Team Rules & Expectations

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Once you have read and understood these rules, see the FORMS tab to complete your team registration. Or simply CLICK HERE to go directly to the form. 

1. BE PREPARED: Never attend a tournament without adequate rehearsal/practiceor awareness of tournament logistics.

     a. Sign-ups for tournaments are posted on the bulletin board one month in advance.

          i. You have until the Monday two weeks before the tournament to sign up. This may sometimes be earlier. Read the sign ups closely.

          ii. If you are participating in a partnered event BOTH partners must give consentto sign up and/or remove names.

          iii. Attend tournament meetings the WEDNESDAY the week PRIOR to the tournamenteither before or after school. Some may happen sooner. Read the website post closely for changes or details.

     b. Prior to each tournament, it is your responsibility to be in contact with your captain to make sure a practice isSET UP. This practice must be done or established by the MONDAY the week of the tournament. 

          i. REVISION & WORK DAY will take place every Monday.

               1. If you plan to compete in a particular event again, you must complete a ballot analysis from the previous competition.

          ii. OPEN PRACTICES will take place every Wednesday and Thursday.

          iii. NO practices or meetings will happen on Tuesdays or Fridays.

          iv, Each event has specific rules set by the captains. Please read those closely. TEAM practice expectations for all events are:

               1. You must practice at least once in each event to attend a tournament.

               2. You must BE ENTIRELY PREPARED FOR THE PRACTICE. (ie. memorized, blocked, aware of the topic, everything already printed, etc.)

2. KEEP YOUR COMMITMENT: When you sign up for a tournament, you have made a commitment to the squad and you will be expected to keep that commitment. Check your schedule BEFORE signing up and be sure your calendar is clear.

     a. Illness or family emergency should be the only reason for cancellations. If it is a family event that was scheduled prior to the sign up deadline this does not count.

     b. If you must, you can drop no later than the Monday afternoon before an event.

     c. Besides being an inconvenience for your teammates and those running the tournament, drops cost the team money and sweepstakes points! Thus, ANY MEMBER dropping after the deadline for reasons other than emergency will owe the team their entry fee.

          i. Skipping, forfeiting, or refusing to perform/speak in a round will be treated as a late drop and will cost you your entry fee. 

     d. VARSITY Member Commitments:

          i. Participate in at least two eventsat a tournament if that is an option.

          ii. Supply a 5 ROUNDS of judges throughout GSL competitions.

               1. The student with the most GSL rounds by GSL #3 will receive $25

          iii. Pay a $15 participation fee at the start of the year.

          iv. Secure 20 ROUNDS of judging between the West Invitational and Districts

               1. At least 12 rounds are for the West Invitational.

               2. The student with the most covered rounds by October 1st will receive $50

               3. The student with the most covered rounds by tournament Friday will receive $50

          v. You may not competeuntil you have completed and committed to each requirement.

          vi. You may not attend an out of town tournament until you have attended at least one local tournament. 

          vii. Any significant changes (ie. script/case change, partner change, event change) must be discussed with a coach first

     e. NOVICE Member Commitments:

          i. Pay your $20 NFL lifetime membership fee when you gain membership

          ii. Register your account at 

          iii. Any additional judges you can acquire will be appreciated but are not required.

3. BE INFORMED & SELF-RELIANT: Read event postings for rules, deadlines, transportation plans, etc. BEFOREyou commit! Don’t expect others to do your job. Remember, debate is an educational activity. Learning to be responsible is part of that

     a. Be sure to have contact informationfor your coaches and event captains. These are available on the website

     b. There will ALWAYS be a tournament posting on the website on the deadline for sign-ups. You are responsible for this.

     c. There will ALWAYS be a Sunday message on the website about the week coming up. You are responsible for this.

     d. Quick, important updates will be sent via Remind101.Text 81010 to @CBorgsy to join.

     e. YOU set up a practice time. YOU reach out to your captain.

     f. It is your responsibility to make sure you have the materialsyou need (extemp file, evidence, interp book, etc).

