Primary Schools State Debating Championships

Years 5 and 6

Representative regional teams engage in a series of round-robin debates and workshops with experienced adjudicators. At the end of 5 rounds of competition, 4 teams compete in semi-finals with the winners going on to meet for the state championship.

The primary debating team winners for 2018 hold their trophy

What is the Primary Schools State Debating Championships?

In our debating competitions we split NSW up into ten different regions. In Term 3 each region runs debating trials to pick a squad of their very best primary school debaters. That squad goes on to represent the region against the other nine regions at a championships debating camp where the 40-odd best debaters in the state battle it out to see which region comes out on top. The camp at which the championships is held generally runs from a Sunday afternoon until Wednesday morning in November, and there's a fee for students who are selected to represent their region, though there's also some assistance available to speakers to help with travel costs. You can see a lot more detail information on the championships by downloading the 2024 Primary Schools State Debating Championships Information Guide (PDF 432.32 KB)

What are the rules of the championships?

  • Competitors must be from Year 5 or Year 6 and attending a NSW government public school. Only one student may be selected per school and each student may compete at state level only twice.
  • The regional representative squad can consist of up to five members.
  • Debates will run following the standard rules of the Premier's Debating Challenge, including a one-hour unassisted preparation time and a 4-minute speaking time.
  • Each team will debate five times in the round-robin section of the championships.
  • The four teams with the most wins will move on to the semi-finals. They will be ranked by the adjudicators so that the best two teams are given the opportunity to meet in the state final.
  • In the event that teams draw for semi-final spots, tiebreakers will be applied in the following order: head-to-head, strength of win, strength of schedule, adjudicator ranking. If more than 2 teams are drawn, the tiebreakers are applied in order until one team is eliminated and the process is restarted.
  • The winners of the semi-finals will proceed to the state final. All teams are expected to attend the state final.

How do I find out about the trials in my region?

The trials for the 2024 tournament will be advertised here as soon as they're planned. We'll also email any teacher who has a team in the Premier's Debating Challenge as soon as the plans get nailed down.

Region Trials information
Hunter/Central Coast 2024 information TBC
Illawarra and South East 2024 information TBC
New England 2024 information TBC
North Coast 2024 information TBC
Northern Sydney 2024 information TBC
Riverina 2024 information TBC
South Western Sydney 2024 information TBC
Sydney Thursday 8 August at Leichhardt Public School (click to apply)
Western NSW 2024 information TBC
Western Sydney 2024 information TBC