Coaches’ Information

2017 regional Ethics Bowl cases

Cases for the 2017 regional Ethics Bowl will be released on September 6, 2017. Teams competing in the Central States region will need to prepare only nine of the 15 cases released by the IEB regional case-writing committee. Coaches will receive an email from the host on September 6 about which nine cases will be used.

Links to cases

Selection of cases for the Central States region

The nine cases to be used at the Central States competition were selected by the regional representative, the bowl organizer and a third party who is neither a coach nor a sponsor of an Ethics Bowl team. This three-person panel convenes to select the nine cases on the morning that IEB releases the fifteen regional cases, so that they can inform Central States coaches and team members of the nine selected cases as soon as possible on the day that the cases are released.

The panel selects cases for the Central States regional competition according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity of writing
  • Variety of fields covered (e.g., medical ethics, environmental ethics, law/policy, etc.)
  • Topical dissimilarity to recent regional and national Ethics Bowl cases
  • Range of difficulty levels

Official Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl rules

The Central States Regional Ethics Bowl is conducted according to the rules for regional competitions set by the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl national board, along with the rules and guidelines set and published by the Central States regional competition organizer and regional representative:

The following documents describe the judging, scoring and moderating of matches at the Central States bowl:

For teams advancing to the IEB national championship, that competition's rules are set by the IEB board:

Seeding and room assignments

The organizers of the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl have an ongoing and longstanding commitment to ensuring that our competitions are as fair and equitable as possible.

Matches at Central States are drawn according to seeded groups that ensure that each team faces roughly the same level of competition over the course of the competition. Schools are seeded (i.e., ranked for competitive strength) on the basis of those schools' placement in recent three years' Central States competitions (with the most recent two years receiving additional weighting), and then grouped so that the average strength of teams in each group is roughly equivalent to those of all other groups.

Central States is fortunate to have a corps of experienced judges, many of whom have been with us for several years. In grouping judges together into three-person panels, we aim to ensure that each room's panel is varied in terms of profession, gender and other demographic considerations. We aim to distribute newer judges so that each has the benefit of being placed on a panel with more experienced ones. Although historically judges have overwhelmingly agreed on the outcome of matches, inevitable some judges tend to award somewhat higher scores than others. Therefore we evaluate judges' scoring in previous competitions to ensure that judges are placed on panels such that the effects of these individual tendencies are canceled out as much as possible.

Once teams have been seeded, we ensure that no team competes in front of the same panel of judges’ more than once.


Registration for the Central States Regional Ethics Bowl  is open through October 16, 2017. Teams register through the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE). The registration fee is $100 for up to two teams (i.e., schools need not pay separate registration fees for each team). The Central States region does not charge an additional fee on top of APPE's $100 fee. All teams must hold a current individual or institutional membership in the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (student memberships do not qualify).

Teams may make roster changes through October 29, 2017; any such changes should be submitted to Beverly Day.

Links and contacts

Studying healthcare in Chile
Pre-med student builds cultural competencies and awareness.
Watch Htoo's story
Interning at Delta Faucet
Marketing experience gives insight into corporate America.
Watch Dominic's story
Coming home to Indy
Award-winning transfer student is glad she made the switch.
Read Rachel's story