Triple Octofinals - Double Elimination Format

The Stoa Board has decided to create additional excitement at this year’s NITOC by breaking both Lincoln Douglas and Team Policy Debate to a Triple Octofinal round. Even better is that this round will be included in the double elimination format.

There are a couple of good reasons to proceed in this manner:

1. The goal of NITOC is to award the National Championship trophy to the best student/team. We have all experienced tournaments where the best teams have an off round and end up not breaking at the tournament. For a regular tournament this is a good learning experience for the students. At the National Championship this situation is less than desirable. Triple Octofinals help to insure that all the best teams will be competing in outrounds. The double elimination format allows the best teams to keep competing throughout outrounds. The combination of the two together, mean that it becomes very difficult to earn the National Championship trophy, but the student/team that does win is a truly worthy champion.

2. Another reason is that it keeps more students debating for a longer period of time. Many families are traveling a great distance at great expense and the extra rounds help to justify the time and effort it takes to get to NITOC. The same is true with Quarterfinals for all large speech events.

NITOC 2011 Debate Outrounds (Updated)

When the Stoa Board decided on the Triple Octofinal Double Elimination format, they did so knowing that the National Semifinal and National Championship debates could be a single elimination debate for the student/team advancing undefeated through the Up Bracket. This is a quirk of moving to Triple Octofinals this year that we did not experience with Double Octofinals at last year’s NITOC. Creating a full double elimination for these rounds would add one or two extra rounds. The Triple Elimination round was already squeezed into this year’s schedule. There is simply no way to have 10 or 11 outround debates at NITOC.

It is still advantageous to advance undefeated into Outround 7, as the undefeated student/team will receive a bye directly into the National Semifinal debate. The students/teams still competing in the Down Bracket must debate Outround 7 while facing elimination from the tournament. The undefeated student/team is also given the significant advantage of choosing to debate Affirmative or Negative in the National Semifinal round. If the undefeated student/team advances to the Championship Debate they will again choose to debate Affirmative or Negative. The undefeated student/team will have this option even if they have previously debated their opponent.