2023 Capitol Congressional Debate Meet

2023 — Austin, TX/US

Information for Judges and Parliamentarians

12th Annual Capitol Congressional Debate Contest

Information for Parliamentarians and Judges

The debate will utilize the 2023 TFA Fall Docket. A copy of the legislation can be found in the parliamentarian
folders. The docket legislation for the morning and afternoon chambers are:

Prelims - 18, 19, 28, 4

Finals - 25, 29, 23, 24

The docket is preset and students may not change the order. This will allow chambers to start as soon as possible on debate since we are limited on time and have larger chambers.

The morning chambers will run from 8:30-11:30. Finals will run from 12:45-3:45.
Preliminary Chambers and Final Chambers for all divisions WILL use Direct Questioning. (See rules below)

Presiding Officer Candidates: Floor PO nominations will be allowed for preliminary and finals chambers.

Parliamentarians run PO elections upon calling chambers to order.

Because there are some differences between TFA, NSDA, and UIL rules on congressional debate, included
below are some general guidelines this tournament will follow. While this is not inclusive of all guidelines,
hopefully, this acts as a reference for the most common differences in case one is needed.

Floor Debate
Following the first two speeches on legislation, the presiding officer will alternately recognize
affirmative and negative speakers, who will address the chamber for up to 3 minutes. If no one wishes to
oppose the preceding speaker, the presiding officer may recognize a speaker upholding the same side.
When no one seeks the floor for debate, the presiding officer may ask the chamber if they are “ready for
the question” at which point, if there is no objection, voting may commence on the legislation itself.
There is no “minimum cycle.” At the point at which 3 speeches are given unopposed the previous
question will be immediately called.
1. In the event a student speaks on the wrong side called for by the presiding officer and the error
is not caught, the speaker shall be scored and the speech shall count in precedence, but the
speaker will receive no more than 3 points for not paying close attention to the flow of debate.
2. In the event a student speaks on an item of legislation not currently being debated, said speech
shall count in precedence, but zero points shall be awarded.
a. Violators who speak on the wrong side or the wrong item shall be refused further
recognition for debate on that piece of legislation, and that speech will count for
b. Speeches shall last no longer than three minutes with one minute of cross-examination
time with the exception of sponsorship/authorship speeches and the first negative speech,
where cross-examination shall last no longer than two minutes.
d. Members must speak only after being recognized by the presiding officer.

e. Members may not suspend the rules in order to change rules stipulated in the TFA
f. Authorship shall be attributed to submitting schools. Therefore, opening speeches on a
given piece of legislation will be authorship or sponsorship speeches, depending on
whether the school authoring the legislation is in attendance at each tournament.
g. Two minutes of questioning shall follow the first pro and the first con speech, and all
other speeches on legislation will be followed by 1 minute of questioning.
3. Direct Questioning: Each questioner has 30 seconds within the one or two minutes to engage
in direct questioning with the speaker. During direct questioning, all questioning periods are
broken into 30-second segments, with one questioner per segment, who may ask multiple
questions of the speaker during that segment. The Presiding Officer must track and select
questioners based on recency the same way speakers are recognized. Recency for speaker should
be tracked independently of questioners.

a. Each bill or resolution shall be debated for a maximum of 45 minutes. If action has not
been taken on the legislation by that time, an immediate vote shall be