Feb 27, 2019

South Australian Debating Association Competition

  • Crimson Education
  • South Australia, Australia


The South Australian Debating Association (SADA) Schools' Competition is South Australia's premier debating competition, running continuously since 1966. The competition is aimed at students from years 5 to 13 of all abilities. The strength of the Competition is illustrated by the strong academic performance of the students involved and the sustained success of the South Australian Schools' State Debating Team, which competes at the National Schools' Debating Championships each year after receiving intensive coaching from the SADA's state team coaches and senior adjudicators.

There are five rounds of debating for all grades. Each grade has a three-round finals series. Debates are held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 pm. Each round takes place over two weeks. Schools are grouped into geographical zones to reduce travel distance. Debates are held in school classrooms with up to ten debates simultaneously at any venue. The evenings are co-ordinated by the SADA zone stewards, who help direct teams to rooms, organise adjudicators, and ensure the night runs smoothly.

For Junior and Intermediate grades, all debates are prepared topics. Topics are set by the SADA Topic Selection Committee which aims to set topics that are evenly balanced and expose students to a range of important and relevant issues and ideas in order to facilitate their academic development.

The SADA sets three types of topics:

1. Prepared topics, which are listed in the Program at the start of the season. These topics can be on any issue and are set to be appropriate for the particular grade which has to debate them.
2. Current Events topics, which are released to teams one week in advance of their debate and aim to cover current developments in Australia and the rest of the world. These topics aim to encourage students to engage with current affairs.
3. Secret Topics, which are released to teams one and a half hours before their debate. Teams must prepare their debate at the debating venue without the aid of research materials. In the Senior grades, teams are not permitted to have a coach prepare their secret topic debates with them.

For more information visit the official website here

Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Age Range



Various levels of competition

Participation Cost

No cost

Minimum Technical Skill Needed

No technical skills needed, although there are also grades available for experienced debaters

Time Commitment

Various levels of competition

Application Process Includes

Teacher register school/students through website