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Author Topic: 2013 Coon Invitation  (Read 2659 times)
Tim Barouch
Jr. Member
Posts: 55

« on: January 09, 2013, 07:15:24 PM »

Owen L. Coon Memorial Debates
Northwestern University
February 9-11, 2013

January 8, 2013

Greetings! Come compete at the annual Owen L. Coon Memorial Debates, to be held on the Evanston Campus of Northwestern University, from February 9 through February 11, 2013. We will be debating the 2012-2013 topic, Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power.

This year the tournament will again reside on the Evanston campus and at the Hilton Orrington. We will strive to carry on the tradition of holding the most hospitable, efficient, and competitive tournament we possibly can.

In that spirit, we cordially invite you to attend the Owen L. Coon at Northwestern in February.


The Northwestern Debate Society

Meals: We will provide a light coaches reception Friday evening at registration; breakfast and lunch on Saturday; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Sunday; meals for participants and judges on Monday, and a reception once the Finals end.

Prelims: 8 preliminary debates; first 4 will be pre-set. Gary Larson will once again be running the tournament, and we will be using his hybrid pairing procedure (similar to the Shirley).
Evidence moving: We will continue to operate an evidence shuttle for paper teams.

Work Space/Reception Sunday Evening: As we have done in the past, the assistants who stay up late on the night before the elims are invited to a workspace on Sunday evening. We will provide coffee, drinks, free wireless (which is throughout the hotel), and light snacks for all who would like to join us. We plan on using the 9th floor of the Hilton Orrington for this event.

Decision Time Limits: We will continue this practice. Details below.

Tournament Hotel: We will continue to be at the Hotel Orrington. It’s the nicest hotel on the North Shore; it offers a complete state of the art business facility; high speed internet in all public spaces; and complementary high speed internet connections in all sleeping rooms. All public space in the new Hotel Orrington is non-smoking.

Rooms are available at a rate of $124 per night, plus appropriate city taxes. The $124 dollar rate is good for up to four persons per room. Sleeping room reservations are made directly through Kathy Koestring ( or 847-866-8700) or Sarah Resimius ( or 847-556-7932). You will need to secure your reservation with a major credit card. Be sure to mention to that you are associated with the Owen L. Coon Debates.
We have also reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at the same $124 rate. If you are unable to book at the Orrington, don’t fret: the Hilton Garden Inn is completing a renovation (hard deadline: Feb 1!) and is not far from the Orrington action. We will operate a shuttle that will go to the Garden Inn on Saturday and Sunday, and will shuttle elimination participants to the Orrington on Monday morning. The block code there is NUDEBATE13 and our contact is Barbara Klein (Barbara.klein@interstatehotels.comor 847-492-4344).

***Please Note*** Reservations must be made no later than January 18th to secure the tournament rate. The cut-off date is quickly approaching, so we encourage you to make reservations ASAP. Given the late date of the invitation posting, we will work with our hotels to extend the cutoff, but that is not guaranteed. More information will be posted on CEDA forums about this as soon as it is available.

Should you need to cancel a reservation, the Hotel Orrington asks that you do so no less than 24 hours in advance of your scheduled arrival by 3:00 p.m. CST. Failure to do so, as well as an unplanned early check-out, will be billed according to the full duration of your planned stay.

The Hotel Orrington is located at 710 Orrington Avenue in Evanston. The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 1818 Maple Avenue in Evanston.

Air and Ground Transport: Chicago is easily accessible via air transportation via both Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and Midway International Airport. American Taxi--  or phone at 847-255-9600-- offers a flat rate of $29 between Evanston and O’Hare, and $49 between Evanston and Midway.

Airport Express (888) 284-3826: they provide shared van service departs O’Hare every 20 minutes between 6:00 AM and 11:00 PM. For arrangements and rates, visit them at:

Parking: Parking information will be updated as needed on CEDA forums. For now, here’s the scoop if you drive to the tournament or decide to rent your own ground transportation. You may valet your vehicle at the Orrington for a cost of $22 for each 24 hour period. While we have worked with the Orrington staff to speed the valet process, an event this size can sometimes create quite a clog at the start and end of tournament prelim days. Here are some alternatives:

After 4 p.m. on Friday, February 8, and on Saturday and Sunday, you can park in the “F” lot behind the Hardy House at 1809 and 1815 Chicago Avenue.
To reach this lot, from the front of the Hotel Orrington, drive one block north (the only way you can drive on Orrington Avenue) to Clark Street. Head east (take a right) on Clark Street and proceed one block to the intersection of Clark Street and Chicago Avenue. Continue straight through the traffic light at that intersection and take an immediate left into the alley way just beyond the intersection. This leads you directly to two adjacent “F” or faculty parking lots (which will be off to your right). You will get ticketed in these lots if you do not move your vehicle by 8:30 a.m. on Monday; the tickets are $50 each. Also, avoid parking in the spots marked for the SAE fraternity offices on the north end of the parking lot, these are non-university spots and violators will be towed.

Another option is a covered lot (good for inclement weather) operated by the City of Evanston. It is relatively cheap; $8 for up to twelve hours; $11 for 12-18 hours. Consider this option if snow is forecast. To reach the City lot, from the front of the Hotel Orrington, drive one block north (the only way you can drive on Orrington Avenue) to Clark Street. Head east (take a right) on Clark Street and proceed one block to the intersection of Clark Street and Chicago Avenue. Continue straight through the traffic light at that intersection. This city lot is on your right just beyond the intersection.

Tournament Provided Transportation: We will transport both participants and evidence to and from the Orrington and the Hilton Garden Inn. Cargo vans will circulate between the buildings to facilitate room movement when it is required. Buses will circulate on Saturday and Sunday (morning and evening) to move participants as required. Paper teams may check their evidence in to their building’s ballot table on Saturday night – if you will move buildings in the morning your evidence will be waiting for you at the ballot table of your building on Sunday morning.

