Alta Silver and Black

2023 — Sandy, UT/US

Alta Silver & Black 2023

December 1-3, 2023





Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Alta Silver and Black Debate Program, we cordially invite you to attend the 34rd annual Silver and Black Invitational Tournament to be held IN-PERSON at Alta High School, located at 11055 South, 1000 East, Sandy, Utah. The tournament will be December 1-3, 2023, partnering with Rowland Hall to host the policy section of the tournament. We are a Tournament of Champions qualifier at quarterfinals in policy debate, semifinals in LD debate, and quarterfinals in public forum debate.


Entry Limits

Because the tournament has reached capacity well before the entry deadline in the past and to provide for more diverse competition, we will be instituting entry limits of four teams in each event per school. Registration will close early if the tournament reaches capacity before the deadline. If there is any additional space after the registration deadline, we will admit applicants from the waitlist, in the order that they were entered, until the tournament reaches capacity, which may allow more teams from schools to compete. No independent entries are accepted. All students must be associated with a school. No hybrid teams are allowed to compete at the tournament. Each entry must be comprised of two students from the same school.

*All TBA entries must be made names by 11/22/23 to avoid being dropped.

**All schools must pay before being entered into the tournament. All students and schools are waitlisted until a check is received and will not be guaranteed as participants. Fees (except for late waitlisted entries) must be paid one week prior to tournament start date (11/22/23).

***Mail-in payments are required. No online or electronic payments are currently accepted. Checks must be made out to:

Alta High School Debate

11055 S 1000 E

Sandy, Utah 84094

Tournament Fees (includes meals on schedule)

Out of State Fees:

$100 per policy or public forum teams

$75 per Lincoln-Douglas entry

Utah School Fees:

$75 per policy or public forum teams

$50 per Lincoln-Douglas entry

Drop Fees: $25/drop after 11/25/23 (Nuisance Fee)

****No online drops or changes; all obligations are frozen on drop deadline. (If you have drops or drop your school after this point, you will still be responsible for paying these fees as well as drop fees. Please plan ahead! Schools not having paid their fees from a previous year from this situation will not be registered until payment has been received for both years.)


All times are in MST

Policy Schedule

Friday, Dec. 1:

Check in begins at 1:00pm

Round 1: 2:00 pm

Round 2: 4:30 pm

Dinner (provided)

Round 3: 7:30 pm

Saturday, Dec. 2:

Round 4: 9:00 am

Lunch (provided)

Round 5: 12:30 pm

Round 6: 3:00 pm

Dinner break (not provided)

Octofinals: 6:30 pm

Sunday, Dec. 3:

Elim Rounds will take place at the Best Western

Quarterfinals: 9:00 am

Lunch (provided for remaining judges & teams)

Semi-finals: 12:30 pm

Finals: 3:00 pm

Public Forum/Lincoln Douglas Schedule

Friday, Dec. 1:

Check in begins at 1:00pm

Rounds are Single-Flighted

Round 1: 2:30 PM

Round 2: 4:00 PM

Round 3: 5:30 PM
Dinner (Provided)
Round 4: 7:30 PM

Saturday, Dec. 2

Round 5: 9:00 am

Round 6: 10:30 am

Lunch (provided)

Octofinals: 12:30 pm

Quarterfinals: 2:30 pm

Semifinals: 4:00 pm

Finals: 6:00 pm


For teams traveling to Silver & Black, please consider the following hotel. It’s the site for Policy Elimination Rounds on Sunday and is offering special rates.

Best Western Plus CottonTree Inn Sandy - Silver & Black Tournament

Rounds & Balloting

November/December LD and PF topics will be used.

*Judges must have their own electronic devices to judge on.

** ALL BALLOTING will be completed online. ALL JUDGES ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A TABROOM ACCOUNT. Please make sure that your judges know their login and password if you or your student create an account for them.

Disclosure of Decision and Oral Critique Policy

The Tournament of Champions serves as both a competitive and educational forum for the nation’s best debaters, coaches, and judges. As such, the Tournament encourages judge-debater interaction by making decision disclosures and giving oral critiques in the policy, PF, and LD debate divisions. Please submit your ballot online before giving any post-round feedback.


Judges owed

Policy: 3 rounds of judging per team entry

LD: 3 rounds of judging per team entry

Public Forum: 3 rounds of judging per team entry

*Hired Judging

PF/LD: $75/round

Policy: $75/round

**Utah schools need to provide their own qualified judges and should hire only in dire circumstances.

***No judge may be entered for more than 6 preliminary rounds. If sharing between schools, please notify the tournament directors so that can be sorted out.

Judging Preferences

LD and Policy will be using mutually preferred judging. Entries must be covered by qualified judges. Policy and LD judges are expected to have already completed a judging philosophy and posted it on the judge philosophies wiki or on their tabroom account no later than November 1, 2023.

*Please request judging hires by contacting the tournament host at if you need to arrange for a hired judge or are a judge who wishes to be hired, no later than October 31.

**Schools with judges who do not show up for rounds will be assessed a $75 fine per round missed in prelims and $100 for elimination rounds. This is a reminder that your school is responsible to have judges stay one round past your school being eliminated fully from competition even if they have fulfilled their prelim judging earlier in the week. You MUST have a judge available for elimination rounds.

