GRAND VALLEY DEBATE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
FEBRUARY 3-5, 2011
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We would like to invite your policy debate program to the Grand Valley Debate Championship Tournament. We welcome you to Grand Rapids and offer a tournament designed to provide the finest competition and outstanding hospitality. Our vision for a state tournament includes time for students to mingle with other students, time for coaches to spend time with each other, and a luncheon to reflect on and celebrate our community. All rounds and events will be held in the Holiday Inn Express Suites – Grand Rapids Airport. All elimination debates and some preliminary debates will occur in hotel conference rooms. Dr. Danielle Wiese Leek is on sabbatical and thus this year’s tournament will be hosted by members of the west Michigan debate community. Dr. Leek and GVSU are committed to full sponsorship of a tournament in following years.
For the February 2011 tournament we are offering one varsity division and one novice division. The varsity division will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The novice division will run Friday and Saturday. A school will be able to enter one or two squad units in each division. Again, all debates will occur at the Holiday Inn Express Suites.
This is not a typical 2 person event. Our philosophy celebrates being able to enter a tournament as an entire school with a few modifications.
A school may choose to enter as one school with one squad per division and may substitute debaters without limitation between rounds (except across divisions.) Alternately, a school may choose to enter as two squads in a division. These squads will correspond to the school’s colors. For instance, if the school East South Hampton entered and their school colors are red and blue, then there will be an East South Hampton Red and an East South Hampton Blue. A school must choose which students will represent one color (in the example Red) and which will represent the other color (in the example Blue). A roster of who is debating on which squad must be entered at a date to be set prior to the tournament. Students may NOT substitute between colors – once a roster is set students cannot move between colors. Students may be switched within the roster of each color without limitation between rounds. Should both squads from a school qualify for elimination rounds, they shall merge and take on the seed of the team with the better record. In this situation, students from either squad could compete in the elimination rounds. This also means that all lower seeds would improve by one and that another squad would advance to the elims.
Special Note for Years to Come
We are committed to helping create opportunities for civic engagement in Michigan, and increasing participation in high school policy debate is one of our goals. Thus, we hope to make this end-of-the-season tournament an on-going event. We are also committed to creating a structure to the tournament so as to ensure a relatively fair allocation of resources, student population, coaching preferences, and/or experience. Having studied various structures, we believe that hosting a "packet division" is one way to increase participation and encourage schools to participate in this valuable activity. Teams in the packet division would use a set packet of evidence created by the tournament. There would be two divisions within both varsity and novice; there would be a packet evidence division in novice and varsity and an open evidence division in novice and varsity. This type of structure has been very successful at aiding the growth of debate in other leagues and around the country. During this year's tournament, we hope you'll share your thoughts about adding packet divisions for next year's championship.
Entry fees are $100 per squad. This will cover the cost of the rooms, light refreshments at the hotel throughout the tournament, and lunch on Friday. It is possible that these fees will be reduced or eliminated if we can secure sponsorship for the tournament. Judges may be available to hire on a first-come, first-come basis. Judges in the novice division are charged $150 per squad unit and judges in the varsity division are $250 per squad unit. Please contact the tournament prior to January 15 if any of these fees are prohibitive.
We believe the Grand Valley Championships should be as enjoyable as possible given the competitive intensity. This structure should facilitate the best debates possible with adequate time for coaching and judging feedback.
Tentative Varsity Schedule
Day 1 – Thursday
11:00am Registration Meeting
12:00pm Round 1
2:30pm Round 2
5:00pm Round 3
Day 2 – Friday
9:30am Round 4
12:00pm Lunch & Reception Photo
1:00pm Round 5
4:00pm Round 6
Elimination Round Brackets Released PM
Day 3 – Saturday
9:00am Pairings Released
1:00pm Award Presentation
Tentative Novice Schedule
& Lunch Reception
3:00pm Round 1
6:00pm Round 2
9:00am Round 3
11:30am Round 4
2:00pm Round 5
4:30pm Elimination Round
7:00pm Elimination Round
Each school must supply ½ judge per squad entered in the tournament – a team entering two squads in a division may supply one full judge. There will be 1 judge per preliminary round and 3 judges per elimination round. All judges are obligated for all elimination rounds – we will release judges as soon as possible, however. That is, we will create panels for all possible final round pairings during the semi-finals and release those judges that cannot judge any final round combination. If entries are large enough to justify it, all judges will be assigned using Mutual Preference Judging. MPJ is a system that assigns judges to debate rounds based on preference ratings supplied by the coaches of the schools. Coaches must rate which judges are most preferred, preferred, or least preferred. The tab software will then seek to optimize the allocation of judges so that every round is judged by somebody that is most preferred. If it is not possible to achieve this for every round, the computer will assign judges that are preferred by both teams before it assigns a judge that is most preferred by one team and only preferred by the other team.
Each judge must sign a statement of ethics and responsibility regarding conduct, language and intent. This, combined with a judge philosophy (which shall include the number of rounds judged on the topic), will certify a judge for the tournament. All judge philosophies must be available one week before the tournament for a judge to be entered in the pool. Should any judge behave in a way that violates the code of ethics, they will be removed and not paid for their service.
The tournament hotel is the Holiday Inn Express Suites – Grand Rapids Airport. The address is 5401 28th St Ct SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546. The phone number is 616 940 8100. This hotel is conveniently located at I-96 and 28th Street in Grand Rapids. It is kitty-corner from the Crowne Plaza MIFA tournament site from previous years and shares a parking lot with a 24 hour Meijer. We have secured a block of suites at a nightly rate of $69 for either a king suite or a 2 double suite – a $20 savings from the regular rate. All suites also include a pullout sofa bed in the living room. We request that all teams staying at a hotel stay at this hotel. The rates we secured and the cost of the conference rooms are dependent on the number of rooms booked. A daily hot breakfast is included in the hotel price. Complimentary wireless is also included. You can learn more about the hotel and amenities here:
Please reserve your rooms early!
Please send all registration information or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration should include the typical information about number of teams and judges. Additionally, we would like to receive a count of all persons attending the tournament so we can get an accurate number for catering and other meals.
We sincerely appreciate your consideration,
616 308 6786 – c
616 291 3995 – w