Liberty University Debate Tournament

2022 — Lynchburg, VA/US

October 8, 2022



Dear Colleague,


You are cordially invited to participate in the 33rd annual Liberty University Debate Tournament, November 4-6, 2022.  We are excited to offer a hybrid format that will allow teams to compete both in-person and online.


We will offer six preliminary rounds of competition in novice, junior varsity, and open.  We will clear ½ of all teams in each division, up to a full double-octofinal bracket.


We plan on offering 2 prelims on Friday, with the remaining 4 on Saturday and elimination rounds on Sunday.  Please note that all times on the tournament schedule are Eastern Time.








Michael Hall with Vida Chiri, Morgan Copeland, Heather Hall, John Nagy, and Nick Ryan



Liberty University Debate Tournament

November 4-6, 2022

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia





Topic:  Resolved: The United States should vest legal rights and/or duties in one of more of the following:  artificial intelligence, nature, nonhuman animal species.


Sanctioning:  The tournament will be sanctioned by the ADA and CEDA and will be run in accordance with their rules.  The most recent copy of the ADA rules can be found at   


Hybrid Format:  We will host a hybrid tournament with both in-person and online entries.  Rounds 1 and 2, will prioritize pairing in-person teams against one another and placing in-person judges in those debates.  In power-matched debates, pairings and judge placement will happen as usual with no distinction between in-person and online teams and judges.


In-person judges will be provided a room for debates where one or more of the teams are online.  In debates where one team in in-person and the other is online, judges will watch the debate from the judge’s room but can go to the room of the in-person team to reveal and discuss the decision.


Preliminary rounds:  There will be six preliminary rounds.  Rounds one and two will be pre-set. Rounds three through six will be power matched. Three divisions of debate will be offered: novice, junior varsity, and open.


Elimination rounds:  An appropriate number of elimination rounds will be offered in accordance with the ADA rules and based on the size of the tournament.  We anticipate breaking ½ of each division or 32 teams in each division, whichever is smaller.


Observation/Recording:  Recording rounds, releasing videos, or videos without prior permission of the participants is prohibited.  For online debates, debaters and judges should have their cameras on at all times whenever possible. Anyone registered as a debater or judge on tabroom is allowed to watch any debate unless the participants ask them to leave. Anyone not registered as a debater or judge must get prior approval from each participant before being allowed to watch the debate. This includes parents, high school students, and coaches who have zero judging commitment.  


In-person Tournament Safety:  At present, Liberty University does not have a vaccine or mask requirement for guests.  We will notify tournament participants should that change.


Our goal is to run the entire tournament in DeMoss Hall.  Food, the judges room, and most competition rooms will be in DeMoss Hall on the 4th floor.  We will do our best to keep the entire tournament on the 3rd and 4th floors, but we will likely have to use rooms on other floors, particularly on Friday. 




Eligibility: Eligibility for participation in each division is governed by ADA and CEDA rules.  In cases where eligibility rules between the ADA and CEDA differ, the more restrictive rule will be applied.  Our intent is to ensure that the novice and junior varsity division are eligible to earn both ADA and CEDA sweepstakes points.


Definition of a Debate Team:  For the purposes of ADA tournaments, a debate team is defined as the two-person team that begins the first round of the tournament and who debate together throughout the course of the tournament. If one of the debaters of a team cannot debate in any given round, that round will be forfeited. To debate in a round is defined as to give one constructive speech and one rebuttal.  Speaker points in forfeit situations will be averaged, but the team forfeiting is ineligible to clear to elimination rounds if speaker points are the determining factor for their clearing. The debate may still occur for educational purposes. However, that team will still be eligible for speaker awards and elimination rounds. Hybrid teams are allowed at the discretion of the tournament director and are allowed to clear to elimination rounds at the discretion of the tournament director. A tournament’s policy on hybrid teams must be indicated in the tournament invitation.


Hybrids: Hybrid teams may participate in preliminary rounds and are eligible to clear. 


Deadline:  Please enter the tournament by November 1, 2023 using  After that date e-mail entry changes directly to Nick Ryan (nryan2wc at gmail).


Fees:  Fees are $30 for each in-person participant (debater, judge, or coach) and $50 for each on-line participant (debater, judge, or coach).  Please contact Michael Hall (mphall at liberty dot edu) if the fee structure is a barrier to your participation.  We will happily reduce or waive fees. 


Paying Fees:  You can pay by check or credit card.  Please make checks payable to Liberty Debate.  You can drop checks off in the tabroom at any time during the tournament.  If you are paying by credit card, please use the following link and pay by 3:00pm on Friday, November 4. 


