2017 The Prep Congress @ SPA
Dates: 9/30/2017

The Prep Student Congress - 2017

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Welcome to Congressional Debate - Congress without the bickering, partisanship, filibustering and shenanigans.  Mostly.

You are cordially invited to our fifth annual Congress Only tournament! It will be held at the Scottsdale Preparatory Academy campus on Saturday, September 30, 2017.  Scottsdale Prep is located at 16537 N 92nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. See the MAP tab for directions.

Below is all the relevant information in a somewhat random order:

  • It's on a Saturday so schools that can't miss a whole day (usually Friday) to attend Congress will be able to attend.
  • It is early in the year so your students get a chance to learn how Congress works
  • See the File Downloads tab for the NFL guides to Congress and Judging.  Come prepared!
  • There will be two divisions: House and Senate
  • The names House and Senate are merely for convenience. There is no difference in the character of the chambers
  • Each division will have its own finals - so more opportunities to advance
  • Each division will have separate awards
  • All awards will be nifty gavels you can use the rest of the year.
  • Top 6 in each HS division finals, top 6 in MS.
  • All finalists will be recognized.
  • First place will win a special gavel!
  • There will be a Middle School division
  • There will be 2 sessions then break to finals
  • Finals will use Direct Questioning to make it fun and interesting
  • I will do my best to keep all houses 24 students or less
  • Each session is Self-Contained
    • Precedence resets
    • Recency resets
    • Elect your PO
    • No bill can carry over. Finish all business in one session.
  • Breaks will be calculated by: 24 / # of chambers in the division = breaks per chamber.
  • Just like real Congress, if you don't like the rules, slip me $20 and I'll see what I can do
  • And just like real Congress, nothing will get done
  • This is all done in Comic Sans just to drive people crazy.
  • Submit all bills in the properly formated MS Word document to TClement@Scottsdaleprep.org
  • There are Microsoft Word templates for formatting on the File Downloads tab so there is no excuse for shoddy bills.
  • Please have all bills in by Friday, September 16, 5PM
  • I'll have a ballot up where each team may rank the bills by Sunday
  • This will help limit the number of bills your team has to research and raise the quality of the research
  • We may use Nationals bills as filler items.
  • Middle School will use the High school docket and don't need to submit bills (but can if they want)
  • Judging requirements are One judge per 6 entries. Judging (scorekeeper)is not difficult. Your parents can do this.  See the guide to Congressional Debate in the downloads page.
  • High school judges may end up judging Middle School and vice versa
  • Please indicate via the notes if your judge can serve as a Parliamentarian.
  • Parli in the middle school chamber(s) will serve as as Presiding Officer
  • Only one chamber is available for entry. Please email me how you want your students placed. If you don't, I will use a "Magic 8-ball" and assign them.
  • Chambers will be randomly designated "House" or "Senate" and I'll split your students evenly between divisions the best I can.
  • Please mix inexperienced students with experienced students so they can learn the ropes
  • Don't stack houses (all experienced in one, inexperienced in another).  If I suspect such shenanigans, I will move them around myself - without consulting the Magic 8-ball.
  • PO Elections will be as follows:
    • Up to 4 candidates will give a 2 minute speech as to why they should serve as PO
    • If there are more than 4 candidates, the Parli will put all names in a hat, and draw out 4
    • If a hat is not available, the nearest facsimile thereof will be utilized
    • Students vote for ONE candidate
    • The candidate with the most votes wins
    • Each session will have its own PO election
    • The PO each session should be from a different school
    • This should be a great time for less experienced students to learn how to PO
  • Submit bills of significance, not ridiculous ones. I reserve the right to throw out silly bills.
  • There will be some sort of prize for the best legislation
  • Each chamber will have 2 judges and 1 parli. The parli will stay with the same house both sessions. Hence the 1-per-6 judge requirements
  • You can enter up to 18 high school students and 10 middle school students per school
  • If you exceed the above numbers, those students will go on a wait list. If the facilities allow, they'll be cleared off the wait list and entered
  • Bribes may help you get off the wait list
  • Bills and Resolutions need to be sent in by 5:00PM FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16.
  • I'll post each bill and resolution as I get them on the Downloads page
  • Instructions for voting will be posted September 18th
  • All Checks and PO's must be payable to SCOTTDALE PREPARATORY ACADEMY
  • SPA is off the 101 between Frank Lloyd Wright and Bell Rd.  See the MAP tab.
  • There will be food available for purchase. You'll need to order lunch and pay before the tournament starts.
  • The judges lounge (room 104) will be catered by Fresh Barbeque Innovations
  • It's going to be fun.  You know you want to be there!
  • Finals will use Direct Questioning.  The PO will select questioners, and they will cross examine the speaker for 30 seconds.  
  • There will be judge food provided at the breaks.
  • Registration closes Thursday morning, Sept. 28 at 5:00AM sharp.  I will email and/or post the house assignments Friday morning.
  • While you are all busy researching bills, I will be in Denmark and Germany having fun
  • My tournaments run on time!


Any questions, email Travis Clement of Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. Or John Wolnisty of Tempe Preparatory Academy.

Copyright © 2002-2017 Brent Hinkle. All rights reserved.