John Lewis SVUDL Invitational

2023 — NSDA Campus and Silver Creek HS, CA/US

Updates for 2023

-We are adding a division of World Schools, to be held online

-PF bids - We are now a gold quarters bid for PF for the University of Kentucky TOC

-Congress docket can be found here

-Extemp Prep Live Doc is found here.

-Parli Live Doc/Topics at

Dear Colleagues,

The Silicon Valley Urban Debate League (SVUDL) presents:

The John Lewis SVUDL Invitational, formerly known as the SCU Dempsey-Cronin (aka SCU 1).

The Silicon Valley Urban Debate League has taken ownership of the SCU Dempsey Cronin, and will be running a hybrid Speech and Debate invitational to be held the weekend before Thanksgiving, from Nov 17-19.

All proceeds from this tournament will go to the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League, a local nonprofit organization that helps students uncover and hone the power of their voices, so they can confidently step into their full potential as professional and community leaders.

SVUDL is pleased to continue to honor the legacy of the late Congressman John Lewis by naming this Speech and Debate tournament after him. Born near Troy, Alabama in 1940, Congressman Lewis devoted his life to securing civil rights, fair and equal access to voting rights, and was a tireless soldier who literally and repeatedly risked his life in the movement against racial segregation and injustice.

We are also pleased to announce that we are again a NIETOC designated bid tournament for those interested in the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions. We are also designated as a bid tournament for Speech and Public Forum for the Tournament of Champions, held by the University of Kentucky. We are happy to announce that for this year, the TOC has designated us as a quarterfinals gold and octo finals silver bid for Public Forum.

This will be a hybrid tournament, with all Speech events and Congress held in person at Silver Creek High School in San Jose, CA. All other Debate events (LD, PF, Parli, Policy) will be held online using the NSDA Campus platform.

All Debate formats will start Friday, November 17 this year. Speech events and Congress start Saturday, November 18.

Due to the hybrid nature of the tournament, students will not be allowed to double enter across Speech and Debate events.

However, students are welcome to double enter in Speech. All Speech events will be placed in 2 patterns. Students are allowed to enter up to 2 events per pattern, but no more than 3 events total. Congress students may double enter in Speech. However, the tournament cannot give students extra time to get to rounds if they double enter.

All tournament registration will be on Information regarding online platform use for the tournament will be released in the coming weeks.

Please note that the schedule listed is tentative. Depending on the size of entry, the schedule may be adjusted.

If you have any questions regarding the tournament or registration, please email Tournament Director Mariel Cruz at

Please note, we may make adjustments to our tournament procedures to bring us more in line with other national tournaments. Coaches will be notified of any changes made as soon as they have been finalized. Any updates will also be posted here on Tabroom.


The system will accept new entries until Monday, November 13, 2023 at 8:00pm. Make drops and adds through Tabroom after that up until the tournament begins. However, changes or drops made after Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 8pm forfeit their entry fees. All space in Debate and Speech will be allocated on a first come, first served basis; register early!

TBA Entries

All TBA Entries will be waitlisted until names are entered. Any TBA entries without names after the registration deadline will be removed from the tournament.

Judging Requirements

Schools are not allowed to buy out of more than 50% of your judge commitment. Please see the list of fees for uncovered judge fees. Schools without sufficient judges may be asked to reduce their entry. If your school is not able to provide at least 75% of your judging commitment, please make judge requests early so that we can properly allocate judges for this.

Please note, hired judging is very limited. All hired judge requests must be made by November 10th. Requests will not be accepted after this date, and schools must provide their own judges after this date.

Schools will pay a judging penalty fee per Speech slot, Congress entry, Lincoln Douglas/Duo Interp or Debate team not covered by school judges. Please note, because we were required to hire several judges last year, judge hire fees have been increased this year, and hired judging is limited.


Judge Coverage


1 judge covers 2 teams


1 judge covers 2 teams

Public Forum

1 judge covers 2 teams

Lincoln Douglas

1 judge covers 3 debaters

Individual Speech Events

1 judge covers 6 entries


1 judge covers 6 entries

Debate Judges are committed through the elim rounds 1 and 2, and one round past where their school drops from competition. Speech Judges are obligated for all rounds on Saturday and Sunday, regardless if your students advance or not.

Judges are assumed to be experienced and prepared to judge their assigned events or debate formats.Judges must have properly linked Tabroom accounts for online ballot entry. School judges who fail to check in to their rounds when assigned may have their team fined the aforementioned penalties per round. Please contact us if you're unsure of your judging commitment, or have any other questions regarding judging.


Use this form to compute how much you will owe at registration:


__1__ School Fee X $52 = $52

____ number of Event entries/Congress entered X $42= _____

____ number of Parli teams/PF teams X $88 = _____

____ number of LD entries X $62 = _____

____ number of Policy Teams X $88 = _____

Penalties for Not Providing School Judges:

You are obligated to cover 50% of your judging requirement in debate and events with school judges.

