the rules

I. ENTRY RULES
 

1. Entry Fee. There is no fee to participate in the contest.


2. Team Regulations.

a. All team members must attend the same school/organization and must be full-time high school (U.S. equivalent of grades 9-12) students. Teams should consist of at least three students. (Homeschool teams from the same geographic area are also invited to participate.)

b. The International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) will allow more than one entry per school. Please register each team.

c. It is the expectation of the IPPF that each submitted paper will be the original work of the team members. Coaches may offer advice and suggestions but should not create or substantially alter the work (see Honor Pledge in Section III.A. below).

d. No derogatory remarks or harassment of any kind will be tolerated and may result in disqualification.

e. Throughout the course of the competition and in all media, proper conduct will be expected of all teams and their coaches.

f. All quoted material must be properly cited. The use of plagiarized material will result in disqualification. (Please see section six below.)

g. The program director will interpret and enforce the rules of the contest. The decisions of the program director are final.

3. Topic. The topic for the 2019-20 competition is: "Resolved: The benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the harms."
 

4. Registration. The registration deadline is October 17, 2020. Register your team by completing this form. You will receive an e-mail confirming your registration within two business days.
 

5. Qualifying Round Essays. After registering for the competition, teams should begin drafting their qualifying round essay (see Section II.A. for instructions). Qualifying round essays must be submitted to ippf@brewerfoundation.com by noon CDT on October 20, 2020. You will receive an e-mail confirming that your paper was received in 1-2 business days.
 

6. Plagiarism and Misconstrued Evidence. All quoted material must be properly cited.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is grounds for disqualification. The IPPF uses the Merriam-Webster definition of plagiarism: “transitive verb: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source intransitive verb: to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.” 

Accusations of plagiarism must be submitted in writing to the IPPF Executive Director within 48 hours of receiving the essay in which plagiarism is alleged. Once an accusation of plagiarism is emailed to the IPPF Executive Director, the ordinary exchange of papers in the debate will cease while the accusation is adjudicated. The accused team will be notified immediately and will have an opportunity to answer the accusation. The IPPF Executive Director will arbitrate the dispute with the goal of reaching a decision within the time allocated for the debate. The decision by the Executive Director will determine which team will advance to the next round of the competition. If the Executive Director concludes that plagiarism has occurred, then the accused team will be disqualified. If the Executive Director concludes that plagiarism has not occurred, then the team making the plagiarism charge will be disqualified. The Executive Director's decision is final.

Misconstrued Evidence: Material quoted or referenced in a contest paper that significantly misrepresents the intention of the author or significantly distorts the meaning of the original text may constitute grounds for losing a debate. Deliberate distortion is a violation of accepted academic ethics and is grounds for losing a debate. Claims concerning evidence distortion in IPPF debates must be made as arguments within response papers and within the word allocation for each paper.

Well-intentioned scholars may legitimately disagree about the proper interpretation of source material. In academia, many lively and ethically sound debates center on alternative interpretations of source material.

The IPPF will allow claims of evidence distortion to be argued by the debaters and resolved by the judges assigned to the debate as part of the ordinary process of submitting contest papers. The burden of proof is on the team making the accusation to prove how the source material is distorted and how such distortions should affect the decision in the debate. Teams should submit copies of source material as appendices for reference, which will not be included as part of the word count. At the top of each appendix, there should be a direct quote from the paper in which the claimed distortion is identified along with the original material. The decision of the judges is final.

II. OUTLINE OF ROUNDS OF COMPETITION

A. Qualifying Round - Written Submissions (All Registered Teams)
 

  1. All team members must contribute in some way to the development of the qualifying round essay.
     

  2. Papers must follow the format guidelines for the contest (see Section III.A.).
     

  3. Qualifying round essays should be no more than 2,800 words, not including the title page, in-text citations (the parenthetical reference to the source), works-cited pages, or any charts and graphs included within the paper. Any text over 2,800 words will be deleted before papers are sent to the judges, beginning with word 2,801.
     

