Crestian Policy Classic

2021 — NSDA Campus, IL/US

Rules, Policies, and Procedures

Crestian Rules, Policies, and Procedures 

All Event Information

The Crestian is an invitational tournament. We reserve the right to refuse entry of any school to compete in the tournament or judges to cover a commitment for any reason. By registering entries for the tournament you agree to adhere to all tournaments rules, policies, and procedures found on our tabroom website and agree to everything in the tabroom disclaimer. As a condition of participation at the tournament, participants and schools agree to accept and abide by the decision of and consequences(s) determined by the tournament directors on any issues that arise during the tournament regardless of if there is a written rule or policy regarding the decision or consequence(s). 

Online Platform

The Crestian will be using Classrooms.Cloud as its online hosting platform. This is the same site that was used for the TOC, NSDA nationals, as well as many tournaments this season. We feel confident its reliability, streamlined features and security protocols will result in a pleasant experience for all competitors. You can read about it here:

All students and judges must have linked tabroom accounts. It's not enough for them to have an account, it must be linked to your school. Look at our tabs to the rights and click "linking tabroom accounts" for information on how to do this.

No one (coach, student, judge) should move, nor compete in, a virtual round to a video platform that is not Classroom.Cloud. If you are a judge who does this your school will be fined and you will be removed from the tournament. If you are a student who agrees to this, you will forfeit the round and get 0 speaker points. If both teams do this, it will be a double loss and all students in the round will get 0 speaker points. Students should inform their coaches and/or the tab room if a judge suggests moving the round to a private platform.

Room Check In

All participants (STUDENTS AND JUDGES) will be required to virtually “check in” to their Classroms.Cloud rooms prior to the start of their event. These times are listed on schedules. Failure to check in may result in disqualification from the round at the discretion of the tournament. Check-in is where disclosure will also take place. If judges do not check in by the check in time for each round, we may have to remove a judge and fine the school and/or drop the judge's school from the competition.


In order to make the tournament run as smoothly as possible, we will not be allowing outside observers into the Classrooms.Cloud rooms. However, rounds will be automatically recorded for safety purposes. We will attempt to livestream as many rounds from as many events as possible as a means for people to observe.

Naming Convention

In order to safeguard participants and judges in the online environment, all participants must be named by the following conventions:

“Name – Role – Pronouns (optional)”

For example, if a debater who is participating in the tournament is named Bob Thomas, the naming convention for that individual would be “Bob Thomas – Debater – he/him/his” or “Bob Thomas – Debater.”

Failure to abide by the naming conventions will result in the removal of that participant from the Zoom room.


Harassment/bullying of any sort will not be tolerated during the Glenbrooks tournament. Tournament administration reserves the right to disqualify a team or school if they are found to be engaging in bullying and/or harassing behavior.

Private Coaches

Only school employees may communicate with the tournament on behalf of their school. Private coaches hired by individual students may not represent the school in any capacity during the tournament. It is the affirmative obligation of all individuals who are coaching, and/or sharing materials with other schools/debaters in private prep sharing arrangements to actively conflict themselves from judging those students/schools. Individuals found to have violated this norm will cause all individuals coached by those persons to have their judge preferences removed for the duration of the event and all judges and students involved may be removed from the tournament and forfeit payments to the tournament.

Outside assistance

Competitors should in no way accept or attempt to procure outside assistance during the course of a debate event. Any team or student found to be receiving coaching or other outside assistance during the course of said event will be disqualified at the discretion of the tournament.

COVID-19 Safety

Schools, and not the tournament, are responsible for making sure that competing individuals follow state, local, and national guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety during the tournament.

Debate Rules


All judges in policy debate must have a paradigm on Judges without paradigms will not count towards a school’s judging obligation. Schools that have judges without paradigms may also lose judge preferences. 


We want to minimize the amount of technical glitches during the tournament. Therefore, we strongly encourage every debater to wear a headset with a mic. We also strongly encourage debaters to operate from ethernet connections instead of wifi.

Debaters are required to have their cameras on during the time that they are speaking.

Backgrounds in the Zoom call must be school appropriate.

If you encounter technical difficulties within the system, you should email the help desk. We will provide an email address for technological help closer to the tournament.

Coin flip procedures

The coin flip applies to all elimination rounds. will automatically flip a coin for the two teams where applicable. 5 minutes after the round schematic is published, teams will be notified via text and email from which team won the coin flip. Entries can also see their flip status from their default entry page, and coaches can see flips from the dashboard, in case a text/email is late to arrive. The winner of the coin flip will choose their side. If a team does not make a selection within 5 minutes, that choice will revert to the other team. If no one makes a decision after another 5 minutes, will randomly assign sides & speaking positions where applicable. All choices will be locked on the judges’ ballots; judges will no longer need to tell which debaters are on. Judges should refresh their online ballots at the start of each debate to be sure the ballot reflects the flip choices.

Evidence Sharing

All debate events should have an email speech doc chain set up BEFORE the competition begins (IE, it should be ready to go by the start time of the event.) The competitors and judges all must be included on the speech doc chain.

Decision Time

There will be a decision time in all debate events. Decision time simply means there will be a deadline by which the judge must make a decision in each debate. Each round’s decision time deadline is based on the Tabroom pairing start time. If the judge does not enter a decision in tabroom by the decision time, it is within the Tabroom’s power to flip a coin to determine the winner of that debate. We do intend to enforce this but hope we don't have to.

For example, in a policy prelim with 120 minutes for decision time, if the Tabroom pairing start time is 8am, the judge must enter the decision into Tabroom by 10am or the tabroom will flip a coin to determine the winner. Oral critiques can still take place after the decision deadline and written feedback on Tabroom can be edited until the end of the entire tournament. It is very important to note that the decision time does not change if the debate starts late. There is an incentive for the students and judge(s) to begin the debate at the Tabroom pairing start time and to exchange evidence via email chains throughout the debate and after the debate in a timely manner. Coaches, please make sure the people judging for your school are aware of the use of decision times and start their debates on time. Decision times will be included on the schedules for all events. Use of decision time has been extremely successful in the high school and college debate communities. Of course, please feel free to vote well in advance of decision time too. The decision time includes grace time for tech issues. If a team’s technological issues take up more than 10 minutes total of the allotted decision time, the judge should forfeit the team experiencing the technical delays.

Evidence/Ethics Violations 

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 is that 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. The judge should remind the accusing team that if the judge does not believe the opposing side committed a violation or cannot determine it based on the evidence provided, the accusing team will lose the debate. At this point, the accusing team should have an opportunity to withdraw their challenge without consequence. Ultimately students need to be aware that if they raise an ethics challenge and the judge does not find or agree an ethics violation occurred or cannot determine if one occured, that the accusing students lose the debate. 

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. No challenge can be made to conduct committed in any round after the ballot has been submitted. 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. 

 Policy Debate

Varsity novice policy debate divisions will be switch-side, cross-examination style, with an 8-3-5 format, 8 minutes of prep time.

The policy topic for the tournament is Resolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing.

There will be six preliminary rounds in varsity policy. Varsity policy will break to Octos.