PILOTED GUIDELINES for Laptop Use in Debate Events In 2018-2019, the National Speech & Debate Association is piloting updated guidelines for laptop use in debate events.
District tournaments may choose to use these guidelines, provided 60 days advance notice is given to the district. To opt in, district chairs will select that they will run the pilot on their “District Dates Form” on Tabroom.com by December 1, 2018. A.
Contestants may use electronic devices (including laptop computers, tablets, and/or cell phones) to access the internet during debate rounds with the following conditions:
1. Computers or other electronic devices may not be used to receive information for competitive advantage from non-competitors (coaches, assistant coaches, other students) inside or outside of the room in which the competition occurs. Information that would be restricted would include but not be limited to coach/nonparticipating competitor generated arguments, advice on arguments to run, questions to ask during cross examination, and other information not generated by the participating competitors.
2. Internet access may be used to retrieve files, exchange evidence and/or arguments, research arguments, and partner to partner communication.
These electronic device guidelines do not limit communication between debate partners during the debate round.
B. Penalty: Contestants found to have violated these provisions will be disqualified from the tournament and will forfeit all rounds and merit points in that event.
C. 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.
D. 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. Host schools may provide wireless internet access, but will not guarantee that contestants will be able to gain access when needed.
E. Contestants choosing to use laptop computers and/or related devices 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.
F. By choosing to use electronic devices in the round, debaters and other relevant parties are consenting to give tournament officials the right to search their devices in the event of a protest.
The device may only be searched by tournament officials and must be restricted to files and/or electronic exchanges relevant to the protest. National Speech & Debate Association
• © 2018-2019 High School Event Rules Manual 27 Failure to comply would result in the upholding of the protest.
Debaters and coaches should be present as their device is searched. Debaters who do not wish to consent should not use electronic devices in the round.