Debate tournaments themselves, particularly for first year debaters, are usually two-day affairs and are composed of preliminary rounds and elimination rounds. Some tournaments spill into a 3rd day. Tournaments may occur online or in-person. Team members participating in online tournaments usually compete from Jesuit.
In the preliminary rounds, teams debate an equal number of affirmative and negative debates. The first two debates (one affirmative and one negative) are usually random paired where teams can debate anyone. After those debates, teams are power matched so that they debate teams with a similar win-loss record. Most tournaments have between 4-7 prelim debates. After the prelims, the tournament breaks into elimination debates using a single-elimination bracket similar to NCAA's March Madness basketball tournament. The number of teams that clear into the elimination debates depends on the size of the tournament and can range from 8-32 teams. Teams are seeded in the elimination rounds based on their win-loss record and their speaker points.
Debate, like many other activities has transformed over the past years offering opportunities both in-person and online.
In-Person: When we compete in Dallas-area local tournaments, we provide transportation to and from Jesuit. Debaters may be picked up and dropped off in the back of the school by the Pegasus statue, accessible by turning on Rich Harrington Way, between Jesuit and St. Rita. When we compete in regional or national tournaments in person, Jesuit provides the transportation and hotel for debaters.
Online: The national debate community uses a couple of different online platforms to host tournaments. These platforms enable the teams to log in along with a judge to complete the debate round synchronously. When the Jesuit Debate Team competes in online tournaments, we generally debate from school. Each Jesuit team of two will have a classroom assigned to them. We also provide food during the tournament to debaters.