Bearcat Classic (Grades 6-12)

How to Enter

Step 1: Create an Account & Validate it through Email Step 2: Login to this Website Step 3: Register for a Tournament through its Page
Note: You must validate your account through the email it will send you before you can login. If you don't see the email, check your spam folder. Note: Make sure you've validated your account through your email before logging in. Note: After clicking the link, you can select from available tournaments based upon the grade of your child. Select either the Bearcat Classic (Grades 3-5) or Bearcat Classic (Grades 6-12) and then click the green register button on its page. If you don't see the green register button, make sure you are logged in.

Eligibility & Registration Deadline: Any student in the world, grades 6-12, can enter in this tournament. People should affiliate with the school they are from, and can create an affiliation if their school is not already on the list. Students who are home schooled are eligible to enter and can mark themselves as home schooled or unaffiliated. No prior debate skills are required. Registration for the full tournament will be accepted until May 9th, 2020 at 1:00pm EST. We will accept late registration for participation in weeks two and three up until May 16th, 2020 at 1:00pm EST. Register for the tournament through the website here.

Rules and Necessary Equipment: Time limits and topics are described below. Students are expected to research and create their speeches independently. Help recording, posting, and limited feedback by parents and coaches is allowed. Such feedback should be limited to having conversations about the topic and surrounding ideas, not editing speeches or adding citations for the student. Directing kids to sources to read on the topic is allowed. To participate students need to create an account on this website and have the ability to upload a YouTube video. Each day (M-F) students will upload one video to YouTube (make sure it is "public" or "unlisted") and then enter that YouTube video link and any citations into this website. Video instructions on how to register and upload speeches can be found can be found by clicking this sentence or going to the lectures that are linked at the bottom of this invite. The only equipment you need is the ability to record a video and upload it to YouTube, as well as a web browser. It can be done on a cellphone or through a computer with a webcam. We will have three weeks of preliminary debates before we start elimination rounds. Each week students will participate in two rounds. One round will be on each side of the topic.

Cost of Entry: We are suggesting that people donate up to $30 split among one or more of the following local nonprofits in the Binghamton area. When donating please note in honor of Binghamton's Speech and Debate Team so we can track how much we raise. However, do not feel obligated to pay this fee if you can't afford it or to donate less than the suggested amount. This is a free tournament and no one who is eligible will be prohibited for competing.

Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, INC. (VINES) is an organization committed to developing a sustainable and just community food system. We do this by bringing together diverse groups of people, with a focus on youth development, to establish community gardens, urban agriculture and community green spaces. Every $200 raised can cover the cost of a farm share for a family in need over the course of the summer. The Binghamton Rescue Mission provides 32 beds to men who have previously experienced homelessness, or were referred to the facility through a community agency. Residents are offered three meals daily, case management, employment resources, spiritual care, transportation to employment and important appointments, and other support services needed to move out of homelessness and into lasting life change. The N. Theodore Sommer Speech & Debate Endowment at Binghamton University ensures that the team can continue to exist into the future, run programming like this tournament, and continue to compete at both the national and regional level.

Prizes:In addition to mailing out trophies to the three top competitors, they will also have a donation made in their honor to a local nonprofit of their choice that is tackling homelessness and/or food insecurity in their area. First place: $200. Second place: $100. Third place: $50.

Week 1 (5/11-5/15): This House Believes That Governments Have an Obligation to Provide Universal Health Care to its Citizens.
Week 2 (5/18-5/22): This House Believes That Nuclear Power Should Replace Fossil Fuels as the Major Source of World Energy.
Week 3 (5/25-5/29): This House Believes That Nation-States Have an Obligation to Unconditionally Allow Entry for Legal Refugees.
Elimination Weeks (Starting on 6/1): To Be Determined During Week 3.

Time Limits:
Proposition speaker's opening speech (Monday): 4 minutes
Opposition speaker's opening speech (Tuesday): 5 minutes
Proposition speaker's rebuttal (Wednesday): 3 minutes
Opposition speaker's rebuttal and closing remarks (Thursday): 4 minutes
Proposition speaker's rebuttal and closing remarks (Friday): 2 minutes

Tournament Schedule:Speeches are due everyday, Monday through Friday, by 11:59pm EST. The tournament will then be run according to the following schedule...

Week 1, Rounds 1 & 2: May 11 - 15, 2020
5/11 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
5/12 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
5/13 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
5/14 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
5/15 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
5/16 - Judging for preliminary debates

Week 2, Rounds 3 & 4: May 18 - 22, 2020
5/18 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
5/19 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
5/20 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
5/21 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
5/22 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
5/23 - Judging for Week 2 Debates

Week 3, Rounds 5 & 6: May 25 - 29, 2020
5/25 - Post Your Proposition Constructive in Your Proposition Debate
5/26 - Post Your Opposition Constructive in Your Opposition Debate
5/27 - Post Your Proposition Rebuttal in Your Proposition Debate
5/28 - Post Your Opposition Rebuttal & Closing Remarks in your Opposition Debate
5/29 - Post Your Proposition Closing Remarks in Your Proposition Debate
5/30 - Judging for Week 3 Debates

Week 4 Onward Elimination Debates: They will continue to run M-F with the first speeches due 6/1/2020. The number of debaters qualifying will vary based upon the number of entries and will run for 1-3 weeks depending on the size of the tournament. We will announce precise details by the conclusion of the first week's debates.

Please Note: Speeches are to be posted by 11:59pm EST 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 technological hiccups, account for uploading time, as well as human error. Each competitor will engage in one proposition (M,W,F) and one opposition (T,Th) round per week they are competing.

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

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 deciding who won and lost the round, judges will also evaluate debaters on a scale from 1-6 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 elimination 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.

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 and ensure that you can successfully upload and view videos before the start of the tournament.