Monthly Archives: February 2010

Tournament of Champions Qualifying Tournament History and Trivia

A few questions that arose while I was working on some statistical projects involving this year’s tournament results prompted me to finish something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time: create a spreadsheet listing the history of Tournament of Champions qualifying tournaments by bid level. Thanks to e-Debate and the HS Debate Archive, I was able to find the list of qualifying tournaments for every season since 1997-1998. In the thirteen seasons for which data is available, a total of 76 different tournaments have been designated as a TOC qualifier; a spreadsheet with year-by-year bid levels is available for your viewing pleasure in html format from Google Docs.

Some trivia, with answers below the fold:

  1. Before the addition of the Blake Holiday Classic this season, what was the last tournament other than Greenhill, St. Mark’s, Glenbrooks, MBA, Emory, Harvard, and Berkeley to be classified as an octafinals bid?

  2. In addition to the seven octafinals bid tournaments from question #1 (Greenhill, St. Mark’s, Glenbrooks, MBA, Emory, Harvard, and Berkeley), how many tournaments have been TOC qualifiers for all thirteen years? Can you name them?

  3. During the last 13 years, how many states have hosted at least one TOC qualifying tournament?

  4. In 1997-1998 and 1998-1999, what university hosted two separate TOC qualifying tournaments?

  5. What is the largest number of tournaments that have lost their bid status from one year to the next? In what year did it occur?

  6. What is the largest number of tournaments have been added to the list of qualifiers from one year to the next? In what year did it occur?

  7. The Blake Holiday Classic has steadily progressed from a finals bid (from 1997 through 2000) to a semifinals bid (from 2001 through 2004) to a quarterfinals bid (from 2005 through 2008) to an octafinals bid (beginning this season). What team won the Holiday Classic in its last season as a finals bid? As a semifinals bid? As a quarterfinals bid?

  8. For the 2000-2001 season, the National Debate Coaches’ Association Championship was a final round qualifying tournament for the TOC. Where was it held and who received the two qualifying legs?

  9. While a debater at Palmetto High School in Miami, the 3NR’s Roy Levkovitz qualified for the 2001 Tournament of Champions. At what tournaments did he receive a bid?

  10. What current coach served as an assistant to TOC Director J.W. Patterson in 1997-1998 and designed the first official TOC website?

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Request: Results Packets

In order to complete the “Baker+” calculations, I need results from the following tournaments (including prelims and elims unless otherwise noted):

  • Houston-Memorial (TX)
  • Kansas City Community College (KS)
  • Auburn (WA)
  • La Costa Canyon (CA) – just need packet, not elims
  • Long Beach (CA)
  • Omaha-Westside (NE)
  • Samford University (AL)
  • Vestavia Hills (AL)

If you have any of these results, please email them to me (

Debate Sabermetrics: A Statistical Analysis of the Season's Top Individual Speakers

Ever wonder who has been the best speaker in the country over the course of the season? While the National Debate Coaches’ Association Baker Award recognizes the year long excellence of teams, no such award exists to recognize the excellence of individual debaters. The following is an attempt to fill that gap with a statistical analysis of the speaker points and speaker awards earned by the nation’s top policy debaters during the 2009-2010 season.

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Announcing The 3NR Spirit of Disclosure Award

After the conclusion of the Tournament of Champions in May, The 3NR will be selecting one high school policy debate team to receive the first annual Spirit of Disclosure Award. Voted on by the writers of The 3NR, this award will recognize the team that best represents the spirit of disclosure throughout the season.

The Spirit of Disclosure Award will be based entirely upon public disclosure of argument outlines and evidence citations on The National Debate Coaches’ Association Wiki. Selection criteria include:

  • Completeness of information: does the team’s wiki page have full outlines of affirmative and negative arguments? Does it include complete outlines with full citations and first-and-last words for all evidence? Does it include outlines of each case the team has read on the affirmative as well as major 2AC arguments (add-ons, answers to generic positions, etc.)? Does it include outlines of generic negative positions as well as specific negative strategies against particular cases? The quality and quantity of a team’s disclosure will be the most important criterion that the voters consider.

  • Organization of information: is the team’s wiki page organized so that information can be accessed effectively? While more disclosure is always better than less disclosure, a poorly-organized wiki page can make navigating information about a team’s arguments difficult if not impossible. Proper use of “Contents” headers and sub-headers, bold/underline formatting, and spacing are all important aspects of a well-organized wiki page.

