Official Ziggy Tournament Rules

These are the official Rules of Ziggy Tournaments. For Junior Tournament specific rules, please click here.

Last updated May 27, 2024.

1. Aff team is responsible for contacting the judge.

The Affirmative team/debater is responsible for contacting the judge, unless the Negative team volunteers to do so. Regardless of who contacts the judge, it should be done as soon as possible.

2. Aff must share their case before the round for Team Policy.

(a) Timeline for sharing the case.

(i) During the Spring or Fall Semester tournaments: If you are the Aff team, you need to send at least an OUTLINE of your TP case to your opponents (whether to send the full case is up to you) within 72 hours of the time you get your round pairing, or 48 hours before the debate round is scheduled, whichever is sooner. Since you don’t always know when your round will be scheduled, the best option is to send your opponents a copy or an outline of your 1AC as soon as you get your round pairing.

(ii) During a faster-paced or real-time tournament: If you are doing a fast-paced or real-time tournament (see Rule 21), the Aff team must send an outline or copy of their 1AC to the Neg team during (not before) the round, upon request. (Teams are, of course, welcome to share their case earlier if so desired, but it is not mandatory.)

(b) Deletion of shared case by Neg team. All teams will need to delete the copies/outlines after the round ends, and the copies/outlines of the case that are sent to you may not be shared with anyone in any form.

(c) Outline of case. If a team doesn’t feel comfortable sending their full 1AC, they may opt for sending an outline. Outlines must include at the bare minimum: Taglines, evidence cards with citations, and the Plan mandates text, Agency/Enforcement, Funding, and Timeline. You do not have to include your own personal rhetoric or strategy when sending your 1AC/1AC outline.

(d) Rationale. The reason we require this is so that the Aff team can get the best quality feedback on their case from their opponents, and so that the Neg will be able to have a chance to respond more in-depth to their opponent’s arguments. That way, both teams get the best quality debate, as opposed to a situation where a Neg team has no idea what the Aff arguments are. If a debate case has to rely on secrecy or the element of surprise to win, it probably doesn’t have the strongest arguments. Ziggy is designed to help debaters improve in their abilities, not to enable them to win by surprising their opponents. If a Neg team wants to practice debating a team where they don’t know any details about their case, the Neg team is welcome to not look at the 1AC sent to them by the Aff team. However, the Aff team still has the obligation to share an outline or full case.

(e) Individual evidence cards.

Debaters must share any evidence that they read aloud in the roud with their opponents upon request by the opponent. Sharing evidence read aloud in the round during a chat should be done via the chat feature of the ongoing call, or, if not available, should be emailed to the requesting team with the judge CCd on the email.

3. Flow sharing, but not case/case details-sharing, is permitted.

The only information you are allowed to share outside of Ziggy is what you handwrite in notes on your flowpad during a given round. You may share your flows with others, but these need to be based solely on what you handwrite from what you hear in the round, NO DETAILS whatsoever may be taken from the 1AC sent to you.

4. Judge requests for evidence.

(a) What may be shared with judges. Judges may request specific pieces of evidence that were read in the round. Judges may not request a complete copy of a case or of a brief.

(b) How evidence must be shared with judges. The team requested must either send the evidence to the judge in an email and CC their opponent, or must copy/paste the evidence into the chat box of the group chat platform that the debaters are using.

5. Judge qualifications and expectations.

You are qualified to judge for Ziggy Online Debate if you have graduated high school and are not competing in Ziggy yourself. Contact Ziggy if you have questions about specific individuals who you’d like to sign up to judge, or if you are a debate coach who also debates and would like to request an exemption to this rule.

Each judge should try to judge a total of 5 rounds. If every person judges 5 rounds, all rounds should be covered.

6. Judges with conflicts.

(a) Definition. A “conflicted judge” is a judge who has either judged one or both of the teams before, or who is a family member, friend, or coach of one of the teams.

(b) When conflicted judges can judge. If (i) no other judge can be found, (ii) the judge believes they can judge without being biased, and (iii) both teams agree to have the conflicted judge, it is allowed. This should only be a last-resort option.

