Student Expectations & Code of Conduct

Expectations for Ready Set Debate students (and other participants, where applicable) basically boil down to:

“Participants are expected to arrive at and depart from their debate activity on time, complete all assignments when required, and treat other participants and coaches respectfully.”

Participants should also follow any additional rules and guidelines set by their institution. Where those rules and guidelines differ from those in this document, they take precedence. 

Attendance and preparation

Students are responsible for ensuring that they attend their Ready Set Debate activity for its entire scheduled duration. Students are also responsible for monitoring their club’s schedule and assignments, and for arriving at meetings with all relevant assignments complete. 

Whole or partial absences are permitted and generally do not need to be made up; however, advance notice to the coach of the activity, as well as any debate partners assigned to the student, is strongly requested. The same applies when students are unable to complete assignments. Unexpected absences negatively impact the flow of meetings, damaging the quality of the activity for all students.

Ready Set Debate coaches endeavor to conduct meetings that fit the scheduled time parameters exactly. Many coaches have commitments outside these time parameters, so students and parents/guardians should not attempt to hold their coaches over after the meeting. In cases when a student or parent/guardian has questions for their coach that would cause the coach to be held over after the meeting, they should communicate those questions in an email, or save them for the next meeting, instead.


All participants are asked to follow the H.E.R.O. Code of Conduct:


I will observe a principle of honesty. I will not knowingly seek to misrepresent facts to any other participant.


I will presume that all other participants have the dignity of an equally valid voice, whether I agree with them or not. I will not criticize or seek to delegitimize others on the basis of characteristics that are irrelevant to the quality of their debating, such as age, gender, race, national origin, weight status, etc.


I will treat other participants as equals. I will not engage in belittling, bullying, taunting, rude, or derogatory behavior toward others. I also will not engage in behaviors that disrupt the class at large or damage the meeting space, or that violate the rules of the Ready Set Debate format or any additional rules set forth for the activity. I will promptly implement any behavior corrections recommended by my coach.


I will approach debate topics as if I did not yet have a personal opinion on them, and will focus on the relative success of others in defending their position on the topic through effective argumentation. I will not prejudge debates based on my personal opinion of the topic. 

When to ignore these rules

These rules are designed to serve as a general guideline, not an iron law for every possible scenario. If your best judgment tells you that applying this guideline in a particular situation would create a result that is unsafe or otherwise significantly disruptive to the activity, you should do what you believe is best, and discuss the situation with a coach, administrator, and/or parent/guardian as soon as you can.

If you violate these rules

Violation of these rules may result in warnings, penalties, and/or termination of participation, at the discretion of the coaches and/or administrators, pursuant to the Ready Set Debate Terms & Conditions.