Malcolm A Bump Memorial Tournament

2014 — NY/US

Dear Coaches and Students:

We invite you to the 49th annual Malcolm A. Bump Memorial Tournament, November 14-15, 2014, at Hendrick Hudson HS, Montrose, NY. 

We will be offering Varsity and Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Public Forum Debate. We are reviving NPF this year as we feel we have enough space to handle most entrants at the novice level in both divisions. We hope to once again offer strong competition, efficient tab rooms, good food for both debaters and judges, and a decent place to hang your hat for our student housing, all those things that have gotten Bump honored as a former NDCA Tournaments of the Year. We will break to a pre-octos runoff in Varsity LD, and either partial octos or quarters in the Varsity PF division. Bump remains a TOC qualifier at the Semis level in LD and at the Finals level in PF.

Once again we will not hold break rounds in the novice divisions. Given that this event is about as early in a student's debate career as is conceivable, it makes sense to offer as many rounds as possible for as many debaters as possible over the span of the two days rather than go into ever-diminishing numbers in elims. Hence novice debaters debate probably 7 rounds, with perhaps a demo round between the top two.

Varsity LD will debate the November-December NFL resolution; Varsity and Novice PF will debate the November resolution. Novice LD will again debate the "Modest Novice" resolution pioneered by all of us in the Northeast and recently adopted by the NFL, "Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified." (If this is new to you, visit http:// for details and discussion of this topic and its rationale.)

Please note that a novice debater is defined, at this tournament, as a student in his or her ABSOLUTE FIRST YEAR of high school debate. Any previous high school forensics experience negates a student's novice status. If you did novice PF or Policy last year, in other words, you can't do novice LD this year. Novices who happen to be in their sophomore year, but with no previous forensics experience, are perfectly acceptable. Novices in their junior or senior year, on the other hand, should set their sights higher and enter the varsity division. Students with pre-high school debate experience (i.e., middle school), may enter either the Novice or Varsity divisions, at the best judgment of their coaches. Considering that there are no elims, however, former middle school debaters will probably prefer to try their hand at varsity. They may do well in the novice division, but only because they're competing against way more inexperienced debaters, which isn't much of an accomplishment for the old debate resume...

Important notes: Only teams officially representing bona fide degree-issuing high schools are eligible to to register. This statement should be self-explanatory. No independent entries, no camp entries, no mix-and-match entries from across school districts. Additionally, no teams will be accepted into the tournament without a responsible adult chaperone on property for the duration of the tournament, unless other plans are made in advance with the Tournament Director. An adult, for these purposes, is defined as a college graduate twenty-one years of age or older, presumably an employee of the team's school or a parent.

Serious consideration regarding the novice divisions in the grammar school: 
It is extremely important that both student judges and debaters strictly observe the rules about keeping hands off teachers' desks and student projects and the like. To maintain the appropriate level of decorum, we insist that no debater or judge enter a room alone. That is, wait in front of the room until all are assembled and enter en masse. Inspections of the rooms will continue throughout the tournament.

The punishment for being found alone in a room or at a teacher's desk, novice or varsity, or any other inappropriate behavior is as follows:

  • Debaters caught disreagarding the rules will be eliminated immediately from the tournament and asked to leave the premises.
  • Judges caught disregarding the rules, student or adult, will be eliminated from the pool immediately, as will three of their teams (those that they are covering with their judging). The judges and the teams will be asked to leave the premises.
  • Schools that disregard the rules will not be welcomed back to our tournament in the future.

As anyone with experience of our team, and our head coach, will understand, this is not empty blather. Proceed accordingly. Please note that problems in this area are of fairly recent vintage, although last year's behavior was exemplary. Let's hope that the miscreants from the past have gone off and joined the Sino-Soviet wrestling team and left the rest of us in peace.


All registration is at, beginning 10/1.

All registration is waitlisted. This will eliminate potential shenanigans. There is an initial limit of 6 Varsity Lincoln-Douglas debaters, 6 Novice LD debaters, and 5 PF teams per division per school. If you would like more slots, we will waitlist them. If you are Jon Cruz, shut up already. Note: we have historically filled up weeks before the deadline; waiting till the last minute may mean we can't get you in; we have just so much space, and once it's filled up, we're done. 

Online registration will close at 9:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov 10. There are no steps in registration, no pre-pre-registration, no this-time-we-really-mean-it-registration, yadda yadda yadda. Once it closes, it closes, and it's only closing once. Fees are fixed at that time. If slots remain available after 11/10, they will be assigned from the waitlist on a first-come, first-served basis via, going first to schools totally shut out; extra slots will only be given after all locked-out schools have their chance.

