The National Parliamentary Debate League uses the following rules as a guidelines for determining your national ranking. Please contact us with any confusion about rankings calculations, missing points, or unstated rules. Any changes due to unanticipated needs will be added to this page immediately. 

We reserve the right to adjust future tournament points based on harmful tabulation or tournament practices.

Points eligibility

1. Only results from varsity/open divisions will be used.

2. Only invitationals that are open to all schools, the state qualifying tournaments, the state tournament, and the TOC shall count for points.

3. Only two-person teams are eligible. Teams with a different number of persons shall be ranked, but shall not count as unique.

Unique Teams

A unique team is a team where neither member is also a member of a higher ranked unique team. In the event that a debater is a member of two equally ranked teams, one of those teams shall randomly be named unique.

Non-unique teams shall be ranked, but their ranks will be enclosed in parentheses on the rankings.

A team’s rank equals the number of unique teams that rank higher than it plus 1.

Invitational Tournament Points

Field size = (Open Field Size) + (JV Field Size) / (3) + (Novice Field Size) / (3)


1. A tournament should break between 27% and 45.3% of its open field. The following penalties are applied (to breaking teams only) if this percentage is different:

[3.4% - 4.7%] 6 point penalty

[4.8% - 6.7%] 5 point penalty

[6.8% - 9.5%] 4 point penalty

[9.6% - 13.4%] 3 point penalty

[13.5% - 19.0%] 2 point penalty

[19.1% - 26.9%] 1 point penalty

If a tournament breaks over 45.3% of the field to elimination rounds, the first elimination round will count as an additional preliminary round for point purposes. No other changes will be made to the points earned by advancing teams. 

2. A tournament should have a minimum of 5 prelims. The following adjustments are made if the number of prelims is different:

7 or more prelims: 3 point bonus

6 prelims: 1 point bonus

4 prelims: 3 point penalty

3 prelims: 6 point penalty

2 prelims: 10 point penalty

without elimination rounds

2-1 = 2 points

3-0 = 5 points

3-1 = 4 points

4-0 = 9 points

3-2 = 3 points

4-1 = 8 points

5-0 = 12 points

5-1 = 11 points

4-2 = 5 points

State Qualifying TournamenTS

Qualifier: 10 points

Alternate: 7 points

Level below alternate: 4 points

with Semifinals only

Tournaments which break to semifinals without holding a final round will be assigned points as if there were no elimination rounds. Semifinalists will receive points based on their overall record, including the semifinal round as a loss or a win. 


ballot = 2 points

break = 2 points

elim win = 4 points

championship = 2 bonus points

State Tournament

win = 3 points

championship = 2 bonus points


Teams advancing after walking over a team from the same school will earn half of the points normally granted for advancing to the next elimination round. The other half of the points will be added to the total points earned by the non-advancing team.


Non-advancing teams receive the points normally allotted for tournaments without elimination rounds. Advancing teams receive points according to normal invitational rules. 

Total Team Points

The total point value for each team shall be calculated using the GDR (gradually diminishing returns) formula, as follows:

(points from best tournament performance)(1) + (points from second best tournament performance)(0.9) + (points from third best tournament performance)(0.6) + (points from fourth best tournament performance)(0.3) + (points from fifth through seventh best tournaments)(0.1)

Points will not be factored into the formula from tournaments beyond the seventh best. 

For example, a team that went to 7 tournaments and got 14,0,8,12,8,6,4 points respectively would get a total of 14 + 12*0.9 + 8*0.6 + 8*0.3 + 6*0.1 + 4*0.1 = 33 points.

Individual Rankings

A debater's individual rank equals the hypothetical team rank that debater would have obtained had they attended all tournaments with the same partner. If you have POI points with multiple partners, you can calculate your own rank using this rule. POI will calculate the individual rank of debaters whose point values put them in the top 30 of the overall rankings.

Reporting Results

Tournament and invitational results will be reported to Point of Information in a timely manner. Results may be reported by either the tournament or one of its participants. The reporter must provide Point of Information with either the tournament or invitational's packet or a link to the packet. Emailing Point of Information, its web director, or posting a link on Point of Information's Facebook page will serve as adequate notice. While we do our best to locate tournament and invitational results, it is not our responsibility to seek out tournament and invitational results.

Tournament and invitational results received after rankings have been posted will be factored into the next available rankings posting.

Point of Information will provide a window of 30 calendar days from the date of the end of a tournament or invitational to report results. Results received after 30 calendar days will be ruled ineligible for inclusion in the national rankings.

Improper Breaks

If a tournament fails to break at least 1/3 of teams in competition to elimination rounds, teams placing in the top 1/3 of competitors will receive points based on their preliminary round record, following the points which would be allocated to them in a tournament without elimination rounds. 


Teams denoted with an asterisk are considered auto-qualified to the Tournament of Champions.

A first-round qualification requires earning 27 points by January 1st, 2018.

A second-round qualification requires earning 33 points by March 1st, 2018. 

More information will be released about the registration, qualification, and at-large bid application processes soon. 

Club Rankings tiebreakers

1. Sum of all unweighted points of all its teams (including non-authentic)

2. Number of ranked debaters


The club points for hybrid teams will be split between the debaters' schools. 

If the debaters are registered under one school, it is their responsibility to tell Point of Information the name of the other school.