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Rules and Eligibility

Regional Competition Rules

  • Competitors are allowed to compete in one Geographic Regional Competition and/or the Nationwide Regional Competition.
  • Each student at in-person qualifying competitions must be under the immediate supervision of an adult who may be their coach, parent, or other adult approved by the high school administration. Students competing online must have a supervising adult judging and/or otherwise immediately available.
  • Only students enrolled in grades 9-12 are allowed to compete. Middle School students are not eligible to compete.
  • All competitors must be full US citizens.
  • U.S. Citizens located in other regions of the world are welcome to compete, but the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is only able to cover transportation expenses for travel originating within the 50 states.
  • All competitors must complete a 2022 Media Liability Release form prior to the start of competition.
  • An entry fee of $10 per student is due prior to the start of competition.
  • A contestant who does not appear at the scheduled time to speak will forfeit.
  • After competing in the final round of debate at the regional level, the two finalists from each region qualify for the National Championship. Each finalist will receive a flight and hotel room for themselves and one chaperone.

National Championship Rules

  • If a contestant is unable to participate in the National Finals, it will be up to the discretion of the regional partner and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute to determine an alternate participant for the National Finals.
  • Each student at the National Championship must be under the immediate supervision of an adult who may be his/her coach, parent, or other adult approved by the high school administration and acceptable to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

For a complete set of rules, click below.

Download Rules

Debate Structure

Debate Guide

Student Video Guides

Debate Overview

How To Communicate

Preparing Your Argument

Resources For Judges

Great Communicator Judging Video

Great Communicator Ballot