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Big Apple Invitational Debate Tournament

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General information

This is a College tournament in New York.

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**This is an invitation to an IPDA Debate Tournament (no IE's)! It will take place on Sept 14-15, 2019, not the 7 & 8!!!**
This competition will feature IPDA Debate (International Public Debate) for both Novice and Varsity Divisions in a single kickoff weekend. Competitors will compete in FOUR preliminary rounds of individual competition followed by three elimination rounds both on Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 15th. Sorry, no IE's!
All entries must be received by Wednesday, September 11th, 2019, at 5:00 pm (EST). You must register at the Speechwire.com website which provides all of our tournament information. Emailed entries will not be accepted. Changes will be accepted without charge until Thursday, September 12th, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. at which late fees will be set. Late fees will be charged for any changes after the 12th at noon (in addition to any fees associated with the entry).
My hope is that this will be an excellent opportunity for new debaters to have their first tournament experience and for returning varsity competitors within our district to get into their groove for the 2019-2020 competition season. Pre-tournament updates will be distributed here via the Speechwire website. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

We will be offering novice and varsity divisions of Individual IPDA Debate. (NOTE: A Novice debater is a student who has absolutely NO prior debate experience including high school. Please do not place experienced debaters in novice division of IPDA.) Due to limited facilities available, we will NOT be offering Junior Varsity or Professional divisions of IPDA Debate.

  1. Awards will be presented to each finalist within both Novice and Varsity divisions.
  1. In debate, there will be three elimination rounds (depending on number of entries): Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals. Debaters who advance to the final round receive Gold, while the semifinalist debaters will receive Silver and Quarterfinalists with Bronze.
  1. Sweepstake points are awarded as follows:
    1. 5 points for each preliminary win
    2. 2 points for reaching Bronze Round
    3. 2 points for reaching Gold Rounds
  1. In addition, the top individual speakers and top debate schools within BOTH divisions will be recognized.
Warm Rooms
Our tournament will not have "warm rooms." While we encourage cordial and constructive feedback between judges and debaters, judges should not be obliged to engage in conversation with students. Debaters should not pressure their judges for commentary after rounds. JUDGES SHOULD NOT DISCLOSE THEIR REASON FOR DECISIONS (RFD) DURING OR AFTER ROUNDS!
All schools should attempt to properly cover their entries. If you don't feel comfortable judging IPDA Debate, please note it here when you place your entry so that we can accomodate you. We're fortunate to be placed in a region of many highly qualified judges, educators, and former debaters!
Forfeit Rule
Any debater who is more than 15 minutes late automatically forfeits their round, resulting in a "bye" or automatic win for the opposing debater. Please make every effort to have your debaters appear at their appointed rounds so that our tournament runs smoothly.
Entry Rules
  1. All entries are due by Wednesday, September 14th at 5pm (EST) here via Speechwire.
  2. All debaters must be undergraduates enrolled at their respective institution.
  3. It is up to your discretion to place and enter students in their proper division (novice or varsity).


I will be working with my campus OIT dept to provide you free access to WiFi. You and your team will be given instructions on how to access the WiFi at Queens College within your registration packet. However, I strongly encourage you to have a backup plan in case you and your debaters encounter problems accessing our network during rounds.

DACA Statement

New York City is a proud sanctuary city, and as such, we will uphold the City University of New York's (CUNY) mission of embracing all forms of diversity at our campus. 

Disability Statement

Queens College is medium-sized campus and we will schedule our rounds in buildings that are close together, thereby reducing walking distances. If you encounter a coach, judge, or debater who requires special accomodations, please let me know as soon as possible!

Ethics Standards of IPDA Debate

The Big Apple IPDA Invitational Debate Tournament will adhere to the rules prescribed by the International Public Debate Association. Before coming to the tournament, please take time to familiarize yourself and your team to the rules contained within the IPDA Constitution and its Bylaws.


All four preliminary rounds will be randomly paired. However, brackets will not be broken in elimination rounds.

Structure of IPDA Debate

According to the IPDA Constitution, “IPDA” or the “International Public Debate Association” is an audience-friendly debate format with great emphasis on persuasion, rhetorical speaking abilities, and inclusivity of interested individuals who are encouraged to debate “regardless of educational background, prior experience, or any other demographics.” The philosophic tenets of the IPDA Constitution are sevenfold, which are inclusivity, lay judging, limited preparation, extemporaneous delivery, rhetorical delivery, and ethos.

It is important to note that IPDA Debate differs from other collegiate debate formats since it encourages lay judging – judges with limited debate experience and training to ensure fairness within debate rounds. Therefore, handouts of the IPDA debate format will be distributed at check-in to all lay judges who request a copy of the IPDA Debate rules.
The IPDA Debate format are as follows:
A. Topics will be announced in-round with 5 topics (2 value, 2 policy, 1 metaphor)
provided for strikes. Negative strikes first, and then turns are taken until one topic
remains to be debated.
B. Debaters will not be allowed to consult any other person during prep time. Prep
IPDA rules, they will be allowed paper and/or electronic research material, which
may be quoted or paraphrased from notes during the round, but not read directly, as
extemporaneous delivery is required.
C. Time limits:
Affirmative Constructive  - 5 minutes
Cross Examination         -  2 minutes
Negative Constructive    -  6 minutes
Cross Examination         -  2 minutes
First Affirmative Rebuttal -  3 minutes
First Negative Rebuttal    -  5 minutes
Second Affirmative Rebuttal   - 3 minutes
D. Additional notes on the IPDA Debate format:
•  Competitors will receive their topics at their designated competition room 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE ACTUAL ROUND BEGINS. (Example: if the first round starts at 8:30AM, then competitors MUST be at their designated rooms no later than 8:00AM).
• Judges are expected to keep time during preparation time. Competitors will have exactly 30 minutes of preparation time following the first negative strike.
• Strike sheets will contain a variety of topics ranging from domestic, economic, social, international events to NYC-themed issues.

Travel Logistics

Queens College is ideally located within a 10-15 drive from LaGuardia, a 15 - 20 drive from JFK Int'l Airport, 2 hrs from Islip Airport in Suffolk County in Long Island, and about 1hr to 90 mins from Newark Airport (depending on traffic conditions). Hotels within NYC can be quite expensive. We have not selected an official tournament hotel, so each team is responsible for making their own reservations. However, I recommend contacing Mr. James Woods at Travel Advocates. In the past, he has helped many of our neighboring teams within our region by securing good rates for teams traveling to tournaments. He can be reached at Jason@TravelAdvocates.com.

Tournament Location Details

Queens College is located right off of Exit 24 on the I-495 Long Island Expressway ("the L.I.E.") on Kissena Blvd. It is also easily accessible if you're traveling on the Grand Central Parkway going north or south of Flushing Meadows Park, the I-295 Clearview Expwy, the Cross-Island Pkwy, and the I-678 Van Wyck Expwy if you're coming from JFK Airport. 

Although registration will be located in the Student Union Building, tabulation, postings, and awards will take place in nearby Kiely Hall. There is campus parking available near the Rosenthal Library and street parking available on Melbourne Avenue.

Manager contact information

Randy Perez
Email address: Randy.Perez44@qmail.cuny.edu
Phone number: 516-858-3156

Mailing address

None provided

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