For a big part of my life, I have involved myself in competitive debating. This is different from ordinary debate in that participants rarely know the topics in advance and cannot choose the position from which they argue. The winners and losers of a competitive debate are not chosen by an audience, but rather by a panel of other competitive debaters.
Much of competitive debating is centered around competitions. These take place all over the world and involve many rounds of debate happening over a number of days. Because competitive debate is still a student-centered activity, most of these competitions are hosted by university debate societies.
The following table is a summary of some of my performances, both as a speaker and a judge, at various debate competitions.
Each of the rows represents a different competition. To “break” at a debate
competition is a good thing: it means to progress through to the elimination
rounds. In these later stages teams compete to knock each another out and
so fewer panels of judges are required. As such, the quality of a speaker or
judge is indicated by how far into a competition they progress.