  4. Qualifying round essays may be written from an affirmative or negative perspective.
     

  5. The program director will check papers for adherence to contest rules.
     

  6. All qualifying round essays will remain anonymous before the judges. The Essay Review Committee will select the “Top 64” schools. These schools advance into a single-elimination, written debate tournament. The decision of the judges will be final.


B. First Three Elimination Rounds - Written Debates (Round of 64, 32 and Sweet 16)

 

  1. During the top 64, top 32, and “Sweet 16” rounds, each team will compete against the team with which it is paired on the official IPPF bracket. The bracket will be updated after each round and posted at www.ippfdebate.com. The program director will assign sides (affirmative or negative) by a blind draw.
     

  2. The teams selected for these rounds will exchange papers according to the Schedule of Events.
     

  3. Each debate will consist of four papers: Affirmative Constructive, Negative Constructive, Affirmative Rebuttal, Negative Rebuttal.
     

  4. All papers must be submitted to ippf@brewerfoundation.com. The program director will check papers for adherence to contest rules and guidelines, and then forward to opposing teams.
     

  5. Affirmative/Negative Constructive papers should be no more than 2,800 words, not including the title page, in-text citations (the parenthetical reference to the source), works-cited pages, or any charts and graphs included within the paper. Any text over 2,800 words will be deleted before papers are sent to the judges, beginning with word 2,801.
     

  6. Affirmative Rebuttal papers should be no more than 1,700 words, not counting the title page, in-text citations (the parenthetical reference to the source), works-cited pages, or any charts and graphs included within the paper. Negative Rebuttal papers should be no more than 1,400 words, not counting the title page, in-text citations, works-cited pages, or any charts and graphs included within the paper. Any text over the word limit will be deleted before arguments are sent to the judges, beginning with word 1,701 or 1,401.
     

  7. Teams may not present new arguments in their rebuttals, but may respond to arguments presented by the opposing team and may present new evidence to support those arguments.


C. Oral Debates in New York (Elite 8)

 

  1. The eight schools reaching the finals in New York City will each be provided with round-trip air travel, a $500 stipend, and hotel accommodations for a total of three students and two coaches/chaperones. Teams selected for the finals may bring additional team members at their own expense. Traveling team members must be on the team roster and must have participated in the previous rounds of written work.
     

  2. The eight schools selected for this round will be paired according to the current bracket.
     

  3. In New York, all eight teams will engage in a quarterfinal debate against one other team before a panel of three judges.
     

  4. As in previous rounds, sides will be assigned by a blind draw. The blind draw will occur prior to the oral debates.
     

  5. Teams advancing to the semifinal rounds will have at least 30 minutes to prepare before the live oral debates begin. The two teams advancing to the final round will have at least two and a half hours to prepare before the start of the final debate.
     

  6. A live panel of judges will determine the winner of each quarterfinal, semifinal and final debate. The majority decision of the judges will be final. The winner of the final debate will be announced during the awards ceremony.

 

III. FORMAT AND JUDGING


A. Format Instructions for Written Debates (Qualifying Round Essay and Essays in Subsequent Rounds)
 

  1. The IPPF has adopted the MLA (Modern Language Association) style guide as the standard for all written submissions throughout the competition. The last pages of your paper should contain the works cited, giving properly-formatted citations for every source cited in the paper. This is not a bibliography; no need to include merely related (but not cited) research. Please do not use footnotes. For more information about MLA style, consult Purdue University's Online Writing Lab or www.mla.org.
     

  2. One-inch margins should be used for all text pages. All text pages must have a header with consecutive-page numbering in the upper right-hand corner. The header must be flush with the right margin and one-half-inch down from the top margin. Do not include your school name with the page number. In order for the papers to remain anonymous before the judges, your school name should not be listed anywhere other than the title page.
     

