John Edie Holiday Debates Hosted by The Blake School

2018 — MN/US

Schedules: Congress and Congress RR

Congressional Debate

2018  Congressional  Debate Information & Schedule

Legislation: Each participating school may submit up to two bills and/or resolutions by 5:00 p.m. CST, Tuesday November 27, 2018 to, using the official templates formatted per NFL regulations (see Tournament staff will review legislation for pertinent, controversial and researchable issues, and post a docket to this page by Thursday Nov. 29, 2018 (sooner if possible). Legislation characterized by seriousness of purpose is most likely to be selected, and to that end, delegates are reminded that bills allow for deeper debate, since they establish the mechanisms by which a proposed law will be enacted.  

December 13, 2018 (THURSDAY)

7:00 – 11:00

Registration Available (Marriott location TBA)

December 14, 2018 (FRIDAY)


Opening Meeting


Session 1

12:45 – 3:15

Session 2

3 :30 – 6:00

Session 3


Coach and Judge Reception

December 15, 2018 (SATURDAY) 


8:00  - 9:30


Semifinals A

Semifinals B

12:30 – 4:00






Congressional Round Robin

2018 Congressional Debate Round Robin
Information and Schedule

One, and only one contestant from each school will be invited to participate, and the Congressional round robin will feature 8-12 participants.  Each school must provide a judge (preferably a coach), all of whom will judge the full session (and rank all contestants except his/her own).  Once students are invited to participate, a specific problem area will be announced.

2018 Topic Area – Education and Commerce

Devising a Solution

Be creative and persistent in your investigation of possible solutions.  Include in your plan the agencies involved, projected costs, and steps and timeframe for implementation.  Be prepared to defend your plan in questioning with credible research that addresses how it will overcome various barriers and challenges, and the extent to which it will mitigate or solve the problem you are addressing.

Preparing Legislation
You must write one bill (meeting NFL formatting guidelines, available at enumerating your plan, to be submitted to no later than 9 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 12, 2018.  If you are interested in presiding, submit (using the same form, as a Word document in the second "legislation" upload field) a candidate statement of up to 200 words, explaining your qualifications and include a photo as a point of reference, if you wish.  

Committee Hearing (Session 1)

Each contestant will have two minutes to succinctly speak to the details of a proposed plan of solution, from their assigned, seated position.  The speech will be followed by two minutes of direct questioning by up to four delegates (segmented into 30-second blocks). That will be followed by four 30-second blocks of direct questioning by judges. Finally, up to one minute of traditional questioning from observing audience members (one question per observer).  Once the morning subcommittee hearing has concluded, all 12 delegates will cast a preferential ballot to determine the subcommittee's top priority of action.  Tournament staff will tabulate to determine the specific bill to be debated during the late-morning legislative session. 


Debate on Legislation (Session 2)

This session will feature one three-minute speech from each delegate, all with two-minute questioning periods featuring multiple delegate questions, as well as questions from judges. Either contestants or judges may move to suspend the rules to continue direct questioning.

Emergency Scenario (Session 3)

The situation will be announced during the second session.  It will have some relevance to the public works infrastructure topic area. The session ends at 2:00, or once each contestant has had the opportunity to speak once.



Each of the three sessions will be chaired by a different student presiding officer, elected by her/his peers.  If there are not three presiding officers interested in serving, tournament staff will determine how the sessions will be shared by two presiding officers.

Scoring and Advancement

Each speech and session of presiding is worth up to six NFL points.  At the end of the round robin, judges will rank their six most preferred contestants for the aggregate three sessions (and may not rank contestants from their own school).  Thus, each student would receive 11 judge ranks or non-ranks (7s).  Aggregate NFL point values will be converted to a rank scale (tied point values will become tied ranks, so if three students have perfect scores of "12," the rank equivalent would be 1, 1, 1, with the next rank a 4, and so on through 7th place).  The points to rank conversion is the 12th rank.  Finally, each student will rank all delegates, the aggregate rank total placement of which will be multiplied by three to serve as the 13th, 14th, and 15th ranks.  Ties in cumulative rank total will be broken first on most preferred ranks (i.e., judges' preference), then on inverse reciprocals, then on adjusted cumulative total with high and low ranks dropped, then on most preferred ranks of the adjusted ranks, then on inverse reciprocals of most preferred ranks, and if necessary, on the student ranking (which would serve as a parliamentarian ranking on the NFL Congress rank system).


Schedule - December 17, 2018 (Sunday)


   7:30-8:15 Breakfast


8:15 – 9:45

  Round Robin Session Hearing

9:45 - 10:00



  Announcement of Selected Legislation

10:15 - 11:30

  Debate on Legislation


  Lunch for Participants/Judges


  Emergency Session Scenario

2:45 or ASAP