Berkeley Carroll Barnstormer Big Questions Invitational

2023 — Brooklyn, NY/US

Hello, Coach!

We are excited to invite you and your team to compete in Big Questions Debate at the Berkeley Carroll Barnstormer Invitational at the Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Registration is open, and will close on 11/01 at 8:00 PM. Because we are seeking to foster participation in Big Questions debate beyond our tournament, tournament registration will be 100% free of charge.

This invitation, also posted to the tournament’s Tabroom page linked above, contains everything you need to know about the tournament, as well as Big Questions as an event.

What is Big Questions? Per the NSDA, “Big Questions debating format involves opposing contestants debating a topic concerning the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion. Students can compete as individuals or as a team, this means rounds can be 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, or 1 vs. 2. Topics will address deeply held beliefs that often go unexamined. Students are assigned a side of the topic before each round and present cases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and participate in a question period.” Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers are invited to compete in a single, open division. The 2023-24 Big Questions topic is “Resolved: Belief in the supernatural is incompatible with belief in science.” A more thorough introduction to the format can be found here for students and here for judges.

Where and when will the tournament occur? The BC Barnstormer Invitational will take place on Saturday November 4th at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, located at 181 Lincoln Place Brooklyn NY 11217. All participants and judges should arrive at BC by 12:00 PM (noon). Your Tournament Directors will be W. Kay and Brendan Gorman.

What are the requirements and regulations for registering? Because we are seeking to foster participation in Big Questions debate beyond our tournament, tournament registration is 100% free of charge. This is an open invitational, so schools and eligible organizations from anywhere are eligible to compete at this tournament. To make this process as fair as possible, we will place all registered entries on the waitlist. When registering, you will be able to rank your entries based on priority to clear the waitlist. Every eligible school will be initially awarded an equal number of slots to be determined by the space we have available. Independent entries (that is, those unaffiliated with a school) will not be accepted, though exceptions will be made for individuals affiliated with an after school booster club, non profit, or similar entity. Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers are eligible to compete, as Big Questions is an open event. If you have colleagues or alumni who are interested in volunteering to judge without being affiliated with a school/entries, please fill out this form. Do not use that link to register your school's owed judges.

How big will the tournament be? The tournament will be capped at 80 entries. Entries can be individual students or teams of two (2). The judging obligation is one (1) judge per two (2) entries. Please reach out to WK if you need judges. The number of students per entry does not alter one’s judge obligation (i.e. a school with two entries composed of an individual and a team of two still only owes one judge). Our tournament will consist of 3 preliminary rounds of debate; break numbers will be announced closer to the tournament when we have a solid idea of the number of entries, as this is our first time running this tournament.

Will there be food? A light lunch will be provided to competitors and judges after round 3, and snacks/coffee will be offered to judges throughout the tournament.

What if I am wondering about something not covered here? If there are any questions or concerns, feel free to contact either of the Tournament Directors, WK ( and/or Brendan (

Thank you, and we look forward to hosting you in November!


Your BC Barnstormer Tab Staff