ARTICLE I. TOURNAMENT SETUP AND TABULATION RULES
Section 1. Topic Selection Process
B. Controversy Area Process
Resolutions from the Controversy Areas
Section 2. Outreach to Judges
Section 3. Expectations of Judges for the NPTE.
Section 4. NPTE Tabulation
Assignment of Judges.
Preliminary Round Procedures
Elimination Round Procedures
Final Round procedure.
Public Posting of Debates and Ballots.
ARTICLE II: DEBATING AND JUDGING RULES
Section 1. Scope of Rules.
Section 2. Enforcement of Rules.
Section 3. Topic Announcement and Preparation Time.
Selection and Announcement of Topics.
Section 4. During the Debate Rounds
Speaking and CX-Prep Order and Times.
The two debaters that qualified as a team must debate as that team with both
debaters in each round at the NPTE.
D. If Debaters are late.
If a judge is late.
Use of Prepared Materials during debates.
Cases and Arguments.
Points of Information.
Points of Order.
Points of Personal Privilege.
Laptops and Handheld Computers
Section 5. After Debate Rounds
Ballot and Speaker Points.
Basis for Decision.
Announcement (preliminary rounds).
Announcement (elimination rounds).
Disclosure and Verbal Critique.
Appeals to Decisions and Pairings
Section 6. Anti-Harassment Policy
Section 1. Topic Selection Process
A controversy area will be a broad resolution with an agent, direction of
action, and what the actor will be doing. Example Controversy Area: The U.S.
(Agent) should decrease (Direction of Action) its military presence in
Somalia (What the actor will be doing).
2. Scope. Controversy Areas
may focus on a broad range of issues including current events, social
problems, culture, history, science and philosophy
1. Submission of Controversy Area Proposals. Any interested party may submit a controversy area proposal to the
NPTE Vice-President by the deadline of November 30. Controversy area
proposals should be approximately 3-4 pages in length and include a
background/importance of the controversy area, potential affirmative
arguments, potential negative arguments, at least six potential resolutions
under the controversy area, and a bibliography.
Review. After the NPTE Vice-President has confirmed that a controversy
area proposal has met NPTE standards for both the definition of a controversy
area and the required proposal elements, proposals will be released to the
membership for review and comment until January 15. Authors of a proposal may
revise their proposal at any point up to the January 15 deadline.
3. Membership Vote. After the public
review period, each member school may submit a ranked order vote to select
the controversy areas for the NPTE. The top five controversy areas will be
selected and will be released at least 35 days prior to the tournament.
4. Topic Committee. A topic
committee will be formed of at least three people appointed by the NPTE
Vice-President to select resolutions from the controversy areas. The
committee should be comprised of individuals who submitted controversy area
proposals. Students may only serve on the committee if they are not competing
in that year’s NPTE.
5. Topic Selection.
At least 25 days prior to the first competition day of the NPTE, the Topic
Committee shall provide the three resolutions selected for each controversy
area for a 48 hour time period of potential clarification and wordsmithing.
At least 21 days prior to the first competition day of the NPTE, the Topic
Committee shall provide the official list of five controversy areas with
three potential resolutions in each area to the NPTE Membership. The topic
committee will identify a pool of nine resolutions (with three from each
controversy area) from which all preliminary round resolutions and all
resolutions in the first two elimination rounds will be selected.
The Topic Committee retains the right to make adjustments to the potential
resolutions within the scope of the controversy area.
Topic Committee will make resolutions exclusively using the agent, direction
of action and what the actor will be doing as noted in the Controversy Areas.
An example resolution for the Somalia Controversy Area released at the
tournament before Prep Time would be: The U.S. federal government should halt
its air strikes in Somalia.
Function. Resolutions and
Controversy areas are intended to stimulate education, research and
preparation. Resolutions and Controversy areas are not intended to impose any
specific interpretation or to reflect any "framer's intent" of any
Criteria. Resolution construction should attempt to
a. Both government
and opposition have good potential strategic ground.
b. Both teams will
have an idea of what they should prepare when the topic is announced.
c. Teams shall be
able to create viable, topic based argument strategies that may be used on
all of the resolutions within a single controversy area.
d. Topic wordings
should be clear and easily understood.
e. These criteria
apply to the way in which resolutions will be FORMED and need not necessarily
relate to the way in which they may be INTERPRETED within rounds.
