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M. Jack Parker Invitational

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General information

This is a College tournament in Illinois.

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On behalf of the Northern Illinois University Parliamentary Debate Team and Staff,

you are invited to attend the

M. Jack Parker Parliamentary Debate Invitational

hosted on the campus of

Northern Illinois University

on October 20, 2018.


Dear Colleague,


We are pleased to announce the Northern Illinois University Forensics Team will be hosting our annual debate tournament, the M. Jack Parker Parliamentary Debate Invitational. The NIU Debate Team and coaching staff would like to honor the legacy of our former Director of Forensics, debate coach, and colleague Dr. M. Jack Parker.  Dr. Parker created NIU’s debate tournament with the goal of constructing a space where new debaters are able to learn the process of debate, and older debaters have the chance to hone their debate skills.  It is in this spirit that we offer a debate tournament where novices can start their debate careers, and varsity debaters can begin their debate season. 

The tournament will consist of four preliminary rounds, a quarter, semi, and a final debate round. Based on the number of entries, the tournament director can add to/subtract from the number of out rounds. This decision will be announced by the Friday evening before the tournament. The top two novice teams (who are not in the varsity out rounds) will qualify for the novice final.

Please use Speechwire to enter your students into the tournament. Entries are due on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Please email or call Harry Bodell (630-743-1973, hbodell1@niu.edu) with any questions.

We look forward to seeing you on NIU’s campus!



Harry Bodell                        Matt DuPuis                                

Debate Graduate Assistant       Forensics Specialist

Tournament Director                Asst. Tournament Director       


Tournament Fees:

1.      The entry fee for Parliamentary Debate will be $30.00 for each covered team entered.  Each school that is part of a covered hybrid team will be charged $15.00.

2.      The entry fee for an uncovered Parliamentary debate team will be $50.00. Each school that is part of an uncovered hybrid team will be charged $25.00.

3.      A $30 nuisance fee will be assessed for team dropped after 5:00 p.m. on October 19th. Drops made at registration will cost $75.00 per team. When you know you have a drop, please contact Harry Bodell (630-743-1973)

4.      A $30 nuisance fee will be assessed for judge drops after 5:00 p.m. on October 19th. A $100.00 fee will be charged for a judge drop at registration. When you know you have a drop, please contact Harry Bodell (630-743-1973)

5.      Make checks payable to: NIU Forensics



All schools are asked to provide enough debate-qualified judges to cover their slots: 1 judge for every 2 teams entered.  All judges must remain to judge at least one round past the elimination of their last team.


Tournament Rules:

Note Regarding Rules: While NPDA and Phi Rho Pi have made changes to the format of Parli (increasing prep time from 15 minutes to 20 minutes and introducing “Flex Time” between speeches), this tournament will operate under the traditional format and procedures. It is the tournament director’s hope to remain consistent with the format used at Lincoln Parliamentary Debate League tournaments. Thus, if it is decided that these changes will be implemented by the LPDL, then the tournament director reserves the right to implement them at this tournament. Any procedural/rule changes will be announced as far in advance of the tournament as possible. Otherwise, the rules will remain as follows:

1.      Each team shall consist of two people prepared to debate for either the Government or the Opposition.

2.      Three resolutions shall be presented to the opposition at the start of the round.  One of those topics will be struck by the opposition.  The government will select the resolution for the round from the remaining two resolutions.  After topic strikes, the debate proposition shall be announced by the judge in the room at the beginning of the round time.

3.      Each team shall be allotted fifteen (15) minutes total preparation time for the debate. The preparation time shall begin after the judge has announced the topic in the room. Either team may leave the room during the preparation period. The judge has the ultimate determination when it comes to time.

4.      The speaking format shall be:

Prime Minister (Gov) - 7 minute constructive

Leader of the Opposition - 8 minute constructive

Member of the Government - 8 minute constructive

Member of the Opposition - 8 minute constructive

Leader of the Opposition - 4 minute rebuttal

Prime Minister - 5 minute rebuttal

5.      There is no preparation time allowed between the speeches for either team.

6.      People not involved in the specific debate round may take notes as long as the note taker has the permission of the contestants.

7.      Judges should not disclose decisions, and there will be no warm room.

8.      No reference material, other than a dictionary, may be consulted during prep time. 

9.      There will be no coaching during prep time.

10.  Only one maverick will be allowed at the tournament.  Coaches are able to select hybrid pairings with other teams before the entry is turned into the tournament director.  Make sure the hybrid is indicated on your entry form.  If you are sending an individual student without a partner, they will be assigned to a hybrid pairing by the tournament director.  The hybrid teams will be assigned in the order the entries come in and the coach will be notified of the pairing.

11.  Individual Speaker Awards will be given to the top 5 varsity, and top 5 novice speakers.

12.  Team Awards will be given to all teams in out rounds.

13.  A novice is defined as a competitor in their 1st year of collegiate debate competition (no more than 2 tournaments previously competed at in past years).  Anyone with more experience will be considered a varsity competitor.  If you have questions, please direct them to the tournament director.

14.  The tournament director has the right to update, adapt, add, and interpret all of the rules of the tournament.

15.  The tournament will follow the spirit and style of the Lincoln Parliamentary Debate League.  If you have questions, please consult the webpage (http://iifa.us/lincoln-parli-debate-league.html), or contact the tournament director. 


2018 Tentative Tournament Schedule

*Schedule may change due to entries and need for quarter and semi‑finals.  

7:45-8:30                   Registration, Watson Hall 237

8:30                            Round 1

9:45                            Round 2

11:00                          Round 3

12:15                          Round 4

1:15                            Lunch Break

2:30                            Quarter-Final Round

4:00                            Semi-Final Round (Novice Final Round)

5:30                            Final Round

ASAP                           Awards 

Manager contact information

Harry Bodell
Email address: hbodell1@niu.edu
Phone number: 630-743-1973

Mailing address

Watson Hall 237, Department of Communication
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

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