Entry Deadlines, Limitations, and Procedures: Entries will be accepted at Please complete your entry no later than Friday, February 1. Entries will be closed and fees calculated at this time.  After that time cutoff, please e-mail changes directly to Tim Barouch at  As noted below, there’s a drop fee of $50 per team (after Wednesday 2/6).

Waitlist/Room Limits: We have space on campus for 120 teams and anticipate that we may be able to broker more space in the next month. For now we will impose a waitlist after 120 teams and then admit further teams based on available classroom space. In order to ensure equal access for all programs we have established a 2-team cap per school to begin registration.  We will add teams from the waitlist in order of registration by school. We intend also to accommodate large squads with many young teams to the best of our ability. Our procedure will be to add 3rd, then 4th, then 5th teams in that order. If you decide that a team will not or cannot attend please update your entry as soon as possible so other programs can make accurate travel plans. We will make final decisions based on a judgment informed by competitive fairness and equity.

Entry Fees: The entry fee will be $80 per participant (debater, coach, judge, scout). This is in line with other large national tournaments and will be supplemented by a substantial commitment from the Northwestern Debate Society. The entry fee is used in its entirety to support the tournament; we raise no net revenue from the tournament and in fact allocate a substantial amount of our yearly discretionary travel funding to support the tournament. We do this because we regard the Owen. L Coon as the most tangible way we can give back to the college debate community.
We will charge a $50 drop fee per team for drops after 5:00 PM on Wednesday, 2/6/2012.  Since we provide all meals during the tournament and must commit to numbers, we need a drop fee to cover these food costs. 

Judging: Each school must provide 4 rounds of prelim judging for each of their first two teams and 5 rounds of judging for each additional team.

If you are hiring judging from outside of your school’s staff/alumni, and the tournament cannot place your judges into the required number of rounds, the tournament reserves the right to: 1) adjust the judging obligations of your other judges (adding rounds of commitment to those of your judges who are easier to place), and/or 2) charge your school $30.00 per round of unmet obligation.

Prelim rounds must be decided within two hours and thirty minutes of the posted start time of the debate. The tab room will flip a coin to determine the winner when the judge cannot decide in time.

Elim rounds must be decided within two hours and forty five minutes of the posted/announced start time of the debate. The tab room will flip a coin to determine the winner when the judge(s) cannot decide in time.

Judges must vote for one and only one team in each debate and must assign speaker points and ranks in prelim rounds. Speaker points are accepted in increments of 0.1 from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 30. Speaker ranks are accepted in whole numbers only from 1 to 4. No rank or point ties are permitted.

Fifteen minutes will be allocated to post round discussion of the decision, but the post-round must cease 15 minutes after the decision deadline so debaters can move on to their next debate with adequate preparation time.

If, during the course of the tournament, any judge representing your school refuses to comply with these requirements, teams affiliated with your school will be removed from the competition by the tab room.

Judges are expected to disqualify themselves from hearing any team or school with which they may have a personal or professional conflict. Such conflicts include, but are not limited to: former college or high school debate colleagues, former students, students from schools with which you have been associated in the last two to four years, and students from a school you plan to associate with next year. We urge judges to maintain a high standard of integrity on this question. Please send judge conflicts to or The tab room reserves the right to restrict a judge’s eligible team field based upon our understanding of your past institutional affiliation.
Bracket Breaking, Side Equalization, and Hybrids: Brackets will be broken in both preliminary and elimination debates to prevent teams from the same school from meeting. Hybrid teams are permitted as per historical practice. Prior to the tournament, maverick entries are not accepted. Once the tournament begins, maverick debaters may or may not be permitted to continue. The tournament director will evaluate maverick situations on a case-by-case basis. The tournament employs the 9-3-6 format with ten minutes of preparation time allocated to each team. We anticipate posting four preset debates on Friday evening. We continue to employ a mutual judge preference (MPJ) placement system run by Gary Larson. Eight preliminary rounds are scheduled, followed by five elimination debates beginning with a full doubles on Monday morning. For purposes of efficiency sides for elimination debates will be determined and assigned by tab room coin flip. Elimination debates will also be side-equalized as is historical practice.  All such procedures will be conducted in public and in a transparent manner.

Northwestern teams may compete in the tournament. If so, they are eligible to receive speaker awards and to compete in elimination rounds. We will enter via and declare our participation publicly; at this time we likely will enter 2 teams. Northwestern teams will be required to complete a judge preference sheet; judge assignments for Northwestern teams will be assigned by the computer and changed only by the option of an external tab room manager (Gary Larson).  There will be an absolute firewall between the tab room and the Northwestern debate team; in the event that Northwestern teams clear to elimination rounds no Northwestern debaters, coaches, etc. will be involved in the selection of judges for debates that Northwestern is involved in.
Tournament participants will follow CEDA’s policy against Sexual Harassment and Discrimination, and the Statement of Ethical Principles, found in Bylaws IV and V of the CEDA Constitution. The tournament will apply for CEDA and AFA Sanctioning.

Internet: Each participant (debaters, coach , judge, etc) who has paid an entry fee will be assigned a unique temporary NU Net ID. You will be given a password and instructions for how to access the wireless system (which covers the whole campus). We also have a guest network now at NU (it is slower and less reliable… but it is there). Further instructions will be posted to the CEDA forums as the tournament approaches.  The Hotel has free internet in all of the guest rooms and wireless in the common areas.

Questions: Please feel free to pose questions to Tim Barouch or Dan Fitzmier –, Come join us in Evanston: we’ll spare no effort to make it a great debating experience. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance or special accommodations. We will do our best to make it happen for you.
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