Stanford Invitational Tournament

Extended for Memorial Day Weekend!  May 28th May 25th is the Preferred Enrollment Deadline.  We still have space in most of our programs, however some sessions are approaching maximum capacity--if you're planning to attend, we strongly suggest that you sign up soon!

View our 2019 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

The Stanford National Forensic Institute offers national caliber summer debate programs for students of any level of experience. The Two Week program is open to all students and is a comprehensive preparation for the upcoming year of competitive debate. Each lab is carefully constructed to maximize student’s ability to accelerate their skills in a highly educational environment. A strong student to staff ratio (8:1) and a minimum of 10 expertly critiqued practice rounds are a core feature of the two-week camp. The Three Week program adds an additional week to the standard Two Week program. The Third Week focuses on technique and practice rounds, and gives students the chance to fully integrate the skills they have learned during the first two weeks of camp.

Director's Note

What I love most about LD debate is that it is constantly in flux. Norms always shift. Practices constantly evolve. Argument angles are always new. In that way, debate is a living (and vibrant) activity. This is easily evidenced by watching the various styles that succeed across the country and reading the various defenses of styles and practices in places ranging from online message boards to published Rostrum articles.

That means that as much as SNFI is a great opportunity for students to learn from some of the best debate minds in the country, the styles that they prefer is equally a tremendous opportunity to help further the exchange of ideas. Students from Pennsylvania bring with them ideas that differ from those students from Alabama or Washington or Texas or California. All find a home at SNFI each summer. The result is, in my experience, unique. Where many camps seek to stylistically homogenize students, SNFI works to form labs in a way that not only pairs them with lab leaders that will meet their needs, but also in a way that maximizes each student's exposure to differing views on debate.

In this way SNFI is a tremendous place for students with ambitions that range from winning top level national competitions (which our alumni have done) to a desire to simply be able to better train the novices on their teams or even to start programs. The joy I get from running SNFI is not bragging about the tournaments our alumni have won or the accolades of the coaches that staff the camp. The real reward is the student from Any High School who sends an email after their first tournament to explain the joy they feel from their improved record, confidence, mastery of debate, or ability to improve their teammates.

SNFI is not like other debate camps. That's why I keep coming back! I hope you'll join us this summer in Palo Alto!


2019 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Staff Members Include:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate)

Brian Manuel, SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate

Brian is the Director of Debate at Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in New York and Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University, in addition to serving as a consultant for the National Speech & Debate Association. Widely recognized for his unrivaled talent in revitalizing traditional programs, Brian was named the 2008 Michael Bacon Coach of the Year and 2016 Val A. Browning Director of the Year. He has been coaching for nearly 20 years and was recently elected to the Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches Association.

Under his leadership, Edgemont’s debate program has flourished, winning five state championships and countless speaker awards, as well as presenting to the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. His students championed the 2015 Georgetown Day School Invitational and 2018 Mamaroneck Round Robin in Policy Debate; 2018 Harrison Round Robin and 2019 Newark Round Robin in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; and 2016 Lakeland Round Robin, 2016 Westchester Classic, 2018 University of Michigan High-School Tournament, and 2019 Lakeland Round Robin in Public Forum Debate. After past outround appearances in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas, Edgemont will be represented in all principal debate events at this year’s Tournament of Champions. Brian has enjoyed equal success at Stanford, where he coached its first team in two decades—and fourth team ever—to qualify for the National Debate Tournament, finishing in the top 30 in both 2013 and 2015.

Over the course of his professional career, Brian has coached for Harvard University, College Preparatory School, Cathedral Preparatory School, Chattahoochee High School, Lakeland High School, and Scranton High School. His students have advanced to elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including NSDA, NDCA, NCFL, and CEDA Nationals. He also coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational, 2008 Barkley Forum, and 2012 Golden Desert Tournament in Policy Debate, along with the 2007 NCFL finalists, 2012 NSDA finalists, and 2013 Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker.

During the summer, Brian serves as the Academic Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. He previously taught workshops at the University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and Millennial Speech & Debate. Brian is looking forward to his eleventh summer at SNFI!


We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed and as we have complete biographic information available. Staff listing may not be fully up to date or reflect all hires to date.


2018 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate)

Brian Manuel, SNFI Curriculum Coordinator & Division Director, Policy & LD Debate

Brian is the Director of Debate at Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in New York and Director of Policy Debate at Stanford University, in addition to serving as a consultant for the National Speech & Debate Association. Widely recognized for his unrivaled talent in revitalizing traditional programs, Brian was named the 2008 Michael Bacon Coach of the Year and 2016 Val A. Browning Director of the Year. He has been coaching for nearly 20 years and was recently elected to the Executive Board of the National Debate Coaches Association.

Under his leadership, Edgemont’s debate program has flourished, winning five state championships and countless speaker awards, as well as presenting to the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. His students championed the 2015 Georgetown Day School Invitational and 2018 Mamaroneck Round Robin in Policy Debate; 2018 Harrison Round Robin and 2019 Newark Round Robin in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; and 2016 Lakeland Round Robin, 2016 Westchester Classic, 2018 University of Michigan High-School Tournament, and 2019 Lakeland Round Robin in Public Forum Debate. After past outround appearances in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas, Edgemont will be represented in all principal debate events at this year’s Tournament of Champions. Brian has enjoyed equal success at Stanford, where he coached its first team in two decades—and fourth team ever—to qualify for the National Debate Tournament, finishing in the top 30 in both 2013 and 2015.