We are continuing our simplification of late fines again this year. Anyone with registration changes following the 11/10 deadline will be charged $25. If the changes are made at the table on Friday, simply put $25 cash into the donation box for each change; total donations will be given to a suitable charity. Over the last few years we raised (with matching funds from my day job) over $2000 for the Grameen Foundation. Not bad! Entrepreneurs in developing countries appreciate your disorganization, and hope you will keep it up.


Same as last year. $90 per PF team, $60 per Varsity LD debater, $45 per Novice LD debater, $25 general school fee (for judge lounge amenities, etc.). Fees are fixed 11/10/14 at 9:00 pm. All fees are due at registration: please make checks payable to Hendrick Hudson High School Student Activities Fund.

We will once more try to have a few judges for sale in all divisions. First come, first served, $185 a pop, one per school unless there's extras, request them through You must bring at least one judge of your own before hiring additional judges. No fractional judges are available, and judges may not be shared. Do not assume that a request will be granted; we're always pretty tight with judges. You will be notified via if your requests are accepted. (Please note that Bump does not sell arithmetic: if you buy a judge from us, it is a real, live person. If we have no real, live persons of the judge persuasion available to us, then we do not cross our fingers and sell them anyhow.)

We continue to note the growing trend in tournaments of judges not being available for the entire tournament. "So-and-so will show up for round 3," we are told, or has to leave before round 5, or whatever. At Bump, every team must cover all (all, as in all, or as we like to explain it more clearly, ALL) its obligated rounds of judging. A surcharge of $50 per missed round will be charged. If we know your judges are out for certain rounds prior to registration, that fee will be added to your registration invoice. If you inform us during the tournament, or rounds are missed without warning us in advance, then we will bill you during the last preliminary round for all your missing judges. Schools not paying these fines by the end of the final prelim round will not be allowed to enter elimination rounds, and will earn no awards, and will be barred from Bump (and probably everywhere else in the northeast) in the future. Judges not showing up for elims will be dunned the same $50 as the usual fine; if not paid before the round starts, their school's teams will be dropped from the tournament.


We will post all round results on tabroom as soon as possible after inputting the information. Our goal with this is to minimize and correct errors. We will also publish the elim brackets when break rounds are announced, to make fair the knowledge of who might hit whom when.


Dinner on Friday will be provided at the tournament. Once again we intend to offer a spread of various six-foot-long heroes, including non-meat options for people who are vegeterrible. We cannot accommodate further dietary restrictions (it's a debate tournament, not a nursing home). Housing families will provide light breakfasts on Saturday. Lunch Saturday, of the pizza persuasion, will be provided by the tournament; this will prevent the famously dreaded "debater drift" of tournament participants disappearing into the various dens of local iniquity--Disney princess mud wrestling exhibits, high end shoe stores and day-old sushi joints--that surround the high school, making the place a virtual Pleasure Island of future donkeys for the students who actually attend there.


Because of the small size of the Hen Hud team, we can only house up to 100 students (high school students only) who travel beyond commuting distance. For clarity, this means that no housing is offered to NYC or other local schools; sorry about that, but there's no way around it. Housed students should bring a sleeping bag and a towel (it's like The Hitchhiker's Guilde to the Galaxy, only moreso). All housing requests must be made through, and are initially on a waitlist basis.

A number of motels are available nearby; please keep in mind that it is a drive to all of these motels. Historically Expedia does a better job than we can of telling you where hotels are and offering deals, and who are we to blow against the wind. Still, some likely suspects


  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Peekskill, John Walsh Blvd., Peekskill. New, and the closest to the school.
  • Inn on the Hudson, 634 Main St., Peekskill 10566. Formerly the Peekskill Motor Inn; apparently they've removed the motor.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites West Point-Fort Montgomery, 1106 Route 9w, Fort Montgomery, NY 10922. Right across the Hudson, about 20 minutes away.
  • Route 9A, about half an hour south: La Quinta Inn Elmsford 540 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford, NY 10523. There's other motels right around here.
  • The Alexander Hamilton House is a small B&B in Croton, close to the school, with only 8 rooms. (914) 271-6737
  • The various motels in Tarrytown and Fishkill (for those of you who are familiar with these) are all also easily accessible, about half an hour away, and may be worth a look.


As noted above, judges missing rounds will be immediately fined and their teams blocked from the tournament until the fine is paid. If the fines are not paid, or if teams blatantly flout their obligations, they will be barred from future Bumps.

