The Debate.LA Challenge Format

The challenge format allows debaters to publicly challenge their opponents prior to each round. 


Quick Overview of Basic Rules

1. Before rounds debaters will publicly challenge another debater.

2. Pairings will be done on a large screen for everyone to view (including sides & rooms).

3. After the round is paired debaters will go to their rooms and judges will be placed. 

4. The tabroom will blast the pairings and judges. 


The Longer Version

Prior to the tournament random numbers will be drawn to determine the order in which the challenge will take place for Round 1. 

Prior to Round 1, we will do the challenge in a lecture room - where the tabulation program will be projected. Pairings, side selection and judge placement will be done publicly and on a large screen for everyone to see.

After Round 1, debaters will be placed in two columns: those who are due affirmative and those who are due negative. The column will be place the debaters in seed order. Alternating from those who are due affirmative to those who are due negative, debaters lowest seeded debaters will be allowed to challenge anyone above their own seed who are due on the opposite side. For example, if you are the lowest seeded debater and are due to affirm, you may challenge anyone who is due negative. 

Prior to Round 3, debaters will be placed in a single column and the challenge will take place from the bottom to the top. After a team challenges, the tabroom will flip a coin. If the coin lands heads, the higher seed gets to choose the sides. If the coin lands tails, the lower seed gets to choose the sides. The winning debater will have 10 seconds to choose sides.

Teams may not challenge debaters from their own school. Teams may not be forced to debate a debater from their own school during prelims. 

During prelims a debater may challenge someone they previously lost to. However, no debaters can be forced to debate twice. This means that the only way two debaters can debate twice in prelims is if the debater that lost challenges the debater that previously beat them. No two debaters may debate more than twice in prelims. If debaters have previously met, they will debate on the opposite side.

In elimination rounds, challenges take place from the top down. In elimination rounds debaters may challenge someone from their own school (no debate will actually take place). If debaters are meeting for a second time, they will debate on the opposite side. If debaters meet for a third time, the normal coin-flip will take place. 

Some thoughts on strategy:

- Do you choose to affirm or negate the first time if you believe you may debate again prelims or elims?

- In elims, do you challenge your own team to guarantee someone advances?