Event Rules

Varsity and Junior-Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate

The resolution will be the September-October National Forensic League topic.  Both LD divisions will follow the 6-3-7-3-4-6-3 format.  Debaters will have 4 minutes of prep time.  Ties will be broken based on record, high/low adjusted points, double-adjusted points, opponent’s record, total points, judge variance, and flip of a coin, in that order.  There will be six rounds in both Varsity and JV; the break will be to double-octofinals in both LD divisions. If necessary, there will be a run-off in VLD of 4-2s. Please note that JV LD is limited to students in 9th or 10th grade.

Policy Debate

There will be a single, open division of policy debate using the 2015-2016 NFL resolution.  Teams will give 8-minute constructive speeches, 3-minute cross-examinations, and 5-minute rebuttals, and will have ten minutes of prep time.  Ties will be broken based on record, high/low adjusted points, double-adjusted points, ranks, opponent’s record, total points, judge variance, and flip of a coin, in that order.  This year the tournament will break to octofinals if numbers warrant it. We will host an open room with wifi available for collaborative tournament prep throughout the tournament.  On Friday this room will be located on Yale campus. This room will be at Hill Regional Career High School on Saturday and stay open during rounds.

Public Forum Debate

There will be a single, open division of Public Forum Debate.  We will follow all NFL rules, including giving two minutes of prep time to each team, a change from past years. The tournament will be using the NFL topic for September of 2016.  Ties will be broken using the same criteria as Lincoln Douglas Debate. See additional details in the official invitation.

Parliamentary Debate

There will be a single, open division of Parliamentary Debate. We will follow Osterweis style with the 7-8- 8-8-4-5 format. For a full style guide, please visit http://www.yaledebate.org/osterweis/parli.html, with the one exception that our speech times are longer. We will release the straight-link resolution fifteen minutes before the start of each round. There will be five rounds with a likely break to quarterfinals; the break will be determined based on the size of the field.

Congressional Debate

There will be a single, open division of Congressional Debate.  Chambers will be comprised of no more than 20 members.  Sunday’s competition will again feature a semifinal round in the morning and a final round in the afternoon.  See the tournament invitation for official deadlines to submit legislation and register. Legislation must include the name of the school and the author, and comply with the guidelines for legislation provided at http://yale.tabroom.com (follow the Congressional Debate Info link); failure to do so will result in the rejection of the legislation. We have included a template on the website that should give the teams the necessary information that they need in order to write legislation. Only one item may be submitted by each registrant to a maximum of four items of legislation per school.  Legislation from authors not registered for the tournament, or legislation that has not been received by that date will not be included.

Speech Events:

In keeping with last year’s tournament policy, students will be limited to entering a maximum of two events. We will again be scheduling five preliminary rounds.

Students may enter each event only once.  Students may use the same source material in only one event; you cannot perform the same piece as a Prose and a DI, for example.   Students performing the same source material in more than one event by tab’s judgment will be disqualified from both events.  Two works from the same collection, volume, or anthology won’t count as “the same material” – but two cuttings from the same work would.  Feel free to email us in advance if you have questions about this rule.

Extemp, Oratory, DI, HI and Duo will follow National Forensic League rules and guidelines.  Oral Interpretation of Literature will follow National Catholic Forensic League rules and guidelines.  We will use the NCFL’s guidelines for published material in interp events.  The grace period will be 30 seconds for all speech events.  Any IE participant who exceeds the grace may not receive a rank of 1 in the round; any further penalty will be at the discretion of the judge.  A participant may only be penalized for a time violation if the judge has used a precise timing device and notes the penalty on the ballot.

Speech events will break to either quarterfinals or semifinals based on the size of the events; an event with 60 or more competitors will break to quarterfinals.  Speech tabbing will be cumulative throughout the tournament, with the worst prelim score dropped.  As logistics permit, we will advance as many students tied on ranks to each consecutive elim round as we can; if there are too many tied competitors to advance all competitors with a given cumulative score, reciprocal ranks will be our next tiebreak.  Students on the edge of breaking who are tied on both ranks and reciprocals will always be advanced to the next elim round.

The Extemp final round will feature cross-examination in accordance with NFL rules.

Source Integrity

All students must bring copies of all sources, which must include the full context of the citation, not simply a retyped list of short sentences and quotes.

Debaters must make said sources available to either their opponent(s) in the round, and/or their judges after the round upon request.   Debate entries failing to do so or debaters who significantly misrepresent sources in the round may be disqualified at the discretion of Tab.

Speech contestants should have the full original source of all material in interpretive events available at the tournament, in addition to their cutting.  Oratory and Extemp students should have the text of any material they cite in their speeches available at the tournament.  Students misrepresenting sources or using sources not available may be disqualified at the discretion of Tab.

All rules are subject to change.  The tournament will make you aware of any changes at registration.