A personal letter from the Founder and Chief, Deepak Thimaya, is sent to heads of institutions of over 5,000 schools. The letter describes the importance of the role played by Verbattle in making a difference to the lives and the future of children and youth. However, it is not imperative that only the schools that have received an invitation must participate.
Tele-callers who are part of the Verbattle team will call the heads of school who were sent a letter of invitation about the response to the invitation as well as the participation from the school.
A Verbattle Kit containing application forms and specific publicity material along with a copy of the film on Verbattle is delivered to the school office. A Verbattle representative meets the Principal or the staff concerned and gives a personal invitation. The representative clears any doubts the school may have by providing necessary information.The school does its own selection process within the school in case of Verbattle Beginner and Junior, and in case of Verbattle Senior, college students team up with their friends and register directly. In schools, the registration is a longer process starting with encouraging interested children to respond, then selecting them through some ingenuous process, and then making teams that are eligible to be registered.
All interested schools select their teams, motivate the students, and provide information to the mentor-teacher. Telecallers help the schools in the registration process by assisting in the smooth completion of formalities.
A team of Verbattle resource people visit interested schools to meet with the mentor-teacher. Interested students are briefed on the conduct of Verbattle, the winning secrets, and also shown some instructional films along with a formal Power Point Presentation.
Most schools conduct intra-school competitions in debate and speech to select the best team. Intra-school activities aimed at sending the best teams to Verbattle involve the participation of hundreds of students. Schools that have previously participated take extra care to prepare their students after the selection process.
It becomes essential that the teams participating in Verbattle Beginner and Junior get the right mentor who is registered with them to see them through the competition as a friend, guide and manager, and mentor them through the participation in levels from and above the Combat stage. Mentor cannot be changed during the event.
A school is allowed to send a maximum of 3 teams per category. The teams are restricted to 5 only to allow more schools from different zones to participate.Each team will have 2 members each. An ideal team would consist of memberswho are capable of speaking on either side of the argument at the shortestnotice of time.Unlike the previous years, the Zonal Clamber will itself mark the beginning ofthe debate competition. Instead of one team speaking at a time, there will beactual debates between three teams.
10 debate statements are announced 2 weeks before the commencement ofthe event. The registered teams for the Zonal Clamber should prepare on allthe 10 Zonal Clamber debate statements announced on the website, and beready with ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments. About 2 hours before each slot ofdebate, the debate statement and the side of argument is decided by lotto.The teams per debate are put together by randomly generated allocation. This means a debate can even have 2 teams from the same school or college.Each debate group will have 3 rounds. The first and second rounds will be for30 seconds each, and the third round will be of one minute for each team.Judges may question the teams, which is totally optional for the judges.
The purpose is to select the top 81 teams based on the right combination ofthe team, based on the sense of the team members, their presentation skills,felicity with language, faculty, body language, knowledge, vocabulary, attitude,time management, engagement of the audience and other related elementscollectively referred to as Verbattle essentials hereafter.
Since a large number of teams would be participating, and a total of 81 teams are to be selected from the three zones for the Skirmish, every debate will not throw up a team that will reach the next level. Out of all the debates in the Zonal Clamber, the top teams scoring decisive marks which are ahead of the next best teams with a huge margin in the debate will be selected according to the proportional quota available per zone. The quota per zone is: Bangalore - 40, Hubli - 21, and Mangalore - 20
For example, in Call Number 10 (the sequential number allocated for all debates), if the winner, Team B, has won with a margin that in placement ranks 21 st in Mangalore by way of the descending order of marks, the team does not qualify.So, winning with a huge margin in a debate in Zonal Clamber would be the only way a team may get the chance to reach the next level.
Skirmish is the first State-level stage of Verbattle Junior and Verbattle Senior.
81 teams are selected for the Zonal Clamber for Skirmish held in Bangalore.
81 teams will be randomly allocated as 3 teams per debate to 27 debates.
Statements for the debates are announced 36 hours prior to the event.
Selected debaters need to be completely aware of, well-informed and insightful about all the 27 debate statements announced in advance.
24 hours prior to the event, 3 teams per debate, the teams randomly allocated per debate, will be announced.
2 hours before each slot of the debate, the debate statement will be assigned to each debate group by lotto.
The ‘for’ and ‘against’ sides will also be decided by lotto.
The jury, consisting of 3 members, in consultation with the Chief Moderator of Verbattle, will deliberate and decide the winners per debate ensuring that the selected team qualifies based on not just a few but the average desirability in all the Verbattle Essentials.
At the end of 27 debates conducted with 81 teams, in debate groups of 3 each, 27 best teams are selected to move on to the Combat stage.
9 debate statements are announced 12 hours prior to thecommencement of the competition.
Call Numbers are announced 2 hours before the commencement of thecompetition by randomly allocating teams to the 9 debates in theCombat Level.
3 teams are allocated to each debate.
2 hours before each slot of debate, the debate statement is assigned to each debate.
The ‘for’ and ‘against’ sides will also be decided by lotto.
At this point, mentors are allowed to sit next to their participating teams, and the teams can consult the mentor. The mentor may otherwise monitor the debate for his/her team, manage information, and in the end, can also ask a detrimental question to an opposing team. The question is asked to either of the opposing teams with the purpose of exposing their lack of preparation, lack of knowledge, or weakness in arguments. This is one round where the actual prospects of a team could be tested, that may have otherwise performed well in the earlier rounds.
The 9 selected teams will move on to the Confrontation level.
3 statements are announced 2 hours before the commencement of the competition.
Concurrently, before each slot of debate, the debate statement is assigned to each debate.
A total of 3 debates with 3 teams per debate are given the statements and the side of the argument by lotto.
The teams are, like in the earlier stage, assigned randomly to the debates on 3 teams-per-debate basis.
In addition to the Mentor Round, the Audience Round is an additional round in Confrontation. In the Audience Round, a member of the audience can ask a question to a team and 3 different members of the audience can ask a question to a team.
3 teams out of the 9 will move to the Final stage of ‘Face-off’.
3 subjects are listed.
2 hours before each slot of debate, the debate subjects - for instance, Education, Health, Democracy - are allocated to the teams. In effect, each finalist team gets a subject.
Each team prepares a debatable statement based on the subject it has been given.
10 minutes before the first debate, the first team announces its statement and invites the other two teams to choose to argue ‘for’ or ‘against’.
The other 2 teams, too, do it likewise with their statements.
All the 3 teams get set for the 3 debates with their statements, and also their sides for others’ statements. The debates go on according to the format.
In addition to the Mentor and Audience rounds, members of the 3- to 5- member judges’ panel may also ask questions pertaining to the argument.
The finalist is decided by the jury after deliberations and majority vote.
Choosing sides by chance (picking up chits)
Two ‘for’ and one ‘against’ or one ‘for’ and two ‘against’
Little time to prepare
One minute per round
Four to five rounds (ideally five rounds)
Mentors on the stage if the participants are under 16
Mentors’ question round
Judgment as per the broad philosophy laid out in the document 'Judging Verbattle'