What is ICYD?

ICYD (International Competition for Young Debaters) is a debating competition in the British Parliamentary (BP) Format that was set up to encourage younger students to take up debating and to give them a chance to debate against students of their own age, with motions tailored to them. 

Click here to download our guide to BP debating.

The only difference between senior BP debating and ICYD BP debating is that speeches at ICYD are 5 minutes long (instead of 7). 

***ICYD caters to a wide range of debating abilities, from beginner to advanced. We use 'power-pairing' in our rounds to ensure that students get to debate against others of a similar level.***

The Round System

The hosting of the tournament alternates between the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, and in 2023 it is once again Cambridge’s turn. We will be holding numerous regional rounds around the UK and across the globe, with the best teams from each round being invited to compete at Finals’ Day, which this year will be held at the historic Cambridge Union in early May 2023.

Each regional round will consist of 3 preliminary debates and then the best teams (the number will vary in accordance to the size of the round) will break to a regional final, the winners of which will be crowned regional champions. At least two of these preliminary rounds will be short prep (the motion will be announced 15 minutes before the debate starts) – one round may be pre-prepared, with the motion circulated to schools taking part well in advance.

Time permitting, each regional round will also run a workshop in the morning to go through the BP format and make sure all debaters understand the basics of debating.

The international rounds may use a slightly different format.

Please note schools need only enter one regional round to be eligble to break to the finals.

Finals Day

Finals Day will be held at the Cambridge Union, and will take a slightly different format to the regional rounds – there will be 4 preliminary rounds. After that, the top 8 teams will go through to semi finals. Two teams will progress through from each semi-final to reach the ICYD Grand Final, held in the famous Union chamber), and the winners will be crowned the International Champions.