Table of Contents


Article I: Tournament of Excellence Rankings

Section 1. Eligibility to Earn Points

Note, even though a team earns points, that does not mean that those points count toward a bid. Read: Section 1. Eligibility to Participate at the NPTE.

  1. Any team competing at a tournament where they present all expected speeches in at least 50% of the preliminary rounds shall count for points at that tournament as long as their participation is endorsed by the college or university which they attend.
  2. Student clubs must be a registered student organization or be able to prove oversight from the college or university which they attend in order to count points. Clubs must send documentation of their enrollment and documentation of the institution’s endorsement to the NPTE President in order for their points to be counted.
  3. One solo (maverick) debater per school or club may accrue half points for their results at the tournament.
  4. One hybrid team per school may accrue points as would any other team (even if ineligible for the NPTE) unless the NPTE board allows more hybrid teams from a school per Section 1, C, 4 of the Eligibility bylaws.
  5. Note that even if a team earns points, students not enrolled may not count those points for the purposes of receiving an NPTE bid and that students that transfer schools may not count those points accrued at their first two tournaments for the purposes of receiving an NPTE bid as explained in Article II Section 1, C.

Section 2. Qualifying tournaments must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Must be an open division with at least
    1. 4 preliminary rounds
    2. 8 teams from at least three different schools.
    3. at least two elimination rounds (with the second elimination round constructed based on the results of the first elimination round)
    4. a minimum of 3-judge panels in all elimination rounds.
  2. [This section no longer exists]
  3. Must be tournaments where the following is true:
    1. Performance at other tournaments may not be used as criteria for invitation or attendance.
    2. Membership in groups other than forensics associations may not be required for invitation or attendance.
    3. Invitation or attendance at the tournament may not be restricted on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status, and/or military/veteran status.
  4. Must not use "pre-seeding" (based on performance at other non-open tournaments) for the purpose of protecting highly-ranked teams from hitting each other during preliminary rounds in open division. If used at all, use of "pre-seeding" must be limited to those rounds which would otherwise be randomly pre-set. Any combination of pre-seeded, randomly pre-set, and/or "power-protected" rounds must not exceed one-half of the preliminary rounds at the tournament.
  5. Debates at the tournament must
    1. be two person versus two person debates (except if a few teams are "mavericks" or three person teams where only two people debate at one time).
    2. use a resolution announced no sooner than shortly before the debate occurs.
    3. not use the same resolution in more than two rounds during a tournament.
    4. not use quoted evidence as the basis for argument.
    5. result in a win or loss.
  6. NPTE Points shall not count for points at the fifth and further NPTE point counting tournaments held at one school. Tournaments such as the Mile High Swing, state championships, and WSCA that do not have a regular location each year shall not count toward the maximum number of tournaments.

Section 3. Submission of Results

  1. Results from qualifying tournaments may be submitted by any person, including tournament directors, competing teams, or other forensics organizations.
  2. Results should be sent to the Ranking Director.
  3. To be registered in the NPTE database, results must include for each and every open division or equivalent team at the tournament:
    1. Team names and their School.
    2. Preliminary round win/loss records.
    3. Elimination round win/loss results. Elimination round panel "split" results are not required.
  4. Results must be submitted at least three days before the deadline for bids to be assured of being included in calculations of such bids.
  5. Results received too late for use in issuing a set bids shall be included when issuing the next set of bids and NPTE rankings.
  6. Results submitted after the deadline for sending in results for at-large rankings will not count including for seeding at the NPTE.
  7. We will count and post the results that are sent to us. We will not change points already posted for a team unless there is clear proof that the results for that team were incorrect.
  8. Challenges to any points must occur at the latest one day prior to the announcement of a set of bids although 24 hours will always be given to challenge points after they are posted. The Ranking Director should notify the community of this deadline for challenges when posting results.
  9. We will not change points after the at-large bid deadline for any reason other than false points submitted as part of cheating.

