Frosh/Soph Nats

Frosh/Soph Nationals at Michigan State University

March 1-3, 2014


The MSU Debate team cordially invites you to attend the Freshmen/Sophomore Nationals at Michigan State.


All registration will be handled through Tabroom. All entries must be received by February 21, 2014. We also will need your judging finalized by this time.  


Debates will use the CEDA topic and employ a 9-3-6 time format with 10 minutes of preparation time per team. All first and second year students are eligible for the tournament.  The entry criteria are based not on students’ academic standing, but on their number of years in college debate -- e.g., if a student is a junior, but is only in their first or second year of college competition, they may enter the tournament. We will offer seven preliminary debates and plan to clear to a partial octafinal, dependent on final numbers. We plan to clear all teams with a 4-3 or better record (up to the point where we reach a full octofinal). Teams are obligated to provide 4 rounds of judging for each 2-person team. A decision time of 2:45 minutes from the start of each debate will be enforced.


Entries are unlimited. Each team must consist of two students formally representing their university. Individual students are not allowed to enter, qualify for, or compete in elimination rounds. Individual debaters can win preliminary debates, but unless the team is intact for more than half of the preliminary rounds that team cannot quality for the elimination rounds. Hybrid teams are not eligible to participate in elimination rounds, unless the hybrid involves an inactive program and/or the hybrid has already satisfied the NDT hybrid criteria.




We use a variety of different airports to travel:
Lansing -- 15 minutes away from the campus, very convenient
Flint -- 45 minutes away from the campus, small and convenient, serves Airtran airlines often at discounted rates
Grand Rapids -- 1 hour away from the campus, small and convenient
Detroit metro -- About 1 hr and 20 minutes away, definitely the least convenient option but frequently the cheapest since it serves most airlines, including Southwest


Entry fees will be $50 per team plus $30 per person in attendance (debaters, judges, coaches, etc.). This will include the cost of breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Sunday. So, for example, if you were to bring 1 team and 1 judge (3 people), your bill would be $140 ($50 + (3 x $30))

Guest conduct at the tournament

We are very excited to have you as our guests in East Lansing and to our campus. At the same time, it is important that we remind everyone that you are representatives of your university or college when you are at the tournament. All participants debate at the invitation of Michigan State University according to its tournament rules as well as any rules of their sponsoring institutions. The tournament abides by the rules and norms of the American Forensics Association and the Cross Examination Debate Association. If our guests engage in destructive, threatening, violent, or harassing behavior we are obligated as university employees to report it to our appropriate campus office, including the Department of Public Safety and the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Those offices will provide specific guidance which may include the decision to report specific actions to your college or university. We trust that no such actions will be needed, but we wish to alert you of this requirement.


Brackets will not be broken in elimination rounds. Sides for elimination rounds will be determined based on a coin toss allowing teams to decide or, in the case where teams have previously met in preliminary rounds, by reversing the sides. MSU teams may compete; MSU staff will recuse themselves from any tab room decision regarding MSU teams. Pairings (without panels) for the debates on Monday will be released on Sunday night.

Speaker Points

We are utilizing a 30-point scale, accepting points in increment of one-tenth of a point. Speakers should be differentiated in each debate. There cannot be any tie within a single debate. We ask that judges not regularly award the bulk of their points at or below the ‘below average’ (27) standard or at or above the ‘very good’ (29) standard. In order for speaker points to have some sense of meaning individual judges must feel comfortable providing evaluations across the range of items.

Judge Diversity

Our tab room will seek to affirmatively place judges in proportion with the pool.


We will provide a nice selection of awards for all teams participating in elimination rounds and for the top speakers in each division. Awards will be held at the conclusion of the Quarterfinal debates. Any Speaker who receives a zero due to their unethical use of evidence as described by the recent CTD document will be ineligible for speaker awards.  This zero will not be dropped in the high-low calculation for potential out-round placement or seeding.

Audio and Video Recording

All rounds (defined as the speeches of the participants) are open to registered tournament participants and may be electronically recorded for private educational use by tournament participants (registered coaches, debaters and helpers, and MSU tournament staff) only.


We are very interested in making your trip enjoyable and a great competitive experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. If you have any tournament related questions, please contact Casey Harrigan at (706) 207-4753 or


Preliminary Schedule:

Friday, February 28th

6:00pm—9:00pm – Registration

Saturday, March 1st

7:00am – Breakfast (provided) and Pairings for Rounds 1 and 2 – Bessey Hall

8:00am – Round 1 start

10:30am – Round 1 decision deadline

10:45am – Round 2 start

12:45pm – Lunch begins (provided)

1:15pm – Round 2 decision deadline

2:00pm – Round 3 start (high-low)

4:30pm – Round 3 decision deadline

5:15pm – Round 4 start (high-low)

7:45pm – Round 4 decision deadline

Sunday, March 2nd

7:00am – Breakfast (provided) and Pairings for Rounds 5 and 6 – Bessey Hall

8:00am – Round 5 start (high-low)

10:30am – Round 5 decision deadline

10:45am – Round 6  start (high-low)

12:45 – Lunch begins (provided)

1:15pm – Round 6 decision deadline

2:00pm – Round 7 start (high-low)

4:30pm – Round 7 decision deadline

4:45pm – Dinner (provided) in Bessey

6:30pm – Partial Octofinal start

8:30pm – Partial Octofinal decision deadline

Monday, March 3rd

7:00am – Report to Rooms

8:00am – Quarterfinals start- debates in the Kellogg Center

10:45am – Quarterfinals decision deadline

11:00am – Awards

11:15am – Semifinals pairings

12:00pm – Semifinals start

2:45pm – Semifinals decision deadline

3:00pm – Finals pairings

4:00pm – Finals start

6:45pm – Finals Decision deadline