ESL, Community College, and Novice Status

For the first time ever at USUDC, Stanford 2018 will feature speaker awards, and if registration numbers allow, break rounds for English as a Second Language and Community College teams.

The USUDC ESL, CC, and novice policy outlines the definitions of ESL, community college, and novice status at this tournament. It explains how status applications will be reviewed, how break eligibility for the ESL, community college (CC) and novice break is determined, and the guiding thresholds for break rounds and speaker awards.

If you qualify for Novice or Community College status, you can indicate this on the team registration form. Novice and Community College status applications will not be rejected unless we notice something blatantly wrong.

If you’d like to apply for ESL status, you can indicate this on the team registration form, but you also need to fill out the ESL Status Application Form. 

If you are close to ESL status, please feel free to apply anyway. USUDCOC reserves the right to make final status decisions, and given the pilot nature of this initiative, we’ll consider granting status in some cases to speakers who are close to the definition (ie, perhaps you fulfill all of the categories except one, etc.)


Policy in summary:

  • The ESL category is modeled after WUDC with slight modifications.
  • Teams missing the open break can participate in the ESL or community college  break if they qualify. Teams qualifying for both the ESL and CC break can participate in both.
  • Teams can only participate in the novice break if they do not qualify for any other break at the tournament.
  • Teams will have the opportunity to apply for or indicate status at the time of individual registration.

We are particularly interested in supporting ESL and community college teams with reg and judge break resources. Prospective ESL and CC teams are encouraged to contact the organizing committee at

We are thrilled to offer recognition for ESL and community college debaters this year. Debate is best when it is diverse; this initiative is an important step forward in our collective effort to encourage post-secondary students of all backgrounds to get involved in debate. The organizing committee would like to thank the USUDC 2018 tab team, CA team, USUDA, and the community for their input and support for this initiative.

Amended 2/20/2018 at 11:56pm to add the paragraph beginning with “If you are close to ESL status, please feel free to apply anyway.”


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