The Sri Lanka Schools Debating Championships is known to be the most prestigious and largest debating tournament in Sri Lanka. The year 2014 saw the Royal College Debaters Council emerging victorious and clinching the title of Champions, amidst the participation of over 50 schools, and over 170 individual speakers, after having won it only once before, in the year 2012.
The championship followed the same format it has been following in the past, whereby the debates are conducted according to the Asian Parliamentary Style, with 2 opposing sides, the Government and the Opposition. Each side consists of 3 speakers, each speaker having to deliver a 7 minute speech for or against the topic. After the first 6 speeches, the debate is concluded by a sum up in the form of a speech made by a member of both sides, which is 4 minutes long.
The speakers were marked by the judges with regard to 3 aspects, whereby 40 points were allocated for manner, 40 points for matter, and the 20 remaining points for method. The year 2014 saw 7 preliminary rounds starting off the championship, in which the first two rounds were for prepared motions, where the topics prepared on were “This House Regrets the UNHRC Resolution to investigate into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka” and “This House Regrets Scotland’s decision to remain as part of the UK” The 5 remaining preliminary rounds were impromptu, where the teams were allowed 30 minutes each, to prepare for the debate.
A power matching system was used to decide which teams will face each other in each round of the contest. This system means that a team will face a team who has an equal number of wins up to a certain point in the competition, thereby making it so that the competition gets tougher with the increase in the number of wins for a certain team.
The results of the competition were as follows.
Emerged Overall Champions, and were undefeated throughout the tournament, which is a notable achievement due to the fact that it is the first time that the Royal College Debaters Council remained undefeated throughout the tournament, and because the Royal College A team was the only undefeated team in the tournament, while breaking first.
Preliminary rounds – Won All 7 debates, Broke 1st with a total margin of 21.
Round 1 – vs. Gateway College A – Won unanimously
Round 2 – vs. Royal College C – Won unanimously
Round 3 – vs. Ladies’ College C – Won unanimously
Round 4 – vs. S. Thomas’ College A – Won unanimously
Round 5 – vs. Ananda College A – Won unanimously
Round 6 – vs. S. Thomas’ College B – Won on a 2-1 split
Round 7 – vs. S. Thomas’ College B – Won unanimously
Break Rounds – Quarter Finals – Royal College B – Won (Unanimous)
Semi Finals – S. Thomas’ College A – Won (Unanimous)
The finals of the championship saw Royal College A up against Ananda College A, whereby Royal College A was the opposition and the Ananda College A was the Government. The motion before the house was “This House Believes that it is justifiable to use violence in the protection of the Environment” in which Royal College managed to overcome Ananda A with a clear victory, with 6 Judges voting for, and 1 Judge dissenting.
Results of the B & C teams were as follows.
B Team – Quarter Finalists
Preliminary rounds – won 5 out of 7 debates, Broke 8th with a total margin of 27
Royal College B had the highest win margin out of any of the teams in the tournament, despite losing twice, which is yet another notable achievement.
Break Rounds – Partial Octofinals – Methodist College A – Won (Unanimous)
Quarter Finals – Royal College A – Lost (Unanimous)
The Royal College B team were only short by a few points to overcome the Royal College A team, which turned out to be the only team able to beat the Royal College B team, at the quarter final stage of the competition, in what was a very close debate.
C Team – Preliminary Rounds – won 4 out of 7 debates, and was ranked 16th on the break tab.
The C team was the 2nd highest ranked C team in the tournament, and was only 4 places short of breaking into the Partial Octofinals.
The 3 teams were coached and assisted by Mr. Hemaka Perera, Mr. Rashmin De Silva and Mr. Rajika Aluvihare, all of whom are past Debaters and past Prefects of College, who ended up doing a good job in guiding the debaters to victory.
In addition to emerging the champions of the tournament, The Royal College Debaters Council were also able to achieve the following.
Senith Abeyanayake – Ranked 7th best speaker
Shechem Sumanthiran – Ranked 7th best speaker
Sidath Samarasinghe – Ranked 16th best speaker
Kanchana Ranasinghe – Ranked 18th best speaker
Suran Weerasinghe – Ranked 20th best speaker
The participants of the 3 teams of Royal College were as follows.
A- Team – Champions
B- Team – Quarter Finalists
An impressive victory in the avenue of Debating for Royal College, and the current form and success of debating will undoubtedly continue and improve in the future.