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Timers in Tournaments

The funny thing about speech and debate is that rules vary on the tournament. Above all, always read the rulebook!

In general, pre-prepared events are not permitted to have a timer. This may change if it is an online tournament.

However, pre-prepared events may, to varying degrees.


Almost guaranteed. Phones are typically allowed as timers, as long as they are in airplane mode.


​Sometimes. At times, competitors may not have a timer, but judges can give hand signals (at six minutes left, five, four, three, two, one, thirty seconds.)


It depends. Typically, competitors may have a timer.

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