Lava Legislature

2024 — Toquerville, UT/US


Abbreviation Con
Format Congress
Entry Fee $4.00 (Plus $4/student)
Overall Entry Limit 60
Entry Limit Per School 40
Entry 1 competitors per entry

Event Description:


Comments are automatically saved but will not show up for you until results are published to everyone. Do NOT panic! You do not need to enter point values just ranks all the way through. If it asks for points per speech, give the point system of 1-6, 6 being the best points---Think like Grades--1-2 is an F, 3 is a D, 4 is a C, 5 is a B, and 6 is an A. These do not count towards anything but may help you with ranking.

There is one Congress session in the morning. As students debate proposed bills and resolutions, judges evaluate each speech that is given during the round.

Congressional Debate uses Robert’s Rules of Order, a manual describing parliamentary procedure, which most competitors will be familiar with. However, you don’t need to be an expert to judge Congressional Debate! At the beginning of the first session, each house will elect a Presiding Officers (PO), who will take turns orchestrating the proceedings. The PO’s will do things like keep time, call for speakers, count votes, etc. You will have paper ballots for PO’s. There will be an trophy for best PO.

Congressional Debate is like a simulation of the real United States legislature. A group of 8-25 students called a Chamber will compete in a legislative session. A series of bills and resolutions will be proposed by students from various schools. Students in turn will be selected by a presiding officer to give speeches both advocating for and encouraging the defeat of the measure in front of them. Following each speech, competitors will be able to pose questions of the speaker. Once debate is exhausted on a particular item, the chamber will vote either to pass or fail the legislation, and debate moves on to the next item.

Legislation comes in three types — a bill, a resolution, or an amendment to The Constitution. A bill is a plan of action, detailing how a particular policy proposal will be implemented. A resolution, meanwhile, is a statement expressing the opinion of the chamber. An amendment to The Constitution is a permanent change to our legal system.

Typically, one session of Congress lasts 2 hours. During that time, students typically give speeches 3 minutes in length. The first two speeches on a piece of legislation are known as the first affirmative and the first negative. These speeches are followed by 2 minutes of cross examination/questions. After the first aff and neg speeches are established, each additional speaker is subject to one minute of cross examination/questioning by the chamber.

USE THIS RUBRIC FOR SPEAKER POINT VALUES! We Don't use them in Congress, but should be reflected in Rankings. Remember that it isn’t about how many speeches, but their quality of speeches and engagement.



Skill (Score between 0-2 for speaker points)

Explanation of Skill to be Demonstrated

Originality of Thought

0 1

Extent to which speech advances debate or merely repeats previously stated ideas; whether speaker refutes opposing arguments

Organization and Unity

0 1 2

While speeches that respond to other arguments advanced in the session are often spontaneous and extemporaneous, the speaker should attempt to organize ideas and have cohesiveness

Evidence and Logic

0 1 2

Cites credible sources and warrants claims accordingly that is relevant and supports claim/ideas


0 1 2

Extemporaneous vs. reading a manuscript, seriousness of purpose, style and poise, articulation, inflection, enunciation

Answering Questions

0 1

Logic, reasonable, uses evidence when needed