Clinton Taylor Novice Speech and Debate Tournament

2019 — Mountain Brook Junior High Scho, AL/US

Hello coaches and competitors! Thank you so much for considering and/or registering for the Clinton Taylor Novice Tournament. We will offer a quick 5 rounds in PF/LD and 4 rounds in speech (no breaks). This should serve as some great experience for your novices to start the year and a great team building experience for your entire team. Below you will find some important information and rules about the tournament. Please also check out the tabs to the right for further information on the schedule. 

1.         Who qualifies as a novice?  A novice is defined as any competitor in their first year OR who has had less than 10 rounds of competition prior to the current school year (excluding workshops).  Experienced PF debaters who switch to LD are NOT NOVICES,  and experienced LD debaters who switch to PF are NOT NOVICES. Individuals who have experience in IE only would certainly be novice debaters.  In individual events, a competitor who is doing individual events for the first time IS considered a novice.  No other students should be in competition. If you have any question about this, please email me. 

2.         What is the topic? We will use the NSDA LD VARSITY TOPIC:

Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.

            We will use the NSDA PF Topic as well: 

Resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative.

            Extemp will alternate between domestic and foreign, starting with domestic round 1 

3.        We will follow all NSDA rules for all events. See the NSDA high school unified manual for more information. As it regards to Public Forum, we will be using the new PF changes, which adds an extra minute to both Summary speeches (now 3 minutes) and both teams' prep time (now 3 minutes). For ALL events, we will also be allowing the use of internet in round. However, do not be reliant on this in case of technology failure. 

4.        Who can judge?  In order to get more rounds in for your novice, we are trying to single flight the tournament. This means for debate events, we ask you provide one judge for every two debate entries. In individual events, one judge for every five entries (or fraction thereof).  These quotas should not be a problem given the fact that your varsity members are able to judge. A varsity member with 200 NSDA points is recognized by the NSDA as eligible to judge novice. Certainly, no one who will compete in novice division during the upcoming year or even last year should be judging. Students judging should be in 3rd year or above. It is important that you realize that one of the additional benefits associated with this tournament is to allow varsity people to judge so that they can build NSDA point totals.  Please advise with your student judges about writing constructive ballots. This tournament is designed not to just be for your novice debaters, but your whole team. We encourage varsity to come as well to judge rounds, help their own novice in between rounds, and build team cohesion and bonding to start the year. It will be difficult for Mountain Brook to provide additional judges or to hire judges EXCEPT as deemed necessary to assist programs which have no varsity students to draw upon.If, for some reason, this presents a problem for your program, please email us as soon as possible.  If we can help by hiring judges for you, we will.  Judge availability will be the determining factor.  Cost per hired judge is $50.00.  Coaches, please do not judge yourself unless you must; let your varsity people get the NSDA points.  Of course, you may judge if you like.

             Judge requirements: 1 judge for every 2 Public Forum Teams

                                               1 judge for every 2 LD entries

                                               1 judge for every 5 IE entries

All judges, including student judges, should have a account with a valid email to be able to register them.

5.         Ballots: ALL ballots (including IE) will be done online. All judges should have a tabroom account so that they get access to their ballots online. This will also mean they need to bring a device to the tournament. We will provide the WiFi.

6.         Double Entries:  Students may only enter one type of debate. Students may enter up to two IE divisions. No student may compete in debate and IE.

7.         Fees:  Fees for this tournament will be $8.00 per person per event (this means $16.00 total for a PF team).  Make all checks payable to Mountain Brook High School. Judges fees will be $50 per judge. Please do not hire and let your varsity judge. We don't want your money.

8.         Deadlines:  All entries must be received by Thursday,  October 3rd at 5:00pm.  However, we would love your entries much earlier. Last year we had record numbers and used every classroom available. The sooner you enter entries, the better it is on us to plan. If there are any changes after this time, please email it to me. You will also be assigned a $10 late fee so plan accordingly.

9.         Awards:  Appropriate awards will be presented for all students placing in their respective events.  However, the emphasis for this tournament is experience, not awards. Our awards are fun and cheap, and thus, allows the entry fees to stay low.

10.         Food:  Food will be available for sale from our concessions.  Please ask your students to support the concessions. Concession sales keep the fees low.  We do have to pay to keep the facility open. Certainly, we would assume that no food from an outside source would be brought into our school. The only exception would be if you or a competitor has strict dietary restrictions. 


If you should have questions regarding the tournament or information contained in this invitation, please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. 

We look forward to seeing you!


Elizabeth Wood-Weas

Director of Speech and Debate

Mountain Brook High School

3650 Bethune Dr

Mountain Brook, AL 35223

205-871-3516 ext 7514