1. Preliminary and Elimination 1-2
Debates. Each of the six preliminary round and elimination 1-2 debates shall
use a single resolution from the controversy areas. These resolutions shall
be taken from the list of nine resolutions identified by the topic committee
as preliminary or early elimination round resolutions.
2. Elimination 3-8 Debates. In each of
the elimination 3-8 debates, a single, previously unused resolution drawn
from the controversy areas shall be used.
Section 2. Outreach to Judges
A. The Invitation shall state that the NPTE
encourages Directors to reach out to persons from underrepresented groups
such as based on race or gender to encourage them to be a judge and/or coach
for their programs.
B. The NPTE President shall make an effort
to contact qualified persons from underrepresented groups such as based on
race or gender to encourage them to be a hired judge for the NPTE.
Section 3. Expectations of Judges
for the NPTE.
The NPTE President shall ensure all judges
used meet the following criteria:
A. Judges must have at least two full years experience coaching, judging, or competing in
B. Judges with remaining eligibility to
compete in undergraduate parliamentary debate shall explicitly forfeit all
such future eligibility before being deemed qualified to judge at the NPTE.
C. All judges shall be required to submit a
judging philosophy at least one week prior to the NPTE tournament. Schools
with judges who have not submitted their judging philosophy within six days
of the NPTE tournament shall be fined $50.
D. The NPTE President may give special
consent to particular judges deemed qualified for the tournament or, in an
emergency, for judges needed to keep the tournament running.
E. Judges are required to give one team a
win and the other team a loss within one hour and 45 minutes of the time the
topic is announced. In the event that a judge refuses to render a win and a
loss for a debate within that timeframe, the tournament director shall decide
the round by coin flip and the judge or school which hired the judge shall be
required to pay for an uncovered round. The tournament director, if needed to
assure win-loss ballots and the timeliness of the tournament, shall be able
to remove such a judge.
F. Judges shall
judge two rounds past the elimination of their teams. Further, before the
third elimination round, a member of the tab room will request that judges
who are highly preferred by the teams that remain and as much as possible are
representative of the percentage of judges as non-white, female, and/or less
represented groups continue to judge further elimination rounds. These judges
shall be compensated for extra rounds that they judge.
G. Judges who
desire to be hired as a tournament judge at the National Parliamentary
Tournament of Excellence must obtain the sponsorship of a member institution.
a. No individual
against whom a complaint has been made and for whom no verification of
clearance has been received, as outlined in Section VI of this document,
shall be eligible for such sponsorship or to participate in the National
Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.
b. Should a
complaint be made against an individual who is listed as a tournament judge
prior to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, NPTE will
contact the debate program of the sponsoring institution. At this time, the
program may remove their sponsorship of that individual and they will be
removed from the judging pool by the tournament director.
c. If a program
elects not to remove sponsorship after notice of a complaint, the NPTE will
implement the procedures identified in Section VI.C. In the event a
verification of clearance is not received prior to the commencement of the
National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, the judge will be removed
from the pool of potential judges and barred from participation in the
Section 4. NPTE Tabulation
Judges will be
assigned primarily on the basis of mutuality.
1. Teams shall
assign judges a preference rating according to a categorical system with a minimum
of 8 categories. Teams still in contention to break will not be assigned a
judge in their lowest 25% of the judging pool unless there is no other judge
2. Judges should
be constrained when a judge has a vested interest in voting for or against a
team. The primary onus is on judges to request constraints - and all
constraints requested by judges will be accepted. School-requested
constraints would be appropriate for judges who debated or coached for a
school in the last two years. Individual team-requested constraints would be
appropriate for judges who 1) coached or were teammates with one or both of
the team members at any time, 2) helped prepare the team for a debate or
debates at the NPTE, 3) have an ongoing or previous significant relationship
with one or both team members, or 4) have harassed one or both team members.
