Loyola Invitational

2016 — Los Angeles, CA/US

Policy Varsity Rules & Procedures

The following information is for the policy division of the Loyola Invitational only.  The central goal of the policy division is to run a college style tournament at the high school level in the Los Angeles area. This means a well-run tabroom, ample pre-round prep, excellent hospitality, and high quality judging and feedback, all in a relaxed, warm SoCal atmosphere. We aim to please.

Basic Information:

  • Division: Varsity Policy
  • Entry Fee Per Team: $175 per team (includes 3 full meals, coffee/water/snacks, parking, wifi access, participant timers, 24 hour security, offcampus elims room fee, if numbers allow above market value contracts for extremely well qualified judges.)
  • Number of Rounds: 6 Prelim Rounds (4 Sat, 2 Sun); 4-5 Elim Rounds (2 Sun, Rest Mon)
  • Judge Commitment: 3 Rounds Judging Per Team; Judge must be "well qualified".
  • Tournament Cap: 50 Policy Teams Total
  • Tournament Bid Level: TOC Finals Bid in Policy, NDCA Baker Points
  • Breaks: All 4-2s Break, partial doubles sunday if necessary.

Tabroom Procedures:

  • Tabroom & Policy Division Director: Chris Thiele (former Loyola Varsity Policy Debate Coach; former College Debater/Coach at University of Texas, Austin; now Director of Middle School Debate at Harker, San Jose). 15 Years of debate experience, 10 years of tabroom experience (started w/ TRPC). 
  • Prelims powermatching: Wins for first tiebreaker after R1. Opp-seed(-1H/L) for second tiebreaker.
  • Speaker awards: z2 for first tiebreaker
  • Judge Prefs will be Ordinal. (If you like categories, just do it in groups of 10-15, it's the same thing).
  • Judge Prefs also reward higher joint preference over mutual preference. A "20%-30%" will be matched before as mutual "40%-40%".
  • Brackets will not be broken and sides will not be equalized..
  • Elims: All 4-2s Clear. Partial Doubles if Necessary, but unlikely.
  • 40 minutes of pre-round prep time from announce to start time.
  • 120 minutes strict decision time limit from start time to ballot time.
  • No hybrid teams.
  • Maverick teams can debate but can't clear.
  • 4 Team Cap, Waitlist others.
  • Other changes TBA.

In-Round Procedures:

  • Time Limits will be 8-3-8-3-8-3-8-3-5-5-5-5 with 13 minutes of prep time per side. 
  • Topic will be the 2016-2017 NSDA High School Policy Resolution.
  • Judges can only reward at most one win per round. Double losses are permitted for prelim rounds only.
  • Speaker points must range between 25-30 points (with an exception being made if directly requested and sufficiently explained to the tabroom directly). No Ties in Speaker Points (unless matching zeros).
  • No Ballot Trading: Judges must judge the rounds they are assigned.  Delegation, ballot trading, etc is not allowed. and is punished as if both parties were delinquient.
  • Ballot Enforcement: Any judge who does not fulfill their round assignment (e.g. sleeps in, goes out on a date, had a last minute school project to finish, trades their ballot) will be fined $50 in addition to making up that commitment in a later round (including buying "day of" hired judged if necessary to fufill commitment)
  • Elim Sides: If teams already debated each other in prelims, the sides are switched for their elim round. If they didn't debate each other, then the winner of a coin flip will determine sides. At least one representative for both teams must be present to flip for sides and declare their decision at least 30 minutes before the scheduled starting time of an elim debate.  If a representative is not present to flip and declare a side, that team forfeits their right to flip and the team that is present gets to declare sides for the debate. If neither team is present, the sides will be decided by tabroom. 
  • Elim Judge Commitment: At mininum, all judges are obligated for partial doubles and octofinals. For later rounds, contract judges are obligated (as stipulated by their contract), and other judges are obligated for the first elim round after the last elim round their team participated in.

