HSPDP rules require that each participating team have 3 (three) members. A 2-person team is an exception; it is permissible in an emergency (e.g., student cancellation on the day of an event due to illness) or to accommodate more students from a newly participating school (e.g., a school that has recently joined the HSPDP and is registering for its first or second debate tournament).
No students are prevented from participating at an HSPDP event because they are members of a 2-person team. But if it is not an exceptional case, 2-person teams are not eligible to receive awards. More than a decade ago, at the beginning of the Public Debate Program, no 2-person teams received tournament awards – that rule was applied at all middle school debate events. An exception to the rule was subsequently created but it was meant to be used in rare circumstances.
In general, a team is not permitted to compete for awards or have its performance included in school totals for overall and tournament school awards unless the team consists of three debaters. Please ensure that teams have the correct number of students when registering for a tournament.