Barkley Forum for High Schools

2021 — classrooms.cloud, GA/US

 Dear Forensics Director:

It is our pleasure to welcome the member schools of the Barkley Forum for High Schools to the 66th Annual Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University, which will be held January 29, 30, and 31, 2021 with an opening awards presentation on January 28 and a release of a closing awards video on February 1. It is an equal pleasure to invite applications from other schools to be with us virtually in January. Emory University has a historic commitment to forensics, both high school and college. We look forward to hearing from member schools and to welcoming other interested schools with superior debate and forensic students. 

While the tournament will look very different this year, we are preserving many of the traditions that make the Barkley Forum for High Schools nationally unique, including a livestreamed Opening Awards ceremony on Thursday, January 28th and a community-wide Finals Award Ceremony that will feature snippets of performances and debates from throughout the weekend that will be released on Monday, February 1st at 5:00 p.m. EST so your team and possibly administrators can watch together.  We will be honored to host you virtually even when we cannot host you on campus.  

Changes: 

The tournament will be hosted on classrooms.cloud.  

****Different mailing address***** 
Please do NOT mail checks to Emory.  We are not on campus and will not receive them.  Please make checks payable to Emory University and send all checks to:
Attn: Barkley Forum for High Schools 
The Smith Legal Group, LLC 
The Academy, Suite 214 
6886 Main Street 
Lithonia, GA 30058

Credit Cards:  We will be able to process credit cards for a 3.75% processing fee.  Contact Kara Grant at emorybfhs@gmail.com and she will add the fee to your invoice, then you can go to http://barkleyforum.emory.edu/community_outreach/bfhs_tournament.html and click on “pay now” to process your payment. 

Required Student Form:  All participating students must submit one form by January 22 at 11:59 EST:  a Parental Consent/Media Release form that is available on tabroom.com.  All rounds will be recorded through classrooms.cloud.  No other recording of rounds may occur from another source.  The final rounds of all events as well as the Opening Awards Ceremony will be livestreamed.  The Final Awards Ceremony will include snippets of performances and debates from students who are in the final rounds.  Completed forms will be uploaded to tabroom.com.

Awards:  We will have our traditional large mounted awards for the Melissa Maxcy Wade Social Justice Award recipient, first and second place competitors in all events, and first speakers in Pelham Debates and Public Forum.  Finalists in speech events, finalists and Presiding Officers in Congressional Debate, and 2nd - 5th speakers in Public Forum and The Pelham Debates will receive our signature large keys.  All other participants in all events who clear will receive a certificate, and the Barkley Forum will make a donation in their name to the Urban Debate League program of their choice.  Students will be asked on the parental consent/media release form to identify which UDL they would like to support should they clear in their event.  We know this change may come as a disappointment to students who value a tangible award when they succeed in speech and debate, but we can think of no greater way to honor student success than by enabling even more students to have access to the incredible skills garnered in speech and debate.  If students do not indicate on the form which UDL they wish to support, their financial award will go to support the Atlanta Urban Debate League. 

"Registration": Representatives from the tournament will be online for one hour following the Opening Awards Ceremony on Thursday, January 28th if you have questions or need to make last-minute changes.  At that time, please verify there are no changes to your registration as listed on tabroom and click on-site.   On-site check-in will open at 4:30 p.m. EST, and all schools must check in online by 7:00 p.m. EST. 

Background Checks: We will be doing background checks on all tournament-hired judges for the tournament, and all judges provided by the schools must have completed a successful background check conducted by the schools.

Judge Entry Deadline/Deadline to Request Hired Judging:  If you wish to hire judging for the tournament, we suggest you request a hire early on tabroom.com.  The deadline to enter judges in all events and the deadline to request hired judging is January 15, 2021.  

Observers:  During the tournament, students from a school that is participating in the tournament can observe rounds as an educational tool for students.  Please register them in tabroom under the event “Observer.”  We expect that any adult who wishes to observe be in the judge pool in an event with rounds available to judge.  If any adults wish to observe rounds and do not wish to be in a judge pool, they may watch the final rounds of any event, which will be livestreamed.  

