GSU National College Debate Tournament

Pre-Tournament Packet

You can download it here

Pay Fees with Credit Card

Open Debate Teams
Novice/JV Teams
Judges & Observers
JMU Fees

July 28, 2014

Dear Colleagues,


I am writing to invite you and your students to attend the sixteenth annual Georgia State University National College Debate Tournament, to be held in Atlanta, September 19-22, 2014. This invitation contains all the information you will need to register, including hotel info.


We have made some important changes and kept many elements the same.


Key Changes/Announcements:

**** Dr. Jon Bruschke has agreed to run our tabroom this year.

**** Still no extra judging required. You are only responsible for the traditional allotment of half the number of rounds your teams debate (4 rounds per team in varsity, 3 per team in novice and JV). More details in the Judging section below.

**** Even more hospitality. We’ll have a coaches’ lounge in the hotel and a hospitality ambassador at the tournament. Cookies? Yeah we’re going to have those too.

**** Bigger commitment to judging diversity. We’re still working on the details, but we’re going to be upping our commitment to judging diversity. This may include increasing the size of elim panels, but won’t change fact that we’ll be using MPJ and an ordinal rating system.


Important Features:

**** Three divisions. Bring everyone who wants to debate.

**** Our hotel rate is $104 per night, quadruple occupancy, AND in-room Internet is free, giving us one of the least expensive tournament hotels of any major tournament.

**** 8 prelims in Open, with all Open elims on Monday. Novice and JV will stay at 6 prelims, and elims for the lower divisions will begin on Sunday.

**** Our usual commitment to providing a high-quality, friendly experience for your entire team in all three divisions.

**** Our traditional commitment to the case list, including a fee structure that rewards early compliance.



The tournament hotel is the Marriott Atlanta Century Center, 2000 Century Boulevard  NE, Atlanta, GA, 30345, (404) 325-0000. Their web site is The Marriott Century Center is about a 10-15 minute drive from campus, and is easily accessible from I-85.

We have secured a $104 per night rate for double-doubles. For reservations, call (800) 228-9290 and ask for the GSU Debate Team event. You can register online by using this link: Book your group rate: Georgia State University Debate Team >>. For schools who wish to claim a tax exemption, the hotel prefers to receive a copy of the tax exempt form, a purchase order, and to receive payment via Government issue credit card or state check. Feel free to call the information number at the Marriott for details about this issue - the hotel is eager to work with you.



Internet access in the room will be complimentary, according to the terms of our contract.

The hotel has recently started providing free wireless access in the main lobby area. We will have Internet codes for participating teams in the elms that will allow them to access the Internet in the convention space.



Register online at Please enter your teams and specify your judging by midnight Tuesday, September 16. Please contact Joe Bellon if you are planning to enter more than 6 teams in the Novice or JV division.



We accept cash, checks, and will make every effort to accommodate credit cards on our web site. Make checks payable to “GSU Debate.” Our FEID# is: 58-1845423. Address: PO Box 5060, Atlanta, GA 30302-5060

The fee for the tournament is $70 per person for all Open teams, as well as all judges and scouts. For JV and Novice teams, the fee is $60 per person. We will charge an extra $10 per person for every team that does not have their affirmative caselist information submitted to us (or already available online) by the end of registration on Friday, September 20. For more information on what constitutes an acceptable caselist entry, see the specific section on the caselist, below. If any team that doesn’t have its caselist information submitted by the end of registration provides that information to us by the beginning of round 1, we will refund the $10 per person penalty. After that, no refunds.

If you need an invoice prior to the tournament, please e-mail as soon as possible with all the relevant details.



In Open, each school must provide 4 rounds of prelim judging for each of their teams. In Novice and JV, each school must provide 3 rounds of prelim judging for each of their teams. As a normative guideline, we strongly request that ALL qualified persons attending the tournament make themselves available for at least some judging, both in the preliminary and the elimination rounds. As usual, we are also looking to hire judges to help improve mutuality and the overall quality of the pool. IF A JUDGE FULFILLING YOUR SCHOOL'S OBLIGATION DOES NOT SHOW UP for an assigned round, we will assign another one of your judges (our choice) to adjudicate an additional round beyond their original obligation. This is true even if we are able to replace your absent judge with someone other than a judge from your school.

All judges are obligated to judge through octafinals, or one round after their school's last team exits the tournament, whichever comes later.

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide hired judging, so if you have needs in that area, please contact us with as much lead time as possible. We expect each school to cover their own judging obligations, and we strongly encourage teams to bring judges whose reputation will allow them to judge their entire commitment of rounds. If you are willing to be hired beyond your obligation, please contact Bellon immediately -- it is likely we will want your services.

