2015 NDT Newsletter

2015 NDT Newsletter

Dear Colleagues:

Plans are nearing completion for the 69th National Debate Tournament to be hosted by the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Registration for the tournament will take place on Thursday, April 2. Competition will take place on Friday, April 3, through Monday, April 6. Registration, Friday debates, and elimination rounds will be held at the tournament hotel. Debates on Saturday and Sunday (including the first elimination round) will be held on the campus of the University of Iowa.

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

TOURNAMENT HOTEL. The tournament hotel is:

Marriott Coralville Hotel & Conference Center 300 East 9th St.  Coralville, IA 52241.

Registration, banquets, Friday’s preliminary debates, and elimination rounds will be held at the tournament hotel. We would recommend that you reserve rooms as soon as your teams have qualified. We have secured a tournament rate of $99 per night for single/double bed (up to 4 people per room). These rates include complimentary Internet access. Parking is an estimated $8 per day. Reservations must be made before March 20 to obtain the rate. The block code is: National Debate Tournament. Reservations for the Event will be made by individual attendees directly with Lindsay Raach, Group Reservations at the hotel. Please email Lindsay at [email protected] Include your name, school name, contact information and your reservation needs. Please be specific about room type and number of individuals in rooms. For example:

Danielle Leek, Grand Valley State University. 2 rooms. 1 King (2 people), 1 Double (3 people). All rooms checking in on April 1 and departing on April 7.

Your patience is appreciated. It may take Lindsay a few days to send confirmations given the volume of reservations being made. You may also contact Lindsay by phone. Please call: (319) 688-4026.

We anticipate that this block will fill quickly. Additional rooms have been secured at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Coralville – Iowa River Landing. The hotel has a block set aside for the National Debate Tournament (25 rooms) at $129.00 a night. The location is within easy walking distance of the tournament hotel. You can secure rooms by calling the hotel directly at (319) 338-3410 or online at www.coralvilleiowariverlanding.homewoodsuites.com. Use Group Code: CDB. Block closes on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

TOURNAMENT WEBSITE. Additional information about hotels, food, and logistics are being made through the NDT website: http://ndtdotcom.wpcomstaging.com/ndt2015/.


  1. Judges Missing Rounds. Schools must provide 13 rounds of eligible judging for each team entered. The school must provide the Director with the names of the persons who will fulfill this commitment seven (7) days prior to the start of the tournament. Any school failing to meet this deadline will be fined $100 per day. Failure to provide a complete list, or the failure of the designated persons to appear and fulfill the commitment, shall result in sanctions that can include: monetary fines up to $500 per round missed or forfeited by removal, replacement of rounds obligated by other members of the coaching/judging staff from the school(s) for which the judge is fulfilling obligation, removal from the tournament for the current year and up to three years, and/or disqualification of the team or teams whose obligations are unfulfilled. These sanctions will be determined by the Director of the National Debate Tournament. Schools may arrange to allocate their obligation among any judge in the pool as they see fit, except that all judges must be committed for at least four preliminary rounds.
  1. Judge Conflict Forms. This rule clarifies that all judges must sign their own conflict sheets. To be eligible to judge at the NDT a judge must: 1. Hold a baccalaureate degree, or have no eligibility for future NDTs, or waive such eligibility, and 2. Have judged at least 12 rounds on the current topic, and 3. Not have competed on the current topic, and 4. Have an appropriately published judge philosophy, and 5. Complete and sign a conflict of interest form in person at the tournament, and 6. Be available for assignment to any and all debates through the octafinal round, at the discretion of the Director, plus one debate beyond the elimination of the school for
    which the person is judging.


  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 http://ndtdotcom.wpcomstaging.com/standing-rules/. (an updated list of rules will be available shortly)
  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 is more appropriate, provide a significant equivalent contribution to the tournament as defined by the tournament host or director.
  4. For power-matched preliminary debates, high-low team points will be dropped. Win-loss and ballot count remain the first two criteria for seeding. This is consistent with past practice but is now codified in the rules.
  5. Speaker awards will be determined using the double-z score as the first determinant.

ELIGIBILITY FORMS: Eligibility forms must be submitted by February 8 to the Chair of the NDT Committee, Dallas Perkins. Forms may be submitted by fax (617-876-1360), mail (Dallas Perkins, 324 Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA 02139), or hand delivery to Dallas Perkins prior to the NDT Committee meeting to be held in Austin on February 7.

QUALIFICATION PROCESS. The selection process, altered before the 1994 NDT and 1999 NDT, remains in place for the 2015 NDT. A complete set of the NDT rules and procedures may be found http://ndtdotcom.wpcomstaging.com/standing-rules/.

