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The term is usually used in rules, for example:
- Timeouts may only be called between cycles. This means that if a tossup goes dead, a timeout may be called before the next tossup is read; if a tossup is answered correctly, a timeout may not be called until the completion of the bonus.
- In NAQT timed matches, a cycle that is begun before time expires in a half is completed. This means that even if the moderator is still reading the tossup when time expires, the moderator will continue, and a team correctly answering the tossup will get read its bonus, as usual.