PCFL Varsity Finals and National Qualifiers

2018 — Warminster, PA/US

Hello PCFL,

Schools in good standing with the league may now register for Varsity Finals and National Qualifiers at pcflfinals.tabroom.com. There are many special rules and procedures, so please read this entire message.
Location and schedule
President Berdnik will host us at William Tennent HS this year on March 3. All schools should arrive between 7:30 and 8am so we can begin rounds promptly at 8:30. This is a long day, with the last rounds wrapping up at 8pm. We will announce qualifiers as soon as events complete. The full schedule is available on tabroom, though the number of entries may require schedule adjustments.
Eligibility and Registration
Each school may enter up to two entries in each of the ten CFL events (see note below about swing teams). No double-entry. Each student costs $8; this was raised to help offset the large cost of feeding all of our judges for 3 meals at quals.
Students must have competed at a PCFL tournament this year in the category (Congress, Debate, Speech) they enter at qualifiers. Any event, in any division, at any of the 6 PCFL league tournaments counts. Partners do not have to have competed together, but both students must be eligible. You can see a list of students currently eligible through January 26 at the PCFL website, and you should check this list as it is the official list against which I will check your entries.
All entries must be registered by Tuesday, February 27, at 5pm. Verifying entries and scheduling the tournament is complicated, so registrations are due Tuesday rather than Thursday for quals.
Swing teams: the bylaws allow for a swing-team to be present in each of the debate events to help avoid schedule-delaying byes. If you have a third entry in CX, LD, or PF, please email me to indicate your interest. We will do a blind draw of all interested schools on February 17 and notify the winners. You will be asked to have your team available, with no guarantee that they will compete, and to supply a 4th judge who will be obligated regardless. If the swing team competes, they are eligible to qualify.
All judges must have verifiable recent and relevant experience in the event they plan to judge. Recent competition experience is OK also. The Executive Board has the right to reject judges that do not meet this standard.
Judging requirements are as follows:
  • Debate: 2 judges for 1 entry, 3 judges for 2 entries
  • Speech and Congress: 1 judge for every 2 entries, with a max of 5. You may not supply judges who are unable to judge certain events within these categories.
Our schedule is designed to allow for some overlap of judges (since we're going to do it anyway). Thus, up to 1/3 (rounding down) of your overall judge burden may be counted twice. In other words, if you fill all of your slots and owe 3 CX, 3 LD, 3 PF, and 5 Speech for a total of 11 judges, you may count 3 judges twice each. Judges may not cover slots in both LD and PF, or in CX and Speech, but may count once in each of those event pairs. Please note that double-counted judges are going to judge A LOT without remorse from the tab room.
I'm not sure yet if we are going to use e-ballots, but all judges should have tabroom accounts so they can get updates on their rounds.
A limited number of hired judges will hopefully be available, but the tournament will fill its own needs first. Please contact Ashley ASAP if you wish to hire judges for qualifiers. Do not count on the tournament to find your judges for you! 
Tournament Format
Congress: 3 2-hour sessions, top 6 determined by judge ranks. An adult will preside.
Speech: 3 random prelims with 2 judges in each. Best 5 ranks determine the top 2, who qualify, and the next 6, who compete in a final round with 3 judges. Best 5 prelim ranks plus 3 Finals ranks determine the next 4 qualifiers.
Debate: 2 random prelims, followed by 2 rounds paired hi-lo (Policy typically falls in the entry range of just 2 prelims). The top 8 competitors are seeded in a bracket where the winners earn the first four slots to nationals. The losers debate to produce the final two qualifiers.
See the bylaws for further details. 
Concessions tab is open to pre-order hoagies for lunch and pizza for dinner at Tennent. Please remember that your concessions fees will go to William Tennent on the day of the tournament but your registration fee will be billed separately by the PCFL.
Other Notes
LD and PF will use the March topics. Congress will use the new Finals legislation that Ken sent out at the beginning of the week. The agenda will be randomly drawn the morning of the tournament.
The top 10 in each event will be invited to the PCFL Banquet on April 19. National Qualifiers are expected to attend the banquet.
There is no connection between Varsity Finals and JV Finals on April 7, except that students qualifying to nationals this year may not enter JV Finals.
If you have any questions about quals, please contact me. See you soon,
Jeff Kahn
PCFL Tournament Director