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"
- 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.
- 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.
- Wired connections (ethernet or phone) during rounds of competition are not permitted.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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