1. What is parliamentary debate?
Parliamentary debate is an extemporaneous, generally policy-oriented form of two-person debate that values audience adaptation. In each debate, a two-student team represents the government side (or the side affirming the resolution); a second two–student team represents the opposition side (or the side negating the resolution). Students are expected to present arguments supporting their side of the resolution while refuting arguments of the other team. Parliamentary debate was based loosely on the British model of parliament, but has evolved to a more Americanized hybrid of extemporaneous speaking and debate.  As a unique format of intercollegiate debate, NPDA privileges a breadth of knowledge about current events, domestic policy, and foreign affairs; embraces a range of argumentative forms, including both technical and more traditional styles of argument; and, rewards extemporaneous delivery, i.e., “thinking on your feet.”

There are a variety of forms of debate popular among US colleges and universities including: BP “Worlds” debate, APDA, IPDA, NFA-LD, Policy Debate (CEDA/NDT), and NPDA.

2. Where can I find tournaments that have parliamentary debate?

  1. The Council of Forensics Organizations
  2. Net Benefits discussion forum
  3. NPDA Sanctioned Tournament List

3. Where can I find resources for coaches and/or new program?

Visit the NPDA “Resources” page.

4. Where can I find a list of colleges that participate in parliamentary debate?

  1. The NPDA Membership Directory
  2. The Council of Forensics Organization also manages a (nearly) comprehensive list of college forensics programs. View their program list here.

5. When will the invitation to the next national tournament be released? What’s the tournament hotel?

The invitation is typically released in mid-December. The invitation includes entry and hotel information. It can be found here.

6. How do I subscribe to the parli listserv?

Go to the following website: https://lists.bethel.edu/mailman/listinfo/parli. If you have any questions, contact , the list owner.

7. How do I enter the national tournament?

  1. Tournament entry typically opens in January and is facilitated via ForensicsTournament.net.
  2. At the time of entry, you will also be required to pay any outstanding membership dues, as well as national tournament fees. You can pay these fees by visiting the NPDA Marketplace.

8. Is it possible to replace a missing nationals trophy?

Nationals awards are facilitated by the NPDA treasurer. You can find contact information on the NPDA Officers page.

9. Why should I become a member?

Member schools are entitled to:

  • Vote on NPDA business.  This includes, but is not limited to issues at business meetings and/or changes in the activity
  • Sanction their tournaments for NPDA season-long sweeps rankings.
  • Participate in the national championship tournament
  • Earn season-long sweepstakes awards at the national championship tournament.

10. How do I become a member?

  1. You can become a member online by using by visiting the Membership page.
  2. You can contact the NPDA treasurer to submit a membership form and fees by mail. You can find contact information on the NPDA Officers page.

11. Where do I send tournament results?

Results for regular season tournaments should be submitted to the NPDA Executive Secretary. When submitting results, include both preliminary cumulative results, as well as elimination round results. You should also submit an accompanying document that identifies any schools who are difficult to decipher based on their school codes listed on the cumulative results. You can find the Executive Secretary’s contact information on the NPDA Officers page.

12. How do I find out results of tournaments?

For current season results, visit the NPDA Sanctioned Tournament list. For past year, use the “Results” tab at the top of the page and select the year you are looking for from the drop-down menu.

13. Why are some tournaments not yet listed in the results? 

Results are entered for each tournament by the Executive Secretary. This is not an automated process and the Executive Secretary performs this data entry as volunteer service to the organization. Additionally, in some instances, results are delayed because tournament directors submit results late or submit incomplete results. Typically, it takes 2-3 weeks for a tournament’s results to be entered. Typically, the Executive Secretary attempts to ensure that a comprehensive updating of results is available on:

  • November 1
  • January 1
  • March 1
  • National Tournament Registration Day

If you have questions about a specific tournament AND a sufficient amount of time has passed since the tournament was held, contact the Executive Secretary. You can find the Executive Secretary’s contact information on the NPDA Officers page.

14. How are sweepstakes points calculated?

Teams will receive a preliminary round point total equal to the decimal percentage of preliminary rounds won, multiplied by five. Preliminary round point totals will be calculated to two decimal points. Teams will accrue two points for a win for ALL elimination rounds that meet NPDA sweepstakes specifications as described by the NPDA Bylaws.

A school will earn points for the top 4 teams for the school regardless of division. Thus, a school cannot earn points from the top 4 varsity and the top 4 JV and the top 4 novice teams.

  • An elim win counts as 2 points per round advanced (including byes) provided there are a sufficient number of teams at the elimination round level. If, for example, the tournament goes to quarterfinals with 12 teams, then the quarterfinal round won’t count for NPDA sweepstakes purposes. Points are earned for the all elimination rounds.


  • A team that wins 3 of 7 prelim rounds will earn (3/7) x 5 = 2.15 sweepstakes points.
  • A team that wins 4 of 5 prelim rounds and their first elim round will earn (4/5) x 5 + 2 = 6 sweepstakes points.

15. What is the difference between Season Sweepstakes and National Tournament Sweepstakes?

The Season Sweepstakes is based on the results of the top 4 tournaments for each school. The National Tournament Sweepstakes is based only on the National Tournament, and is based on the results of the top 4 teams for each school at the national tournament. Both sets of sweepstakes are announced at the National Tournament.

16. How do I contact the Executive Secretary?

You can find the Executive Secretary’s contact information on the NPDA Officers page.

17. How do I get copies of DVDs of final rounds from the national tournament?

DVDs are available from the NPDA Treasurer. The Treasurer’s contact information can be found on the NPDA Officers page.

18. How do I pay money to NPDA?

Online payments (Nationals and Membership Fees) can be made using the NPDA Marketplace.

To pay by check, contact the NPDA Treasurer. The Treasurer’s contact information can be found on the NPDA Officers page.