  3. Papers should be typed in Microsoft Word using 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced.
     

  4. All papers must be written in English.
     

  5. To ensure uniformity and anonymity among international competitors, spelling should conform to American conventions.
     

  6. To preserve anonymity for the judges, refer to your opponent as "the affirmative" or "the negative." Do not refer to your opponent by school name.
     

  7. Each paper must have a title or cover page. This page should include:
     

a. School name
 

b. School address (including ZIP code and country)
 

c. Names of each team member and coach
 

d. Detailed contact information (primary contact person's cell phone and e-mail)
 

e. The name of the contest: "The International Public Policy Forum"
 

f. The topic statement: "Resolved: The benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the harms.”
 

h. The following Honor Pledge: "On our honor, we pledge that we have received no unauthorized assistance on this work."
 

i. For essays written in the round of 64, 32, or 16 the title page should identify the two schools in the debate; the paper sequence (constructive or rebuttal); and the assigned side (affirmative or negative).
 

B. Judging for Written Debates (Round of 64, 32, and Sweet 16)
 

  1. Each debate will be judged by a panel of judges.
     

  2. Schools are labeled as "School A" (affirmative) and "School B" (negative) to remain anonymous before the panel during the entire debate.
     

  3. Papers will be judged on 1) clarity of argument; 2) evidentiary support; 3) depth of analysis; 4) refutation; 5) quality of writing; and 6) punctuation and grammar. Consideration will be given for any ESL teams. (See evaluation rubric.)
     

  4. Winners of each round will be determined by a majority vote of the judges. All decisions are final.


C. Format for Oral Debates (Final 8 Teams Only)
 

  1. The format for oral arguments will be an interactive exchange between the two teams, and between the teams and the judges.
     

  2. Three members of each team will participate in the oral arguments.
     

  3. You may use research materials to support arguments.
     

  4. There will be a moderator for all oral arguments. The moderator's rulings are final.
     

  5. Each team member will give one speech – either the opening presentation, the second speech, or the rebuttal. Second speeches should be used to extend the narrative theme, refute opposition arguments, and clarify positions.

    The format is as follows:


Opening Presentations by Each Team
Affirmative - 5 minutes (quarterfinals), 8 minutes (semifinals and finals)

Negative - 5 minutes (quarterfinals), 8 minutes (semifinals and finals)

Second Speeches by Each Team
**90 second break for teams to confer before affirmative second speech.
Affirmative - 5 minutes (all debates)

**90 second break for teams to confer before affirmative second speech.
Negative - 5 minutes (all debates)

Cross Examination
Moderator will balance time between the teams. Each team member must ask and answer one question. Both questions and answers may not be any longer than one (1) minute.

Question Period for Judges
Questions may be any length. Answers may not be any longer than 1 minute. The moderator will direct five questions to each side. Once each side has asked and answered five questions, the moderator will allow questioning to continue while balancing questions between each side. The questioning period for judges should not exceed 20 minutes for the quarterfinals and 30 minutes for the semifinals and finals.

Rebuttal Statements
Negative - 5 minutes (all debates)
Affirmative - 5 minutes (all debates)

Total Length of Debates
Quarterfinals - approximately 60 minutes
Semifinals - approximately 80 minutes
Finals - approximately 80 minutes

IV. AWARDS


IV. Awards
 

  • Students on teams eliminated in the round of 64 will receive individual medals.
     

  • Students on teams eliminated in the round of 32 will receive individual medals.
     

  • Teams eliminated in the Sweet 16 round will each receive $400, as well as individual medals for student competitors.
     

  • Teams eliminated in the Elite Eight will each receive $750, as well as individual medals for student competitors.
     

  • Teams eliminated in the Semifinals will each receive $1,500, as well as individual medals for student competitors.
     

  • The runner-up will receive $3,500, as well as individual medals for student competitors.
     

  • The first-place team will receive a $10,000 prize ($5,000 to the school, $5,000 to be divided among the team members), individual medals for student competitors and the “Brewer Cup."

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