Student Congress

Congressional Speaking rules from the Idaho High School Activities Association:

“The state tournament will use judge rankings and parliamentarian rankings to advance the top 1/3 of competitors out of three preliminary sessions to a super congress session. The district tournaments may adjust the schedule as necessary. The super session will run during both the semi and final rounds. All houses (sections) are to remain seated for the three preliminary rounds. At the beginning of session 1, each house will take the oath of office and elect the Presiding Officers for the chamber. Each house is to have a new judge each preliminary session and a panel of three judges for the duration of the super session. The assigned parliamentarians are to be assigned to the same house for the duration of the preliminary sessions with one of them being randomly selected to be the parliamentarian for the super session.



The judge is to rank the top 8 speakers in the chamber, with 1 being best (all others are automatically ranked at 9) and score each speech on a scale of 1-6, (6 being best). The three judges’ rankings for the preliminary sessions will advance the top 1/3 to the super congress session. The parliamentarian is to rank all students in the house from 1 to 30 to be used as a tie breaker. The speech scores may be used as a basis for the judge/parliamentarian rankings but they play no role in advancement. The rubric for scoring speeches will follow the NFL’s congress rubric. Robert’s Rules of Order are to be the procedural guidelines with recency and precedent resetting after each preliminary session.



The district tournament may use student-generated legislation which follows the NFL’s formatting guidelines (1 per student) along with the NFL’s previous year’s Alpha national packet. The state tournament is to use the NFL’s previous year’s semifinals legislation packet. Students are responsible for providing 30 copies for their authored/sponsored legislation for districts. All students are to provide their own printed copy of the NFL’s legislation packets at both district and state tournaments.

Here are your bills from the NFL Alpha National packet

See the bills from our local NFL Tournament to get an idea of possible student-generated legislation from students within our District (Treasure Valley schools, including Weiser & Mountain Home).

Want to submit legislation of your own? Follow the links below to find a template for your legislation!

From Coast Forensics League:

What is Student Congress?

Student Congress is modeled after the United States Congress. Bills and resolutions, which you will receive two or three weeks before the tournament, are debated in “houses” of about twenty competitors.

• Parliamentary procedure is followed, and a student chairperson known a “presiding officer” leads the proceedings. The presiding officer is address as “Mister Chairman” or “Madame Chairman.”

• You will be addressed as “Representative,” unless you are part of the Senate

• After debating a bill or resolution, you and the other members of your house will take a vote to decide if the bill or resolution should be passed.

What is Parliamentary Procedure?

The US Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and many businesses and clubs follow parliamentary procedure or Robert’s Rules of Order to increase the efficiency of meetings.

• Speakers are required to make “motions” or recommendations to move the discussion in the meeting along. (See attachment.)

• Parliamentary procedure helps to:

• Guarantee that the minority opinion is heard.

• Make sure that the majority opinion prevails

• Provide orderly procedures for conducting business and debate upon issues of importance.

What is a bill? What is a resolution?

A bill is basically the wording for a law or piece of legislation. Bills include such words as, “Be it enacted by the Student Congress that…” A resolution is a generalized statement expressing a conviction or sentiment. Resolutions usually contain the words, “Be it resolved by the Student Congress that…” Resolutions should begin with a number of phrases which start with the word, “Whereas”.

Check out the rest of these fabulous resources!

Writing Congress Legislation

Congressional Parliamentary Procedure

Note – if you are competing in Congress on one of my teams. You need to make sure you are following the proper format for writing bills. Use the Bill & Resolution Template and the Student Congress Legislation Evaluation Rubric

Learn Congress terminology and procedures and take a tutorial! http://www.studentcongressdebate.org/#

Student instructions for congress. http://www.coastfl.org/CongressStudentInstructionsforLeague.pdf



  1. Chris the penny is a valuable resource, it’s an important historical document and you need to accept that!

  2. Hi Ms. Miller I have a question, and I was wondering if you could send your e-mail adress.

  3. Hi. Do you like pie?


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