University of Minnesota College Invitational

2024 — MN/US

UMN College Invitational: January 2024



NDT/CEDA rreliminary rounds will be held on Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27, 2024. Elimination debates will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2024.

CARD rounds will be held on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28 2024.

Time Zone

Tournament times are listed in Central Standard Time (CST).


We hope folks will join us in-person. We will accept online entries. We plan on using Zoom for online rounds.


The entry deadline is Monday, January 22 at 5 pm CST.


Cross-examination style debate format will be used, with two-person teams. There will be four nine-minute constructive speeches, beginning with the affirmative. After each constructive, there will be a three-minute cross-examination by a member of the opposition. There will be four six-minute rebuttals, beginning with the negative. Each team will be allocated ten minutes of preparation time to be used in between speeches and cross-examination periods. Each debater must give one constructive speech and one rebuttal.


We will accept entries in all three divisions (novice, junior varsity, varsity).

Hybrid Entries

Hybrid entries are welcome and are eligible to clear.

Tournament Structure

Each division will have six preliminary rounds of debate competition, with an appropriate number of elimination debates. The schedule can be found here:


The topic for debates will be the 2023-2024 resolution:

Resolved: The United States should restrict its nuclear forces in one or more of the following ways:

-adopting a nuclear no-first use policy;

-eliminating one or more of the legs of its nuclear triad;

-disarming its nuclear forces.

Definition of a Debate Team (Mavericks)

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.


In-Person: $75 / participant (debates, judges, observers)

Online: $50 / team


1—Judge philosophies, as a precondition of entry, must be posted to judges’ accounts no later than January 23, 2024.

2—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 not eligible to judge without prior permission from the tournament director

3—Each school must provide 3 rounds of prelim judging per team.

4—Each judge should be entered for a minimum obligation of 2 preliminary rounds. We also very much appreciate additional contributions, particularly if you have judges with significant team or time constraints (particularly Friday).

5—If a judge cannot be placed above the strike line for the number of debates for which they are committed, the tab room reserves the discretion to increase the commitment(s) of other judges from that judge's school.

6—Each judge is obligated through two elimination rounds. Judges with teams still competing are obligated a round beyond their team’s elimination. If you are hiring judging, we expect that your hired judges are part of your fulfillment of this obligation.

7—Judges are expected to judge debates assigned to them by the tournament tab room.

8—Judges are expected to adhere to Check-in and Report times. Failure to do so may result in penalties, including adjusting the school’s commitment.

9—Judges are expected to adhere to posted decision deadlines for preliminary (2:15) and elimination (2:30) debates.

10—Judges must vote for one and only one team in each debate.

11—Judges have an affirmative obligation to identify conflicts prior to the start of the tournament. Failure to do so may result in removal of preferences for the teams from the schools involved, adjustment of the judge’s schools judging obligations, and/or financial penalties.

Conflicts of interest in which a judge should preclude themselves from judging a particular team or school, and for which a team should constrain a judge, include:

a) Previous significant coaching relationship with a debater,

b) Current or previous romantic relationship with a debater,

c) Current romantic relationship with a member of the coaching staff of a school,

d) Familial relationship with a debater or member of the coaching staff of a school,

e) Recent (within the last four academic years) coaching position with a school,

f) Recent (within the last four academic years) undergraduate competitor for a school.

Conduct, Access, Recording

1—All participants debate at the invitation of the University of Minnesota according to its policies and tournament rules, as well as any rules of their sponsoring institutions.

2—The tournament abides by the rules and norms of the American Forensics Association and the American Debate Association.

3—Debate rounds are open to registered tournament participants.

4—Debates may be recorded for private educational use by tournament participants (registered coaches, debaters, and UMN tournament staff). In such instances, participants should request consent. Public distribution of such recordings is expressly prohibited unless prior written consent of all individuals on the recording is obtained and unless prior written consent of the University of Minnesota is obtained. 5- Private sharing for educational use is permitted but should not include publication or posting online.