Section 4. Point Calculation

Points will be awarded for a team's performance at a tournament in open division as follows:

  1. Prelim points will be calculated according to the following formula:
    1. One point for a 50% or better record.
    2. A team's winning percentage multiplied by two.
    3. An additional 1/4 point for each win minus 1/4 point for each loss in preliminary rounds.
    4. The total of the values yielded will be rounded to the nearest .05.
    5. If a tournament holds more than eight preliminary rounds, only the last eight rounds will be considered for preliminary point purposes.
    6. This yields the following preliminary point values:

      8 rounds: 8-0 (5), 7-1 (4.25), 6-2 (3.5), 5-3 (2.75), 4-4 (2)
      7 rounds: 7-0 (4.75), 6-1 (3.95), 5-2 (3.2), 4-3 (2.4)
      6 rounds: 6-0 (4.5), 5-1 (3.65), 4-2 (2.85), 3-3 (2.0)
      5 rounds: 5-0 (4.25), 4-1 (3.35), 3-2 (2.45)
      4 rounds: 4-0 (4.0), 3-1 (3), 2-2 (2.0).

  2. Additionally, teams that advanced to elims in the top half of teams or had a winning record: 1 point.
  3. For single elimination tournaments, each elimination round win: 1 point so long as the team advanced to elims in the top half of teams or had a winning record. However:
    1. Teams shall not be able to earn more than 6 elimination round points but shall be able to win tournament winner bonus.
    2. After losing an elimination round, teams shall not be able to earn further NPTE points.
  4. For double elimination tournaments, points shall be awarded in accordance with what a team’s placing would otherwise earn in a single elimination format. For example, a team that takes 3rd place (in single elims, a semifinalist) in a tournament with twenty teams advancing (which would, in single elims, lead to a double-octofinals round) would receive 3 elimination round points regardless of the number of elimination rounds won. A team that takes 7th place (in single elims, a quarterfinalist) would receive 2 elimination round points.
  5. Tournament winner: 1 point shall be awarded to the team that wins the final round between two teams of a tournament.
    1. If there is no final round with two teams due to a close out, the higher seeded team based on preliminary rounds shall be given this 1 point as well as the final round win point.
    2. If there is no final round with two teams and no close-out, no tournament winner point nor any final round win point shall be given.

Section 5. Teams shall be ranked as a unit

Teams that are split up stop accumulating points, although individual members may begin accumulating points as members of new teams.

Section 6. Teams shall be ranked on the basis of:

  1. Their points from their top 4 tournaments with the following modifications:
    1. Teams that attend 11 tournaments will count their top three tournaments and their 5th best tournament.
    2. Teams that attend 12 tournaments will count their top three tournaments and their 6th best tournament.
    3. Teams that attend 13 tournaments will count their top three tournaments and their 7th best tournament.
    4. Teams that attend 14+ tournaments will count their top three tournaments and the (n-6)th best tournament where n is the total number of tournaments attended.
    5. For teams that utilize half points for qualification, any debater who has attended 11 or more tournaments will be subject to the above modification for seeding. Points will be calculated in the following manner for these students:
      1. Students counting one half-point tournament toward qualification shall be seeded using their natural points from three tournaments with their NPTE partner and their (n-6)th best tournament with another partner, where n is the total number of tournaments attended other than their NPTE partner.
      2. Students counting two half-point tournaments toward qualification shall be seeded using their natural points from two tournaments with their NPTE partner along with their best tournament result and their (n-6)th best tournament with other partners, where n is the total number of tournaments attended other than their NPTE partner.
      3. Students counting three half-point tournaments toward qualification shall be seeded using their natural points from their tournament with their NPTE partner along with their two best tournament results and their (n-6)th best tournament with other partners, where n is the total number of tournaments attended other than their NPTE partner.
      4. The above modification will only be applied to the student that attended 11 or more tournaments and not to the entire team. For instance, in a case where a team is counting one half-point tournament for seeding, if debater A attends 11 tournaments and debater B attends 10 tournaments, debater A will have their (n-6)th best tournament with another partner counted while debater B will have their best tournament with another partner counted.
    6. A team may compete in a tournament without that tournament being reflected for points calculations, and thus that tournament will not count against the total number of tournaments reflected above.

