Ziggy Online Debate


What is Ziggy?

Ziggy Online Debate is an online practice tournament for TP and LD, for the Stoa and NCFCA resolutions, and Parliamentary debate for high school and collegiate competitors.  Participants will compete against other debaters from all over the nation who have signed up, and debates will take place over the internet via software such as Skype or Google+ Hangouts. Ziggy is owned and operated by Isaac Sommers, a former NCFCA and Stoa competitor, and a current debate instructor and coach.

Why choose Ziggy?

Ziggy Online Debate is designed with the goal of improving communication skills. Some of the many reasons why Ziggy makes for an excellent debate opportunity include:

Power-matching: You will be randomly matched against other teams for the first four weeks. After that, the other rounds will be power-matched (meaning, you’ll debate other competitors who are performing roughly as well as you are) as often and as accurately as possible. Power-matching is based on the results from your previous rounds, so be sure to remind your judge to email Ziggy your ballot after your debate.

Convenience and Price: While a normal NCFCA tournament typically costs around $35 for debate PLUS $15 for tournament fees (over $8.50 per debate, and that’s not even counting travel and hotel costs), only guarantees 6 debate rounds, and typically requires traveling, Ziggy gives you a total of 10 debates in the Fall and 8 debates in the Spring for only $2.50 per round.

National Competition: Students from all across the nation are eligible to participate in Ziggy, which means that competitors have the opportunity to practice honing their skills by debating other students throughout the nation.

Lots of Debates: Ziggy Online Debate will organize 10 full debate rounds in the Fall (with a break during Thanksgiving week), and  8 debate rounds in the Spring. Click here to view the Ziggy Calendar.

Real-World Success: Many debaters who have competed in Ziggy have found it to be immensely helpful for their tournament success. Just view the testimonials to the right!
By getting a head start on the competitive season, and by receiving constructive feedback from parent judges from all across America, competitors have found their tournament performance greatly enhanced.
From 2012 to 2015, at least one of the NCFCA National Championship debate Finalists have been Ziggy participants!

Awards: The first place team in each form of debate, as well as each of the first place speakers (assuming they aren’t identical to the first place team) will receive a free Ziggy Online Debate Champion t-shirt, as well as a gift card.

Results: At the end of the competition, we will tabulate results and announce the teams placing in the top 40%.  Those debaters will be ranked by win/loss records, rounds completed, and speaker points, and will receive placements (1st, 2nd, etc). Speaker placements will also be announced.

Flexibility: Instead of making you debate at a certain time during the week, Ziggy gives the debaters the ability to choose what time during the week best works for them to debate. The Judges List then offers a page with judges and their availability, as well as debate rounds and their scheduled time, along with detailed information for contacting both debaters and judges.

No Registration Deadline: Ziggy Online Debate has no registration deadline, so you can sign up any time you want.  Of course, we can only guarantee as many rounds as are left at the time you sign up. However, if you sign up for extra rounds, we might be able to get you more debates (if there’s an odd number of competitors).

No Maximum Competitor Limit: There are no limits on how many people can sign up for Ziggy, so tell all your friends!

Extra Debate Opportunity: In most tournaments, when there is an odd number of debaters, they give people “bye rounds,” which means that you end up getting less rounds than normal.  With Ziggy, we give you the option of choosing to sign up for an extra debate at no extra cost, in the event that there is an odd number of debaters. Of course, we know this doesn’t work for everyone, which is why it’s simply an option. Byes can still be given if necessary. (For those extra rounds, we’ll randomly choose one of them to count toward your overall score.)

Partner Discovery Tool: Ziggy is offering a Team Policy partner finding tool. If you’re looking for a debate partner – whether just for Ziggy, or for the full season – you can use the Partner Discovery Tool to fill out details about yourself and what you’re looking for in a partner, and we’ll send you partner suggestions after someone who meets your criteria signs up. This can be a great way to find a temporary partner if you don’t have one for Ziggy, that way you’ll still get a chance to debate.

Ziggy National Prep Group: In 2015, we started the Ziggy National Prep Group. Anyone who participates in Ziggy is welcome to be a part of the TP prep group, to share briefs and ideas with fellow competitors for the benefit of everyone. All that’s required is that you regularly submit TP briefs to the group, that way everyone who participates will be able to benefit! To help start you off, we’ll give you access to two TP cases and corresponding 2AC Backup Evidence and Neg briefs for this year once you join.

Other Important Details

● Ziggy in the Fall: Both Stoa and NCFCA debates will start the week of October 1st, 2017 as soon as the minimum competitor number is met, and will go through the week of Dec 10, 2017.
Ziggy in the Spring: TP and LD debates will begin the week of January 14, 2018 (as soon as the minimum competitor number is met) and will go through April 22, 2018; Parli and Moot Court will start the week of January 21, 2018, and will go through April 29, 2018.
If you register late, we’ll integrate you into the current week of debates.

In order to register, you must have at least one eligible adult available to judge at some point during the week. You can register another judge after your registration is complete.

You will be emailed every Sunday with your new pairing (if you haven’t completed your round by then, your matching will be based on your previous record).

If you complete all assigned rounds but also end up doing extra debates, the extra rounds will not be counted toward your overall record. If you happen to sign up late and miss some of the first rounds, any extra rounds you complete will count toward your overall round record.

Feel free to email ziggyonlinedebate@gmail.com to get a summary on how you are doing. Your win/loss record and speaker points will be available to you at any time.

Ziggy in the Fall is $25 per competitor ($30 if you sign up late)

Ziggy in the Spring is $20 per competitor (no late fee)

Encourage your friends to sign up!


Isaac Sommers

Ziggy Online Debate Founder & Tournament Coordinator


About Ziggy Online Debate