjudicator or host will use claps to indicate to speakers how much time they have used. A continuous clap will occur if a speaker exceeds their time limit and no further argument will be considered in the adjudication.

Speaking Times & Preparation Rules

Please refer to the Division Guide for specific information pertaining to each division.

Scoring and Adjudication

Once you have booked your debate, an adjudicator will be assigned and you will receive a confirmation email.

Where possible the adjudicator will deliver the result at the conclusion of the debate. The results of all debates will be available through the competition portal.

ANVDC uses a simple scoring system that makes it easier for teams and speakers to understand their performance and progress than traditional, non-linear debating scoring systems.

Team Points

  • Win 1 Point
  • Win-by-forfeit 1 Point
  • Loss 0 Points
  • Forfeit 0 Points
  • Margin 1 Point
  • Bonus 1 Point

A Margin Point will be awarded to the winning team if the adjudicator feels that the team has achieved a clear win. These points will only be used to break a tie at the conclusion of the group stage.

A Bonus Point will be awarded to all teams who complete all of their three matchups during term 2.

Speaker Points

  • Method 1 - 5 Points
  • Matter 1 - 5 Points
  • Manner 1 - 5 Points

Method (structure & strategy) the organisation of the speech to maximise clarity and persuasiveness

Matter (content) the logical construction of arguments and the level of engagement in refutation

Manner (style) the use of verbal and nonverbal techniques to engage the audience

Please note: Speaker scoring is used to help participants understand how they are performing at an individual level and is not used for team stage progression unless two or more teams remain deadlocked after the application of the simple and margin scoring systems.