Finalraum der 9. Deutschen Debattiermeisterschaft in Mainz (c) Adrian Gaidzik

Final of the 9th German-speaking Championships 2009 (c) Adrian Gaidzik

The German speaking competitive debating scene hosts about 20 tournaments a year in two main debating styles. The first style slightly adapts British Parliamentary Debate (BP) as known from international tournaments. The second style, Open Parliamentary Debate (OPD), was comprised in 2001 in Tübingen and opens a debate with two teams with three speakers each and three independent speakers. Here, adjudication is not done relatively, but with an absolute range of points given in five speaker categories and three team categories.

Every year, the debating societies within the VDCH host four tournaments within the renowned ZEIT DEBATTEN series. Each of these tournaments host about 90 debaters and 50 judges, depending on the debating style. The debating series is named after its sponsor, a main German weekly newspaper. Patron of the series is the former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The last two winning teams came from Jena (2011) and Munich (2012).

The final of the ZEIT DEBATTEN series are the German speaking University Debating Championships (DDM) which take place in June every year, hosted by a debating society in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. Debating societies can qualify more teams for the championships by participating in three regional championships taking place in April in three different cities in Germany.

In addition to the championships and the tournament series, debating societies compete in a debate league (Freie Debattierliga) which covers about 10 to 12 tournaments a year. In the debate league, teams and speakers can earn points throughout the debating season which ends in July, traditionally in Greifswald. The last winning society was the Berlin Debating Society.