Tabbing Software

Here’s a quick overview of the most popular currently available debate tabbing software.

  • Human Tab
  • Tabbie
  • Tabulator
  • TRPC
  • PlusTab 2
  • Zorro
  • Joy of Tournaments
  • General Tabbing Resources

Human Tab

You Need : 1 folder and a piece of card per team, an empty room with tables
Format : All formats

As scary as the title appears, this form of tabbing does not require a human calculator or a nerd. However, it does require a good knowledge and understanding of tabbing in general, particularly with the calculation of scores, results and rankings. Human tabbing is considerably less fidgety than computer software but only if you understand what to do. First time tabbers are advised against human tabbing. Due to the slightly more time consuming process, only small scale competitions should adopt human tabbing. It would require a troop of capable tabbers to work well for large competitions.

how to tab text


You Need : Internet Access and a Computer
Format : British Parliamentary (WUDC)

The official tabulation software for the World Universities Debating Championship in the British Parliamentary Format, Tabbie is a tried and tested software having been around since 2004; amongst the most reliable of them all. It has a simple user interface with both a computer based or online option for users. With lots of options and a few hiccups, its reliability makes it the top choice of BP Tournaments and a highly recommended choice.



You Need : A mac
Format : 3 on 3, World Schools Format

Developed by Hong Kong’s own Paul Lau on the back of the ESF Junior Tournaments in 2007, Tabulator is the only mac native tabulator of any sort. Updated after every tournament it is used in, Tabulator has a clear interface but works best with people already familiar with tabbing. It is the easiest to use when it comes to pure calculation of scores. However its simplicity makes it a strenuous task if you wish to generate a draw based on the earlier results. With a fully functioning WSDC 3-on-3 version currently available, a British Parliamentary version reportedly in the works.



You Need : A PC
Format : Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Format, Public Forum Debate, Various Parliamentary Debate Formats

Developed by Richard Edwards, Professor at Baylor University (Texas) and President of the American Forensic Association, the Tab Room on the PC (TRPC) is a professional piece of software which does the generic scheduling and tabbing of results. The software can manage up to 400 schools, 400 contestants, 400 judges and 400 rooms. Judge assignment choices are random, judge ranking, and mutual judge preference. Thirteen different tie-breaking choices are available. This makes TRPC a highly comprehensive software if suitable. It does take a while to get used to and you are advised to try the TRPC before actually using it in practice.



You Need : A PC
Format : Individual Events (Dramatic interpretation, Humorous interpretation, Impromptu speaking)

Developed by Richard Edwards, Professor at Baylor University (Texas) and President of the American Forensic Association, the Tab Room for Individual Events on the PC (TRIEPC) is a highly sophisticated software designed for individual events specifically. As with the TRPC, it is capable of handling up to 400 schools, 2000 contestants, 400 judges and 400 rooms with a variety of tie-breaking choices are available.


PlusTab 2

You Need : Internet Access and a Computer with Microsoft Excel
Format : Lincoln Douglas Format, Public Forum, Parliamentary, Policy Debate

Written for Microsoft Excel, PlusTab 2 is a simple yet powerful debate tabulation program with a simple interface and many features. It was created by Jim Hanson and Danny Cantrell who built on Gary Larson’s STA-XL program. It has a highly comprehensive scheduling feature and an economical pairing capability. At maximum, it is capable of pairing 256 teams in a elimination format. One of the things that makes PlusTab different is its superior printing quality and feature making it easy to hand out copies of the tab.


You Need : Internet Access and a Computer
Format : American Forensics

Based solely online, is extensively used in the United States for forensic tournaments around the country and is responsible for hosting many of the state and national leagues. It has served as a unifying area for American forensic competitions with a schedule provided and easy to use tabbing. Although not all individuals need use the tab service, it is a highly professional and safe choice for those who have the need.



You Need : Internet Access and a Computer
Format : British Parliamentary (WUDC)

Although not the official tabulation software for WUDC, Zorro Debate is a discontinued software used for the British Parliamentary Format. It provides real time debate tabbing online which makes it easy to be used by multiple users. However its discontinued development means it is slightly behind the curve. With a range of settings from pariring to scoring, it is a flexible software that is a good substitute to the highly used and often unavailable Tabbie software.


Joy of Tournaments

You Need : A Windows
Format : Multiple Formats both Individual and Team

Joy of Tournaments provides one of the most comprehensive suites for debate tournaments for organizers to host tournaments. Joy of Tournaments helps to host a tournaments registration, with the competition Invitation, Schedule, Fees, Results and Online Registration all accessible for the public. Organizers can alter teams, events and debate pairings at will. This flexible suit is useful for large scale tournaments with a variety of needs and capable tabbers.

Tabbing Resources


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