Rules and Procedures 


The rules of the Cornell-Yonsei Debate Invitational 2018 will follow similar standard parliamentary debate procedures of national and international-level debate tournaments.

I.  Eligibility

A. The Organizing Committee invites schools from all across Korea and abroad, into two divisions [High School and Middle School].

B.  A team in the High School division shall consist of three full-time students from the same high school as of July 1st, 2018. A team in the Middle School division shall consist of three full-time students of any middle school.

C.  High school students will include grades 9th ~ 12th. To avoid confusion, 9th grade students accepted at high schools are not eligible since they are not yet full-time students at the high school.

  1.  Exceptions apply where the middle school and high school are connected or are from the same foundation in which there is no clear distinction between middle school and high school. In such schools, students may opt to participate in the high school division (at least one member still must be a full-time high school student in 9~12th grade).
  2.  Another exception applies when the high school allows the accepted student to participate in the team (at least one member still must be a full-time student of the high school).

D.  Middle school students will include grades 6th ~ 9th.

E.  The participants who meet following conditions are eligible for EFL status:

  1.  No more than one year of experience of living in an English speaking country after the age of seven
  2.  No experience of studying in a middle and high school that has English as the main language of instruction in a non-English speaking country.
  3. EFL-eligible students will be asked to provide a certificate of immigration form for proof

F.  EFL speakers who are also eligible for main speaker awards will be awarded main speaker awards.

  1.  EFL-eligible speakers who do not make it to the main top 3speaker awards will be eligible for the top 3 EFL speaker awards.


II.  Round Format

A. A debate round consists of two teams, one for the proposition and the other for the opposition of a given motion.

B. All motions in the preliminary and elimination rounds of the Cornell-Yonsei Invitational will be impromptu motions.

C. Once the draw with the Proposition team, Opposition team, Adjudicators, and Room number is announced, the CAP releases three motions under a single pre-disclosed theme. The teams each will then proceed to their designated rooms and decide on the motion that they will debate.

D. After each team separately discusses and selects their preferences (1=most preferred, 3=least preferred), both teams will then compare the orders of each teams’ preferences.

E. The third choice motions of each team will automatically be struck. If the first choice motions are identical, the teams will debate that motion. If the first choice motions are different, there will be a coin toss to determine which motion they will debate.

F.  Each team is provided 30 minutes to prepare for each debate, with the Proposition side given priority to prepare inside the assigned room. This preparation time starts when the motions are announced, which means the time allocated for motion selections are included in the preparation time.

G. Teams are not allowed to bring any handwritten, printed, or electronic materials to the rounds except for a dictionary and a single volume encyclopedia or almanac. Teams will be provided with paper designated by the Organizing committee. Single-function digital stopwatches are allowed in order to keep time.

H.There are three speakers for each team, and the teams should notify the Chair of the names and order of the speakers before the round begins.

I.   Each round will have a timekeeper provided by the tournament to ensure the accuracy of the length of speeches.

J. Each speaker gives a speech for 7 minutes [6 minutes in Middle School division] marked by two claps by the timekeeper, starting with the proposition’s first speaker. Grace time will be limited to 15 seconds, after which the timekeeper will continue to clap until the speech is over.

K.  Points of Information will be allowed after the 1st minute and before the 6th minute [5th minute in Middle School division]. Protected time will be announced by the timekeeper by a clap.

L. After each speaker has spoken, each team is allowed a reply speech given by either of the first two speakers of each side. The opposition reply goes first, followed by the proposition reply. The reply speech is 4 minutes long. Points of Information will not be allowed during the reply speeches.

M. There must not be any communication between the debaters and coaches or other audiences not declared to be in the debate.


III.  Tournament Format

A. The tournament organizing committee invites a maximum of fifty teams to represent their respective schools in each division. Each school will be allowed to bring any number of teams to the Invitational.

B.  There will be six preliminary rounds, all of them power-paired rounds based on team records after the randomly paired first round.

C.  Each preliminary round will have an odd number of adjudicators, with a chair. Each adjudicator will be given a ballot and are expected to each declare a winner and allocate speaker points.


IV.  The Break and Elimination Rounds

A.  At the end of the preliminary rounds, teams shall be ranked in the order of  number of wins, average team speaker points

B. There will be a Quarterfinal, which invites the top 8 teams to the elimination rounds.

C. The winning teams of each elimination round will advance to the next round, as Quarterfinals will be followed by the Semifinals, and then the Grand Finals.

D. Each elimination round will always have an odd number of adjudicators. Each adjudicator will be given a ballot and are expected to each declare a winner.

E. There will be no separate team break for EFL eligible teams.


V.  Judging

A.  To be eligible to judge, a person must be experienced at judging the highest level and have judged such debates regularly during the past year.

B.  Notwithstanding paragraph A, the Chief Adjudicator may accept a person to be a judge if in the opinion of the Chief Adjudicator; the person is sufficiently experienced and competent to be a judge.

C.  Conflicts between the adjudicator and the students must be reported before the start of the tournament. Conflicts include:

  1.  Previous coaching, tutoring, teaching in any format;
  2.  The adjudicator has recently graduated (within the past 3 years) from the same school that the team represents;
  3.  Any other possible situation where the debater and adjudicator has been in close relations to each other.

D. All adjudicators must be available for the entire duration of the preliminary rounds and elimination rounds if the adjudicator wishes to break.

E. Complaints about adjudication should be directed to the Chief Adjudicator. A complaint about judging will not result in the reversal of any previously-made decision. Only complaints made by students within 24 hours of the incident will be accepted. The Chief Adjudicator shall determine legitimate complaints and make appropriate actions after consideration with the CAP.


VI.  Emergencies, Absences, etc.

A.  Emergency Absences: In a situation where a debater is not able to participate in a debate round due to sudden illness or other emergencies, the team may still participate in the debate with a substitute speech done by a teammate. The absent debater will automatically receive the lowest speaker score possible and the substitute speaker will not receive additional points.

  1.  The team must inform the Chair of the round of the team’s situation as soon as possible and get the confirmation of the CAP before beginning the debate without a team member.
  2.  The CAP will determine the possibilities of the team continuing to debate in the tournament based on the individual situations of the team members. If it is deemed impossible for the team to continue debating, the team will be disqualified from the pool.
  3.   If all three members of the team have emergency situations and thus cannot take part in the debate, then the team will be immediately disqualified and the CAP will make changes in the debating pool and draw accordingly.

B.   In any outstanding situations that go beyond the boundaries of this Rules and Procedures, the CAP and the Conveners have full jurisdiction on the decision-making that is necessary.