Gonzaga University The Conway Classic

2021 — Online, WA/US

Gonzaga University

Conway Classic

Speech and Debate Tournament

January 8-10, 2021 


The Gonzaga University Debate Program cordially invites your team to attend the 71st Conway Classic.  The 2021 tournament will be 100% online/remote and hosted on the classrooms.cloud platform. A big change for this year is that we are moving to a three day format (Fri-Sun) in order to most effectively transition our full service tournament to an online format. As we get closer to the tournament we will be sending out more details on Classrooms and the procedure we'll follow at the Conway.

We will offer 6 preliminary rounds in Open, Junior Varsity and Novice divisions of CX/Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum and 3 rounds in Open and Junior Varsity Congress. We also offer 3 preliminary rounds in an Open division of 9 individual events: humorous interpretation, extemporaneous speaking; oratory, POI; informative speaking; impromptu; duo, ed comm, and dramatic interpretation.

We are pleased we will once again serve as a Tournament of Champions (TOC) Bid Qualifying Tournament in Policy debate at the Semifinals, and a qualifying NIETOC bid. All teams advancing to the semifinals in our Open division will earn a bid towards TOC policy qualification.

We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be an exceptional tournament. We hope that you have a happy holiday season and that your virtual travels bring to Spokane in January.



Gonzaga Debate Team



Online entry will be through Tabroom.com. You will need to set up your schools account if you do not already have one.

Fees and Payment

$50 per Policy Team

$50 per Public Forum Team

$50 per LD Entry

$20 per Congress Entry

$20 per IE slot

$75 uncovered judging fee per each uncovered LD and Public Forum entry

$100 uncovered judging fee per each uncovered Policy entry

$10 uncovered judging fee per each uncovered IE slot

 You can pay your fees online with a credit card. If you’d like to do this please visit our secure payment site at https://commerce.cashnet.com/GUDebate2 and clicking on the link for “Conway Classic”

We also except Purchase Orders. Please send those to frappier@gonzaga.edu prior to the tournament. 


We will accept entries until we are full. Once we are full we will no longer accept entries but you can waitlist student. You are encouraged to enter early.

We will accept drops without payment until January 4th.  All drops after that will be charged the full entry fee.


Each judge you bring covers 2 CX teams, or four Lincoln Douglas or Public Forum entries, and six individual event slots.

We have a limited pool of hired judging available. If you need judging from the tournament contact us at Frappier@gem.gonzaga.edu. First come first served.

Please be sure all conflicts and restrictions (such as schools that the critic cannot see.) Please also indicate the times that the judge will be available, and match it to the schedule to make sure they know when rounds will begin.

Debate judges are committed one round past the round their team was eliminated in. For example, if you clear no teams in debate, you are still obligated for the first elimination round. If your team loses in the quarters, your judges are still obligated for the semis, etc.

Judges will all need accounts on tabroom in order to access their online ballots. We’ll have old fashioned ballots for those who need them, but our hope is that most judges will take advantage of online balloting.

Debate Rules

CX times are 8-3-5 with 8 minutes prep

The topic for CX debates will be the the 2020-2021 NSDA resolutionResolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing. (https://www.speechanddebate.org/topics/)

Lincoln Douglas and PF will use the NFL  January/February topics

Washington State Novice case areas and argument restrictions DO NOT apply since this is a 2nd semester tournament.

Novice eligibility for debate divisions will be determined as follows:  To be eligible for the novice division each debater on the team should be in their first year of debate. If you have to try to make an argument to justify a student being in novice they should likely be in JV.

Rounds one and two will be pre-set in all debate events. Rounds three through round six will be power matched accordingly.

We do not break brackets in elimination debates. If two teams from the same school are seeded in such a way that they meet in the elimination rounds no debate will occur.  One team will advance to the next out round based on coach decision. Coaches should come to the tabroom and let us know who to advance. If you don’t we will simply advance the higher seed.

As per WSFA rules we cannot sanction a debate that occurs after 10pm on Saturday (which means quick decisions and short prep in CX elims.

All students competing at the Conway must be representing their enrolled high school. No independent entries are allowed. In Policy and Public Forum debate, both team members must be from the same school; no hybrid entries are allowed.

Other questions about debate please email Frappier@gem.gonzaga.edu

Student Congress

We will offer an Open division of Congress.

Congress will run simultaneously with debate so students may not cross enter in those events.

Rules will incorporate the newly adopted NFL Congress rulings.

Best PO will be chosen by the parliamentarian and the top speakers will be determined by adult scorers.

Legislation: The official Sprig legislation adopted by the WSFA will be the legislation used for the tournament. A copy of the legislation will be available on tabroom.com at our tournament site as soon as its released by the WSFA. This is usually around mid December.

Please have your students in Congress bring their own copies of the legislation. NO COPIES WILL BE PROVIDED.

We will follow the docket setting method suggested by the WSFA committee. Each school represented in each house will draw numbers to determine the order for a legislation draft. They will then take turns picking bills to be debated. This will determine the docket for the session. For further clarification, please refer to the first page of the packet.

Separate Legislation for Super Congress is included in the WSFA packet and will ONLY be used for Super Congress.

