Jan 2018 Director’s Letter


Dear Colleague,

Plans are nearing completion for the 72nd National Debate Tournament to be hosted by the Wichita State University. Registration for the tournament will take place on Thursday March 22. Competition will take place on Friday, March 23 through Monday March 26, 2018. Registration will be at the tournament hotel. All preliminary debates will be at Wichita State University 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: The Wichita Marriott is now accepting reservations for the 2018 NDT. Here is the reservation link to make online reservations: http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=NDT%20National%20Debate%20Tournament%5Eictwe%60NDTNDTA%6095.00%60USD%60false%604%603/20/18%603/27/18%603/7/18&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes

Reservations can be made by clicking the link or by calling the hotel directly at (316)651-0333. You may also call Marriott’s Reservation Center at 1(800) 228-9290.

Group Code: NDTNDTA at marriott.com/ictwe

***For groups with 5+ rooms, please email Hotel Sales Manager, Brandi Leydic at brandi.leydic@wichitamarriott.com to make reservations.

95.00 room rate available from 3/20/18 – 3/27/18. Last day to book: 3/7/18.


Brandi Leydic | Special Markets Sales Manager & Group Housing Coordinator

9100 Corporate Hills Drive | Wichita, KS 67207

316-462-3165 (direct) | 316-651-0333 (hotel) | 316-651-0634 (fax)

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


Important clarifications for the 2018 NDT (complete rules available at https://nationaldebatetournament.org/rules/):

  1. Fee Payment (Rule II A1i)
  2. No school which has refused or neglected to pay any fees or assessments associated with past national debate tournaments shall be allowed to register teams for the tournament, and no individual who has refused or neglected to pay fees or assessments associated with past tournaments will be allowed to attend or serve as a judge at the NDT.


  1. DISTRICT QUALIFICATION (Rule II B1e). [Note: This rule clarifies the procedure for allocating bids to districts. It states that a tie among multiple districts for the last remaining bid would lead to the same number of bids being taken from the second round pool and allocated to the tied districts.]
  2. If there is a tie districts that would exceed the 46 bid limit, extra bids will be allocated from the second round pool.
  4. If a district makes a good faith attempt (evidence of planning or economic commitments) to host a tournament, but cancels the tournament because weather would make travel unsafe, that district shall not lose allocated bids due to this rule. In this event, the District Chair must notify the Bid Allocation Committee, who will confirm that the situation appears to be a good faith cancellation. The decision of the Bid Allocation committee is final, but must be publicized to the broader community. If a member of the Bid Allocation committee is from the district, the NDT chair will appoint a replacement member for any deliberations.
  5. Any slots not filled by such an alternate procedure will be shifted to the Second Round At-Large pool. A tournament is defined as actual debate competition in which judges award wins and losses.


  1. Second Round At-Large Process (Rule II C2c(4)).

(4) Unless a school has received two bids in the First Round At-Large process, participation in the district process shall be a prerequisite for receipt of a Second Round At-Large selection. Participation in the district process is defined as: [Note: Participation in a district tournament is defined as any one—not all—of the following:]

  1. both members of a team debating in at least 50% of the preliminary rounds at a tournament component;
  2. in districts that allow a limited-number of teams from each school participating in the tournament component, submission to rankings as part of the district process that determines district-eligible teams and being ranked as ineligible;
  3. receiving one of the allocated district bid slots as determined by the district.


  1. c. Scouting Guidelines.

(1) Prior to the announcement of the decision in the debate, scouts should make sure that a description of the debate and relevant citations are uploaded.

(2) Observers should not interrupt pre-round preparation by asking questions of either team.

(3) Observers should not intrude during the debate. This includes the cross-examination periods.

(4) Observers should not interrupt post-debate discussions.

(5) After the post-round discussion the observers should expect no more than a ten minute period in which they can inspect evidence for citations from the debate. Neither scouts nor observers should copy entire pieces of evidence, either by hand or electronically.


