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Bloomington Big Questions

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General information

This is a Middle School tournament in Indiana.

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You are invited to the third annual Bloomington Big Questions Debate & Speech Tournament! It is co-sponsored by Jackson Creek Middle School & Indiana University’s Departments of Religious Studies and Psychological & Brain Sciences!


The tournament will be held February 22, 2020 on the campus of Indiana University-Bloomington, headquartered in Chemistry, 800 E. Kirkwood Ave., Room 122 (with competition rounds in the neighboring Ballantine, Jordan, and Lindley buildings), Bloomington, IN 47405.



6:30                       Final Drop Deadline (late drops are subject to a $5/drop fine)

7:30-8:00               Registration

7:55-8:25               Early Radio/Extemp Prep for Doubling Debaters Only 

8:00-8:15               Debate Judges Meeting

8:30-9:15               Debate I/Speech Judges Meeting

8:45-9:15               Radio/Extemp Prep

9:15-10:30             Debate II/Speech I

10:30-11:45           Debate III/Speech II

11:45-1:00             Debate IV/Speech III

2:30-3:30               Awards



As our tournament name—Bloomington Big Questions—suggests, we hope to encourage many students to try Big Questions Debate! In addition to Big Questions Debate (42 min/round format), we will offer Declamation, Extemp, Drama, Duo (memorized), Duo (scripted), Humor, Impromptu, Oratory, Poetry, Prose, Radio. We will not offer Discussion, but we hope that many Discussion regulars will try Debate. Debaters MAY double, but debaters must compete first in Debate before going to their Speech event every single round. No doubling in Radio or Extemp--with the exception that Debaters may double in these events if they prep early, from 7:55-8:25 and compete in Debate before Radio/Extemp each round. 




Big Questions Debate Resolution: Objective Morality Exits.


Big Questions Debate Resources:










The top three individual debaters will receive plaques (i.e. if debaters compete in pairs, it is possible that one but not the other partner will receive a plaque). For debate only, we will offer Novice and Varsity divisions, and award 1st-10th place ribbons in each division. In all other events, we will award double ribbons up to 10 places (20 winners per event). We will award up to ten sweepstakes trophies—five each in large and small school divisions; Jackson Creek will abstain from the sweepstakes competition. As a condition for award eligibility, all debaters and debate judges are required to submit a brief Big Questions survey before the awards ceremony.



Each school is responsible for bringing one judge for every five entries. If we are short on judges, schools not meeting judge quotas may be ineligible for sweepstakes. Please designate judges as “speech” or “debate.” We will be able to supply some extra debate judges, so don't let the need for judges discourage you from entering debaters!



Speech/debate rounds/awards are not public events. Observers will not ordinarily be allowed.



Please register on SpeechWire by Monday February 17; early registration is greatly appreciated! We will try to accommodate late adds (since we know how our middle schoolers operate!), but please keep this to an absolute minimum. As you become aware of drops, please modify your SpeechWire entries immediately. We will allow self-drops through Fri. night or early Sat. morning. After we disable the self-drop feature on SpeechWire, text/call 812-269-2710 and/or email browncg@indiana.edu any last-minute drops. Any drop not reported by Sat. at 6:30 a.m. will incur a $5 late drop fee!!!



Food will be available for purchase throughout the tournament. Concession sales help us to pay for ribbons/trophies/plaques, SpeechWire, etc., so please encourage your students to buy their lunch/snacks from us! Complimentary food and beverages will be provided for judges/coaches.



Parking permits are not required on weekends (except for special needs or 24-hour reserved spaces). There should be plenty of parking near Ballantine or Sycamore for private cars. Buses will need to drop students off outside of Chemistry, then park at the stadium.


We look forward to seeing you in Bloomington!



Candy Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University

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

Linda Scott, Language Arts Teacher, Jackson Creek Middle School



Important tournament rooms

Judges Lounge - BH130
Tab Room - BH137
Extemp Prep - BH140
Radio Prep - BH141
Radio Judging - BH143
Judges' Meeting - BH144
Student Gathering Area - CH122

Manager contact information

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

Mailing address

Headquarters: Chemistry, 800 E. Kirkwood Ave., Room 122
Bloomington, IN 47401

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