Owen L Coon Memorial Debates

2023 — Evanston, IL/US

Greetings from the Northwestern Debate Society,

You are invited to participate in the 58th Owen L. Coon Memorial Debate Tournament at Northwestern University, Saturday, September 16th, through Monday, September 18th, 2023. We will host live and remote debate teams from the Evanston campus of Northwestern with elimination debates finishing on Monday at the Hilton Orrington/Evanston adjacent to campus.

We plan on holding six preliminary debates and will break to at least a full double-octa field for the elimination debates in Open with room availability dictating the final size of the first elimination debate.

Zoom Link for online/hybrid debates


List of rooms for judges with hybrid debates

Orrington: Wheeler
Kresge: 2415
University: 122
Locy: 111
Tech: L211

Transportation google form

Please fill outthis formif you need help with transport throughout the tournament. We will prioritize those with accessibility accommodations. We have more drivers this year, though.



7-9PM – Coaches Registration Reception – Orrington 2nd floor foyer


All times Central

8:00AM - Buses arrive at Orrington

8:00AM – Coffee and Light Breakfast

8:30 AM – R1 & R2 pairings

9:30 AM – R1 start

11:45 AM – R1 decision time

Lunch available starting ~11:30

12:15 PM – R2 start

2:30 PM – R2 decision time

3:00 PM – R3 pairing released

3:30 PM – R3 start

5:45 PM – R3 decision time

Dinner available starting ~5:30

6:15 PM – R4 pairings

7:00 PM – R4 start

9:15 PM – R4 decision time


8:00AM - Buses arrive at Orrington

8:30 AM – Coffee and Light Breakfast

9:00 AM – R5 pairings (**Note, pairings 30 mins later on Sunday**)

9:30 AM – R5 start

11:45 AM – R5 decision time

Lunch available starting ~11:45

12:30 PM – R6 pairings/ASAP

1:00 PM – R6 start

3:15 PM – R6 decision time

3:45 PM – speaker awards/announcements/etc

4:00 PM – Doubles Pairings

4:45 PM – Doubles Start

7:15 PM – Doubles decision time


8:00AM – Coffee and Light Breakfast for Participants

8:30 AM – Octos pairing

9:15 AM – Octos start

11:45 AM – Octos decision time

Noon – Boxed Lunches available for debaters and judges in the Quarters

12:00 PM – Quarters pairing

12:45PM – Quarters start

3:15 PM – Quarters decision time

3:30 PM – Semis pairing

4:15 PM – Semis start

6:45 PM – Semis decision time

7:00 – Finals reception for remaining tournament guests

7:00 PM – Finals pairing

7:45 PM – Finals start

10:15 PM – Finals decision time


We highly encourage all participants to attend the live event in Evanston but understand that there may be some interest in schools that require a remote entry. Fees for live entries will be $75 per person (including debaters, coaches, judges, or observers) to help defray the cost for the team. Fees for remote entries including judges will be $125 per person. The higher remote fees are designed to cover the extra cost of personnel

We will also apply a switching fee of $250.00 for teams that begin the tournament as a live team but switch to virtual debating (or vice versa) once the tournament has begun. We may waive the switching fee under some circumstances including sickness, but all requests to switch from live to virtual (or vice versa) once the registration reception begins on Friday must also be approved by the tournament director. We reserve the right to remove teams from the tournament who no longer wish to continue the live format as opposed to converting them to a virtual team. These requirements apply to any tournament participants, including judges.

COVID Information

Northwestern has retired its Return to Campus policy regarding COVID-19 and currently does not have any restrictions on faculty, staff, students or visitors.

Hotel Information

We will secure a small block of rooms at the Hilton Orrington/Evanston with some possibility of expansion pending demand. We do anticipate the block filling quickly and although we will try to expand it we do anticipate that many schools will ultimately find cheaper rates outside the block in downtown Evanston. The block rate is $165.00 per night.

However, the block rate is not significantly different than market rates in Evanston and the combination of several new hotels in Evanston and no competing Big 10 football game on campus will provide ample space for teams’ accommodation. Several hotels are also available further afield in Skokie near the Old Orchard Mall area.

Orrington Booking Link:

Booking Link for Hilton Orrington/Evanston: https://group.hilton.com/1z6sjv

Or, call: 1-800-HILTONS and refer to group code NUB

Evanston Hotel List (5-10 mins from campus by car or foot):

Graduate Evanston:


Hilton Garden Inn North Shore/Evanston:


Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston:


Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston


Old Orchard Area Hotel List (15-20 mins from campus by car):

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Chicago – North Shore Conference Center:


Extended Stay America – Chicago – Skokie:


Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-North Shore/Skokie:


Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago Wilmette/Skokie:


We are looking forward to see you in September! I know I speak for the entire Debate Society and its alums when I say that hosting this event is something we look forward to; we are delighted that you will be joining us in Evanston again for a weekend of excellent debating. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.


Dr. Daniel J. Fitzmier on behalf of the Northwestern Debate Society