Thread for different Sydney/NSW schools debating competitions. Feel free to share news, opinions and predictions for the 2018 Schools debating season in NSW. Primarily dealing with the premier competitions of ISDA, Archdale, GPS, CAS and Premiers Debating challenge as well as their respective representative teams and state team. Term 1: ISDA (Independent Schools Debating Association) The premier term 1 private school competition. On paper it is an A grade competition, in reality its more combined A/B grade. 32 schools divided into 4 pools. Each pool competes in a round robin over 7 debates. top 4 schools in each pool break to Octo finals. Some of the top teams enter into this competition but it also features schools that dont or have limited/no coaching programs and get stomped each round and probably dont benefit much being in it. The competition also has a waiting list involving some big name debating schools that would probably be better off in the comp instead but wont be able to join anytime soon due to imo, the politics of the association. People like to use it to predict Archdale/CAS/GPS debates but the problem is that with 16 venues with each friday night the adj pool quality is wildly variable at best. Some days teams draw some top uni debaters. Other days they draw judges who dont even know how to debate. FED (Friday Evening Debating) A smaller competition that runs concurrently with Eastside and ISDA. Its used by most schools as a development competition whilst competing in other competitions. Eastside A eastern suburbs competition that features some really strong debating schools like Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls and SCEGGS Darlinghurst. These schools often put up some of their best teams making it an A grade competition but rumour has it that the quality is, like ISDA in decline. HICES Debating (Heads of independent Co Educational Schools) A B grade competition involving lots of smaller coed independent schools across NSW. Most of the schools are in various parts of outer sydney. Most schools have no coaching and barely established debating programs. Most adjudicators are teachers and the topic pool is as much a lucky dip as the adj draw. Competition is dominated by a handful of schools that actually have some coaching and institutional knowledge like Emanuel School. PDC (Premiers Debating Challenge) An A/B grade competition and the only established competition (other than Eastside) for Public Schools. PDC involves schools competing in zones of 4-6 teams across 3 rounds + tiebreakers and the zone winners compete in knockouts until the reach the regional finals before progressing to the state level finals. Competition is dominated by selective schools in the Sydney and Northern Sydney Regions (eg Sydney Boys, Sydney Girls, Manly Selective, Hornsby Girls). Term 2: CSDA (Catholic Schools Debating Association ) Catholic schools comp. A C grade competition. The metro competition is probably one of the largest private school competitions in Sydney if not Australia. However the competition is known for using its own weird metrics for judging debates, some really strange topics (like metaphorical topics) and the adj pool is a combination of teachers and ex students who volunteer and judge their own school's teams. Schools that do well here like Pius don't do well in other competitions because of how different the quality and approach is. RQ I heard they rebranded it but idk what it is called. A C grade social/development competition for 7/8 teams at some lower north shore schools. Archdale An A grade competition for the Independent Girls Schools in Sydney. Involves 21 or so schools in a 3 pool competition and 7 debate round robin with break to Quarter Finals (or tiebreakers). The seniors in recent years have been dominated by MLC, Abbotsleigh, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, PLC Sydney and Monte. Seniors was won in 2017 by MLC. The Archdale Shield was also won by MLC. Nationals Competition between the state teams. State team selections take place in March. Best speakers from nationals get selected for the Australian Schools team to compete at World Schools which is in Croatia this year. Term 3: CAS An A grade competiton of the Combined Associated Schools (Barker, Knox, Trinity, Aloys, Waverly and Cranbrook). The competition runs in term 3 and is known for attracting high quality adjes with its high pay rate for experienced judges. GPS An A grade competition of the GPS Schools (Kings, Grammar, Scots, Shore, Newington, Joeys, View and High). The competition usually sees some top quality debates in the 1sts but the competition itself has been a bit rocky over the last few years with some changes to the format and rumors of tensions over certain changes that were pushed. Topics we're quite poor last year, so it'll be interesting to see what happens with the comp this year. SDN (Schools Debating Network) A B grade competition of various north shore schools. Used mainly as a development comp. The quality of the competition has picked up in recent years. Involves Abbotsleigh, Monte, Roseville, St Pius, Stella Maris, Riverview, Wenona and Redlands. Roseville and Abbotsleigh tend to be the favourites for this comp. In 2016 Senior A was won by Abbotsleigh and Senior B was won by Monte. Reps (Archdale vs CAS vs GPS vs CHS) A series of debates between the reps teams at the end of term 3. Wins earn points toward the tally and the team with the most points wins. In 2017, Archdale were the winners. JSDC A 9/10 regional reps competition for CHS students representing their respective regions. Students can only compete once and only one student from any school in the team making for some interesting lineups, though probably to the disadvantage of regions like west sydney that have less schools with strong debating teams. Last year's forum was relatively active, but got quite nasty towards the end. Try and keep it active and civil. Encourage people to get involved. The more people, the better discussion.