Welcome to the home page for the 2023 C. Thomas Preston Study Break Tournament tournament hosted by Webster University on Dec 2, 2023 for College students.

Status: Tournament Completed

Dear Colleagues,


We are happy to invite you to the 2023 C. Thomas Preston Jr Study Break Debate Tournament, to be held Saturday, December 2nd on the campus of Webster University.  This tournament is an annual event that welcomes students who are new to debate.  Our format and divisions are designed to nurture students within a relaxed, friendly environment.  We encourage schools to bring their debate classes to this tournament.  Several programs have made the Study Break a part of their debate class curriculum and continue to do so.


The tournament features...


  • a novice IPDA and Team IPDA division with strict eligibility requirements
  • a junior IPDA and Team IPDA division for students with some college experience
  • certificates for all participants in addition to awards for teams earning winning records
  • nominal entry fees to allow for larger school entries
  • an invitation for experienced undergraduates to judge…education for the varsity debaters and a

way to ease hired judge fees for schools!

  • a one-day format that allows students and coaches to preserve some of their weekend for

non-forensic adventures!

  • a schedule that allows many schools to travel earlier in the morning and avoid hotel


  • a separate individual events swing tournament running concurrently on Saturday and again on Sunday.


We promise a day of fun, along with excellent educational and competitive experiences.  We hope to see you and your students on the Webster campus for this years Study Break—the 37th in a long tradition of novice debate excellence!  Come help us celebrate the debate activity and its collegiate future!






Gina Jensen                                          Tom Serfass                                 Emma Terris

Tournament Director                            Assistant Director of Forensics      President                 

Director of Forensics                            Webster University                       MO Omega Chapter of PKD

Webster University                                          



Tournament Schedule

                             2023 C. Thomas Preston, Jr. Study Break Debate Tournament

                                                        Saturday, December 2, 2023


 8:30 - 9:30                               Continental Breakfast



 9:30                                        Topic Announcement

10:00                                       Round I


11:00                                       Topic Announcement

11:30                                       Round II


12:30                                       Lunch Break


  1:30                                       Topic Announcement

  2:00                                       Round III (powered hi/hi)


  3:00                                       Topic Announcement

  3:30                                       Round IV (powered hi/low)


  4:45                                       Awards Ceremony


  5:30                                       Topic Announcement

  6:00                                       Finals Showcase Rounds of Each Division



                                                               Tournament Notes


Teams are encouraged to keep the spirit of this tournament in mind when entering students.  For novice eligibility, students should have no experience in debate prior to the current semester.  For junior eligibility students should have a maximum of less than four semesters of debate experience at the collegiate level.  Additionally, we ask that novice teams who have competed in more than two tournaments this semester strongly consider entering the junior division.  Additionally, we prefer that schools not enter junior teams who have extensive debate experience.  In all cases, we encourage novice students who are in their first semester of college debate and have enjoyed competitive success to enter the junior division. 


Please do not approach this tournament as a vehicle for earning IPDA or TIPDA sweepstakes points or more trophies for your accomplished debaters.  Enter your students in divisions that will honor the intent and tradition of the tournament.  We welcome your experienced and competitively successful debaters to experience the adjudication and teaching side of the activity as members of our judging pool.


The IPDA division will use 5-2-6-2-3-5-3 time limits.  The Team IPDA division will use 4-2-5-2-5-2-4-2-3-4-4-3 time limits.  Following the striking of resolutions, teams will have 30 minutes of preparation time. There are no limits on access to materials, Internet, or pre-round coaching.  Only materials prepared during preparation time, as well as the tournament invitation, can be used during the debate.  We will provide teams passwords for wireless Internet access.   


Team breaks and placings will be determined by (1) win/loss record, (2) adjusted speaker point totals, (3) speaker point totals, and (4) opposition record.  Speaker awards will be determined by (1) adjusted speaker point totals, (2) speaker point totals, (3) speaker ranks, and (4) z scores.




Awards will be presented to...


  • all participants--certificates or other appropriate awards
  • the top two teams in each division
  • the top speakers in each division (several recognized as entries warrant)
  • the top 30% of teams in each division and/or teams with a 3-1 record or better


For lodging, schools might try the following hotels...

Sheraton Westport Plaza............ 314-434-5010…very nice but further away

Best Western Kirkwood Inn....... 314-821-3950…nice and close

Holiday Inn SW Route 66.......... 314-821-6600…nice and close



                                          Fee Schedule and Judging Policy Study Break


Entry Fee:                                $30.00 per team

Uncovered Teams:                    $80.00 per team plus entry fee

Changes at Registration:           $50.00 per change (name changes are not charged)


Each judge covers 2 teams. Unrestricted judges are preferred!  Half-time judges must be free to be assigned the two rounds in which they are most needed.  Experienced undergraduate students are welcome and encouraged as critics to either be hired out or cover your school’s entry.


Your judges willing to judge extra will be paid $12.00 per round.



                                                               Entry Instructions


The entry deadline is 5:00 Tuesday, November 28th. Fees will be assessed as of 5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 29th.  You can enter on www.Forensictournament.net . 



                                                                 PLEASE NOTE


We accept cash or checks.  Please make checks payable to Webster Forensics.  If necessary, checks can be mailed to Gina Jensen, School of Communication, Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood, St. Louis, MO 63119. Please contact Gina with any questions at (314) 968-7164 or e-mail jensen@webster.edu.