Scoring: The NSDA has discontinued the use of the base system, HOWEVER if chambers are small and speakers make more than five speeches, the base system may be resurrected in order to ensure that quality over quantity prevails. Speaker precedence will not be reset between the sessions. Points awarded to POs for presiding count as speeches. Each speech will be awarded up to 6 points by the judge in the round. The parliamentarian will score the PO.  After each session, judges will rank the top eight speakers, including the PO.  The cumulative total of these ranks in preliminary rounds will determine the students who will advance to Super Congress.   The parliamentarian’s one-time ranking of the chamber at the end of preliminary rounds will be used to break any ties that result both in determining who breaks to Super Congress and in final awards.If the number of entries results in more than one chamber of Congress for a division of competition, Session III will be a Super Congress. After Session II, the top 7 to 10 members of each chamber (based on total judge rankings from session I and II) will advance to the Final Session. The legislation identified by the State as Super Congress Legislation will be the only legislation discussed during this round.  Awards will be based on the cumulative rankings of judges during the final round.  Parliamentarian ranking will be used to break ties.  The top three competitors will receive Judge’s Choice Awards.  There will also be a top POaward as determined by the Parliamentarian.If there is only one chamber of Congress for a division of competition, Session III will be a regular session, and final scores for 1st place , 2nd, and 3rd, will be determined by the accumulation of judges’ rankings for all three preliminary rounds. Outstanding PO will determined by the parliamentarian. There will be no Student Choice Award.

Additionally, the recent updates to the WSFA rules governing student congress allow the use of computers in Congressional Debate.  Students will be allowed to use computers in round for flowing, note taking, the reading of speeches and looking up pre-prepared evidence. Internet use will not be allowed, and scorers will be seated in a way to catch violators of this rule. The use of computers is at the risk of the individual competitor. Power strips will not be provided for competitors and students may not rearrange the seating chart in order to allow access to power. Students are not allowed to use computers that are currently in the classroom. Competitors who unplug objects in a classroom will be disqualified from the tournament.

Sweepstakes Tabulation

We will be awarding trophies to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place schools in the overall sweepstakes.  These sweepstakes are for debate and individual events only.  Please see Student Congress section for explanation of SC sweepstakes awards.

Points for Sweepstakes will be awarded as follows:

Place                                          I.E.’s              Debate/Congress

First                                           15                           25

Second                                     10                           20

Individual Events

We will offer an open division in the following individual events: humorous interpretation, extemporaneous speaking, oratory, POI, expository, impromptu, duo interpretation, ed comm, and dramatic interpretation.


We do not use conflict patterns in individual events. All 9 events will occur simultaneously


Students will be limited to entering a maximum of 4 individual events.  Students and coaches

triple and quadruple enter students at their own risk.   Students entered in extemp should not

triple or quadruple enter.  There is no time in the schedule to rerun portions of an event for

students who do not arrive before the end of the scheduled round.


Timing rules:  All events allow a 30-second grace period past the maximum time limit without a

penalty (exception: Ed Comm).  Speakers that exceed the grace period may not receive first in

the round.  No other penalties will be assessed for over time.  Exception:  Ed Comm has both a

minimum and maximum time limit that must be met without a grace period.  Speakers who do

not meet the time limit 1:45-2:00, may not receive first in the round.  No other penalties will be

Extemporaneous: Thirty minutes of prep with 7 minutes of speaking time.  A preparation room and

official will be provided.  No prepared material will be permitted in the prep room.  Judges are

required to give time signals.

Original Oratory: No more than 150 words of quoted material.  A manuscript should be available

upon the judge’s request.  Memorized delivery for both open and novice.  Ten minutes speaking

time.  No time signals.

Informative Speaking: Can be delivered with or without notes.  Visual aids are a speaker option, usually

preferred by most judges.  Ten minutes speaking time.  No time signals.

Humorous Interpretation: The program presented must be of humorous nature.  Program must be a

selection of published prose, poetry, or drama.  The program must be memorized by for both open

and novice.  Titles and authors must be identified during the program.  Ten minutes speaking time. 

Dramatic Interpretation: The program must be dramatic in nature.  All other rules from HI apply. 

Ten minutes speaking time.  No time signals.

POI:  Using selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a 10 minute performance around a central theme. Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances should also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection.

Dual Interpretation:  The program presented may be serious or humorous in nature.  Program must

be a selection of published prose, poetry, or drama.  The program must be memorized with off-stage

focus for both junior and varsity.  Ten minutes.  time signals.

Impromptu:  The contestant has six minutes in which to choose one of three topics, to prepare and

organize thoughts, and to speak.  The speaker must state the topic as part of the introduction.  Judges

are required to provide time signals. 

Editorial Commentary:  The contestant will give a scripted speech that is intended to be an analysis

of a news event rather than a running synopsis of the news.  The script should be timed to be between

1:45-2:00 minutes with no grace period.  Any speech under or over time must be ranked one score lower than it would normally have received and cannot receive first.  Students may time themselves.

Further event rules and explanations can be found at:  http://www.wiaa.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=1153


All other questions regarding individual event procedure or rules should be sent to Kara Smith.