7. Unexcused absences.

(a) Definition. An unexcused absence is when a team fails to arrive to a scheduled debate (where a judge has signed up and both the judge and the other team are there on time), fails to complete a debate within the assigned week without letting Ziggy know the round will be completed late, or otherwise misses a round. Cancellations do not automatically count as unexcused absences, but repeated cancellations may be considered as such. Rounds scheduled with a judge on the tournament web app do not count as unexcused, even if they have not been completed yet.

(b) Pausing debaters with 2 unexcused absences. If a team has 2 or more unexcused absences, they may be put on “pause,” meaning they will no longer receive new pairings until (i) they complete all incomplete rounds and/or (ii) their opponents agree to cancel their rounds.

(c) Emergencies. If a genuine emergency exists, a debater may request that a missed round not be counted as an unexcused absence provided they make their best effort to ensure the round happens if possible.

(d) Switching styles of debate. If a debater chooses to switch styles of debate (i.e., from TP to LD, or vice versa), they may do so for free, but they must first complete all non-cancelled rounds in their current style of debate before switching to a different style in Ziggy for that semester. Unexcused absences carry over even if the team switches styles. Switching between styles is not permitted until debates from the original style have been completed.

8. Cancellation of rounds.

(a) Definition. If both teams agree they cannot debate due to mutually incompatible schedules, this is deemed a “cancellation” (formerly a mutual voluntary forfeit). One team should email Ziggy and CC their opponent and tell Ziggy the teams have agreed to CANCEL the round.

(b) Result. A cancelled round will result in no team receiving a win or a loss and no speaker points being awarded.

(c) Switching styles of debate. A round may not be cancelled on the grounds that one of the debaters has switched styles of debate. The debater must finish the round before doing Ziggy in another style of debate. If both debaters switch styles, a cancellation is allowed.

9. Forfeiture.

(a) Grounds for forfeiture. Grounds for forfeiting a round include but are not limited to when a team: fails to arrive to the round at the scheduled time; repeatedly fails to communicate with the other team; repeatedly agrees to a date/time and then cancels at the last minute; provides extremely incompatible scheduling options (i.e., only offers one available time during the week), or other rules violations. Except for Rule 9(d), teams must be proactive about requesting forfeits.

Forfeiture occurs under three circumstances:

(b) If the team agrees to forfeit due to error on their part. Any team may contact their opponent to request that they forfeit for a reason listed under 9(a). If there are mutually incompatible schedules, the teams should consider a cancellation (Rule 8) instead of a forfeit, OR

(c) Forfeiture Inquiry. If one team alleges the other team acted in a way that merits a forfeit, but the teams do not agree on this, the teams should contact Ziggy by email. Both teams must submit a copy of ALL communications between the teams (emails and texts). Ziggy will then initiate a Forfeiture Inquiry to review the communications to see if the team in question was at fault. If the team alleged to deserve a forfeit does not respond to the Ziggy Forfeiture Inquiry within 7 days, a decision will be made based on the information available. If fault is found (i.e., if there was not mutual error and the alleged misconduct actually occurred), the team will forfeit the round, OR

(d) The judge reports that a team was a “no-show.” If the round was scheduled in the tournament web app, the judge had signed up, and the other team was present at the start time but the opponent team did not show up in a timely manner, and the reason for the no-show was not a genuine emergency situation, the team will automatically be considered to have forfeited unless they can show a genuine emergency existed that prevented them from debating.

(e) Consequences. A forfeit means that:

(i) The team forfeiting will have the round counted as a loss and will have a speaker score of the minimum allowable points entered for that round (6 points per person),

(ii) The other team will have the round counted as a win and will be awarded speaker points equivalent to 75% of their average speaker scores rounded down (an average of 30 x 75% = 22).

(iii) The team forfeiting will have the forfeited round counted as an unexcused absence.

(f) Exceptions.

(i) If a team forfeits because they have dropped out of Ziggy entirely, Rule 9(e)(ii) will not apply. Instead, the forfeiting team’s opponent will have the round counted as a win and will be awarded speaker points equivalent to the average of their team score.

(ii) The team who wins as a result of the forfeiting team’s forfeit may waive their right to win by forfeit and request that the forfeiting team’s forfeit be undone, allowing the round to take place without penalty for the team who originally forfeited.

