Gonzaga University The Jesuit

2020 — Spokane, WA/US

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: https://bit.ly/34iVipp

TOURNAMENT INFO DOCUMENT: https://bit.ly/3ksjAmB



The Jesuit Debates Invitation

Gonzaga University

October 30th – November 2nd 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Gonzaga University cordially extends you an invitation to attend the 2020 Jesuit Debates (“The Jesuit”) on Friday - Monday, October 30th – November 2nd.  We will host the tournament utilizing the Classrooms.Cloud platform. We hope you join us for an exciting weekend of debates.  Please scroll down for more information. 


We will continue tradition of the Harvard Costume Contest.  We can’t really give the winners candy this year but there will still be a monetary prize for best costume as voted on by the people!


This year we will offer three divisions of NDT debate: (Open, JV, and Novice) and two divisions of PNW Debate (Senior and Junior). 

The Novice Division will be using the ADA’s restricted evidence set – all evidence presented in such debates should be from the evidence maintained by the ADA Novice Curriculum Committee, and Debaters may not present evidence from outside the evidence set.

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

Students are asked to debate the topic selected for the 2020-21 season by a vote of the Cross-Examination Debate Association membership. 

Hybrid teams are permitted to enter the tournament and will be allowed to clear to elimination rounds.

Courtesy demands, and we insist, that rounds start and be adjudicated punctually. 

Brackets will not be broken and sides will not be equalized although the tabroom will flip the coin in elims.

Tabroom Coinflip: The Tabroom will text you 5 minutes after the pairing has been released with the winner of the coinflip. If you win the flip, please select your side within 5 minutes on tabroom, the same as you would an online strike card. If you do not choose within 5 minutes your opponent will be given 5 minutes to choose; after that the computer will randomly select sides.

Participating teams and schools are expected to contribute to http://opencaselist.paperlessdebate.com/bin/view/Main/ and should provide their most recent affirmative and negative information by the Tuesday before the tournament at latest.

All participants debate at the invitation of the Gonzaga University and according to its university policies and tournament rules, as well as any rules of their sponsoring institutions. The tournament abides by the rules and norms of the American Forensics Association and the American Debate Association.

PNW Debate

We are adding a division of PNW Debate to our slate of divisions. “Pacific Northwest Debate” is an intercollegiate debate format rooted in evidence and public advocacy, yet accessible, realistic, and enriching for a diversity of college students. The format is particularly accessible for college students with little to no prior debate experience.  

PNW feature two topics per school year (Fall and Spring) and an article packet constructed by participating students. Consisting of a variety of scholarly and topical sources, the article packet is the sole source of quoted evidence in debates. The packet is also expanded and revised throughout the topic cycle as participants’ arguments evolve. This semesters PNW topic is: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should reduce its alliance commitments by terminating one of more its Asian-Pacific mutual defense pacts."

The format is very similar to the NDT/CEDA format with modified times. From the release of the pairing to the oral critique, rounds last approximately 1.5 hours. All students deliver a 6-minute constructive, 4-minute rebuttal, and a 2-minute cross-examination period (both asking and answering questions). Pre-round disclosure and assistance from coaches is encouraged and each round concludes with a decision and critique delivered by the critic.  Given this formats emphasis on debates digestible to public audiences and student accessibility the norms for delivery are quite distinct from NDT/CEDA policy format.

If you think you have students interested in PNW Debate please consider visiting https://www.westerndebateunion.org/pnwdebate for more information.


Entries will be managed through the tabroom.com website. 

To finalize your entry do the following on tabroom.com by 12pm PST October 24th, 2020.

(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 tabroom.com. 

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

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


Fees for the tournament will be $95 per team entered in the tournament.  The team charges will cover platform, tabroom, trophies and shipping costs.

Fees can be paid in advance with credit card on the universities secure online site. This is our preferred method of receiving payment. To pay online please go to:  https://commerce.cashnet.com/GUDebate2  and click on the “Jesuit” link. A receipt will be autogenerated and emailed to you when payment is made.

All fees will be calculated on October 28th, 2020 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. 


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 60th percentile and with a mutuality of 40 percentile points in all debates that involve teams with fewer than 3 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 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 tabroom.com and we request that you confirm your opt-in decision by sending an email to Gary.Larson@wheaton.edu.  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.

Obligation. Judges are obligated for 3 prelims per team and the first elimination debate, and one round beyond the elimination of the last team from their school. 

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 20% rather than constrain them. Even in “out of it” debates you will not get a judge below that floor.

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. 


