Impromptu Cup

///Impromptu Cup
Impromptu Cup 2023-08-05T08:33:46+00:00

Impromptu Cup

Auckland Schools’ Debating is excited to be hosting the 2023 Impromptu Cup.

Students compete in teams of two, and are given five minute preparation time for their debate. Speeches are also five minutes long, with no points of information. Although the format sounds challenging, it is also a lot of fun. There will be a detailed presentation on the style at the beginning of the tournament, so teams should not be intimidated by a new format.

Impromptu Cup is open to all debaters from Year’s 10 to 13, competing at any grade level.

Link to Impromptu Cup Registration Form

Key Details

When: Saturday 5 August 2023 and Sunday 6 August
Where: St Cuthbert’s College (Saturday) and the University of Auckland (Sunday)
Who: The tournament is open to all Year 10 to 13 students.
Team Cap: Schools have guaranteed entry for 3 teams each (an additional 3 teams will be waitlisted and admitted dependent on tournament capacity).
Cost: $80 per team – this covers entry and lunch on Saturday. If the entry cost is a barrier to your school entering teams please let us know on the entry form.
Format: Four preliminary debates on Saturday, breaking teams to quarter finals on the Sunday
Entry Deadline: Friday 28 July, 5pm

Debate Rules

Speakers: Teams of two speakers only (may rotate during the day if necessary)
Limited Preparation
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Speech Length (Preliminaries): 5 minutes, leader’s replies 2.5 minutes
Speech Length (Finals): 6 minutes, leader’s replies 3 minutes
Points of Information:
Not permitted

Motion/Side Selection:

1. A coin is tossed to decide which team will have the power to select whether they choose “motion” or “side”.
2. The team with “motion” will have one minute to select one motion from two options provided. At the end of the first minute, the team announces what motion they have selected.
3. The team with “side” will have one minute to select whether they will affirm or negate the motion. At the end of the second minute, the team announces what side they have selected.
4. Each team then has five minutes to prepare a case.


Saturday 5 August 2023: St Cuthbert’s College

Time Activity
9:30am Teams Arrive
9:45am Final arrival time
10:00am Briefing and Impromptu Debating Workshop
10:20am Round 1 Draw Announcement
11:50am Round 2 Draw Announcement
1:10pm Lunch (Pizza lunch provided)
2:10pm Round 3 Draw Announcement
3:40pm Round 4 Draw Announcement
5:15pm Break Announcement
5:30pm Finish

Sunday 6 August 2023: University of Auckland – Humanities Building (Arts 1 on Google Maps)

Time Activity
10:00am Teams Arrive
10:15am Quarter Final Draw Announcement
11:30am Lunch
12:30pm Semi Final Draw Announcement
2:00pm Grand Final Draw Announcement
3:30pm Prizegiving
3:45pm Finish

Break Format

We expect the tournament will break 8 teams to Quarter-Finals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I structure my speeches in Impromptu Cup?

1st Affirmative – These speakers should deliver a compressed 1st affirmative speech. Speakers may consider only presenting 2 substantive points instead of 3 in order to ensure the material is sufficiently developed.

1st Negating – These speakers should deliver a compressed 1st negating speech. Speakers should ensure that rebuttal to the 1st affirmative focuses on the key points of the 1st affirmative speech while being concise. Speakers may consider integrating rebuttal.

2nd Affirmative – A 2nd affirmative speech is a combination of a 2nd affirmative speech and a 3rd affirmative speech. Speakers should spend most of their time focused on point by point rebuttal (or points of clash style rebuttal), followed by a brief split point presenting new material. Alternatively, instead of a split, speakers could provide new analysis that extends or develops material presented by 1st affirming without making an entirely new point.

2nd Negating – A 2nd negating speech is most similar to a 3rd negating speech. Speakers should spend their entire time focused on rebuttal of the opposition case and should not present new material. This should follow a points of clash structure.

Negative Leader’s Reply – These speakers should deliver a normal negative leader’s reply. This should be focused on presenting a favorable summary of the debate.

Affirmative Leader’s Reply – These speakers should deliver a normal affirmative leader’s reply. This should be focused on presenting a favourable summary of the debate. While this speech should not contain new material or responses, speakers should try to respond to any new material/responses in the neg block (the combined speeches of 2nd Negating and Negative Leader’s) using analysis already presented in the case.

Who can deliver the leader’s reply?

Only the first speaker can deliver the leader’s reply.

Should you select “motion” or “side” if you win the coin toss?

It is generally suggested that teams should choose “side” if they win the coin toss. Choosing side allows teams to make the final decision over whether they should “affirm” or “negate”. This also provides the team with a slight head start over the affirmative team.

What strategy should you apply when picking the motion?

When picking the motion, teams should first consider how much knowledge they have on an issue, and secondly how balanced a motion is. Teams should aim to pick a motion where they think the affirming and negating case is evenly weighted, or alternatively a motion which is weighted towards the affirming team.

What strategy should you apply when picking the side?

When picking the side, teams should consider what side of the motion they consider the easiest or most intuitive. Teams are generally advised to pick negating (unless they think the motion is substantially easier for the affirming team). This is because the 1st negating speaker has an extra 5 minutes to prepare their speech compared to the 1st affirmative. Additionally, the negating team gets to respond last (at 2nd Negating) to material presented by the affirming team.

How many members can I have in a team?

Only 2 members from each team can debate. However you can have more than 2 speakers and rotate them throughout the day. We recommend you have no more than 3 speakers in a team.

Does my team need to attend on Sunday?

Only the 8 breaking teams advancing to the finals will need to attend on Sunday. If one of your teams can not make the Sunday please let us know in advance so we can exclude them from the break. All break rounds are open to the public so teams are welcome to attend to watch some high quality debates.

What ability level do my students need to be in to compete in Impromptu Cup?

All year 10 to 13 students of any ability level can compete in Impromptu Cup. At the start of the day we will be providing a presentation on how to do impromptu debating. This tournament will be good preparation for students considering entering Premier Advanced, Premier Junior or Advanced Open next year.