Article I: Name, Purposes, and Jurisdictional Structure.
- This organization shall be known as the National Debate Tournament and is a unit of the American Forensic Association.
- The purpose of the National Debate Tournament shall be to encourage the growth of programs of excellence in forensics education in institutions of higher education in the United States; to conduct a National Debate Tournament which shall be equally committed to encouraging the opportunity for quality debate for students of all institutions of higher education by maximizing the number and geographic representation of participating schools, encouraging the highest standards of debate excellence by maximizing the competitive quality of participating schools, and encouraging the highest standards of educational excellence by conducting a tournament consistent with the educational objectives of intercollegiate forensics competition.
- The National Debate Tournament shall be organized around the following:
- the chartering organization, the American Forensic Association, which retains authority to alter this Charter, subject to the procedures herein, and to exercise supervisory authority over the organization;
- the individual subscribers which provide the base of support for the National Debate Tournament;
- the district committees which are chosen by member schools and are responsible for selecting district participants in the National Tournament, and for providing representation for member schools on the National Committee;
- the National Committee which is a chartered committee of the AFA responsible for the conduct of the National Tournament;
- the Board of Trustees which is a chartered committee of the AFA responsible for the finances of the National Tournament.