10. Internet usage during rounds.

(a) Discouraged. Internet research during rounds is discouraged because it trains you to rely upon the internet for your answers instead of good pre-round research and using critical thinking. However, it is not “against the rules.” This rule applies to Ziggy Parli as well: we strongly discourage debaters from doing research during the parli round. Judges may factor internet usage into their ballot if they desire.

(b) Rationale. Trying to do research while doing a debate will not only distract you from listening and responding effectively to your opponent’s arguments, but will usually not even result in superior arguments. Better to do your best with the evidence you have and to research for the next round than to distract yourself trying to research while managing a debate round.

11. Ethics, conduct, language, and courtesy.

All debaters are expected to compete with the utmost courtesy and ethical conduct. This should be understood to mean that foul/vulgar language or abusive rhetoric is not permitted, and no violation of Ziggy Rules is permitted. In most cases, the judge will be the arbiter of disputes over rule violations, except as is necessary for Ziggy to intervene and make an official determination. Essentially, act in a manner that you would want to be treated (see Matthew 7:12, The Bible). Participants do not need to be affiliated with any religion to participate.

12. Third-party observation of rounds & recording of rounds.

As long as both debate teams are okay with a a third-party (such as a parent, coach, friend, etc.) listening in on a round, that is acceptable. However, unlike normal tournaments, Ziggy rounds are not open to the general public, and as such, are afforded heightened privacy protections.

While there is no way to prevent a third-party from listening in if they  are physically with one of the debaters (such as a parent being near their student during a round), debaters may have reasonable objections against wanting someone else to be added to a voice call (anything from increased risk of connectivity issues, to privacy concerns, to concerns about coaching/advice given during the round).

While many debaters will probably not object to having someone listen in on a Ziggy round so the other team may get feedback later, teams should still respect their opponent by first asking permission to have a third-party listen in. If the opponent objects, the third-party should not listen in. All debaters may, of course, use their flows (handwritten notes taken from the debate) and review those with their coaches/parents/any third-party, consistent with Rule 6b.

Recording your own speeches is permitted but you may not record the other team without consent.

13. Going “maverick” (debating without your partner) is permitted.

(a) Eligibility. If your partner cannot attend a debate due to inability, or you do not have a TP or Parli partner who can do Ziggy, you may request permission from Ziggy to debate for both speaker positions. You will only be eligible for 1 speaker award in that style of debate. “Maverick” debaters must have at least one year of prior debate experience to obtain permission for multiple “maverick” rounds.

(b) Speaker points. The “Maverick” debater (the one participating) will be given whatever speaker points the judge deems fit, per usual. The absent partner, or the Ziggy-assigned teammate placeholder (named “Maverick Maverick” on the Ziggy website), will be awarded the ballot-required minimum of 6 points in total (1 point in each speaker category).

(c) Exceptions to 13(b). If, and only if a debater is mavericking the entire tournament, as opposed to just select rounds, then the placeholder will be given the same amount of speaker points as the debater.

14. Times and speech orders of debate and purposes of each type of speech.

(a) Team Policy.

1st Aff Constructive (1AC): 8 minutes

2N speaker cross examines 1A speaker: 3 minutes

1st Neg Constructive (1NC): 8 minutes

1A speaker cross examines 1N speaker: 3 minutes

2nd Aff Constructive (2AC): 8 minutes

1N speaker cross examines 2A speaker: 3 minutes

2nd Neg Constructive (2NC): 8 minutes

2A speaker cross examines 2N speaker: 3 minutes

1st Neg Rebuttal (1NR): 5 minutes

1st Aff Rebuttal (1AR): 5 minutes

2nd Neg Rebuttal (2NR): 5 minutes

2nd Aff Rebuttal (2AR): 5 minutes

Each team has 5 minutes of prep time.

(b) Lincoln-Douglas.

Aff Constructive (AC): 6 minutes

Neg cross examines Aff: 3 minutes

Neg Constructive (NC): 7 minutes

Aff cross examines Neg: 3 minutes

1st Aff Rebuttal (1AR): 4 minutes

Neg Rebuttal (NR): 6 minutes

2nd Aff Rebuttal (2AR): 3 minutes

Each LD team using the NCFCA resolution has 3 minutes of prep time.

