January 27 Tournament Invitation

On behalf of Smith Middle School and coach John Rook, the Connecticut Middle School Debate League invites you to our second tournament of the season:

  • Saturday, January 27, 2018, 9:30 am — 3:45 pm
  • Smith Middle School, 216 Addison Rd, Glastonbury, CT 06033
  • Sponsored by the English Speaking Union, Greenwich Branch

Below you will find information or the topic, registration, judges, the schedule for the day, lunch and documents available for download.


Debaters who will compete should research the topic:

This House would eliminate executive pardons and commutations.

They will debate on both sides of the motion.


Coaches should register their debaters  and judges through tabroom.com, where the tournament name is “CTMSDL Jan 27.” There is no cap on the number of teams each school may enter.  Observers are welcome.


Coaches should register one judge per every 6 debaters. Teams only bringing 3 debaters should register 1 judge. We’ll use Varsity High School debaters as judges first, but we need to have back-up judges for things to run smoothly.  Coaches should make sure their judges understand the information in the CTMSDL Handbook and our Judges’ Instructions. We’ll hold a judges’ workshop at the tournament, but these are better if the judges have a basic understanding before they arrive.  Coaches are also encouraged to bring volunteer timers, and note parents may act as timers in debate rounds.


We will follow our usual schedule for the day:

Arrival & Registration in Cafeteria
Workshops for Debaters, Judges & Timers
Round 1
Round 2
Round 2
Debate Game in the Auditorium
Final Round
Awards & Departure

Debaters may pack their lunches or buy tickets for pizza and drinks between 9:30 & 10 am. Pizza will be $2 per slice and water and lemonade will be $1 each. Coffee and lunch will be provided for judges.


The following items are available for download:

Questions or comments? Please email us .

We hope to see you all there!


Notes on the January 27 Clemency Topic

Happy 2018!

With three weeks of school before our next debate tournament, we thought it might be helpful to share some ideas regarding our next topic with all of you.  The motion for January 27 is:

This House would eliminate executive pardons and commutations.

A very successful former high school debater, now in college has generously provided some notes on the motion, which you can download here:  Notes On January 27 CTMSDL Motion .

The notes discuss plans and counterplans relative to the topic, and provides a useful set of references.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.