Article I Offices
Section 1.01 Location
The principal office of the American Parliamentary Debate Association (hereafter “APDA”) within the State of New York shall be located at: 401 Alfred Lerner Hall, MC 2602, 2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. The post office address of an office of APDA at which the books and records of account of APDA shall be kept is: One Whig Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544. APDA may maintain additional offices at such other places as the Board of Trustees may determine.
Article II Members
Section 2.01 Who Shall Be Members
Any speech or debating organization at a community college, junior college, four-year college, or university in the United States, its commonwealths, districts and territories, or in the Dominion of Canada, shall be eligible to become a member of APDA. Membership in APDA shall be contingent upon the payment of dues prescribed by this status and approval by the Board of Trustees. Membership to APDA shall be allocated to educational institutions, and no more than one debating institution shall receive membership per institution.
Section 2.02 Transfer, Term and Termination of Membership
Membership in APDA shall not be transferable. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any member, after having fulfilled all obligations to the Corporation, may resign by written notice to the Vice President for Operations of APDA (any such resignation to take effect as specified therein, or if not specified, upon receipt by the Vice President for Operations), and any member may be removed or suspended at any time by a two-thirds vote of the other members. Any member of APDA so removed or suspended may be reinstated by a majority vote of the membership at a meeting of the body following the initial suspension.
Section 2.03 Dues
A. Annual Dues. The membership may determine the amount of annual dues payable to the Corporation by members.
B. Payment of Dues. Dues shall be payable in advance of such meeting at which elections for the officers of Board of Trustees are held. Dues of a new member shall not be prorated. Members may submit a request for a waiver of their dues to the Vice President of Finance, who shall have the authority to grant or deny such requests, subject to reversal by the Class A and B trustees.
C. Default in Payment. If dues are not paid by the aforementioned time, the member will not be eligible to vote at meetings of the members, including voting in elections, or to compete at the National Debate Championship until such time that dues are paid in full. When any member shall be in default in the payment of its dues for a period of five months from the beginning of the fiscal year (in accordance with V. 5.01), its membership may thereupon be terminated by the Board of Trustees. A member so terminated shall be reinstated upon the payment of all delinquent sums.
Section 2.04 Annual Meeting and Elections
A meeting of the members of APDA shall be held annually for the election of Class A and B Trustees in accordance with Section 3.03 (hereafter “the Annual Meeting”) and the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the meeting on a date to be determined annually by the members. In addition, a meeting of the members of APDA shall be held prior to the Annual Meeting to elect the other officers of the Board of Trustees (hereafter “the Elections Meeting”) and conduct such other business as may properly come before the Elections Meeting on a date to be determined annually by the members. The term of office for each elected Board of Trustees shall begin following the election of Class A and B Trustees during the Annual Meeting.
Section 2.05 Special Meetings
Special meetings of the members may be called by the Board of Trustees or by the President. Special meetings also may be convened by the members entitled to cast at least ten percent of the total number of votes entitled to be cast at such meeting. This group may, in writing or on the APDA online forum, demand the call of a special meeting, specifying the date and month thereof, which shall not be less than two weeks nor more than three months from the date of such meeting. The Vice President for Operations of APDA, upon receiving the written demand, shall give notice of such meeting promptly, or, if they fail to do so within ten business days, any member signing the demand may give notice. APDA shall hold at least three special meetings in each period from September 1 to December 31 (the “fall semester”), and at least two special meetings in each period from January 1 to June 1 (the “spring semester”).
Notice of a special meeting shall state the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called and shall indicate that it is being issued by or at the direction of the person or persons calling the meeting. Special meetings shall be held at such place, date, and hour as may be specified in the notice thereof.
Section 2.06 Record Date for Meetings and Other Actions
For the purpose of determining the members entitled to the allotment of any rights, the Board of Trustees may fix a date as the record date for any such determination of members. Such record date shall not be more than thirty nor fewer than ten days before the date of such meeting. If no record date is so fixed by the Board of Trustees, the record date for the determination of members shall be at the open of business on the day on which the resolution of the Board of Trustees relating thereto is adopted.
A determination of members entitled to notice of or to vote at any meeting of the members which has been made in accordance with Section 2.05 shall apply to any adjournment of the body thereof, unless the Board of Trustees fixes a new record date under this Section for the adjourned meeting.
Section 2.07 Notice of Meetings
Whenever members are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting, notice shall be given to the members by the Vice President for Operations stating the place, date, and hour of the meeting. As provided in Section 2.03, notice of a special meeting shall also state the purpose for which the meeting is called. A copy of the notices of any meeting shall be given by mail, by email, or on the APDA online forum, to each member entitled to vote at such meeting. Such notice shall be given not fewer than ten nor more than fifty days before the meeting. If mailed non-electronically, such notice shall be given when deposited in the United States mail, directed to the member.
Section 2.08 Waivers of Notice
Notice of any meeting need not be given to any member who submits a signed or electronic waiver of notice, in person or by proxy. The attendance of any member at a meeting, in person or by proxy, without protesting prior to the conclusion of the meeting the lack of notice of such meeting, shall constitute a waiver of notice by such members.
Section 2.09 List or Record of Members at Meetings
A list or record of the members entitled to vote as of the record date, certified by the Vice President for Operations, shall be produced at any meeting of members upon the request of any member who has given written notice to APDA that such a request will be made at least ten days prior to such meeting. If the right to vote at any meeting is challenged, the inspectors of meeting or the person presiding shall require such a list or record of members to be produced as evidence of the right of the persons challenged to vote at such meeting, and all persons who appear from such list or record to be members entitled to vote thereat may vote at such meeting.
Section 2.10 Quorum at Meetings
Except as otherwise provided by law, the Certificate of Incorporation or these Bylaws, members entitled to cast one-third of the number of votes entitled to be cast thereat, excluding proxy votes, shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of members for the transaction of any business. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the members present at any meeting may adjourn any meeting to another time and place despite the absence of a quorum.
Section 2.11 Presiding Officer and Secretary
At any meeting of the members, if neither the President, nor the Vice President for Operations, nor the Vice President for Finance, nor any of the Members-at-Large, nor a person designated by the Board of Trustees to preside at the meeting shall be present, the members present shall appoint a presiding officer for the meeting. If the Vice President of Operations shall not be present, or shall be presiding, an appointee of the presiding officer shall act as Secretary of the meeting.
Section 2.12 Proxies
Every member entitled to vote at a meeting of members, as defined in Section 2.18 of these Bylaws, may authorize an individual present at the meeting of members in question to act for such member by proxy on one or more specific items. Prior to the meeting, the school wishing to authorize a bearer of its proxy must notify in writing, either electronically or via mail, the President or other presiding officer of the Board. In the event that such notice is not provided, the bearer of the proxy must present evidence of the proxy upon request by the presiding officer of the meeting.
Every proxy shall specifically direct the action to be taken by its holder or shall grant authority to the holder to act as they see fit. Every proxy shall be signed, electronically or physically, by the member or their attorney-in-fact. Every proxy may be revocable by the member exercising it prior to the casting of the vote. Except in accordance with this rule, no member shall authorize another person or persons to act for such member by proxy. Additionally, only the Board of Trustees may be authorized to act for a member on items pertaining to the election of one or more members of the Board of Trustees. Members wishing to grant such authorization must specifically direct the action to be taken. Incumbent Class A and Class B Trustees: (1) Must be notified of such authorization in the manner described in the preceding paragraph. (2) Must send all directions to the President, Vice President for Operations and Vice President for Finance, without indicating which directions were given by an individual member. (3) May not disclose the directions given by any member, except in the manner described in this paragraph’s #2.
Section 2.13 Inspectors of Meetings
The Board of Trustees, in advance of any meeting of members, may appoint one or more inspectors to act at the meeting or any adjournment thereof. If inspectors are not so appointed, the person presiding at the meeting of members may, and on the request of any member entitled to vote thereat, shall appoint one or more inspectors; provided, however, that the requirement of inspectors at any meeting of members is waived unless compliance with the provisions of §610 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law is expressly requested by a member present in person and entitled to vote at such meeting. In case any person appointed fails to appear or act, the vacancy may be filled by appointment made by the Board of Trustees in advance the meeting or at the meeting by the person presiding thereat. Each inspector, before entering upon the discharge of their duties, shall take and sign an oath to execute faithfully the duties of inspector at such meeting with strict impartiality and according to the best of their ability.
