Bethel Park Black Hawk Invitational

2020 — Bethel Park, PA/US

Tournament Policies

The Bethel Park Invitational is proud to offer 13 events: 

Lincoln-Douglas (7 preliminary rounds),  Congressional Debate (2 preliminary sessions), 

Public Forum (7 preliminary rounds) -- We also offer separate JV/Silver or Varsity/Gold divisions in Public Forum.  JV/Silver status is defined as 10th grade or younger in their first or second year of competition. Please register your teams appropriately.


NINE Individual Events (5 preliminary rounds of each):

Dramatic Interpretation      Humorous Interpretation             Duo Interpretation

Original Oratory                 Program Oral Interpretation         Poetry

Informative                        Prose                                         Extemporaneous Speaking          

Double entry is not permitted.


This year our Invitational awards Tournament of Champions bids in the following events :
– LD and Gold PF & Silver PF Debate (Finals)
– Congressional Debate (Top 6)
– Speech (number of bids pending event size*)

*Bids are awarded based on the actual entries in a given event:

If 24 or fewer competitors enter, the Top Three receive bids. 

If 25 to 72 people compete, all Finalists receive bids. 

If 73 or more are in an event, all Semifinalists receive bids.



Lincoln-Douglas – $12 per entry

Public Forum – $22 per team

Congressional Debate – $12 per entry

Speech Events – $12 per entry ($22 per DUO team). Note fees are per entry, not per contestant.

Make registration checks payable to Bethel Park Activity Fund.


Initial Entry Limits

Lincoln-Douglas – 5 Varsity entries,

Public Forum – 6 Varsity entries, 2 JV entries per school

Congressional Debate – 6 entries per school,  

Speech Events – 6 entries per event per school.

Entries beyond these initial limits, or once an event is closed, will be added to a waitlist. School entry limits will be lifted two weeks before the tournament to enable as many possible contestants to compete and maintain equality of opportunity for all schools.


Registration Timelines:

All registrations must be entered by Saturday, January 25th at (noon)12 pm. Judge burdens will be locked at this time.

When an event is full or a school has reached its per-event cap limits, further entries will be added to a waitlist. We will lift school caps and begin accepting waitlisted entries (space permitting) two weeks before the tournament, on January 25th.  At this time, all TBA entries will be deleted.

Competitor drops are allowed without penalty (but without changing judge burdens) through Saturday, February 1st at (noon)12pm.


Tabroom will lock for all changes after Saturday, February 1st at (noon)12pm. Changes reported after Saturday February 1 at (noon) 12pm will incur an additional $20 chaos fee. However, name changes are allowed without penalty through 3:30pm on the Friday, February 7th.


Note that Congress legislation is due on Saturday, January 25th at (noon)12pm.  Late legislation will not be accepted, as we are targeting the bills to be available on Monday January 27th. Please send in Microsoft doc format to so we can compile the docket with ease. 

Supersession will have a docket of its own and will consist of the top 6 from each chamber. TOC bid will be top 6 from Supersession.

Presiding Officer:

  • New PO will be elected each session with precedence & recency resetting
  • Each chamber will have a tournament gavel, all POs must use this gavel
  • Only the Super Session PO will be given a gavel at the end of the tournament

Direct Questioning will be used for all sessions.

Each session will be 3 hours long.


Resolutions for Debate will be the February topic for NSDA.

Areas for Foreign & Domestic Extemp are… rounds will alternate in areas.

Foreign: 1) Asia, the Americas, 2) Europe, Australia, and 3) Africa and the Middle East

Domestic: Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy

and then a PotPourri (a mix of Foreign & Domestic) for the final round



Open access to the Internet for research for all competitors in all events. Communication is limited to sharing speech docs or evidence with participants in the round.


Overarching Tournament Rules
The NSDA rule sets will govern the majority of our events. However, the Tournament Director reserves the right to modify consequences for rules violations in consideration of severity and intent. We will also reference the new Alternative Punishment from NSDA.



Students must attend the school with which they are registered and must travel with a responsible adult. JV/Silver status is defined as 10th grade or younger in their first or second year of competition. Any entries found to be in violation of these rules will be disqualified immediately at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

Please note: Bethel Park students will be eligible to compete and break in all events.


TabRoom and Awards:

I am pleased to have joining us this year as our Tab Braintrust:

Beth Young(speech), Ben Edwards(debate), our Lead Technical Analyst we have Aditya Dhere, and our Ombudsman is Sharon Volpe.

Awards will be given to all competitors reaching elimination rounds. Please pick them up during the awards ceremony or arrange to have someone else do so on your behalf.  We do not mail trophies.


Service Project for 2020 – Push Hunger to the Curb

We ask that you help us as we fill our curb with donations & food offerings! Please bring a monetary donation or a food donation of canned goods and/or dry goods for each category you have entries in so that together we may contribute to our local centers. We are grateful for your support.