Registration is NOW OPEN! Click here for more information.

Here's The Deal

  • Local Rounds hosted in local Universities during Spring 2013
  • Finals Day in the historic Cambridge Union on Saturday 4th May
  • Compete against over 800 students from countries across 4 continents
  • In-depth feedback and advice from our experienced Judges
  • Interesting and challenging motions
  • Full and partial means-tested bursaries available
  • Optional additional packages available for international teams.

All for just £45 per team!

Find out more »

Welcome

This year Cambridge University will again host the International Competition for Young Debaters.

This is a debating competition for school students under the age of 15. It is a great opportunity to get involved in competitive debating and improve the invaluable skills of public speaking, constructing arguments, researching topics and engaging with current affairs.

Above all, it is lots of fun and a great way to meet students from all corners of the world.

Cambridge University is one of the top Universities in the world and has at its heart a desire to always question the world we live in. We are proud that debating at any level allows this questioning to thrive.

Those who successfully proceed to Finals’ Day will have the opportunity to debate in the Cambridge Union Society, the oldest debating society in the world and Cambridge University’s largest student society. Founded in 1815, it has welcomed speakers from across the world and across generations, from Prime Ministers to Presidents, authors to actors and singers to sportspeople.

You can see more on debating in Cambridge on the main Union website.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge in May!

 

About

Competition Structure

The competition is divided into two rounds: the Regional Rounds and Finals Day.

The Local Round will be hosted at a University in your area. Teams from around the area will converge on the host University where they will be put into rooms of 4 teams. Debates will be in the standard British Parliamentary format (click here to download our guide on this style of debating). The first motion for the regional rounds will be pre-announced, although teams will not know their position. The second debate will have its motion announced 15 minutes before the start of the second debate, and teams can use this time to prepare their speeches. There will be two further rounds of debating, with points awarded depending on your position in each debate. After the first four rounds, the four teams with the most points will reach a final. The team that win the final will be crowned Regional Champions.

High-performing teams at regional rounds get the honour of being invited to the Cambridge Union itself to compete on Finals Day. The exact number of teams progressing from regional round will vary according to the total number of teams at each regional round. Finals
Day features a mere handful of teams compared to the number who originally entered, and making it this far is quite an achievement. Finals Day will follow the same format to the regional rounds, with winners of the final being crowned winners of ICYD 2013.

For international teams that reach Finals Day, we offer an additional package. Please see here for more information.

Timeline

  • 2013 - The Cambridge Union will host the competition for the 4th time.
  • 2012 - The Oxford Union hosted the competition.
  • 2011 - The Cambridge Union hosted the competition.
  • 2010 - The Oxford Union hosted the competition.
  • 2009 - The Cambridge Union hosted the competition.
  • 2008 - The Oxford Union hosted the competition.
  • 2007 - The Cambridge Union hosted the competition for the first time.
  • 2006 - University College Dublin hosted an Irish round to make the competition a truly international event. At this point the National Competition for Young Debaters (NCYD) became the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD)
  • 2005 - St. Andrews became the first Scottish University to join the regional rounds. Finals’ Day was held at Birmingham University.
  • 2004 - The National Competition for Young Debaters was formed, the inaugural event was organised by Oxford and regional rounds were also held at Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge and Durham.
  • 2003 - The Oxford Union held a one day competition for under fifteens which proved that junior debaters had just as much enthusiasm as their senior counterparts.

The Cambridge Union Society

ICYD is run by members of the Cambridge Union Society. The Union dates from 1815, and has a long history of hosting Presidents, Prime Ministers, Statesmen, Celebrities and Sports Stars. The Unions weekly debates serve to engage and to challenge presumptions and prejudices. Finals day will be hosted at the Union itself, with the Grand Final held in the Union's famous chamber.

For more information on the Cambridge Union and to see some Cambridge Union speaker events, visit cus.org.

Adjudication

In addition to attracting some of the best teams on the schools debating circuit, ICYD offers one of the finest judging pools. At its forefront will be:

Chief Adjudicator - Richard Coates

Richard Coates graduated with a first class honours degree from Pembroke College Cambridge and is currently doing a Masters at the university. He was the CA of the Southern Junior Debating Competition this year, and the DCA of the Cambridge Invitational. He has represented Cambridge at the World Debating Championships and has Convened the Northern Junior Debating Championships for the last 3 years. Richard was also the Tabmaster at ICYD 2010.

Chief Adjudicator - Freddy Powell

Freddy is a second year PPS student at Robinson College. He was the winner of the ESU Schools Mace, the Birmingham IV and Presidents Cup, 2011. He also finalled at the Bristol and Manchester IVs, and represented Cambridge at last summer's European Debating Championships. He will be in charge of securing judges for the competition.

Org Com

ICYD is organised by a dedicated team. To email the Convenors, please click here.

