School Responsibilities for Hosting the National Debate Tournament

Statement of Principle

The National Debate Tournament has a distinguished tradition of over a half-century promoting intellectual inquiry and effective advocacy within an environment of free expression and friendship. The NDT is not only the culmination of a debate season and career for many, but constitutes an experience remembered often and fondly. Much of the experience that "is" the NDT is attributable to the efforts of institutions of higher education who have hosted the event with graciousness, warmth, and great hospitality. While the debate community appreciates those National Debate Tournaments where host institutions have provided great hospitality and amenities, the fact remains that the expenses incurred in these endeavors serve to exclude many institutions from hosting the NDT. The Tournaments best remembered are those where competent and committed staff worked to make the Tournament run smoothly and where host institutions made creative use of local resources, financial and other, to provide a positive experience for all. The NDT Board of Trustees and the NDT Committee will work with prospective hosts to assure the best Tournament possible given that institution's resources.

Additionally, expenses generally identified with participating in the National Debate Tournament should, except in rare circumstances, be included in Tournament fees and not supported by host institutions.

Tournament Dates

Standing Rule 1 of the National Debate Tournament requires that the Tournament be held on either the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April. Exceptions to these dates must occur under exceptional circumstances and must be approved by the Board of Trustees and the NDT Committee.

Tournament Facilities

  1. The Host Institution must provide classrooms (or suitable alternatives) for at least thirty-nine debates depending on the number of teams invited to participate. These rooms should be in close proximity to one another and outfitted with appropriate desks, tables, and chairs. Tables should be twelve square feet in size and one shall be provided for each team. The host institution should know that moving tables to the rooms might be a host school expense.
  2. Two to three rooms isolated from the debating rooms shall be provided for Tournament Administration. The Director of the Tournament will indicate how he/she prefers the rooms to be configured and equipped, and will convey these requirements to the Tournament Host well in advance of the Tournament. Sufficient electrical outlets for computers and duplication equipment shall be provided. The host should work with the Tournament Director to determine who is providing the computers, printers, and duplicating equipment well in advance of the Tournament. Sufficient space to allow for the Tab Room personnel to eat closely to their work is preferable.
  3. A large meeting area shall be provided for announcements and for relaxation of participants between rounds. Sufficient tables and chairs shall be provided to allow the participants to gather as squads and to work on materials.Non-participant observers should be accommodated at the host's discretion, in a separate room if space requires.
  4. Host schools should make all reasonable efforts to provide access to the internet at the tournament hotel(s), in the meeting area, and in the competition rooms. The costs of access may be passed through to participants in tournament fees, or individuals and schools may be charged a separate fee for access that is provided as an option. At least optioinal access in the hotel and one of the competition rooms or the meeting room should be considered the minimum acceptable connectivity for the duration of the NDT.
  5. A food and beverage area must be available in reasonable proximity to the meeting area and debate rooms where participants may conveniently purchase breakfast, lunch, and food and beverages between debates. In the event that such facilities are not available, the host institution must arrange for breakfast and lunch to be provided. Should this be required, costs of breakfast and lunch shall be included in entry fees (approximate costs should be based on rates of $1.50/breakfast and $6.00/lunch).

Tournament Personnel

  1. The host institution must provide at least one person to be available for assisting with logistical needs of the Tournament Director and Tournament Staff. Off campus transportation for emergencies must also be available.
  2. One person (Director of Forensics or some other official faculty or staff person from the host school) shall serve as liaison before and during the Tournament with the selected hotel/motel and with the Tournament Director.
  3. In the event that a Big Board is provided, the host institution shall provide appropriate personnel and support to assure that it is maintained throughout the Tournament.
  4. The host institution shall provide personnel for ballot distribution and collection as requested by the Tournament Director.
  5. The host institution shall provide four persons to assist the Board of Trustees Treasurer with Registration and four persons to assist the Board Chair with banquet set-up. One person shall be available to provide security for the trophies prior to the banquet.
  6. The host institution shall assure that trophies are collected at least two weeks prior to the Tournament and verify that the correct number and type of trophies have been received.

Host Facilities

A representative of the Board of Trustees and/or person designated by the Chair of the Board, and/or the Tournament Director will visit the host institution and city to review all potential properties. The local host is expected to make initial hotel contacts and recommendations prior to a site visit by the Board; only the Board Chair can sign the final contract with the Tournament hotel(s). It is strongly preferred that all participants at the NDT be housed in one hotel or in facilities that are adjacent to each other. It is recommended that no more than two facilities be utilized except in unusual circumstances. Rates should be kept as reasonable as possible, generally within the range of prices at other tournaments throughout the year. It is also strongly encouraged that hotel facilities be available for all elimination debates.

Tournament Amenities

  1. Host institutions should be expected to provide or procure the following items:
  2. a. mailings, supplies, and telephone required for Tournament administration;
    b. a pre-Tournament booklet consisting of:
    schedule of the Tournament
    list of participating schools, students, and coaches
    maps to hotels and campus/site of debate rounds,
    convenient restaurants suggestions,
    other information as desirable; and
    c. judge strike sheets and conflict sheets created in cooperation with the Tournament Director.

  3. Entry fees paid by participating schools shall include the following:
  4. a. reasonable travel, lodging, and subsistence expenses for the Tournament Director and Staff,
    b. appropriate trophies for elimination debates, speaker awards, and individual participation awards,
    c. engraving for all awards presented,
    d. hired judges as necessary for general judging pool (separate from judges required to cover obligations incurred by participating teams),
    e. one Tournament banquet, preferable held at the conclusion of preliminary debate rounds, including expense of guests from the host institution and supporting organizations as appropriate,
    f. expense of Judging Philosophy Book,
    g. photographer and photographs,
    h. post-tournament booklet, and
    i. additional expenses as may be identified and deemed consistent with the general philosophy of this document. Entry fees shall not be used for receptions, hospitality rooms, or additional meals except as approved by the Board of Trustees with concurrence of the NDT Committee.

  5. Additional Considerations

It may be the wish of hosting institutions to provide additional amenities to Tournament participants. It should be emphasized that the Board of Trustees and the NDT Committee neither expect nor encourage incurring additional expense to provide such features.

Approved by NDT Committee November 19, 1997
Approved by NDT Board of Trustees November 20, 1997