***Teams missing judges as of November 1 will risk having teams dropped to meet their entered judges.

Judge Conflicts

Please indicate on the tournament entry website all preclusions for all judges. Judges should preclude themselves from any debater who they have previously coached, had a close, personal relationship with, or for any other reason the judges believes they cannot be objective towards them if assigned. This includes any judge who has done any paid or volunteer coaching, even if conducted digitally or otherwise-remotely. Any college debater or coach should preclude themself from any debater whom they have seriously recruited to attend their school. Judges should preclude themselves from judging their alma mater. Judges should preclude themselves from judging any school which they previously coached in the three years prior to the 2022-23 academic year. It is the judge’s obligation to communicate any conflicts to the tournament director prior to the start of the tournament.

Judges are also expected to adhere to event specific rules regarding judge conflicts.

In the event a pairing is distributed, and a judge or team reports a conflict after the fact, resulting in a changing of the pairing, that school will be charged a $50 fine.

Other Policies and Procedures


For policy, public forum, and Lincoln-Douglas debate, use of laptop computers, tablet computers, smartphones and other electronic devices able to access the internet are permitted during events. The use of computers during debates is permitted for both flowing and research purposes including retrieval of evidence stored on hard drives and accessing resources via the internet. Students should not attempt to use electronic devices to initiate or respond to contact with outside parties during a debate. The penalty for violation of this rule is loss of the debate in question and zero speaker points assigned to the offending debater.

Forfeit Times

Any team arriving later than 15 minutes after the posted start time will be at the risk of forfeit imposed at the exclusive discretion of the event tab room staff. Any team experiencing what they believe to be a legitimate delay should make every effort to communicate with the tabroom if they are going to be late.

Clipping Policy

This tournament will follow the same clipping policy as NSDA. All evidence should have a paragraph before and after included, and not have any ellipses or deletions of any content within the context of the evidence. Violation procedures will follow the Evidence and Ethics Challenge protocol outlined below.

Flipping Policy

Side Assignment

In elimination rounds, all rounds will be flip for sides, unless teams have previously met, in which case the teams will switch sides from the previous debate.

Coin Flip

Teams should be present in their competition room no later than 15 minutes prior to the posted start time for the debate in order to flip for sides.

Evidence and Ethics Challenges

If a team believes an opponent committed an evidence or other ethics violation, the accusing team should stop the debate and ask the judge to adjudicate the challenge. This type of challenge includes the following situations:

-a team reads evidence that is fabricated

-a team reads evidence that is meaningfully altered to change the author’s original meaning

-a team misrepresents how much evidence they have read in a debate, such as improperly highlighting their evidence, “clipping cards” (the team says they read more than they actually did by clipping a card short of the indicated end), or “cross reading” (the team skips words or sentences in the middle of the text, but indicates that they read all the highlighted words)

-a team receives argument assistance or reads or responds to communications from a coach or other person after the debate has commenced, whether verbal or electronic, including the transfer of evidence after the round starts. The accusing team will explain to the judge what alleged violation is being asserted. The judge will evaluate the violation based on the evidence available to the judge. Prior to evaluating the challenge, the judge should inform both teams whether the round will continue after the challenge if the accusation is found to be false or if the judge cannot determine the challenge based upon the evidence available to the judge. After the judge informs both teams of the consequences of a failure to sustain the objection or challenge, the accusing team will be given an opportunity to withdraw the challenge. If the accusing team decides to pursue the objection or challenge, then the consequences announced by the judge for a failed or indeterminable objection or challenge will be binding on the teams.

If the judge finds that an ethics or evidence violation was committed, the offending team will be assigned a loss. If a single team member committed the violation, that debater will receive zero speaker points. The judge may assign speaker points to the non-offending debater. If the violation occurs prior to the non-offending team member delivering a speech, the judge may award points based upon the cross-examination, if applicable. If the non-offending team member has not delivered a speech or participated in a cross-ex, then the tab room will assign the average of the non-offending debater’s speaker points from prior debates.

Any decision to challenge evidence violations or unethical behavior must be made during the round in which the infraction occurred before the judge submits a decision to the tab room. No challenge can be made regarding conduct committed in any round after the ballot has been submitted to tabroom. The judge assigned to the round will decide the challenge made in the round based solely on the evidence submitted by the teams in the round. No appeal, modification or reversal of the judge’s decision regarding the challenge or the consequences resulting from the challenge is permitted.

Final Note

The Silver and Black Invitational draws many competitive teams from all over the Pacific Coast, Mountain region, Southwest, and several large teams from the Midwest and East Coast. On average, over 500 debaters from over 17 states attend, with 75+ schools represented. With our continued commitment to draw the very best from all across the country, we hope that this year’s Silver and Black Invitational proves to be one of the highlights of your TOC schedule. The tournament staff looks forward to hosting a well-run tournament which will draw many competitive teams from all around the nation.


Jacqueline Croswhite, B.S, M.A., M.Ed

Tournament Director

Alta High School