James Madison Cup
Rules for the James Madison Cup Competition
Sponsored by the Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha
- Any student at the University of Alaska Anchorage is eligible to register for the competition, which will be held on __________________. Students may register to compete either as individuals or as two-member teams. Past Cup winners are also eligible to compete.
- The order of the contestants or teams will be determined by lot before the first round of competition. In each round, each contestant or team will be asked one question.
- Questions on the American Constitution should be answered on the basis of the present Constitution, as amended, unless the question specifically asks about a provision of the original Constitution.
- Questions will be distinguished by three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard.
In each round each contestant or team will be asked to specify the level of difficulty
for the question put. Values for correct answers will be assigned as follows:
Answers must be full and correct in order to earn points. If a contestant or team elects not to specify the article (or amendment) and section, then no extra points are earned; in order to earn extra points, the answer must be correct in both particulars. If there is no section number, then only the article (or amendment) need be specified.
Easy: 1 point + 1 extra point for article and section Medium: 2 points + 2 extra points for article and section Hard: 3 points + 3 extra points for article and section
- Contestants or teams will have thirty seconds in which to answer each question. After thirty seconds, or at any time beforehand, they may request that the question be repeated. But after thirty seconds, or after the question has been repeated, they must answer the question immediately, failing which they lose their chance and earn no points.
- The first answer given to any question by a contestant or by any member of a team will be considered the final answer.
- The contest will be conducted in two stages: a preliminary competition to select two contestants or teams to advance to the final stage, and a final stage to select one of those contestants or teams as the winner.
- In the first stage of the competition, contestants or teams will be asked questions in turn, earning points when they answer questions correctly. To qualify for the final stage, a contestant or team must gain at least thirty points in the preliminary competition.
- Rounds continue until one contestant or team reaches thirty points. If two contestants or teams reach thirty points in that round, then they advance to the final stage, and the preliminary stage is completed. If more than two contestants or teams reach thirty points in that round, then the two contestants or teams with most points qualify for the final stage, and the preliminary stage is completed. But if only one contestant or team reaches thirty points in that round, then he takes (or they take) no further part in the preliminary stage, which continues until a second contestant reaches thirty points. At the end of that round, the preliminary stage is completed. If more than one contestant or team reaches thirty points in that round, then the contestant or team with most points qualifies for the final stage.
- If, at the end of a round during which a second contestant or team has reached thirty points in the preliminary stage, there is a tie between three or more contestants or teams for the first position, or between two or more contestants or teams for the second position, a further round or rounds will be held among only those contestants or teams who are tied in order to break the tie. Competition in the preliminary stage continues until two contestants or teams have higher scores than any others at the end of a round, those contestants or teams then advancing to the final stage.
- In the final stage of competition, scoring begins anew for the two contestants or teams remaining, who compete in the order already established. The first contestant or team to reach thirty points wins the contest unless the other contestant or team has a higher score at the end of the round, in which case the contestant or team with the higher score wins the contest. In case of a tie at the end of that round, another round or rounds will be held until one contestant or team has a higher score at the end of a round, and then the contestant or team wins the contest.
- No contestant or team may refer to any notes, books, or papers, or receive help from any other person during the contest. At the discretion of the judges, any departure form the rules may disqualify a contestant or team. All decisions by the judges shall be final.
- There is no fee to register or to participate in the competition. You will receive an e-mail message confirming your registration, providing details of participation, and explaining the rules of the competition.
- The team or contestant that wins the championship will receive an engraved mug like the one James Madison used at the Indian Queen Tavern that summer. All finalists will receive a copy of the American Constitution. The winner(s) will be invited to defend the title in the next contest.