The inspectors shall determine the number of members represented at the meeting, the existence of a quorum, the validity and effect of proxies, and shall receive votes, ballots or consents, hear and determine all challenges and questions arising in connection with the right to vote, count and tabulate all votes, ballots or consents, and do such acts as are proper to conduct the election or vote with fairness to all members. On request of the person presiding at the meeting or any members entitled to vote thereat, the inspectors shall make a report in writing of any challenge, question, or matter determined by them and execute a certificate of any fact found by them.
Section 2.14 Vote of Members
Except as otherwise required by law, the Certificate of Incorporation, or these Bylaws, whenever trustees or officers are to be elected by the members they shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast at a meeting of members by the members entitled to vote in the election.
Whenever more than two candidates stand for a single position, the election shall be conducted by preferential voting in the following method: (1) each member voting shall rank their votes for every candidate from first to last; (2) if no candidate receives a majority of first place votes, the candidate receiving the fewest number of first place votes shall be eliminated from the ballot and the rankings of the remaining candidates shall be adjusted accordingly; (3) if there is a tie for the fewest first place votes, the candidates not up for elimination shall be temporarily removed and the rankings of the tied candidates shall be adjusted accordingly. When the tie is broken, the votes of the remaining candidates shall be restored, with their rankings readjusted to account for the elimination of the candidate with the fewest first place votes; (4) this procedure shall repeat until one candidate has received a majority of first-place votes. For an at-large election for more than one position, the above procedure shall be followed with the following modifications: (1) the first candidate receiving a majority of first-place votes shall be elected to the position, and shall be eliminated from future ballots; (2) each member voting shall receive a new ballot to rank the remaining candidates; (3) this procedure shall repeat until all positions are filled.
Any tie votes shall be broken by the vote of all the officers present thereat, excluding those officers running for the position in question. If said vote is also tied, the highest ranking officer present thereat not running for the position in question shall break the tie. Blank votes or abstentions shall not be counted in the number of votes cast. If no person shall be elected as a result of this process, a new election shall be scheduled by the Board of Trustees.
All votes to elect trustees or officers shall be conducted by secret ballot. Each designated voting representative of a member organization shall be given an official paper ballot, each clearly distinguishable from unauthentic ballots, yet indistinguishable from one another.
Each ballot may be cast only by the member’s registered voting representative. The submission of each ballot by a given member’s representative shall be recorded by the Board of Trustees to prevent fraud. If the total number of ballots cast in any election exceeds the total number of members recorded as having voted, all ballots cast in that election shall be discarded and a new vote held.
Whenever any corporate action, other than the election of trustees or officers, is to be taken by vote of the members, it shall, except as otherwise provided by law, the Certificate of Incorporation, or these Bylaws, be authorized by a majority of the votes cast at a meeting by the members entitled to vote thereat. All votes to amend the bylaws or pass bylaws exemptions pursuant to section 5.14 shall be an open vote, unless otherwise requested to be secret ballot by at least one voting member of the body. For all other corporate actions, a secret ballot is only required if requested by one voting member. Except as provided in the preceding paragraphs, any reference in these Bylaws to corporate action at a meeting of the members by a “majority vote” or “two-thirds vote” shall require the action to be taken by such proportion of the votes cast at such meeting. Blank votes or abstentions shall not be counted in the number of votes cast. Except as otherwise provided by law, one vote shall be accorded to every member of record of APDA entitled to vote on any matter at any meeting of members. Any tie votes shall be broken by the vote of all the officers present thereat, excluding those officers running for the position in question. If said vote is also tied, the highest ranking officer present thereat not running for the position in question shall break the tie. The vote at any election of trustees or officers shall be by preferential ballots. The method of voting upon any other question before a meeting shall be at the discretion of the President or with the person presiding at the meeting. The members, by majority vote, may require that any such vote be by ballot or by division.
Section 2.15 Conduct of Meetings
Meetings shall follow loosely Robert’s Rules of Order. The President or person presiding at the meeting shall be the final arbiter of the parliamentary rules unless the Board of Trustees shall designate some other proper person. The President or the person presiding at the meeting may limit debate to reasonable time limits and may impose reasonable time limits on individual statements. The members, by majority vote, may overrule these limits. Such a resolution shall be voted upon immediately and without debate.
Section 2.16 Observers
Meetings shall be open to any and all observers, except that the members, by majority vote, may close a meeting to non-members. In any case, no meeting shall be closed to any members, nor shall any member be denied the right to speak at a meeting, except as the debate may be limited in accordance with Section 2.15.
Section 2.17 Action by Members Without a Meeting
Whenever under any provision of law, the Certificate of Incorporation, or these Bylaws, members are required or permitted to take any action by vote, such action may be taken without a meeting by written or electronic consent, setting forth the action so taken, signed or approved by two-thirds of the members entitled to vote thereon. Consent thus given by two-thirds of the members entitled to vote shall have the same effect as a two-thirds vote of the members, and any certificate with respect to the authorization or taking of such action which is delivered to the Department of State of the State of New York shall recite that the authorization was by two-thirds consent. The provision of this Section 2.16 shall not be construed to alter or modify any provision in the Certificate of Incorporation under which the written consent of fewer than two-thirds of the members is sufficient for any corporate action if such provision does not conflict with any provision of law.
Section 2.18 Who Shall be Eligible to Vote
A. Generally. Only those APDA members who have had at least 2 debaters compete in or attend at least three APDA-sanctioned tournaments during the course of the current academic year shall be eligible to vote at meetings of members. For the first two special meetings of each academic year, as defined in Section 2.05 of these Bylaws, eligibility to vote shall be determined based on tournament attendance during the previous academic year.
**As a result of COVID-19, all members in good standing as of April 1st, 2020, shall be considered to have met the requirement of having had 2 debaters attend 3 tournaments in the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 season. In addition, any organization which becomes an APDA member in good standing subsequent to April 1st, 2020 but prior to September 1st, 2022 shall be considered to have met the requirement of having had 2 debaters attend 3 tournaments in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons.
B. Elections. Any member wishing to vote for the election of APDA’s officers must disclose the name of the person who will be casting the member’s vote. If a member cannot agree on the person who will be casting the member’s vote, the member will not be able to vote until such time that the conflict is resolved by the individuals in question or team seniority is proven by one individual to the presiding officer.
Article III Board of Trustees
Section 3.01 Power of Board and Qualification of Trustees
APDA shall be managed by its Board of Trustees. Each Trustee shall be at least eighteen years of age.
Section 3.02 Number of Trustees
The number of trustees constituting the entire Board shall be eight (including ex officio members of the Board), unless otherwise increased or decreased as hereinafter provided. The number of Trustees may be increased or decreased by amendment of the Bylaws, except that in no case may the number of trustees (including ex officio members of the Board) be fewer than six or greater than eight, and in no case may any decrease in the number of trustees shorten the term of any incumbent trustee.
Section 3.03 Election and Term of Trustees
The members shall elect the officers of the Board of Trustees, pursuant to Section 2.04.
A. Officers. The President, Vice President for Operations, Vice President for Finance, and the three Members-at-Large shall be ex officio members of the Board of Trustees with full voting rights during their term of office.
B. Other Trustees. Other trustees shall be divided into two classes, hereby designated Class A and Class B. There shall be one trustee in each class. Trustees in Class A and Class B shall be elected to a term of two years except that: (1) A trustee elected to fill a vacancy left by an elected trustee prior to the completion of their term shall be elected for the unexpired term of their predecessor in office and until their successor is elected and qualified; (2) No trustees provided for in this Section 3.03 B may be elected more than once, unless the first election was to fill a vacancy left by an elected trustee prior to the completion of their term. (3) In 2000 and every second year thereafter, the term of any trustee in Class A shall end at the Annual Meeting of the Board; (4) In 2001 and every second year thereafter, the term of any trustee in Class B shall end at the Annual Meeting of the Board.
C. The initial Board of Trustees shall be comprised of those trustees named in the Certificate of Incorporation. Thereafter, subject to the provision of Section 3.03 A and B, the officers of the Board shall be elected at the Elections Meeting and the Class A and B trustees shall be elected at the Annual Meeting of the members as provided in by Section 2.13, and each shall continue in office until their successor is elected or qualified and the Annual Meeting has concluded, or until their death, resignation, or removal from office.
