4th Annual Rotunda Classic

High School Debate Tournament at the University of Virginia

November 7-8, 2014

Tournament Policies

This is the list of tournament policies for the Rotunda Classic. We may update this policy from time to time before the tournament.

Updated: March 1, 2015

March 2015 Entry Fees

  • $80.00: One Policy or Public Forum team
  • $40.00: One Lincoln Douglas debater
  • $25.00: One Student Congress debater
  • $30.00: School Registration (waived if registration is submitted Early Bird)

Tournament fees may be sent to the tournament director by check or brought on the day of the tournament to registration. An address will be provided for schools wishing to pay on registration confirmation. Please make all checks payable to The Washington Society.

Entry Limits

We have preliminarily decided to cap the number of debaters at the tournament to 185. As we are closer to the tournament date and have a count of rooms from the registrar , we will be able to adjust this number up accordingly.

The tournament allows the following entries per school:

  • Varsity Policy: 6 teams
  • Novice Policy: 6 teams
  • Varsity Lincoln Douglas: 8 debaters
  • Novice Lincoln Douglas: 8 debaters
  • Varsity Public Forum: 6 teams
  • Novice Public Forum: 6 teams
  • Student Congress: 10 debaters

Novice level of competition is restricted to debaters who have participated in debate for less than one year (this is their first year of debate).

Please do not make travel arrangements for extra debaters until the tournament director has explicitly granted permission for their entry into the tournament.

Technology Policies

We will allow the use of computers in all rounds of debate consistent with the guidelines of the National Forensics League, as best as practicable and subject to review by the tournament director.

To note: use of Internet during an actual round and communication with any outside party during a round are strictly enforced. Debaters who violate the Internet rule risk a forfeit loss for the round. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, instant messengers, social networking sites, Google searches, and email.

Debaters who electronically communicate with others inside or outside the room will be immediately disqualified from the tournament.

Debaters also accept any risk of equipment or laptop failure. No additional prep time is allowed should your technology fail. We always recommend paper backups for the tournament.

Cell phones are permitted in rounds so long as they are placed on silent. Students who wish to use their their cell phone as a timer must turn their phone to “Airplane Mode” to disable any WiFi/4G/other wireless Internet capabilities.

Judging Requirements

We require schools provide qualified judges for the tournament. Each two Policy teams, each three Public Forum teams, every three Lincoln Douglas debaters, and every 10 Congress entries must be accompanied by a qualified judge (qualified meaning having a high school diploma).

Judges will be required to attend all preliminary rounds, the first elimination round, and one round after the last competitor from the school in that debate section is eliminated. If a judge from a school is unable to judge any round after being registered with the tournament, the school will be charged $25 per round for absentee judges ($15 for the individual judge fee plus $5 penalty). Awards for a school will not be awarded if there are any outstanding fees.

Please provide a cell phone number for all judges – we will be working very hard to run the tournament on time and a cell phone will allow us to track down any missing ballots!

We will offer a limited number of hired judges. These judges are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Asking earlier is to your advantage: our most qualified hired judges will be offered first on the list! Please make all requests by March 16th.

Our hired judging fee is as follows:

  • $20 per individual round for Lincoln Douglas, Policy, or Public Forum ($85 for the entire tournament)
  • One hired Student Congress judge will be $30 for the entire tournament

Drops and Modifications

Drops and modifications can be made up to March 16th without penalty. Modifications and drops (including refunds) to tournament entries after this date are subject to approval by the tournament director and will result in the following penalties:

  • No fee for drops made by March 16th
  • Drops and modifications after March 16th – MUST be phoned in to the tournament director. If the drop is phoned in, the team will be expected to pay the full registration fee BUT not be responsible for judging requirements
  • No-shows on the day of the tournament: Assessed full drop fee + 25% penalty AND the judging requirements must be fulfilled for no-shows

Modifications to teams may be submitted as late as March 16th. Modifications after this date may be subject to a 25% of entry fee penalty.

Calling in and reporting drops early helps the tournament run much more smoothly, reduces your judging committment and entry fees, and ensures that our first round will not need to be repaired immediately. No-shows that force repairing of Round 1 and diminish the quality of the tournament are not acceptable and fees will be strongly enforced.

Round Attendance and Coach’s Decisions

Teams are expected to attend rounds and arrive in a timely fashion. Any team arriving more than 20 minutes late to a round will forfeit the round. Any school with more than 2 absences from rounds may be subject to disqualification from Outrounds or removal from the tournament.

If a coach wishes to make a coach’s decision on a round, they must report to the tournament director within 5 minutes of pairings being released. After this time, teams will be expected to debate.

If a team fails to report a coach’s decision and does not arrive to a round, that team will forfeit the round.

In the case of a Round-Robbin style pairing for a particular field of debate, the tournament director reserves the right to restrict excessive coach’s decisions in the case where a team may attempt to manipulate  outround outcomes. Coaches will be alerted should pairings be organized in this way before the start of the tournament.

Independent Entries

Independent entries may include homeschooled students as well as students wishing to attend our tournament without a school sponsor. If a student’s school is attending the tournament, a student may not register independently of that school.

Officially, an independent entry is an entry which does not meet two criteria: 1. Officially sanctioned by their school and 2. Accompanied by a chaperone who is an employee of that school. If either of these two criteria are met, then the student is not eligible to be considered independent and must attend the tournament in compliance with school policies.

All independent entries must be approved by the tournament director and must submit all waivers, forms, and registration fees no later than March 16th.  Please email director@virginia-debate.com for more information, including waivers and policies. There will be NO exceptions made to this policy.