The Jesuit Gonzaga University

2017 — Spokane, WA/US

The Jesuit Debates Invitation

Gonzaga University

October 28th – 30th, 2017

June 26, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Gonzaga University cordially extends you an invitation to attend the 2017 Jesuit Debates (“The Jesuit”) hosted on our campus in Spokane, Washington.  The tournament will be held on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October 28th -30th, 2017.  We are both excited and humbled to again host on what has been for many years the traditional Harvard weekend. We promise to do all we can to live up to their legacy of outstanding hospitality and competition and we hope that you will join us in celebrating that tradition this fall. We will also continue tradition of the Costume Contest. We challenge everyone to try and top last years “Ken Bone” costume. One major change for 2017 is that we will offer 8 preliminary debates (clearing to an appropriate # of elimination rounds).

We think there are a lot of perks to joining us. Those include:

-          A trip to the beautiful northwest! There is so much to love about Washington including that your state has definitely not banned travel here because of horrible hater state laws.

-          A tournament where you don’t need a rental vehicle; the hotel is within walking distance of a great downtown area and the campus. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to/from the airport AND they will shuttle you to/from the tournament and anywhere else within a 2 mile radius of the hotel!

-          A strong commitment to hospitality include the best tournament pizza you will ever have.

-          High quality competition and judging.  


We certainly hope your travels will bring you to Spokane this October and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.



Glen, Andrew, Jason, Paige and the rest of the GU Debate Team.



Entries will be managed through the website.  We have not put any cap on the # of teams a school can bring and we will accept entries until we are full. Currently we have space for up to 86 teams.  If we fill up you can put your teams on the waitlist and we’ll let them in as openings come available prioritizing programs that do not yet have a team entered.

To finalize your entry do the following on by NOON October 23rd, 2017:

(a) Double check the teams entered

(b) Make sure your judges are entered along with number of rounds.

(c) All judges must have a philosophy entered at Make sure each one does

(d) Enter the TOTAL NUMBER in your party (all debaters, judges and observers, scouts, hangers on)

(e) Make sure all attendees’ dietary preferences are in the system

(f) Double check your school's contact info at



No increase in fees this year. Fees for the tournament will be $75 per person attending the tournament.  The team charges will cover security and cleaning costs, hotel fees, two lunches, three light breakfasts, quality awards, and a reception.

Fees can be paid in advance with credit card on the universities secure online site. To pay online please go to: (cut and paste into browser rather than clicking on that)

If you are paying by check please make payable to: Gonzaga University Debate.

If you have to pay with a purchase order please try to provide that information in advance.

All fees will be calculated on October 25th, 2017 at NOON PST.  Your school will be responsible for all people listed as of that time. Drops are official ONLY if confirmed at the official tournament web site. 


Our tournament hotel is the Red Lion Hotel at the Park. It’s a beautiful hotel located on the Spokane River adjacent to the park and downtown. There is a walking path along the river directly behind the hotel . The flat rate for doubles or King is $101 per night. Some perks of the tournament hotel:

-    New and beautifully renovated hotel with all the amenities located on the River next to Riverfront Park and downtown. Lots of great restaurants and bars.

-    Only a 10-15 minute walk from hotel to campus along the river walking path.  If you are looking to save a few $$ you really can do our tournament without a vehicle.

-    Complimentary shuttle to/from airport.

-    Complimentary shuttle to/from campus (or anywhere within 2 miles of hotel) if you prefer not to walk.

-    Complimentary internet. Pro-tip – If you join their rewards program you will get free upgraded/faster internet.

The cut-off date is October 1st, 2017 at 5:00 pm PT. The hotel is likely to fill up and they have not agreed to hold rooms past this date, so please make your reservations in a timely manner.  If you have overbooked rooms, please first check with other tournament participants as to whether someone else can use the room(s).  If you will not be using the rooms, please let the hotel know that as soon as possible so that they have an opportunity to sell them. 

At the hotel, wireless access will be available to guests of the hotel and to all participants in the conference rooms used for competition.

You can reserve rooms at the RL Hotel at the Park online here:

Or call 1-800-RED-LION (1-800733-5466) and request rooms under the Gonzaga University College Debate Tournament.


We are also reserving a small block of rooms at the Courtyard Marriott for the die-hard Marriott junkies. We will be posting that link soon.



We request that students debate the topic selected for the 2017-2018 season by a vote of the Cross Examination Debate Association membership after open and transparent deliberation by an openly elected body of community representatives.  The precise wording of this year’s topic is: Resolved: The United StatescFederal Government should establish national health insurance in the United States.


You can access Spokane easily by air via Spokane International Airport (GEG).  The travel time from the airport to the tournament hotel is 10-15 minutes.

Transportation from the airport to the hotel is provided complimentary for guests of The Red Lion Hotel at the Park. Uber is authorized to service the Spokane airport. They will also transport you anywhere within a 2 mile radius of the hotel (includes campus and all downtown locations)

Campus map:

Campus Parking Map:


Preliminary debates will be held on campus in the Gonzaga University buildings and all elimination rounds will be at the Red Lion Hotel At the Park.

All teams with a winning record will clear (up to 32 teams).

The tournament will feature 8 preliminary rounds of two-person, switch-sides, cross-examination debate on the national topic in the standard 9-3-6 format. 

 Courtesy demands, and we insist, that rounds start and be adjudicated punctually. Each team must be accompanied by a qualified judge who must agree to decide all assigned debates within the scheduled decision times, rendering a decision with one winner and one loser.  In early prelims, the schedule will require that explanations be completed within this time frame as well. 

Brackets will not be broken and sides will not be equalized.