4. BE ON TIME: Delays put a strain on the entire squad so set that alarm!

     a. Make sure you arrange your transportation to and from West (or to nearby tournaments) well in advance. Varsity members will always be willing to take you but ONLY if you work it out in advance.

     b. Rarely will a bus be available on Saturdays so please be sure to leave enough time to work out rides.

     c. Contact and/or reply to someone if you will be late, especially Saturday mornings.

          i. EVERYONE is to meet at West at the given time unless you arrange for something different ONE WEEK in advance.

          ii. If you are more than 15 minutes late and have not been in contact, we will not wait any longer at the school.

               1. If you then miss rounds as a consequence, you will owe your entry fee.

          iii. If this continues to occur (beyond one time), team consequence will apply.

     d. Never leave a tournament without permission

          i. If you are leaving to get food, do NOT leave campus until a coach has replied

          ii. You may not leave a tournament early unless it has been established at least ONE WEEK in advance

5. DRESS & ACT PROFESSIONALLY: You not only represent WEST when you compete, but your teammates on the squad as well. You are expected to help maintain our professional reputation.

     a. Dress should make the right first impression such that it does not detract from your message.

          i. The aim is business causal. You should always look a little nicer than your audience (ie. judges)

          ii. No tennis shoes. No jeans.

          iii. Hair should be out of your face.

     b. Use discretion with yourbehavior

          i. Do not speak poorly of teammates, competitors, coaches, or judges.

          ii. Use proper language and carry yourself with maturity.

          iii. DO NOT play video games during down time.


     a. Help them practice, talk to them about the events they are doing, learn about them!

     b. At tournaments, it is expected that you watch teammates in out rounds. Support ALL teammates, even those that do different events.

     c. Except for conflicts that have been cleared in advance (one week),attendance at the awards ceremony is expected. We are a TEAM—conveying a team presence and supporting each other with our cheers are vital to our success, as individuals and as a group.

     d. As a competitive activity, there is a level of confidentiality that MUST be enforced:

          i. Do not share passwords with other teams

          ii. Disclosure of arguments, cases, etc. will be done a mutual and individual basis. All shared materials must be cleared with a coach and must come from an individual. You may not share teammate materials.

          iii. If communication is needed with other teams to share materials, it must occur between coaches. No student to student deals should be made and you should not approach another team’s coach on this issue.

     d. As the West Fall Classic is our primary fundraiser, you must participate in our invitational in at least one of these ways:

          i. Provide judges beyond the required amount

          ii. Work at the tournament itself (this DOES NOT count as service hours)

          iii. Donate food or needed item

7. CONSEQUENCES for failing to meet any of the requirements listed above:

     a. First Offense – A warning from the coaches & message to parents

     b. Second Offense – Dropped from the upcoming tournament

     c. Third Offense – Dropped from the upcoming tournament and barred from the next tournament.

8. HAVE FUN: Most importantly, this activity builds relationships that will last a life time. Enjoy your timewith your team and always remember that we are here because we love it!


Elected Executive Board Duties

The Executive Board is a leadership structure that allows each elected person to complete assigned duties as a unit - working as an EQUAL WHOLE. These duties can  and will be divided equally upon election but all are the job of the board. PLEASE read this carefully so EVERYONE, both those running and those voting understand the responsibilities that lay before the elected executive board. If you plan to run, you need to return this signed form by Monday, April 24th at 2:30pm.

