Speech and Debate Timing Guidelines

The NITOC team and your Stoa Board are doing our best to ensure that NITOC will be a fantastic experience for every Stoa competitor, family, and volunteer. Please help us make NITOC conflict-free by observing speech and debate time limits in your rounds. We are looking forward to enjoying some amazing competition at Union University!

NITOC Debate Timing Guidelines

A Simple Truth

Stoa has very few rules, by design. We want you to have the greatest possible latitude to explore your topic and develop your argumentation. But time limits on speeches are one of the few things specifically laid out in the Stoa rules. They ensure the competitive equity in the debate round.

The following is actual text from the Stoa rules which is the standard for NITOC.
"Once time is expired at the end of a speech or cross-examination, a speaker may be
allowed to complete a sentence, but should not start a new thought."

A Simple Plan

In addition, please follow the self-timing policy for all forms of debate at NITOC. All Parli, Team Policy, and Lincoln Douglas debaters must self-time. And each debate team must have a working timepiece for every round.

Debaters are required to set their own timer to time down, during speaking and prep time, and to provide an audible alarm when time is over. You may not turn off the timer and continue talking or prepping.

Opponent(s) may also set a timer and are highly encouraged to do so. The opponent(s) timer should also be set to countdown and may have an audible alarm. The opponent(s) timepiece may begin when the team announces they are beginning prep time.

In the event that a debater forgets to track their prep time, the prep time estimate from the opposing team (or a reasonable guess from the judge) will be used."

Timing for Outrounds
Debaters will have a timekeeper assigned beginning with Debate Outround 6 through Debate Finals.

NITOC Speech Timing Guideline

A Simple Objective

We are implementing our head judge process for timing our speech events.
During all speech events, a large timepiece will be turned so that the competitor may see the time counting down for preparation time, and counting up for speaking time. The head judge will receive an instruction card with their ballot to ensure they understand this responsibility. The judge will manage the prep time (if required) and the 'start-stop' timing for the speech and announce to the judges and competitor the speech duration.