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Loomis chaffee school debate tournament 2021

17 Jan 2021

Greetings Fellow Debaters,

Please find attached the invitation to Loomis Chaffee’s 39th Annual Debate Tournament to be held online on January 17, 2021 (switch-side, cross-ex, policy resolution with a one-hour preparation period using a supplied packet of information). Details about the day and the style of debate are included in the invitation. As you are well aware, the pandemic forces our debates to be online which requires some subtle changes. You should, therefore, read very carefully the invitation which outlines how this tournament will run. In addition to the invitation I have also attached samples of information packets from previous Loomis Chaffee tournaments so that those who are considering attending for the first time can see the sort of information that will be supplied on the day of the tournament when the resolution is announced in our opening general assembly.

Briefly, our tournament will be, a cross-ex, switch side, policy debate, but where none of the participants will know the resolution prior to the day of the tournament. Shortly after some general announcements in the main zoom room (general assembly begins at 10 AM) we will release the resolution along with a 10 to 12 page research packet (given to each debater) to accompany that resolution. Debaters will have one hour to work together in teams (schools) in separate breakout rooms to prepare their cases using the packet (but no other research materials of any kind) before the rounds of debate begin. Thus, teams have access to exactly the same information, so the debates will be assessing how well you can work with that information to produce & defend cogent, persuasive arguments on both sides of the issue. After the one hour preparation period, the debate competition will begin with each team ultimately debating both sides of the resolution. The first two rounds will be assigned (one round on each side) – for the third round the side will be decided in the room by mutual agreement if the two teams, by chance, want different sides, or by coin flip if on that third round both teams had hoped to debate the same side.

We hope you share our enthusiasm for preserving this form of debate. We believe it includes some of the best features of the long tradition of DANEIS prepared cross-ex tournaments while eliminating the sometimes challenging research burden that was difficult for some in mid-January. Full details on the day, as well as guidelines for judges, are included in the attached invitation. I have also attached a sample ballot (with instructions) and a couple of examples of research packets from the three most recent debates we’ve held using this format.

Teams may enter up to two 4-person teams in total (no more than one in each division – Advanced & Novice). Schools must supply a judge for each 4-person team entered. Experienced advanced student debaters may judge in the novice divison, the advanced division is judged by adults. Please read the invitation to see further guidance/preparation that we ask of each judge. Please let us know whether or not your school will be participating by Jan 12 at the latest (earlier if possible) and you should supply the names of your debaters and judges by January 14 (earlier if possible). We hope to hear from many of you soon and look forward to welcoming you to our annual tournament on January 17th.

Curt Robison, Adviser to the Debate Society
The Loomis Chaffee School
Windsor, CT 06095

office phone: 860 687 6122 (feel free to leave a voice mail day or night)
cell phone: (860) 796 4120


17 Jan 2021