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?

Trivia Answers:

  1. Stanford and Redlands, both of which offered octafinals bids for the last time in 2000-2001.

  2. 16: Alta, Blake, Bronx Science, Houston Memorial, Iowa Caucus, Lexington, New Trier, Ohio Valley, Omaha Westside, Redlands (although it hasn’t held a tournament for the past two seasons, it has been on the official qualifying lists), Samford, Stanford, USC, Valley, Vestavia Hills, and Wake Forest.

  3. 30: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, FLorida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

  4. Stanford—their traditional Spring Tournament was an octafinals bid while their “Winter Warmup” tournament was a semifinals bid. (The University of Kentucky and the University of Southern California also hosted two TOC qualifying tournaments—but only on behalf of Princeton High School and Loyola Marymount University, respectively. Only Stanford had two of its tournaments designated as TOC qualifiers.)

  5. The first year for which data is available, 1998. Between 1997-1998 and 1998-1999, thirteen tournaments lost their bids including two that had previously been quarterfinals bids (Loyola Marymount and Princeton), two that had previously been semifinals bids (Georgetown Day and Westminster), and nine that had previously been finals bids.

  6. Also the first year for which data is available, 1998. While thirteen tournaments lost their bids, eleven were added including four new semifinals bid tournaments (University of Georgia, Whitman, University of Oregon, and Princeton in New Jersey—the Princeton that lost its bid was in Ohio).

  7. St. Thomas Academy—Darrin Gamradt and the 3NR’s Scott Phillips—won the 2000 Holiday Classic, its last year as a finals bid. Westminster—Anusha Deshpande and Stephen Weil—won the 2004 Holiday Classic, its last year as a semifinals bid. Bishop Guertin—Katryna Cadle and Chris Power—won the 2008 Holiday Classic, its last year as a quarterfinals bid.

  8. The 2000-2001 NDCA Championship was hosted in San Antonio on the first weekend in November. Heritage Hall’s Clay Calhoun and Daniel Reineke and Pace Academy’s Bob Allen and Brian Smith reached the final round and earned bids to the TOC.

  9. MBA and Lexington. At MBA, Roy and Avi Kaufman lost to College Prep in the octafinals (and therefore did not technically win a bid round). At Lexington, they defeated Midway’s Allison Bucy and Rachel Perez in the octafinals to earn a bid. (It is possible that Miami Palmetto KL earned more than two bids, but these were the two for which I was able to find a record.)

  10. Mike Bietz, the coach of Harvard-Westlake and the President of the NDCA. You can still view fragments of that original site thanks to the Wayback Machine.

(If anyone has records of the TOC qualifying tournaments from before 1997, please let me know so that I can construct a comprehensive historical record.)

3 thoughts on “Tournament of Champions Qualifying Tournament History and Trivia

  1. Dan Kauppi

    This is really fascinating – thanks for putting it together.

    Now I also understand why at the time I always thought South St. Paul’s tournament – “Little Nationals” – was a big deal. Back when I debated it I vaguely thought it was a TOC qualifier but until reading this post I just assumed I’d been misinformed – but it really was a bid tournament when I was a freshman. Weird little piece of history now clarified.

  2. Bill Batterman Post author

    @Dan Kauppi

    We have the championship trophy from the 1972 Little Nationals in our squad room; it's one of the only ones from that era that we've been able to dig up. It seems like this was probably one of the premiere events in the region for a long time, at least for teams from Wisconsin, South Dakota, and of course Minnesota.

    In the last year that Little Nationals had a bid, Scott Phillips and Darrin Gamradt won the championship over Sioux Falls Roosevelt. There's a great Minnesota Debate History site, some of which you need to use the Wayback Machine to access; here's the link to the Little Nationals page.

  3. Roy Levkovitz Post author

    #9 is actually not 100 percent accurate. While I did get bids at both those tournaments, they were with two different partners. I ended up going to the TOC with Avi Kaufman who I got the bid with at Lexington.

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