Urban Debate National Championship

2023 — Dallas, TX/US

Tournament Information

1 Week Out Updates

Tournament Specifics & Events:

1.Schedule –We have made a couple small tweaks to the weekend schedule. Please review the schedule page.

2.World Schools Demo –If you are a Coach or Program Staffer who is planning on attending the World Schools Demo during Round 3@3pm, please fill out a quick form to RSVP here. We need to know this in advance, as it may impact judge round availability. This will be on a first come first serve basis.

3.WHOVA App –We will be using the Whova app for networking and announcements throughout the duration of the tournament. Please be on the lookout for an email to create an account and download the app.

Community Engagement:

1.Tik Tok Scholarship Competition –If you participated in the Expo this past fall, you will remember this competition. We will be running a social media competition on Tik Tok for a $500 scholarship during the tournament! Students are asked to make a 1 minute clip or less on #WhyDebate.The guidelines are in a pdf attached– please feel free to start sending to students to start submitting! We will touch on this again during the UDNC Opening Assembly. The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 1st.

2.Sticker Exchange –A reminder that each league will be given a pack of stickers to distribute to their debaters for a community engagement activity and competition. We will be giving some sort of prize to students that collect all the league stickers first! You will receive these stickers at registration. We will touch on this again during the UDNC Opening Assembly.

Campus Requirements & Enrollment:

1.SMU AWARE –All participants of the Urban Debate National Championship should opt in to the SMU emergency notification system. To do this, send a text to 226787 with the word ‘SMUAWARE’. This will ensure any emergency notifications will come to all participant cell phones. You will automatically be removed from the system 14 days after opting-in.

2.Protection of Minors Training – (If you did not receive an email about this, it does not apply to you)We know many of you have reached out about this training. We have followed-up to try and find out a timeline for when you all should be expecting to get an email. We will obviously be extending Friday's deadline since the emails have not been sent. When we know more, we promise you will too!

Tournament Information

Team Selection Criteria

Each invited league will receive up to two entries for high school debate pairs to compete in the at the Urban Debate National Championship. It is the league’s responsibility to select competing teams. As you consider selection criteria, we recommend looking for hard-working and dedicated students who will give their all to the event.

Teams must consist of students who attend the same school. Qualifiers must have participated in at least one league sponsored tournaments during the current academic year. Our objective is to assemble the most dedicated debaters who participated in the urban debate network this year.

An additional entry will be reserved for the Debater of the Year and their partner if they have not already qualified. Debaters competing in additional slots must also meet the qualification requirements for the tournament. If there is an uneven number of teams entered, the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance may be offered a third spot to ensure a balanced number of entries. Debaters competing in any of these additional slots must meet qualification requirements for the tournament.

Entry Deadlines

NAUDL will invite schools to the tournament on Tabroom.com based on qualifier information provided by leagues. Coaches can enter competitors and judges, but entries are not considered complete until all supporting forms and documents are received.

All coaches listed on the entry forms will be entered into the judging pool

All teams, coaches and administrators must finalize their registration on Tabroom.com no later than 5:00 pm Central Time on February 27th, 2023.

If changes or updates need to be made after entry forms are complete please email Luke Hill (lukehill@urbandebate.org)

Topic & Format

Students will debate the national high school policy debate topic for 2022-23

- Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity.

Tournament rounds will follow the 8-3-5 cross-examination debate format with 8 minutes of preparation time allocated to each team during the debate.

Preliminary Rounds

  • Each team will compete in 6 preliminary debates, after which the top 16 teams* will participate in elimination rounds. (See the note about division sizes and the number of elimination rounds below).

  • Teams from the same league will not debate against one another in the preliminary debates.

  • Preliminary debates will be assigned one qualified judge.

  • Round Pairing Procedure:

    • Rounds 1-2 will be randomly pre-set respecting league blocks.

    • Round 3-6 will be power matched high-low off the results of all previous debates at the time of pairing.

Elimination Rounds

  • A minimum of three judges will adjudicate each elimination round.

  • The top sixteen seeds will advance to an Octo-Final Elimination Round. Seeding will be based upon:

    • (1) wins

    • (2) high-low adjusted team points

    • (3) total team points

    • (4) opponents’ wins

    • (5) drop double high-low adjusted team points

  • Teams meeting in Elimination Rounds who already debated in the preliminary rounds will switch sides for the Elimination Round; otherwise Elimination Round sides will be determined by a coin flip.

  • Elimination round brackets will not be broken for teams from the same school or league.

  • Teams from the same league may debate each other in the Elimination Rounds. The national tournament is intended to be an education activity to all who participate. For this reason, if two teams from the same league are assigned to debate against each other in an elimination round, they will be required to debate. Coaches and league staff will not choose the team which advances to the next round. If two teams from the same school meet in Elimination Rounds the coach may determine who advances.


The top 20 individual speakers will receive awards based on speaker points. The tie breaking procedure is:

(1) high-low adjusted points

(2) total points

(3) ranks

(4) judge variance (average z-scores)

Awards will be presented to all teams who qualify for the elimination rounds.

Each student qualifier will be presented with a qualification certificate.