Flipping for sides in elimination rounds:  at least one representative for both teams must be present to flip for sides and declare their decision at least 30 minutes before the scheduled starting time of an elimination debate or by a flip time published by the tabroom.  If a representative is not present to flip and declare a side, that team forfeits their right to flip and the team that is present gets to declare sides for the debate. 

Gonzaga teams may compete in the tournament; they are eligible to receive speaker awards and to compete in elimination rounds, judge assignments for Gonzaga teams will be assigned by the computer and changed only by the option of an external tab room manager.

We subscribe to CEDA’s policies against Sexual Harassment and Discrimination, and the NDT Code of Conduct, and will follow laws and procedures governing Gonzaga University, its employees, students, and visitors to campus.

Participating teams and schools are expected to contribute to and should provide their most recent affirmative and negative information by the Tuesday before the tournament at latest.


Preference System

We will use an ordinal judge rating system and place judges on the basis of their percentile scores.  Our goal will be to place judges in the top 55th percentile and with a mutuality of 35 percentile points in all debates that involve teams with fewer than 4 losses.  Depending on the number of excess rounds of judging available, this may not be possible in all instances, but we expect to hit this target in the overwhelming number of judge placements. No team regardless of record will receive any judge in the bottom 20th percentile of their rankings. In elimination rounds we will continue to use 3 judge panels although we reserve the right to expand panels to 5 judges depending on judge availability.

The CEDA rules states: “The preference system must include a method to affirmatively place racial minorities in judging assignments.”   The ADA rule states: “Judges should never be subjectively evaluated by tournament directors for preclusion from teams or divisions, for mutual preference or for judge placement.”  Judges with a minority racial identity are encouraged to opt-in.  We believe that allowing judges to opt-in for diversity meets this rule and that the only information a tab room is allowed to consider is whether a judge has opted-in.  You may opt-in on and we request that you confirm your opt-in decision by sending an email to  Judges who opt-in for diversity will (a) be placed first when open division is paired and (b) be placed first in elimination rounds.  In both instances, diversity-enhancing judges will need to meet the 55/35 criteria to be placed.

As a normative practice we encourage teams to prefer a diverse pool of judges including those that you might not normally see in the back of your rounds.


We are also looking to hire extra rounds for the elimination debates. If you are willing to either donate or sell an extra round or two to the tournament please contact  The more rounds in the pool the better your teams prefs will be.


Obligation. Judges are obligated for 4 prelims per team and the first elimination debate, and one round beyond the elimination of the last team from their school.  If you choose to hire your judges from the ranks of persons not currently coaching at your school, those hired judges must be approved in advance by the tournament director. This discretion will be employed solely to avoid unassignable judges who unduly degrade mutual preference judging.


Constraints.  Judges and students should enter constraints under the following circumstances:  if you are former college or high school debate colleagues, if there is a former students/coach professional relationship or a non-platonic personal relationship, if the judge has a substantial fiduciary relationship with the school, and if the student/judge have been parties to a harassment complaint filed with one their respective universities, CEDA, or other entity charged with resolving those and similar grievances. If there are other reasons you feel you would not want a person judging you (for argumentative or ideological differences for example) place them in your bottom 25% rather than constrain them. Even in “out of it” debates you will not get a judge below that floor.

Judge Placeability.  We expect that schools will enter judges that can fulfill their commitment under an MPJ system. If the tabroom is unable to place affiliated judges we will default to using higher preferred judges from that school even if they have already fulfilled their commitment. If a school has hired a tournament approved judge through the hiring exchange and that judge becomes tough to place and unable to fulfill their commitment the tournament will cover those extra rounds rather than putting the burden on the hiring school.

Please note that once a judge is placed by the tournament participants/observers or judges may not alter that assignment. If there is a mistake (we placed a constrained judge, etc) please bring it to the tabrooms attention immediately for correction. 


Please respect the GU community. You are guests on our campus so we ask that you respect the people and facilities. There will be administrative personnel and GU faculty in the buildings we are debating in. We would ask that you respect their work by keeping the volume to a reasonable level in competition rooms and common areas.

Gender neutral restrooms can be found in several places on campus. The following link will take you to the map.

Quite Rooms:  TBA

Internet access will be provided on campus. We will have login credentials for each school that will allow them to access the Gonzaga Commmunity Network. Guests may also access the Gonzaga Guest Network without network credentials.

Smoking, including use of electronic cigarettes, is not allowed in any Gonzaga facility, including residence halls, or within twenty-five (25) feet of entrances, exits, windows and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area.

It is a violation of Gonzaga policy to use, possess, or distribute any drug or controlled substance.

As per federal law, possession, use or distribution of marijuana and cannabis products are not allowed on campus. Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington so feel free to exercise your new found freedoms while visiting our state, but please keep it off campus as we must comply with federal law.


Saturday, October 28th, 2017

7am: Pairings Released

8am: Round 1 (10:30am decision time)

11am: Round 2 (1:30 decision time)

1:15pm: Lunch Served at the hospitality tent located at the east end of College Hall.

2:15pm: Round 3 (4:45pm decision time)

4:30pm: Dinner served at the hospitality tent located at the east end of College Hall.

5:30pm: Round 4 (8:00pm decision time)

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

8am: Round 5 (10:30am decision time)

11:15am: Round 6 (1:45 decision time)

1:30pm: Lunch Served at the hospitality tent located at the east end of College Hall.

2:30pm: Round 7 (5pm decision time)

 Dinner served at the hospitality tent located at the east end of College Hall.

5:30pm: Round 8 (8:00pm decision time)

9pm: Reception and Speaker Awards at Hotel

Monday, October 31st, 2017

7am: Pairings released

8am: First Elim Begins