Matches feature two teams meeting face-to-face. Each team can be composed of three to five members in any one match. The team members must be selected and seated at the table before the moderator opens the match. Moderators “run the room.” They keep time and move the match through its various components while ensuring that all participants and spectators comply with the rules.
Each match will begin with a coin toss, either with a physical coin or the use of a coin flip application. The team that wins the coin toss may elect to present first (and thereby be designated ‘Team A’) or to have the other team present first (in which case the team that wins the toss is designated ‘Team B’).
To open the first half of the match, copies of the first case–to be drawn randomly from the case set by the moderator–and accompanying questions will be distributed to the judges and teams. The moderator will then read the case number, title, and questions. Neither judges nor the teams will know in advance which case will be presented or which questions will be asked.
Team A will have up to two minutes to confer, after which any member(s) of Team A may speak for up to six minutes (total) in response to the moderator’s questions. This is known as the Presentation Period. Team A must address and answer the moderator’s question during the Presentation Period.
Next, Team B will have up to one minute to confer, after which Team B may speak for up to three minutes in response to Team A’s presentation. This is known as the Commentary Period.
Team A will then have up to one minute to confer, followed by three minutes to respond to Team B’s commentary. This is known as the Response Period.
The judges will then begin a ten-minute question and answer session with Team A. Before asking questions, the judges may confer briefly. Each judge should have time for at least one question, and may ask more questions if time permits. Teams are allowed to briefly confer (20 to 30 seconds) before answering a judge’s question. More than one team member may respond to a given judge’s question. This is known as the Dialogue Period.
Judges then evaluate the Presentation, Response, and Responses to Judges’ Questions by Team A and the Commentary by Team B, and assess the teams based on the scoring rubric. The rubric provides for a maximum of 45 points to be awarded to the presenting team and a maximum of 10 points to be awarded to the responding team.
After the judges have made their scoring decisions, the moderator will read the second case number, title, and question to the same two teams, beginning the second half of the match.
The match will proceed, as above, with Teams A and B switching roles. The judges will then assign scores to each Team’s performance once again, following the rubric above. At this point the judges will also assign 1-5 points to each team for displaying respectful dialogue throughout the match. Thus, in each match, each team will have the opportunity to present one case and to respond to the other team’s presentation of another case, for a total of 60 points possible from each of the three judges.
Moderators will help validate scores with the judges and tabulate, based on the scores, which team receives each judge’s vote. For example:
- Judge 1: Team A 48, Team B 43 (1 vote for Team A)
- Judge 2: Team A 45, Team B 44 (1 vote for Team A)
- Judge 3: Team A 39, Team B 49 (1 vote for Team B)
Here, Team A is the winner of the match with two judges’ votes despite the fact that Team B had a higher overall point total.
If a judge scores both teams equally (a tie), both teams are awarded ½ of that judge’s vote. A match ends in a tie if all three judges score the match a tie or one judge votes for Team A, one for Team B, and one scores a tie.
At the end of the match, the moderator will ask all the judges to raise their match tally sheets and individually announce their vote and awarded points to each team. Next, the moderator will name the winning team (or announce a tie) and the number of judges’ votes for that team.