SECTION 1: Definitions and Abbreviations

A. Parliamentary debate (“parli”)

B. NPDL Tournament of Champions (“NPDL-TOC”)

C. Tournament of Champions Director (“Director”): the Board member responsible for NPDL-TOC organization, who may deputize others to fulfill any duties.

D. Team: consists of two students who compete together at the NPDL-TOC after qualifying through any means enumerated in Section 3

SECTION 2: Site Logistics

A. The NPDL-TOC shall be held each year in April or May at a school site selected no later than December 1 of a season.

B. The Head Coach of the hosting school shall be designated as the Site Director. The Site Director will be responsible for the following:

Securing rooms at the request of the Director and ensuring they are accessible and appropriate during the NPDL-TOC.

Providing, at minimum, two meals per day to all competitors, coaches, and judges.

C. The site shall be reimbursed by the Board for the following:

Meal costs (not to exceed $60 per person attending the tournament)

Custodial costs or usage fees incurred to use the site

D. The site will be allowed to receive profits from selling branded items associated with the NPDL-TOC, subject to approval of each item by the Board. The site must provide at least two meals per day free of charge to all attendees but may sell snack-style concessions between meals. However, the site must ensure water is available free of charge at all times.

SECTION 3: Qualification

A. The Board shall create a system by which teams may earn points (see section on points) through tournament competition and designate one or more point thresholds and dates by which teams may autoqualify, to be released prior to the first parli tournament of the season known to the Board.

B. The tournament shall accept for competition all students who autoqualify and, at the discretion of the Director, shall accept additional students through an at-large process, details of which will be published by the Board no later than December 1 of each season.

C. The TOC director, at her sole discretion, will create a number of at-large bids reserved solely for underrepresented regions with fewer than 10% NPDL-TOC team representation in the previous year or schools with no teams in the prior tournament. These spots, which shall be between two and five total, will be created based on regional interest. When incorporated into the at-large process, the Director shall subtract these regional slots from the total number of at-large slots intended, accept the most qualified at-large candidates under that year's at-large method, and then accept the next most qualified candidates who qualify for regional slots.

SECTION 4: Eligibility

A. Qualified competitors must be enrolled in an accredited high school. Each competitor must have a school administrator sign a waiver provided by the Director indicating the competitor is in good academic and disciplinary standing, and that the school releases the NPDL-TOC from any liability associated with competition at the NPDL-TOC. The school should also designate a school-endorsed chaperone or reserve this power to the parents of individual students in the case of a “independent” entry.

B. Qualified competitors must be endorsed for competition by the Head Coach of their school if the school has a forensics program but may be entered to compete “independent” of the school if released in writing to do so by the school and Head Coach.

C. Qualified competitors must have a parent/guardian sign a waiver provided by the director releasing the NPDL-TOC from any liability associated with competition at the NPDL-TOC. Emancipated minors may sign their own forms.

D. Qualified competitors must be accompanied at the tournament site by an adult chaperon cleared by their school district OR by a person explicitly designated by their parent/legal guardian. This chaperon’s name and contact information must be submitted to the NPDL-TOC.

E. All competitors must be registered under their school or designated as “[SCHOOL NAME] Independent”. Hybrid teams of competitors from different high school forensics programs must be registered using both school names.

F. A school may not simultaneously submit for competition entries sponsored by a school forensics program and “independent” entries, unless explicit permission is given by a school administrator of that school, as well as the head coach of that school’s forensics program, and a parent of each student entering as “independent.”

G. Notwithstanding Sections A and B of this article, the Board may grant exceptions to allow qualified teams to compete “independent” without school administrator approval if both competitors attend the same school, receive the written approval of their head coach, and fulfill all other requirements for independent entries. The board may withdraw the exception if the school requests that it do so, or if circumstances otherwise warrant. Teams admitted by this process are not to exceed 20% of the overall entries.

SECTION 5: Judging

A. Each team entered in the tournament shall be responsible for providing one judge, or for requesting a judge be hired on their behalf (subject to approval by the Director).

B. The judging burden or hire cost may be waived at the Director’s discretion to promote tournament access. School waivers, as opposed to waivers for individual competitors, will only be issued to Title I institutions.

C. All judges must have graduated from high school. Any judge who has at least one year of experience competing in or judging parliamentary debate shall be considered a qualified judge. A judge who does not have such experience competing in or judging parliamentary debate may be deemed qualified in the discretion of the TOC Director.

D. The tournament will be “Open Adjudication,” with judges required to disclose decisions and reasons for decision verbally.

E. Judges must provide substantive written paradigms, in the opinion of the TOC Director, at least one week prior to the tournament. Judges who do not provide substantive paradigms will not count toward the judge requirement for a school.

F. Each team will be allowed to strike a number of judges designated by the Director. Judges without substantive paradigms will be free strikes. Other judge preferencing systems may be used at the Director’s discretion but must be announced at least one week prior to the tournament.


