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Bloomington Big Questions

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General information

This information is from a tournament in a past season!

This is a Middle School tournament in Indiana.

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You are invited to the fourth annual Bloomington Big Questions Debate & Speech Tournament! It is co-sponsored by Jackson Creek Middle School, Bloomington High School South, & Indiana University (Departments of Religious Studies and of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Program in Neuroscience, & Debate Team)!


The tournament will be held the week of February 13, 2021 hybrid a/synchronous (Zoom).



Monday, February 8: Entries & Judge Names due by 5 p.m. Please update your SpeechWire entries up through Sat. morning as soon as you become aware of drops/adds!

Thursday, February 11: Coaches & Judges' Meeting at 4 p.m.: https://iu.zoom.us/j/8122692710

Thursday, February 11: Asynchronous Video Links/Drops and Emergency Contact Roster due by 5 p.m. The Emergency Contact roster should include cell phone numbers and non-school e-mail addresses for all coaches, judges, & competitors, as well as one mailing address for each school (for ribbons/certificates). All synchronous competitors and judges should update Zoom to the most recent version (which allows self-assignment to breakout rooms).

Friday, February 12: Asynchronous Judging opens at 8 a.m. (We encourage you to judge early!)


Saturday, February 13: https://iu.zoom.us/j/8122692710 (HQ, lounges, debate, impromptu) &

https://iu.zoom.us/j/84430469418?pwd=d29NRUR4bE1icVg1a0s1ZUNPZ2hTUT09 (broadcasting). All synchronous judges and competitors should be present in a Zoom room (prep, lounge, or competition) at all times between 8:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.


7:30-1:00         Lounges open for Students & Coaches/Judges: https://iu.zoom.us/j/8122692710

7:45-8:15        Broadcasting Prep I (for competitors doubling in Broadcasting & Debate):


8:00-8:30        Roll Call/Meeting for all Sync Judges & Competitors in Debate & Impromptu:


8:15-8:45        Broadcasting Prep II (for competitors not doubling in Debate):


8:30-9:15        Debate I

8:45-9:45        Speech I

9:45-10:30      Debate II

10:00-11:00    Speech II

11:00-11:45    Debate III

11:15-12:15    Speech III

12:15:1:00      Debate IV

2:00??             Awards (live at https://iu.zoom.us/j/8122692710 and recorded for later viewing)




As our tournament name—Bloomington Big Questions—suggests, we hope to encourage many students to try Big Questions Debate! In addition to Novice and Varsity divisions of Big Questions Debate (42 min/round format, one or two persons per entry), we will offer Declamation, Extemp, Drama, Duo (memorized), Duo (scripted), Humor, Impromptu, Oratory, Poetry, Prose, Radio/Broadcasting. We will not offer Discussion, but we hope that many Discussion regulars will try Debate. Extemp questions/articles will be emailed to coaches on Monday night; honor system—30 min. prep proctored by coach/parent followed by recording one speech of up to 7 minutes (re-recording not allowed).


Doubling (or Tripling!) Rules:

1. Students may double in any 2 speech events, except that impromptu & radio do not mix.

2. Students competing in 1 or 2 speech events may also compete in Debate! Debaters doubling in impromptu or radio must debate first each round before competing in their speech event.


Event Rules:



Big Questions Debate Resolution: Mathematics was discovered, not invented.


Debate Resources:

1) NSDA Big Questions: https://www.speechanddebate.org/resources/?tag=big-questions (sample aff and neg cases and a starter evidence packet included)
2) DebateTrade.com: https://debatetrade.com/ (check spam for activation e-mail)

3) Youtube Training Videos: 1. DebateIntro 1of5 SB, 2. DebateIntro 2of5 SB, 3. DebateIntro 3of5 SB, 4.DebateIntro 4of5 SB, 5. DebateIntro 5of5 SB.



We will award double ribbons up to 10 places (20 winners per event). Top placers in Debate will also receive special recognition from the National Speech & Debate Association Big Questions program. Eligibility for debate awards is contingent upon completing a required Survey before the awards ceremony: https://www.speechanddebate.org/big-questions-survey-2020/. We will award up to 10 team sweepstakes certificates—5 each in large and small school divisions; Jackson Creek will abstain from the sweepstakes competition.



Each school is responsible for bringing one judge for every five speech entries. If we are short on judges, schools not meeting judge quotas may be ineligible for sweepstakes. Please designate each judge as “Speech: Sync & Async,” “Speech: Asynchronous Only,” “Debate (Sync) & Speech (Async only),” or “Debate Only.” (The most useful judge type is “Speech: Sync & Async,” so if you have the flexibility, please make this selection!). We anticipate being able to cover most of the debate judging with experienced debaters from the IU & BHSS Debate Teams.


Zoom details:

Main Room: HQ, lounges, debate, impromptu: https://iu.zoom.us/j/8122692710.

Telephone: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 Meeting ID: 812 269 2710

Broadcasting: https://iu.zoom.us/j/84430469418?pwd=d29NRUR4bE1icVg1a0s1ZUNPZ2hTUT09
Meeting ID: 844 3046 9418 Password: 089667        
Telephone +1 301 715 8592, 84430469418# US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799, 84430469418# US (Chicago)



Candy Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University

(812-269-2710, browncg@indiana.edu)

Linda Scott, Language Arts Teacher, Jackson Creek Middle School




Manager contact information

Candy Brown
Email address: browncg@indiana.edu
Phone number: 812-269-2710

Mailing address

2425 E. Canada Drive
Bloomington, IN 47401

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