Constraints would not be appropriate for judges who 1) had an argument with a
team or coach or 2) are not likely to vote for a team. While there is no
clear brightline, if there is a question, it is
better to request the constraint and provide explanation. In the event that a
team requests a constraint that is not requested by a judge, the tab director
may request explanation and submit the request to the Board for approval.
3. Teams will be
informed of the following regarding preferencing:
We encourage you
to treat judges with respect for diversity and without discrimination against
any gender, race, etc. To that end, one way you might consider how your preferencing is not discriminatory is to compare the % of
non-white, female, and/or less represented group of your school’s judging
preferences with the NPTE judging pool as a whole. We encourage you to ask
yourself, do your preferences maximize diversity and avoid discrimination for
your debaters and for the community as a whole?
4. In assigning
judges, the tab should assign judges consistently based on the tabulation
program's algorithm with any adjustments requiring approval by the NPTE
5. Judges should
not judge a team more than once in preliminary rounds.
1. There will be six preliminary rounds.
2. Teams will be seeded for the first round
on the basis of the same process used to rank teams. Teams with half points
shall have their half points included in their point total (as described in
the half-points explanation in the Qualifying
Bylaws) and their win-loss percentage shall include all debates that both
debaters have been involved in during the year.
3. Round One will be paired High-Low so
that Team #1 hits Team #64; Team #2 hits Team #63; etc.
4. Teams from the same school will not hit
each other in preliminary rounds and teams will not hit each other twice. In
the event that teams are seeded to do so during the first round, the staff
will take the next available seeded pairing and switch the two lower seeded
teams. For example, if 20 cannot hit 45, you switch with 21-44 creating 20 vs
44 and 21 vs 45. If 32 cannot hit 33, then you switch with 31-34 creating
31-33 and 32-34. The tab program should be made to approximate this same
process within brackets for preliminary debates after round 1.
5. Round Two will be paired High-Low with
side constraints (2-0's with highest speaker points will be paired against
2-0's with the lowest speaker points).
6. Round Three shall be paired High-High.
7. Round Four, Five, and Six shall be
paired High-Low (within brackets of teams with the same number of ballots and
with side constraints).In Round 6, if a team that is still in contention to
break but has not broken yet is paired to hit a team with 2 or more ballot
wins than they have won (a "double pull up"), then the tab shall
switch pairings so that such team hits the lowest seeded team in a lower
bracket that solves the double pull up while not creating another double pull
up for a team still in contention to break (side constraints and previously
hitting teams still respected).
8. Each preliminary round shall be assigned
two judges. Judges will render separate decisions both on the ballot and
regarding points of order/personal privilege.
9. Results of all preliminary rounds will
be posted in a common area as soon as possible after each round. Judges will
be encouraged to share decisions and comments about rounds with competitors
after ballots are returned to the Tab Room. Adequate time will be included in
the tournament schedule to allow teams to view the previous round's results
and consult with judges.
1. The top 32 teams that do not have losing
records shall advance to elimination rounds. Breaks to elimination rounds
shall be based on:
(a) Total number of ballots won.
score. The ZplusWLQ score is derived from a tied
team's Z-score plus ballots won by the teams that the tied team took a ballot
against minus 1/2 of ballots lost by the teams that the tied team lost a
(c) Z score.
2. Elimination rounds will be in
double-elimination format until the Final Round.
3. Pairing of the first elimination round.
a. Team seeding for the first elimination
round will be determined on the same basis as used to determine breaks to
Pairing in the first elim will be the highest
seeded team versus the lowest seeded team; the next highest seeded team
versus the team just above the lowest seed, etc. Pairing after that will be
high-low within brackets (highest seeded 1-0 will hit the lowest seeded 1-0;
next highest seeded 1-0 will hit the team just above the lowest seeded 1-0,
etc. highest seeded 0-1 will hit lowest seeded 0-1, next highest seeded 0-1
will hit the team just above the lowest seeded 0-1, etc.).