Public Forum: The ratio in PF is 1 judge for every 1-3 teams in each division. That is, you need to cover your varsity separate from your novices. For example, if you have 2 varsity and 1 novice team, you are required to provide a judge for the 2 varsity (it's a 1-3 ratio), and a judge for the 1 novice (a similar 1-3 ratio). If necessary, we will augment the pool slightly with LD judges off and on. Experienced Junior and Senior debaters are acceptable as judges in the novice division (and will be housed by us, if you request it in time to include them in our 100 slots). For the sake of consistency, and because schools often send new PF judges, we will have a short training session for varsity judges prior to the PF round one. Of course, coaches should also see to informing their PF judges in advance of what they should expect. All PF judges must remain available for the first elimination rounds beyond any run-off, even if their own teams do not break, and must subsequently remain available for one round after their own teams' elimination.

LD: In LD, schools are asked to provide one qualified LD judge for every 1-3 LDers in each division. That is, you need to cover your varsity separate from your novices. For example, if you have 2 varsity and 1 novice, you are required to provide a judge for the 2 varsity (it's a 1-3 ratio), and a judge for the 1 novice (a similar 1-3 ratio). Experienced Junior and Senior LDers are acceptable as judges in the novice division (and will be housed by us, if you request it in time to include them in our 100 slots). There are no strikes or rankings in the novice division. All VLD judges must remain available through the octofinal round, even if their own teams do not break, and must subsequently remain available for one round after their own teams' elimination. In the novice division, all judges are obligated for the entire tournament. Parents of novices who signed up to judge and also bought tickets to "Abie's Irish Rose" that night and therefore leave early have also bought tickets to their school's exclusion from future Bumps (and Princetons) (and Columbias) (and anything else I have my hands in).

Keep in mind that a qualified judge understands the activity, speaks English, and is either experienced sitting in the back of the room with a flow pad, or else has been carefully trained by the team he or she is accompanying. A qualified judge knows how to assign speaker points, and knows how to fill out a ballot. If you need some instructional materials in advance for your lay judges, feel free to use ours (visit, but please do not try to sneak in a ringer. When you provide an incompetent judge, we usually find out about it only after a number of competitors have been, in a word, shafted, while you have been basking in the glow of judging by trained or experienced judges. This tournament is happy to provide a dozen reasons why we love lay judges, but by that we mean a lay judge who knows what to do, even if just starting out, as compared to a seat-filler used by you to gain entry to the tournament. Bump has a happy history of banning schools that bring untrained, inexperienced judges. Please do not become a part of that happy history.

Important note: We reserve the right to assign judges to whatever division we see fit. What this means, for the most part, is that if you are a good citizen newcomer judge who has been virtually blocked from judging VLD because of MJP (see below, if you don't know what that means), we'll nicely ask you to either judge novices or VPF. This will keep you from going crazy doing nothing all weekend, and it will help us provide better judging to those areas.

This year we will again offer Mutual Judge Preferences in Varsity LD. Any Varsity LDer registered by 9:00 p.m., November 12, with proper judge coverage (yours or hired), will be able to set preferences. If you do not have your judges by then, you will not be allowed to rank, because no one else will be able to rank your judges, and we don't wish to force everyone attending the tournament to keep readjusting their rankings because you are inefficient. Similarly, if you drop a judge after preferences begin, we will remove all your preferences. Again, this is for the obvious reason that by dropping a judge after someone has preffed, your dropped judge throws everything off. Preferences will open on the evening of November 12 and close Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. You have from the moment you are reading this until then to get yourself some judges. Should be plenty of time...

In VLD we will be using the coaches' rating system of Circuit Judge, Traditional Judge and Trained Newcomer. That is, you must select one of these categories when you enter your judges. We do this so that everyone will be encouraged to use MJP, on the belief that the practice of only circuit folks using it seriously affects the nature of tournaments in a way prejudiced against traditional folks.

Other judging issues: MJP assignments will be prioritized 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 1-2, 2-3, 4-4, 5-5; teams with more than 2 losses will only get prefs after teams with 2 or few are seen to. Judges may or may not publish paradigms as they see fit, but they should be willing to indicate to competitors before a round a general sense of their vision of the activity (if any) or a sense of their experience, to aid competitors in choosing how best to make their arguments. To make things clear, Bump follows the rules of LD as set down by the NFL, including standard use of CX time, equal burdens (i.e., no presumption for either side), etc. If you do not know the rules of the NFL, we would suggest that either you give up judging immediately, or else learn them.

Speaker Points

As Bump does award speaker prizes for most divisions, the concept of speaker points at this tournament should be clear. The points are from 20-30, which means, in effect, a scale of 1-10.

Our varsity LD paradigm is this: 30, which you are unlikely to assign, means that, compared to the other debaters at this tournament you think this person should win the tournament. If you assign two 30s, that means that you don't understand the concept of winning the tournament. 29 means that you think this person should be in late out-rounds. 28 means that you think this person should probably break. 27 means that you give this person a 50/50 chance of breaking. 26 means that this person is below average and will be lucky to have a winning record. 25 means substantially below average, a person who should be at the bottom of the tournament.

