About the Schools’ Competition

The Schools’ Competition is an inter-school debating competition held each year from May to September (see Calendar). There are eight different venues and each Primary or Secondary School team that enters debates approximately every three weeks at a designated venue as per the drawTopics for debates are challenging and contemporary. All divisions except Year 5 contest a finals series which is held at the end of Term 3.

Teams and Divisions

Students enter as teams of three. Many teams choose to have an extra one or two team members to allow for student illness and other unforeseen commitments.

The competition is divided into six divisions:

  • Year 5
  • Year 6/7
  • Year 8
  • Year 9
  • Year 10
  • Senior: Combined Years 11 and 12

Rounds and Times of Debates

Debates are held approximately every three weeks during Terms 2 and 3. Debates begin from 6:30pm. Times and specific details of debates are available on the draw page.

Number of debates: Each team has five debates, except Senior division which has four debates.
Finals: All divisions except Year 5 have quarter finals, semi-finals, and a grand final.


Debating SA is grateful to our dedicated host schools meaning that debaters only debate at a single venue for the preliminary rounds. Our host schools are:

Evening Debates held Venue Divisions
Monday Christian Brothers College 6/7, 8, 9
Monday St Columba College 6/7, 9
Tuesday Cabra Dominican College 6/7, 8, 9
Tuesday Pulteney Grammar School 5, 6/7
Wednesday Glenunga International High School 6/7, 8, 9, 10, Senior
Wednesday Adelaide High School 5, 6/7, 10, Senior
Thursday Grange Schools 5, 6/7
Thursday Nazareth Catholic College 6/7, 8, 9

IMPORTANT: Note that division availability at a venue is subject to demand and available resources.
The location and directions to the host schools can be viewed on the Venues page.

Competition Rules, Protocols and Resources

The competition is governed by the rules and procedures outlined in the Rules and Procedures and The Official Debating Manual. There are also a range of helpful resources available for use.