Honorary Wake Forest Rule:

3 Minutes of Tech Prep Per Side. This extra 3 minutes is to account for time spent sending speech docs. Because it is fixed, this will reward those teams that are proficient with technology and punish those that can't work a computer. It's the 21st century, people should get with the times. Judges are encouraged to keep a running clock. Teams are also highly encouraged to use pocketbox (or at least email chains, and not jump drives). To this regard, judges are encouraged to "stop the clock" when for pocketbox/email chains only after the doc is opened by any one recipient (judge included), but should only "stop the clock" for jump drives after the doc is opened by every single participant and judge. Jump drives waste time that debate tournaments (and debaters, judges, and coaches) don't have. Since the time wasted ultimately comes out of the judge's decision time (and free time if they decide early), it is the judge's call to enforce a running clock.

Entry Cap Procedures:

The policy division is hard capped at 60 teams. All teams will be waitlisted prior to Loyola H.S. receiving their entry fee payment in full. One payment is received, each school will receive guaranteed four team slots, with any additional additional paid entries being ear-marked as fully paid waitlisted entries. If by August 19, 2016, the 60 team quota has not been filled, all remaining fully-waitlisted entries will be accepted on a first paid, first serve basis. Because this is the first year of the varsity policy division (and finals bid) at Loyola H.S., we anticipate that all teams will make it off the waitlist, but we can't promise anything, so sign up and pay early. Any payment received for a waitlisted team not taken off the waitlist will be promptly refunded in full. If Loyola H.S. doesn't receive a prior payment, you don't get taken off the waitlist and will not attend our tournament. 

Strict Decision Times

Each round will have a strict decision time of 120 minutes (2hr). Because debaters are given an additional 3 minutes in prep time for speech doc transfers, judges are encouraged to keep a running clock, else they will not have their requisite 30 minutes of judge time to evaluate evidence and decide the round. If judges find themselves pressed for time, judges are encouraged either to change their judging style (can't read every card in the debate) or to start reading cards during prep time. After the allotted judge time, if the judge did not decide, a coin will be flipped, and the result will be entered automatically by tabroom.

Wiki Disclosure

Per Team Disclosure of full analytics, full tags, cites, first/last five words is mandatory for every 1AC and 1NC read. If the 1AC/1NC does not neatly fit into this traditional format, full written/electronic work product must be disclosed. Additional speeches and open-source disclosure (and prior audor recordings if the 1AC/1NC has no written work product) is highly encouraged but not mandatory. Judges are encouraged to reward teams that disclose additional speeches and/or open source with a suggested ".1-.2" speaker point boost. Teams that repeatably fail to update their wiki immediately after every round are subject to ex-post forfeit by the Ombudsperson.

Judge Round Survey

Loyola H.S. has partnered with oodebate.com to run a statistical survey for all policy rounds at the Loyola H.S. Once familiar with the categories, it takes no more than a couple minutes per round to fill out the survey for every round judged. This is about the same amount of time it takes to fill out a ballot. In fact, the survey link will be sent out along with each tabroom round ballot. All information obtained will be publically released (in aggregate form). The content of said survey is largly about debate theory, dealing with simple variables such as the type of 1AC, the number of offcase, and other basic debate questions every coach asks their debater. No personal information or value-judgments will be asked. All judges are required to fill out this short survey. Failure to fill out a survey will result in a judge fine of $25 per round, with teams being barred from elim (or future tournament) participation until all judge fines are paid in full.

Tournament Wireless Access

Loyola H.S. has excellent wifi access and bandwidth, and will provide guest access to all participants, coaches, and judges.

Tournament Power Outlet Access

Each room will be provided with at least one surge protector with an minimum four open slots to plug laptops into. Judges are encouraged to plug in along the outer walls or into this extension outlet. 

Ombudsperson Complaint Procedures

An official person will be designated to adjudicate any complaints of rule violations, and will have final authority over what, if any, punishment is deemed necessary. An official process will be established to iniatiate a protests to the ombudsperson. Failure to comply with the process may result in your complaint get ignored, and problem unresolved. This establishes a fair and formal procedure to intiaite protests against coaches, teams, or judge decisions.

Independent Entries

Independent entries will be accepted to the tournament on the condition that students have parental notice and approval. Applying to the tournament is explicit agreement that each child has the approval of their parent/guardian.

Audio/Video Consent (Opt-Out)

The Loyola Invitational will use an opt-out procedure for consent to audio/video recordings. All participants, by way of their guardians entering them into the Loyola Invitational, consent to being audio and video recorded and the use of those recordings by Loyola Speech and Debate and its administrators. See Notice of Audio/Video Recording Waiver. If a student or their guardian has an issue with such a recording and/or use of such recording such an issue must be presented to tournament administrators prior to the start of the tournament. Ultimately a participant may be denied entry to the tournament if they do not consent to audio/video recordings. 

