UCF Ethics Bowl 2013 Rules

PROCEDURE and  RULES

Each team will participate in 3 matches in the morning, competing with a different team in each match. Semi-finals are concurrent and will begin at 1:45 p.m.; finals will take at 3:00 p.m. Only the first 12 cases will be used.

The Match

The Moderator is in charge of the room and has the authority to interpret and enforce the rules. All participants should keep in mind that the Ethics Bowl is about ethics, and that there is the expectation of civility and respect. If any team or team member violates this expectation, the judges should deduct points, and the behaviors should be reported to the officials. When the teams are introduced, the coach must identify themselves and raise their hands. They must then sit away from their team. Coaches are not permitted to signal their team in any possible manner – whispering, using sign language, or any other means of communication during the Round

There are no limits to the resources that may be used in researching the questions prior to the competition. Students are encouraged to consult all resources, including professors to understand the full breadth of the cases, determine their positions, and make the strongest possible presentation.  During competition books and notes will not be allowed. Paper will be provided in the room. The teams will be given a copy of the case and the question to which they must respond. Teams should wait to use the scratch paper until the case has been announced. Students are permitted to pass notes to one another at any point. At the halfway point in a match teams will be instructed by the moderator to clear notes taken during the first half of the match from the table, and placed out of sight of all participants.

Each round will begin with a coin toss. The team that wins the coin toss may elect to present first (to be the team designated as Team A) or to have the other team present first (and thus to be the team designated as Team B). The Team will be given the option of getting 2 time notifications, at 3 minutes and 1 minute, either verbal or visual, from the Moderator.

Copies of the first case and question will be distributed to the competitors and to the judges. Neither the judges nor the team members will have advance knowledge of which case will be presented or which question will be asked. The Case and Question will be placed FACE DOWN on the table of each Team, along with 5 sheets of blank paper, to be used as scratch paper.

The moderators will then read the question. Competitors can make notes during the round, but outside notes are prohibited. Teams may use a timer for the team, but it must not make noise, and can only be used to time themselves, NOT the other team. The only Official Timer is the one used by the Moderator.

Team A will then have up to two minutes to confer, after which Team A may speak for up to 7 minutes in response to the moderator’s question, based on the team’s research and critical analysis. This is known as the presentation period. More than one team member may present, but only one team member may speak at a time.

Judges will then score Team A on a scale of 1 to 30 using the criteria on the Judge Scoring Guidelines.

Next Team B will have up to one minute to confer, after which Team B may speak for up to 5 minutes in response to Team A’s presentation and to the moderator’s question. This is known as the commentary period. More than one team member may respond to the commentary, but only one team member may speak at a time. The Team will be given the option of getting 2 time notifications, at 3 minutes and 1 minute, either verbal or visual, from the Moderator.

Judges will then score Team B on a scale of 1 to 10 using the criteria on the Judge Scoring Guidelines.

Team A will then have up to one minute to confer, followed by 3 minutes to respond to Team B’s challenge. This is known as the response period. Any number of team members may contribute to the response. Judges will then score Team One’s response on a scale of 1-5 using the criteria.

The judges will then begin their 10 minute question and answer session with Team A. The Moderator will give the Judges one minute to confer. After one minute, the 10 minute question period begins. Each judge should have time for one question and one follow-up. Judges may ask more questions if time permits.

At this time, more than one team member may respond to a given judge’s question. Team members are not expected to confer for longer than 20 to 30 seconds after a question has been asked.

Each judge will then give Team A a score on a scale of 1 to 15 based on the criteria on the Judge Scoring Guidelines. The judges are not permitted to discuss their scoring decisions with each other; each judge is to rely on his or her own private judgment.

After the judges have made their scoring decisions, the moderator will proceed to the second case and question to the same two teams. The Judges will NOT report their scores to the Teams at this point. The Moderator will ask for the Scores at the END of the Round when both Teams have presented.

The competition will proceed as above, with the Team B presenting in the second half, Team A offering commentary, Team B responding, and then Team B participating in the judge’s question and answer session.

At the end of the round, the judges will announce the scores for both the Team One and for Team Two at the direction of the Moderator, by writing the score on the paper sheets provided. Thus, in each round, 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. Time permitting, the Judges will also score the Teams on the Score Sheet with Spirit Points, based on the criteria on the Judges Scoring Guidelines. Feedback is also encouraged.

At the end of the entire Round the Moderator will ask the Judges to verify and sign the Moderator Score Sheet.

The team with the greatest number of judges declaring them winner is the winner of the match. Any team that wins on two judges’ score sheets wins the match. If a team wins on one judge’s score sheet and ties on the other two they win the match. If neither team wins on more of the score sheets, then the match is deemed a tie (even if one team scores a greater number of total points).  Moderators will validate scores with the teams and judges and fill out the official Moderator’s Score Sheet.

After the preliminary Rounds, Teams will be ranked based on a) the number of wins, followed by b) the number of ties, followed by c) point differential. Thus, all teams with three wins will rank ahead of all teams with two wins. All teams with two wins will rank ahead of all teams with one win. Within rankings, a team with more ties ranks above a team with fewer ties. Finally, for teams with the same number of wins and ties, a team with a higher point differential would rank above a team with a lower point differential.

Point differentials: Point differentials are the margin of victory or loss. A point differential for each match is determined by taking the team’s total points and subtracting the other team’s total. Note that point differentials will be negative in the case of a loss. At the end of the morning competition the point differential for a team is simply the sum of the point differentials for that team in each of its three morning matches.

If a tie still remains, then the teams will advance based on point totals for all three rounds (out of 180 possible). In the event that even further delineation is necessary, the team whose lowest total score for any of the three morning rounds is higher than the other team’s lowest total score for any of the three morning rounds will advance. If the teams are still tied, the team with the higher scores based solely on its own presentations (not commentary to the other team) will advance. Lastly, the team with the highest number of judges picking them as the winner will be declared the winner.

Semi-final and final rounds will be scored the same way as the morning rounds. Each of these will be a single elimination competition in which the team with the majority of Judges scoring them higher will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the tie breaking procedures for the morning rounds will apply.

If there is a tie in the finals then both teams will be declared co-winners.

Remember that the competition is all about having fun and exchanging ideas.

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