National Debate Tournament

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The National Debate Tournament is one of the national championships for collegiate policy debate in the United States. The tournament is sponsored by the American Forensic Association with the Ford Motor Company Fund.

History of the NDT[edit]

The National Debate Tournament (NDT) began in 1947 at the United States Military Academy at West Point.[1] Twenty-nine schools competed at the first NDT debating: "Resolved: That labor should be given a direct share in the management of industry". It remained at West Point until 1967 when it was assumed by the American Forensic Association in part because of the Vietnam War.[2] Since then the tournament has moved to different member schools each year and only three schools have hosted it twice.[3]

In the first NDT, teams were nominated by committees from their district. This was soon replaced with district qualifying tournaments. Eight, post district tournament, "second round" at-large bids were awarded beginning in 1968 and continuing through 1970, enlarging the field to 44 teams, and two of these second round selections "cleared", or finished in the top sixteen in the preliminary rounds, in 1968, three cleared in 1969 and four of the eight post district tournament qualifiers cleared in 1970.

Prior to 1970, a school could only send one team to the NDT, but the tournament committee relented to pressure from some of the more successful programs and a total of eight schools sent two teams to the 1970 National Debate Tournament that year. The winner of that tournament, designated Kansas "B", would not have been eligible to participate if the one team per school rule had remained in force.

In 1971, the format was amended to assign seventeen at large bids prior to district qualifying tournaments followed by the selection of an additional 27 teams by the district tournaments and another eight in a second at large selection round, enlarging the field to 52 teams. Ten regular season tournaments were designated to be "qualifying tournaments", such that winning one earned that team an automatic NDT berth, and the remainder of the first at-large round teams were selected by vote of the selection committee. That format lasted for just two years.

Starting in 1973 and continuing to the present, sixteen at large bids are awarded to teams based on records prior to the district tournament selections, and additional at-large bids are awarded after the district qualifying tournaments. The field was enlarged to 62 teams in 1973 and stayed that size until 1987, when it was enlarged to include 74 teams, and it then varied in size from 72 to 78 teams over the next decade.

Since 1992, a limited number of schools, currently six, have been allowed to send a third team.

Mutual preference judging (MPJ) is a relatively recent addition to the NDT. Under MPJ, each debate team ranks the judging pool according to their preferences and judges are selected such that both teams prefer the chosen judge equally (if possible). Attempts are made to place as many mutual "1"s (the highest rating) in rounds, with preference given to the teams with the best record.

2011- Held at University of Texas, Dallas 2012- Held at Emory University 2013- Held at Weber State University 2014- Held at Indiana University

Selection of Teams[edit]

Currently, selection of the 78 teams participating at the NDT involves a three stage process.[4] First, the national committee selects 16 teams and awards them a First Round At-Large Bid. These 16 teams are generally considered to be the 16 best debate teams in the nation. The national committee then disperses 46 bids proportionally to each of the nine NDT Districts. Each district is free to decide how these bids will be awarded to teams within each district. Most, although not all, districts decide to hold a district tournament, where the top teams will receive a bid. The final and third step for qualification is the Second Round At-Large Bid. Similar to a First Round Bid, the national committee selects the top 16 teams not already qualified to fill out the field for the NDT. Although in some cases, these final 16 teams may not be the true best 16 teams not already qualified to the tournament. The NDT has a standing rule stating a school cannot qualify more than two teams to the tournament, with the exception of at most six schools per year, who are allowed to qualify a third team, if the third team in question has shown merit for selection.

National Debate Tournament champions[edit]

