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In competitive debates teams compete, and one is judged the winner by some criteria. There are many different styles of competitive debate, organizations and rules. One purpose is to train young people who may in future be required to debate and resolve matters.
Competitive debate is carried out at local, national, and international level.
In schools and colleges competitive debate often takes the form of a contest with explicit rules. It may be presided over by one or more judges. Each side seeks to win, following the rules. Each side is either in favor of ("for, 'Affirmative' "), or opposed to ("against, 'Negative' "), a statement (proposition, moot or Resolution). The "for" side must argue supporting the proposition; the "against" side must refute these arguments sufficiently to warrant not adopting the proposition; they are not required to propose any alternative.
de·bate (d-bt) v. de·bat·ed, de·bat·ing, de·bates v.intr. 1. To consider something; deliberate. 2. To engage in argument by discussing opposing points. 3. To engage in a formal discussion or argument. See Synonyms at discuss. 4. Obsolete To fight or quarrel. v.tr. 1. To deliberate on; consider. 2. To dispute or argue about. 3. To discuss or argue (a question, for example) formally. 4. Obsolete To fight or argue for or over. n. 1. A discussion involving opposing points; an argument. 2. Deliberation; consideration: passed the motion with little debate. 3. A formal contest of argumentation in which two opposing teams defend and attack a given proposition. 4. Obsolete Conflict; strife.