FNF 2023 Rule Book

  • The third-edition of For Not-For International Debate Competition will take place in a hybrid format wherein the Preliminary rounds shall be online and the following rounds, namely the Pre-Quarters, Quarters, Semi-finals and the Final round will be held offline at the Vijaybhoomi University campus located in Karjat, Maharashtra.
  • The schedule for the Competition, along with the format and the structure of the debate can be found in the official website -
  • The Competition shall consist of 5 rounds - a Preliminary round (Online) followed by the Pre-Quarter finals, the Quarter finals, the Semi-finals and the Final round.

About British Parliamentary Format :

  • British Parliamentary debate or BP, is the most popular style of intercollegiate debating in the world. It is the format used at the annual World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC). Some people refer to BP as “Worlds” or “WUDC format”.
  • The tournament will follow a British Parliamentary Debate format where there shall be 4 teams participating in one round with two Speakers in each team. Two teams represent the Government (in support of the motion), and two teams represent the Opposition (opposed to the Government and motion). Participants will be informed of their team’s position in a given round just before the motion is announced.
  • Here are the general names of the teams and the names of the individual roles:

    Opening Government (OG)
    Prime Minister & Deputy Prime Minister
    Opening Opposition (OO)
    Leader & Deputy Leader of Opposition
    Closing Government (CG)
    Member of Government & Government Whip
    Closing Opposition (CO)
    Member of Opposition & Opposition Whip

    The Government opens the debate, and the Opposition delivers the speech. Each Speaker presents one 7-minute speech. The speeches proceed in this order :

    • Prime Minister
    • Leader of Opposition
    • Deputy Prime Minister
    • Deputy Leader of Opposition
    • Member of Government
    • Member of Opposition
    • Government Whip
    • Opposition Whip
  • The speakers speak in rotation, beginning with the first team member of 1st Proposition (“the Prime Minister”). They are followed by the opening speaker for 1st Opposition (“Leader of the Opposition”), who in turn is followed 1st Proposition's second speaker (“the Deputy Prime Minister”), who is followed by 1st Opposition's second speaker (“Deputy Leader of Opposition”), who is followed by 2nd Proposition's first speaker (“Member of Government”), who is followed by 2nd Opposition's first speaker (“Member of Opposition”), who is followed by 2nd Proposition's second speaker (“Government Whip”), who is followed by 2nd Opposition's second speaker (“Opposition Whip”).