      In order to do so, notification of such decision must be delivered to the Ranking Director at least 24 hours prior to the respective tournament's first round topic announcement.

      Once the decision to opt out of the tournament has been made, it cannot be rescinded.

    7. Once a team has completed 50% of the preliminary rounds at a tournament, it will be considered an official tournament to count against the total number of tournaments above.
  2. Ties will be broken by the following steps:
    1. by comparing each team's preliminary round win percentages from all recorded tournaments,
    2. by comparing win percentage of each team's top 4 tournaments,
    3. by random numbers, if necessary.

Article II. Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence Bids

Section 1. Eligibility to Participate at the NPTE

  1. Eligibility requirements for the NPTE:
    1. Each student must be an undergraduate degree seeking student and not on academic probation as confirmed by their school’s registrar or equivalent for debating at the NPTE. Midterm graduates may compete at the NPTE.
    2. Points used for qualifying for the NPTE count only for a quarter/semester during which the student is degree seeking and not on academic probation as confirmed by their school’s registrar or equivalent.
    3. In cases of co-enrollment where two or more schools at which the student is taking credits have parliamentary (NPTE and/or NPDA) programs, the student may represent only the school where he or she takes the majority of their credits unless the concurrent enrollment is in the context of a joint academic program that existed at both schools prior to the student's enrollment at either school. In unusual situations, a student may petition the board for an exception based on non-debate reasons to permit representation at the school with less credits. The board must approve the exception on a 2/3 or higher vote of those voting with at least 50% of the board voting.
  2. Verification of Eligibility.
    • The NPTE Treasurer-Secretary or President or his or her designee must receive by the due date for at-large bid requests (exceptions only with the Treasurer-Secretary or President’s approval) a signed statement from the team's school's registrar or equivalent indicating:

      (a) each student is an undergraduate degree seeking student and not on academic probation at the time of the registrar’s signature as confirmed by their school’s registrar or equivalent, and

      (b) each student was an undergraduate degree seeking student and not on academic probation during the fall semester/quarter as confirmed by their school’s registrar or equivalent, and

      c) each student that graduated during the fall semester/quarter.

