2019 Scottsdale Prep Congress & BQ
Dates: 9/28/2019

Scottsdale Prep Congress (& Big Questions) 2019

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New in 2019: We are pleased to announce that our Congress tournament has been selected as a Qualifying Tournament for the Coolidge Cup.  Please see that tab for more information about this great opportunity.  

Once again, in addition to our standard Congressional Debate Tournament, we are pleased to offer Big Questions Debate.  This year we are experimenting with a Saturday-only format.  We need 15 students to compete in Big Questions in order to qualify for the grant from the NSDA and John Templeton Foundation.


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

You are cordially invited to our seventh annual Congress tournament! It will be held at the Scottsdale Preparatory Academy campus on Saturday, September 28th, 2019.  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 congress 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 of congress finals: 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.
  • There will be a Middle School division
  • There will be 2 prelim sessions then break to finals
  • HS Finals will use Direct Questioning
  • 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.
  • Submit all bills in the properly formated MS Word document (not PDF) 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 6, 2019 (5PM)
  • I'll have a ballot up where each team may rank the bills and remove extraneous bills.
  • 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 (as a 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 rounds (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 complete this google form telling us how you want your students placed into groupings. If you don't, I will use a "Magic 8-ball" and assign them.
  • 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 1 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 12 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
  • I'll post each bill and resolution as I get them on the Downloads page.
  • 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 TBD
  • It's going to be fun.  You know you want to be there!
  • HS Finals will use Direct Questioning.  The PO will select questioners, and they will cross examine the speaker for 30 seconds.  MS Finals will continue using single questioning.
  • There will be judge food provided at the breaks.
  • Registration closes Tuesday, September 24 at 5:00PM.  I will email and/or post the house assignments Friday morning.
  • My tournaments run on time!

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





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