    British Parliamentary (PB) Debate

    Opening Government (OG)
    Prime Minister Deputy Prime Minister
    The job of the PM is to present a debatable, persuasive case in support of the motion. To this end, a speaker should :
    • Define the motion. This might include: defining specific terms in the motion advocating specific policy change(s), and/ or articulating the roles of relevant stakeholders.
    • provide a complete case. Establish that a problem exists, and provide reasons why your team's advocacy resolves it. If necessary, signpost the new material your partner will add.
    • Avoid being too clever. Aim to set up a debatable case that supports the most obvious interpretation of the motion.
    The DPM closes for the Opening Government, and should :
    • Rebuild. Defend your team's case by answering the LO's refutation. Reiterate the key elements of your team's position.
    • Refute the LO's case. Be specific. Criticize what you've just heard Compare it to your team's position.
    • Follow through on promises. If your partner declared that you would present new material in support of your team's position, do so. At the very least, add depth to the original case by providing additional deaths, examples, or explanation.
    Opening Opposition (OO)
    Leader of Opposition Deputy Leader of Opposition
    The Leader should oppose the motion and the case presented by the PM.
    • Refute the PM's case. Be specific. Criticize the case you've just heard.
    • Oppose. Why is the motion itself problematic? State your team's position and provide reasoning to support it. As you prepare for this speech, consider that the motion might possibly do more harm than good, foreclose better alternatives, or be tethered to a destructive worldview.
    • Recognize that the first two tasks on this list are not always separate. A good PM speech will allow you to oppose both at the same time.
    The DLO concludes the first half of the debate for the Opposition, and should
    • Rebuild. Defend your partner's case from the DPM's refutation. Reiterate the key elements of your team's position
    • Refute. Address new, relevant material presented by the DPM. Illustrate any importatnt tension(s) between the PM & DPM speeches. Highlight LO refutation that was ignored or insufficiently covered by the DPM.
    • Add Depth. Add something to your team's case. You can provide additional examples, explanation, or analysis to support a previous claim. You can present a new argument.
    Closing Government (CG)
    Member of Government Government Whip
    The Member of Government opens the second half of the debate, and should.
    • Refute. Address any new contribution(s) from the DLO. Consider engaging in holistic refutation of the OO, or even preempting what the CO is likely to claim.
    • Offer an "extension". Add something new. You might choose to present an entirely new argument, or you might opt to develop an important argument that the OG underdeveloped.
    • Explain how the CG's position fits into the debate. Avoid contradicting the OG case. Explain why what you're adding is important in relation to the OG case.
    The Government Whip should
    • Identify the 2-3 most relevant concepts in the debate. These concepts should serve as the main points of your speech. At some point, explain why your conceptual breakdown is the best way to view the debate.
    • Sell the "extension". Demonstrate how your team's material relates to other important content in the debate. Articulate why your position defeats the most important arguments presented by the Opposition.
    • Refute. Answer the contribution made by the Member of Opposition. Engage in holistic refutation of the Opposition.
    • Avoid making new arguments. You may, however, add details or examples in support of previous claims.
    Closing Opposition (CO)
    Member of Opposition Opposition Whip
    The Member of Opposition should :
    • Refute. Answer the new material presented by the Member of Government. Consider engaging in holistic refutation of the entire Proposition bench. Look for and exploit contradictions/tensions between the OG & CG.
    • Make a contribution. Add something new. You might choose to present a new argument or to further develop an OO argument.
    • Explain how the CO's contribution fits into the debate. Illustrate why your position is important in relation to the OO case. Avoid contradicting the OO if you can.
    The Opposition Whip closes the debate, and should :
    • Identify the 2-3 most relevant concepts in the debate. The CG will have just done this. Identify different concepts. Argue why your concepts are more relevant than the CG's concepts in understanding the competing claims. The concepts you identify should then serve as the main points of your speech.
    • Sell your contribution. Explain how your team's position relates to other important arguments in the debate.
    • Avoid making new arguments. You may, however, add details or examples in support of previous claims.
  • The speaking time for each speaker shall be a total of 5 minutes.
  • Points of Information or any kind of interruption will not be allowed during the rounds.
  • All rounds are presided by a single judge bench/chair. After the conclusion of all speeches, the chair asks the participants to leave the room. The chair then spends a few minutes deciding the debate. Each team is given a ranking (first place, second place, third place, fourth place). Each speaker is assigned a speaker score on a scale of 0-100. When the decision is finalized, the judge invites the debaters back into the room. The decision is announced and the chair provides some reasoning to support the rankings.
  • All speeches shall be ranked and an aggregate score of both the speakers leads to team ranking.
  • The top 32 teams then, shall progress to the Pre-Quarter Finals. From the Pre-Quarter Finals, the top 16 ranked teams shall progress to the Quarter Finals. From the Quarter Finals, the top 8 ranked teams shall progress to the Semi Finals. From the Semi Finals, the top 4 ranked teams shall progress to the Finals. The top ranked team shall be the Winner and the 2nd ranked team shall be the Runners-up of the Tournament.
  • All teams must mandatorily be present in the Vijay Bhoomi University Campus for the qualifying rounds.

Software Guidelines :

  • The tournament shall take place on the Zoom platform. All the relevant links to access and join the session shall be provided to the official email IDs of the participants and will also be shared via WhatsApp.
  • All Communications shall be conveyed via WhatsApp and Facebook. The official announcements and motion release for the rounds will all be done through the official WhatsApp group of the tournament.
  • It is mandatory for the participants to share their video along with their audio during the rounds, so it is requested that a device with a functional camera and microphone is used. Only in extraordinary circumstances would video sharing not be mandatory.