4. Pairing after the first elimination
a. After the first elimination round, teams
shall be re-seeded after each round. Seeding for the second through final
elimination rounds will be determined by (a) elimination round wins, (b) number of elimination round ballots received, and (c)
seeding at the end of the preliminary rounds.
b. For purposes of seeding, teams receiving
a bye in elimination rounds shall be deemed to have received a win with the
minimum majority of ballots sufficient to win the round had it been debated.
5. When there are 6 teams remaining, the
tabulation room shall pair the 6 teams as one group with the highest seeded 0
loss team hitting the lowest seeded 1 loss team, second seed versus next
lowest seed etc. while attempting to avoid having teams debate each other
twice (highest priority) and having teams from the same school debate each
other (second priority) as noted above.
6. After the "6 team elim":
a. If there are 3 teams remaining, the top
seeded team shall be given a bye and thus advance to finals and the other two
teams shall debate each other with the winner advancing to finals.
b. If there are 4 teams remaining, the
tabulation room shall pair the 4 teams as one group with the highest seeded
team hitting the lowest seeded team and second seed hitting the third seed
team while attempting to avoid having teams debate each other twice (highest
priority) and having teams from the same school debate each other (second
priority) as noted above. The two teams that win this round shall advance to
7. 3 judges shall be assigned to each
elimination debate with no strike cards.
8. What happens when a Pairing is a Repeat or
involves a School vs a School:
a. Teams with 1 loss should never be paired
against teams with 0 losses except when 6 or less teams remain as explained
in 5 above.
b. Teams should never be paired to debate
each other more than once unless doing so is required to avoid having a team
with 1 loss debate a team with 0 losses.
c. Teams should never be paired to debate
teams from the same school unless doing so is required to avoid having a team
with 1 loss debate a team with 0 losses OR unless doing so is required to
avoid having teams debate each other more than once.
d. When adjusting pairings to avoid teams
debating each other more than once or teams from the same school debating
each other, the lower seeded team will be switched with the lower seeded team
from the next lower pairing. For example, if seed 5 is hitting seed 10 (teams
already hit each other) and seed 6 is hitting seed 9; you would switch seed
10 and 9.
9. In the event that teams from the same
school must be paired against each other, the school in question will inform
the tabroom of their decision as to which team
advances or if there will be a debate. If the school is unable or unwilling
to do so by the end of the round, the tabroom shall
advance the higher seed on a 2-1 decision.
10. If some unusual situation arises, the
tabulation room shall be able to pair remaining elimination rounds via a
method as close as is possible to the description in 5 above to assure the
tournament finishes in the allotted number of elimination rounds.
11. Sides in elimination rounds will be set
by computerized flip unless teams have debated once previously. In those
cases, sides will be locked with each team taking the opposite side of their
previous debate. If teams have debated twice previously, sides will be set by
The Tab Room shall establish a panel of at
least 7 judges based on NPTE Judge Assignment procedure.
1. Speaker awards will be determined in
this order: double dropping high/low points, dropping high/low points, total
points, and then z-scores for preliminary round ballots.
2. Team awards shall be based on: (1)
advancement in the elimination rounds (e.g. finals means first or second
place; semi-finals means third or fourth place, etc.); (2) elimination round
wins, (3) number of elimination round ballots received, and (4) seeding at
the end of the preliminary rounds.
The Vice President shall post online for
public viewing electronic versions of the ballots and video of the final
round debate as well as other debates.
Section 1. Scope of Rules.
These rules shall be binding upon all
rounds at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. These rules may
be used in whole or in part at other tournaments. Tournaments need not use
these rules to qualify for NPTE points, but are encouraged to do so as is
Section 2. Enforcement of Rules.
Rules applied to debaters shall be enforced
as appropriate by the judges in the rounds. Judges who violate or encourage
violation of these rules should be reported to the tournament director. The
tournament director may remove judges from the tournament and appropriate
fees may be assessed.
Section 3. Topic Announcement and
For all debates, immediately prior to the
start of preparation time, the resolution shall be announced.
Initiation. Preparation time shall
commence immediately upon announcement of the resolution.
Duration. Preparation time for each
round shall be 20 minutes. The tournament director may add time for travel to
rounds. See Section 4C for what happens if debaters are late.
