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Bid Submission and Selection Process

The following are guidelines for making a bid to host the National High School Mock Trial Championship.

Step 1: Letter of Intent

Prior to presenting a full bid proposal, the applicant must submit a Letter of Intent. No Letters of Intent will be accepted without a completed official cover sheet. To fill out the cover sheet, download or print a form, click here. Submit your Letter of Intent via e-mail to the Site Selection Committee Chair.

Letters of Intent must be submitted by e-mail, should be in an 11-point or larger font size and should be no longer than three pages in length (plus the official cover sheet). The Letter of Intent should be received by the chair of the Site Selection Committee, no later than January 15th prior to the April 1st bid proposal deadline. Bids are accepted up to three years out from the applicant's target host year. The Board reserves the right to award multiple bids during one May board meeting for succeeding years in order to avoid asking potential hosts to re-submit a bid the following year.

The Site Selection Committee/Chair are dedicated to assisting potential hosts prepare a bid to host the NHSMTC. To that end, the Site Selection Committee Chair is available to answer questions and provide information and assistance as a potential host works through the bid preparation process.

The Letter of Intent should provide the following information:

  1. A description of your organization
    • Current programs and accomplishments
    • Geographic area served
  2. Anticipated Place and Date of Event
    • State, city
    • Month, days, year (The Championship activities typically begin on the Thursday preceding Mother's Day.)
    • Courthouse facilities to be used
  3. A description of the relationship between the sponsoring organization and the person submitting the Letter of Intent
    • Who will be the person preparing the bid proposal?
    • What is the chain of authority for decision-making about the bid proposal?

Step 2: Bid Preparation

The Bid

The National High School Mock Trial Championship Board of Directors will accept bids from organizations to host each annual Championship. One Host State is chosen during the May Board meeting during the National Mock Trial Championship. Bids are accepted up to three years out from the applicant's target host year. The Board reserves the right to award multiple bids during one May board meeting for succeeding years in order to avoid asking potential hosts to re-submit a bid the following year.

As part of submitting a bid, the bidding organization must have already submitted a Letter of Intent to the Site Selection Chair. A bid must be submitted to the Chair of the Site Selection Committee in electronic format by April 1st no sooner than three years and no later than two years out from the event date.

Selection Criteria

One general policy of the National Mock Trial Championship Board of Directors since the inception of the program has been to try to move the host site to different geographical areas around the country. While a substantial factor, location alone has never been enough to determine who should host the national championship. In addition to location, the Selection Committee and the Board of Directors looks at a variety of factors when choosing a host site.

The following criteria should be addressed when putting your bid together:

