It goes like this:
I seed the kids based on their proficiency with irregular verb endings, and each pair enters the circle, shakes hands, and proceed to spit verb pairs at each other...
Kid A: send -- sent
Kid B: fight -- fought
Kid A: run -- ran
Kid B: is -- was
...until someone can't fire back or a verb pair is repeated. Round 1 takes the longest because I set a 20-second time limit. In subsequent rounds I drop the time limit to 10 seconds and the answers start coming quicker and quicker, with some kids working in that little chin lift. Applause is given for good battles, the ones that last the longest, or have that quick-fire response. In the end, an unlikely character whose nickname is a type of poultry takes the victory, and he is truly the people's champion.
Then he challenges me.
I have to accept, cannot back down, and my mind starts racing. They've been studying all week, and I've just facilitated. Our champion has made it through five grueling battles, and I've just been timing and officiating. He's fresh off a victory, and I'm coming in cold. This calls for some strategy. I know he's been starting with the being verbs, so I decide to take those away first. He has not been using the -aught/-ought pairs, so I plan on going there next. I also store up the seldom used consonant changers, in case it goes that long.
He's thrown off that I go for the being verbs early, is intimidated by how fast I'm hitting him with the -ought/ -aughts, and then he stumbles and is broken by the time limit.
I raise my arms in victory, shadow-box a little, utter M. Ali's trademark phrase, and revel in the fact that I can recite past tense irregular verbs faster and more accurately than a kid with a CELDT score of 2.