Teams will be able to check in using tabroom to confirm all competitors and judges are "on site" and will be present. Everyone must be checked in before we can pair the presets. Please confirm your party will be 9PM PST on October 29thth.


The Gonzaga Debate Program endorses the principles in the Association of Black Argumentation Professionals (ABAP)’s Digital Bill of Rights (DBOR). The DBOR is the result of an effort by ABAP, coaches and students to represent tournament participants’ privacy concerns related to how virtual tournaments will be run and administered.  If a student invokes the DBOR during the Jesuit, they should then bring the issue to the director of the tournament. 

In accordance with the document, we encourage scouting practices which balance the need for scouting with the privacy concerns expressed by many in our community.

We have asked Classrooms.Cloud, the vendor helping us to run the virtual tournament, to turn off all recording in Zoom rooms.  Please note that the light indicating that your round is being recorded may be on, but you are not being recorded. 

The Gonzaga Debate Program encourages recording for educational purposes; however, tournament participants must have the affirmative consent, in advance, of those participating in the debate they wish to observe and/or record.  


All observers who wish to access competition rounds need to be registered as an observer with an entered school.  There is an observer division where teams can add any observers. 

If you are an observer at the tournament, you must follow these guidelines:

·            Tournament observers use their Tabroom.com logins to access the Classrooms.cloud site

·            Observers’ Zoom display text should be: “Observer-name of school school-name of observer" 

·            Observers will need the affirmative consent of the participants to observe a debate.

We are NOT creating a list of teams who do/do not want to be scouted as other tournaments have informed us this created confusion due to incomplete entries. Instead, observers should remember that they need affirmative consent to watch any debate. If any participant does not provide consent then the observer should respect than decision and leave the debate. 


To accommodate all interested teams the NDT-CEDA divisions will use a 4 day schedule with a 1-3-3-4/doubles model. 

Full schedule can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/34iVipp  

o   All participants (teams and judge) are expected to check into their room within 10 minutes of the release of the pairing. This is to facilitate everyone testing their ability to connect, for email thread set-up, setting up Zoom naming conventions, and disclosure. This means you need to login to the room. This will allow tournament staff to verify we have "seen" everyone and minimize the need for replacements or delays in the schedule. Once you’ve checked in, you may go off-screen or prep somewhere else as needed – you just need to come back at Report Time.

o   We kindly request that all participants observe “Report Time” – at 10 minutes before Start Time, - and report to competition rooms at that time. You may continue to prep/coach off-screen, but in order to verify we have all participants able to access their rooms and ready to debate at start time, we need folks "in" their rooms and we need a little lead time to ensure we can assess who is missing/needs help, and still start on time. This will help minimize delays and enable tournament staff to quickly target those needing help accessing the platform/tournament/rooms or finding folks who are missing. It is a little trickier for staff to identify missing persons and start debates in our new online environment, and we ask for your cooperation to help make this work by observing Report Time.

What should you do if you experience tech issues?

o   What do we do if someone gets disconnected/freezes/etc.?  In most instances, tech fails have been minimal (especially when folks use Ethernet connections)

1.      Most of the time tech issues can be caught quickly (you might notice a screen freeze, for example – good reason to keep screen on) and resolved without significant time spent.

2.      If you cannot immediately reconnect, you should use a Help Ticket via the website – direct your issue to the Tech support folks (Classrooms.cloud/Zoom) option on the menu – for assistance.

3.      In the event of a tech failure by a team, a team may use up to 10 minutes of “tech time”. This should be clocked by the judge, and not used as standard prep time. It is only for use with tech/connection/AV issues unique to the online format (not for setting up your email chain, e.g.).

4.      The judge should notify the tab staff asap if tech time is invoked, or if the judge themselves have a tech issue, so that the tab staff can factor that into scheduling.

§  ADA Policy on Tech Time (Standing Rule I.1):

If debates occur utilizing an online venue, tournaments may permit each team to be allocated up to 10 minutes of “Tech Time” for resolving exclusively tech-related problems (e.g. internet connection, audio/video issues). Tech time should not be used as additional standard prep time. If the time elapses before the team can resolve the issue, they will forfeit the debate. In the event a speech needs to be redelivered entirely or in part, the time for that should count as tech time for the team experiencing the problem, if their tech time runs out while giving the speech the remaining time should be deducted from prep time. In the event a speech needs to be redelivered entirely or in part due to a judge tech issue, the judge must communicate the issue to the tab room immediately in order to minimize delays in the tournament schedule.

 Full schedule can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/34iVipp