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DebateTracker is an on-line database through which organizers of speech and debate activities can compile event data. It provides a mechanism by which individuals and IDEA members can receive recognition for their participation in events or for community service.

Through DebateTracker, coaches are able to note attendance at events (which is part of the accreditation process), and to approve the records of their students' debate and community service activities. Associations, coaches, judges, clubs and trainers also receive points for their participation.

Students may receive points in one of two categories: Judged Events and Community Service. Students should strive to secure points from both categories. For that reason, a Seal of Excellence can only be awarded if no more than 60% of the DebateTracker points come from judged events. Thus for the 100 points required for a seal of excellence at least 40 should be from community service.

Data For Judged Events

Prior to an IDEA-sanctioned event, the organizer (or the student in the case of a non-sanctioned tournament) should enter the following data into DebateTracker:

  • The name of the club hosting the event, and the date(s) of the event.
  • The events offered.
  • The number of rounds (3 are required; but no more than 5 rounds of individual events or speech rounds should be held during one day).
  • The number of participants in each event (a minimum of 6 teams is required in debate; 12 participants in individual events competition).

Following an event, each participant's win/loss record should be entered into DebateTracker.

A. For sanctioned tournaments, event organizers should enter points per the following schema, where each win gets 6 points, each loss gets 3 points:

Event 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Other
Original Speeches 6 5 4 3 2 1
Interpretation 5 4 3 2 1 1
Other Contests 4 3 2 1 1 1

For information on sanctioning tournaments see Sanctioning Tournaments & Trainings.

B. For non-sanctioned tournaments, event organizers should enter points per the following schema, where each win gets 4 points, each loss gets 2 points:

Event 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Other
Original Speeches 4 3 2 1 1 1
Interpretation 3 2 1 1 1 1
Other Contests 4 3 2 1 1 1

Data For Community Service and Non-competitive Events

Similar principles apply for awarding points in the category of community service and non-competitive events: 3 points should be awarded per hour of activity. DebateTracker does not record fractions of points, so the teacher/coach should add up points from different events.

If the activity has not been measured in time the coach, teacher, club leader should estimate, in consultation with the student, the time spent. It is up to the teacher's, or coach's, or club leader's discretion on how and for what to award points.

Community service is voluntary (unpaid) work or services that benefit a school, club or wider community. The purpose of community service is to broaden the scope of debaters' activities in society at large.

The ideal result of community service in two-fold: to widen perspectives and knowledge of debaters and to provide stronger ties with the environment in which the club is functioning as well as in society at large. Community service that is mandated (by the school, for example) is not considered community service in DebateTracker.

  • Community service can include:
    • Working for the school.
    • Wording for the club.
    • Working in the community by volunteering with the community organizations or other institution.
  • Students may receive up to 1,000 community service hours a year.
  • A short description of the community service event and the person's role in it should be entered into DebateTracker.

Non-competitive speech and debate events that occur outside tournaments are also considered community service. They should be a part of a club's program because speech and debate are not exclusively competitive activities.

Speech and debate have wider implications that include fostering participation, generating communication and critical analytical thinking abilities, and promoting a democratic culture.

The objective is to introduce different viewpoints. The ideal result of non-competitive activities is civic engagement of the club in the environment in which it operates.

  • Non-competitive events can include:
    • Speeches.
    • Forums.
    • Roundtables.
    • Debates in the media.
    • Demonstration debates.
    • Debates in varying non-competitive settings.
    • Debate fairs.
    • Debate as part of other events.
  • The participants of a public debate can include debaters as well as opinion leaders.
  • The following information should be entered into DebateTracker for non-competitive events:
    • Names of the event.
    • Location of the event.
    • Objective of the debate.
    • Brief description of the event.

Data For Associations, Clubs, Trainers, Coaches and Judges

  • Coaches will receive 1 point for each 10 points that their debaters receive.
  • Judges will receive 3 points for every round judged.
  • Clubs will receive 1 point for every 100 points that an affiliated coach or judge receives.
  • Trainers will receive 1 point for each individual to whom they provide 6 hours of training.
  • Associations receive 1 point for every 10 points its clubs receive and 1 point for every 100 points its trainers receive.

Seals of Excellence

Upon amassing 100 points, a student, judge, coach, club or association will receive its first bronze seal of excellence.

After that, seals will be distributed at intervals of 250 for a silver seal of excellence and 500 for a gold seal of excellence, 1,000 for a double gold seal of excellence, 1,500 for a triple gold seal of excellence and so on.

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