Over the course of his professional career, Brian has coached for Harvard University, College Preparatory School, Cathedral Preparatory School, Chattahoochee High School, Lakeland High School, and Scranton High School. His students have advanced to elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including NSDA, NDCA, NCFL, and CEDA Nationals. He also coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational, 2008 Barkley Forum, and 2012 Golden Desert Tournament in Policy Debate, along with the 2007 NCFL finalists, 2012 NSDA finalists, and 2013 Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker.

During the summer, Brian serves as the Academic Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute. He previously taught workshops at the University of Kentucky, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and Millennial Speech & Debate. Brian is looking forward to his eleventh summer at SNFI!


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Rishi Chebrolu (LD Instructor)

Rishi Chebrolu, LD Instructor

Rishi is currently a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Communication where he coaches policy debate for the William Pitt Debating Union. He also coaches at the high school level at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, qualifying a team to the TOC this past year. As a college debater, Rishi qualified to the 70th National Debate Tournament and cleared to elimination rounds at multiple regional tournaments. He has instructed in the past at the Nebraska Debate Institute, and is looking forward to his teaching at the Lincoln Douglas camp at the SNFI this year. 

 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Nate Graziano (LD Instructor)

Nate Graziano, LD Instructor

Currently a coach at Kent Denver School, Nate has been involved in debate for the last decade and will be beginning his 5th year of coaching this season. He competed in CX and LD in high school, and travelled with the University of Wyoming Policy team on the NDT/CEDA circuit during college. He also received a first round bid from the NPTE/NPDA Parliamentary Debate circuit while competing at CSU-Pueblo. While coaching at Kent Denver School, Nate has coached numerous Policy and LD debaters including 2 TOC appearances, A Glenbrooks Quarter Finalist, an ASU Invitational Championship, and several HSImpact Coaches Poll showings. Nate has worked with and coached debaters in many debate backgrounds and events and looks forward to working with you all at SNFI this summer. 

 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Claudia Ribera (LD Instructor)

Claudia Ribera, LD Instructor

Claudia debated at Katy Taylor High School for one year and is now a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin where she currently competes in college policy debate. She cleared at national tournaments such as the University of Houston, UT Austin, Strake Jesuit, Harvard Westlake, and attended the Holy Cross Round Robin. She qualified for the NSDA World Schools Debate tournament twice and got to quarterfinals her junior year. As a first year coach, Claudia has gotten her debaters to reach elimination rounds of national tournaments such as UC Berkeley, Isidore Newman, University of Houston, Apple Valley, UT Austin, Strake Jesuit, Kandi King, Apple Valley RR, Strake Jesuit RR, and qualify to the TOC.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Eli Smith (Policy Instructor)

Eli Smith, Policy Instructor

Eli most recently coached the winners of the 2018 NDCA National Championship and the TOC in LD Debate. He has coached multiple students to the elimination rounds of the TOC and NDCA in LD. As a college debater, he "United the Crowns" as a member of the first team to win the CEDA and NDT national championships in the same year.  He has experience coacihng PF, LD, CX, and some international debate formats.  He is excited to get to work with you this summer!


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Aurelia Williams (LD Instructor)

Aurelia Williams, LD Instructor

Aurelia has debate experience at both the high school and college level, and is also an experienced social and political activist on a local and national level. She brings years of practical and academic knowledge of race and ethnicity issues domestically and internationally. Aurelia is currently a varsity policy debater and is pursuing a degree in global studies at Georgia State. Post-graduation Aurelia is planning on going to law school with a human rights concentration.


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Maggie Zollo (LD Instructor)

Maggie Zollo, LD Instructor

Maggie debated for Northland Christian School for 4 years and participated in both speech and debate events locally and nationally. She currently coaches at A&M Consolidated High School where she has helped several students qualify to NSDA Nationals. Although Maggie has experience with a progressive style of debate, she also has experience teaching traditional aspects of the activity and is looking forward to helping students find a style that works for them in whatever level of debate they choose to take part in. She is currently studying Political Science and Communications at Texas A&M.



Upcoming Camps

1-Week Lincoln Douglas Workout

The 1-Week Lincoln Douglas Workout is designed for students who don't have the time to complete the full 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program.  We recommend that students who are able choose to attend the 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program or the 3-Week Lincoln Douglas Experience.  Based on past requests, we recognize that some students are unable to fit the full program into their summer and offer this shortened program to allow more students to sharpen their Lincoln...

2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program

The Stanford National Forensic Institute offers national caliber summer debate programs for students of any level of experience. The Two Week Lincoln-Douglas program is open to all students and is a comprehensive preparation for the upcoming year of competitive debate. Each lab is carefully constructed to maximize student’s ability to accelerate their skills in a highly educational environment. A strong student to staff ratio (8:1) and a minimum of 10 expertly critiqued practice r...

3-Week Lincoln Douglas Experience

The 3-Week Complete LD Experience combines our 2-Week Core LD Program and our Intensive Practice Round LD Session.  For more information on both programs, please visit their respective pages.

LD Intensive Practice Round Session

The SNFI’s unique LD Extended Week is built upon one important premise: for most students of debate, practice rounds with in-depth critiques by quality instructors are the single most efficient path to quick improvement. The focus of the program is improvement of technique and execution. Participants will practice and master the theories, strategies, and techniques worked on during the first two weeks of the SNFI or at a previous debate camp. The Extended Week’s world class ...