Harvard Debate Tournament

2013 — MA/US


Invite appears below; you can download a copy by clicking on the link in the top-right.  You may wish to pay special attention to the link to the hotel.


You and your debaters are cordially invited to come to play in Cambridge on October 26- through October 28, 2013.  The festivities shall include beautiful fall foliage, great food by Sherry, and an abundance of high-quality competition.  We hope that you will join us.

The tournament will feature eight preliminary rounds of two-person, switch-sides, cross-examination debate on the national topic in the standard 9-3-6 format.  Elimination rounds will start with octafinals.  Brackets will not be broken, sides will not be equalized.

The tournament is tightly scheduled to allow time for dinner and recreation.  Courtesy demands, and we insist, that rounds start and be adjudicated punctually. 

Each team must be accompanied by a qualified judge who must agree to decide all assigned debates within 165 minutes of the announced start time for the round, rendering a decision with one winner and one loser.  In early prelims, the schedule will require that explanations be completed within this time frame as well.  Judges are obligated for four prelims per team, then through the octafinals and one round beyond the elimination of the last team from their school.  If you choose to hire your judges from the ranks of persons not currently coaching at your school, those hired judges must be approved in advance by the tournament director.  This discretion will be employed solely to avoid unassignable judges who unduly degrade mutual preference judging. 

Entry will be managed through the tabroom.com website.  Harvard College will not commit to a final room list for some time.  We have been lucky the last four years and were able to accommodate nearly everyone who wanted to attend.  There is no guarantee that we can do as well this year, but we will try to host everyone.  However, in order to be fair, we will place all teams beyond the second team from a school on a waitlist until our room situation and entry demand become clearer.  We will clear teams off the waitlist as fast as seems prudent.

Fees for the tournament will be $50 per team plus $65 per person attending the tournament.  The team charges will cover security and cleaning costs, hotel fees, and quality awards.  The hospitality fee covers two lunches, three breakfasts, and the dinner and awards reception on Sunday night. We will have one 55 passenger bus running each morning. There will be a $10 per person charge for the bus.  The cost and stress of driving, plus the lack of easy parking at school on Saturday, combine to persuade many to skip the rental cars for this tournament. 

We will be returning to the Holiday Inn in Somerville (newly renamed the Holiday Inn Boston-Bunker Hill) again this year.  Rooms are available for $129.00 for up to four people per room.  This rate includes free parking and free Internet in the rooms and public spaces.  City bus service runs from the hotel directly to Harvard Square for easy transport back and forth during the day.  The cut-off date is October 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm eastern time. This is peak leaf peeping season.  The hotel is likely to fill up and they have not agreed to hold rooms past this date, so please make your reservations in a timely manner.  If you have overbooked rooms, please first check with other tournament participants as to whether someone else can use the room(s).  If you will not be using the rooms, please let the hotel know that as soon as possible so that they have an opportunity to sell them.  You can make reservations on line using the following link: http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/somerville/bossv/hoteldetail?groupCode=HDB

You may also contact the hotel directly at 617-628-1000.

 We look forward to seeing all of you soon, and to hosting you in Cambridge this fall.


Sherry Hall & Dallas Perkins