In prelims, judges will have 2 hours and 30 minutes from the start of every prelim round to turn in a decision. In elim debates, judges will have 2:45 with 15 minutes of discussion time.

We expect all judges at the tournament to make a decision at the end of the round signifying that one team has won and the other team has lost the debate, and to fill in appropriate speaker points. Ballots attempting to award a double win or loss will be adjusted to this procedure by use of a coin toss.



The e-mail address for case list information is We ask that by registration each and every team provide us with adequate 1AC case list information. What does that mean?

1) An exact plan text. If you don’t have a plan text, give us your advocacy statement. If you don’t have an advocacy statement, supply information that explains what the point of the 1AC is and how it relates (or doesn’t) to the resolution.

2) An outline of the 1AC, including tags for each piece of evidence. If you don’t have a traditional outline, provide the tags for all the cards you’re reading. If you’re not reading cards, list the major arguments you will be making in the 1AC, plus any published sources you will be referencing. We welcome complete cards.

3) We reserve the right to decide that your information is not adequate if we think you’re being unreasonable. If your team doesn’t run traditional arguments, just ask yourself: if you were about to hit your own aff in round 3, what kind of information about it would you want? If that doesn’t help, imagine you run disad-counterplan, then ask yourself that question again.

Please, please send us your 1AC information as soon as you have it. The information you provide us prior to the tournament will be kept absolutely confidential until Round 2 is underway (to avoid punishing early compliance).



We expect to have a goon squad of several experienced folks constantly roaming the tournament, making sure that we get complete information for every team on both aff and neg. It would be really nice if you cooperated with them by sending information about every major position your run on both the aff and the neg to our address or by posting your info directly to the Wiki.



We will debate the official CEDA resolution, though what that means and most other stylistic and content-based decisions are issues for individual debaters and judges to decide. Any student meeting AFA eligibility requirements may enter the open division. The JV and novice divisions will be restricted to students who meet the relevant AFA requirements. Hybrid teams will be accepted AND will be allowed to debate in elims. 9-3-6, 10 minutes prep. Any maverick teams that are registered may debate but not clear. If a judge determines that a team has clipped cards, the round should stop and the offending team should lose the debate. The offending speaker(s) should get zero points. Remaining speakers points will be assigned the average of their points in their other debates. There is a possibility that GSU teams will enter the tournament in one or more divisions. If that happens, those teams WILL be allowed to break. Neither the Director nor any other GSU representative will make judge placement or other critical tab decisions for GSU teams unless it is absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, we will endeavor to make decisions that benefit the other team in the debate more than the GSU team. Judges can judge rounds involving schools they used to attend 3 years after they leave the school (assuming no other conflicts are present).

We are seeking CEDA sanctioning, and will enthusiastically implement CEDA policies on sexual harassment and other kinds of discrimination. We would be very happy for the ADA to sanction us and to provide ADA points to the teams attending our tournament, assuming that they don’t have a problem with any of our tournament administration policies.

We will use speaker points on a 0-30 scale in tenths but will not use ranks. The first two prelim debates will be preset randomly, although we are implementing a procedure to limit the number of times teams with a history of success are paired against each other in the first two debates. Debates after that will be individually power matched high-low within brackets, barring an unforeseen scheduling calamity that requires us to lag pair a round. Clearing teams and speakers will receive awards, recognition, or both. We will not break brackets in elimination rounds. Sides in elims will be determined by pre-existing constraints (when available) or a coin toss; we will not use side equalization.





6:00 - 9:30 p.m.    Registration, Marriott Century Center Hotel



7:00 - 8:00     Breakfast and pairings available at GSU Campus

8:00     ROUND 1

11:00     ROUND 2

1:00     Lunch

3:00     ROUND 3

6:30     ROUND 4



7:00 - 8:00     Breakfast and pairings available at GSU Campus

8:00     ROUND 5

10:45     Lunch

D6 Coaches meeting during lunch break and possibly round 6

12 noon    ROUND 6

3:30     ROUND 7*

5:45     Dinner

7:00     Round 8*

We will release brackets in Open as soon as they are available on Sunday night. Judging panels will be released Monday morning.

* Elimination rounds in the JV and Novice divisions may begin during rounds 7 and 8, depending on the size of the division and our judging constraints. If necessary, additional JV or Novice elim rounds will be held on Monday.



7:00 am    Panels available, Marriott Century Center Hotel

8:00     Double-octafinal round in Open. JV and/or novice elimination rounds as necessary

11:00    Awards ceremony (at the Marriott, room TBA)

Noon    Octafinal round in Open.

Elims will proceed with a 2:45 decision deadline, 15 minutes discussion time, and 30 minutes prep time from end of decision time until beginning of the next round.