2022 — NSDA Campus, NV/US

Congressional Debate Legislation, Schedule, & Information

For a google doc to all of the information below, click here

Congressional Debate legislation packet can be found here. 

2022 Golden Desert Congressional Debate 


Important Dates:

1. No legislation submission is necessary! Legislation will be published on Wednesday, January 26th. 

2. Chamber assignments will be sent one hour prior to the session start time. 

3. Final Round legislation will be posted with the preliminary legislation by Friday, January 28th. 

4. Congressional Debate competitors can be added to the tournament after the deadline, but you must email by Thursday, February 3rd at 3:00pm PST LATEST. 


Tournament Rules: 

1. We will be using NSDA rules. Each session will be a maximum of 2.5 hours in length to accommodate technology buffers and a recess. All students will be given an opportunity to speak twice each session. 


Chamber Decorum: 

Each prelim chamber is designated a HOUSE, where students should be referred to as a “Representative”. The final chamber is designated a SENATE, where students are “Senators”.


Legislative Day: 

A legislative day is one session. Precedence and recency reset after each session. 


Docket Order:

Each chamber will determine its own docket order, and must be set for all prelim sessions during agenda nominations in session 1. To be clear, sessions 1, 2, and 3 will all be set during this time. All legislation should be placed on the docket. 



Recess time is limited to 10 minutes total per session. 


Technology Issues:

The Parliamentarian will ensure that judges are in the chamber with cameras on, and will interrupt if they see a judge has dropped from the session and move to an indefinite in-house recess until the judge returns. If the judge is gone for longer than three minutes, the Parliamentarian will notify tab. The time the judge was missing will be added on to the end of the session only if needed at the discretion of tab. 

If a student drops from the chamber and is not speaking, it will be treated as a point of personal privilege. If the student is gone for longer than five minutes, the Parliamentarian will contact tab, but the chamber will continue as normal. 


If a student drops from the chamber and is speaking (during a speech or questioning), the student will be given five minutes to return. If the student does not return within five minutes, the chamber will move on and the Parliamentarian will notify tab. 


Presiding Officer Nominations and Elections:

There is one elected Presiding Officer (P.O.) in each session. No legislator may serve as a P.O. in more than one session if there are other willing legislators in the chamber. The Parliamentarian will use the polling feature on NSDA campus to conduct elections. A majority vote is required to elect a candidate. Judges and parliamentarians will be reminded that if a P.O. did a great job in their capacity, they should be ranked in their top 8. Presiding officers must be elected in the session in which they are presiding. For instance, you should NOT elect presiding officers for the second session at the end of the first session. 


Presiding Officer Instructions: 

Presiding officers must use precedence (or choosing speakers who have spoken least or not at all) when recognizing speakers, followed by recency. There are no authorship speeches, since legislation was provided by the tournament. Sponsorship speeches are determined by precedence and recency. 



We will use Direct questioning (where students will have back and forth blocks for 30 seconds) during prelims and the final session.


The first affirmative and negative speeches on a piece of legislation will have two minutes of mandatory questioning, and all subsequent speeches will have one minute. For more information on direct questioning in Congressional Debate, please email or visit:


No suspension of the rules is permitted. 


Out-Round Information: 

We will advance an appropriate number of students dependent on the number of total entries. 




Saturday, February 5 (all times in PST):

9:00 am         Session 1 Judge and Competitor Check In

9:15 am - 11:45 am Session 1

12:45 pm         Session 2 Judge and Competitor Check In

1:00 - 3:30 pm         Session 2

4:00 pm         Session 3 Judge and Competitor Check In

4:15 - 6:45 pm         Session 3

By 8:00pm Finalists announced on


Sunday, February 6 (all times in PST)

9:00 am         Finals Judge and Competitor Check In 

9:15 am - 11:45 am Final Supersession

12:45pm          Gather for Congressional Debate Awards