In PF, since we will give individual speaker awards, points allow you to rate the debaters as individuals, whereas their win or loss ranks them as a team. 30, which you are unlikely to assign, means that, compared to the other debaters at this tournament you think this person should win top speaker. If you assign two 30s, that means that you don't understand the concept of top speaker. 29 means that you think this person should be in the top 5. 28 means that you think this person should be in the top 10. 27 means that you doubt if this person deserves a speaker award based on this performance. 26 or less means that if this person wins a speaker award you will write an indignant letter of protest to the Times. 

Although there will be no speaker awards in novice LD, since there are no breaks, we will of course use points to sort the brackets. For assignment's sake, we will use a more general approach than above, where the points are analogous to grades: 29-30 is an A (excellent), 27-28 a B (good), 25-26 a C (average), less than 25 a poor performance that needs work. These being novices, we trust that you will not punish them in points because of their noviceness; in other words, adjust your expectations accordingly.

In all divisions, points should reflect the debating skill of the competitor in the round, and need not reflect the actual win/loss (i.e., low-point wins and tied points are acceptable, as are half points in PF and, in VLD, tenths of points). This will be true in PF as well as LD; in other words, low point wins are acceptable in all divisions.


From points north, get from Rt 84 to Rt 9 South. Stay on Rt 9 past Peekskill and exit at Welcher Avenue. Go straight off the exit. This will put you on Route 9A. The school is about 2 miles south on your right.

From points south, get to Route 9A north. 9A becomes Rt 9 in Croton. Exit Rt 9 at Montrose and turn left on to 9A (again). The school will be about 2 miles north on your left. We are half an hour from Stewart and Westchester airports, and an hour or so from the metro New York airports.


The following will make everyone's life easier. On the morning of the tournament please text 914-471-6351 as soon as you have collected your team and boarded your bus or other vehicle of choice, with either a confirmation of no changes, or a list of ($25) changes. This will speed registration enormously. (The reason we prefer texts to regular phone calls is that data transmission of texts is 100% accurate, whereas phone calls from the bus all sound like you're being attacked by dementors, which, in fact, may be an accurate description of your bus ride, but we don't want to know about it.) Plan on arriving at 2:30 pm; you won't be able to get in before then, and our own buses will be blocking you if you try.

Remember: only adult chaperones/coaches will be allowed to register teams. Teams that misplace their adults will be sent packing. But you will still owe us your fees, because we held space for you that others could have taken. Important note for those in the novice division: you will be back and forth between the high school and grammar school often over the two days of the tournament. If the weather looks iffy, do yourself a favor and bring an umbrella. You will thank me for this, I promise you.

Tentative Schedule

Monday, Nov 10 
Registration closes at 9:00 p.m. All fees are set.

Wednesday, Nov 12
LD Judge preferences begin. Actual time will be posted on; at the moment, it's tentatively 9:00 p.m.

Friday, Nov 14 
LD Judge ranking ends 9:00 a.m. on

Again, on Friday,
as soon as you leave your school please text 914-471-6351 en route to report: A) all is fine, or B) any registration changes. This will speed everyone up at the registration table.

2:30-2:45 Registration in the cafeteria Schools not registered by 3:00 may forfeit Round 1.

VLD (all VLD rounds in HS)
3:30 Round 1
5:30 Round 2
Dinner - Go the the cafeteria after you debate round 2
8:00 Round 3
10:00 Housing in the cafeteria

VPF (all VPF rounds in HS)
3:15 Varsity judges assembly in library (novice judges should attend grammar school meeting and not this meeting)
3:45 Round 1
5:45 Round 2
Dinner - Go the the cafeteria after you debate round 2
8:00 Round 3
10:00 Housing in the cafeteria

Novice LD & PF (All novice rounds in grammar school)
3:45 General assembly for judges and debaters in grammar school gym
4:00 Round 1
5:30 Round 2
Dinner - Go the the cafeteria after you debate round 2

8:00 Round 3
10:00 Housing in the HS cafeteria

Saturday, all divisions
8:00 Round 4
10:30 Round 5

12:00 Lunch served in the high school, all divisions


There will be a total of 5 prelims in VLD and PF, running lickety-split, followed by an appropriate number of elims doing likewise. Some sort of run-off is likely at least in LD.
In novice debate, rounds continue through around 2:00-3:00 pm in the grammar school, followed by possible demonstration rounds in the high school.


We will target an award ceremony for the novices after the penultimate round. The jury is still out over Varsity awards, but a brief ceremony for the speaker awards is not unlikely. In any case, the sooner this whole fiasco ends, the better.