6—Debates may be recorded by the UMN tournament for tournament administration purposes. The tournament will not publish, distribute, or retain the recordings, except as needed for tournament administration or as required by applicable law.

7—Coaches and program directors are encouraged to discuss these policies with their participants prior to the tournament and are expected to take any reasonable and necessary actions to ensure compliance by participants who are affiliated with their respective schools.

CARD Debate

Online Debate

1—ABAP Digital Bill of Rights

We endorse the principles of the Digital Bill of Rights laid out by the Association of Black Argumentation Professionals, which can be found here:

2—Are Times Locked-in So I Can Schedule When to Judge?

Please do not. You should assume some shifts in schedule will happen, just like those which occur at in-person tournaments. Some pairings may come out sooner, because not every round runs out the decision time clock. Some pairings may run behind because a debate had to use Tech Time. We would appreciate if participants – competitors, coaches, and judges – assume some degree of flexibility and not treat the schedule as set in stone. For example, please assume some degree of flexibility regarding your meal planning or trying to judge a debate between other meetings – we cannot promise that the schedule runs at exactly the times we have identified.

3—Check-in Time

All participants (teams and judge) are expected to check into their room within 10 minutes of the release of the pairing. This is to facilitate everyone testing their ability to connect, for email thread set-up, setting up Zoom naming conventions, and disclosure. This means you need to log-in to the room. This will allow tournament staff to verify we have seen everyone and minimize the need for replacements or delays in the schedule. Once you have checked in, you may go off-screen or prep somewhere else as needed – you just need to come back at Report Time.

4—Report Time

We kindly request that all participants observe “Report Time” – at 10 minutes before Start Time, and report to competitions rooms at that time. You may continue to prep/coach off-screen, but in order to verify we have all participants able to access their rooms and ready to debate at start time, we need folks in their rooms and we need a little lead time to ensure we start on time. This will help minimize delays and enable tournament staff to quickly target those needing help accessing the platform/tournament/rooms or finding folks who are missing. It is a little trickier for staff to identify missing persons and start debates in our new online environment, and we ask for your cooperation to help make this work by observing Report Time.

5—Tech Time

In most instances, tech fails have been minimal (especially when folks use ethernet connections).

Most of the time tech issues can be caught quickly (you might notice a screen freeze, for example – good reason to keep screen on) and resolved without significant time spent.

If you cannot immediately reconnect, you should use a Help Ticket via the website – direct your issue to the Tech support folks ( option on the menu – for assistance.

In the event of a tech failure by a team, a team may use up to 10 minutes of “Tech Time”. This should be clocked by the judge, and not used as standard prep time. It is only for use with tech/connection/AV issues unique to the online format (not for setting up your email chain, e.g.).

The judge should notify the tab staff immediately via the help system if Tech Time is invoked, or if the judge has a tech issue, so that the tab staff can factor that into scheduling.

6—ADA Policy on Tech Time (Standing Rule I.1)

If debates occur utilizing an online venue, tournaments may permit each team to be allocated up to 10 minutes of “Tech Time” for resolving exclusively tech-related problems (e.g. internet connection, audio/video issues). Tech time should not be used as additional standard prep time. If the time elapses before the team can resolve the issue, they will forfeit the debate. In the event a speech needs to be redelivered entirely or in part, the time for that should count as tech time for the team experiencing the problem, if their tech time runs out while giving the speech the remaining time should be deducted from prep time. In the event a speech needs to be redelivered entirely or in part due to a judge tech issue, the judge must communicate the issue to the tab room immediately to minimize delays in the tournament schedule.

7—Outside Assistance

Once the debate has begun, a team may not receive assistance, suggestions, or coaching from anyone while the round is in progress. This does not prevent debate partners from helping one another but does prevent outside persons from helping a team during the course of a debate. In an online debate, a debate team may receive assistance at the direction of tournament staff in order to resolve technology issues with debate equipment or the ability to transmit the debate.