Author Topic: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson  (Read 7459 times)

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2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« on: January 09, 2013, 05:33:58 PM »
The invite and everything is up on tabroom everyone with a young team should consider coming to this--were going big on hospitality with the addition of a judges/coaches lounge with constant snacks and televisions etc.  The tournament is all in one building which is a short walk from the hotel and the hotel is walking distance from all the restaurants so if you can get there you probably won't need a car once you get there.

the invite is below:

Dear Colleagues:

On behalf of the Towson University Forensics program, I would like to invite you to Towson University March 1-4, 2013, for the Junior Varsity/Novice National Championship. The tournament will feature many of the traditional features of past years (high quality competition, mutual preference judging in an open tab room administered by Nick Ryan and company, pottery trophies, elimination rounds in the hotel and ultra-generous hospitality throughout the tournament). 
The tournament on campus will be stationed in the Center for the Liberal Arts (our newest facility) and elimination rounds on Monday will take place in the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel. This property features free wired internet in guest rooms, wireless in public spaces and spacious suites which will allow you to sleep up to 6 comfortably. The hotel is within easy walking distance to campus as well as numerous restaurants so those flying in may be able to do without a vehicle. 
We will be returning to the traditional schedule for Towson’s JV/Novice Nationals. There will be 4 preliminary rounds on Saturday on campus, 3 more preliminary rounds and the first elimination round on campus on Sunday (sides for round 7 will be assigned randomly by the tab room), and the remaining elimination rounds will be held on Monday at the hotel.
We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore this March for a celebration of Junior Varsity and Novice debaters as well as the coaches, judges and communities that support them. Details and logistics are below.


Jennifer Potter
Director of Forensics

Fees: $60 per person (a ˜person” is any debater, coach, judge or observer you bring) and $25 per team.  Cash is always accepted or you should make checks payable to: TU Foundation. Fees cover breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, snacks, all day coffee, drinks, a fully stocked judges lounge and awards. Programs in financial need: please contact us if these fees would prevent you from participating.

Dates: Friday, March 1 through Monday, March 4. Rounds start at 8 am each day, and registration will be at the hotel on Friday evening.

Hotel: Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel, 10 West Burke Avenue, Towson, MD 21204, $99 per room for a one bedroom suite or $119 per room for a two bedroom suite. Make reservations by February 8, 2013 by calling 800-228-9290 (national) or 410-324-8100 (local) and mention Towson Debate when making reservations.

Entry deadline: 10:00 pm, Friday, February 22 on, preferences to be opened soon afterward.

Judging: Seven rounds of judging are required for every two teams (four rounds for odd teams). Limited hired judging will be available at $100 for one two-person team. All judges are obligated through the latter of a) the round following their last team’s elimination; or b) the first two elimination rounds. Undergraduate judges must be approved in advance and may only be permitted in the Novice division.

Critic’s Award: We encourage critics to provide oral critiques. At the conclusion of the last preliminary round, all teams will receive a ballot with the names of their judges and will rank and rate these judges. Awards will ensue. 

Tournament Procedures: Rounds 1-2 are random presets and the remaining prelims are power matched. Judge preferences entered on by the preference deadline will take effect starting with the first prelim. Pairings will be released via email. The tournament will abide by CEDA’s policies, including the policy on sexual harassment. 

We will not break brackets in elimination rounds.

Divisions: Novice and Junior Varsity. The CEDA eligibility rules are available at Our interpretation of the junior varsity eligibility is the same as we have used in past years: if a debater begins the year with junior varsity eligibility that person is eligible to compete in JV at this tournament. The number of final rounds and/or qualification for the NDT is irrelevant when it comes to JV eligibility.

Awards: The tournament will feature the ceramic awards we have all come to love. Those receiving awards include the top 20 speakers in each division and all teams advancing to elimination rounds. The top 5 critics and the coaches with teams in semis and finals will also receive awards.

Accommodations: Towson University is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities are given an equally effective opportunity to participate in and benefit from the university’s programs and services. Persons with disabilities who might need reasonable accommodations should contact us as soon as possible.

Transportation: We are not able to provide transportation to teams attending the tournament but if you can get to the hotel you probably don’t need a vehicle as the hotel is attached to campus. Those flying have several choices. Baltimore-Washington International airport is served by many carriers and is closest to Towson, approximately 40 minutes from campus/hotel. Other nearby airports are Dulles and Washington National (Reagan) about 75 miles away. Baltimore is also served by Amtrak and a number of bus services.


