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Laptop Use

Judges will monitor students and may elect to penalize students using laptops for non-Congress related business in chambers by choosing not to rank them, as well as deduct points. Cell phones or other devices that are networked are not allowed while a chamber is in session. Use of any device is subject to judge evaluation; serious infractions will be reported to the tab room.

Adopted from the National Speech & Debate Association's "Guidelines for Laptop Use in Debate Events"

  1. Computers equipped with removable wireless cards must have the cards removed before the beginning of any round of competition. It is the responsibility of the contestant to disengage the equipment.
  2. Computers with built-in wireless capability may be used only if the wireless capability is disabled. It is the responsibility of the contestant to disable the equipment.
  3. Wired connections (ethernet or phone) during rounds of competition are not permitted.
  4. Computers or other electronic devices may not be used to receive information from any source (coaches or assistants included) inside or outside of the room in which the competition occurs. Internet access, use of e-mail, instant messaging, or other means of receiving information from sources inside or outside of the competition room are prohibited. (This does not prohibit non-electronic communication between debate partners during prep time.)
  5. Penalty: Contestants found to have violated provisions A through C above will forfeit the round of competition and receive zero National Forensic League merit points. Contestants found to have violated provision D (above) will be disqualified from the tournament and will forfeit all rounds and merit points.
  6. Availability of Evidence: Contestants electing to use computers have the responsibility to promptly provide a copy of any evidence read in a speech for inspection by the judge or opponent. Printers may be used. Evidence may be printed in the round or produced electronically, but must be provided in a format readable by the opposing team and the judge.
  7. Contestants electing to use computers are responsible for providing their own computers, batteries, extension cords, and all other necessary accessories. Tournament hosts will not be responsible for providing computers, printers, software, paper, or extension cords for contestants.
  8. Because public speaking decorum remains an important element of debate, all debaters are expected to stand at the front of the room facing the judge while speaking.
  9. Contestants choosing to use laptop computers and related equipment accept the risk of equipment failure. Judges and/or contest directors will give no special consideration or accommodation, including no additional speech time or prep time, should equipment failure occur.
  10. By choosing to use laptop computers in the round, debaters are consenting to give tournament officials the right to search their files. Debaters who do not wish to consent should not use computers in the round.