What to Expect

Debate Tournament Day 1 Outline

  1. Check in:8:30 a.m. ~ 8:50 a.m.  Check-in is by STUDENT’S last name.  Parents/Guardians/Judges, please check-in together with your child/children.  You may arrive early, however, we will NOT start check-in until 8:30 a.m.  Please do NOT check yourself in.
    • Students will receive a name tag and will be addressed as “debaters”.
    • Parents/Guardians that will be judging Debate rounds, will receive a Judge badge with your assigned room.
    • To ensure a smooth and on-time tournament, we can NOT wait for late arrivals.  Students that come after check-in is closed, may face disqualification or forfeiting the first round.  Please make sure you and your partner understand the importance of punctuality!
  2. After Checking-in:  Debaters, please find your partner.  Please let Coach Brier know, if your partner didn’t come by 8:50 a.m.
    • Teams:  Check the wall for information on your first debate round (colored team posting).  Remain in the Gym/Large Multi until you have received the first topic.  Remember:  Stay with your partner for the REST OF THE DAY!
    • Judges:  Find your co-room judges (3 judges per room) and check who (colored team posting) will be debating in your room (judging conflict).
  3. Coffee & Snacks:  We will have coffee (decaf & reg) and various snacks for sale (we will have change).  Some of the snacks we will have:  croissants, muffins, bagels w/cream cheese & jam, cookies, apples, carrots and others.  Debaters may eat any time, except during a debate!
  4. Welcome & Introduction:  Once check-in has closed, we will officially start the tournament with a warm welcome message (Principal, Vice-Principal, guest speakers).  Then Coach Brier will give a brief introduction and cover the code of conduct.
  5. Set Timer (Debaters):  Debaters set your timers to 20 min. for your first prep time.  Remember:  Do NOT start the timer yet!
  6. 1st Topic:  Coach Brier will announce the 1st topic three times and start prep-time.
  7. Prep Time:  The 20 min. countdown has started.  The teams will go prepare their first debate round in various spots around the school.  *Remember:  DEBATERS MAY NOT SPEAK TO ANY ADULT DURING PREP TIME!Teams may NOT spy on their opponent!  These are serious offenses and constitute cheating.  Anyone caught will be removed from the tournament!  You may however talk to ANY other debater at the tournament and work together to prepare, including sharing notes.  We may reduce the length of prep time.
  8. Judge Intro (Gym/Large Multi):  Meanwhile, Coach Brier will quickly explain the judging process and go over the days events, as well as answer any questions.
  9. Judge Groups head to rooms:  If all 3 judges are present and no one has a conflict (a debater you can’t impartially judge), please go to your assigned room together as a GROUP!  There is a chance the teams will already be waiting for you.
    • Missing a judge?  Please wait until they have arrived, before going to your assigned room as a GROUP!  If they aren’t coming, please inform Coach Brier!
    • One or two of your co-judges has/have a conflict?  Please go see Coach Brier as a GROUP!
  10. Resolve Judge Conflicts:  Coach Brier will address any judging conflicts.
  11. Tournament Rule (Debaters):  Unless ALL 3 judges are in the room, Teams may NOT enter.
  12. Before the Debate (Judges):  Check one last time for conflicts (sometimes parents don’t recognize a debater by their name, but by their face).
    • Have a conflict?  Please ONLY that particular judge quickly return to the Gym/Large Multi, so Coach Brier can arrange for a replacement.
    • Missing a judge?  Please 1 judge quickly return to the Gym/Large Multi and inform Coach Brier.
  13. Missing Debaters:  If you are missing debaters, please give them 2 minutes, before 1 judge returns to the Gym/Large Multi and informs Coach Brier.
  14. Lead Judge:  Before the Debate starts, please quickly decide who will be this rounds “Lead Judge”.
  15. Start the Debate:  All set?  YEAH!!!  Then, let the fun begin!!!!!
  16. Use of Speech Time:  The length of debaters speeches can vary greatly.  Some will only speak for about 30 seconds, while others will exceed their speech time by 15 seconds.  Both are completely acceptable.  Debaters are not punished for not filling their time.  Debaters may finish 1 or 2 sentences after the timers go off.
  17. After the Debate:  The lead judge will ask the teams to step outside, so the judges may “deliberate” briefly (5 min. or less!).  Once the teams have come back in, the lead judge will quickly give each debater feedback (max. 30 sec./debater), and tell them who won the debate round.  Debaters will show good sportsmanship, by shaking hands and congratulating each other.  Debaters will head back to the Gym/Large Multi.
  18. Complete Ballot:  Please make sure that the team you personally thought won, is marked correctly on all areas of your ballot (redundant on purpose).  The winner of the debate round does NOT need to be unanimous.
  19. Return Ballots:  Judges, as a Group quickly bring your completed ballots to the Tab Room (Tabulation room:  Is the room where the debate rounds are recorded and the tournament is run from.).  Do NOT stop along the way and turn ballots in TOGETHER, so that we can check them in your presence and resolve issues immediately!
  20. Tab Room Process:  First we will double check your ballots and confirm the winner of the debate round.  Next the result will be recorded on each teams “Debater Card” (stays in the Tab room) and on their “Team Posting” (colored posting that goes in the Gym/Large Multi).  Then the teams will be sorted based on their record (wins/losses).  Lastly they will be paired with a new opponent, as well as assigned a side (gov/opp) and room for the next round.  This process will start with the first set of ballots, but can’t be completed until ALL ballots are turned in.  Finally, all pairings and assignments will be checked one more time, before the pairings will be posted in the Gym/Large Multi for the next round.  While the next round is in progress, we will be entering the speaker points and double-check once more to make sure everything is accurately entered.  
  21. End of 1st Debate Round & Start of Round 2:  Debaters please gather in the Gym/Large Multi after the last debate has ended.  Shortly after receiving the last set of ballots, the new pairings will be posted and the new topic will be announced three times.  Then prep time starts and debaters will quickly check the new pairings (yellow team posting), before going off to prepare the 2nd debate round.  Judges will look for conflicts and Coach Brier will resolve them.  Everyone will head to their rooms and the 2nd debate round starts!  These same steps will repeat for all following debate rounds.  They are the heartbeat of the tournament.  Let’s keep a steady rhythm everyone!
  22. Between Debate Rounds (Judges):  Expect that you WILL be waiting for 30 min. or more between debate rounds.  Often we are asked “I have been sitting here for almost an hour!  What’s wrong and can we fix this?” by parents.  THIS IS NORMAL and NOT a sign that something is wrong.  So, please be sure to bring a book, music, game, laptop, work, etc. to fill these breaks!
    • First factor:  Debates will end at different times.  Some will be over quickly, while others will last the full 40 min. or more.  This can happen for many reasons (Debate started late, different use of Speech Time, quick or long deliberation process, delay in dropping off ballots, problem with ballot).
    • Second factor:  Prep time before the next debate round.
  23. Between Debate Rounds (Debaters):  Make sure to check that your win/loss record is correctly entered on your yellow team posting.  Use the rest of this time to talk with your partner on how to improve.  That is the key to success!
  24. Lunch & Pizza:  We will have 3 debate rounds before lunch.  We will try to have lunch at noon.  However, it may be closer to 11:45 a.m. or 12:15 p.m., depending on how long the rounds take.  Once lunch officially starts, it will last about 15 – 30 min.  We will have pizza ($2/slice – combo, pepperoni, veggie & cheese), which can be pre-ordered through the tournament registration form.
  25. 4th & 5th Debate Round:  Debate rounds will commence right after lunch with the announcement of the 4th topic!!!
  26. Maybe 6th Debate Round:  Depending on schedule and how the results look (clean breaks for finals) we may have a 6th debate round.
  27. Results of Final Debate Round:  The final process will take longer than the normal between round prep!  Please be prepared to wait one last time.  Again, it’s normal ; )  You will have a chance, to get a nice spot for the awards ceremony, as well as call nearby friends and family to come join.  We appreciate your patience!
    • We will have to double-check 120 ballots and enter all final round results, to decide the teams that will be continuing on to the finals (Day 2, Sunday).
    • We will have to enter 480 final round speaker points and calculate the best speakers.
  28. Awards Ceremony:  We will announce the teams, who will be advancing to the finals.  Then, we will give our thanks and make a few brief closing remarks.  Lastly, we will recognize the best speakers of Encinal’s 3rd Annual Debate Tournament, and present them with their awards.  The speaker award does NOT have anything to do with wins or losses.  It is simply ranks debaters based on outstanding individual speaking ability.