Each LD team using the Stoa resolution has 4 minutes of prep time. This time difference tracks the recent update to Stoa’s rules for LD granting LDers 4 minutes of prep time. 

(c) Team Parli (PD).

Prime Minister Constructive (PMC): 7 min

Leader of Opp. Constructive (LOC): 7 min

Member of Gov. Constructive (MGC): 7 min

Member of Opp. Constructive (MOC): 7 min

Leader of Opp. Rebuttal (LOR): 5 min

Prime Minister Rebuttal (PMR): 5 min

There is NO PREP TIME.

(d) Individual Parli (IPD).

Government Constructive (GC): 5 min

CX: 2 min

Opposition Constructive (OC): 6 min

CX: 2 min

Government Rebuttal (GR): 3 min

Opposition Rebuttal (OR): 5 min

Government Summary (GR): 3 min

There is NO PREP TIME.

(e) Purposes. Constructives are for building the arguments; Rebuttals are for extending the analysis. Completely new arguments should not be brought up in the Rebuttals. Judges will determine what, if any, penalty is due for new arguments raised in Rebuttals (Ziggy will not enforce penalties for claims of new arguments in rebuttals). Cross examination is for asking clarifying questions and gaining strategic admissions from your opponent.

15. Timing Speeches.

(a) Self-timing. Teams should time themselves. Their opponents should time along with them for accountability purposes.

(b) Adjudication of improper timing. If judges believe that debaters have abused the time (i.e., speaking significantly longer, taking more prep time, etc.), they are allowed to factor that into their decision and treat that as they would any other form of misconduct, up to and including voting against the team who abused the time. Debaters may use their speech time to inform the judge that their opponent abused their speaking time, if there was a significant abuse of time limits.

16. Use of Personal Information.

(a) Definition. Personal information is any information about a person, including but not limited to: name, email address, and phone number.

(b) Restriction of Use. Personal information is available to Ziggy users through the tournament web app and the Judge List. This information may only be used for the purposes of Ziggy—that is, for contacting other Ziggy users for Ziggy’s debate tournament-related functions. No person is permitted to use the personal information available on this website or any Ziggy website for any other purpose, including but not limited to: solicitation, fundraising, advertising, promotion of causes, recruitment, social invites, or any other purpose.

(c) Penalty. Use of the personal information of Ziggy users in a manner prohibited under Rule 16(b) is grounds for immediate cancellation of all future Ziggy rounds for the person in violation, and a permanent ban on that person’s participation in Ziggy Online Debate. The extent of the penalty is up to the discretion of Ziggy staff.

17. Video Use and Attire.

(a) Video. Whether to use video (in addition to audio) for online debates is up to the individual debater, except if the judge, in the interest of equity, requests that all debaters enable or disable video.

(b) Attire. There is no formal dress code. If you do choose to use video, be sure to dress appropriately.

18. Judicial Discretion.

Judges are presumed to have discretion to adjudicate anything not covered explicitly by these rules.

19. Claims of Abuse of Evidence.

(a) When a Claim Can be Raised.

(i) A claim of abuse of evidence (“claim”) may be raised by a team (“petitioner”) against their opponent (“respondent”) when both teams participated in a given debate pairing.

(ii) Claims may only be raised if the alleged abuse was discovered after the completion of the round, or if the alleged abuse was discovered during the round but before the petitioner had a chance to respond to it. Abuses of evidence discovered before or during the round should be presented as arguments in the round. Debaters are, as an in-round argument, permitted to encourage judges to request allegedly faulty evidence, and judges are permitted to request copies of such evidence under Rule 4.

(iii) Claims must be submitted within 3 days of the completion of the round.

(b) Grounds for a Claim.

A claim involves an allegation pertaining to evidence read aloud in the round when that evidence:

(i) Did not match what the text of the evidence said when shared with the petitioner (“substantive issue”);

(ii) Is not available at the cited URL (“URL issue”); or

(iii) Did not have the same author, publisher, or date at the source as claimed by the respondent (“credentials issue”).

(c) Procedure.

