The JW Patterson Invitational Debates at Heritage Hall

2017 — Oklahoma City, OK/US

Novice Policy Debate Info/Eligibility

There is no mandated evidence packet for the novice division and no tournament mandated restrictions on types of arguments they may run (like restricting counterplans or critiques).  In Oklahoma we do use a novice packet semester 1 but starting in the 2nd semester (January) argument restrictions are over and debaters are not limited to the evidence packet. 


Who is eligible for novice debate?

At the JW Patterson Invitational Debates a policy team may enter the novice division if they meet one of the following criteria:

1.  It is the first full year of competition for both debaters.  (that would mean they are new to attending tournaments for the 2016-17 school year or they started debating at tournaments Jan, 2016).

2.  Both debaters are still in middle school.  They have not entered 9th grade yet. 



1.  So if my team competed in middle school debate in 8th grade both semesters do they have to compete in varsity?  Yes, by the time our tournament happens they will have 1 1/2 years of competitive debate experience---we do not consider that novice. 

2.  So if my debaters started competing in Jan 2016 do they have to compete in varsity?  No, they are right at the cut-off for a year of competitive experience--so they may enter the novice division. 

3.  So if I have 8th-grade students who debated all 7th-grade year do they have to compete in varsity?  No, they are still currently in middle school so they may stay in the novice division. 


If your team does not meet these qualifications enter them into the varsity division--sure they will lose lots of debates but they may win a few and they will improve.  Hard debate is good debate.  Encourage them to step up.