Year National Champions School
1947 W. Scott Nobles & Gerald Sanders Southeastern State College
1948 Keith Parks & David Cotton North Texas State College (University of North Texas)
1949 Oscar Newton & Mitchell Latoff University of Alabama
1950 Richard O'Connell & Thomas Hayes University of Vermont
1951 James Q. Wilson & Holt Spicer University of Redlands
1952 James Q. Wilson & Holt Spicer University of Redlands
1953 Gerald Kogan & Lawrence Perlmutter University of Miami
1954 William Amold & Hubert Bell University of Kansas
1955 Dennis Holt & Elis Storey University of Alabama
1956 George Walker & James Murphy United States Military Academy
1957 Norman Lefstein & Phillip Hubbart Augustana College
1958 William Welsh & Richard Kirshberg Northwestern University
1959 William Welsh & Richard Kirshberg Northwestern University
1960 Anthony Roisman & Saul Baernstein Dartmouth College
1961 Laurence Tribe & Gene Clements Harvard University
1962 Dale Williams & Sarah Benson Ohio State University
1963 Fank Wohl & Stephen Kessler Dartmouth College
1964 Raoul Kennedy & Douglas Pipes University of the Pacific
1965 John Wittig & Barnett Pearce Carson-Newman College
1966 Bill Snyder & Mike Denger Northwestern University
1967 Tom Brewer & John Isaacson Dartmouth College
1968 Robert Shields & Lee Thompson Wichita State University
1969 Richard Lewis & Joel Perwin Harvard University
1970 Robert McCulloh & David Jeans University of Kansas
1971 Don Hornstein & Barrett McInerney University of California, Los Angeles
1972 Mike Clough & Mike Fernandez University of California, Santa Barbara
1973 Elliot Mincberg & Ron Marmer Northwestern University
1974 Charles Garvin & Greg Rosenbaum Harvard University
1975 Jay Hurst & David Kent Baylor University
1976 Robin Rowland & Frank Cross University of Kansas
1977 John Walker & David Ottoson Georgetown University
1978 Mark Cotham & Stuart H. Singer Northwestern University
1979 Michael King & John Bredehoft Harvard University
1980 Don Dripps and Tom Fulkerson Northwestern University
1981 Michael Alberty & Stephen Marzen University of Pittsburgh
1982 Dave Sutherland & Dan Sutherland University of Louisville
1983 Mark Gidley & Rodger Payne University of Kansas
1984 Leonard Gail & Mark Koulogeorge Dartmouth College
1985 Jonathan Massey & Ed Swaine Harvard University
1986 David Brownell & Ouita Papka University of Kentucky
1987 Griffin Vincent & Lyn Robbins Baylor University
1988 Shaun Martin & Rob Wick Dartmouth College
1989 Martin Loeber & Daniel Plants Baylor University
1990 David Coale & Alex Lennon Harvard University
1991 Roger Cole and Marc Rubinstein University of Redlands
1992 Ahilan Arulanantham & Kevin Kuswa Georgetown University
1993 Ara Lovitt & Steven Sklaver Dartmouth College
1994 Sean McCaffity & Jody Terry Northwestern University
1995 Sean McCaffity & Jody Terry Northwestern University
1996 Kate Shuster & David Heidt Emory University
1997 Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Brian Prestes Wake Forest University
1998 Michael Gottlieb & Ryan Sparacino Northwestern University
1999 Michael Gottlieb & Ryan Sparacino Northwestern University
2000 Michael Horowitz & Jon Paul Lupo Emory University
2001 Andy Peterson & Andy Ryan University of Iowa
2002 Jake Foster & Jonathan Paul Northwestern University
2003 Geoff Garen & Tristan Morales Northwestern University
2004 Greta Stahl & Dave Strauss Michigan State University
2005 Tristan Morales & Josh Branson Northwestern University
2006 Ryan Burke & Casey Harrigan Michigan State University
2007 Aimi Hamraie & Julie Hoehn Emory University
2008 Seth Gannon & Alex Lamballe Wake Forest University
2009 Brett Bricker & Nate Johnson University of Kansas
2010 Carly Wunderlich & Eric Lanning Michigan State University
2011 Matt Fisher & Stephanie Spies Northwestern University
2012 Andrew Arsht & Andrew Markoff Georgetown University
2013 Elijah Smith & Ryan Wash Emporia State University
2014 Andrew Arsht & Andrew Markoff Georgetown University

Tournament victories by school[edit]

School Tourn. Won Years
Northwestern University 14 1958, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1978, 1980, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2011
Dartmouth College 6 1960, 1963, 1967, 1984, 1988, 1993
Harvard University 6 1961, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1985, 1990
University of Kansas 5 1954, 1970, 1976, 1983, 2009
Georgetown University 4 1977, 1992, 2012, 2014
Baylor University 3 1975, 1987, 1989
Emory University 3 1996, 2000, 2007
Michigan State University 3 2004, 2006, 2010
University of Redlands 3 1951, 1952, 1991
University of Alabama 2 1949, 1955
Wake Forest University 2 1997, 2008
Augustana College (Illinois) 1 1957
Carson-Newman College 1 1965
University of California at Los Angeles 1 1971
University of California at Santa Barbara 1 1972
University of Iowa 1 2001
University of Kentucky 1 1986
University of Louisville 1 1982
University of Miami 1 1953
North Texas State College 1 1948
Ohio State University 1 1962
University of the Pacific 1 1964
University of Pittsburgh 1 1981
Southeastern State College 1 1947
United States Military Academy 1 1956
University of Vermont 1 1950
Wichita State University 1 1968
Emporia State University 1 2013

Rex Copeland Award[edit]

The Rex Copeland award, presented on the eve of the NDT, goes to the team with the best season-long performance, ranked #1 among the 16 teams with automatic bids to the tournament.[5] Rex Copeland, a debater at Samford University, was murdered by his debate coach, William Slagle, in 1989.

