Schedule of Events and Format of the Debates
We are pleased to invite you to the 38th annual Loomis Chaffee School Debate Tournament to be held Sunday, January 12, 2020. A schedule of events, including the time and place for registration, is provided in the full invitation above and on the DANEIS website. The tournament is one of several sponsored throughout the year by various members of DANEIS (The Debating Association of New England Independent Schools). Schools will be limited to a maximum of two four-person teams in each division. We can accommodate up to 50 four-person teams. We have frequently been at or near capacity. This tournament serves as a qualifying tournament for DANEIS competitors for the world championships.
All competitors will, over the course of the day debate both sides of a policy resolution which will be released the morning of the debate shortly after the close of registration (see schedule). We will supply each debater and judge a packet of information and articles (approximately 10 to 12 pages) relevant to the resolution (see samples from 2017 and 2018 above). Debaters will have one hour to work together in teams/schools with the packet before the rounds of debate begin to prepare cases. However, once the resolution is announced debaters cannot access any other research materials other than the prepared packet – any use of the internet to conduct research can result in disqualification. Thus, teams have access to exactly the same information, so the debates will be assessing how well debaters can work with the given information to produce & defend cogent, persuasive arguments on both sides of the issue. After the one hour preparation period, the debate competition will begin with each team debating both sides of the resolution. The first two rounds will be assigned (one round on each side) – on the third round the side will be decided in the room by coin flip if there is not mutual agreement.
The affirmative side has an obligation to define the terms at the start of the debate, but, of course, in a way that allows for good debate to take place. Since this is most likely a policy change debate the affirmative case should include a sketch of a plan to implement that change. For a more complete discussion of affirmative and negative responsibilities please refer to the judging overview at the end of this document.
Please note, again, that the tournament is a switch-side tournament, meaning that over the course of the day each 2-person team will debate on both sides of the resolution. Each 4-person team will consist of one 2-person team which debates the first round on affirmative and the second on negative, and another 2-person team which debates the first round on negative and the second on affirmative. Sides for the third round will be decided by coin flip.
In both the Novice and Advanced divisions the format of the debates will be 6-minute constructive speeches, 3 minute cross examinations, and 4-minute rebuttals. The fees for entering the tournament will be $75 for each four-person team entered (max of 2 in each division) – there is no additional fee for observers. Every school should bring a judge for each 4-person team they enter. We have no objections to experienced, upper level student debaters serving as judges in the novice division, but adults should judge in the advanced division. We make NO promise to supply extra judges.
While there is great value in researching a topic over a long period of time and working to refine arguments over several weeks, we think there is also plenty of value in the skill needed in this tournament to quickly analyze and process a limited body of information in order to build an argument that’s grounded with evidence that had just become available to you. Over the course of the day, in debating both sides of this issue, you get the chance to refine your thinking on the topic. We expect that while some may miss the opportunity to do extensive, prolonged research, many others will probably appreciate not having the research burden in the middle of January. In short, we hope that this format preserves much of what is positive in prepared, switch-side, cross-ex tournaments while easing the sometimes difficult research burden at this busy time of year.
For our planning we ask that you let us know by January 6 how many four-person teams in each division you’ll be entering so that we can have reasonably accurate numbers in planning for the dining services and room allocations. We ask that the names of the debaters and judges be sent to us by January 9.
Curt Robison, Adviser to the Debate Society
The Loomis Chaffee School
Windsor, CT 06095
office phone: 860 687 6122 (feel free to leave a voice mail day or night)
cell phone: (860) 796 4120
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred form of communication)