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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.

Schools Competition
(Yr 9-12 Debating)

Primary School Regional Debating Days:
Frequently Asked Questions

My students have never debated before, will the competition be too hard for them?

The program is geared towards students with a very limited knowledge of debating, and is the perfect place for beginner debaters to start their careers! Students will need to have a basic knowledge of the rulse and structure of a debate, but need not have any practical debating experience before the day. To give your students a solid introduction to debating we recommend booking one of our Primary School Workshops.

I know nothing about debating, how can I help prepare my students?

The DAV runs a Teacher Inservice at the beginning of each year to help coordinators and teachers learn more about debating and develop skills to pass this information on to their students. Click here for more information and to regsiter. You will also find a range of helpful information on our Resources page.

How do I register?

Click here for a list of dates and regions and to register.

When will schools be invoiced and what are this year's fees?

Invoices for team registration and this year's membership fee will be emailed with confirmation of registration for each region. The table of fees is included below. Please note that if your school has already paid a membership fee for the Schools Competition (years 9-12) or any other DAV competition you will not be charged again. Withdrawn teams will be refunded their registration fee less the appropriate withdrawal fee.


$80 per team per region



Withdrawn Team (>1 week prior to day)

$20 per team

Withdrawn Team (<1 week prior to day)

$40 per team

Withdrawn Team (within 24 hours of day)

$75 per team

How many days can my school attend?

There is no limit to the number of Regional Debating Days (RDDs) a school can register for, however attendance at more than two regional days is subject to capacity.

How many teams can I register?

There is a maximum of four teams per school per region, with registrations above two teams being subject to capacity. When applying this cap we will endeavour to be as fair as possible, taking into account number of regions attended/registered for as well as order of registration.

How many students can I have on a team?

The minimum number for any team is four and the maximum is nine.  We encourage schools to register fewer teams with more students on each individual team, as this helps to prevent forfeits due to student illness and other unforeseen circumstances. Larger teams can also be very helpful in preparing for the secret topic debate.

Can I register mixed year level teams?

Yes, the composition of teams is entirely up to you as long as teams remain consistent throughout the day.

Can I register students in grade 4?

Some regional days will be open to students in grade 4, this will be noted on the registration form. If you would like to enter grade 4 students in another regional day please contact the office. It should be noted that most Regional Debating Days are intended for students in years 5 and 6, and as such the content will be geared towards that level.

Do I need to enter student names when I register?

While it is fine to leave student names blank at the time of registration you must send these to the office no less than one week prior to the day. This information is used to provide certificates for all participating students and allows us to keep track of students’ whereabouts throughout the day.

What do I do if I need to change my registration?

Please email debater@dav.com.au. Please be aware that any team withdrawals less than two weeks prior to the day will incur a fee.

Where can I find the prepared topics for the day?

Prepared topics will be sent out along with the draw and brief resource guide as each region reaches capacity, no less than two weeks prior to the day.

How can the additional members of a team help the speakers during the debate?

Students not speaking in a debate may not assist speakers during the debate. One additional student may be asked by the adjudicator to act as chair person for the debate, but all other students should be seated in the audience.

Can students use their iPads/tablets/laptops during the debate?

No electronic devices are to be used during debates. We recommend that teachers bring a spare copy of all speeches wherever possible in case of emergency.

What should students bring?

Students will be need to have a hard copy of their speech, blank paper or palm cards, and a pen or pencil in each debate. They are also allowed to bring any hard copy reference material they think might help them with secret topic preparation, such as newspapers or text books. It is also important that students bring their own recess and lunch as the break times of the day may not allow access to the school’s canteen.

Can students use their iPads/tablets/laptops to prepare for secret topics?

No electronic devices are to be used in secret topic preparation. Students are welcome to bring any hard copy reference material they think might help them, such as newspapers or text books.

Who can help students prepare for the secret topic debate?

Only students within that team should be helping to prepare for the secret topic debate. Teachers/parents may remain with or near to students for supervision purposes, but should interact with them as little as possible while they prepare.

Can spectators attend Regional Debating Days?

Spectators are welcome to attend part or all of any Regional Debating Day, including parents, friends and other students. If you believe you will have more than five spectators attending please contact the office so that we can ensure there is adequate space available for them. Please note that schools may require any adults on site to be carrying valid Working with Children checks.

My question isn't answered here, what do I do?

We are always happy to answer any questions you have about our programs!  Feel free to give us a call (03) 9348 9477 (our office hours are 10 am - 5 pm) or email debater@dav.com.au.