Alternative Platforms:  No one (judge, coach, student)  may switch their rounds to an alternative video platform that is not an official option approved by the tournament.  If anyone suggests moving to an alternative platform, please alert tournament personnel immediately.  Students agreeing to move to a separate platform will forfeit the round, and judges who move to a separate platform will be fined as if they did not judge their rounds.  

Judge Video:  If at all possible, students and judges deserve to be able to see the judges with whom they are communicating. Judges may briefly turn their cameras off during decision time. To the extent possible, the cameras of competitors and judges should be on (and on them) while a student is speaking and during RFDs. Brief pauses are understandable. To the extent needed, cameras can be off to enhance streaming quality.

Ombudsperson(s): We will have a/a team of tournament ombudsperson(s) to whom participants may direct complaints and concerns regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.  More details will be released closer to the tournament date.  Please note that this is not the appropriate place to report gender based discrimination and harassment as detailed in the Title IX section of the invitation on pp. 18-20; those reports should be made to the Barkley Forum representative in your tab room.  Additionally, concerns about tournament procedure and tabulation should be reported to your event’s tab room.

Public Forum 
--For this year only, Public Forum will be single-flighted. 
--We have added one minute of preparation time (for a total of 4 minutes) to accommodate evidence exchange.  Please see evidence exchange rules in the PF section.  We are also implementing a firm decision time for each round. 
--Participants should report to the room as soon as the pairing is released for the coin flip. 

Lincoln Douglas
--For this year only, Lincoln Douglas will be single-flighted. 
--We have added one minute of preparation time (for a total of 5 minutes). 

Speech 
--We will not be offering Duo Interpretation this year, since we do not believe we can do so safely and equitably.  We do hope to offer it again in 2022 and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to students.  Returning to the slate of events this year will be Oral Interpretation of Literature (formerly called Prose & Poetry at the BFHS).  Each round will be designated for either prose or poetry, beginning with poetry in Round 1, alternating each round and ending with prose in the exhibition final round.
--Our plan is to have synchronous competition in all speech events.
--For the online safety of Extemporaneous Speaking participants, the last speaker will be required to observe the first speaker, and then will go to prep. All subsequent speakers are required to watch all other speakers for the duration of the round after they speak. This is to ensure there are always three or more individuals in any given call. One on one interaction between an adult and student is strictly prohibited.
--With the exception of Extemporaneous Speaking, students may not use the same primary source in more than one event (e.g. using the same source for DI and POI or using the same primary source in Informative Speaking and OO). 

Additional Information:

We have immense respect for the educators who make speech and debate programs available in schools, the schools who support those speech and debate programs, and the students who have put in the hard work required to attend the Barkley Forum for High Schools.  In order to respect all of these entities, we have these policies and procedures in place:


--To stay true to the founding principle of the Barkley Forum for High Schools – to encourage the development of high-quality forensics programs at high schools around the country – the tournament will only accept applications from students representing their high schoolsNo independent entries will be allowed, and no entries representing entities other than high schools will be allowed.  Rare exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the tournament director.  If you would like to request an exception, please email Ed Lee at emorybfhs@gmail.com to describe your situation.
--If a student is not “accompanied” by his/her debate coach to the tournament, s/he must have a hard copy of a letter on school letterhead from the school’s administration indicating the student has permission to compete on behalf of the school.  If the student is not able to provide the letter upon request during the tournament, tournament administration reserves the right to remove the student from the competition and forfeit all previous rounds. 
--If students qualify to participate in the tutorials (i.e., clear), they are expected to be available through the final exhibition round to respect their opponents and the participants who will learn from their performance.  If a student must leave the tournament and cannot participate in a tutorial or exhibition round for which s/he has qualified, s/he will forfeit his/her award and all rounds.  Special circumstances may lead to rare exceptions to this rule at the tournament director’s discretion.  
--Unless approved by the tournament director, if you choose not to participate in a tutorial or exhibition (outround), you forfeit all previous rounds.  We will submit your results reflecting no wins/last place in each round to the TOC, NIETOC, and other entities to whom we provide results. 

Please make sure all judges and students are informed about the tournament’s Title IX policy, which is detailed beginning on p. 18 of the invitation.