The petitioner will visit this form and will provide the following information: the round number; their team name; the team name of the respondent; the judge’s name; the URL to the Ziggy pairing; the specific portion of Rule 19 that was violated; copies of the original faulty evidence as it was given to them (preferably in a format that cannot be edited, such as a screenshot, or that provides version tracking, such as a Google Doc); any additional explanations necessary for evaluation of the claim; and a certified statement that the petitioner believes the outcome of the round could be affected by the abuse of evidence.

Ziggy Staff will review the claim and determine whether it is valid. In the case of an invalid claim, the petitioner will be notified that their claim was denied. Denials of claims are considered final, but appeals may be granted at the discretion of Ziggy Staff in the interests of fairness.

(d) Remedy.

(i) Prior to the ballot’s submission.

Upon approval of a claim, the judge who has not yet submitted their ballot will be notified that “one of the teams in the round you just judged has brought to our attention a possible issue with regards to the evidence used by the other team. We ask that you refrain from submitting your ballot until we have provided you with more details. We will be forwarding you the issue as described by the petitioning team and the response from the other team soon. You are allowed, but are not required, to factor this into your decision however you see fit. Please remember that the Ziggy Rule 11 requires that debaters “compete with the utmost courtesy and ethical conduct,” and judges have the right to penalize debaters for any rule violation however the deem fit, ranging from a verbal reprimand, reduced speaker points, a loss of the round in question, or any combination thereof.”

(ii) After the ballot’s submission.

Upon approval of a claim, the judge who has already submitted their ballot will be notified that “one of the teams in the round you just judged has brought to our attention a possible issue with regards to the evidence used by the other team. We have re-opened your ballot so that you have the ability to edit the ballot if you so choose. We will be forwarding you the issue as described by the petitioning team and the response from the other team soon. You are allowed, but are not required, to factor this into your decision however you see fit, and may amend your ballot if you deem necessary. Please remember that the Ziggy Rule 11 requires that debaters “compete with the utmost courtesy and ethical conduct,” and judges have the right to penalize debaters for any rule violation however the deem fit, ranging from a verbal reprimand, reduced speaker points, a loss of the round in question, or any combination thereof. After you review the information we will send you, please either make any necessary changes to your ballot, or, if you do not wish to make any changes, please click ‘Finalize’ on your ballot.”

(e) Bad Faith Claims.

Teams who raise claims in “bad faith”—meaning, with the intention to harass the other team, with malicious intent, with sole intent to delay the submission of the ballot, with the belief that the evidence issue would most likely not have affected the outcome of the round, or with the knowledge that their claim was otherwise invalid under 19(a)—may be subject to disciplinary action, up to suspension from Ziggy.

20. Byes and Extra Rounds.

Any team who receies a pairing against a Ziggy Bye team will win the round and will receive speaker points based on their average speaker points. If a team volunteers to do an extra debate during a round, the extra debate will be counted toward their overall record, unless their final number of completed rounds exceeds 10. In that case, only the highest scoring debate during the round in which the extra debate occurred will be counted toward their overall record.

21. Real-Time and Fast-Paced Tournament-Specific Exceptions

(a) Definitions.

(I) Real-Time Tournaments.

A real-time tournament is a tournament that has a fixed daily schedule, with specific rounds occurring at specific times, usually lasting several days in total. Rounds must start promptly at the posted time, and ballots must be submitted by the ballot cuttoff time (tournament-dependent).

(II) Fast-Paced Tournaments.

A fast-paced tournament is a tournament that takes place over an extended period of time, usually no more than six weeks in total. Debaters are expected to coordinate times with their opponent like in semester tournaments. Debaters are expected to keep multiple times available during a fast-paced tournament with the knowledge that a failure to have at least 40% of the time allotted for each round available for scheduling may result in a forfeit if the teams cannot agree on a time, based on an eight-hour day. (Example: if a round has 5 days to be completed, each team is expected to ensure that they are available to schedule a time with their opponent for 16 hours during that 5-day period. A team who only has 10 hours of availability during that 5 day period, for example, may have to forfeit the round if the other team has 40% or more availability and there is zero overlap between the two teams’ available schedules.)

(b) Judge Obligations.

(I) Expectations.

