2017 — Nashville, TN/US

Vanderbilt 2017 Invitation


Dear Colleagues,


The Vanderbilt Debate Team and the Department of Communication Studies invite you and your teams to the Vanderbilt Invitational Tournament to be held the weekend of October 13-15, 2017. All schools are welcome.


The tournament will consist of three CEDA/ADA divisions: Open, JV and Novice, and we will collapse divisions only if low numbers make separate divisions impossible. We will use the CEDA/ADA definitions for all divisions. In each division, there will be six preliminary rounds of debate competition on the 2017-2018 CEDA resolution. The appropriate number of elimination rounds will follow, and the tournament will follow CEDA and ADA rules.


Each school should fully cover its own judging commitment.  Please use the Hired Judge Exchange on  If you have any problems, contact us.


We will provide dinner on Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. Snacks will be provided throughout the tournament.


All judges are obligated through the later of the following:  a) the end of the first full elimination round or b) through one round after their teams (including teams for whom they are hired judges) are eliminated. Judges will be required to submit decisions no later than 2 hours 30 minutes from the start of prelim rounds and no later than 2 hours 45 minutes for elimination rounds.


If you are a new program, please let us know as soon as you decide to enter the tournament.  We will be happy to waive the entry fees for new programs and offer additional help to the extent possible.  Should anyone need airport transportation or any other help, please let us know and we will try to be of assistance.


Please make initial hotel reservations as soon as possible.  Nashville is experiencing a significant hotel shortage, and you may have much difficulty booking rooms if you delay.


We look forward to seeing you all in October.




M. L. Sandoz                                                      Neil Butt                                                              John Koch

Director of Forensics                                      Director of Debate                                          Associate Director of Debate

(615) 322-8669                                                  (615) 322-3784 Office                                    (615) 343-6989 Office

(615) 500-6184 Cell                                         (540) 290-5827 Cell                                         (330) 280-3310 Cell

(615) 343-7918 Fax                                              





We will be using the system for entries and for tabulation.  In the event that there are insurmountable problems with the web-based system, we will run the tournament on TRPC, which will preclude certain online functions and modify the judge preference system (as outlined below).


ENTRIES: Please enter through  Schools may enter any number of teams in any division. CEDA/ADA definitions for all divisions will be used. This is a sanctioned CEDA & ADA tournament.


JUDGES: Schools must provide a qualified judge for every two teams or fraction thereof entered. If you can provide qualified judges for hire, please add their names to the Hired Judge Exchange on (and email, so that he can make sure you show up on the list). All judges are obligated 1 round after their teams (or teams from the school that hired them) are eliminated.


FORMAT: Six preliminary rounds and the appropriate number of elimination rounds will be offered in each division. The 2017-2018 CEDA resolution will be used with the 9-3-6 minute format. Preparation time will be limited to 10 minutes. Rounds 1 and 2 will be randomly paired. Round 3 will be paired high/high based on 1 & 2. Round 4 will be lag paired high/low based on 1 & 2. Rounds 5 and 6 will be paired high/low within brackets and side constraints. We will use a 30-point system with increments of tenths of points for speaker points.


JUDGING: We strongly encourage all judges to post their judging philosophies on-line. Judges will be assigned using ordinal MPJ. If we are forced to switch to TRPC, we will manually convert all prefs into categories (A, B, C, etc.) and proceed. We reserve the right to adjust the judging commitments for schools that have un-assignable judges or judges lacking posted philosophies.


ADA NOVICE PACKET: The tournament will NOT restrict novice teams to only using the ADA evidence packet. [This was a difficult decision for us, since we know that schools that have attended our tournament in the past are on both sides of this issue.]


HYBRID & MAVERICK POLICY:  Hybrid teams will be allowed to compete in both preliminary and elimination rounds. Students debating alone may not accrue wins or points, but may debate for educational purposes.


FORFEIT RULE: A 15-minute forfeit rule will be strictly enforced.


AWARDS: All teams reaching elimination rounds will receive awards. Half of the teams in each division will break to elimination rounds through octo-finals as allowed by ADA rules.  We will not break brackets for elimination rounds. In addition, Speaker Awards will be given to the top 10 speakers in each division.


FEES: Entry fees of $50 per person (including judges, coaches, and spectators) will be collected at registration. All changes/drops at registration will result in a $15 fee.


DEADLINES: All teams must be entered through by 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, October 10. Any Last minute changes should be emailed directly to


CEDA STATEMENT ON DISCRIMINATION and HARASSMENT:  This tournament abides by the CEDA Statement on Sexual Discrimination and encourages an inclusive atmosphere for all those participating. Insofar as possible, the procedures in the CEDA Statement on Sexual Discrimination will be followed for all discrimination and harassment complaints.




Hotel Information is still pending. Hotel space in Nashville is tight, and we have been having difficulty securing good rates. We will post Hotel information separately as soon as we have it.




Report time/stop coaching time is 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.

Oral critiques should conclude no later than 15 minutes after the announced decision time.


Friday, October 13, 2017

12:30-2:00pm     Registration [Buttrick Atrium]

2:30pm                 Rounds 1 and 2 Pairings Released

3:30pm                 Round 1 start time

6:00pm                 Decision time for Round 1

6:00pm                 Dinner

7:00pm                 Round 2

9:30pm                 Decision time for Round 2



Saturday, October 14, 2017

7:00am                 Rounds 3 and 4 Pairings Released

8:00am                 Round 3

10:30am               Decision time for Round 3

11:00am               Round 4

1:30pm                 Decision time for Round 4

1:30pm                 Lunch

2:00pm                 Pairings released for Round 5

2:30pm                 Round 5

5:00pm                 Decision time for Round 5

5:30pm                 Pairings released for Round 6

6:00pm                 Round 6

8:30pm                 Decision time for Round 6


Sunday, October 15, 2017

7:00am                                 Pairings released for Octafinal round

8:00am                                 Octafinal round

11:30am (approx.)           Awards ceremony

Remaining elimination rounds as needed.


 Hotel Options

The alternatives available are:


1.  Aloft Nashville-Cool Springs

7109 S Springs Dr., Franklin, TN, US, 37067.  (615) 435-8700. 


This hotel is south of Vanderbilt about 15 miles just off of I65.  It is located in the Cool Springs shopping area and is close to many, many restaurants.


Reservations may be made by calling the hotel at (615) 435-8700.  Group Code is "Vanderbilt University."


Alternatively, you may book online at


The rate is $129 and this block will expire on 09/20/2017.


2.  Baymont Inn

2350 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37214.  615-871-0222.


This hotel is about 8 miles east of the university just off I40.  There are fewer restaurants in this area.  The rate is $129.95 and you should mention “Vanderbilt Debate” when you call to make reservations.  This Block will close on 9/29/2017.


3.  There are some listings for slightly less expensive rooms on  These hotels would either not set aside a block of rooms, or they wanted to charge more than the Trivago prices if we did use a block.  Most of the options that are in the same price range (or less) as the hotels above are chains like Comfort Inn, Motel 6, and Days Inn.  If you use this option, I suggest that you stay within 15 miles of the city center and pick something that is just off I65 south of Nashville or just off I40 east (airport area) or west of the city.