D. Trustees in Class A and Class B shall not be competing for any member school and may not participate in any APDA sanctioned tournament and may not compete for or serve as the coach of any member institution. If a trustee violates these regulations, they may be removed from office by a unanimous vote of the other members of the Board of Trustees. The outcome of this vote may be appealed to the membership at large at any meeting that is called, pursuant to Section 2.07.
Section 3.04 Newly Created Trusteeships and Vacancies
Newly created trusteeships resulting from an increase in the number of trustees elected and vacancies occurring in the Board of Trustees may be filled by a vote of the members. A trustee elected to fill a vacancy shall hold office until the Annual Meeting, at which their successor shall be elected.
Section 3.05 Resignation
Any trustee may resign from office at any time by delivering a resignation in writing to APDA through the Vice President for Operations or if necessary, another officer of the Board of Trustees. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified therein and, unless otherwise specified, no acceptances of such resignation shall be necessary to make it secure.
Section 3.06 Removal of Trustees
Any or all of the trustees may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the members.
Section 3.07 Meetings of the Board
Meetings of the Board of Trustees, annual, regular, or special, may be held as may be fixed by the Board from time to time. Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the President. Notice of a meeting need not be given to any alternate trustee nor to a trustee who submits a waiver of notice, or who attends the meeting without protesting, prior thereto or at its commencement. A majority of the trustees present may adjourn any meeting to another time and place.
Section 3.08 Written Consent of Trustees; Meeting of Trustees by Conference Telephone or Electronic Communication
Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board of Trustees or any committee thereof may be taken without a meeting if all of those on the Board of Trustees or such committee consent in writing or through electronic approval to the adoption of a resolution authorizing such action. Each resolution so adopted and the written consents thereto by members of the Board or such committee shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board or such committee.
Any members of the Board of Trustees or of any committee thereof may participate in a meeting of such Board or committee by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other at the same time. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.
Any meeting of the Board of Trustees or any committee thereof may be conducted through telephone or electronic communication, ensuring that no vote is held nor conclusive position reached until such time that all members of such Board or committee have received and delivered all relevant communications.
Section 3.09 Committees of the Board
The Board of Trustees, by resolution adopted by a majority of the officers, may designate from among its members an Executive Committee and other standing committees, each consisting of three or more trustees, and each of which, to the extent provided in the resolution, shall have all the authority of the Board, to the full extent permitted by law. The Board may designate one or more trustees as alternate members of any standing committee, who may replace any absent member or members at any meeting of such committee.
A. Special Committees. The Board may create such special committees as may be deemed desirable. The members of such committees shall be appointed by the President of APDA with the support of the majority of the officers of the Board. Special committees shall have only the powers specifically delegated to them by the Board and in no case shall have powers which are not authorized for standing committees under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law.
B. Standing Committees. The Board shall appoint members to at least three standing committees prior to September 1 each year. The members of such committees shall be appointed by the President of APDA with the majority of the officers of the Board. These committees shall include the Novice Mentor Committee, the Equal Opportunity Facilitator Committee, and the Expansion Coordinator Committee. Standing committees shall have only the powers specifically delegated to them by the Board and in no case shall have powers which are not authorized for standing committees under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. The Board may create additional standing committees as it sees fit.
C. Service of the Committees. Each such committee shall serve at the discretion of the Board. The designation of any such committee and the delegation thereto of authority shall not alone relieve any trustee of their duty to APDA under §717 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law.
Section 3.10 Compensation of Trustees
Trustees may not receive compensation for services rendered to APDA.
Section 3.11 Annual Report of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall present at the Annual Meeting of members or at a special meeting a report, verified by its President and Vice President for Finance or by a majority of the trustees, or certified by an independent public or certified public accountant of a firm of such accountants selected by the Board, showing in appropriate detail the following: (1) the assets and liabilities, including trust funds, of APDA as of the end of a twelve-month fiscal period terminating not more than six months prior to said meeting; (2) the principal changes in assets and liabilities, including trust funds, during said fiscal period; (3) the revenue or receipts of APDA, both unrestricted and restricted to particular purposes, during said fiscal period; (4) the expenses or disbursement of APDA, for both general and restricted purposes during said fiscal period; and (5) the number of members of APDA as of the date of the report, together with a statement of increase or decrease in such number during said fiscal period.
The annual report of trustees shall be filed with the records of APDA and either a copy or an abstract thereof entered into the minutes of the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of members or such special meeting at which the report is presented.
Section 3.12 Purchase, Sale, Mortgage and Lease of Real Property
No purchase, sale, mortgage, or lease of real property shall be made by APDA.
Article IV Officers, Agents, and Employees
Section 4.01 General Provisions
The officers of APDA shall be a President, a Vice President for Operations, a Vice President for Finance, and three Members-at-Large. Any student enrolled in any APDA member school in good standing who has used no more than three years of eligibility and will be enrolled at an APDA member school in good standing the following year may run for any APDA Executive Board position. Every candidate for a Trustee position must declare their candidacy to the Board of Trustees no fewer than thirty days prior to the Elections Meeting. At each Annual Meeting of the members, the members shall elect one outside trustee, pursuant to Section 3.03 B.
Section 4.02 Term of Office, Vacancies and Removal
The officers shall be elected by the members. Each officer shall hold office until the Annual Meeting of the members after their appointment and until their successor has been appointed and qualified, except where removed by a two-thirds vote of the members at a meeting that satisfies a quorum. No two or more offices may be held by the same person. If an elected office becomes vacant for any reason, it may be filled by majority vote of the members. Any officer so selected shall serve only until such time as the unexpired term of their predecessor shall have expired unless re-elected. Such removal without cause shall be without prejudice to such person’s contract rights, but appointment of any person as an officer, agent, or employee of APDA shall not of itself create contract rights.
Section 4.03 Powers and Duties of the Officers
A. President. The President shall serve as the chief executive officer of APDA. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Trustees, breaking any ties arising therein by casting a second vote, and of members, and, subject to the supervision of the Board, shall perform all duties customary to that office and shall supervise and control all the affairs of APDA in accordance with policies and directives approved by the Board. The President shall, with the approval of the Board, appoint an individual to oversee the maintenance of APDA’s electronic and internet resources. The President shall represent the United States in the World Universities Debating Council, voting in a manner consistent with the majority of all United States debate organizations present. If the President is unable to act as the United States representative, they shall appoint a replacement person affiliated with an APDA member school to represent the United States. The President shall manage APDA’s correspondence with other debate organizations. The President shall, at least once during their term of office, participate in an APDA-sanctioned tournament partnered with a novice debater who is (1) not from the President’s member institution, (2) does not self-identify as a cisgender man and / or does not self-identify as white, and (3) is not ranked in the top 10 on NOTY board, or from a top 5 COTY institution. The President, should they fail to complete this requirement, will be ineligible to receive -OTY awards or serve as an elected officer in the subsequent year.
B. Vice President for Operations. In the absence of the President or in the event of their inability or refusal to act, the Vice President for Operations shall perform the duties of the President, and, when so acting, shall have all powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the President. The Vice President for Operations shall tally the points for APDA Speaker, Team, and Club of the Year and manage the purchase of trophies for those awards. The Vice President for Operations shall be responsible for keeping an accurate record of the proceedings of all meeting of the Board of Trustees, shall give or cause to be given all notices in accordance with these Bylaws or as required by law, and shall perform all duties customary to the office of Secretary. The Vice President for Operations shall ensure that the Chris Porcaro Memorial Award and the Jeff Williams Award are distributed each year, and shall oversee their tabulations. The Vice President for Operations shall oversee the appointment of the Distinguished Service Award Committee and serve on that committee. The Vice President for Operations shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as the Board of Trustees may from time to time prescribe by standing or special resolution, or as the President may from time to time provide, subject to the powers and supervision of the Board. The Vice President for Operations shall, at least once during their term of office, participate in an APDA-sanctioned tournament partnered with a novice debater who is (1) not from the Vice President for Operations’s member institution, (2) does not self-identify as a cisgender man and / or does not self-identify as white, and (3) is not ranked in the top 10 on NOTY board, or from a top 5 COTY institution. The Vice President for Operations, should they fail to complete this requirement, will be ineligible to receive -OTY awards or serve as an elected officer in the subsequent year.