Friday, March 1: 7:00 to 10:00 pm registration at the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel. Those arriving late will need to confirm their entries via phone (details as the tournament approaches)

Saturday, March 5 (on campus):

7:00 am breakfast and pairings

8:00 am Round 1

10:30 am Round 2
12:30 pm lunch provided on campus
2:00 pm Round 3
4:00 snack time
5:30 pm Round 4

Sunday, March 5 (on campus)

7:00 am breakfast and pairings

8:00 am Round 5

11:30 am Round 6
1:30 pm lunch provided on campus
3:00 pm Round 7
5:15 catered snacks
6:30 pm Double Octafinals

Sunday March 14th (at the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel)

7:00 am pairings
8:00 am Octafinals

10:30 am Awards

12:30 pm Quarterfinals

4:00 pm Semifinals

7:30 pm Finals

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Re: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 12:21:00 AM »

For many many years Towson University has hosted JV/Novice Nationals as a service to the community and has done so at an incredibly low cost. In order to provide this service to the policy debate community the "runners" of the tournament needed to circumvent university policy to provide an ultra cheap novice/jv tournament to all of you. This contributed to the impoverishment of the relationship of the team to the administration and the university. The extent of this impoverishment has repeatedly taken this team to the brink of elimination, and while i am not blaming a cheap novice nationals for this i am attempting to illustrate  why it is important the current administrations (at the departmental and team level) operate in full  compliance with university policy at all times in an effort to repair this situation as quickly and effectively as possible.

Among the many extra costs that have been rolled into the participant price, costs that have never been a factor in the past, are: we will be paying for housekeeping and security for all of the competition rooms and university catering for all of the meals provided.  We have tried  repeatedly and failed to get food waivers so that we could use outside vendors and come close to previous years' prices. We have also tried to ensure the powers that be that we can clean up our own mess, but after many years of experience they, frankly, didn't believe us.   All of the arguments that people are making about why the prices we have set currently are problematic are absolutely true and we really wish they weren't the prices we were charging. To be clear about this: we will lose money on this tournament  even if every team that competed and every participant present were paid for in full. the prices on the invite are calculated to avoid as much loss as possible but assume that there will still be a significant amount( say a driving tournament's worth) of unavoidable loss for us.  The cost per participant is  quite literally our cost per participant, this doesn't include the hotels banquet rooms, and a few other obligations that were to be covered by the team fees. Those of you who are in real financial need and for whom we have agreed to waive the team fees should understand that Towson is paying for your teams to compete that weekend, its not like we are just making less money from your participation--its more like we are covering you because we know exactly what being a broke debate program is like. Those of you who know you can afford this and are still sending emails requesting a different price structure should probably think back to all the years of ultra cheap novice/jv nationals and consider this an opportunity to pay back a little of what should have rightfully been spread out over those many years.  I highly doubt that  all the people who tout the value of Novice and JV debate only find it valuable because it very often is comparatively cost effective--investing a national championship novice and junior varsity tournament was the reason that we wanted to host this thing in the first place--we hope that you all can still find a way to make the investment in these debaters as well. Based on the response to the unfortunate situation in which we find ourselves vis a vis the cost of the tournament and the unlikelihood of being able to change that situation in the future, it is likely that this is the last time that Towson will be hosting the tournament.

All that having been said, we are doing our very best to make this tournament feel like a national championship tournament in pretty significant ways that we think everyone will enjoy. we sincerely hope to see you there.