Each Board Member will be expected to fulfill the following duties:

  • Coordinator & Captainships
    • Each member will serve as a captain and adhere to those rules (posted elsewhere).
    • Each member will serve as a coordinator of a group of events that do not include their own event
      • They will be expected to check in with their captains weekly to ensure expectations are being met, answer questions, and help guide.
      • They will make sure everyone is informed and is reading all relative updates
      • The coordinator must also be responsible for all event rules for which they are in charge
      • Any captains or team  members not meeting expectations should be reported by the coordinator.
  • Team Meetings:
    • Discuss agenda prior to the meeting with Borgsmiller
    • Be prepared to lead the meeting if asked
    • Attend all team meetings, both before & after school
  • Tournaments
    • Demonstrate commitment through competitions
    • If not competing, make an effort to attend awards
    • Lead team building – Fight song, warm ups, etc.
    • Lead problem solving when coaches are unavailable
  • Our Tournament (Oct. 20 & 21)
    • Attend the entirety of this event
    • Perform a leadership role as assigned
    • Help present at the awards ceremony
    • Manage others and keep them focused on their job
  • Team Building & Recruitment
    • Plan and lead events to recruit and retain new members
    • Reach out to current members for feedback & bring it to Borgsmiller
    • Specifically help new members feel welcome & integrated
    • Plan events outside of debate to build camaraderie
  • Leadership
    • Communicate all team and leadership concerns to Borgsmiller
    • Help in implementing team rules & lead by example
    • NEVER administer punishment but indicate to Borgs when its needed




Speech and Debate Captains

Responsibility Agreement


  1. DELEGATED ROLES: Each event (or cluster of events) has ONE captain that will serve as the “go to” person between Exec Board Coordinators and team members. No one person will serve in more than one position.
    • EVENT PROMOTION: Your main role is to champion your event. You will recruit members you feel would excel in said event and help them learn the ropes. You should never DISCOURAGE participation in an event.
    • SUPPORT: In order to support the TEAM, you may NEVER speak ill of another event. To promote your event, you cannot tear down another. If you think someone would be better suited for another event, do not hesitate to direct them there.
  1. BEYOND YOUR EVENT: Your job is NOT to "coach" fellow members. The majority of your role  will be coordinating and delegating.
    • COORDINATION: Ensure that all who compete know what they are doing, how they are doing it, and when.
      • On the last day of tournament sign ups (TWO Mondays prior to the tournament), it is YOUR responsibility to know who is competing in your event and CONTACT THEM about practices (entries will be available on google documents).
      • YOU will set up and coordinate when, where, and with whom practices will take place. This must be marked in the google doc - both the setup and the completion of a practice.
      • YOU will report to your coordinator the MONDAY the week of the event rather than administering consequences yourself.  Let the coordinator know...
        • who has set up or done practices and who has not.
        • who was not/is not/will not be prepared appropriately for the practice. Voice concerns early and often.
        • if they have or have not completed their ballot analysis (if they have already competed in this event).
        • if they have or have not complied with your rules and/or deadlines.  
    • DELEGATION: ALWAYS ask others who are "authorities" to watch rounds or run sessions. Ask them to coordinate research sessions or teach lessons. It is your job to coordinate these sessions but it is CERTAINLY not your sole responsibility to run them. HOWEVER, you must make sure that A COACH is present for supervision purposes. If you don’t have a coach, you don’t have a practice.
  1. POWER: With great power comes great responsibility:
    • RULES & CONSEQUENCES: You will establish your “plan” but adhere to team enforcement:
      • Outline your specific deadlines for materials (consider revision time prior to practice deadlines
      • Determine how feedback will be provided and how you want to handle communication
      • Determine how you will use your revision days (you are required to attend or send a representative on Mondays and ballot analysis is now required if they want to compete in that event again)
      • Do not establish consequences - those are made and enforced by coaches. However, consequences will apply to your rules if approved.  
    • COACHING: You CAN provide “coaching” based on your experiences but you cannot mandate how it “has to be.” You may not seek to advance a personal agenda.
    • ROLE MODEL: You are serving as a ROLE MODEL for your peers. You must constantly adhere to your own rules and SHOW teammates how to conduct themselves well. Consider providing extra encouragement for your competitors (notes, gifts, etc. prior to events)

If at any time you fail to meet these requirements you may be asked to relinquish your position.