C. Vice President for Finance. In the absence of the President and Vice President for Operations or in the event of their inability or refusal to act, the Vice President for Finance shall perform the duties of the President, and, when so acting, shall have all powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the President. The Vice President for Finance shall have the custody of, and shall be responsible for, all funds and securities of APDA. The Vice President for Finance shall keep or cause to be kept complete and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements of APDA in the name and to the credit of APDA in such banks or depositories as the Board of Trustees shall designate. The Vice President for Finance shall keep a list of all members who have paid dues, and shall move for the admittance of any prospective member of APDA by the Board of Trustees if they have received dues from that prospective member, in keeping with Sections 2.01 and 2.03. Whenever required by the Board, the Vice President for Finance shall render a statement of accounts. The Vice President for Finance shall at reasonable times exhibit the books and accounts to any officer or trustees of APDA, and shall perform all duties incident to the office of Treasurer, subject to the supervision of the Board, and such other duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the Board. The Vice President for Finance shall, at least once during their term of office, participate in an APDA-sanctioned tournament partnered with a novice debater who is (1) not from the Vice President for Finance’s member institution, (2) does not self-identify as a cisgender man and / or does not self-identify as white, and (3) is not ranked in the top 10 on NOTY board, or from a top 5 COTY institution. The Vice President for Finance, should they fail to complete this requirement, will be ineligible to receive -OTY awards or serve as an elected officer in the subsequent year.
D. Members-at-Large. The duties of the Members-at-Large shall include: (1) Assisting in the organization and execution of the National Debate Championship and serving as liaison between the host member and the Board; (2) Assisting in the organization and execution of the North American Debate Championship in such years as APDA is host and serving as liaison between the host member and the Board; (3) Assisting in the organization and execution of the Novice Tournament(s) and serving as liaison between the host member(s) and the Board; (4) Overseeing the standing committees established by Section 3.10 B and serving as liaison between the committees and the Board; (5) Maintaining and acquiring audio, audio/visual, or otherwise recorded footage of debate rounds for the APDA archive, as well as maintaining and acquiring other materials relevant to APDA’s history and worthy of preservation; (6) Preparing and distributing APDA’s newsletter; (7) Any such other duties as the Board of Trustees may from time to time prescribe by standing or special resolution, or as the President may from time to time provide, subject to the powers and supervision of the Board. Each of the individual Members-at-Large shall, at least once during their term of office, participate in an APDA-sanctioned tournament partnered with a novice debater who is (1) not from the individual Members-at-Large’s member institution, (2) does not self-identify as a cisgender man and / or does not self-identify as white, and (3) is not ranked in the top 10 on NOTY board, or from a top 5 COTY institution. Any individual Members-at-Large, should they fail to complete this requirement, will be ineligible to receive -OTY awards or serve as an elected officer in the subsequent year.
These duties shall be divided among the Members-at-Large as the Board of Trustees may prescribe by standing or special resolution.
Section 4.04 Agents and Employees
The Board of Trustees may appoint agents and employees who shall have such authority and perform such duties as may be prescribed by the Board. The Board may remove any agent or employee at any time with or without cause. Removal without cause shall be without prejudice to such person’s contract rights, if any, and the appointment or such person shall not itself create contract rights.
Section 4.05 Compensation of Officers, Agents, and Employees
APDA shall not pay any compensation to officers for services rendered to APDA, except that officers may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties to APDA in reasonable amounts as approved by a majority vote of the entire Board.
The compensation of agents and employees appointed by the Board shall be fixed by the Board, but this power may be delegated to any officer, agent, or employee as to persons under that person’s direction or control. The Board may require officers, agent or employees to give security for the faithful performance of their duties.
Article V Miscellaneous
Section 5.01 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of APDA shall begin on June 1 and end on May 31.
Section 5.02 Corporate Seal
The seal of APDA shall be circular in form and contain the name of APDA, the words “Corporate Seal” and “New York” and the year APDA was formed, 1981, in the center. APDA may use the seal by causing it or a facsimile of it to be affixed or impressed or reproduced in any manner.
Section 5.03 Checks, Notes, and Contracts
The Board of Trustees shall determine who shall be authorized from time to time on APDA’s behalf to sign checks, notes, drafts, acceptances, bills of exchange and other orders or obligation for the payment of money; to enter into contracts; or to execute and deliver other documents and instruments.
Section 5.04 Books and Records
APDA shall maintain (1) correct and complete books and records of accounts; (2) minutes of the proceedings of its members; and (3) a current list of the members, trustees, and officers of APDA.
Section 5.05 Amendments to the Certificate and Bylaws
The Certificate of Incorporation may be amended by the members pursuant to §802 of the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation Law.
These Bylaws may be amended or repealed, and new Bylaws may be adopted only by a two-thirds vote of those present in a quorum meeting. If any Bylaw regulating an impending election of trustees is adopted, amended or repealed by the Board, there shall be set forth in the notice of the next meeting of members for the election of trustees the Bylaws so adopted, amended or repealed, together with the concise statement of the changes made.
Section 5.06 Indemnification and Insurance
APDA may indemnify any person made, or threatened to be made, a party to an action or proceeding other than one by or in the right of APDA to procure a judgment in its favor, whether civil or criminal, by reason of the fact that such person or such person’s testator or intestate is or was a trustee or officer of APDA or serves or served any other corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise in any capacity at the request of APDA, and APDA may advance such person’s related expenses, to the full extent permitted by law. APDA shall have the power to purchase and maintain insurance to indemnify APDA and its trustees and officers to the full extent such indemnification is permitted by law.
In no case shall APDA indemnify, reimburse, or insure and person for any taxes imposed on such individual under chapter 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as now in effect or as may be amended (“the Code”). Further, if at any time APDA is deemed to be a private foundation within the meaning of section 509 of the Code then, during such time, no payment shall be made under this Article if such payments would constitute an act of self-dealing or a taxable expenditure, as defined in §4941(d) of §4945(d), respectively, of the Code.
If any part of this Article shall be found in any action, suit or proceeding to be invalid or ineffective, the validity and the effectiveness of the remaining parts shall not be affected.
Section 5.07 Loans to Trustees or Officers
No loans, other than through the purchase of bond, debentures, or similar obligations of the type customarily sold in public offerings, or through ordinary deposit of funds in a bank, shall be made by APDA.
Section 5.08 Tournaments
A. Sanctioning. APDA shall, by majority vote of the members, sanction debating tournaments hosted by its members either as an online, hybrid, or in-person tournament. A vote of the body promulgating a schedule shall be considered to sanction all the tournaments appearing on that schedule. Each sanctioned tournament shall make known to competitors its tabulation procedures, judging procedures and debating format, and, if providing accommodations to competitors, pledge to provide safe accommodations. Except as otherwise provided by the Certificate of Incorporation or these Bylaws, the Corporation shall not direct how a member shall run its tournament. In order to award points for Team, Speaker, or Club of the Year, a tournament must be APDA-sanctioned.
If a tournament must change their modality fewer than two weeks before the tournament, the modality can be switched by a unanimous vote of APDA Board rather than an APDA Meeting.
B. Sanctioning Criteria and Eligibility.
APDA shall maintain a “Best Practices” document, containing a list of expectations with which APDA-sanctioned tournaments should comply, and append that document to these bylaws. This document may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members at a meeting that satisfies a quorum. If a member that has hosted an APDA-sanctioned tournament requests that one of its future tournaments be sanctioned by APDA, the member must disclose the answer to each of the following questions about its most recent APDA-sanctioned tournament: (1) Did the tournament violate any of the Best Practices?; (2) If any of the Best Practices were violated, why were they violated, and what steps are being taken to ensure the practices are not violated at future tournaments? Disclosure must be made to the league by posting in the “General” section of APDA’s private online message board. Disclosure must take place no later than 2 weeks prior to the meeting at which the member is requesting an APDA-sanction for its tournament. The Board of Trustees may grant extensions on a case-by-case basis. British Parliamentary debate tournaments and the North American Debate Championship shall not be required to adhere to these requirements.
