Beginning with the December 12 tournament, Student Congress will operate under new rules that we believe will result in a better experience for contestants and judges. These are the key changes:
- There will be four sessions, 90 minutes each. Shorter sessions will reduce the need for recesses, improve judge comfort, and reduce the influence of an individual Presiding Officer. Recency will still reset with each new session.
- The calendar will be preset. When the docket is released, the legislation will be published in calendar order (set by random draw with adjustment for rotation of sponsoring schools). The docket may additionally contain 1-2 supplemental items, which will always be scheduled last and will not be guaranteed debate time.
- Debate times are increased to 40 minutes. This will allow for 2-3 additional speeches per item while still accommodating a brief recess in each session and allowing the entire docket to be debated. Debate time is “use it or lose it”; unused time on one B/R may not be applied to another.
- Chamber assignments will be announced on Tournament Day. This will allow the tab staff to balance chambers even if there are substantial drops.
- There will be one Scorer per session. Each chamber will still have a Parliamentarian for the full day.
- There will be a Best Presiding Officer election at the end of the day. Preferential ballots will be made available on Tabroom at the end of Session 4. All POs will receive medals, and the Best PO in each chamber will receive a gavel. Best Legislator awards will still be determined by Scorers’ ranks.
The Congress Manual and tournament schedule have been updated accordingly and may be downloaded here.