Tournament Sanctioning

Sanctioning Request Form

Benefits of ADA Sanctioning

  • Placement on ADA Circuit calendar on Tabroom;
  • Tournament counts for ADA sweepstakes/rankings;
  • Tournament counts for Front Royal Cup, which is awarded to top teams attending ADA in each division based on season-long points accumulation;
  • Reliable set of practices – decision times, number of teams clearing, hybrid policy, etc. – that provide guidance in operating your tournament.

Requirements for Sanctioning

In seeking sanctioning by the American Debate Association, your tournament and tournament director agree to the following:

  • that the tournament will be conducted in accordance with the American Debate Association rules
  • to enforce the ADA rules as tournament director,
  • to submit tournament results to the Vice President of records within two weeks of the conclusion of the tournament,
  • to announce the above in the tournament invitation,
  • to pay ADA dues (must be paid by September 15th).

Additionally, your tournament acknowledges that if a tournament sanctioned by the ADA is found to have violated ADA rules in its administration, the ADA Executive Committee can retroactively withdraw sanctioning.

ADA Governing Documents

For reference, prior to requesting sanctioning, and again prior to your tournament, you should review the ADA governing documents at these links:

ADA Standing Rules

ADA Constitution

Please note, rules are subject to change between May and August, so please be sure you are consulting the most recent set of documents.

Sanctioning Checklist

      Paid ADA institutional membership dues

The host institutions at tournaments that are ADA sanctioned are required to be ADA institutional members. Dues may be paid on the ADA website. Please make sure to pay dues in a timely fashion – it delays rankings at the end of the year if we have to chase down hosts for dues. It is strongly encouraged that you take care of paying dues in a timely fashion early in the season. It is unreasonable for members of the Executive Committee to have to hunt down dues at the end of the season for tournaments that requested sanctioning. It is expected that you pay your dues by September 15th, at the latest.

      Packet designation

Beginning with the 2016-2017 season, the ADA instituted a Novice Curriculum (aka “the packet”) and will continue to offer it as an option for tournaments in the fall semester. Tournaments hosting a novice division during the fall semester should determine whether they wish to utilize the packet in that division, and if so, announce such in the tournament invitation. If you choose to have a packet novice division, please be sure to publicize the use of the packet it to your novice entries and inform them of updates. [Not all schools with novices are ADA members/familiar with the packet division. This is particularly true of newer programs.]

      Clearing half the field in each division

ADA rules stipulate you must clear half the field in each division – no more, no less – rounding down (e.g. if you have 33 in the division at the beginning of the tournament, you clear 16). There are circumstances identified in which an exception may be made in the rules (see section VII.7). If you believe your tournament meets the criteria for an exception, please contact the ADA President about requesting an exemption. It is your affirmative obligation to request such an exemption prior to the tournament.

      Stipulate hybrid policy

ADA tournaments need to stipulate their hybrid policy in their invite. Please see section III.5.B for policy on hybrid teams at ADA tournaments.

      Understanding of maverick & forfeit policies

A single person debating “maverick” cannot win a debate (though the debate may still happen for educational purposes). Please see section III.5.B for information on handling maverick situations.

      Understanding of judge policies

ADA rules cover judge eligibility, preclusions, and placement (II.3), some of which are more stringent than other non-ADA tournaments (undergraduates may not judge, cannot judge their prior school unless 4 years out, etc.). Additionally, there are rules governing placement of judges in divisions (i.e. can’t privilege varsity division placement over novice).

      Complete Sanctioning Request Form

The Sanctioning Request Form can be completed electronically and returned via email to the ADA President. It does *not* have to be signed and/or scanned. The completed form should be sent from the email account of the person identified as the tournament director on the form.

      Request “ADA Circuit” listing on Tabroom

Sanctioning will also allow the tournament to be listed in the “ADA Circuit” section of – please request permission to be on that circuit calendar when setting up your tournament. This is also important in making sure your tournament shows up in points calculations for the Front Royal Cup and sweepstakes.

      Submit by August 15.

The deadline for the Executive Committee to sanction your tournament is August 15. Ideally, we’d like your sanctioning form completed and returned earlier, so we can have the calendar of tournaments settled early in August.