If a member that has hosted an APDA-sanctioned tournament requests that one of its future tournaments be sanctioned by APDA, the member must disclose the number of competing teams and novice debaters at their most recent tournament, pursuant to Section 5.10 E. Disclosure should be made to the ex officio members of the Board of Trustees, and must take place no later than 2 weeks prior to the meeting at which the member is requesting an APDA-sanction for its tournament. The board may grant extensions on a case-by-case basis.
Each sanctioned tournament shall provide to the Board a list of every competitor in attendance, and a list of every institution which had at least one two-person team competing at the tournament.
Teams hosting APDA-sanctioned tournaments must clearly indicate in their invitations if they plan to impose late fees and other punitive measures on attending teams that do not pay registration fees on time.
Teams hosting APDA-sanctioned tournaments may not instruct a judge to give a score higher than 29 or lower than 27 for a speech that the judge considers to be average. Teams that give such instructions without receiving an exemption from the Board prior to the beginning of the tournament will be fined the average cost of registration at their tournament. This fee shall not be assessed to the host of the North American Debate Championship when that host is not an APDA member school.
Teams hosting APDA-sanctioned tournaments that intend to allow debaters who either 1) have no remaining APDA eligibility or 2) are not currently primarily enrolled in a community college, junior college, four-year college or university to compete must announce this policy at least one week in advance of the beginning of their tournament. Teams that fail to do this, but allow such debaters to compete anyway, will be fined the average cost of registration at their tournament. This fee shall not be assessed to the host of the North American Debate Championship when that host is not an APDA member school, nor will it be assessed to tournaments occurring before February 23, 2018. Debaters who graduated within the current academic year are considered ‘primarily enrolled’ at the institution from which they graduated until they otherwise become ineligible, they become affiliated with a different member school, or the academic year ends, whichever comes first. A debater not primarily enrolled may continue to debate for the school in which they were most previously enrolled if they are on leave of absence. Such a debater should notify and provide proof of on leave status, and will remain affiliated with their school for at least one year after the start of their leave of absence.
If the Board of Trustees appoints a Tab Observer to monitor a particular tournament, the team hosting that tournament must allow the observer to monitor the tournament’s tab room and must give the observer access to all information relevant to tabulation. The appointment of a Tab Observer requires the agreement of n-1 of the ex officio members of the Board of Trustees, where n is the number of Board of Trustees members voting on a given Tab Observer. If the number of ex officio members of the Board of Trustees voting on a given Tab Observer is less than or equal to three the appointment of the given Tab Observer requires a unanimous agreement of the voting ex officio members of the Board of Trustees. APDA Board must return a decision to the applying Tab Observer at least one week in advance of the tournament date barring exceptional circumstances, and must provide an official justification to the candidate if rejected. If a rejected candidate would like to challenge the Board of Trustees’ decision, they may do so by providing a response, upon which the Board of Trustees will re-vote and inform the candidate of the decision within 48 hours of the appeal.
If there is only one APDA-sanctioned tournament scheduled for a particular weekend, that tournament is considered “unopposed.” Each member institution which hosts an unopposed tournament shall pay APDA a fee in the amount of $7 for each 2-person team that competes at its tournament, excluding the first sixty 2-person teams. The fee must be paid to APDA no later than 3 months after the conclusion of the tournament or before APDA’s next National Championship tournament, whichever comes first. Failure to pay in accordance with the guidelines specified above shall result in the suspension of a member’s voting rights at meetings of the members until the fee is paid in full. No member shall be required to pay a fee for hosting the National Debate Championship or the North American Championship tournament. Tournaments need to pay a size tax to the APDA Board. The tax is calculated (N-3R-55)*(X), where N is the number of teams at the tournament, R is complete reg breaks given, X is Reg – 115. Any discrepancies in the payment of such fees shall be decided by a majority vote of the body.
Schools intending to require prepayment for their tournament(s) must announce so at scheduling or in its official tournament bid to the Board of Trustees.
Starting on January 1, 2019, tournaments that occur on Friday and Saturday must provide at least dinner on Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday at no cost. Tournaments not providing dinner or lunch will be fined $10 per team per meal not provided.Tournaments not providing breakfast will be fined $5 per team. Revenues collected in the above way will be set aside for the provision of financial assistance to individuals who cannot afford food at tournaments that do not provide it, to be administered by the Equal Opportunity Facilitator Committee. Tournaments may appeal to the board for an exemption to this fee one (1) week in advance of their tournament. In the event that the board grants the exemption, the decision must be brought to a vote at the next meeting of the body. The decision of the board may be overturned by a two-thirds vote of the body, in which case the tournament would be retroactively required to pay the fine described above. The body may provide its own exemption in case of a denial by the board with a simple majority vote.
Tournaments shall, as a portion of registration forms and documentation, ask that teams indicate the dietary restrictions of their competitors, observers, and judges. Teams may also inform host schools of dietary needs via other means of communication at least 24 hours prior to the tournament start. In the event that a tournament plans to offer or offers meals irreconcilable with the dietary needs of competitors or judges, the host team must provide a cash or monetary stipend to any affected individual whose dietary needs, as indicated during registration or communicated to the host school prior to the close of registration, are not accommodated. Host teams shall be responsible for proactively distributing the stipend to qualifying debaters independent of the debaters themselves contacting the host school or the Equal Opportunity Facilitator Committee. Tournaments should distribute this stipend prior to meals whenever possible and when known dietary restrictions exist. Teams not proactively providing the stipend to affected persons will be fined the average cost of registration at their tournament. Revenues collected in the above way will also be set aside for the provision of financial assistance to individuals who cannot afford food at tournaments that do not provide it, to be administered by the Equal Opportunity Facilitator Committee. This requirement shall only apply to debaters, judges, and non-host tournament staff indicating their dietary restrictions during registration or who communicate them to the host school at least 24 hours before the start of the tournament.
E. Novice Tournaments
APDA shall, by majority vote of the members, determine the host of the APDA Novice Tournament(s). It shall be held in the fall semester. The members may, by majority vote, elect to schedule a second Novice Tournament(s) in the spring semester. The host of such tournament shall be determined in the same way as the fall tournament.
F. Pro-Ams Tournaments
1. APDA shall, by majority vote of the members, determine the host of the Pro-Ams Tournament. It shall be held in the fall semester. The members may, by majority vote, elect to schedule a second Pro-Ams tournament in the spring semester. The host of such tournament shall be determined in the same way as the fall tournament.
2. If an Pro-Ams tournament would otherwise be qualifying under Section 5.09.c.1, it shall still be qualifying for Club of the Year points, Speaker of the Year points, and as it pertains to qualification to the National Championship, notwithstanding 5.09.c.1.a.
G. Online Tournaments.
In the event that the sanctioned schedule has tournaments that are to be held solely online, there shall only be one (1) sanctioned tournament per weekend, to be sanctioned a tournament must have at least eight (8) teams compete in more than half of the in-rounds, be held on either Discord or Zoom, and not charge more than $30 in registration fees. 5.08[D] shall not apply to online tournaments.
Section 5.09 National Debate Championship
A. Championship. APDA shall sponsor an annual National Debate Championship (“Championship”). The host and location of the Championship shall be determined by majority vote of the members. APDA shall establish tabulation and judging procedures for the Championship and shall appoint a tabulation observer for the Championship in accordance with Section 5.08 C. The Class A and B Trustees shall field open applications for and choose the tabulation staff for the Championship, subject to ratification by a majority vote of the body. No person serving on the tabulation staff or as a tabulation observer shall be permitted to receive monetary or fungible compensation specifically affected by the results of the National Debate Championship. Any individual found to receive these benefits will be subject to removal from the tabulation room at the discretion of the Trustees.
B. Competitors. Only competitors sponsored by a member of APDA may compete at the Championship. Each competitor shall be a student that is primarily enrolled in that community college, junior college, four-year college, or university which sponsors them. A competitor is primarily enrolled at the institution where they are both seeking a degree and taking the majority of the classes in which they are enrolled at the time the Championship is held. A competitor is defined as enrolled in a class or classes when they can provide proof of registration in one or more classes that cumulatively meet at least once per week for at least 8 weeks between September 1 to December 31 (the “fall semester”) or January 1 to June 1 (the “spring semester”). If institutional academic circumstances cause a competitor to not be able to meet these date requirements, an exemption can be granted with a unanimous vote of the Board. One may participate in the championship if they used their last remaining eligibility within the same academic year. A debater who graduates prior to the end of the academic year is eligible to compete and may remain affiliated with the member school that last sponsored them until they otherwise become ineligible [use up 8 semesters of eligibility, with a semester of eligibility referring to attending to 3 or more tournaments in a semester, or are past 6 years after their first semester used], they become affiliated with a different member school, or the academic year ends, whichever comes first. Both competitors in each two-person team (team) competing at the Championship shall be sponsored by the same member.
