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The Rules of the Game

A protest (or series of protests) is moot if the potential change in score is not sufficient to change the outcome of the game. Protests that are invalidated in this way have been rendered moot.

The use of this term is based on the usage of moot to mean "deprived of practical significance,"[1] which is especially common in legal contexts.


Consider a scenario where a tossup is negged outside of power by team B and then picked up by team B for ten points. If team B then gets twenty points on the bonus, then there are 75 points "pending protest" - that is, depending on the outcome of the protest, there is the possibility of the score changing by up to 75 (team B would lose their 30 points and team A would get back 5 from the neg, receive 10 for answering correctly, and could potentially score 30 on the bonus). This scenario can also be described as "having a potential swing of 75 points".

If the final score of the round is team A 210 - team B 240, then the protest would have to be resolved to determine the final winner of the game. This is because a) team A is losing b) the potential swing is in team A's favor and c) the differential is less than 75 (the size of the swing).

If the scores were reversed so that team A was in the lead, then the resolution of the protest could not win the game for team B and team A wins outright - the protest is moot.

In the UK

In the UK, the term "moot" is more frequently used with the meaning "to bring up for discussion;"[2] thus "mooting a protest" refers to the initial act of raising a protest rather than the final act of closing one.