Author Topic: Director's Letter January 2016  (Read 3607 times)


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Director's Letter January 2016
« on: January 26, 2016, 04:23:55 PM »

Dear Colleague,

Plans are nearing completion for the 70th National Debate Tournament to be hosted by the Bearcats from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  Registration for the tournament will take place on Thursday, March 31, 2016.  Competition will take place on Friday, April 1 through Monday April 4, 2016.  Registration will be at the tournament hotel.  All preliminary debates and doubles will be on the Binghamton campus.  The final day of elimination debates will be at the tournament hotel.

This brief letter will provide information on the tournament location, qualifying processes, eligibility certification, and entry for the tournament.

Tournament Hotel:    Binghamton Doubletree. Their phone number is 607-722-7575. If you book online use group code "DEB" for the NDT. Their website is  

We have also secured two overflow hotels

First, the Holiday Inn is one block from the tournament hotel and a 5-10 minute drive to campus. Their rate is $129 a night. You can book through the Holiday Inn website and use contract code “NDT” or by calling the hotel directly at 607- 722-1212.

Second, the Quality Inn is directly across the street from campus and about a 5-10 minute drive to the tournament hotel. The rate is $84.95 a night. To book call the hotel at 607- 729-6371. Just ask for the debate block. You can’t book online for this rate.

We recommend that you reserve rooms as soon as you have qualified.  

Important rule changes for the 2016 NDT:

B. Procedure for Adjudication of Evidence Integrity Challenges.

1. Standards governing evidence use shall be those of the AFA Debate Program and Debate Tournament Standards with the following additional stipulations/interpretations:
a. All evidence should include full source citation of original sources, either in a master file available in the round, or on individual cards. The source citation should be sufficient to permit others to locate the original source. It should include, at a minimum, the author's name (if given in the original), name of the published source (journal, magazine, book, newspaper, or government document), full date, and page number.
b. All paraphrases of evidence must be indicated both on the evidence artifact and orally in the round. All quotations should include ellipses when appropriate, according to MLA standards. c. Other MLA standards are considered advisory.
c. The portion of the quotation or paraphrase of evidence introduced should be clearly communicated during speech time and clearly indicated on the evidence artifact. Intentional and/or negligent misrepresentation of the portion of quotations or paraphrases of evidence introduced during a speech is prohibited. Attempts should be made to determine intent and clarify the representation prior to making the allegation.
i. Examples of misrepresentation may include:
- stopping before the end of quoted section without indicating the words read.
- repeatedly skipping words or lines of words through the content of the quoted section without indication.
- speaking without sufficient clarity for participants to determine which parts of the quoted evidence was read with the intent to gain competitive advantage
- distributing evidence artifacts to other participants after speech time that do not accurately indicate the portion of quotation or paraphrase communicated during speech time.

ii. Examples that do not meet the standard of misrepresentation:
-skipping words or parts of words due to mitigating circumstances or unintentional actions.
-brief lack of clarity due to mitigating circumstances or without an attempt to inform the participant that clarity is insufficient.

D. Assignment of Elimination Round Judges.
1. In the First Elimination Round, judges will be assigned in the same manner as in the preliminary rounds, except that each panel will include five judges. This procedure may be continued during the octafinals if deemed necessary by the Tournament Director. As early in the elimination rounds as feasible, however, the procedure in steps 2-4 below will be employed.
2. Teams will be given an opportunity to revise their preliminary round judge rankings prior to the elimination debates.  Elimination round preference sheets consisting of a list of all judges in the tournament shall be made available to each team qualifying for the elimination rounds, with ordinal rankings used to inform judge placement beginning in the octafinals. At least 20 judges - those ranked at the bottom of each team’s ordinal rankings – will count as ‘strikes’. Judges in the judging pool who do not meet the 12 round minimum requirement prior to the start of the National Debate Tournament will not count towards the maximum number of disapproved judges.
3. Tentative panels of eleven judges will be selected using the preferences provided in the revised preference sheets.
4. Selection of judging panels. a. The coach of each school shall be presented with a list of the tentative panel for the debate in which his or her team is paired. He or she will approve at least eight of the judges. b. The Director shall compare the lists by the coaches of the teams in each pairing and create panels of not less than five judges from the agreements. If there are an even number of agreements the Director shall delete a judge that has high mutuality but low preference.
Rule Reminders:
1.  All debates are governed by the rules of the National Debate Tournament and the American Forensics Association.  The documents governing the administration of the National Debate Tournament may be found at
2.  Effective with the 2007 NDT, teams qualifying for the tournament must provide 13 rounds of judging.
3.  Individuals in attendance at the National Debate Tournament who provide significant coaching to or argument production for any team participating in the NDT should be required to enter the judging pool on a supplemental strike sheet for at least four debates or, if it more appropriate, provide a significant equivalent contribution to the tournament as defined by the tournament director.  

Eligibility Forms:
Eligibility forms must be submitted by February 6 to the Chair of the NDT Committee, Dallas Perkins.  Forms may be submitted via fax (617-876-1360), mail (Dallas Perkins, 324 Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA 02139), or hand delivered to Dallas Perkins prior to the NDT committee meeting to be held in Austin on February 6.

Qualification Process:

The selection process altered before the 1994 NDT and 1999 NDT, remains in place for the 2016 NDT.  A complete set of rules and procedures may be found at

At Large Application Process:
The rules governing the application process for First- and Second-Round At-Large bids will be the same as those established in 2004.  The number of preliminary rounds required for a team to count toward bid allocation is 18.  All teams selected through the Second-Round At-Large process, must have a 50% or greater preliminary win-loss record in rounds on the fall CEDA topic or its NDT parallel immediately prior to the District tournament or at the time of submission of second round bids.  Those subscribing schools that wish to nominate their teams for At-Large considerations must submit copies of their completed electronic Official NDT At-Large Application (without cover letters or supplemental materials).  
Applications must be received by the dates listed at the end of this letter.  