Academic Year Copeland Award Winner School
TOP FIRST ROUND TEAMS - (Prior to establishing the Copeland Award)
1972–1973 Stewart Jay & Bradley Ziff Georgetown University
1973–1974 Charles Garvin & Greg Rosenbaum Harvard University
1974–1975 Thomas Rollins & Bradley Ziff Georgetown University
1975–1976 Robert Feldhake & Richard Godfrey Augustana College
1976–1977 David Ottoson & John Walker Georgetown University
1977–1978 David Ottoson & Tom Rollins Georgetown University
1978–1979 Chris Wonnell & Susan Winkler Northwestern University
1979–1980 James Kirkland & John Thompson Georgetown University
1980–1981 Cy Smith & Mark Weinhardt Dartmouth College
1981–1982 Mark Gidley & Zac Grant University of Kansas
1982–1983 Melanie Gardner & Erik Walker Samford University
1983–1984 Leonard Gail & Mark Koulogeorge Dartmouth College
1984–1985 David Bloom & Greg Mastel Claremont McKenna College
1985–1986 Dan Povinelli & Mark Friedman University of Massachusetts Amherst
1986–1987 Griffin Vincent & Lyn Robbins Baylor University
1987–1988 Ben Attias & Gordon Mitchell Northwestern University
1988–1989 Martin Loeber & Daniel Plants Baylor University
Copeland Award Winner
1989–1990 David Coale & Alex Lennon Harvard University
1990–1991 Roger Cole and Marc Rubinstein University of Redlands
1991–1992 Kenny Agran & Ara Lovette Dartmouth College
1992–1993 Ara Lovitt & Steven Sklaver Dartmouth College
1993–1994 Paul Skiermont & Jason Patil University of Kentucky
1994–1995 John Hughes & Adrienne Brovero Wake Forest University
1995–1996 Sean McCaffity and Mason Miller Northwestern University
1996–1997 Scott Hessell and Corey Stoughton University of Michigan
1997–1998 George Kouros and Anjan Sahni Emory University
1998–1999 Michael Gottlieb & Ryan Sparacino Northwestern University
1999–2000 Kristen Langwell & Andy Ryan University of Iowa
2000–2001 Randy Luskey & Dan Shalmon University of California, Berkeley
2001–2002 Alex Berger & Ben Thorpe Dartmouth College
2002–2003 Geoff Garen & Tristan Morales Northwestern University
2003–2004 Dan Shalmon & Tejinder Singh University of California, Berkeley
2004–2005 Tristan Morales & Josh Branson Northwestern University
2005–2006 Michael Klinger & Nikhil Mirchandani Harvard University
2006–2007 Brent Culpepper & Kevin Rabinowitz University of Georgia
2007–2008 Jacob Polin & Michael Burshteyn University of California, Berkeley
2008–2009 Matt Fisher & John Warden Northwestern University
2009–2010 Stephen Weil & Ovais Inamullah Emory University
2010–2011 Stephen Weil & Ovais Inamullah Emory University
2011–2012 Ryan Beiermeister & Layne Kirshon Northwestern University
2012–2013 Andrew Arsht & Andrew Markoff Georgetown University
2013–2014 Alex Miles and Arjun Vellayappan Northwestern University
  • "Copeland Award Winners By School"

9- Northwestern
6- Georgetown
5- Dartmouth
3- Cal-Berkeley, Harvard, Emory
2- Baylor
1- Augustana, Claremont McKenna, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, UMass, Redlands, Samford, Wake Forest

Traditions[edit]

  • "The Big Board": Started at the first NDT, complete results for each team are listed on the "Big Board" in the central area, horse-race style.
  • Orally announcing pairings: Started at the first NDT, the pairings for each round are read out loud to the contestants. The announcements are known for the unusual manner in which they are conveyed. For instance, the announcer might say, "The 51st National Debate Tournament, round the first." This is then followed by the "pairings" of opposing teams, judges, room numbers, and the expected start time. A poll conducted at the 2005 NDT showed strong support for continuing this tradition.
  • Cadet escorts: Cadets at the USMA escort debaters to their rounds and carry their tubs. Although this tradition was discontinued when the NDT moved from the USMA, it has reemerged at the regular season tournament hosted by the USMA.