We require that all judges, coaches, and participating students have an established, functional Tabroom.com account - including a cell phone number listed.

It is an expectation of the tournament that students will accurately represent material read during speeches. In order to ensure compliance, all rounds will be recorded. It is the responsibility of coaches to ensure that their debaters and parents understand this tournament requirement and complete the paperwork necessary to ensure compliance with applicable state laws.

Please ensure your judges show up, particularly on Sunday.  For judges that do not show for an assigned round, we will assess a $50 per round fine.  In addition, it will endanger any Member Schools’ standing.  

Mavericks in 2-team events cannot clear or advance; they must have debated as a team collectively for at least 4 rounds in prelims to clear. In Pelham Debates, each debater has to give a constructive and a rebuttal to be considered having debated in a round (barring extenuating circumstances such as a mid-round forfeit); if both debaters have not done so during a round, they cannot advance.  

In order to launch the tournament appropriately and celebrate the 66th anniversary of the tournament, we will have a livestreamed Opening Awards Assembly for all students, coaches, and judges at 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 28, 2021, during which participants will recognize the new Key coaches and honor the winner of the Melissa Maxcy Wade Social Justice Award. Ms. Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta, will be receiving the Georgia Speaker of the Year Award and addressing the attendees. 

Entry/Application Deadlines and Entry Caps

Applications to attend (including the competitive records/qualifiers for each student applying) from non-member schools must be entered on the BFHS website no later than December 7, 2020.  Indications of attendance from member schools must be entered on the website by the same date. Shortly thereafter, an email will be sent to all the schools that have been selected to attend.  

All participating students must submit a parental consent and media release form.   Participating schools assume any and all responsibility and liability for both student and adult participants from their schools and by registering attest that an adult will be present at the tournament and will assume all responsibility for the school’s students. Additionally, while Emory will be conducting background checks on all judges we provide, all judges provided by the schools must have completed a successful background check conducted by the schools.

In Public Forum Debate, we are accepting two entries from Member Schools.  We will accept two applications from non-member schools, and admission will be granted based upon space available. Teams will get judge strikes of up to 10% of the judge pool for preliminary rounds.  

In Congressional Debate, we are accepting ten entries from Member Schools.  We will accept ten applications from non-member schools, and admission will be granted based upon the space available.   

The Pelham Debates feature two-person, switch-sides debating using the cross-examination format. Member schools will send their most experienced teams since the FORUM IS NOT A PRACTICE-TYPE TOURNAMENT.  This year we are accepting two entries from Member Schools. We will accept two applications from non-member schools, and admission will be granted based upon space available. There will be six preliminary rounds of debate. The top 32 teams will be asked to participate in five exhibition rounds.  We will have a mutual judge preference system for the Pelham Debates (using an ordinal ranking system), so it is especially important that your judges are entered accurately in a timely fashion.  If your judges are not entered by January 15th, you will be required to pay the full judge hire fee.  Please have all judges post their judge philosophy on tabroom.com under “paradigms.”  You will not be allowed to enter prefs until all your judges have supplied a paradigm.  More details about prefs will follow via email closer to the tournament date. Please note that the judge preferences do not apply to The Thomas Glenn Pelham Silver Key Debate.  

In Lincoln-Douglas, we are accepting two entries from Member Schools. We will accept two applications from non-member schools, and admission will be granted based upon space available. We will have a mutual judge preference system for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, so it is especially important that your judges are entered accurately in a timely fashion. If your judges are not entered by January 15th, you will be required to pay the full judge hire fee.  Please have all judges post their judge philosophy on tabroom.com under “paradigms.” You will not be allowed to enter prefs until all your judges have supplied a paradigm. More details about prefs will follow via email closer to the tournament date. Please note that the judge preferences do not apply to The Dale Lauder McCall Exhibition.   

In Speech Events, four entries per school are permitted in any one event. No triple entries will be allowed.  

If there are any last-minute changes, please notify us in writing at EmoryBFHS@gmail.com. 

We hope to bring you the best possible forensics experience we can offer.  May we hear from each of you soon. 

Sincerely, 

Ed Lee, Tournament Director                       

Kara Grant, Tournament Administrator