The board is authorized to grant exemptions to enable debaters to debate for schools at which they are not primarily enrolled. Exemptions must be ratified by a two-thirds majority secret vote of the board. A denial of an exemption can be appealed to the body, and would require a two-thirds secret vote to grant reaffiliation. After an exemption is approved, the President must notify the body within one week of approval. An exemption so ratified by the board or body can be granted to debaters who are primarily enrolled in a member institution of APDA and are requesting to change affiliation. Reaffiliated debaters are eligible to merge any previously earned -oty points, excluding COTY, during the season of their reaff via passage of a 2/3rds vote of the board (This amendment applies retroactively to the 2023/2024 season).
An individual or individuals may be sponsored to compete if that individual is qualified by: (1) Gaining at least as many TOTY points in a season as the 140th highest number of TOTY points earned by individuals in a single season during the prior two seasons. An individual is considered to have “gained,” for the purposes of qualification, any TOTY points that would have been gained by the team the individual was on, even if the tournament at which those points shall be earned is not ordinarily included in the tabulation of TOTY. Additionally, non-breaking break-eligible teams after June 1, 2024 (as reported by the tournament) are entitled to gain the number of points equal to the lowest number of points awarded by the tournament. This shall not be construed to allow teams at 3-2 to get points, and is intended to give points to “screwed” (e.g. a non-breaking 4-1) teams.
An individual gains TOTY points corresponding to the school at which they were primarily enrolled when the tournament at which those points were earned was held. A member school may only sponsor as “qualified” an individual who has earned sufficient TOTY points from tournaments held when the individual was primarily enrolled at that school. “Qualifying” tournament is defined as an APDA-sanctioned parliamentary debate tournament in the United States or Canada which: (a) permits all individuals affiliated with member institutions of APDA not in debt to the institution running the tournament or recommended for exclusion by the Board (pursuant to the Code of Conduct) or excluded by the tournament host’s university or collegiate administration or excluded by the equity officer appointed by the host team pursuant to their equity policy for violations that occur at their tournament to compete; (b) consists of at least four preliminary rounds and at least two elimination debate rounds; and (c) includes among its competitors at least eight teams from representatives of at least four member schools, not including its own; or (2) Advancing to the quarterfinal round or being one of the two highest-ranking teams from the United States at the North American Debate Championship during that season; (3) Advancing to elimination rounds, or to English as a Second or Foreign language finals, at the World Universities Debating Championship during that season; (4) Advancing to the final round or being one of the two highest-ranking teams from the United States at the North American Universities British Parliamentary Debating Championship; (5) Advancing to the semifinal at the United States Universities Debating Championships; (6) Advancing to the semifinal round at the Yale IV; or (7) Winning a sanctioned APDA tournament hosted by a school that (a) has hosted a tournament in one or more of two consecutive years prior to this year, (b) has not hosted a tournament with more than 32 teams in attendance for one year prior to this year, and (c) has fewer than 5 other active APDA members within 175 driving miles of its main campus’s zipcode. If, following the final qualifying tournament of the season, a member school has no qualified individuals, that member may sponsor one and only one debater as qualified for the purposes of competition at the Championship so long as that individual has gained enough TOTY points in the season to have qualified 5 seasons before, as calculated in (1), above. In the event that multiple individuals from the same member school could qualify by this provision, the individual who has gained the highest number of TOTY points shall qualify. In the event of a tie, the Class A and B trustees shall randomly determine which individual shall qualify at least five days before the date of the Championship.
A team at a qualifying tournament composed of competitors affiliated with two different institutions shall qualify both competitors.
If a qualified debater chooses not to compete at the National Championship, a member may replace that debater with an unqualified debater. The replacement debater shall not be treated as a qualified debater. A member school may, with no restrictions, replace up to one qualified debater with an unqualified debater. Should a member school wish to replace any further debaters, they may replace up to one additional debater, so long as that debater has qualified and has applied to the APDA Board, which may then approve these further transfers by vote. The Board should deem a transfer permissible if the individual who wishes to be replaced cannot attend the National Championship because attending it would put them at significant personal, emotional, or academic risk, and is applying for a transfer within one month of, and at least one day prior to, the first day of Nationals.
Each member with four or fewer qualified individuals may sponsor at most three unqualified individuals to compete at the Championship. Members with five or more qualified individuals may sponsor at most two unqualified individuals each to compete at the Championship. Unqualified debaters who are replacing a qualified debater will not count against this limit.
This section supercedes any other language as it pertains to the 2022 National Championship. An individual or individuals may be sponsored to compete at the 2022 National Championship if that individual is qualified by: (1) Earning a cumulative total of 10 points whereas winning a qualifying tournament earns 12.5 points, finaling earns 10 points, semifinaling earns 7.5 points, quarterfinaling earns 5 points, octofinaling earns 2.5 points, and double octofinaling earns 1.25 points; (2) Advancing to the quarterfinal round or being one of the two highest-ranking teams from the United States at the North American Debate Championships during the 2021-2022 season; (3) Advancing to elimination rounds, or to English as a Second or Foreign language finals, at the most recent World Universities Debating Championship; (4) Advancing to the final round or being one of the two highest-ranking teams from the United States at the North American Universities British Parliamentary Debating Championship; or (5) Advancing to the semifinal round at the Yale IV.
D. Qualifying Underrepresented Group Tournaments
1. Definitions. Underrepresented group tournaments, as those defined in this subsection, specifically seek to mitigate systemic exclusion in parliamentary debate. A gender minority tournament is a tournament which does not permit individuals who self-identify as cisgender men to compete. A people of color tournament is a tournament which does not permit individuals who self-identify as white to compete. 2. Determination of Eligibility. The member institution hosting the tournament relinquishes the authority to determine the gender or racial identity of any debater; debater registration for such tournaments shall be based on an honor system. 3. Qualifying Status. If an underrepresented group tournament would otherwise be qualifying under Section 5.09.c.1, it shall still be qualifying for Club of the Year points and as it pertains to qualification to the National Championship, notwithstanding 5.09.c.1.a, if and only if the member institution hosting the tournament publicly discloses their intent to host a qualifying underrepresented group tournament at least one week prior to the meeting at which the vote of the body on the schedule for that tournament will take place.
E. Expelled Competitors
In order to permit tournament hosts to comply with Section 5.09.c.1.a of these Bylaws, the President and the Secretary of the Equal Opportunity Facilitator Program shall keep a list of debaters who have been banned or expelled from member organizations, as defined in Section 2.01. Any member organization that has banned or expelled an individual shall be given the opportunity, at their discretion, to release the name of said individual, but not the reason(s) for banishment, to the EOF Secretary and the President. The list may only contain the names given to the EOF Secretary and the President by member organizations. Any member organization running a tournament shall, upon request, be given said list of banned or expelled individuals. Preventing any individual on said list, or any other individual who does not belong to a member organization, from competing, although not required, shall not put a tournament in violation of Section 5.09.c.1.a.
Section 5.10. Speaker, Team, and Club of the Year
Each year, APDA shall tabulate and present awards at the Championship for the Speaker of the Year, Team of the Year, and Club of the Year. Only individuals and teams eligible to qualify for and compete at the Championship shall be eligible for these awards.
A. Speaker of the Year (“SOTY”). The SOTY award shall be determined according to the following procedure: (1) for each APDA-sanctioned and qualifying (as defined in Section 5.09C) tournament of at least 16 teams from at least 5 schools, the first-place speaker shall receive 12 points plus 1 point for every 8 teams that competed at that tournament (up to a maximum of 20 total points for 80 or more teams); (2) a tournament which has only between 8 and 15 teams and/or only 4 different schools competing shall award 8 points to the top speaker; (3) each subsequent speaker shall receive 2.5 points fewer than the speaker who proceeded them, with no ties being allowed and the awarding of points stopping at zero; (4) for each individual, the points from the six tournaments with the highest totals shall be added together; and (5) the individual with the highest number of points shall receive the SOTY award.
