CFL Congress 2 at Palo Alto

2016 — CA/US

Rules for Priority


When selecting who is next to speak in congress there are many things that PO's have taken into consideration from Priority cards to fastest to stand to best shoes.   Recency is an effort to streamline this process and create fairness and consistency among rounds. 


Through this process the PO will first call on the speaker who has given the fewest number of speeches (Has the lowest priority card).  They will then call on the speaker who has spoken the least recently.  


So, put simply: First priority, least number of speeches given (on either side) aka lowest priority card number

Second priority, student who has spoken least recently.  This can be determined by choosing the student with the lowest number for their last speech given.


For example: 

The PO is trying to recognize a speaker to give the 10th speech of the round.  There are three students raising their hands.

Student 1: Spoke 1st  and is raising a priority card 2

Student 2: Spoke 8th  and is raising a priority card 2

Student 3: Has not spoken in the round and is raising a priority card 1

The PO should recognize speaker 3 because he has the lowest priority card. If that student was not raising their hand, the PO should have recognized Speaker 1 because the greatest amount of time (speeches) had elapsed between when they had last spoken and the current speech. 


Some things to keep in mind...

Recency continues from round to round provided that students stay together in a chamber. A new recency chart should be started for semis and for finals. 

Recency means that number of questions and attempts are NOT considered when the PO selects the next speaker. The only thing taken into account is how many speeches a speaker has given and how recently they had spoken. 


Here is how a PO would use it: 

All students names in the chamber should be listed on the recency chart.  

This can be done ahead of time by the tournament director or by the presiding officer at the beginning of the session.

Each speech in the round is given a number beginning with 1 and ending with the last speech given.  

The recency chart and numbering should continue for all rounds that the chamber stays together.  

If students stay in the same chamber in all prelim rounds then the numbering should continue from where it left off in the previous round.  

If students change chambers in subsequent prelim rounds, a new recency chart should be used in each round.  

Any time a break occurs--semis and finals, etc--a new recency chart should be used.  A few things to keep in mind:




First priority for giving a speech is ALWAYS least amount of speeches. (Lowest Priority Card)

The Recency chart is a handy way to break ties among students with the same amount of speeches. (Same Priority Card number)

Standing time and questions should NOT be used when using a recency chart and recency as a criterion for speech priority.

Recency charts are most effective when students remain in the same chamber for all prelim rounds.

District Tournaments will require recency to be used for speech priority so your students should have some familiarity with this process.