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British Parliamentary debating or BP is a type of competitive public speaking activity loosely based on the structure of the lawmaking debates held in the United Kingdom’s legislative house. This involves four teams of two debaters competing to rank first by arguing the merits of their side of a topic which we call the Motion.
Today, BP is the predominant format of collegiate debating around the world. As a student activity, BP is among the only arenas for direct academic contest between the world's best universities: Harvard, Cambridge, NUS, Tokyo, and more.
TDI features its own version of the British Parliamentary format with modifications in areas related to the efficiency of the matches and the constraints of time and simultaneous collocation. At its core, the four teams with their positional advantages and challenges remain: Opening Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government, and Closing Opposition. They compete in a race to first format aiming to convince an adjudicator or panel of judges of the merits of their side of the Motion better than any other team in the room.
Its main differences with the standard format are the following:
1. Five minute speeches instead of seven minute speeches
2. Points of Information are requested from opposing teams by the speaker holding the floor instead of being offered by teams waiting for their turn
3. Adjudicator discussions and verdicts plus commentary are recorded and aired instead of being done behind closed doors
Each change makes TDI’s debating matches more engaging, more watchable, and more educational – essential to our thrust of creating the best platform for competitive debating in the world.
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