NPTE Announcement (Hyrbids and Calls for Topic Papers)

NPTE Announcement

Hi folks,

1.The NPTE board has voted to change our hybrid rules.

We have done so for two reasons. First, we wanted our rules to align with the NPDA. Second, the debate about the sanctioning of hybrids is not new, and in our collective time as members of the NPDA/NPTE debate style, we all remember when two women from Boulder/Wyoming sought a hybrid bid. The rules established from that hybrid debate resulted in the exclusion of two incredible debaters, Lila and Jessica (who won NPDA, we might add), from the NPTE last year, and we regret that we did not revisit the hybrid rules before they became a problem, especially considering those rules were expressly written to exclude people. We recognize our enforcement of these rules were harmful and oppressive even if that was not their (or our) intent. We understand the impact of our decision and empathize with those affected by our outdated rules.

In light of the complaints brought against the NPTE, particularly in the last 5-7 years, we also understood that in the past, particularly when the board was run by cisgender white men, there were significant concerns that the NPTE board made decisions that favored their success. Therefore, when deciding to enforce the rules last year, we also believed that it was important to enforce them because not doing so could set a precedent that would make it easier for people with the most privilege in our community to bend/break those rules to benefit them.

The new rules are:

  • Hybrids may compete at the NPTE if:

  • they compete together at 2 or more regular season tournaments

  • both schools’ DOF/DOD/etc provides written permission (except if a hybrid partner does not attend a school with an NPDA debate program then that partner doesn’t need written permission, just the usual registrar verification of eligibility)

  • Hybrids qualify for the NPTE by applying for an at-large bid

  • The hybrid partnership needs at least 18 points to qualify, or if neither partner’s school has any other qualifying teams then they need 12 points. We calculate half points for hybrids just like we do for debaters from the same school.

  • Hybrids can debate teams from either partner’s school in either prelims or elims. This is different than the NPDA’s policy, but simplifies tabulation especially for the NPTE’s double-elimination format. If they don’t want to debate each other then they tell tab who wins and who forfeits, or else tab flips a coin (prelims) or advances the higher seed (elims).

  • No school can have more than one debater competing as a hybrid.

2.It is time to submit topic proposals for the 2020 NPTE. We are calling for topic proposals starting now and for the next few weeks. After receiving proposals, there will be a discussion period, followed by official voting between Dec. 15-Jan 1.

Topic proposals should be emailed to

If there is anything anyone needs from the NPTE board, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Thank you!