Match Rules

There are no limits to the resources that may be used in researching the questions prior to a competition.

At the start of each match, scratch paper will be provided for team members to make notes during the match, but outside notes and materials are prohibited. All materials will be collected at the end of each match by the moderator or room staffer.

The moderator will keep official time of each period of the match. Teams may use their own timers, as long as the timer isn’t a device that stores data or connects to the internet. Also, teams may not time the portions of the match when the other team speaks or confers. The moderator can allow a team to finish a sentence/thought once time has expired.

All teams will get two standardized time notifications from the moderator during their Presentations: one when three minutes remain and one when one minute remains. During the Commentary and Response portions, the moderator will give notifications when one minute remains. During the Dialogue portions, the moderator will notify the panel when there are two minutes remaining. Prior to the match starting, moderators will consult with teams to determine whether they prefer verbal or physical (a hand gesture, visual representation, etc.) reminders.

The moderator controls the room during matches and should address any unacceptable behaviour including, but not limited to:

  • Coaches, parents, or audience members communicating—verbally or non-verbally—or demonstrably reacting to team members.
  • Judges showing hostility or asking inappropriate questions to team members. Inappropriate questions include, but are not limited to, any that highlight a participant’s race, religion, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, appearance, etc. Judges should direct their constructive questions to teams, not to individuals.
  • Anyone in the room making distracting noises while one of the teams, judges, or moderator has the floor.
  • Foul, insulting, or excessively graphic language or confrontational behaviour being used by anyone in the room.

Please note, the moderator can control only the noise within the match room. If there are outside distractions, such as construction or students talking, it is up to the moderator, not a coach or parent, to decide if the match should be paused.

When one team confers or speaks, the other team and audience members must remain silent, although writing and passing notes is permitted. (For example, when Team A is given the case and question and is subsequently allowed to confer for two minutes and present for six minutes, Team B is permitted to write notes, but not permitted to speak, during that eight minutes.)