Coaching. Coaches may choose to
assist teams during preparation time. Coaches must ensure that such activity
does not interfere with their judging obligations. Similarly, competitors may
choose to collaborate during preparation time. Neither competitors nor
coaches may assist teams in a round for which they will be acting as judge.
Debaters must prepare during preparation time any materials that they use
during the debate. Coaches and debaters may use any materials they wish during
preparation time but the debaters for that round should use during the debate
itself only items that they themselves prepared during the preparation time.
Electronic or other "nearly instant" copying of material to the
materials debaters bring to the round is not permitted. Using these
"NPTE Rules for Debating and Judging" in a round shall be deemed an
exception to this rule. Debaters and judges may possess,
reference and/or quote from these rules in rounds as necessary.
Section 4. During the Debate Rounds
All rounds shall be open to the public. Use
of recording devices shall be permitted so long as such use does not
substantially interfere with the round. Attendees may applaud, cheer, or hiss
as appropriate, but should avoid verbal heckling. Debaters may not use
audience members to make substantive, sustained arguments in the round; the
debaters themselves should be the source of arguments in the debate. Audience members who do seek to advance
arguments or who become disruptive may be removed at the discretion of the
1. Prime Minister Constructive
(PMC): 7 minutes
Cross-examination/Preparation Time: 2
2. Leader of Opposition Constructive (LOC): 8
Cross-examination/Preparation Time: 2
3. Member of Government Constructive (MG): 8
Cross-examination/Preparation Time: 1
4. Member of Opposition Constructive (MO): 8
5. Leader of Opposition Rebuttal (LOR): 4
Cross-examination/Preparation Time: 1
6. Prime Minister Rebuttal (PMR): 5
Cross-examination/Preparation Time is for the debaters from the team speaking
next to ask questions should they wish to do so and/or to prepare arguments
for their next speech.
If the PMC or LOC of a debate team is late,
the judges in the debate shall have a timer begun as soon as the PMC has been
scheduled to begin. If it is the PMC speaker who is late, the PMC shall have
the remaining time left to complete the PMC. If it is the LOC speaker who is
late, the PMC shall begin when the LOC arrives but it is the LOC who shall
lose the elapsed time since when the PMC was supposed to begin; the PMC would
still have the full 7 minutes to present.
If no time is available for the PMC or the LOC, the round will be
deemed a forfeit by the team (or teams) with no speaking time remaining. In cases
of verifiable circumstances outside of the control of the debaters, the
tournament director may approve exceptions to this rule.
If a judge is late by more than 10 minutes,
a person in the room should contact the tab director or tournament staff. A
late judge does not automatically mean a round is forfeited nor that it results in double wins.
With the exception of the
document you are reading now, "The NPTE Rules for Debating and
Judging," debaters should use only materials that they themselves wrote
or similarly transcribed or produced after the announcement of that round's
resolution. Debaters should not use in any debate 1) quoted evidence or
"cards;" 2) electronically or "nearly instantly" copied
files or recordings; 3) art sculpted, painted or drawn, photos taken, music
recorded, and similar works of art materially created prior to the topic
announcement; 4) any substantive arguments advanced by audience members; nor
5) materials written or similarly transcribed or produced during preparation
time by others such as coaches or teammates (except their debate partner for
that round). Debaters, of course, may present material they have memorized or
remember as they speak. Debaters may cite statistics or sources for facts or
definitions, but such factual citations should not be the sole basis upon
which an argument rests. Debaters should rely upon their own analysis as the
primary basis for arguments.
1. These rules shall not be interpreted
so as to require any specific case structure or judging paradigm. Issues of
paradigm and debate theory shall be reserved for argument and justification
by the debaters.
2. Explicit definition of terms in the
resolution shall not be required. Definitions may be presented explicitly,
implicitly, contextually, and/or by metaphor.
3. Normative values and/or evaluative
criteria may be offered either explicitly or implicitly. Explicit
presentation of a value or criterion shall not be a required "prima
facie" part of a Government case.