Procedure of Rounds :

  • The motions/topics for each debate shall be released two days in advance to the date of the debate. All queries shall be entertained before the tournament dates and no queries shall be entertained once the tournament is underway.
  • Pairing and matchups of teams will be done by the organizers and shall be released a few days prior to the event so that all participants are aware of their Zoom Track and Round Timings.
  • The links for the rounds shall be shared on the WhatsApp groups during the Opening Ceremony of the Competition along with additional rules.
  • Participants are requested to join their respective Zoom calls at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of their rounds. The participants can use these 15 minutes as part of their prep time.
  • All participants and judges shall be waiting in their respective Zoom calls. If any participant does not join on the given time, the judge may choose to wait for an additional length of 5 minutes at most and get in touch with their moderator to decide further proceedings.
  • In case of absence of one participant from a team, the remaining participant will be allowed to proceed as the Iron Person, i.e. one speaker will be allowed to make both speeches on behalf of the team. In such a case, the Iron Person participant will be marked on the speech with the higher score (for the purpose of individual scoring), while both the speeches will be marked (for the purpose of team scoring).
  • Once the debate ends, the judges shall submit their scores, evaluation and final remarks through the forms circulated to them prior to the commencement of the rounds. Judges will deliver constructive feedback to the participants, without disclosing the results.
  • Dress Code for Participants: Formals/School Uniforms
  • If judges believe that debaters have exceeded the time repeatedly, they can stop/ disqualify the debater and factor this misconduct into their decision.
  • Participants are expected to strictly adhere to the time limits provided. Exceeding the time limit would incur penalties on scores. Moderators will prompt the participants on speech timing intervals in the chat box.
  • Observers shall always remain on mute and will not be allowed to speak, chat, record any speech, send documents or use their video during the course of the debate.
  • Speakers may record their own speeches. However, speakers shall not record the other speaker in the debate without the consent of the other speaker.
  • All participants are required to be on ‘mute’ at all times unless they are called upon to speak.

Equity Policy :

Any behaviour that attempts to exclude someone from meaningful participation in a debate or the tournament as a whole is not appreciated at this tournament. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bullying: Bullying is the repeated, unreasonable behaviour by an individual or group, directed towards another individual or group, either physical or psychological in nature, that intimidates, offends, degrades, humiliates, undermines and/or threatens. This includes pressuring another individual or group to do something that they are uncomfortable with.
  • Direct Discrimination: Direct discrimination is treating another individual or group less favourably on the basis of a protected attribute than someone without that attribute in the same circumstances or circumstances not materially different. Protected attributes include, but are not limited to; age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, personal background, religion, sexuality and social status.
  • Harassment: Harassment is any unwelcome, offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening behaviour that humiliates, offends or intimidates an individual or group on the basis of any part of their identity. Note that sexual harassment has a specific meaning as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that humiliates, offends or intimidates a person and which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would anticipate making the person humiliated, offended or intimidated.
  • Offensive language: Sometimes words can hurt a lot regardless of the intention behind these words. Therefore it is import to avoid language that can attack someone’s identity. This includes but is not limited to – gender, sex, sexual orientation, sexuality, disability, religion, race, nationality, ethnicity, educational background, age, appearance, class or debating skills. Furthermore, keep in mind that some topics such as violence and sexual assault can be painful for some people. Therefore, avoid overly graphic language and be extra careful with the words you pick when talking about sensitive topics.
  • Causing Disturbances: Any online disturbance done with intention to throw off another speaker or create an unpleasant debating room shall result in the issuance of warnings. Upon receipt of a third warning, the organisation committee is entitled to expel the participant from the competition without any recognition (including but not limited to participant certificates).
  • Undermining the equity policy: Attempts to undermine and/or belittle the equity policy, or parts of it, will also be an equity violation.
  • Victimisation: Victimisation means to cause detriment to a person because that person has made a complaint or taken part in complaints proceedings.

Any other form of behaviour that can reasonably make people feel unwelcome and/or unsafe at this tournament will also fall under equity violations and shall be based on the discretion of all policies shall be adhered to by the participants throughout all days of the tournament and the power vests in the organisation committee to make any decision based on the policies placed herein.

Milestones of FNF 2022




Happy Participants