Independent entries also explicit consent to this waiver. Their admission, by way of parental/guardian approval, constitutes knowledgeable and valid consent.

Judge Qualifications

Because of highly expert oriented nature of policy debate, and the above-market value of juding contracts we offer, only well-qualified judges are counted toward the required judge commitment in the varsity policy division. To be "well qualified", the particular judge must be "strictly qualified", "well qualified", or "meet an exception". Specifically, the judge must have:

  • (a) [strictly qualified] qualified themselves (as a participant) or another team (as the primary coach) to the TOC (high school) or NDT (college) in policy debate.
  • (b) [strictly qualified]  competed themselves or another team (as the primary coach) in college policy with a prelims record of .500 or better at a major national college tournament (UMKC, Kentucky, Harvard, Wake, Cal Swings, Texas/Northwestern, CEDA)
  • (c) [well-qualified] qualified themselves (as participant) or another team (as the primary coach) with a prelims record of .500 or better at any TOC policy bid tournament. 
  • (d) [exception #1] been presently the only policy coach, and a full time teacher at the school (not parent or part time hired coach).
  • (e) [exception #2] received an express waiver by the policy tabroom director.

Note, if your judges do not meet the qualifications (or do not furnish credentials when requested prior to the tournament), they will not count toward your obligations and a hired judge must be purchased. Notice will be given relatively soon after judge entry whether additional credentials are required.

Judge Philosophy

Judge Philosophies are required. Every judge will be required to have a philosophy posted to tabroom (or judgephilosophies.wikispaces.com if outdated) prior to the tournament judge prefs opening. Any judge who doesn't have a working philosophy online prior to the prefs being open will be fined initially $25, with the fine increasing to $50 if the philosophy is not posted by the time prefs close. Any judge fine must be paid by the judge's school for teams to participate in prelims, elims, or future tournaments (any and all applicable).

Judge Hiring Exchange / Contracts

We will add judges on the hired judging exchange who establish they are "well qualified" (excluding "exception #1", because a hired judge is by definition, not coaching). Other teams may directly hire from this judge exchange for a directly negotiated price. A suggested contract value is $250, although that specific number may go up or down depending on the particular circumenstances (qualifications, travel, lodging, elims, coaching, etc). Please frequently check the hiring exchange directly to see who is available, as we will be adding new potential judges just as frequently.

Not-fully commited judges may also add themselves to the exchange to sell excess rounds.

For those not yet attending, any interested judge may apply to enter the hiring exchange pool, and if the judge is "well qualified" (as per Judge Qualifcations Rule), the tournament will aprove them to be listed on the hiring exchange for potential hire by an intersted school. As the tournament deadline approaches, Loyola may decide to purchase judges directly off the hiring exchange.

Most Preferred Judge Awards

  • Top 3 Most Pref'd Prelim Judges (composite of number of prelim rounds judged and median pref) each receive $50.
  • Top 3 Most Pref'd Elim Judges (composite of number of elim rounds judged and median pref) each receive $50. 

Strict Clipping Policy

Loyola H.S. follows the NSDA's definition of card clipping. The adjudication mechanism is, however, slightly different. If any allegation of clipping is made, judges must ask if the alleging debater wishes to make an official protest. If not, the round continues. If so, the judge must stop the round and decide, with all available evidence and tests whether they believe there was clipping according to the NSDA's definition. Audio/Video evidence is ideal but not necessary for a judge to find clipping. If a judge finds evidence was clipped, the judge should notify the tabroom immediatley and the offending team will  a loss and 0 speaker points, with the other team gettting averages and a win. If the judge could not find evidence was clipped, the alleging team will receive a loss and 0 speaker points, with the other team getting averages and a win. A judge may independently initiate their own clipping investigation without either debater asking (given strict decision time restraints), although if the judge finds "no clipping", the round/decision procedes as normal and has no bearing on win/loss or points for either side. A judges decision, once made is final, and can only be overruled with clear and convincing audio/video evidence by the official tournament Ombusperson.