    • In the event that a student was not eligible to earn points during a semester, such points shall not count toward an NPTE bid. If, as a result, the team with this student would not have earned their first or second round bid because of insufficient points, their bid shall be removed and such a team shall be eligible with their lowered points only via the at-large or alternates process.
    • The NPTE board shall have sole discretion to determine the validity of any document purporting to be a statement from a university registrar as required by this section. In making its determination, the board may consider all relevant evidence, including but not limited to whether the school in question has submitted false documents to the NPTE in the past.
    • In the event that a school submits false verification, the NPTE board reserves the right to disqualify a team, to revoke a disqualified team's results at the NPTE or in the NPTE rankings, and to bar that school from future attendance at the NPTE.
  3. Points that may not count toward bids for the NPTE
    • Students who transfer from a school where they competed at an interscholastic tournament in any form of debate during the spring previous to their transfer (Dec. 26-Aug. 14) may not count their first two NPTE point counting tournaments at their new school in the fall semester (Aug. 15-Dec. 25) immediately after they transfer for the purposes of receiving an NPTE bid except if they transfer from a two year to a four year school, as part of a program recognized at the previous school, or due to military service. Tournaments that do not count for points because of transfers still count toward total tournaments attended according to Section 6, A.
    • Students may not transfer points earned at previous schools for the purposes of receiving an NPTE bid unless those points were earned at a two year school and the student is now competing at a four year school, the student shifted schools as part of a program recognized at the previous school, or due to military service.
    • If a team is composed of one eligible and one ineligible debater, the eligible debater shall earn half that team's points; the ineligible debater shall earn no points.
    • Teams (with both debaters representing the same school) may count hybrid and maverick half points they earned during the season toward an NPTE bid. However, neither mavericks (single debaters) nor hybrid teams (teams with debaters representing two schools) may count points towards an NPTE bid. Mavericks and hybrid teams may not compete at the NPTE.
    • We expect coaches to inform the NPTE board of any transfers to their school that are not normally permitted without loss of points or eligibility under NPTE eligibility rules by December 1 for transfers in the fall (Aug.-Dec.) and February 1 for transfers in the spring (Jan.-Apr.). The Vice-President shall post notice of this expectation each semester before these dates.
    • Any challenges to a team's eligibility to count points toward participation at the NPTE must be made within three days of the issuance of bids.
  4. No debater may participate in more than 4 NPTEs and may not have done any form of intercollegiate debating for more than 10 semesters with a semester counting if a student went to two or more tournaments.
  5. Debaters are limited to 5 debate national tournament years. A national tournament year is defined as attending any open national debate championship held by a member of the Council of Forensics Organizations, or other national or international championship tournaments as determined by at least 2/3 of the NPTE Board. A debater may attend multiple national or international championship tournaments in the same academic year while still only counting for one national tournament year. Students matriculated as undergraduate students prior to June 1, 2008 will be exempted.
  6. Teams must be from member schools. Member fees may be paid at registration at the tournament.
  7. Teams competing at the NPTE shall be composed of the debaters who earned their bid at the time bids were issued. However if one of the two debaters is prevented from competing (such as a serious illness or a debater is no longer competing), the other debater may be paired with another debater from the same school under these conditions:
    • The school must email a justification for the change to the NPTE President as soon as possible of becoming aware that one of the two debaters cannot compete with concern for the deadlines necessary to running the tournament.
    • The NPTE board must approve by at least 60% vote of those voting with at least 50% of board members voting, the justification as being an event consistent with this bylaw.
    • Seeking a more competitive team does not count as an event and is not a reason for permitting a team change.
    • If this newly formed team has more than 12 without modification NPTE points, this team may compete at the NPTE and shall be seeded as would any other team based on the two individuals actually competing at the NPTE.
    • If a school informs us that it is dropping a team after the at-large bids have been announced and provides no replacement team within the 24 hour time limit, the school shall have forfeited their bid.

Section 2. First Round Bids

  1. First Round Bids will be issued by the President to all teams that have earned 18 NPTE points without modification from their top four tournaments by January 1.
  2. Teams must accept their bid in writing to the President two days before second round bids are announced. In doing so, they agree to pay for those teams' entry fees even if they do not attend the tournament.

Section 3. Second Round Bids

  1. Second round bids will be issued by the President to all teams that have earned 18 NPTE points without modification from their top four tournaments by February 1 that did not receive a first round bid.
  2. Teams that were offered a first-round bid and did not accept such a bid will not be offered a second-round bid.
  3. Teams must accept their bid in writing to the President two days before At large bids are announced. In doing so, they agree to pay for those teams' entry fees even if they do not attend the tournament.

Section 4. At-Large Bids and Half Points

  1. Teams that will receive an at-large bid:
    1. One team from a school with no other qualifying teams when that team has earned 12 NPTE points without modification from their top four tournaments by Monday, at least 16 days before the day on which the NPTE in person registration occurs.
    2. Any number of teams from a school with other qualifying teams when those teams have earned 18 NPTE points without modification from their top four tournaments by Monday, at least 16 days before the day on which the NPTE in person registration occurs.
    3. If we do not have 64 teams accepted to the NPTE using 1 and 2, additional at-large bids up to a cumulative total of 64 teams will be provided to teams based on their NPTE ranking points so long as those teams have a minimum of 12 points.
  2. Requests for At Large Bids must include:

    --First and last names of the debaters
    --All of their former partners during the current year
    --Academic eligibility forms.