Convenor - Emily Fernandes

Emily is a second year Geography student at Robinson College. She was the winner of the 2011 LSE Schools, 2012 Bristol Schools, and 2012 Durham Schools competitions. This year she represented Cambridge at the Worlds and European debating championships, and finalled at the UCL IV.

Convenor - Poppy Damon

Poppy is a second year history student at Homerton College. Poppy debated all through secondary school in Western Australia, representing her state at the national competition. At Cambridge University she has debated at various Inter-Varsity competitions including those at Oxford and Kent University. She has also adjudicated for the Cambridge Schools competition. She is access and workshops officer for Cambridge 2012-2013 and Co-Convenor for the ICYD completion this year.

Deputy Convenor (Tech)- Matt Hazell

Matt is a third year Veterinary Medicine student at St John's College. He has represented Cambridge on a national and Interantional level. A finalist at the UCL IV, he also represented Cambridge at Galway and Belgrade Euros. Also on the Organising Committee for the Cambridge IV, this will be his second year convening the Cambridge Schools Debating Competition.

Deputy Convenor (Finance) - Ali Roweth

Ali is a second year Chemical Engineer at Downing College. He has competed in the SOAS and Bristol IVs and was involved in judging the Cambridge Schools Debating Competition last year. He is now in charge of finance for both the IV and the Schools competition and is looking forward to both.

Registration

What you get...

ICYD is one of the largest and most prestigious schools debating competitions in the world. But, above all, we aim for all those who enter to have a enjoyable and memorable time. Some of the features of the competition include:

  • Regional rounds hosted in local Universities during the spring
  • Finals Day in the historic Cambridge Union on Saturday 4th May
  • Compete against over 800 students from countries across four continents
  • In-depth feedback and advice from our experienced judges
  • Interesting and challenging motions
  • Full and partial means-tested bursaries available

All of this is available as part of our basic £45 per team package.



Registration Timetable

Provisionally, Registration will close on October 30th at Midnight. However, if all
taken (or there are still some left) the closing date may move. It is therefore best to Register as early as possible to avoid disappointment! Teams who register after the competition is full will be put on a waiting list.

Places will be allocated on a first come-first served basis, although if you do not pay in a timely manner your places may be taken away and given to a team on the waiting list. Payment will be either via cheque or by (online) bank transfer. Invoices can be sent out on request.

The price for this year's competition is £45 per team up to a maximum of 4 teams per
school
. If you have any questions about the registration system, or about the registration/payment process, please contact us.

Register Now!

Registration is NOW OPEN!

To Register for ICYD 2013 please fill out the registration form, which can be accessed here.

More Information


For more information on what you get for your money and the registration process, see here.

International Packages

For International teams we offer the following additional packages...

1. Full Package (£70 per person)

Thursday May 2nd

  • 7pm exclusive VIP reception to the Cambridge Union Society celebrity speaker
    debate in the World Famous Chamber.
  • International competitors will be seated in a VIP area and invited to watch
    and ask questions on the debate. Speaker and the topic will be confirmed
    soon, but in recent years have included: Jesse Jackson, Julian Assange, Sir
    Ian McKellan, Bill Nighy, Gordon Brown, and Professor James Watson (who
    discovered the structure of DNA).

Friday May 3rd

  • Debate workshop with current Cambridge University students.
  • Tour of Cambridge University Colleges by current students.
  • Punting around Cambridge on the river Cam.
  • Three course Black Tie dinner at the Cambridge Union.

Saturday May 4th

  • International Finals Day (detailed timetable to be released nearer the time).
  • Three rounds of debating followed by a semi-final and a Final to crown the International Young Debating Champions of 2013.

2. Package without VIP Debate (£50 per person)

Friday May 3rd

  • Debate workshop with current Cambridge University students.
  • Tour of Cambridge University Colleges by current students.
  • Punting around Cambridge on the river Cam.
  • Three course Black Tie dinner at the Cambridge Union with the current president of the society as well as University Debaters.

Saturday May 4th

  • International Finals Day (detailed timetable to be released nearer the time).
  • Three rounds of debating followed by a semi-final and a Final to crown the International Young Debating Champions of 2013.

3. Package without VIP Debate and Dinner (£30 per person)

Friday May 3rd

  • Debate workshop with current Cambridge University students.
  • Tour of Cambridge University Colleges by current students.
  • Punting around Cambridge on the river Cam.

Saturday May 4th

  • International Finals Day (detailed timetable to be released nearer the time).
  • Three rounds of debating followed by a semi-final and a Final to crown the International Young Debating Champions of 2013.

4. Basic Package (no extra charge)

Saturday May 4th

  • International Finals Day (detailed timetable to be released nearer the time).
  • Three rounds of debating followed by a semi-final and a Final to crown the International Young Debating Champions of 2013.

Teachers and Parents

Teachers and Parents are welcome to join International Students on their package deals. For packages 1 and 2 (the Full Package and the Package without VIP Debate) there is an additional charge of £30 per head, while there is no extra charge for packages 3 and 4.