Debate Rules

ULTIMATE DEBATE Format, Rules, and Guidelines

Our debate format is designed to provide the widest latitude of point/counterpoint and to showcase the intellectual range of the debaters. Questions are not asked from moderators. Debate challengers construct questions that they themselves ask to their opponent. Our design is to eliminate favoritism from panel moderators and to inspire in-depth topic matter. Questions from the audience to the debaters follow the conclusion of the ultimate debate.

The Ultimate Debate concentrates on topic substance and on the debaters themselves. Participants benefit from experiencing our debate format. They learn to communicate their position and maintain composure. Those in attendance benefit from the subject matter and experience an intellectual level of debating concept.

Veteran Showdown is unbiased and neutral.

Debaters Invitations

Veteran Showdown “calls the challenge”. Veteran Showdown decides and announces who has been challenged for the Ultimate Debate.

Each participant receives an invitation. If one challenger accepts the invitation, and the other participant does not respond to, declines, or does not show up, the confirmed challenger has the floor for the duration of the event.

Debate Participants
  • Debaters
    • Opponents performing in the debate
  • Moderators
    • To verify shorter or lengthier discussion approval from the debaters.
    • Inject stability if there are occurrences of badgering and/or filibustering.
    • Double as the debate timekeepers. Signal start and end of discussion time limit.
General Debate Format
  • Debaters ask discussion questions to each other, moderators do not ask questions to the debaters.
  • Discussions have a general 10 minute time limit signaled by timekeepers.
  • Debate length is 60 minutes.
Question Rotation
  • Lottery draw determines which debater will ask the first discussion question to their opponent. The first debater asks the second debater their question.
  • Upon the conclusion of the first discussion, the second debater asks the first debater their question. The rotation of questioning continues.
Discussion time limits
  • Each discussion has as general time limitation of 10 minutes. However, discussions can be shorter or extended further.
  • Verbal communication or two rings of the bell signal the start of the discussion, one ring signals that there is one minute left in a discussion, and two rings signal the end of the discussion.
  • For a shorter discussion, if the moderators feel that the discussion content has reached a conclusion they will ask the debaters if they are ready to move on the next question.
  • For a lengthier discussion, if the discussion content is still viable, the moderators will ask the debaters if they would like to continue the discussion allowing the time extension.
Participant’s professionalism and guidelines
  • A mature composure should try to be maintained.
  • A discussion is a controlled argument. Debaters should try not to move from discussing, to badgering for a response, or to filibuster for lack thereof. Moderators will participate to release the engagement and return structure to viable content.
  • Questions asked should not be of a personal nature.
  • A debater has the right to refuse to answer any question.
  • We recommend having a minimum of ten to fifteen questions to ask of your opponent. You are in control of the questioning and can target precisely your stronger area versus your opponent.
Audience questions
  • Upon the Ultimate Debate conclusion, debaters have a 10 minute break before taking questions from the audience.
  • Audience questions will total 45 minutes.
  • Audience members that would like to ask the debater’s any question will submit a provided number ballot in a box. Numbers will be chosen via lottery from the box to set the number of questioner’s accepted for the time frame.
  • Questions asked should not be of a personal nature.
  • A debater has the right to refuse to answer any question.
Ultimate Debates – Honest Representation