The application is a two-step process. First, schools submitting At-Large applications must pay $100.00 to the treasurer of the NDT Board of Trustees.  Payment for first rounds should be made at  Payment for second rounds should be made at  In the case that you are unable to pay online, the treasurer will accept a check or money order made out to the NDT and RECEIVED BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE.  Send checks to the following address:

Danielle Leek
2217 Cambridge Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Second, applications for First- and Second-Round At-Large bids should be made at  To apply for an At-Large bid, simply register for the NDT tournament.  You will be placed on the waitlist.  The application becomes official when the fee for the application is received; teams receiving bids will be moved off the waitlist and into tournament registration.  Teams registered on the waitlist who do not pay the fees on time will be removed from the waitlist.  Please review your team’s bid sheet at and report any anomalies to  The sooner you can report any issues, the better.  

Entering the Tournament:
Entering the tournament is a two-step process.
First, all teams must register for tournament logistics (participant details/payment/meals etc.) through the link available on

Second, debate team and judging details will be accepted using the website. When entering the NDT, simply register for the tournament.  Teams will be put on the waitlist and removed from the waitlist by then tournament director.

Entries are due Monday March 14, 2016.  Please enter as soon as your team qualifies, however.  

Judging Philosophies:

Judging philosophies should be posted to no later than March 14, 2016.  To enter a philosophy, create an account and click on the “homepage” link in the top right.  In the right hand column will be a section titled judging and a link to paradigm.  Click the paradigm link to enter your philosophy.  
The NDT may impose a $50 fine on institutions which have not supplied judging philosophies by March 18, 2016.  THE NDT may impose an additional $50 fee if judging philosophies are not available at the time of registration.  

The Board of Trustees has set the fees for the 2016 NDT.  The fees are $150 per team.  Participant fees for debaters and judges –four people for each team in the tournament will be $90.  The fees for observers (all other persons with your group over the four per team that count as participants) will be $125.

Host Reminders:
(1) Your hosts will be assuming everyone consumes vegetarian food unless you opt in as a meat eater when registering for the tournament.  Binghamton’s goal is to minimize the tournament's impact on the environment and other species.
(2) The tournament will be run as waste-free as possible with labelled compost bins, etc.  All materials bought for the tournament will be compostable or recyclable.  The Bearcats ask participants to decrease their waste consumption while at Binghamton as well.  Garbage cans in classrooms are to collect paper and other compostable materials.  There will be a couple of garbage cans spread out for things people may bring in that cannot be recycled or composted.  However, please do not put garbage in the trash cans inside classrooms.  Please do properly deposit recyclables in recycling bins so our hosts can quickly and efficiently collect compostables.
(3) Also, should you need anything concerning accessibility please contact T.j. Buttgereit who will be managing accessibility needs for both tournaments. He can be reached via facebook or e-mail at We already have many gender neutral bathrooms on campus in both the competition areas and the gathering areas. We will be sure to have some quiet rooms and will do everything possible to make the NDT the most accessible yet!
Attached you will find a tentative tournament schedule, contact information for the Chair of the NDT Tournament Committee.

Please join us in Binghamton for the 70th National Debate Tournament.


Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre
Director, National Debate Tournament

Tentative Tournament Schedule:
Thursday, March 31
   9:00-11:00    Registration
   11:00-1:00   NDT Board of Trustees Meeting
   1:00-4:00   NDT Committee Meeting
   4:00-5:00   Late Registration
   6:30      Reception and Pre-Tournament Awards

Friday, April 1
   7:30 AM   Breakfast
   8:00      Announcement of Round I (8:50 start) (Decisions 11:35)
   11:30 am   Lunch
12:45 pm   Announcement of Round II (Start 1:35) (Decisions 4:20)
   4:50       Announcement of Round III (5:40 start) (Decisions due at 8:25)

Saturday, April 2
   7:30 AM   Breakfast
   8:00      Announcement of Round IV (9:00 start) (Decisions due at 11:45)
   11:45      Lunch
12:50      Announcement of Round V (1:50 start) (Decisions 4:35)
    5:05      Announcement of Round VI (6:05 start) (Decisions due at 8:50)

Sunday, April 3
   7:30 AM   Continental Breakfast
   8:00      Announcement of Round VII (Start 9:00) (Decisions due at 11:45)
   11:45      Lunch
12:50 PM   Announcement of Round VIII (Start 1:50) (Decision time 4:35)
   5:00       Announcement first elimination round (Start 6) (Decisions due at 8:45)
   9:30      Awards Banquet

Monday, April 4
   7:00 AM   Drawing of Octafinal judges
   7:30       Announcement of Octafinals
   8:00      Octafinal round begins
         (Rounds continue throughout the day)
2016 Approved dates


February 10 (5PM CENTRAL)   First-Round At-Large Bids must be received by the committee.  Payment must be received by the application deadline or the bid application will not be considered by the committee.
February 12-14   Committee calls or e-mail to Director      
February 15   Director Announces                        


February 16   Declaration of intent to attend districts due.
February 17   Announcement of preliminary district bid allocations.

March 2 (5 PM CST)   Must be received by Committee Members    
March 4-6   Committee calls or e-mail to Director      
March 7           Director announces                                         

Chair of the NDT Tournament Committee contact information:

Dallas Perkins, NDT Chair
324 Franklin Street
Cambridge, MA

Phone: 617-876-5003

« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 04:05:12 PM by sarahtp73 »