4th Annual Binghamton University Online Debate Tournament
in Conjunction with NASA Astrobiology Debates

INVITE

Eligibility: Anyone who is enrolled in a college, university, high school, or vocational school anywhere in the world is eligible to compete. If your affiliation is not already listed please register your affiliation through the website so we can appropriately pair the tournament. Any participant that fails to upload speeches before established deadlines will forfeit their match. Participants forfeiting their first proposition round day one of the tournament will be dropped from the tournament entirely.

Cost of Entry: There is no cost to enter the tournament. However, we request that each affiliation provide at least one judge for every four competitors they register. If you are unable to provide the adequate number of judges please contact Joe Leeson-Schatz at debate@binghamton.edu to arrange for alternative arrangements.

Resolution: THBT: An overriding ethical obligation to protect and preserve extraterrestrial microbial life and ecosystems should be incorporated into international law.

Time Limits:
Proposition speaker's opening speech: 4 minutes
Opposition speaker's opening speech: 5 minutes
Proposition speaker's rebuttal: 3 minutes
Opposition speaker's rebuttal and closing remarks: 4 minutes
Proposition speaker's rebuttal and closing remarks: 2 minutes

Please note: Debaters whose entire video entries are longer than the maximum length for any given speech should be considered an instance of abuse that can be a valid subject for debate. Discretion will be left up to the judge to decide. However, we strongly encourage debaters to abide by the time limits. Videos more than 30 seconds over the time limit should be considered a grave violation

Registration & Important Dates: Registration will be accepted until April 8th, 2016 at 11:59pm PST. Register for the tournament through the website here after creating an account and logging in. If you are having trouble receiving a verification e-mail please check you spam folder for the verification. Nine out of ten times this will solve the problem.

The tournament will then be run according to the following schedule...

Preliminary Dates April 11th through April 15th
4/11 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
4/12 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
4/13 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
4/14 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
4/15 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
4/16 - Judging for preliminary debates

Qualifying Debates (top 50% of competitors): April 18th through April 22nd
4/18 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
4/19 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
4/20 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
4/21 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
4/22 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
4/23 - Judging for Week 2 Debates

Semi-Finals (top 10 remaining competitors): April 25th through April 29th
4/25 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
4/26 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
4/27 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
4/28 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
4/29 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
4/30 - Judging for Week 3 Debates

Finals (the top 3 remaining competitors): May 2nd through May 6th
5/2 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
5/3 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
5/4 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
5/5 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
5/6 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
5/7 - Judging for Finals

Timeline for Video Submissions: Speeches are to be posted by 11:59pm PST of the date noted in the schedule. After that time competitors will be subject to having their round forfeited at the discretion of the tournament administrators. A small amount of grace time will be allowed under certain circumstances. We encourage everyone to try and submit their speeches well before the deadline to avoid technical errors. Each competitor will engage in one proposition and one opposition round per week they are competing. Anyone forfeiting their first proposition speech during any week of the tournament will be dropped from competition and the schedule will be repaired in order to minimize drops.

Style of Debate: Debaters can use any style they feel will best serve their ability to win. Judges come from a variety of styles as do competitors. Debaters should realize that an online format is different from in-person debating in many ways. Debaters should attempt to persuade their judges of their position. Debaters are encouraged to consult and quote research on the topic by supporting their arguments with relevant and credible evidence. When uploading videos debates should provide links and/or citations for any evidence they cite for both the judge and competitor to make use of. Evidence, however, is not a required component to win a debate. The goal of a successful debater should be to construct a well-reasoned and well supported argument that is responsive to their opponent.

Judge Evaluation: In addition to giving a competitive win/loss record, participants will also be evaluated on the effectiveness of their speaking skills. Participants are to be ranked on a 1-6 scale in five different categories (6 is the maximum ranking for excellent performance and 1 is the lowest ranking). As judges assign points the system will inform judges the reflection of "average," "above average," "excellent," and so on. Rankings will be considered along with competitive records to determine the debaters who will advance to qualifying and final rounds. The five categories are: Delivery Skills, Use of Evidence, Responsiveness to Opponent, Coherence of Arguments, and Identification of Key Points. The better speaker may not necessarily be the one who wins the round. Judges are encouraged to submit a philosophy when they register to participate in the tournament.

Awards: The winner (college or high school) will receive a study tour to a NASA space center where they will meet with NASA officials and continue their exploration of the NASA Astrobiology Debates Topic firsthand. In addition, all competitors finishing in the top ten will receive awards ranging from $5 to $100 in value in the form of online gift cards. In addition there will be smaller break out awards for top speakers and high school competitors. Awards will include T-shirts, plaques, gift cards, and more. Please note that while the tournament is open to entries around the world the NASA trip is only available for participating students who reside in North America. If an international student wins the tournament they will receive a $100 gift card and the highest eligible student in North America will receive the trip.

Required Equipment to Compete: Participants will need to be able to access the World Wide Web, record and watch streaming Internet video footage and communicate via e-mail. All judges and debaters will need (1) A personal computer with a broadband Internet connection, capable of running a web browser and accessing YouTube. (2) A means of recording videos of at least 5 minutes in length. This can be achieved with a webcam and microphone on a laptop computer, an external camera and laptop, or iPhones, Android Phones, or Blackberry devices with the YouTube app installed. (3) An account on YouTube.com.

Please note: We strongly recommend that you ensure the functionality of your computer and Internet connection prior to the tournament. We also recommend that you access YouTube.com and ensure that you can successfully upload and view videos before the start of the tournament.

TO SEE PRIOR TOURNAMENTS OF THIS FORMAT VISIT-
http://speechdebate.binghamton.edu/Videos/Debates/Classic/

TO SEE LECTURES ON HOW TO POST AND TIPS ON COMPETING VISIT-
http://speechdebate.binghamton.edu/Videos/Lectures/Online/

TO SEE LECTURES ON THE CONTENT OF THIS YEAR'S TOPIC VISIT-
For interviews - http://www.nasadebates.org/interviews.php

OR For a public debate - http://speechdebate.binghamton.edu/Videos/Debates/Public/164/2015-2016-public-debates/the-ethics-of-space-exploration/

Download | Print

Back to BU's 4th Annual Online Debate Tournament in Conjunction with NASA Astrobiology Debates