B. Team of the Year (“TOTY”). The TOTY award shall be determined according to the following procedure: (1) for each APDA-sanctioned and qualifying (as defined in Section 5.09C) tournament of at least 16 teams from at least five different schools at which a team finished in the top four or eight teams in that APDA year, that team shall receive 12 points for a first-place finish, 8 points for a second-place finish, 3 points for a third-place finish, 3 points for a fourth place finish, and no points for a fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth place finish; (2) for every additional 8 teams that competed at that tournament (up to a maximum of 20 total points for first and 16 for second for 80 total teams) the first and second place team shall receive 1 extra point; (3) for every additional 8 teams that competed at that tournament (up to a maximum of 9 total points for 80 total teams) the third and fourth place team shall receive .75 extra points; (4) for every additional 8 teams (up to a maximum of 4 total points for 80 teams) the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth teams shall receive .5 extra points; (5) a tournament which has only between 8 and 15 teams and/or only four different schools competing shall award 8 points to the first place team and 4 to the second place team; (6) for each APDA-sanctioned and qualifying (as defined in Section 5.09C) tournament of at least 72 teams from at least five different schools at which a team finished in the top sixteen teams, that team shall receive .75 points for a ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth place finished; (7) for every additional 8 teams (up to a maximum of 1.5 total points for 80 teams), the ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth place teams shall receive .75 extra points; (8) for each team, the points from the five tournaments with the highest totals shall be added together; and (9) the team with the highest number of points shall receive the TOTY award.
C. Club of the Year (“COTY”). The COTY award shall be determined according to the following procedure: (1) A school shall receive COTY points equal to the sum of all TOTY points earned by individuals from that school that are eligible to receive TOTY points. (For example, a team that wins an 80-team tournament earns 20 COTY points for their school from each individual.) COTY points will be allotted for finished by partnerships made up of two individuals from different member organizations in the same manner that they would be assigned for TOTY purposes. Specifically, half of the points earned would be allocated to each member organization represented by that partnership. (2) Individuals may contribute a maximum of 60 COTY points for their school. Finally, there will be a bonus of 6 points for each debater who qualifies for the National Championship. (3) The school with the most points shall receive the COTY award.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, members will not receive the bonus of COTY points for debaters who qualify for the National Championship.
D. Exceptions. Individuals, teams, and schools shall not receive TOTY, SOTY, or COTY points based on competition at British Parliamentary debate tournaments, regardless of whether such tournaments are APDA-sanctioned, or based on competition at the National Debate Championship or the North American Debate Championship.
E. Tournament Participants. For the purposes of sections 5.10 A through 5.10 C, the team or novice count for a tournament may only include teams or novices that debate in more than half of the preliminary rounds. The team count may include teams from the host school. Debaters, including those from the host school, cannot be judged by judges that share an affiliation with them in preliminary rounds or elimination rounds, with the exception of if in an elimination round, all speakers in the round are of the same affiliation. If a school’s teams are judged by a judge sharing affiliation under the previous circumstances, that school will not be eligible for -OTY points from that tournament. If the total number of teams at any tournament is not a whole number, it shall be rounded up to the next whole number. A novice shall be any individual who is competing in their first year of intercollegiate parliamentary debate or who is competing in their second year of intercollegiate parliamentary debate but competed at fewer than three APDA-sanctioned tournaments in their first year.
Section 5.11 The Chris Porcaro Memorial Award
Each year, APDA shall determine and present an award to the debater in their final year of competition with the greatest number of first-place varsity speaker finishes at APDA-sanctioned tournaments throughout the course of that debater’s APDA career. Only individuals eligible to qualify for and compete at the National Debate Championship shall be eligible for this award. Any person may give notice that they waive future semesters of eligibility for the National Championship and all league awards in order to be eligible for this award, but this waiver is binding and irrevocable and must be made at least 30 days prior to the scheduled start of the National Championship.
Section 5.12 The Jeff Williams Award
Each year, APDA shall determine and present an award to the debater in their final year of competition with the greatest number of finishes in the top ten for the Speaker of the Year, Team of the Year, and Novice of the Year awards during their APDA career. Only individuals eligible to qualify for and compete at the National Debate Championship shall be eligible for this award. Any person may give notice that they waive future semesters of eligibility for the National Championship and all league awards in order to be eligible for this award, but this waiver is binding and irrevocable and must be made at least 30 days prior to the scheduled start of the National Championship.
Section 5.13 Distinguished Service Awards
A. Awards. APDA shall sponsor Distinguished Service Awards (“DSA”), in order to recognize and honor individuals who have delivered outstanding contributions to APDA, parliamentary debate, or the facilitation of public discourse. These contributions may be of any nature but must be characterized by devotion to APDA and its ideals above and beyond that expected of an individual in the position of the honoree.
B. Committee. The APDA Board shall appoint a committee to oversee the assignment of Distinguished Service Awards. The committee shall be composed of the Vice President for Operations, no fewer than one but no greater than four appointed members of the general body, and one additional member of the APDA Board. The Vice President for Operations will serve as the chair of the committee. All committee members must be involved in all decisions of the committee unless a member of the committee is nominated, in which instance they may not participate in discussions pertaining to their nomination.
C. Selection. Nominations shall be made by members of the APDA community directly to the chair of the DSA committee, allowing ample time to review nominations and establish a list of honorees. The committee shall have sole discretion in the selection of the final recipients of the DSA.
D. Eligibility. All current and former members of APDA are eligible for a DSA, as are any unaffiliated individuals or groups whose actions merit recognition in particular by APDA.
E. Presentation. The recipient(s) of the DSA shall be honored publicly.
Section 5.14 Exceptions
Individual exceptions to any portion of these bylaws must be voted on by the body and approved by all or all but one of the members voting in order to be valid.
Section 5.15 The Kyle Bean Award
APDA shall sponsor the Kyle Bean Award in order to recognize individuals who have changed the league by contributing to a culture of friendliness and amicability among debaters. This award shall not be based on competitive success, but will be awarded to an individual who has made the league a better place by debating for the enjoyment of the activity, rather than competitive success. The selection of the committee to select the recipient, the nomination process for candidates to receive the award, and all other particulars related to the assignment of the award shall follow the same procedure as selecting the recipient of the Distinguished service award as outlined in sections 5.13B-E, except the VP Finance will fill the role of the VP Operations.
Section 5.16 Exceptions Related to COVID
The following section is only applicable to the 2020-2021 season (with exception of F, which will only be applicable to the 2022-23 season) and takes priority over all other language contained in this document.
A. Preserving Competitive Eligibility. As a result of COVID-19, Spring 2020 (01/10/2020 till 04/25/2020) will not count as a semester of eligibility used for any debater. Moreover, the affiliation of debaters held in Spring 2020, will be preserved for Fall 2020 (9/4/2020 till 12/5/2020) and Spring 2021 (1/10/2021 till 4/25-2021) unless changed via a reaffiliation exemption granted by the Board or via transferring of schools.
B. Preserving Voting Eligibility. As a result of COVID-19, all members in good standing as of April 1st, 2020, shall be considered to have met the requirement of having had 2 debaters attend 3 tournaments in the 2020-2021 season. In addition, any organization which becomes an APDA member in good standing subsequent to April 1st, 2020 but prior to September 1st, 2021 shall be considered to have met the requirement of having had 2 debaters attend 3 tournaments in the 2020-2021 season.
C. Competitive eligibility. A competitor is eligible to compete in the 2020-2021 season if they had eligibility in Spring 2020 and they were affiliated with a member institution in Spring 2020.
D. Club of the Year. COTY shall not be determined for the 2020-2021 academic year.
E. Novice of the year. NOTY shall not be determined for the 2020-2021 academic year.
F. Nationals Qualification. An individual or individuals may be sponsored to compete at the 2023 National Championship if that individual is qualified by: (1) Earning a cumulative total of 10 individual TOTY points; (2) Advancing to the quarterfinal round or being one of the two highest-ranking teams from the United States at the North American Debate Championships during the 2022-2023 season; or (3) Advancing to the semifinal round at the Yale IV.