  1. The NDT committee shall appoint scouting co-directors (who are released from judging requirements), who shall continuously make available to the tournament participants the information gathered, and train and direct official scouts who shall:

(1) complete pre-tournament scouting training and abide by the rules and guidelines established for scouts

(2) deliver to the scouting directors the information gathered immediately after the round

(3) Have the authority to gather information in ways that do not disrupt the debate process as directed by the scouting directors

(4) Debaters are required to provide evidence they have read only to judges, opponents, and official scouts who request it.

(5) Scouting directors should prioritize gathering information on teams that have the least amount of information on their caselist –

  1. all teams attending the NDT should provide information on the 1ac including a description of the central thesis, plan text, and advantage(s).
  2. all teams attending the NDT should provide a description of past 1nc’s

iii. prior to the start of Round 1, the scouting directors should identify the teams that do not meet the minimum standards and prioritize gathering scouting information on those teams.

  1. before the start of Round 3, 1ac and 1nc information should be available on the caselist for all teams in attendance.


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 http://nationaldebatetournament.org
  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. Gary Larson will accomplish this by setting the strike line in the ordinal prefs low enough to include all supplementary judges in addition to those people could reasonably expect to strike.
  4. 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.
  5. In 2016, new rules and guidelines were implemented regarding evidence integrity challenges.
  6. Standards governing evidence use shall be those of the AFA Debate Program and Debate Tournament Standards with the following additional stipulations/interpretations:
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


  1. 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.


Eligibility Forms:

Eligibility forms must be submitted by February 7 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 3.

According to Rule 2 A1g:

  1. To be an eligible debater for the National Debate Tournament, a student must provide, by February 8th to the NDT committee chair, an official document from appropriate university officials verifying that he/she is registered as an undergraduate degree-seekingstudent and is in good standing at the school, for which he/she is participating, as of February 1st immediately preceding the NDT in which he/she wishes to participate. The degree-seeking requirement does not apply to any student enrolled in a junior college or a community college. 


Qualification Process:

The selection process altered before the 1994 NDT and 1999 NDT, remains in place for the 2017 NDT. A complete set of rules and procedures may be found at http://nationaldebatetournament.org

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 https://nationaldebatetournament.org/at-large-bids/. Payment for second rounds should be made at https://nationaldebatetournament.org/at-large-bids/. 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. Sherry Hall will be accepting checks at Texas. Or you may send checks to the following address:

Sherry Hall

324 Franklin St.

Cambridge, MA 02139


Second, 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 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 www.tabroom.com and report any anomalies to jbruschke@gmail.com. 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 that will be made available on nationaldebatetournament.org.

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

Entries are due Friday March 9, 2018. Please enter as soon as your team qualifies, however.

Judging Philosophies:

Judging philosophies should be posted to www.tabroom.com no later than March 12, 2018. 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 16, 2017. 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 2017 NDT. The fees are $100 per team. Participant fees for debaters and judges –four people for each team in the tournament will be $60 each. The fees for observers (all other persons with your group over the four per team that count as participants) will be $135.

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

Please join us in Wichita for the 72nd National Debate Tournament.


Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre, Ph.D.

Director, National Debate Tournament


Tentative Tournament Schedule:

Thursday, March 22

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, March 23

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)

5:00                 Announcement of Round III (5:50 start) (Decisions due at 8:35)


Saturday, March 24

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)

5:15                Announcement of Round VI (6:15 start) (Decisions due at 9:00)
Sunday, March 25

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)

5:15                 Announcement first elimination round (Start 6:15) (Decisions due at 9:00)

9:30                 Awards Banquet


Monday, March 26

7:00 AM         Drawing of Octafinal judges

7:30                 Announcement of Octafinals

8:00                 Octafinal round begins

(Rounds continue throughout the day)



2018 Approved Dates

February 7 (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 8-11 Committee votes
February 12 Director Announces
February 13 Declaration of intent to attend districts due.
February 15 Announcement of preliminary district bid allocations.
February 28 (5 PM CST) Must be received by Committee Members
March 1-4 Committee votes
March 5 Director announces


NDT Registration: 3/22

NDT Tournament: 3/23-3/26


Chair of the NDT Tournament Committee contact information:

Dallas Perkins, NDT Chair

324 Franklin Street

Cambridge, MA


Phone: 617-876-5003