During real-time and fast-paced (i.e., fixed-schedule tournaments or tournaments lasting no more than six weeks), each competitor is expected to contribute a judge who will judge 2–4 debate rounds, depending on the specific needs and size of the tournament. Shortly before the tournament starts but after signup ends, the staff will disclose the total number of rounds that will occur and the total number of debates that each judge needs to judge to ensure all rounds are judged without having any one person judge a disproportionately higher number of rounds than others.

During real-time tournaments, judges will usually be assigned to rounds in advance. During fast-paced tournaments, judges will usually sign up for rounds/be requested by debaters like a Ziggy semester tournament.

(II) Penalties for Tournaments Where Judges Choose Their Own Rounds.

If a registered judge fails to judge approximately half of the required quota by halfway through the tournament and has failed to inform tournament staff that they intend to judge debates occuring in the second half of the tournament to meet their quota, the team who registered that judge will receive a preliminary round loss with speaker points of zero. The loss score will replace the team’s win score from a round that the team won but has the lowest speaker points in. If a team has no wins, their round with the lowest speaker points will be dropped to 6 points per person.

If a registered judge tells tournament staff that they intend to meet their quota of judging debates occuring in the second half of the tournament, but fails to do so, the team who registered that judge will receive a double penalty (two losses & 6 speaks per person for those two rounds).

(III) Penalties for Tournaments Where Judges Are Assigned to Rounds by Staff.

If a judge fails to judge a round they are assigned to and does not appear to judge the round by 20 minutes after the posted start time for the round, the team who registered that judge will receive a loss and zero speaker points in that round, regardless of the result of that team’s actual debate. (Example: Jones/Jones registers Anna Beth, who is assigned to Rounds 2 and 4. If Round 4 occurs at Monday at 4:00 PM ET, and Anna does not show up to the round by 4:25 PM ET, Jones/Jones will receive a loss and six speaks for Round 4, even if they won their Round 4 debate.)

(IV) Exceptions.

If the reason for a person not meeting their judging quota is the result of (a) other judges being extremely proactive about judging above and beyond their own quota, or (b) a judge signing up for a round toward the end of the tournament that gets rescheduled by the debaters, tournament staff retains discretion to not penalize the corresponding team. Because all times are listed in the time zone of each individual person’s Ziggy account, reasons that “I was confused about the time zone” will not be a valid excuse unless the fault is Ziggy’s (i.e., software bugs). It is the responsibility of each person to validate their own time zone and ensure they are arriving on time, just as it would be their responsibility to keep track of the time at an in-person tournament.

(V) Personal Emergencies.

In the event of a personal emergency on the part of a registered judge that is not severe enough that requires the corresponding team who registered that judge to also drop out of the tournament, the corresponding team has the obligation to find a replacement judge to complete the initial judge’s quota.

(VI) Other Matters

Tournament staff reserves the right to craft other per-tournament rules as necessary for the individual structure of the tournament. If rules are changed, all participants will be notified.

Team Parli Rules

Ziggy Team Parli Debate (PD) is modeled after collegiate parli and Stoa parli. Judges and debaters may view Parli orientation slides here. All official Ziggy Parli rules will be posted on this page. Team Parli has no CX, but instead has “points of information,” where debaters can interrupt the other team’s constructive speeches to ask questions.

Ziggy Individual Parli Debate (IPD) is modeled after International Public Debate Association debate, another popular collegiate style of debate. IPD does have CX for 2 minutes, and no points of information, more like traditional LD or TP.

P1. Parli Resolution Distribution.

(a) Judge distributes.

Judges will have exclusive access to a password protected page of parli resolutions. This list will change on a regular basis, and judges will be responsible for copying the listed resolution for the debate and announcing it to the competitors via email 20 minutes before the round is scheduled to begin.

(b) Topics are not to be shared.

Parents/any judges of competitors are under NO circumstances allowed to share topics with their children or with any Ziggy debaters unless it is to give the teams they are judging the topic in accordance with Rule P1(a).

P2. Construction of Parli Topics.

Resolution options will be created by Ziggy Staff and approved by Isaac Sommers, 6-year NCFCA and Stoa alumni (TP/LD/Parli) and Owner/Tournament Director of Ziggy Online Debate. However, other sources may contribute to topic suggestions, such as Integrity Communication Speech & Debate, collegiate parliamentary debate coaches, and successful competitors. We will take debaters’ feedback into account as well. Topic suggestions can be submitted here.

