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Rules & Procedures
Judge's Guidelines


School Eligibility
A school may send no more than two teams to a regional bowl. There is no longer a distinction between linked and unlinked teams. A school may earn at most one bid to nationals in a given year. Teams at nationals must be composed entirely of eligible students (see Student Eligibility), but need not be composed of students who participated in the regional competition in which the bid was earned.

Student Eligibility
Members of a school's team must be undergraduates at the time of the regional competition. If a student graduates between the dates of the regional competition and the national competition, he/she is still eligible to participate in the national competition. Students who are not enrolled at the time of the national competition due to academic disciplinary reasons imposed by their school, such as suspension, expulsion, etc., are not eligible to compete at the national competition.

Participating in Multiple Regional Bowls:
A school may take part in more than one regional bowl. However, the school must notify the IEB Executive Board prior to ANY of the bowls which one it will use as a qualifier for the national bowl.

Availability of Cases
The cases will be made available to teams in September. The cases on which teams will be asked questions at the Ethics Bowl will be taken from these fifteen cases. The teams will not know in advance which of the cases they will be asked about at the Ethics Bowl or what the questions will be. JUDGES AND MODERATORS WILL RECEIVE COPIES OF THE CASES BUT NOT COPIES OF THE QUESTIONS. THE JUDGES AND MODERATORS, LIKE THE TEAMS, WILL NOT BE INFORMED IN ADVANCE OF THE SPECIFIC CASES TEAMS WILL BE ASKED ABOUT AT THE ETHICS BOWL.

Size of Teams
Teams can be any size but only 5 or fewer can be active participants at any time. Substitutions cannot be made once the initial 5 or fewer are seated and ready for action. Substitutions CANNOT be made once the case is announced.

No Notes
During competition books and notes will not be allowed, however, scrap paper will be provided for team members to jot down thoughts. 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.


1) The Moderator will toss a coin. The winning team chooses to present first or second. Team presenting first becomes Team 1.

2) The Moderator identifies which case will be used. The moderator reads question aloud. (The Moderator will not read aloud the entire case).

3) Two minutes of prep.

4) Ten minutes of speaking time for one member of Team 1.

5) One minute of prep for Team 2.

6) Five minutes of speaking time for Team 2. More than one team member may contribute to the commentary, but only one team member may speak at a time.

7) One minute of prep.

8) Five minutes of speaking time for Team 1. More than one team member may respond to the commentary, but only one team member may speak at a time.

9) Ten minutes for judges to ask questions of Team 1. EACH JUDGE MAY ASK NO MORE THAN ONE QUESTION WITH A BRIEF FOLLOW-UP QUESTION. Before asking questions the judges may confer with one another to discuss briefly areas that they want to cover during the question period. Different team members may respond to the questions of different judges. Teams may huddle briefly to discuss their answers to the judges’ questions.

10) The judges will evaluate Team 1 and Team 2 on score sheets provided to them (see Scoring). AT THIS POINT, HOWEVER, THE JUDGES WILL NOT ANNOUNCE TO THE TEAMS THE SCORES THEY HAVE GIVEN THEM.

11) Team 1 and Team 2 will reverse roles for a second round with a different case.

12) At the close of the second round the Moderator will ask the judges to announce the teams’ scores for the match (see Scoring).

13) The team with the highest total number of points is the winner of the match.

Last Updated: 11/5/13