AT-LARGE APPLICATION PROCESS. The rules covering the application process for First- and Second-Round At-Large bids will be the same as that established in 2004. The number of preliminary rounds required for a team to count toward bid allocations is 18. All teams selected through the Second-Round At-Large process must have a 50% or greater preliminary round win-loss record in rounds on the fall CEDA topic or its NDT topic parallel immediately prior to the District tournament or at the time of submission for second round bids. Those subscribing schools wishing to nominate their teams for At-Large consideration must submit copies of their completed electronic Official NDT At-Large Application (without covering letters or other supplementary materials). Applications must be received by the dates listed below.

Schools submitting At-Large applications must have paid their NDT subscription fee prior to submitting their application for the bid to be considered. In addition, all teams wishing to be considered for an At-Large bid must pay $100.00 to the treasurer of the NDT Board of Trustees.

There are multiple ways to pay your at-large bid fee.

  • Preferred method: Pay by credit card or PayPal account using the online payment system on the NDT website. (http://ndtdotcom.wpcomstaging.com/at-large-bids/)
  • Use the AFA website: (americanforensics.org). If you pay through the AFA website, please email a copy of your receipt, along with your team name (e.g. “Pita University TY”) to [email protected] or [email protected].
  • The NDT treasurer also will accept a check or money order made out to the NDT, received by the application deadline, sent to the following address:

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

  • Pay by cash or check to Sherry Hall, in person, by the application deadline.

In addition to paying your fee, applications for First- and Second-Round At-Large bids should be made at www.tabroom.com. 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 fee for the application is received; teams receiving bids will be moved off of the waitlist and into the tournament registration. Teams registered and 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 https://www.tabroom.com/jbruschke/SeasonalTotals.php?division=open and report any anomalies to [email protected]. To add honors to your NDT bid sheet, such as speaker awards and seedings, log in, click on the name of your school under the ‘institutions’ box in the top right, then the ‘students’ tab, and then the name of the student.  At the bottom of the page will be a link that reads ‘View/enter NDT bid sheet honors.’  Follow the instructions on the page. The sooner you can report any issues the better. ENTERING THE TOURNAMENT. ENTRIES and REGISTRATION ARE DUE FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015.  Registration for the NDT requires two steps. First, entries will be accepted using the www.tabroom.com web site. The entry method is that used for many invitational tournaments during the year. When entering the NDT on tabroom, simply register for the tournament. Teams will then be put on a wait list. Teams will be removed from the wait list by the tournament director. Second, teams will need to register with the NDT Treasurer in order to calculate fees, process payments, organize catering, and to maintain an accurate count of participants and guests at the tournament. Registration for tournament details will take place through the NDT website (nationaldebatetournament.org).  JUDGING PHILOSOPHIES. Judging philosophies should be posted to www.tabroom.com no later than MARCH 20, 2015. 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 20. The NDT may impose an additional $50 fine if judging philosophies are not available at the time of registration.


FEES. The Board of Trustees has set the fees for the 2015 NDT. The fees are $150.00 per team. Participant fees for debaters and judges—four people for each team in the tournament–are $90 per person. The fees for observers (all other persons with your group over the four per team that count as participants) will be $185.00. If you have individuals travelling with your team for specific events, details for purchasing individual tickets will be made available on the NDT website.

Attached you will find a tentative tournament schedule and contact information for the Chair of the NDT Tournament Committee.

Please join us in Iowa City for the 69th National Debate Tournament.


John Fritch – Director, National Debate Tournament


Thursday, April 2

9:00am-11:00am                        Registration

11:00am-1:00pm                        NDT Board of Trustees Meeting

1:00pm-4:00pm                           NDT Committee Meeting

3:00pm-6:00pm                           Late Registration

7:30pm                                              Reception and Pre-Tournament Awards

*team photos will take place throughout the day. Details provided at registration.

Friday, April 3   

7:30 am                                   Breakfast

8:00 am                                  Announcement of Round I

11:15 am                               Lunch

12:15 pm                                Announcement of Round II

4:45pm                                   Announcement of Round III

Saturday, April 4

7:30 am                                   Breakfast

8:00 am                                   Announcement of Round IV

11:15am                                  Lunch

12:30 pm                                 Announcement of Round V

5:00pm                                    Announcement of Round VI


Sunday, April 5

7:30 am                                   Breakfast

8:00 am                                   Announcement of Round VII

11:15am                                  Lunch

12:30pm                                  Announcement of Round VIII

4:45pm                                    Announcement of First Elimination Round

9:15pm                                   Awards Banquet

Monday, April 6 

7:00 am                                   Drawing of Octofinal judges

7:30 am                                  Announcement of Octofinals

8:00 am                                  Octofinal round begins

(Rounds continue throughout the day)


Must be received by Committee Members   February 12 (5PM CST)

Committee calls or e-mail to Director  February 13-15

Director Announces  February 16


Declaration of intent to attend District   February 17

Announcement of preliminary district bids    February 18


Must be received by Committee Members   March 5 (5 PM CST)

Committee calls or e-mail to Director   March 6-8

Director announces    March 9


Dallas Perkins, NDT Chair 324 Franklin Street  Cambridge, MA 02139   Phone: 617-876-5003