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Standards:KP Mixed Tournament Tabulation Policies - Working

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The Tournament Director and the Curriculum Director will form the teams for the IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament using the following procedure: (this would be modified if we also go with 2 below)

  • Divide the speaker rankings from the IDEA Karl Popper Debate Championship Tournament into three columns (i.e. 1-30, 31-60, 61-90).
  • Pair the first with the last, the second with the second last (i.e. 1 with 90, 2 with 89 etc.)
  • Find the middle of the second column (i.e. 45)
  • Start adding the third speaker to the teams by moving away from the middle in both directions (i.e. team 1 gets 45, team 2 gets 44, team 3 gets 46).

The IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament will consist of two divisions: open and junior. (Rationale: If the last 1/3 of the speakers to be put together competed in a junior division, the educational value would be much higher than the current team formation system (above). In addition, it would offer more balanced debate in the two divisions).

Preliminary Rounds

1. The IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament will have six preliminary rounds. (Rationale for an even number of rounds is if there is an unbalanced resolution it would not disadvantage some teams and not others)

2. The constraints for pairing are as follows:

  • Sides are assigned randomly in the odd numbered rounds and side constraints operate in the even numbered rounds. For the even numbered rounds teams will be assigned to the side of the resolution opposite from the side the teams were assigned in the previous round.
  • To the extent possible, teams from the same lab group will be constrained from meeting other teams from their lab during the preliminary rounds of the tournament.
  • In the IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament teams containing debaters from the same country of origin can meet.
  • The following method shall be employed when pairing teams:
    • Rounds 1 and 2 will be paired randomly, meaning that with the

exception of the previously mentioned constraints so that any team has an equal chance of meeting any other team in the tournament.

    • Rounds 3-6 will be paired using a high-low method of power pairing within brackets. Brackets should be formed based on the number of wins, ballots and total adjusted speaker points. When balancing brackets, teams who have met the weakest opponents will be pulled up in the bracket and the bracket will be recalculated.
    • In the event an uneven number of teams, the teams to receive a BYE should be randomly assigned in round 1 and 2. In rounds 3-6 the BYE should be assigned to the bottom ranked team.

Elimination Rounds

1. The first elimination round for the IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament is quarterfinals. The top eight teams will advance to quarterfinals.

2. No team constraints apply in elimination rounds.

3. The following method shall be employed when pairing teams:

  • The first elimination round is paired so that the highest ranked team meets the lowest ranked team (team one will meet team eight, team two will meet team seven, etc.)
  • After the first elimination round the bracket is not reset. The team that wins in the first round assumes the place of the team they have defeated in the bracket (i.e. should team eight defeat team one, that team assumes team one's place in the bracket).

4. If the teams scheduled to debate have met before they will reverse sides. If the teams have not met before they will flip a coin to determine sides. The Tournament Director will do the flip fifteen minutes before the round in the general posting area.


1. The Chief Adjudicator, assisted by the Tournament Director will re-evaluate, if necessary, the categories assigned to judges in the Karl Popper Debate Championships. An individual judge can find out how they were ranked by requesting that information from the Tournament Director.

2. Judges who do not meet the minimum judging standards may be assigned as a shadow judge. C judges should be the first to remain unassigned if there is a surplus of judges.

3. Three judges will judge each preliminary round. The number of judges in elimination rounds will be three or higher, depending on the round. Judges that are not assigned to judge a round should remain on stand-by in case they are needed to judge a round until the Tournament Director releases them.

4. No trainer will be assigned to judge debates involving debaters from his or her lab group. Coaches will be constrained against teams from their own lab and their own NGO. The first constraint to be broken in case of necessity will be the one against a coach's NGO.

5. In the middle three rounds of each tournament, the least experienced (C) judges will be in the minimum on all panels and the strongest panels will be in the middle third of the debates. No panels should contain more than one least experienced (C) judge. No panels should contain only A judges.

6. In the elimination rounds judges can be assigned to judge one or both of the teams even if they have judged either of those teams in preliminary rounds.

7. Judges and teams should also specify conflicts of interest (i.e. teams or individuals they have coached) that will be added as constraints.

Judges are to reach their decisions independently and not consult with each other prior to completing their ballot. Judges are obliged to indicate reasons for their decision in writing on the ballot. All ballots shall be signed and completed in legible handwriting. In case of awarding a low-point win, the judge needs to indicate this decision on the ballot.

Judges will announce their decision after each round. Speaker points will not be disclosed. The decisions cannot be appealed. Oral comments are encouraged but voluntary. At least one judge from the panel must give oral feedback to the debaters, but that judge's comments do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all the judges on the panel.


1. The following criteria should be used to determine the ranking of teams in preliminary rounds and teams that advance to elimination rounds:

  • Number of wins;
  • Number of ballots;
  • Adjusted speaker points with the highest and the lowest single-ballot points dropped from each speaker's record;
  • Total speaker points;
  • Opposition win-loss record;
  • Double-adjusted speaker points with the second highest and the second lowest single-ballot points dropped from each speaker's record;
  • In the event of an unbreakable tie after all the above mentioned criteria, the ranking will be determined by the toss of a coin.

2. Speakers will receive awards based on the following criteria

  • Adjusted speaker points with the highest and the lowest single-ballot points dropped;
  • Total speaker points;
  • Double-adjusted points with the second highest and the lowest second single-ballot points dropped;
  • Continued adjustments with dropping additional high and low scores;
  • In the event of an unbreakable tie after all the above mentioned criteria, the debaters will be declared tied for that particular speaker place.

Announcements and Postings

1. The pairings for each round will be posted in the general postings area.

2. Each team is expected to be on time for rounds. For Karl Popper debates a fifteen minute delay after the time the last ballot has been picked up gives the judge the authority to declare the team present a winner (with 3-0 ballots and average speaker points). If the absent team has previously informed the Tournament Director of a justified reason for not being able to debate they will lose the round (0-3) but all speakers shall receive the average speaker points for the other debated rounds. If no such notice is given the absent team loses the round and all speakers shall receive 0 speaker points.

3. After the preliminary rounds the first sixteen teams to advance to elimination rounds will be announced alphabetically.

4. Each team will receive a full packet containing the results for the entire tournament (teams and speaker records) upon their departure from the Forum. The full packet that each team receives should contain:

  • Tabulation policies for the tournament
  • Pairings for the tournament round by round
  • Results for the tournament (speakers rank, teams rank, cumulative sheets)
  • Participants
  • Any additional reports of interest (i.e. judges reports, side reports, etc.)

5. The top 75 ranked speakers and the top 25 teams in each tournament will be posted on the official site of the Forum after the event.


1. Medals

  • First place teams, and their coach(es), as well as the top speaker should receive gold IDEA medals.
  • Second place teams, and their coach(es), as well as the second speaker should receive silver IDEA medals.
  • All non-advancing octo-finalists, quarter-finalists and semi-finalists, and their coach(es) should receive bronze IDEA medals.

2. Certificates

  • Certificates will be given to all teams and coaches that advance to elimination rounds in the IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament.
  • Certificates will also be given to the top ten speakers in the IDEA Karl Popper Debate Mixed Team Tournament.

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