Nordic Debating Championships 2013

Welcome to University Debating!

Debating has grown considerably in Finland over the past few years, so we’ve decided to celebrate and encourage this development by organizing a debating tournament. It’s a great chance to come and experience debating in the lovely Finnish spring!

The tournament’s essential information:

– 19-21st April in Helsinki, Finland
– British Parliamentary debating style
– 5 minute speeches during the first 5 rounds, 7 minute speeches during the semi-finals and grand final
– 32 team cap (first come first served), following n-1 rule
– Tournament open for teams from the Nordics and Baltics
– Registration fees: 30 € per debater and 25 € per judge (includes food, socials and transportation)
– Registration deadline: 23.59 on 20.03.2013
– Keep up to date at our Facebook page!

Debates will take place on University of Helsinki premises at Fabianinkatu 33, 00170 Helsinki.

So why debate?

Team TYK (Tampereen yhteiskoulun lukio) has practised debating for years, fifteen or so. With the new format came new challenges and this made us more enthusiastic again. We have got help from Tampere University Debating Society, the judges in the Semifinals came from there. We are particularly grateful for the well timed advice after Christmas when the students’ motivation was at its highest.

To win second place among Estonians, who are more experienced in debating than we are and compete against the best in the world, was a rewarding eperience. We now know that we are on the right path and will put some more effort into training. And it is exactly what we want to tell you all, keep on practising, get some advice from experts and test your skills e.g. in Tallinn next year. It is worth all your efforts!

Kristiina Leskinen

Why debate?

I totally agree with the Administrator on his ideas concerning debating. There is , however, at least one more element here to be considered, and that is cooperation between schools and teachers. Without it there would be very little cooperation between students. So all those of us who still have the time and faith to keep on debating, well done. Keep up the good work!

Kristiina Leskinen from Tampereen yhteiskoulun lukio


Porin Lyseon lukio

The winners of the Finnish High School Debating Finals in Tampere on 14th December 2012 were
(edited the full names)
Pyry-Petteri Lahtinen, Jussi Taavetti Seppälä and Lasse Erik Christian Lund from Porin Lyseon lukio.

We wish them well in the Tallinn competition in January.

Tallinn Debating Competition

Winning Teams from both streams of the Finnish High Schools Debating Competition Finals will be sponsored to a competition in Tallinn on 12th and 13th January 2013

Teachers who have been couching teams are asked to contact Debating coordinator Kristiina Leskinen in order to register and to book the tickets. For buying the ferry tickets we need full names and dates of births. Kindly make certain that your schools insurance will cover this study trip.


The motion for English College Open 2013 preliminary rounds, round 1 and 3, is
“This House supports sovereign debt defaults as a legitimate economic strategy for countries”

The Motion for the Grand Final is
“This house would cease the exploitation of resources in the Arctic region”.

The impromptu motions for round 2 and semi-finals will be announced one hour before the beginning of the round.

We are also setting up a facebook page for the tournament and in a couple of days all the information will be up there as well. All the information about registration will be up there as well.

The page is:

General Information

Tournament: Tallinn English College Open 2013
Dates: 12.01-13.01.2012
Place: Tallinn English College
Address: Estonia pst. 10, 10148 Tallinn, Estonia
Participation fee: 10€ (per debater; judges/guardians are free of charge)
Registration: Starts at the beginning of December and it is possible to register on (Estonian Debating Society homepage), I will send you link as soon as the registration opens.
Motions will be released on the 12th of December.
Participants will have to prepare 2 motions. There is one motion for the preliminary round and the second one for the Grand Final.
First Round=Prepared motion
Second Round=Impromptu motion
Third Round= Prepared motion (opposite side)
Semi-finals= 2nd Prepared motion
The Grand Final= 2nd Prepared motion

Saturday 12.01.2012
10:30-11:00 Registration and arrival
11:00-11:20 Opening Ceremony
11:20-12:50 First Round
13:00 Second Round Announced
13:15-14:30 Second Round
14:45-15:30 Lunch (Impromptu motion for the next round is being announced during lunch)
16:00-17:30 Third Round
17:30-18:30 Free time
18:30-19:15 Dinner
19:30-21:00 Break night (social activities, finalists are announced

Sunday 13.01.2012
8:15-9:15 Breakfast
9:30 Opening (Impromptu motion for semifinals is announced)
9.30-10.30 Preparation time
10:30-11:45 Semifinals
12:00 Finalists are announced
12.15 Grand Final
13.30 Closing Ceremony


We will meet you in the harbor. As this is the earliest ship and the competition has a tight schedule you cannot take your bags right to the hostel. You will be guided to your hostel during your free time, which starts at 17:30. Before taking your belongings to the hostel, you can store the bags in one of the classrooms, which will be locked.

Saturday 12.01.2013 Helsinki-Tallinn
Ship: Star/Superstar

Sunday 13.01.2013 Tallinn-Helsinki
13:30-16:30 (However, the tournament has not ended officially)
Ship: Star/Superstar

My friend, Herman Kelomees, who has organized many international events in Estonia, such as Model United Nations and the Model European Parliament sessions, recommended this hostel, because of its great location, it is situated in the city center, and it is clean and decent as well.
You can take a look at some of the pictures and read comments from other visitors from the page below:
The prices are here:

Fee Debater Adult
Participation fee 10 € –
Ship tickets (x+y) 41€+35€ 41€+35€
Accommodation c16 € c16 €
Approximate cost: 102€ 92 €

Explanation about the transportation:
x= Helsinki-Tallinn
y= Tallinn-Helsinki

Additional remarks:
– Food will be covered for lunch 12.01, dinner 12.01 and breakfast 13.01
– Maybe there are sales of ship tickets and they could be bought cheaper

Satakunta SemiFinals

The area competition in Satakunta was held today in Pori. We had only one debate but it was a good one. The lot fell on the motion This house supports the use of sporting competitions as a political tool. The students were all in their second year with no English family background – good samples of regular Finnish students. The teams were well prepared and had quite of examples from the history of sport to back up their arguments. What’s more, they had the beginnings of main line of argument running through the debate.
The event was planned and carried out by two schools in Pori (Porin Lyseon lukio) and Rauma (Rauman lukio – a big one and the only one in town). The audience consisted mainly of teachers and students of the hosting school, Porin Lyseo. To our great joy, a group of 20 students from Ulvilan lukio attended together with their teacher. So perhaps now calling the event as a Satakunta event is a bit more justified.
All schools in our area did receive an invitation, but as not even the two schools within half-a-mile distance sent any representatives, it is evident that spreading the fun of debating is not easy.
The format with the 6 minute speeches seems now to have become familiar to the students and creates no problem. Not all the speeches carried the full time, though. The number of points of information didn’t quite reach the number required in the rules but points were made and taken in good form.
The Rauma and Pori teams met twice to practise after the school week on two Fridays. As it takes one hour to travel the distance between our towns, the time and trouble taken by the students perhaps proves that debating has a power to hold the ones who let themselves be attracted.
Although we managed to match up the number of debaters only to one round, there are a quite many more students involved. They took the roles of chairing and time-keeping and also hosting the event with an introduction to debating to the audience. Two students have been assigned the role of debating coaches, and they act as communicators towards their fellow students and post announcements in our Facebook-page.

Maria Älli