Skip to main content
University of Texas at Austin
University Interscholastic League Logo
University Interscholastic League Logo

Debate Frequently Asked Questions

+ Show All Answers

What is the rule on entering both LD and CX?

Students are limited to entering one Debate event, just like they are limited to competing in one Oral Interpretation event and one Extemporaneous Speaking event.

Students who compete in CX Debate at the District Meet may not also enter LD Debate at District, even though these two contests are held at separate times, in an effort to promote increased  participation and so that more students in each school have the opportunity to acquire the skills and the benefits of competitive debate. Just as Persuasive Speaking requires a different speaking approach than Informative Speaking, so Lincoln Douglas Debate is a distinctly different style of debate from team debate

Students can, however, enter other speaking events and academic contests. Consult the Academic Conflict Pattern. The goal is for District, Region and State meets to be able to be completed in 1 – 1 ½ days in order to limit the loss of school time. The ACP indicates which contests conflict with others. Unlike academic contests, speaking events entail preliminary rounds leading to a final round requiring more time to complete, thus the reason why speakers are limited in the number of speaking events they can enter. Check both prelims and finals on the chart for conflicts with other contests.

If a CX team is entered as a district alternate but does not compete, are those students eligible to enter LD Debate?
Yes. The restriction against cross-entering CX and LD takes effect when the students actually compete at district.
My team qualified for CX State, now what do I do?

Your district spring meet direct will certify the results to the State Office so there is no registration for you to compete. UIL does not charge entry fees to the state championship. Immediately following your district meet, go to the UIIL website and access the CX State Tournament webpage. This is the information hub that contains important details and deadlines and where you will access links to required forms. Direct your students and their parents to the Winner’s Packet provided digitally for them online.

Why do I need a judge for CX State?
Constitution & Contest Rules require every school that qualifies a team to supply an experienced judge. The state tournament is incredibly large with over 900 rounds to be covered by judges. Having schools bring judges, in addition to the 75 or so judges that the League hires, attempts to provide students with a geographically balanced judging pool.
What if I don't feel qualified to judge state rounds?
When you start the year with your debaters, realize that at least 1 of your teams just might qualify for state. Therefore, it's recommended you watch rounds at invitational tournaments and volunteer to judge. Tournament officials will welcome a willing judge for CX! The more rounds you observe, the more confident you will feel judging. Besides, judging at tournaments makes you a better coach since you can discuss the rounds you heard with your students after the tournament. If, after judging throughout the year you still do not feel qualified, find a former debater or someone qualified to bring as your judge. Have this plan in place well in advance so you can meet the prescribed deadline for submitting your judge. NOTE: If your district waits until the last weekend of the CX window to hold their meet, you will need to anticipate the possible success of your debaters and contact someone much earlier, in the event that your team(s) qualified, so that you meet the deadline for submission.
If I qualify a CX team or LD debater to State, where do I get information about the state meet?
Check the UIL website for the State Tournament webpage. It will serve as the information hub and provide details, deadlines and links to time-sensitive forms.
What happens if I miss the CX State deadlines?
Not only do you risk your team not debating at State, but also your school is assessed a $100 late fee.
What if one of my CX Debaters qualified for State gets sick and can't come?
If one of your debaters cannot cannot compete, you are allowed to substitute ONE member of the CX team, as long as one member from the original team that qualified remains. Submit a Substitute Eligibility Form to the State Office. This form can be accessed and downloaded from the UIL website.  Do this as soon as you know you will have to make a substitution. Avoid last-minute changes unless a dire emergency. If both debaters are unable to attend State, you are required to contact the district director so that the alternate may have the opportunity to advance. Failure to notify the State Debate Director, Jana Riggins that your team will not attend state meet can result in sanctions by the State Executive Committee.
What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Feel free to contact the UIL State Director. E-mail is the easiest and quickest way to get a response. You may also call or write:

Jana Riggins
UIL Director - Speech & Debate
University of Texas, Austin
Box 8028
Austin, TX 78713-8028