Tom Kelly Invitational Debate Touranment

2016 — KS/US

Dear debate coach,

The Hutchinson High School debate team and I would like to invite you and your students to the 2016 Tom Kelly Invitational Debate Tournament held September 23-24th at Hutchinson High School in Hutchinson, KS. The tournament will feature two divisions:  varsity/DCI on Friday/Saturday and novice on Saturday only. There will be a separate junior varsity breakout elimination bracket in the varsity/DCI division for eligible teams composed of two debaters beginning their second year of competition, assuming they do not otherwise clear to elimination rounds in the varsity division. When submitting entries, please designate if a team is JV breakout eligible. Entries are asked to please be turned in no later than Tuesday, Sept.  20th.

               The varsity/DCI division will have five preliminary rounds of debate, and will clear to an eight team quarterfinal elimination round bracket. The JV breakout division will clear the top four eligible teams into an eight team quarterfinal elimination round bracket if sufficient entries are received. The novice division will award medals to the top five teams and trophies to the top two. Medals and trophies will be awarded for each team qualifying for the elimination rounds in the varsity/DCI divisions. The top 8 will receive medals in the JV breakout, and the top two will receive trophies. We will award the traveling Tom Kelly Debate Sweepstakes trophy to the school with the highest total number of preliminary round wins among their top four teams entered as long as there is at least one team entered in the varsity/DCI division. Entry fees are $5.00 per team or whatever you charge us to enter your tournament.

               The tournament will accept the first 100 total entries across each division, on a first come first entered basis.  Each school will be allowed to enter four teams total across the two divisions. Extra entries will be permitted on an as available basis. I will do as much as I can to accommodate as many additional entries as possible but I’d ask for the favor to please be returned at your tournament. Schools will be notified of their extra entries no later than Monday, Sept. 19th. The varsity/DCI schedule will be pre-set for rounds 1 and 2 on Friday, and delay power matched on Saturday.  Novice division on Saturday will be pre-set for rounds 1 and 2, and delay power matched for remaining rounds.

               Every effort will be made to recruit experienced flow judges for the varsity/DCI division, however an experienced flow judge cannot be guaranteed for every round. I would like to ask each head coach to please be available to judge at least one round on Friday. If you have a qualified assistant coach who will be judging on your behalf, please notify me in advance so I can schedule it accordingly. If any coaches or assistant coaches wish to volunteer to judge additional rounds you will be receive glowing praise, my eternal gratitude, and plenty of caffeine. My assistant coaches and I will be happy to return the favor at your tournament.

               A copy of the tournament procedures and schedule will follow. We will notify schools as soon as possible if the tournament is filled when the entry is received. Register for the tournament at  We hope you enjoy your time in Hutchinson and we wish you the best of luck at the Tom Kelly Invitational!  If you’re interested in some great food recommendations send me a message and I’m happy to provide them!


David Bowers, debate coach

Hutchinson High School

810 E. 13th Ave, Hutchinson KS, 67502

(620) 474-3003

2016 Hutchinson High School Tom Kelly Invitational Debate Tournament procedures.


1-     The topic to be debated is the 2016-2017 China- Resolve:  The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China

2-     The varsity/DCI division will compete Friday Sept. 23 and Saturday Sept. 24. The novice division will compete Saturday Sept. 24 only.

3-     A JV break out division will be offered in the varsity division for all teams composed of debaters who are both in their second year of competition. We will clear up to the top eight teams who are eligible, depending on number of qualified entries.

4-     Participants will compete in policy debate with time limits of 8-3-5 minutes with 5 minutes prep time per team.  Prep time ends when the flash drive of the preparing team leaves the computer. 

5-     Rounds 1 and 2 will be pre-set and further rounds will be delay power matched in all divisions. Round three will be high-low, round four high-high, and round five high-low. Rounds three and four will be scheduled based on results of rounds 1-2. Round 5 will be scheduled based on round 1-3 results. Tab room will be open to coaches and sponsors.

6-     Registration fees are $5.00 per team or whatever you charge us to enter your tournament.

7-     Entry deadline is Tuesday Sept. 20th.

8-     Please enter online at

9-     The deadline for drops is Tuesday September 20th. Any drops received after that date will be non-refundable.

10-  Medals will be awarded to the top five teams in the novice division, and trophies given to the top two teams in novice.  The top eight teams in the varsity/DCI division will earn trophies and medals. Trophies will be awarded the top two teams who qualify for the JV breakout division and medals given to the top eight.

11-  Coaches and sponsors will be used to judge if necessary.  If you are sending a sponsor, please send one capable of judging.  Any school that does not / will not fulfill a judging request will have the judge removed from a room in which one of its teams is debating and will forfeit that round with a 3-4 loss.

12-  Any team more than 10 minutes late to a round through no fault of the tournament will be forfeited with a 3-4 loss.

13-  Brackets will be broken in elimination rounds to accommodate schools with multiple teams clearing. 

14-   Judges will be considered “clean” at the beginning of elimination rounds and may see a team a second time in elimination rounds.

15-  Any disputes will be dealt with in the most fair and equitable way possible, or through a competitive coaches dance contest.








2016 Hutchinson High School Tom Kelly Invitational Debate Tournament schedule

Varsity/DCI Division Schedule:


Friday September 23rd-

3:00- Registration (Or on

3:45- Round One

5:15- Round Two


Saturday September 24th-

8:00- Round Three

9:30- Round Four

11:00- Round Five

1:30- Announcement of Teams Clearing

1:45 or ASAP- Quarterfinals

            JV Breakout Quarterfinal

3:45 or ASAP- Semifinals

           JV Breakout Semifinals

5:45 or ASAP- Finals

          JV Breakout Finals


The tournament reserves the right to move up/delay the schedule as deemed necessary.


Novice Division Schedule:


Saturday, September 24th

7:15- Novice Registration

8:00- Round One

9:30- Round Two

11:00- Round Three

1:30- Round Four

3:00- Round Five

5:00 or ASAP- Awards Assembly


The tournament reserves the right to move up/delay the schedule as deemed necessary.