P3. Use of Evidence.

(a) Evidence generally permitted.

Debaters are permitted to use evidence in Parli rounds, including (but not limited to) the reading of block quotes/direct quotations from evidence.

(b) Evidence discouraged in Individual Parli Debate.

Because there are shorter speech times, reliance on evidence is strongly discouraged in IPD. While it may be helpful to refer to generally-known facts, or even statistics, the focus of IPD is to be able to address relevant current events and issues in a real-world setting, where you’ll be using persuasion more than quotes to change minds.

(c) Judicial discretion exception.

Judges may indicate at any time prior to the round starting that they do not want debaters to use direct evidence quotations.

P4. Questions (Points of Information and Points of Order).

(a) Points of Information.

(i) General: In Team Parli, debaters may interrupt their opponents any time between the first and last minute of any constructive speech to ask a “point of information” (POI). POIs are only permitted in rebuttals if the teams say they will accept questions during rebuttals, but it is customary to not accept questions in rebuttals.

(ii) Procedure: Debaters who wish to ask a question should unmute themselves and say “Question.” The speaker’s time does NOT stop when they are being asked a question. It is customary to accept 2 to 3 questions per constructive speech, but debaters do not have to answer questions. Questions the speaker does not wish to answer should be responded to with a statement such as “not at this time.” Judges are free to factor a debater’s choice to answer or not to answer questions into their decision.

(b) Points of Order.

(i) General: In both Team Parli and Individual Parli Debate, debaters can raise “Points of Order” if they believe the other team is bringing up a new argument in a rebuttal speech.

(ii) Procedure: Debaters must unmute, say “Point of Order,” wait for the speaker to pause their timer, and then the debater raising the Point of Order may BRIEFLY explain why they think the argument is new. After the person raising the new argument claim finishes speaking, the debater who is giving the speech may briefly explain why they think the argument is not new, or can admit that it is a new argument. The judge may then EITHER tell the debaters whether they think it’s a new argument or not on the spot, OR they may simply say “I will take it into consideration,” and can evaluate it later when filling out the ballot. The judge is the one who will ultimately decide if/how to factor in the Point of Order. After the judge responds, the debater will unpause their timer and resume their speech.

Moot Court Rules

M1. Judge Questioning.

Judges may interrupt the debaters at any time after 1 minute into the debater’s speech in order to ask questions. Judges may interrupt the debaters at any time in a rebuttal speech and do not have to wait 1 minute to begin questioning. Judges should generally start all new questions with “Counselor,” in order to get the speaker’s attention to ensure they pause their speaking. Judges do not need to say “counselor” when asking immediate follow-up questions.

M2. Video Use.

(a) Supremacy. Rule 17 does not apply; M2 supersedes Rule 17 for Moot Court rounds.

(b) Video. Moot Court debaters must use video in online debates if they are not limited by technology and/or bandwith, except if the judge, in the interest of equity, permits that a debater disable video due to substantial technologial and/or bandwith limitations. If one debater has to disable video for an aforementioned reason, the other debaters must still continue to use video.

M3. Speaker Times.

Petitioner 1: Up to 10 minutes, as reserved.*

Petitioner 2: Up to 10 minutes, as reserved.*

Respondent 1: 10 minutes.

Respondent 2: 10 minutes.

Petitioner Rebuttal: 1 to 4 minutes, as reserved.*

*Each side has 20 minutes maximum of speaking time. The Petitioner Team can allocate time to the rebuttal as they see fit, within whole minute increments. The remaining time should be split evenly between both teammates.

Example A: Petitioner #1 reserves 2 minutes for Rebuttal. Petitioner 1 and Petitioner 2 each use 9 minutes for their primary speeches.

Example B: Petitioner #2 reserves 3 minutes for Rebuttal. Petitioner 1 and Petitioner 2 each use 8 minutes 30 seconds for their primary speeches.

M4. Outside Research Prohibited.

(a) Definition. “Outside research” means any material not contained or referenced within the NCFCA 2023 Moot Court packet and the United States Constitution.

(b) Restricted to use of approved materials. Debaters may not consult “outside research” or use such “outside research” in a Ziggy Moot Court round.

If you have any other questions, please email them to