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Welcome to the DAV Website
The DAV is a non-profit association which exists to promote debate. It is the peak debating body in Victoria and runs large competitions for adults and for schools across Victoria. It provides training and resources for debaters, teachers and adjudicators.

Team Line:

The team line will give your team case overall consistency. Simply, a team line is a general statement of what your team is arguing in the debate. Often, it is as simple as saying, “Tonight, the Affirmative team believes that…” or saying “the Negative team will prove to you tonight that….” All of the arguments that you make should be consistent with the team line.

Some debaters think that a team line is a clever little one-liner that each speaker gives during their speech, using exactly the same words every time. This is not what a team line is meant to be! The different speakers should phrase the team line differently as it makes it less repetitive (and hence less boring for your adjudicator).


Team split:

The first two speakers from each team need to present positive argumentation. So that the speakers don’t end up saying the same things, you should divide up your material between the speakers. A team split is when this is done in a thematic way.

You should not allocate the third speaker positive material in the split! New matter is illegal from the third speaker from the Negative, and whilst it is legal for the third Affirmative speaker to introduce new material, you are best advised to leave that speaker as much time as possible for rebuttal. If it is an important argument, it should not be left to the last speaker in your team!

For example, the first speaker might deal with economic arguments, whilst the second speaker might discuss issues concerning the environment. Other such splits could be:

1) Social issues
2) Effects on the individual.

1) Effects on Australia
2) Effect on the rest of the world

1) Practical issues
2) Moral Issues


It is important that each side of the split deal with an overriding theme. It is not good enough to give the points starting with the letters A, B and C to the first speaker – and to allocate the rest to the second speaker!

The easiest way to come up with a good team split is to write down all your arguments, and think of all the different categories that they might come under. The put each argument under a sub-heading. If one speaker has ended up with much more material than the other, then you should re-think your split , or think about how you have classified each argument.

The first speaker from each team should give the split at the start of their speech – usually after they have given the team line and definition. The second speaker should also re-outline the split at the beginning of their material – this helps the audience remember what has already been said and is good to clarify where your own speech will be going. The third speaker can use the team split as a way of summarising the team case. So everyone in the team must understand the team split!