Debate Topics[edit]

Academic Year Topic
1940s
1946–1947 RESOLVED: That labor should be given a direct share in the management of industry.
1947–1948 RESOLVED: That a federal world government should be established.
1948–1949 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a policy of equalizing educational opportunity in tax-supported schools by means of annual grants.
1949–1950 RESOLVED: That the United States should nationalize the basic nonagricultural industries.
1950s
1950–1951 RESOLVED: That the non-communist nations should form a new international organization.
1951–1952 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a permanent program of wage and price control.
1952–1953 RESOLVED: That the Congress of the United States should enact a compulsory fair employment practices law.
1953–1954 RESOLVED: That the United States should adopt a policy of free trade.
1954–1955 RESOLVED: That the United States should extend diplomatic recognition to the communist government of China.
1955–1956 RESOLVED: That the nonagricultural industries should guarantee their employees an annual wage.
1956–1957 RESOLVED: That the United States should discontinue direct economic aid to foreign countries.
1957–1958 RESOLVED: That the requirement of membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment should be illegal.
1958–1959 RESOLVED: That the further development of nuclear weapons should be prohibited by international agreement.
1959–1960 RESOLVED: That Congress should be given the power to reverse decisions of the Supreme Court.
1960s
1960–1961 RESOLVED: That the United States should adopt a program of compulsory health insurance for all citizens.
1961–1962 RESOLVED: That labor organizations should be under the jurisdiction of anti-trust legislation.
1962–1963 RESOLVED: That the non-communist nations of the world should establish an economic community.
1963–1964 RESOLVED: That the federal government should guarantee an opportunity for higher education to all qualified high school graduates.
1964–1965 RESOLVED: That the federal government should establish a national program of public work for the unemployed.
1965–1966 RESOLVED: That law enforcement agencies in the United States should be given greater freedom in the investigation and prosecution of crime.
1966–1967 RESOLVED: That the United States should substantially reduce its foreign policy commitments.
1967–1968 RESOLVED: That the federal government should guarantee a minimum annual cash income to all citizens.
1968–1969 RESOLVED: That executive control of United States foreign policy should be significantly curtailed.
1969–1970 RESOLVED: That the federal government should grant annually a specific percentage of its income tax revenue to the state governments.
1970s
1970–1971 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a program of compulsory wage and price controls.
1971–1972 RESOLVED: That greater controls should be imposed on the gathering and utilization of information about United States citizens by government agencies.
1972–1973 RESOLVED: That the federal government should provide a program of comprehensive medical care for all its citizens.
1973–1974 RESOLVED: That the federal government should control the supply and utilization of energy in the United States.
1974–1975 RESOLVED: That the power of the Presidency should be significantly curtailed.
1975–1976 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt a comprehensive program to control land use in the United States.
1976–1977 RESOLVED: That the federal government should significantly strengthen the guarantee of consumer product safety required of manufacturers.
1977–1978 RESOLVED: That the United States law enforcement agencies should be given significantly greater freedom in the investigation and/or prosecution of felony crime.
1978–1979 RESOLVED: That the federal government should implement a program which guarantees employment opportunities for all United States citizens in the labor force.
1979–1980 RESOLVED: That the federal government should significantly strengthen the regulation of mass media communication in the United States.
1980s
1980–1981 RESOLVED: That the United States should significantly increase its foreign military commitments.
1981–1982 RESOLVED: That the federal government should significantly curtail the powers of the labor unions in the United States.
1982–1983 RESOLVED: That all United States military intervention into the internal affairs of any foreign nation or nations in the Western Hemisphere should be prohibited.
1983–1984 RESOLVED: That any and all injury resulting from the disposal of hazardous waste in the United States should be the legal responsibility of the producer of that waste.
1984–1985 RESOLVED: That the United States federal government should significantly increase exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth's mesosphere.
1985–1986 RESOLVED: That more rigorous academic standards should be established for all public elementary and/or secondary schools in the United States in one or more of the following areas: language arts, mathematics, natural sciences.
1986–1987 RESOLVED: That one or more presently existing restrictions on First Amendment freedoms of press and/or speech established in one or more federal court decisions should be curtailed or prohibited.
1987–1988 RESOLVED: That the United States should reduce substantially its military commitments to NATO member states.
1988–1989 RESOLVED: That United States foreign policy toward one or more African nations should be substantially changed.
1989–1990 RESOLVED: That the federal government should adopt an energy policy that substantially reduces nonmilitary consumption of fossil fuels in the United States.
1990s
1990–1991 RESOLVED: That the United States should substantially change its trade policy toward one or more of the following: China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan.
1991–1992 RESOLVED: That one or more United States Supreme Court decisions recognizing a federal Constitutional right to privacy should be overruled.
1992–1993 RESOLVED: That the United States should substantially change its development and assistance policies toward one or more of the following nations: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
