The USU Debating Society attends a variety of intervarsity tournaments throughout the year. Listed below are some of the key competitions and tournaments of the debating calendar. See our Facebook page for registration and trial information. 


Our regular meetings are known as internals and occur every Wednesday evening from 5:15pm onward in Carslaw 275. First there is a seminar from a senior debater on the art of debating and then we do social debates around 6:15pm.

Grand Slam
Grand Slam is the USU’s debating competition held specifically for novice debaters. You qualify as a novice if you’re in first year or haven’t yet spoken at Australs or Worlds.
It has a school debating styled 3-on-3 format making it the perfect competition to enter if you’re a first year or new to debating.  You can enter as a team or as an individual and we’ll find a team for you. A link for registration is available now on our Facebook page and will be included in the next debaterbase.

Known formally as the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships, Easters is the first of 4 major intervarsity tournaments held throughout the year. It’s classified as a novice tournament, which means that it is only available to debaters who have not yet debated at Australs or haven’t been to Easters more than 3 times. As such, it’s a great way to enter competitive university debating!

Sydney Open
Sydney Open is hosted by the USU and is the perfect way to warm up for Australs trials. The format of the debating is 3-on-3 with the addition of ‘reply speeches’. Teams need four team members, one of whom will be rotated off every round to adjudicate. Each team is required to have at least one novice member to encourage the development of debaters of all skill levels.

Sydney Pre-Australs
Pre-Australs is the perfect tournament for Australs teams to get some practice and for those looking to farewell first semester with a debate-tastic bang! The format is the same as Sydney Open, but teams are of 3 people, not 4.

Australs, aka the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships, is the second major intervarsity tournament of the year, held during the break between Semesters 1 and 2. Universities from all over Australasia participate in the tournament.

USU IV is held in British Parliamentary (BP) format, with four teams of two people in each debate. It is open to all debaters to participate in, and is great practice for teams attending Women’s.

The Australasian Women’s Debating Championship is a debating tournament held exclusively for women, with the aim of encouraging and supporting non-cis male debaters. The tournament is held in “British Parliamentary” style, enabling experienced debaters to be paired in teams with novices.

Sydney Mini
Grandiosely self-titled the Australian British Parliamentary Debating Championships, Sydney Mini is the last Sydney-hosted tournament of the year, and a semi-major IV. Teams come from around Australia and occasionally from overseas to practice for Worlds and farewell debating for another year. The tournament is part of the semi-official Australian circuit and is great fun for novices and pros alike.

The World Universities Debating Championships is highly prestigious and attracts the best debaters from around the globe. Although places are highly competitive, all are encouraged to trial to debate or adjudicate. The USU holds the joint record for being in the highest number of Worlds grand finals!