Statement & Rules

Tournament Speech Statement

This tournament affirms the importance of all tournament participants' cooperation in creating an educational and competitive environment that is fair, humane and responsible while, at the same time, encouraging debates that are devoted to full and robust argument about a diverse range of ideas.  Specifically, this tournament affirms that:

  • Judges and students are encouraged to talk about the expectations that they have for creating a debate that focuses on ideas instead of personal attacks.
  • Debaters are encouraged to communicate with respect and to avoid the perception of attacking each other or the judge.
  • Judges are encouraged to communicate with respect and avoid the perception of attacking or devaluing students.
  • Debaters and judges are encouraged to reject discourse that devalues other members of our community based on their race, age, gender, gender orientation, class, sexual or religious orientation, or any reason that is not directly related to the arguments that they present.
  • Students and judges are encouraged to communicate with each other when they observe instances of verbally aggressive attacks rather than silently watching something occur to which they object.
  • Judges are encouraged to reward courteous and respectful behavior toward the judge and other competitors in awarding speaker points.

If serious and/or repeated demeaning speech materially or substantially disrupts the opportunity for debaters to compete fairly or the judge to evaluate fairly, judges are encouraged to dock speaker points. 


Student Congress Event Rules

Schools are limited to three Senators, and three representatives in each House One and House Two, for a total of nine competitors. Each school may also nominate up to three students (one per house) to serve as presiding officers. 

Student Congress will have three, two-hour sessions.  Each participant is limited to five speeches (unless all other competitors have also made five speeches), which are three minutes in length.  Award nominations will be based on speaker points and rankings awarded in each session by the Official Scorer.  Presiding Officer Awards will be decided by a popular vote in each House of Congress. This tournament will follow the WIAA guidelines regarding the use of Parliamentary Procedure, and will use Robert’s Rules of Order as a secondary source.

Each school may submit a total of five prioritized bills, not to exceed their total number of Congress entrants.  The deadline for bill submission is Monday, January 5 at 5 p.m.  Bills will be posted to We will not copy bills for distributions.