Brown University Invitational

2023 — NSDA Campus, RI/US

1st Annual Brown University Invitational

Dear Coaches and Competitors:

It is our pleasure to invite you to the 1st Annual Brown University Invitational, which will take place on November 4-5, 2023, and will be hosted online on NSDA Campus.

The 2023 Brown University Invitational will offer Public Forum in both Varsity and Novice divisions. We expect to break all 4-2s in Varsity. Novice will probably run 7 rounds for all in the field.

Please refer to the rest of the invitation for further detail about the tournament and its online format, and review our tournament website for updates at If you have any questions, please send an email to, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

We wish you all the best in the upcoming months and hope to see you in November!


Mac Hays

Tournament Director

President of the Brown Debating Union


October 4th, 2023


Online registration begins at

October 10th, 2023

Waitlist clearing begins, and remains ongoing through registration close on Oct 28th

October 28th

1:00 PM EST

· New entries due in all events.

· Registration fees and judge burdens frozen. If you do not meet your judging obligation after this date, you will be fined $500 per uncovered entry, although there is no guarantee that any uncovered entry can be accepted into the tournament. (This fine is meant more of a heads up than an opportunity for teams to attempt to purchase judges that have otherwise been refused to them).

November 4th, 2022

7-8:30 AM EST

Check-in online for all schools via Tabroom

Events and Divisions

All debate events will follow NSDA rules.

Public Forum Debate

There will be 2 divisions of PF: Varsity and Novice*. The November-December National Speech and Debate Association topic will be used. There will be six preliminary rounds in VPF and seven total rounds for the entire field in Novice; given how early it is in the season, we want the novices to get the maximum reasonable number of rounds. We aim to break all debaters with a 4-2 record or greater in VPF.

Note on Mavericks: Students may NOT be registered as mavericks. If a student’s partner has health or tech issues that prevent them from debating during one or more rounds. the remaining partner may continue to compete, at their discretion, with no additional prep time provided. However, any team that has mavericked more than one round or any team that has mavericked any rounds without an approved reason will not be eligible to break into elimination rounds.

* Novice is limited to absolute first-year forensics competitors only.

Entry Fees

Varsity Public Forum Debate Novice Public Forum Debate

One team $50 One team $40

Note: Only teams officially representing their own bona fide degree-issuing high schools are eligible to register. The tournament does not conside—and will delete—independent entries, camp entries, hybrid entries, entries made by parents or students or anonymous email accounts, etc. Schools with unique situations can apply for exemptions.

A small number of varsity judges will be available for hire for $200 per entry covered. No school can hire to cover its entire entry.

Payment Structure

Information for how to pay can be found at:

If you have any issues with payments, please send an email to with the following subject line: “ Payment Inquiry”. We will respond promptly.

Important Information

All fees must be paid in full during the registration window specified below.


Registration check-in will occur between 7-8:30 AM EST on Saturday, November 4th

Teams with unreported drops after 8:30 AM will be fined $50 per drop plus registration fees.

Please see Tabroom for tentative round schedule.

Online Registration

All pre-registration will be conducted on Registration will open at 9 AM EST on October 4th, 2023. If you have any questions, send an email to and be sure to include the name of your school.

· All participants and judges have unique tabroom accounts.

Please prioritize your entries for each event in case caps are reached.

· All of your entries will be waitlisted when you first enter them in on Tabroom. This allows us to ensure that all entries abide by our tournament guidelines and fairly determine how many entries to accept from each school in each event.

· Please do NOT contact us asking if/when your waitlisted entries will be accepted. As soon as spaces open up (due to drops or additional rooms), we will add entries from the waitlist. As the tournament approaches, we’ll provide additional updates.


Judging Obligations

Each school must provide one qualified judge for every two teams in each division. Judges cannot cover entries in both divisions; i.e., if you have one Varsity team and one Novice team, you need 1 Varsity judge and 1 (separate) Novice judge. Judges in VPF must be high school graduates; judges in Novice can be HS juniors or seniors with 200+ NSDA points in PF.

Please keep in mind that a “qualified judge” must understand the activity, speak English, and be experienced either sitting in rounds with a ballot/flow pad and/or have been carefully trained by the team he/she is accompanying. A qualified judge is one who knows how to fill out a ballot and assign ranks, wins/losses, and speaker points. We highly encourage judges to read through the “Cultural Competence Training Handout” and watch the “Cultural Competence Training Video” on NSDA’s official website here.

Judges are obligated for the whole tournament.

Any judges dropped after registration is frozen on October 28th, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST – even if you drop students to compensate – will incur a $200 fine.


A number of strikes will be offered in VPF, depending on the size of the field. Judges in VPF must have paradigms on in order for their teams to strike.

All judges must be registered online by October 28th

Disclosure Policy

Post-round oral critiques and disclosures are encouraged after ballots are submitted. To keep the tournament running on time, please keep your oral critiques as short as possible (ideally less than 5 minutes).


Participating schools assume any all responsibility and liability for both student and adult participants (or judges) from their schools, and by registering attest that they will assume all responsibility for the school’s students.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Brown Debating Union is committed to upholding inclusive and equitable practices throughout the debate community, with special attention to the work we can do to ensure these principles at our tournaments and events. As such, we will have a team of committed equity officers with experience in conflict management and resolution, responding to instances of bias and inequity, and working with schools to determine best paths forward to facilitate a safe and healthy debate environment. In order to facilitate access to these resources, we will include and monitor an anonymous google form for reporting instances of inequity. Our equity officers are not mandatory reporters, nor are they a replacement for law enforcement officers. Rather, they are there to receive feedback and relay information provided on the form, if requested, to tournament officials and/or adult supervisors from participating schools where relevant.

As a way to prevent such incidents from occurring, we highly encourage judges to read through the “Cultural Competence Training Handout” and watch the “Cultural Competence Training Video” on NSDA’s official website here.


Among the goals of high school debate are the enhancement of students’ basic education and the providing of a competitive arena in which to develop important life skills. The very nature of these goals requires that coaches promote an environment of strong, positive ethical behaviors. To aid coaches in this pursuit, some actions that should be avoided, either as clear ethical violations or giving the appearance and/or opportunity for such violations, include the following: communication during a round between debaters and persons not debating; communication during a round between judges; accessing documents during a round to which others also have access (including sending cases to a team email rather than a debater’s personal email); live-streaming a round to outside persons; recording rounds without permission; intimidation of debaters or judges in any fashion; the use of fabricated/misrepresented evidence. While not all-inclusive, this list should provide a starting point as we work together as a community to maintain the benefits of competitive debate for all involved.

2023 Brown University Invitational Staff

Tournament Director: Mac Hays

Tab Directors: Jim Menick, Janet Novack

Tournament Organizing Team: Mac Hays, Gabriel Ritter, Pei-Jun Huang, Christopher Vanderpool, Anna Miller, Mary Clarke, Marcelo Rodriguez Parra, Marcos Carmona, Garrett Brand, Max Haimes