  3. Teams that turned down a first-round bid may request an at-large bid. This request is due by Monday, at least 16 days before the day on which the NPTE in person registration occurs.
  4. Eligibility for At-Large Bids
    1. Teams that do not qualify for the NPTE under any other method or who did not accept their first round bid may be considered for an at-large bid to the NPTE.
    2. Teams requesting and/or accepting at-large bids must guarantee that they will attend the NPTE if selected, provide judges for all teams attending the NPTE from their school, and pay all applicable entry fees if selected even if they do not attend the tournament.
  5. Teams may count half-points with other partners in at-large bid applications. Teams must count at least two tournaments in which they debated together if they have debated two or more tournaments together. Each partner may then count their next two best tournaments (including tournaments debating together or with other partners) or three if they have debated only one tournament together. This request is due at least 16 days before the day on which the NPTE occurs.

    - Teams must debate in at least one tournament together to apply for an at-large bid.

    - Teams requesting at-large bids must identify any half-point partners in their bid request.

    --Ties in ranking shall be broken on the basis of "natural" NPTE points, points earned by the team actually coming to the NPTE.

    --Example of Half Points:

    Mary and John have attended five tournaments together and earned 6, 4.8, 4, 2 and 0 points at these tournaments (for a total of 16.8 natural NPTE points. Mary attended four other tournaments with another partner, earning 7, 5, 4, and 2 points. John attended three other tournaments earning 6, 5.5, and 0 points.

    They must count their two best tournaments together (6 and 4.8 points) and then each may count their half points from their 2 best other tournaments. Mary’s next two tournaments were 7 and 5 – yielding 6 points. John’s next two tournaments were 6 and 5.5 – yielding 5.75 points.

    So, their total points are 6 + 4.8 + 6 + 5.75 = 22.55 with 16.8 natural NPTE points for tie-breaking purposes.

Section 5: Contingency Bids

  1. Contingency Bids will be accepted in the event the total number of teams who have 18 or more points and accept a bid to the NPTE is an odd number. In order to avoid a BYE (first priority) the NPTE Board of Directors will accept applications for consideration to compete at the NPTE. Requests for Contingency Bids must include:
    --First and last names of the debaters
    --All of their former partners during the current year
    --Academic eligibility forms.

  2. Teams applying for a contingency bid will be ranked in order by tabulating their points without modification from their top four tournaments by Monday, 19 days before the Saturday on which the NPTE occurs.
  3. The team with the highest points, including half points as measured in Article II: Section 4, and not receiving a bid under the first, second, or at-large process, will be ranked in order.
  4. Eligibility for Contingency Bids
    1. Teams that do not qualify for the NPTE under any other method may be considered for a contingency bid to the NPTE.
    2. Teams requesting and/or accepting contingency bids must guarantee that they will attend the NPTE if selected, provide judges for all teams attending the NPTE from their school, and pay all applicable entry fees if selected even if they do not attend the tournament.

Section 6. Opportunity Bids

[This section no longer exists]

Section 7. School Judging Requirements

  1. Teams participating in the NPTE must provide 1 qualified judge per team.
  2. Schools may hire at most one judge but must communicate that by the second round acceptance deadline.
  3. Schools with at-large teams may not hire judges.
  4. Exceptions to this policy must be specifically approved by majority vote of the Board.
  5. Request for exceptions must be communicated to the President as soon as possible and if at all possible, no later than 2 weeks prior to the starting date for the NPTE. Typically, the only reason to contact the President for an exception after the 2 week deadline would be a last minute change outside of the control of the Director such as judge illness, work requirement, etc.
  6. Teams that arrive without the required judges will be required to pay an uncovered judge fee of $500.00 and may be denied entrance to the tournament.

Section 8. Fees

NPTE entry, membership, and hired judge fees shall be established by the President with the approval of the Board of Trustees annually and published both on the NPTE web site and in all NPTE invitations.

  1. Fees charged to teams for hiring a judge will be set to pay for NPTE provided food, transportation (low priced plane ticket, auto rental, and/or car gas costs), the cost of half of an NPTE hotel room, and regular judge wages.
  2. Hired judge pay and travel compensation shall be set by the President.