All DebatePublic Forum

PF – Public Forum Debate Format

Public Forum, PF, or PoFo as some call it is the newest form of debate. This contemporary event features two teams of two battling it out over a resolution inspired by current issues and hot topics. With the Public Forum debate topic changing so often students are required to research, write, and construct entirely new strategies each month. Proposed as the most accessible event Public Forum welcomes competitors and judges of all backgrounds.

Public Forum Debate Format and Times

4 minutes – 1AC – First Affirmative Constructive

4 minutes – 1NC – First Negative Constructive

3 minutes – CX – First Cross Examination or Cross Fire

4 minutes – 2AC – Second Affirmative Constructive

4 minutes – 2NC – Second Negative Constructive

3 minutes – CX – Second Cross Examination or Cross Fire

2 minutes – 1AR – First Affirmative Rebuttal

2 minutes – 1NR – First Negative Rebuttal

3 minutes – CX – Grand Cross Examination or Cross Fire

2 minutes – 2AR – Second Affirmative Rebuttal or Final Focus

2 minutes – 2NR – Second Negative Rebuttal or Final Focus

Public Forum Time Alternative

Contrary to all other events, in Public Forum the team defending the resolution (affirmative) does not always give the first speech. This is decided before the round begins by a simple coin flip (which I’ll delve deeper into in the next section). If the negative starts the round the times will look exactly the same, the only thing that will change is the speaking order. The table below shows you a Public Forum debate round with the negative acting as the first speaker. Looks pretty familiar doesn’t it?

4 minutes – 1NC – First Negative Constructive

4 minutes – 1AC – First Affirmative Constructive

3 minutes – CX – First Cross Examination or Cross Fire

4 minutes – 2NC – Second Negative Constructive

4 minutes – 2AC – Second Affirmative Constructive

3 minutes – CX – Second Cross Examination or Cross Fire

2 minutes – 1NR – First Negative Rebuttal

2 minutes – 1AR – First Affirmative Rebuttal

3 minutes – CX – Grand Cross Examination or Cross Fire

2 minutes – 2NR – Second Negative Rebuttal or Final Focus

2 minutes – 2AR – Second Affirmative Rebuttal or Final Focus

Public Forum Debate Flip

Prior to the start of any PF debate round there will be a coin flip. The winner of this flip will get to choose either the speaking position OR the side they wish to debate; their opponent will then have the chance to select the remaining variable. For example if the flip winning team chose to go affirmative the opposing team would then get to decide if they want to speak first or second.

Public Forum Debate Prep Time

The debaters will receive 2 minutes of prep to use throughout the round. This time doesn’t have to be used all at once and can be taken at anytime between speeches. It’s important to write down both teams remaining prep after each interval in order to keep track of it and to avoid any potential problems.
The Public Forum Debate format itself is fairly simplistic; the constructive’s are 4 minutes, rebuttals are 2, and the cross examinations are 3. But learning the “PF times” is just the beginning. One of the best ways to learn is to do, so grab a partner and start debating!

 

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