Having in mind the problems we had,with the debating tournament and the specific characteristics of The Best of The Best Tournament,we made new rules.We hope that they will make this tournament a realu debating celebration TTF Debate Tournament Rules – “The Best of the Best” 1.This tournament will be contested by the Debating Guilds already inscribed by the Tournament Organizer The Guild of Dwarves/Elves The Guild of Ost-in-Edhil The Guild of Outcasts The Guild of the Periaur The Guild of Scholars The Guild of Tolkienologists 2. COMPOSITION OF THE TEAMS a) This is an individual tournament. However, due to the constraints of real life, it is expected that each Guild will select two representatives. One of them will be the Primary Representative and must take part in at least 70% of the debates; the other will be his Replacement, and shall not take part in more than 30% of the debates. b) It is not required for a Guild to choose a Replacement; it may participate in the Tournament with only one debator if it considers that advantageous. c) The existence of Replacements does not change the nature of the tournament; in other words, only the “current debator” may post in the debate thread. If the Replacement (or anyone else from the Guild) posts within the debate, it is automatically forfeited. 2. In the debates, the following procedure must be followed: a) There will be 3 official Hosts,who will take care of the debates in every Round;If one of them is not online due to real-life problems,the organizers will invite someone to replace the official Host while he is offline. b) The Host will select 3 judges from the pool of judges. c) The opening of the debate will not follow a tight schedule (as in the TTF Debate Tournament). The Host will consult with the debator of each Guild to check whether one of them will be prevented from posting in the duration of the debate, and the Host shall take these limitations under consideration. d) Nonetheless, the Host is at liberty to open the debate at any time, to prevent inordinate delays in the Tournament. The decision of delaying rests with the Host. 3. DUTIES OF THE HOST a) To open the debate thread; b) To choose a topic, following the procedures established below; c) To conduct the debate; d) To set the time for the end of the Debate, usually 10 days after the first post of the Debate proper (the Host can adjust this period slightly for convenience purposes, according to his Time Zone) e) To close the thread, or ask a moderator to do so, after the debate is over; f) To open a Judging thread in which the Judges’ opinions will be publicized; g) To report the result to the Tournament Organizer; h) To deal out penalties, in accordance with Rule 9. 4. DUTIES OF THE GUILDS a) There will be a Home Guild and a visiting Guild in each debate, according to the rotation established by the TO; b) The Home Guild shall choose the side it wants to defend in the debate, and make the first post; c) The Visiting Guild shall defend the other side in the debate; d) The Debator (Primary or Replacement) of both Guilds shall be named before any post is made addressing the topic itself – it is a duty of both Guilds to announce the Debator as quickly as possible. 5. DUTIES OF THE JUDGES : a) Each judge shall examine the debate thoroughly once it is over, and post a considered opinion in support of his vote -- it is recommended that they follow the Guidelines for Judging while analyzing the debate; b) There shall be no time limit for the presentation of the vote, but each judge must agree beforehand to devote his full consideration for the debate. The position of Judge is very demanding, and members who do not feel they will have the time to do it should refuse the duty before the Debate begins. 6. SELECTION OF TOPICS a) As was set out in 3b, the Host must select a topic, after consulting with the Tournament Organizers; b) If any of the involved Guilds does not agree with the topic, he must inform the Host; c) The Host is the sole person in charge of accepting or not the Guild’s plea for a change of topic, and he shall not, under any circumstances, accept this plea after there has been a post from each Guild in the Debate thread. 7. DEBATE PROCEDURES : a) There is no restriction as regards the order of posting, or length of posting, in any case. b) The Rules of Conduct set out below apply at all times. 8. RULES OF CONDUCT IN THE DEBATE a) The TTF general rules of conduct apply at all times = no personal attacks, no use of offensive terms, etc. b) Sarcasm and irony are accepted, and perhaps even encouraged ; as long as they are directed to the arguments, and not to the people involved; c) No posts in the judging thread shall be made in an attempt to influence the judges, either by the debating members or by other members of any Guild; d) Any and all *bashings* of any participant (Judges or Host or Members) outside the respective Guild of the person posting the *bashing* shall be subject to penalties according to Rule 9; the provision that a post inside the Guild is exempt of penalty does not apply to directly-related threads (Debate, Judging); e) All members participating directly in the debate shall be held up to the strictest conditions of courtesy and good sportsmanship; f) Posts by non-participants (Debators, Host, Judges) in the Debate thread shall be frowned upon and can subject the offending Guild to penalty, as set out under Rule 9. 9. PENALTIES IN THE DEBATE a) Breach of any of the above rules, and particularly breaches of the Rules of Conduct (Rule 8), shall be subject to penalty; b) The Host of the Debate is the person in charge of dealing out penalties - no penalty shall be given without his assent; c) The first penalty for any Guild after a Rule breach must, in all cases, consist of a Warning, with no further effects; d) The third penalty, and subsequent penalties for any Guild after the same Rule has been breached three times must, in all cases, consist of the loss of 1 point in the overall standings; e) The second penalty for any Guild after the same Rule has been breached two times is left at the discretion of the Host - either Warning or Loss of a point in the overall standings. 10. APPEALING PENALTIES a) An appeals committee must be established by the Tournament Organizer, including: The Tournament Organizer himself; A Member appointed by the Guild of Dwarves/Elves A Member appointed by the Guild of Ost-in-Edhil A Member appointed by the Guild of Outcasts A Member appointed by the Guild of the Periaur A Member appointed by the Guild of Scholars A Member appointed by the Guild of Tolkienologists A Neutral (Guild-less) Member. b) Any member of the appeals committee who is a member of an appealing Guild (either defendant or plaintiff) in a given appeal must excuse himself from participating in the appeals process; c) If there is any appeal the Tournament Organizer will open a thread in the Member Announcements Forum to hear both sides of the story; in this thread, after a period not over three days since its opening, the arguments for the appeal by defendant and plaintiff must be presented; d) After the argument phase is over the members of the appeals committee shall vote. In case of a tie the Neutral member has the tie-breaker vote; if he refuses this duty, the tie-breaker vote goes to the Tournament Organizer; e) The members of the Appeals Committee shall take no more than 3 days after the end of the argument phase to vote; f) There shall be no consideration of any appeal if the reason for the warning/penalty was a breach of the TTF general rules of conduct. by Eriol Thank you very much Eriol!