4. Government interpretations of the
resolution should reflect a fair division of ground. Specifically, government
interpretations should not be framed in such a way as to force the opposition
to oppose well-established facts (i.e. physical realities), to embrace
overtly racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory positions, or to uphold a
value that is tautological with the resolution or with the Government case.
5. Constructive speeches shall be used for
the establishment and explication of primary lines of analysis. New arguments
may be presented at any time in any constructive speech.
6. Rebuttal speeches shall be used for the
crystallization and weighing of previously established lines of argument. New
arguments may not be presented in rebuttal speeches except in the case of a
Prime Minister responding to an argument originally made by the Member of
The basis for arguments should lie within
the accessible realm of any reasonably well-educated person. Debaters who
desire to present obscure or detailed information should be prepared to
explain, in detail, the context of such information and its relationship to
broader issues. Judges should exclude as "specific knowledge" only
information that lies outside the accessible realm of a reasonably
well-educated person and is challenged as such by opposing debaters. Judges
should limit their consideration of information as narrowly as possible to
exclude only those claims that are so specific or
inaccessible as to be impossible to discuss without quoted evidence. The
accessibility of the information and the debatability
of the claim within the round shall be the critical issue, not lack of prior
knowledge on the part of debaters or judges.
Points of information shall be allowed
during constructive speeches, excluding "protected time" during the
first and last minute of each speech. Debaters desiring to raise a point of
information may so indicate verbally and/or by standing and/or by raising
their hand. The debater currently speaking shall have the option to accept or
decline each point of information and may so indicate verbally and/or by
gesture. While a debater may choose to limit the number of points of
information he or she will accept, no such limit shall be imposed by the
judge. Points of information may be offered in the form of questions or
statements. Points of information may not exceed 15 seconds in duration.
Debaters who perceive a violation of the
rules may raise a point of order by standing or raising their hand and
verbally announcing "point of order".
Upon recognition by the judge or chair, the
debater should briefly state the nature of the violation.
The judge or chair shall then ask the other
team for their defense and following that, rule on the point of order.
"Point well taken" shall indicate that the point of order was
valid. "Point not well taken" shall indicate that the point of
order was not valid. "Point taken under consideration" shall
indicate that the point of order is being deferred for later evaluation. When
a point of order is deemed to be "well taken", the judge may
instruct debaters to retract, rephrase, and/or avoid arguments.
Points of order are intended only to address
rule violations and shall not be raised to insert new arguments or to disrupt
another debaters' speech.
Upon recognition by the judge or chair,
time shall be stopped, and the debater should briefly state the nature of the
violation. The judge or chair shall then ask the other team for their defense
and following that, rule on the point of order, and timing shall begin again.
Debaters who perceive that another debater
has engaged in personal insult, harassing behavior, or other violation of
personal dignity may raise a point of personal privilege. Debaters may also
raise a point of personal privilege if they perceive another debater to be
deliberately misrepresenting the arguments of others. Such points shall be
raised and adjudicated in the same manner as points of order (above). When a
point of personal privilege is deemed to be "well taken" the judge
may instruct the offending debater to retract and/or apologize for the
offensive comments. Points of personal privilege are intended only to
maintain the collegial nature of the debate and shall not be raised to insert
new arguments or to disrupt another debaters' speech.
The judge or chair of the judging panel
shall provide time signals to the debaters or shall appoint someone to do so.
The timekeeper shall indicate to the debaters the end and beginning of
"protected time" during constructive speeches by loudly striking
the table. Time shall not be stopped for points of information, but shall be
stopped during presentation and adjudication of points of order and points of
Use of laptop or
handheld computers is not permitted except in accordance with the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). Requests for exemption based on disability must be
accompanied or verified by documentation considered sufficient by the Board.
Computers used in rounds will be subject to verification by the judge and/or
tournament staff to ensure that wireless network access is disabled and that
prepared files are not being accessed.
Section 5. After Debate Rounds
As soon as possible after the conclusion of
the round, judges shall complete and return to the tab room a written ballot.
The ballot must include a designated winner and loser ("double-win"
and "double-loss" rounds shall not be allowed). Speaker points
shall be assigned to each debater on a 24-30 scale in .1 increments as
30: Rare example of outstanding achievement
in analysis and presentation.
