dcsimg Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ethics Bowl?
Who will judge the teams?
What criteria are used for judging?
How do we prepare for the event?
Is there a cost to participate?
What do teams receive?
What is the schedule for the competition?
How do I register?
Who do I contact for questions?

What is Ethics Bowl?

Ethics Bowl is an event inspired by the nationally televised College Bowl. It began in 1995 as an intercollegiate competition developed by faculty at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Marian University has sponsored the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl since 1999.

In this multidisciplinary event, teams of three-to-five college students exercise their moral reasoning skills in a friendly and competitive atmosphere. The Central States Regional Ethics Bowl is open to all undergraduate majors and interests.

In an Ethics Bowl match, a moderator will question two teams, one defending team and one opposing team, on each case. Teams will receive a set of cases prior to the match. However, they will not know in advance which case they will be asked to discuss or the question that they will be asked. After the defending team has answered the question, the opposing team will comment on the defending team’s answer. The defending team then responds to the opposing team’s commentary. After the judges evaluate both teams on their performance, the teams reverse roles for the next round and the next case. Rules for regional competitions are available from the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Who will judge the teams?

Judges are selected to provide a wide range of background, experience, and perspective. Past judges include business executives, chief executive officers, college professors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and other highly respected members of the community.

Evaluations are not based on right or wrong answers, but on the team’s ability to defend a stance.

What criteria are used for judging?

Teams are scored on clarity and intelligibility, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, identification and discussion of central ethical issues, and deliberative thoughtfulness. Scores are presented after each round.

Clarity and Intelligibility:

Was the presentation clear and systematic? Regardless of whether or not you agree with the conclusion, did the team give a coherent argument in a clear and succinct manner

Identification and Discussion of Central Ethical Issues:

 Did the team's presentation clearly identify and thoroughly discuss the central ethical issues of the case?

Deliberative Thoughtfulness:

 Did the team's presentation indicate both awareness and thoughtful consideration of different viewpoints, including especially those that would loom large in the reasoning of individuals who disagree with the team's position?

How do we prepare for the event?

The set of cases for the competition becomes available around the first week of September and will be mailed to participating teams. Teams may also access the cases at the above link. Teams will not know which cases will be used in the competition and should be ready to address any of them. The judging criteria outlined in the question above and the sample cases can be helpful in guiding students as they prepare for the competition. 

Is there a cost to participate?

There is a $50 participation fee for up to two teams per school. Checks should be made payable to the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Payment should be sent to:

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
618 East Third Street
Bloomington, IN  47405-3602

Please submit an Individual Team Fee Payment Form with your check.

What do teams receive?

All teams receive a gift, morning refreshments, and a buffet lunch. The winning team will receive a trophy and a $500 scholarship to be used toward attending the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition. This competition takes place at the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics

What is the schedule for the competition? 

** This schedule is subject to change. **

Time Activity
7:30 a.m.-8 a.m. Registration and Refreshments; Training for Judges and Moderators
8 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:50 a.m.-9:50 a.m. Match One
10:10 a.m.-11:10 a.m. Match Two
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch & Keynote Speaker
12:30 p.m.-12:40 p.m. Judges Picture
12:50 p.m.-1:50 p.m. Match Three
2:10 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Awards Ceremony and Concluding Remarks
2:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Team Pictures

How do I register?

Registration for the 2012 Central States Regional Ethics Bowl will open in September 2012.

Whom do I contact for questions?

Refer to our contact page for more information.

© 2012 Marian University
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Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the recruiting and selection of students for admission.