Tournament Registration: Please confirm your entries through tabroom when you start your travel to Lynchburg.  Changes should be emailed to nryan2wc at gmail,




Entry Requirement:  Each school must provide 3 rounds of qualified judging for each team entered in the tournament. 


Please use tabroom to coordinate your hired judging.  The tournament will have a limited number of rounds per available for hire at $55 per round.  If you need to hire judges, please enter early.


All judges will be required to judge through the quarterfinal elimination round or one round after your last team is eliminated whichever occurs later. 


Judge philosophies, as a precondition of entry, must be posted to judges’ accounts no later than November 1.   Judges are expected to have significant prior experience with policy debate. If a judge does not have significant prior experience with policy debate, they are ineligible to judge without advanced permission from the tournament.


Judge Placement:  Judges will be placed using mutual preference in all divisions in a manner consistent with ADA and CEDA rules.


              Speaker Points:  We will use a 30-point scale with .1 increments.  No ties are allowed.


Decision Time:  In preliminary rounds, judges are expected to render a decision within 2:15 of the announced start time. In elimination rounds, judges are expected to render a decision within 2:30 of the announced start time. At debate tournaments conducted online the time given to render a decision may be expanded by time allotted to resolve technical difficulties. If a judge needs to take additional time following a delay because of technical difficulties (Tech Time), the judge should promptly communicate the need to delay and the amount of time of the delay to the tournament tab room staff. If the judge is unable to make a decision within the appropriate time parameters for that round, the tab room should randomly decide a winner by coin flip.



Awards: Awards will be provided to the top sixteen teams and the top ten speakers in each division.  We will mail the awards to online participants at the conclusion of the tournament.



Food:  For those attending in-person we will provide dinner on Friday, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on Saturday, and Breakfast and Lunch on Sunday.


Hotel:  There is no official tournament hotel, but there are several options close to the campus, including the Hampton Inn, LaQuinta, Comfort Inn, and Sleep Inn.  These hotels range in price from $109 to $159.



33rd Liberty University Debate Tournament


(All Times are Eastern)



Friday, November 4 (All Times are Eastern)


2:45 pm - Verify all your participants are online and ready (DIGITAL BUS) 


3:00 pm - Round 1 & 2 Pairings 


3:10 pm - Round 1 Check-in Deadline 


3:35 pm - Round 1 Report Time. 


3:45 pm - Round 1 Start Time 


6:00 pm - Round 1 Decision Time 



5:45 pm – In-person Dinner – DeMoss 4152



6:15 pm - Round 2 Check-in Deadline 


6:35 pm - Round 2 Report Time 


6:45 pm - Round 2 Start Time 


9:00 pm - Round 2 Decision Time 



Saturday, November 5 (All Times are Eastern)


8:00 am – In -person Breakfast – DeMoss 4152


8:10 am - Verify all your participants are online and ready (DIGITAL BUS) 


8:15 am - Round 3 Pairings 


8:30 am - Round 3 Check-in Deadline 


8:50 am - Round 3 Report Time.  


9:00 am - Round 3 Start Time 


11:15 pm - Round 3 Decision Time 



11:00 am – In-person lunch – DeMoss 4152



11:45 pm - Round 4 Pairing 


11:55 pm - Round 4 Check-in Deadline 


11:55 pm - Round 4 Report Time 


12:15 pm - Round 4 Start Time 


2:30 pm - Round 4 Decision Time 



2:45 pm - Round 5 Pairing 


2:55 pm - Round 5 Check-in Deadline 


3:05 pm - Round 5 Report Time 


3:15 pm - Round 5 Start Time 


5:30 pm - Round 5 Decision Time  



5:15 pm – In-person Dinner – DeMoss 4152



6:00 pm - Round 6 Pairing 


6:10 pm - Round 6 Check-in Deadline 


6:20 pm - Round 6 Report Time 


6:30 pm - Round 6 Start Time 


8:45 pm - Round 6 Decision Time 


9:00 pm – Awards and Bracket Release




Sunday, November 6 (All Times are Eastern)


8:00 am – In-person Breakfast – DeMoss 4152


8:10 am - Verify all your participants are assembled (DIGITAL BUS) 


8:15 am – First Elim Pairing – and immediate report 


8:20 am - Coin Flip Blast 


8:25 am - Flip Deadline 


8:50 am - Report Time 


9:00 am - Start Time 


11:30 am - decision time 

11:45 am - elims continue



11:15 am – In-person lunch – DeMoss 4152