  • Consistency of disclosure: does the team consistently disclose their (new) arguments in a timely fashion? In addition to completeness and organization, it is important that information be shared in time for other teams to utilize it in their preparation. Teams that wait until right before their next tournament to disclose the arguments they read at their last tournament do not uphold the spirit of disclosure that this award seeks to recognize.

  • Responsiveness to requests: does the team respond to requests for outlines and citations in a reasonable timeframe? Do promises to “post it on the wiki when we get home” never seem to be fulfilled (at least not without several follow-up emails)? While the voters may not have direct experience with every team, we will do our best to survey the community and gauge the reputations of the teams we are considering for the award.

  • Post-season disclosure practices: does the team post information about new arguments it has read at the NDCA Championship and the TOC in a timely fashion? Is the outline of the new affirmative they broke in round two still MIA after round seven? Equally important, does the team “hoard” information about other teams’ arguments to gain a competitive advantage or do they post outlines and citations they have collected on the wiki?

A list of finalists for the award will be posted on the site in the weeks following the TOC. The winner will receive a trophy/plaque and public recognition on The 3NR. Teams do not need to be nominated in order to be considered but suggestions for teams that we should consider are welcome (either in the comments or via email). Special thanks to Arnav Kejriwal of The Greenhill School for suggesting this idea several months ago. Good luck and go update your wiki pages!

Congratulations To The 2010 NDT First Round Bid Recipients

Since 1973, the National Debate Tournament has awarded First Round At-Large Bids to the top sixteen college debate teams in the country; these “first round” teams are not required to compete at their district qualifying tournament. According to the 1973 NDT Book, “Sixteen teams were selected at-large by the National Debate Tournament committee on the basis of outstanding records prior to the District tournaments.” This year’s first round bids were awarded last week. Some interesting facts about this year’s recipients:

  • The 32 first-round recipients represent 18 different states. Kansas has the most alums represented with seven followed by Georgia with four, Florida with three, and Illinois, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania with two.
  • The 32 first-round recipients hail from 25 different secondary schools. Chattahoochee and Shawnee Mission East each have three alums represented while Cathedral Prep, Caddo Magnet, and Glenbrook North each have two. No other school is represented more than once.
  • Twenty-four of the first-round bid recipients are graduates of public schools while the remaining eight attended private schools.
  • Only ten of the 32 first-round bid recipients cleared at the Tournament of Champions while they were in high school.

The complete list of this year’s first-round bid recipients as well as the high schools they attended is available below the fold.

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Recordings From Blake, Emory, and Harvard

I am finally getting caught up with processing the recordings I have made of debate rounds over the past few months. The following recordings are posted and available:

I will continue to process the remaining recordings and will update this post when they are uploaded to my Mediafire page. As listeners will hopefully notice, I have figured out how to dramatically improve the quality of these recordings while cutting their file size in half. If you downloaded previous recordings and were not satisfied with their quality, please give one of these more recent recordings a try and I trust that you will be happy with the results.

As always, please let me know if you were a participant in one of these debates (or are affiliated with a participant) and you wish for it to be removed from The 3NR. I hope that debaters and coaches continue to find these recordings useful.

Reps Throwdown- The Response

Some notes

1. Cards aren’t underlined- a few people whined to be about this. If you are so lazy that not only do you not cut your own cards, but you are complaining that the cards on 3NR aren’t spoon fed enough to you then you prob. suck and should join the band.

2. I couldn’t really decide how to approach this- obviously there is a lot of argumentative overlap between many of these positions, and if you had to give a 2NC to answer all of them it would be a nightmare/probably overrun by theory. So many of the “blocks” below are quite short, and would need to be elaborated upon if the aff chose to go for that argument in the 1AR.

3. Evidence over me talking- many of the better arguments I chose not to belabor and instead provided a card that explains them- I could go either way on whether it is better to have a card or your own explanation, but since I think a lot of people may just cut and paste out of here prob. better they have a card. Let me repeat that for those of you reading this who want to be really good at debate- the cards here contain every argument you need to crush on the neg for the reps K- if you read them carefully, repeatedly, and master then you will be much better off than if you cut and paste a bunch of theory blocks together.

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