____ Speech Event entries/Congress entries uncovered X $75 = _____

____ LD Entries entries uncovered X $115 = _____

_____PF/Policy/Parli entries uncovered X $165 = _____

Total Fees = ____________

Please note, fees have been adjusted this year to include a 3% surcharge for online payments. If your school/program will be paying by check, please email or to have your invoice adjusted for a 3% discount.

Please make checks payable to “Silicon Valley Urban Debate League” and mail to:

Silicon Valley Urban Debate League

502 Valley Way

Milpitas, CA 95305

Payment must be received by Thursday, November 16. Please notify us if you will need an extension on this deadline.

Online payments can be made here!

Following the mission of SVUDL, we would like to ensure that this tournament is made accessible to all teams that would like to participate. We understand that the current situation of COVID-19 may have put schools in unprecedented financial situations. If your school/program has concerns or issues regarding fees, please email for information regarding fee discounts.


Lincoln Douglas Debate Topic: NSDA Nov/Dec topic

Policy Debate Topic: National topic on Fiscal Redistribution

Public Forum: NSDA November Public Forum Topic

Parliamentary Debate: one topic will be provided for each prelim; for elim rounds, teams may be given three topics and will do strikes to determine the topic. The tournament reserves the right to not offer topic strikes in all elim rounds.


All Speech and Debate events will offer a novice and open division. We reserve the right to collapse divisions if entry size is too small for two separate divisions.

Novice is defined as a student’s first year of competition, or not advancing to an elimination round in your first two years of competition, regardless of debate format.


Debate Pattern: Policy, Parliamentary, Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas Debate - held online

Congress in one pattern - at Silver Creek High School

Speech Patterns - all speech will be held at Silver Creek High School

Pattern A - Impromptu, OPP, POI, OI (Declamation), Duo

Pattern B - DI, HI, Extemp, OO, Info

General Tournament Procedures

The tournament will consist of six preliminary debate rounds for varsity, five prelims debate rounds for novice, and the three preliminary rounds of varsity and open speech events. We reserve the right to combine divisions if the entry warrants.

Semifinals will be held in individual events with 50 or more entries or the discretion of the tournament director. Undersubscribed events may waive finals.

Tournament Caps and Waitlist

Due to the size of the tournament, we will be placing caps on the debate events. Each school will be allotted 4 entries per division per debate event. All entries over the caps will be waitlisted.

Entries may also be waitlisted if the tournament reaches capacity. Schools will be moved off the waitlist as space opens up. Schools that have not already taken up their allotted slots in each event will be moved first, and schools with completed judge entries will also be given preference. Remaining waitlisted entries will be moved on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Please designate the PO's with a 'po' for every ten entries via email to Please note that Congress judges will be listed under IE's. Please enter Congress judges into the IE judge pool. Bills will be included in the official tournament invite, which will be posted on the tournament webpage on a couple weeks prior to the start of the tournament.

We invite members of the community to submit legislation for the Congress tournament. Please email with your legislation. A finalized set of bills will be released in November.

Event Rules

Public Forum

Novice and Open Public Forum will be using the following NSDA Speech times.A coin flip will happen digitally when pairings go out. The winner can pick speaking order (1st or second) OR side (Aff or Neg). The loser of the coinflip then makes the other pick. (If team a picks speaking second, the other team can pick aff or neg for example)

First Speaker - team 1 - 4 minutes

First Speaker - team 2 - 4 minutes

Crossfire 3 minutes

Second Speaker - team 1 - 4 minutes

Second Speaker - team 2 - 4 minutes

Crossfire 3 minutes

Summary - First Speaker - team 1 - 3 minutes

Summary - First Speaker - team 2 - 3 minutes

Grand Crossfire 3 minutes

Final Focus - Second Speaker - team 1 - 2 minutes

Final Focus - Second Speaker - team 2 - 2 minutes

Prep time 3 minutes per team

Lincoln Douglas and Policy debate will follow NSDA rules for procedures and evidence standards.

Generally we use NSDA rules for all speech events but there are exceptions: Extemp is combined national and international. CHSSA rules will be used for OI and OPP.

Parli will also follow CHSSA rules.

Updates to Policy

In order to allow more teams the opportunity to participate in Policy debate, we will be adding a new division for Policy, called the “Rookie” division. This division will be similar to novice, except this division will have argument limits for teams competing in this division. Please see descriptions below to determine which division to register for.

Rookie - Eligible for all novice debaters, but students will only be allowed to run Basic Income Affirmatives and any Disadvantages. No counterplans or Kritiks will be used in this division.

While students are limited in the affirmative they may run, they can use any evidence or version of basic income they wish.

Novice - Eligible for all novice debaters, any argument from the NDCA novice packet will be allowed in this division.

Open - Eligible for all open/varsity debaters, any argument type will be allowed in this division.