UDL Middle School Nationals
2022 — Online, MA/US
Dear UDL Debate Coaches and Admin,
We would like to take this opportunity to extend to you and your team an invitation to The Fourth Annual UDL Middle School National Debate Tournament this spring!
This event is being run by a subgroup of UDLs as a continued pilot, and we have made a number of improvements and expansions from the initial pilot in 2019. We hope to provide middle school students with a unique, high-quality competitive and educational experience that will help all of our programs and offer to our younger debaters the same competitive atmosphere as our high school debaters.
NAUDL has contributed to this tournament as a thought-partner, though its focus remains the high school tournament at this time, so we ask that all communication with regards to this tournament be directed to the tournament staff and highlighted contacts below.
Dates: Saturday, April 30th - Sunday, May 1st, 2022
Tournament Events: Policy Debate and Public Forum Debate
Tournament Location: Online / Virtual Platform
Online Resources: Courtesy of the TOC:
Policy Tournament Schedule
Public Forum Tournament Schedule
Tournament Entry Fee - $25/team
How we calculated the registration fee: The entry fee allows us to order trophies and have them mailed directly to recipients, covers online platform costs, and allows for the tournament to hire a few extra judges to ensure a high quality judge pool.
Our goal is to run a cost-neutral tournament, nobody is making money on this program.
Leagues are expected to provide 1 judge for every 2 teams in attendance. This applies to both Policy and PF divisions. Individual leagues may determine who is qualified to judge, but we encourage them to consider folks who have coached or judged this age group and debate format this year. Participating leagues are encouraged to “bring” extra volunteer judges if possible. If a league cannot meet this judge burden, please reach out to the tournament directors to discuss options.
Registration & Disclosure Deadline - April 11, 2022
If you have any questions, please contact:
David Trigaux - Washington Urban Debate League (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Isaac Allen - Debate Kansas City (email@example.com)
PF Consultant - Austin Young, Memphis Urban Debate League
Leagues are restricted in the following ways (all restrictions apply to the entire tournament, not on a “per event” basis)
- At least 66% (two-thirds) of a league’s entries must be from High Needs schools (High Needs = % of Middle Schools Served with >50% Free or Reduced Lunch)
- No more than 6 teams from a league may compete in each event
- Both partners must be currently in grades 5 through 8
- All entries must be approved by the UDL that they participate in
Use of Electronic Devices
- Debaters must comply with the “NSDA Guidelines for Laptop Use in Debate Events.”
- As per the above, internet use is only permitted for the following purposes during rounds:
- Accessing the tournament website and virtual debate rooms
- Partner-partner communication
- Making evidence available to the opponent and/or judge if requested
- A full list of rules for virtual debate conduct will be distributed in advance of the tournament
Policy Debate Tournament Rules
- All debaters will compete in one division - Policy Debate
- Middle school debaters will compete using standard High School times:
- 8 minute constructives
- 5 minute rebuttals
- 3 minute CX
- 8 minutes of prep
- Students will debate the 2021-2022 Policy Debate Resolution - Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States.
Evidence Restrictions / Disclosure
Open research is allowed and will follow the NSDA Evidence Guidelines. Debaters will be restricted to arguing Affirmatives and Off-Case Positions on the Submitted Case List. Any argument is allowed, as long as they are submitted by the disclosure deadline. Submitted Affirmatives must include plan/advocacy text and advantages, and may include link to case text.
View Disclosure Here: 2022 Policy Tournament Case/Off-Case Disclosure
2019 Tournament Disclosure (to be viewed for examples)
Disclosure Deadline: April 11, 2022
Public Forum Debate Tournament Rules
PF Topic will be determined in advance by leagues attending no later than April 11, 2022.
Following current NSDA rules, the round begins with a coin flip. The winner of the flip may choose which side of the topic to defend OR which speaking position to uphold. The other team makes the alternative choice.
NSDA Campus/Tabroom.com will manage the coin flip. Five minutes after a pairing is released, the teams will be notified who won the flip, enabling that team to make their selection. Debaters must check their email for the tabroom link! If they miss their chance, the other team will be given the choice. When they have chosen, or if five minutes elapses without a choice (8 minutes in elims), the second team will be offered the remaining choice. If a system-wide error occurs, judges will manage the flip in the room - tab will notify judges if this is necessary, judges may NOT flip unless notified by tab.
Structure of a Round
- Constructives - 4 min
- Crossfire between 1st speakers - 3 min
- Rebuttals - 4 min
- Crossfire between 2nd speakers - 3 min
- Summaries - 3 min
- Grand Crossfire - 3 min
- Final Focus - 2 min
- The structure of a round is not modifiable, with the exception that speakers are not required to use all of their speech/crossfire time. That time is simply absorbed, not transferred to other activities.
3 minutes - teams may ask for prep time in between any two elements of the round and may divide their prep time in any increments.
Calling for and sharing evidence
Any evidence read/cited in the round must be made available to the opponent upon request. Requests for evidence, and the time spent finding the evidence, is untimed in the round and MAY NOT be used for prep time for any debater. Teams ought to be able to find and electronically share their evidence very, very rapidly. If the time spent finding a piece of evidence is excessive, the judge may begin running prep time - however, the lack of prep time CANNOT be a reason to deny a team the chance to see their opponent’s evidence. If a team simply cannot produce their evidence, or is out of prep time to find it, it should be tossed out of the round and not factored into your decision. Time spent reading the opponent’s evidence must be timed in some way, either as prep time or while another speech/crossfire is underway.