towson university forensics

neil berch

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Re: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 08:25:20 AM »
I thank Stephen Davis for posting this frank statement of the situation regarding the fees at JV/Novice Nats.  As someone who has attended the tournament for many years, who has tabbed it at Towson, and who has hosted it three times when Towson was unable to do so, I have a few thoughts:
1.  Every school has a different bureaucratic situation, and those situations change from time to time.  It sounds like that is the case at Towson right now.
2.  One possible solution to the catering situation would be to charge much lower fees and not provide some of the meals.  Takeout opportunities abound near the Towson campus, and both lunch breaks also involve a pairing break.  Extending those slightly would allow people to make the five minute walk to food of their own choice, save Towson the logistical issues, and reduce the mess in campus buildings.
3.  It would have been helpful to know about the fees earlier in the year; I know we might have budgeted differently, and I'm sure it would have worked out better for other programs as well.
4.  I think the other difficult aspect of the fee structure is the jump from two years ago (not to mention the zero fees that we charged last year); administrations sometimes compare fee structures to those in previous years for the same tournament, so bureaucratic difficulties have ensued for multiple programs.
5.  I agree with Mr. Davis that the host school (especially if it is competing) should be willing to lose the amount it would ordinarily spend to travel to the tournament.  If this fees structure produces that result for Towson, then this is what they must charge.
6.  That said, it must be expected that schools will react accordingly to a fee structure that is much higher than the norm (converting the fees from per person to per team, a school sending 3 teams and 3 judges will pay $205 per team).  For us, that means we will send fewer teams than usual, despite the high regard we have for the tournament and its history at Towson.
7.  I also agree with Mr. Davis that, except for programs in true need, everyone should pay the same fees.  Calling Towson to get a backdoor deal for your own program does not solve the larger issue.
8.  Finally, I also agree with Mr. Davis that if the cost issues cannot be resolved, the tournament needs to find a new home for future years.  I say that reluctantly and sadly, given my love for the tournament and its history at Towson, but as Mr. Davis recognizes, the current bureaucratic situation makes that a necessity.  I hope that a new host would maintain the traditions of the tournament, including the Westerwald pottery awards.
Just one person's thoughts.  I again thank Stephen Davis for his candor, and I look forward to hearing what others think.
--Neil Berch
West Virginia University


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Re: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 08:48:10 AM »
I am sympathetic to Towson’s administrative issues but 175-205 a team is an unworkable fee structure for us. I would prefer Towson not provide meals and allow us to make our own food arrangements. This would bring down the fees considerably and allow people the flexibility to make their own choices and save a substantial amount of money. For us this might be the only possible solution that will make the tournament affordable . Is this an option?

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Re: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 09:28:41 AM »
we will discuss theses options today and get back to you all either this evening or early tomorrow morning.  one major problem i foresee with the 80 teams getting  take out option is the enormous amount of garbage it will produce, i would love to trust that the community is responsible and effective at dealing with its waste but i am not a great fool. but we will do what we can. to answer dr. burch just a little: we expected to be able to operate as every other jv nats did and also would have greatly benefited from knowing all of this much earlier--that was not our fate. i just don't want anyone to think that we were just waiting to spring it, when we knew, you knew.



neil berch

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Re: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 09:32:55 AM »
I appreciate that.--Neil

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Re: 2013 JV/Nov Nats at Towson
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 09:53:11 PM »
OOOOOOOOOOKay, we have come to something of a conclusion and  while it is a little  weird its really the only way its going to work.
id like to give a special thanks to Jennifer Potter our DOF who spent the day fighting with the hotel and various bureaucracies on campus to make any of this possible, while there was a moment in the middle of the day when we thought that this whole ship was going to sink--its been righted and we think we've come up with something that just might be ok.

Ok,  hospitality will be sparse.

We will have a minimalist breakfast: first day: muffins and breakfast breads,(jennifer and i will make a vegan option) coffee, tea,  and juice second day: bagels and croissants( well bring the vegan cream cheese) coffee, tea and juice.

For Lunch on both days: you are free to go and get food, the team will be selling slices of pizza at 1-2 bucks a slice( depending on the pie). Its a "fundraising" loophole, a weird one, but its a loop hole thats pretty iron clad.  this isn't us making money this is us saving you a trip and because it is "technically" a fundraiser the catering people cant complain.  we will probably have to adjust the schedule a little to accommodate the time it takes for some of you to go get food. dr. burch is right that the place is literally crawling with options.

the team will provide,  at no cost to you, afternoon snacks: think granola bars, etc.

the rest of your fees will be paying for: outround rooms, trophies, housekeeping and  event and conference services staff(university required.)

even then we are going to lose a little money but that's  a sacrifice were prepared to make provided you all are ok with the sparse hospitality.

 the fee we are asking you to pay is...

drumroll please

participant fee: 40 dollars (i think this is 10 dollars more than last time towson hosted this tournament)
buuuuut--the team fee has been eliminated across the board.

does that work better for everyone?

needless to say this WILL be the last time Towson hosts this tournament  as it has become obvious that the universities policies will, unless we want to fight a series of wars and find a series of loopholes each year, make hosting a tournament like this simply impossible for most of us,  and we sincerely hope that someone comes forward to take this up and that our bureaucratic nightmare doesn't mean that this tournament goes away.