Official Rules

For the 2018 Official Rules, please click here.


We would like to bring to your attention some important changes to the Competition rules. These changes are based on feedback from teams, judges, and coaches, and are meant to make the Competition experience more fair and enjoyable for all participants. Please note some of the important changes below:

3.1.2 Fee for Current Year

The Team fee for the current Competition is listed in Appendix B. This fee covers the cost of two (2) Competitors and one (1) Coach. If the Team sends a second Coach, the fee will increase by an additional amount (see Appendix B). Teams, observers, and coaches are responsible for paying the wire fees should they choose to pay by bank transfer. If their payment arrives with less than the required amount due to wire transfer fees, the individual or university will be required to pay the difference upon arrival at the Competition.

3.1.3 Non-Refundability of Team Registration Fee

No refunds will be issued once a school pays the Team Registration Fee, except in exceptional circumstances and as outlined in Rule 2.2.

8.6.3 Electronic Copy

The electronic copy of the Memorial must be contained in its entirety in one Microsoft Word file. The file title should include the Team Number only (i.e. “100”). Untitled or improperly titled Memorials are subject to penalties (see Rule 8.8). The Technical Committee will not accept Memorials that are located on multiple files (i.e., one file for the Title Page and one file for the remainder of the Memorial) or files of any type other than Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). Failure to submit in this format will result in the Technical Committee requesting another electronic copy of the Memorial, which may result in the overall submission of the Memorial being considered late. A total of two (2) points will be deducted for Memorials submitted in the wrong file format. Each Team should contact the Competition staff immediately if it does not receive a confirmation receipt within 1 business day of submitting the Memorial. The electronic copy is the only copy of the Memorial that needs to be submitted. The first copy received by email will be considered the official submission of the memorial. The Technical Committee will not accept subsequent versions of the memorial, even if the deadline has not passed.

8.8.3 Format, Organization, and Penalties

A total of two (2) points will be deducted for Memorials submitted on paper size other than that stipulated in Rule 8.5. A total of two (2) points will be deducted for Memorials written in the wrong font and format, including the footnotes. A total of two (2) points will be deducted if the official Team Number is not located on every page of the Memorial, including the Title Page. One (1) point will be deducted for every section omitted, including the Signature Page, or for each section that is out of order according to Rule 8.3 (for a total possible deduction of six (6) points). One (1) point will be deducted if the file is not titled correctly (the Team Number). Two (2) points will be deducted if the character spacing is anything but normal (expanded or condensed).

10.5.1 General

Individuals wishing to attend more than one round (who are not participating as a Judge or member of a Team) must be registered as observers. With the exception of Rule 10.5.3, the Competition is open to the public. At any session, there may be other participating Team Members, Observers or others witnessing the oral round session. Individuals who are not registered for the Competition as a Judge, Observers, Bailiff, Coach, or Team Member will not be allowed to participate in the Competition’s activities. In exceptional circumstances, the Technical Committee may, at its sole discretion, allow individuals who were not previously registered for the Competition to observe the Competition’s activities. In such a case, these individuals will be required to pay the corresponding registration fee for Observers (see Appendix B) before they are allowed to participate. No one will be allowed inside of a courtroom without credentials.


All Participating Competitors, Coaches, Observers and Judges will receive a Certificate of Participation. All Semi-Finalists will receive a Certificate of Advancement. The first, second and third best Memorials in English, Spanish and Portuguese for the VICTIMS and/or PETITIONERS and/or COMMISSION and the STATE will receive a Competition award. The first, second, and third best individual orators in English, Spanish and Portuguese, the First Place Team, and the Runner-up Team will all receive Competition awards.  Additional awards may be given at the discretion of the Technical Committee.