Author Topic: starting a new team  (Read 446 times)


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starting a new team
« on: November 05, 2019, 01:46:56 PM »
Hello!! A couple of students that also debated in high school and I are looking to start a program at our college, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. We're working through the university's requirements and have found an advisor and such. However, we are looking for some assistance in figuring pretty much everything else out. Of what organizations do we need membership? How often should we compete? Which tournaments are best for new programs? I've even seen some tournaments that offer assistance for new programs.

Any advice anyone has would be amazingly helpful!!


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Re: starting a new team
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2019, 02:03:27 PM »
Congrats on starting a new program. If you need any assistance there are a ton of people willing to help out. the NDT/CEDA  and the ADA are the primary organizations you'll need to worry about starting out. All ADA tournaments are NDT/CEDA sanctioned as well, so the easiest thing to do is to focus on finding tournaments near you on, select the circuit NDT-CEDA and you'll see a list of tournaments available. The three organizations will all waive fees for new programs, and most (if not all) will work with new programs to help you find judging and/or waive entry fees as well to lower the entry barrier.

If you want to email me nryan2wc [AT] gmail I can get you in contact with several of the programs in the area that can provide a lot more closer assistance and recommend tournaments for you starting out that are close.

Feel free to email me with any other questions you might have as well,
Nick Ryan

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Re: starting a new team
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2019, 09:55:59 PM »
Hello Wisconsin! (sorry, couldn't resist)

To echo Nick, we have a number of ways to assist you.  CEDA Sanctioned tournaments have a fee waiver option for new and emerging programs and your CEDA Dues are also waived in the first 3 years.  This allows you organizational membership (CEDA runs the national topic process) while doing the hard work in the early years of establishing a team and a little more breathing room in your budget.  As Nick mentioned, there are area programs who are the logical starting places for building a local tournament calendar, and then building from there to determine a circuit of tournaments that works with your budget and best meets the needs of your debaters.  Most programs that start as student activities based programs start with a goal of 2-4 tournaments a semester, depending on geography (you want to give your administration some kind of "6 tournaments a year" goal to fund at a minimum, which also safeguards the number of rounds needed for the qualification to the NDT if you decide that is in your team interest). Tournaments that offer JV and Open divisions will give experienced debaters a choice of level of competition, as you will also have your own competing demands for time towards academics and the logistics of getting funding for the team.

I've worked with a number of student activities based teams in their formation, and am happy to assist with those types of questions in addition to Nick's offer to put you in touch with local contacts.  My email is

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