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Greetings Fellow Debaters,

Please find attached the invitation to Loomis Chaffee’s 34th Annual Debate Tournament to be held on January 17, 2016 (switch-side, cross-ex, policy resolution with a one-hour preparation period using a supplied packet of information). Details about the day and the style of debate are included in the invitation. Those who have been coming to our tournament in the past will notice that we have made several modifications to the tournament while still preserving the style of debate. You should, therefore, read very carefully the invitation which outlines the format of this tournament.

Briefly, our tournament will be, as in the past, a cross-ex, switch side, policy debate, but this year, none of the participants will know the resolution prior to the day of the tournament. We have arranged for long-time debate advocate, Everett Rutan, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Debate Association (who has long-standing affiliations with the Yale Debate Society), to choose a resolution and to provide a 10 to 12 page research packet (given to each debater) to accompany that resolution. Debaters will have one hour to work together in teams (schools) to prepare their cases using the packet (but no other research materials of any kind) before the rounds of debate begin. Thus, teams have access to exactly the same information, so the debates will be assessing how well you can work with that 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.

We hope you share our enthusiasm for our trial with this format. We believe it will preserve some of the best features of our tournament while eliminating the sometimes onerous research burden that was a challenge for some in in mid-January. Full details on the day, as well as guidelines for judges, are included in the attached invitation.

Teams may enter up to two 4-person teams in each division (Advanced & Novice) and must supply a judge for each 4-person team entered. We ask that you reserve your spots in the tournament by January 8 (earlier if possible) and that you supply the names of your debaters by January 14. The cost for entering is $70 per four-person team – no additional charge for observers

Curt Robison, Advisor to the Debate Society