1993–1994 RESOLVED: That the Commander-in-Chief power of the President of the United States should be substantially curtailed.
1994–1995 RESOLVED: That the federal government should substantially change rules and/or statutes governing criminal procedure in federal courts in one or more of the following areas: pretrial detention, sentencing.
1995–1996 RESOLVED: That the United States government should substantially increase its security assistance to one or more of the following: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian National Authority, Syria.
1996–1997 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should increase regulations requiring industries to substantially decrease the domestic emission and/or production of environmental pollutants.
1997–1998 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its security assistance to one or more of the following Southeast Asian nations: Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
1998–1999 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, through legislation, to create additional protections against racial and/or gender discrimination.
1999–2000 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should adopt a policy of constructive engagement, including the immediate removal of all or nearly all economic sanctions, with the government(s) of one or more of the following nation-states: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea
2000s
2000–2001 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase its development assistance, including increasing government to government assistance, within the Greater Horn of Africa.
2001–2002 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should substantially increase federal control throughout Indian Country in one or more of the following areas: child welfare, criminal justice, employment, environmental protection, gaming, resource management, taxation.
2002–2003 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should ratify or accede to, and implement, one or more of the following:
  • The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
  • The Kyoto Protocol;
  • The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
  • The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty;
  • The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions, if not ratified by the United States.
2003–2004 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should enact one or more of the following:
  • Withdrawal of its World Trade Organization complaint against the European Union’s restrictions on genetically modified foods;
  • A substantial increase in its government-to-government economic and/or conflict prevention assistance to Turkey and/or Greece;
  • Full withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization;
  • Removal of its barriers to and encouragement of substantial European Union and/or North Atlantic Treaty Organization participation in
    • Peacekeeping in Iraq and reconstruction in Iraq;
    • Removal of its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe;
    • Harmonization of its intellectual property law with the European Union in the area of human DNA sequences;
    • Rescission of all or nearly all agriculture subsidy increases in the 2002 Farm Bill.
2004–2005 RESOLVED: That the United States Federal Government should establish an energy policy requiring a substantial reduction in the consumption in the total non-governmental consumption of fossil fuels in the United States.
2005–2006 RESOLVED: The United States Federal government should substantially increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the People's Republic of China in one or more of the following areas: trade, human rights, weapons nonproliferation, Taiwan.
2006–2007 RESOLVED: The United States Supreme Court should overrule one or more of the following decisions: Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 1992); Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942); U.S. v. Morrison, 529 U.S.598 (2000); Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974).
2007–2008 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should increase its constructive engagement with the government of one or more of: Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Syria, and it should include offering them a security guarantee(s) and/or a substantial increase in foreign assistance.
2008–2009 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its agricultural support, at least eliminating nearly all of the domestic subsidies, for biofuels, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, corn, cotton, dairy, fisheries, rice, soybeans, sugar and/or wheat.
2009–2010 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal, and/or substantially reduce and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal.
2010s
2010–2011 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase the number of and/or substantially expand beneficiary eligibility for its visas for one or more of the following: employment-based immigrant visas, nonimmigrant temporary worker visas, family-based visas, human trafficking-based visas.
2011–2012 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen.
2012–2013 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States of one or more of the following: coal, crude oil, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power, wind power.
2013–2014 RESOLVED: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing, indefinite detention, offensive cyber operations, or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The West Point National Tournament". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Ziegelmueller, George. "Selected Personal History of the NDT". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "An Introduction to the National Debate Tournament". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Parson, Donn. "W(h)ither the NDT?". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "National Debate Tournament Copeland Award". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 

External links[edit]