28-29.9: Very Good/Excellent accomplishment
of analysis and presentation.
26-27.9: Okay/Good accomplishment but some
deficiencies in analysis and/or presentation.
24.1-25.9: Severe/Significant deficiencies
in analysis and/or presentation.
24: Deliberately offensive behavior,
intentional violation of rules.
The resolution forms the basis for the
round. The Government shall enjoy the right to derive any linguistically
legitimate interpretation of the resolution and construct a case based upon
that. If, at the end of the round, the Government has crafted such an
interpretation and successfully defended a case based upon it, the Government
should win the round. The Opposition may oppose the linguistic legitimacy of
the Government's interpretation of the resolution and/or the case itself
and/or the underlying resolution as the Government interprets it. If, at the
end of the round, the Opposition has successfully opposed the Government in
one or more of these areas, the Opposition should win the round.
1. Judges shall base their decisions upon
the arguments made, persuasive style displayed by the debaters, and the rules
for the event.
2. Once the decision is announced, that
decision is final except in the event of a mistake in the reading of the
decision, e.g. the person announcing the decision read the ballot
incorrectly, the judge misstates who he or she intended to vote for, or there
is a tab error.
3. Decisions may not be changed because a
judge changed his or her mind after a decision has been announced.
4. Judges are encouraged to make
pedagogically appropriate verbal and written comments to educate debaters
about relevant factual or normative concerns that were not raised by the
Immediately after the round, debaters and
audience members should leave the room. Judges must complete their decision, without
conferring with any other person except the Tournament Director if it is
absolutely necessary, and return it to the tab room before engaging in any
disclosure or verbal critiques.
1. Immediately after the round, the chair
shall dismiss the debaters and audience members to wait outside the room.
2. Judges should make their decision as
quickly as possible; deferring the writing of detailed comments on the ballot
until after the decision has been announced.
3. Judges of the
elimination rounds shall not confer with each other nor anyone else except
the Tournament Director if it is absolutely necessary in making their
4. Once all judges have reached a decision,
the chair shall invite the debaters and audience back into the room, publicly
announce the decision of the panel, and communicate this decision to the tab
5. Judges should then provide any verbal
critiques, complete their written ballots and return them to the tab room.
Judges are encouraged to engage debaters in
discussion of issues and perceptions about the round, including the nature
and justification for the judge's decision. When possible, the tournament
should establish a discrete area for such discussions. Debaters, judges, and
coaches should recognize the intensity of the competitive environment and
avoid engaging in confrontational, demeaning or challenging behavior.
1. Appeals to decisions and pairing should
occur only in the most extreme circumstances--where there is demonstrable and
serious harm to a team; i.e. inappropriate behavior or a tournament error has
caused a loss.
2. Appellants must write their appeal and
submit it to the board and should do so prior to the release of the next
round's pairings. Appellants must be available to communicate with the board.
3. The Board shall pursue an inquiry under
the following conditions:
a) only if there is demonstrable and serious
b) with at least
50% of voting board members voting to pursue an inquiry with no more than 1
board member dissenting.
4. Throughout this process, board members
with teams affected by the appeal shall recuse themselves from the discussion
and the vote. The President may consult board members not at the tournament
but it is not required as efficiency in running the tournament is a primary
5. Assuming the Board agrees to pursue the
appeal, defendants also must write their defense, submit it to the board, and
be available to communicate with the board. The President shall provide a
reasonable time limit for this defense.
6. The Board will rarely overturn a
decision by a judge or judges and will do so only if the harm caused by
overturning the decision is less than the harm caused by the decision.
Overturning a decision shall require at least 50% of voting board members
with no more than 1 board member dissenting.
7. Board rulings are final unless presented
with new evidence of a substantial nature showing that the grounds for the
board's decision were incorrect. Such a ruling will require a unanimous vote
of all voting board members.
8. The President and/or Tournament
Director, will as soon as possible, issue a statement to participants
explaining to the Board's ruling in a manner that maintains the
confidentiality of those involved.
Section 6. Anti-Harassment Policy