What Keeps a Debate Tournament On Schedule

  • Smooth and quick Check-in
  • Quickly completing the Introduction and Code of Conduct
  • Everyone being responsible, doing their part & helping those around them
  • Noticing & Resolving Judging Conflicts promptly
  • Judges & Debaters being & starting On Time
  • Less than 5 min. “deliberation” by Judges
  • Short feedback
  • Correctly & Completely filled out Ballots
  • Immediately bringing Ballots to the Tab room a GROUP
  • Constantly checking for any errors or mistakes and fixing them ASAP
  • Debaters being ready for the next Topic

Not doing any of the above, will result in delays that will make you and everyone else wait.  Please keep that in mind!  We appreciate your cooperation, in making Encinal’s 3rd Annual Debate Tournament a successful and fun event for everyone!

For Debaters

  • Pack your things the night before the tournament (see Debater Information).
  • You will want to be very careful not to lose your belongings!  Debaters frequently forget their notebooks at tournaments.  We usually cannot help you if you do.
  • Take care of your timers!  The batteries could fall out or it could break.
  • You are an adult for the day.  Be the best adult you can be!
  • Remember, judges will be watching you all day!  The better behaved you will be, the more likely they will expect you to be a strong debater.
  • Talking to other debaters can be very helpful before the round.  However, too much talking can be distracting.  Make sure to use your prep time wisely!
  • You might have long breaks.  Go have FUN and MEET new people!  This can be one of the best experiences of the tournament.
  • Be polite to other debaters and you will make lots of friends.  A good debate round can make great friends, no matter who lost or won!
  • You will win some and lose some.  The more you debate, the better you will get!  The more others debate… the better they will get.  You are doing VERY well, if you consistently win more than half of your rounds, over the lifetime of your debate career.  No one wins them all!
  • Learn from the rounds you do not win!  You can actually learn the MOST from these.  They are key to becoming successful.  Being angry or bitter about not winning will block you from learning to get better.  Think about your Real Goal!
  • Change, then change a LOT, then maybe even change some things back.  Learn!  Then learn some more… followed by learning.  Grow, fail, then pick yourself up and do it all over again.  Get your feelings hurt and become stronger from it.  Help someone, who has their feelings hurt and become great!
  • Show you are strong, by being humble.  Enjoy when things go well.  Share in others joy, especially your opponents.  Then you always win!