G. Scheduling. There shall only be one (1) sanctioned tournament per weekend, to be sanctioned a tournament must have at least eight (8) teams compete in more than half of the in-rounds, be held on either Discord or Zoom, and not charge more than $30 in registration fees. 5.08[D] shall not apply to online tournaments.
Appendix A: Votes of the Body Referred to In These Bylaws
Dues: $100 per school per year
Fines for Delinquency: None
Appendix B: Best Practices
1. All tab justifications for speaker scores should be blind (i.e. the person receiving the justification should not be informed of who the person receiving the speaker score is).
2. Tournaments should have a policy that requires competitors to consent to rounds being recorded. Consent must be obtained from all competitors prior to a video being posted online, and competitors can choose to defer consent to a later date. Competitors will retain the right to remove consent after the video has been put online or to deny consent for a recording to be taken in the first place. Competitors must be notified that a recording is being made before the round has started.
3. Invoices required for team participation at APDA-sanctioned tournaments shall include the following information:
- Host school name, followed by the words “Debate Tournament”
- Dates of the tournament
- The words “Official Team Invoice”
- Number of teams invoiced school has officially sent
- Cost per team, as calculated by the host school
- Total cost of invoiced school’s teams
- Host school’s federal tax ID number
- “Mail To” Information
- “Bill To” Information
4. Non-title tournaments ought offer debaters the option of justifying tab scratches to the debater’s choice of either the tab observer, equity officers, or the tab director (or designee thereof) at some point prior to round one. The person approving the scratch ought not be the person on whom the tab scratch is being justified.
5. During rounds at all sanctioned APDA tournaments, the tab director may choose to cap points of clarification and/or case construct at a total of at most 15 minutes in maximum length. Tournaments should inform judges and competitors that government teams have the right to cut Points of Clarification off at any point.
6. All tournaments should specify the conditions, composition, and size of the break prior to the beginning of their tournament (e.g., prior to the start of round one).
7. Sanctioned tournaments should provide certain tab data to the APDA Board by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on the second Sunday after the tournament. Such data shall be submitted electronically and include: the full speaker tab (including novice status), the full team tab, the pairings for each round (including out-rounds and out-rounds judging), and the results of all outrounds (including the decisions and the sides of each team in each round).
8. Sanctioned tournaments should post on https://apda.online/forum/ the results of their tournament by 11:59 PM on the Monday after the tournament. As a reminder, these results may include no ties. These results should include:
- A thank you to the dinos who attended the tournament, as well as a list of those who did so.
- The number of teams which competed in more than half of the preliminary rounds. Ironman teams are considered half a team for the purposes of the count.
- The number of novices who competed in more than half the preliminary rounds.
- An ordered list of at least the top ten novice speakers, including the school, team, and speaker points of each, as well as the methods used to break any ties.
- An ordered list of at least the top five novice teams, including the names of the debaters, their school(s), their preliminary round record, their total speaker points, and the methods used to break any ties. This list should incorporate the results of novice outrounds, including the decision (e.g. “3-2”) and the team each team dropped to (excepting the winner of novice outrounds and any novice teams which are included in the varsity break).
- An ordered list of at least the top ten varsity speakers, including novice status if it is relevant, as well as the school, team, and speaker points of each, and the method used to break any ties.
- An ordered list of at least the teams which made the varsity break, including the names of the debaters, their school(s), their preliminary round record, their total speaker points, and the methods used to break any ties. This list should incorporate the results of varsity outrounds, including the decision and the team each team dropped to (excepting the champions).
- The government team in the final round and the case statement of the case they ran. If the tournament does not involve cases, the motion and model used in the final round should be listed instead. If the case is opp-choice, the side chosen by the opposition should be listed. If the case was tight-called or spec-called, that should be listed. If the case was counter-cased, that should be listed in addition to the opposition’s countercase. If a team in the final round requests that some of the information about the final round case not be posted, the tournament should comply with their request.
9. Tournaments that allow discretionary scratches should allow only team scratches, as opposed to a combination of team and school scratches. A team scratch shall be a scratch chosen and applied to a team of debaters. A school scratch shall be a scratch chosen by and applied to an entire school. This shall not be interpreted to apply to tab scratches.
10. All regular season tournaments should instruct judges to deliver adjudication and feedback in non-elimination rounds after the round and after they have signed their ballots. Judges should provide at least the decision, a discussion of the reason for the decision, and constructive criticism for the debaters in the round. Tournaments should instruct that all judges disclose the same amount of information for all non-elimination rounds.
11. All tournaments, in their invitations, should disclose which meals they will be providing at no cost, what will be served for each meal, and any dietary restrictions that will not be satisfied by each provided meal. Additionally, no later than the date when a tournament is closing preliminary registration, the tournament must disclose what measures will be taken to provide food for those with dietary restrictions, religious considerations, and allergies; it is recommended that tournaments designate a point person for special dietary needs. Labels on food should be an expected part of this process. If a cash stipend is to be offered to individuals whose dietary needs are not met by the tournament menu, the tournament must disclose the amount of the stipend and a nearby restaurant or store that provides a meal for the noted amount that will satisfy the debaters’ needs. This stipend should be rendered to tournament attendees at the time of tournament check-in. If a tournament is online, this Best Practice does not apply.
12. Tournaments ought to have policies that discourage judges from communicating, verbally or non-verbally, with other judges while a debate is occurring.
13. Tournaments should have tab observers approved by the APDA Board. Tournaments should submit a tab observer for approval no later than two weeks prior to the tournament date.
14. APDA Schools should give substantial registration breaks, or free registration if financially feasible, to schools that are hosting the APDA National Championship that year, noting that the financial need of the host school should be considered.
15. Tournaments should aim to announce all speaker awards, novice and varsity, as well as the novice break at the same time that the varsity break is announced.
16. Tournaments should include the following document in their tab packets: Speaker Scale
17. Tournaments should attempt to utilize the judges that are available for any given round, including paneling rounds and assigning judges as non-voting wings on a panel.
18. Tournaments should offer debaters the opportunity to justify a clash against another debater to the tab staff, the tournament observer, or the tournament equity officers. The justification bar for a debater clash ought to be higher than a judge tab scratch. Additionally, the tournament should make an effort to anonymize the clash or, at the very least, limit the number of people that have access to the clash justification. Debater clashes only apply to in-rounds. If scratched teams hit during out rounds, tab staff must notify equity officers, who shall make a recommendation (after talking with the individual who submitted the scratch) as to how to hold the round in the most equitable manner possible.
19. If competitors have technical issues, each team has a total of ten minutes of “tech-time” for the duration of the round to fix problems. Competitors who cannot fix technical issues within the allotted time will forfeit the round. Judges should alert tab if a team uses all of their tech time. (1) Judges should keep track of tech time. (2) Round participants may not use tech time to prepare speeches or any other purpose that is not outlined in (23).
20. If a judge has technical difficulties, competitors should notify tab immediately. If the judge cannot resolve the difficulties after 10 minutes, depending on how far into the round it is, the tabroom should make a decision to either award a bye to both teams or to send a new judge and restart the round. If there is a panel, a qualified panelist may be promoted to chair and continue the round.
21. Tournaments should not allow rounds in which some debaters are present in the same room as the judge while others are participating virtually. If such a round arises, tournaments should instruct judges to judge the round from a room separate from all debaters in the round.
21. Tournaments should ensure that their tournament is accessible to disabled participants. Tournaments should follow EOF recommendations about disability accommodations for participants in and out of round.
23. Ahead of a motions tournament, the EOF liaison and EOF chair(s) should approve individuals, ideally but not necessarily current or former Equity Officers, who are not competing at the tournament to review the motions. All potential motions should be reviewed by these selected individuals prior to 48 hours before the start of the tournament and the tournament should consider any content warnings. If there is complete disagreement about the content warnings, the tournament should err on the side of including additional content warnings. The bar for a motion content warning is any sensitive topic that could realistically come up in round. If a motion has a content warning and is opted out of, then a new motion should be provided to the judge, who will then provide it to the teams at the same time in the competition room.
24. Tournaments ought, barring motions redacted due to sensitive topic area, post all debated motions, and their gov/opp win rates. If there is an opt-out, tournaments should post the backup motion that is debated. These should be posted alongside the tournament results post (see BP 8).