Fall MSquared College Policy Debate Tournament

2021 — Bloomington, IN/US

Multiweek/Midweek (M2) Tournament #1

Dates: October 11 – November 11


Dear College Debate community, 

The Indiana Hoosiers are excited to invite you to our experiment in flexible tournament hosting called the multiweek/midweek (M2) tournament. The tournament will invite programs to enter debate teams in two divisions (Novice and Junior Varsity) where students will debate their competitors in 1 or 2 rounds a week during mutually agreed upon time slots, primarily Mondays to Friday. 

Why M2

Without travel obligations, virtual debate affords us the opportunity to expand debate competitions beyond long debate tournament weekends. Without the constraints of 3-4 day tournaments, programs may find the M2 beneficial as a means of training and retaining students who otherwise have conflicts during weekends, including work, school assignments, family etc. Furthermore, midweek debate tournaments may be a means of institutionalizing the practice debates that multiple programs have already starting using to excite participants beyond intra-squad competition. 


The ultimate mission of the M2 experience is to provide quality debates with quality 3rd party (“clean”) judging to improve program and student development and retention. 

The benefits of universal tournament scheduling are several that flexible tournament schedules can only attempt to replicate but we ultimately may fail. The following problems can occur: 1) Failure of teams to find mutually agreed upon debate times with available judging 

2) Partnership changes or students departing program mid-tournament 3) Significant drops of teams and judging mid-tournament. 4) Programs wishing to add teams and judges mid-tournament. 

Considering these issues, we propose the following award incentives and rules to ensure the primary goal of having debate rounds followed by the secondary goal of maintaining the tournament experience enticements for students and programs to participate and be recognized for hard work and success. These rules are experimental and may change in future versions of the M2 tournaments during the 2021-2022 season. 


-       The tournament will break to an elimination debate bracket based on “team slots” success. Elimination debates will include half of the field as entered at the start of the tournament. Elimination debates must have an even (2-2, 3-3) or above winning record to qualify. 

-       Top team awards. As per the rules, different students can debate in the “team slots” provided to each program. To award consistency in partnerships, the “top teams” who win the most debates as a consistent partnership will be recognized. The first two tie breakers will be wins followed by speaker points.

-       Top program sweepstakes and speaker awards. Programs will be recognized based on sweepstake points which will be determined by average rounds won per every two entries. Considering programs may have inconsistent partnerships, debaters will be incentivized to win to help boost the ranking of their program. Program speaker points will be averaged within each division across all speakers to determine the top speaking program of the tournament. 

-       Top individual student speaker awards. 



M2 tournaments will use the 2021-2022 Cross Examination Debate Association debate topic. 


Each program will enter the number of team slots that they would like to compete in the appropriate divisions at the tournament. Entries can include “TBA” or actual student names if you think you can maintain the partnership throughout the multiweek period. Once the commitment period has elapsed, the tournament will lock in the number of teams each program will have scheduled to compete each week and will use the commitment to determine judging requirements for each program. 

Indiana enters 2 teams, Houston enters 3 teams, Minnesota enters 1 team. 
Indiana provides 1 judge, Houston enters 2 judges, Minnesota enters 1 judge. 

Preliminary debates

The total number of preliminary rounds will be determined by the number of entries in the tournament. I expect a minimum of three preliminary debates per team and a maximum of 6 rounds for a large division. For a small division a round robin may be most appropriate. 

Program teams will be assigned to a side, affirmative or negative, and will debate another program team during each round. Rounds will be scheduled weekly. Team slots will debate an even number of affirmative and negative debates. If the tournament has an odd number of debates, the tabroom will assign sides. If entries afford the opportunity, rounds will be powermatched based on W/L records.

Team slots can be filled by any debaters from the program who meet division eligibility. Debaters can only compete for one team slot per round. For example Indiana debater Perry can debate Round 1 under Indiana Team #1 with Indiana debater Smith, but neither Perry nor Smith can debate in Indiana Team slot #2 during Round 1 against whoever Indiana Team #2 is paired against that week. 

Preliminary debates should be announced by 8:00 PM (Eastern) Sunday of that week. Debates must be completed by the end of the week (before 8:00 PM Eastern of the following Sunday). Teams can ask for some time flexibility but the goal will be to move forward with the tournament and avoid rounds from prior weeks overlapping with each other. 

Scheduled Debate Times
Within 24-hours of the posting of the pairing, the program directors or contact person of both programs must confirm a mutually agreed upon scheduled debate time during the week between their two teams. The program directors should also enter the names of the debaters who will participate. If a program director (or point person) fails to contact or respond to the opposing program within 24-hours they may be deemed at fault and their team will suffer a loss. Entry method will likely be through a google doc form (TBD). After confirmation of the scheduled debate time and participating debaters, debate judges will be assigned based on conflicts, preference and availability. If, despite good faith efforts by both programs, a mutually agreed upon debate time cannot be established, both teams will receive a loss to ensure the continuation of the tournament. 

Teams are obligated to check into their debates 45-minutes prior to the start of the debate to disclose and to make sure everyone is present. Teams who fail to arrive by start time will receive the loss. 

Teams must be comprised of two debaters. Maverick debaters are not allowed and cannot win.


Novice and JV eligibility

We will use the definition of eligibility for these divisions based on the Cross Examination Debate Association rules. 

Judging requirements 

Each program will need to enter judges who can cover ½ a full commitment per team. The number of committed rounds will be rounded up if preliminary debates are an odd number. Programs will need to fulfill their judging commitments and should recognize that flexibility in scheduling may require judges who are available during the afternoon/night of the work week. The more judges entered the easier it will be to fulfill judging commitments. 

Judges are asked to be available to judge throughout the elimination debates of the tournament. At minimum judges are obligated for the first full bracket elimination debate. 

Judge Preferences
The tournament tabroom will attempt to honor a ranked order system of preference. However, considering availability and other flexible tournament constraints low mutuality at times may be the best available option. If judge availability becomes an issue, judge strike cards delivered 24-hours before the debate may be used as a last attempt to provide teams with some choice in judging. The tournament reserves the right to place best available judging in the event of last-minute judge drops. Programs will be given a few strikes based on the size of the judging pool (announced once judging pool is locked-in), however, strike usage is not required, and programs are encouraged to increase flexibility of the judging pool for purposes of ensuring debates occur. Judge conflicts will be recognized in our tabulation. 



Elimination debates
Elimination debates will be filled by program team slots and based on the record of that team slot throughout the preliminary debates. For example, if the tournament division breaks to semifinals, Indiana Team #1 (4-0 record) Samford #2 (3-1 Record), UGA #2 (3-1 Record) and UGA #1 (2-2 Record). IU Team #1 = 1st seed, Samford #2 = 2nd Seed, UGA #2 = 3rd Seed, UGA #1 = 4th seed. 

To be eligible to debate in the elimination debates, individual debater who fill their program’s team slot are required to have debated in at least half (rounded down if odd number of rounds) of the preliminary debates. Elimination debates cannot be the first time a student has participated in the tournament. 

Elimination brackets will be broken to avoid same teams. 

$20.00 fee per team to cover costs of awards. Tournament fees should not be a barrier to entry and will be waived for programs with need.