A. Each team shall be charged an entry fee, to be due prior to the beginning of competition.

B. Entry fees may be waived at the discretion of the Director to promote tournament access.

SECTION 7: Round Rules

A. All rounds will consist of six speeches:

1AC: a 7 minute speech given by the first affirmative speaker

1NC: a 8 minute speech given by the first negation speaker

2AC: an 8 minute speech given by the second affirmative speaker

2NC: an 8 minute speech given by the second negation speaker

1NR: a 4 minute speech given by the first negation speaker

1AR: a 5 minute speech given by the first affirmative speaker

B. Points of Information will be allowed in any of the first four speeches. Points of Order will be allowed in any of the last two speeches.

C. All rounds will be preceded by a 20 minute preparation period, during which teams may consult any static materials they choose, including those on the internet, but a team may not consult dynamically with other teams, coaches, or persons outside the team.

D. Except with the permission of the TOC director, a team may only bring into each round materials written by hand by the team during the 20 minute preparation period. Internet use shall not be allowed in round.

E. Each round shall have three official topics. Before the preparation period, teams shall strike topics as follows: One team, chosen by a method determined by the Tournament Director, shall strike one of the three topics and the other team one of the remaining two. The remaining topic shall be the topic for that round.

SECTION 8. Tournament Rules

A. The Director will designate a Tab Director, who will be responsible for choosing and publishing tabulation methods and for running tabulation at the NPDL-TOC.

B. The Director will designate a Topic Committee, to be comprised of at least three members. The Topic Committee will write resolutions for NPDL-TOC and at least two topic areas designated by the Director at least one month prior to the NPDL-TOC.

C. Students who appear in round more than a designated time after the end of the preparation period will automatically forfeit the round. This time shall be chosen based on the size of the host site.

D. At least seven preliminary rounds will be run, with all teams guaranteed to debate six rounds in the case of an odd-numbered field.

E. Breaks will consist of no more than 45.3% of the field and no less than 27% of the field, at the discretion of the Tab Director.

F. Preliminary round brackets will be created at the discretion of the Tab Director, but methods will be published prior to the start of the NPDL-TOC. Any change in methods mid-tournament due to constraints of the field, judges, or brackets, shall be immediately reported to all competitors.

G. Elimination brackets will not be be broken to prevent same-school competitors from hitting one another. The coach/adult chaperon (or coaches, in the case of hybrids) will determine whether a debate will take place or, if not, how a walkover will occur.

H. Competing as a single-person team, or “maverick,” for any round will result in a team forfeiting that round and any ballots associated. A student not part of the team shall not be permitted to substitute themselves for either of the team members.

I. The Director will designate an Ethics Officer, who shall be responsible for handling ethical issues that may arise but do not directly affect round outcomes. The Ethics Officer and the Tab Director may not be the same person.

J. The Director will designate a Protest Committee, which will handle issues that directly affect round outcomes. When a protest occurs, the Protest Committee will notify all designated chaperones of affected students prior to taking ANY actions associated with a protest. The Protest Committee will interview all persons who may have information about the incident. The Protest Committee will vote in private as to the resolution of the protest, the result of which vote will be binding and announced to all affected students and their designated chaperones.

K. For all appointed TOC staff positions, the Director will publicly solicit applications from League members, giving them sufficient time to respond prior to making appointments. After reviewing these applications and the qualifications of other individuals with the Board, the Director will notify the League of the Board’s designated Tab Director, Topic Committee members, Ethics Officer, Protest Committee, and any other appointed staff (such as At-Large Committee members if appointed).

SECTION 9: League Meeting

A. A League Meeting shall occur during the tournament at a time to be determined by the Board. It shall occur according to normal league meeting rules.

B. Students prepping during the League Meeting period will automatically forfeit their next round.

C. All students who are not designated representatives and do not wish to observe the league meeting shall attend a Forum. If all attending students wish to observe the league meeting, the Forum shall not be held. The Forum shall be a space for students to discuss issues in parliamentary debate. Adult judges and chaperones may be asked to not to sit in on the forum at student request. The Director will designate a Student Forum Director, who will manage the Forum. The Forum Director will be responsible for the following:

- Acquiring a means of recording the forum

- Facilitating forum discussions and providing initial topics for discussion

- Creating and disseminating a survey to students after the forum

- Analyzing survey results and communicating them to the Board


SECTION 1: Flex Time

A. Each team will be given 2 minutes of flex time, to be used in any allotment before any of their speeches, during which they may choose to prepare their next speech or ask their opponents questions.

B. Section A shall only take effect at tournaments run by NPDL once at least three of the following add flex time or cross-examination to its parliamentary debate rules: CHSSA, OSAA, NYPDL, Yale Invitational, Stanford Invitational, Jack Howe Memorial Tournament, Jean Ward Invitational.