Expectations for Appropriate

Student Competition Behavior

Expectations for Appropriate Student Competition Behavior (In and Out of Rounds)

Speech and Debate is a spectator activity and students need to accept that speakers require an audience (even if it is one that is unexpected). Therefore, as a speech community, we have expectations that competitors not be allowed to remove others from the room or deny them entrance into a round. Like any rule, there may be exceptions, but the coaches of the competitors affected by the request for the exception should be consulted first before breaking this expectation.

We have created the following guidelines to help define appropriate behavior for competitors both in and out of rounds.

Judges should expect competitors to follow these guidelines and if students are not, please give them a warning. If they continue to misbehave, they need to leave the room.

In Rounds-

  • No talking during a presentation or debate.
  • All electronic devices, including cell phones, should be placed on airplane mode and not be used during competitions (unless given permission by the judge to use as a timer).
  • Give the speaker your full attention.
  • Make eye contact to show you are listening.
  • Listen actively to express your interest. Laugh at your competitors’ humor pieces, even if you are competing against one another. No one appreciates another competitor stonewalling.
  • Spectators, including coaches, watching debate are expected to dispose of their flows (notes) after the round.
  • Once in a round, stay in the round until it is finished unless there is an emergency (i.e. illness) or you have requested to be excused because you are double entered (competing) in the same pattern of events..
  • Appropriate dress should be followed while in a competitive round for both the competitors and the audience.

Outside of Rounds-

  • Whisper (especially if near the door).
  • Always wait until a speaker has finished (when you hear applause) to enter a competition room.
  • In Congress, please ask for permission to enter the chamber and respectfully re-enter the chamber in between speeches.
  • If doubling, it is helpful, and highly suggested, to let all judges know.