Novice Policy

Click here to sign-up for an UTNIF 2019 program today!

July 19th – July 27th, 2019

Residential Price $1,250 (includes dorm stay & all meals)

Commuter Price $1,085 (commuters must live within 35 miles of UT Austin)

Students attending UTNIF camps must be at least 13 years of age to stay as residents in the dorm. Students who are not 13 may be able to attend as commuters, with prior permission from the camp director, if they live with a legal parent/guardian within 35 miles of the UT Austin campus. Please contact Brendon Bankey at

The typical grade range for students in the Novice workshop is middle school to high school sophomore (yet any age of Novice debater is welcome). Designed for the beginning debater, this session will emphasize small learning environments, the foundations of contemporary debate theory, and sound principles of public speaking. Each debater will experience multiple practice rounds, hands-on assistance researching and writing blocks, a practice tournament, and interaction with all the UTNIF instructors.

Students will receive a complete affirmative, including extensions, on the first day of camp so that they can begin debating immediately. They will also receive many briefs produced by the camp, but the set will be smaller and more manageable than the set given to those enrolled in other UTNIF CX programs. The goal of the Novice workshop is to introduce students to the core concepts they’ll need to succeed throughout the year and to inspire students to take their training and efforts further.

What some typical days in the Novice program looks like:

Day 1
Introductions; Rules/Expectations; Debate Vocabulary Pre-Assessment; What is Debate?

Day 3
What is an Affirmative? Highlighting Evidence; Practice Reading an Affirmative; Mini-Debates

Day 5
What is a Negative? Filing and Organizing Evidence; Full Practice Debate

Day 7
Flowing Shorthand; Practice Flowing; Disadvantages; Topicality

Day 8