  1. Host State Contract
    The Host State shall be familiar with the contents of the Host Agreement and agrees to abide by same. A sample of the host contract will be provided to you in the process of putting your bid together. A copy can also be here. Elements of the contract that should be addressed during your bid presentation and/or in your written bid include, but are not limited to:
    • Funding
    • Hotel Contract
    • Courtrooms/Trial space
    • Awards ceremony
    • Liability insurance
    • Host director commitment & responsibilities
    • Case materials
    • Publicity
  2. Bid Outline
    The bid shall also include the following information:
    1. Contact Information
      • Primary Contact Address
      • Organization Information
      • Organization Name
      • Organization Address
      • Organization Legal Standing (incorporated, tax status, etc?)
      • Proposed Dates for National Mock Trial Championship
        • The NHSMTC Board strongly prefers that the tournament be held the Friday and Saturday before Mother's Day each year
        • In the past, the NHSMTC Board has approved a date one week before or one week after Mother's Day due to serious and unavoidable scheduling conflicts on the part of the host state.
    2. Mock Trial Program Experience
      • Total number of teams in your program
      • Number of teams in your state championship
      • Total number of volunteer judges/attorneys
      • How old is your program?
      • Unique characteristics of your program
      • Your annual budget
    3. Budget & Funding
      • Minimum budget of $75,000 is required to host
      • What are your anticipated sources of funding?
      • What are your anticipated expenses?
      • Submit a draft budget
    4. Geography
      • What city are you proposing to host the championship?
      • Why is this city a good location for the Championship?
      • What special advantages does it offer?
      • What disadvantages need to be coped with?
    5. Travel
      • Airports
        • Distance to host city
        • number of airlines servicing
        • ease of access from around the country
      • How costly will the airfares be to your location?
      • Amtrak service?
      • Driving ease?
      • What are the transportation options between the airport and the hotel(s)?
        • Cost of taxi service
        • Mass transit options
        • Hotel shuttle availability
        • Other
    6. Facilities
      • Tournament Courtroom Space
        • A minimum of 23 courtrooms/trial spaces will be needed, depending on the number of teams participating,
        • Courtrooms with jury boxes are strongly preferred for trial rounds,
        • Courtrooms without jury boxes are completely acceptable, as long as chairs can be provided for judging panel members and timekeepers in one area of the courtroom ,
        • Alternate spaces including hotel meeting rooms, courthouse mediation rooms (or the like) and/or classrooms are also acceptable in the absence of actual courtrooms, as long as the furniture arrangement can be adjusted to mimic a courtroom and will accommodate judging panel members and timekeepers, in addition to the team members,
        • Approximately how much spectator seating is available in each trial space?
        • Are the courtrooms/trial spaces close to the hotel, food (especially on a Saturday) and airports?
        • Will transportation between hotels and courthouse/trial space be necessary?
          • If so, what will it be?
          • Will it be an additional cost for the teams?
        • What is the parking situation (and cost) at the courthouse for those who have driven to the tournament?
      • Tournament Hotel space
        • A minimum room block to accommodate at least 500 official team members (max twelve: 9 students, 1 teacher coach, 1 attorney coach and 1 state coordinator), plus a reasonable number of additional coaches, observers, judging panel volunteers and NHSMTC board members for 5 consecutive nights—Tuesday-Saturday, with the option to add more (approximately 100-150 minimum for Tuesday; approximately 350 minimum Wednesday-Saturday)
        • option to add room nights on the Monday preceding the tournament weekend and the Sunday following the tournament weekend
        • a minimum of 50% of the room block being doubles
        • Overflow facilities nearby if the main hotel cannot accommodate the entire NHSMTC group
        • What are the hotel costs? Are the rates reasonable for high schools?
        • What are the hotel car parking rates for those who choose to drive?
        • How many rooms are available for practice rounds?
        • Are there enough meeting spaces available for the tournament-related meetings on Thursday?
        • Is there space for a team registration/information station in a central location at the host hotel?
        • Can you provide an awards event for over 900 guests?
        • Do you plan to (or can you, if the NHSMTC Board requests) provide space for vendors during the tournament?
        • What other advantages—and/or disadvantages—does the hotel have?
    7. Event Planning
      • What do you have in mind for entertainment?
      • Do you have enough staff for your activities?
      • Resources for cultural experiences (both as official activities and event opportunities for visiting teams)
    8. October Board Meeting
      • Date of October meeting (decided in consultation with the NHSMTC Board)
      • Hotel accommodations at host hotel for meeting for 2 to 3 nights (Thursday or Friday through Saturday)
      • Meeting space for the board (all day Saturday, with the potential of adding a Friday night session, depending on the length of the agenda)
      • Tour of tournament locations including hotel, courthouse, other event space, etc.
      • Meals?
      • Activities?
    9. Case Materials
      • The case materials for use in the event competition will be an original case written by Host, with assistance as needed from the Case Committee, pursuant to the following general guidelines:
        • The fictional case materials shall:
        • Be a "new and original case"
        • Teach significant legal lessons
        • Provide an interesting factual context for appropriate age groups
        • Possess strong cases on both sides of the dispute that would allow for the case to be decided in favor of either party on the merits depending upon the presentation of the trial team
        • Be an appropriate challenge for the age group without being overly burdensome
      • The NHSMTC Case Committee has final approval over all case materials produced for use in the NHSMTC.
    10. Partnerships/Volunteers
      • Include a letter committing the sponsoring organization to meet the financial obligations of the Host Organization
      • Include letters of support from person/s in your state with authority to commit to support the program
      • Include a commitment of financial backing and administrative support
      • Include a letter of invitation accompanied with verification of authorization from your state's leading legal, educational, and mock trial organizations (i.e., a Chief Justice, Bar President or Bar Foundation President, Department of Education.)
      • Provide assurances that you have enough attorneys, judges and other volunteers to properly staff the event
      • Provide assurances that you have adequate support staff to assist in organization/administration
    11. Other Things to Consider
      • Why should we choose you, instead of the other potential hosts?
      • Here are a few logistics issues to keep in mind, in no particular order. They're meant as fodder for your thinking/planning process and you may wish to address these in an appropriate section of your bid, as you feel it applies to your particular location/circumstance:
        • parking
        • handicap accessibility
        • handicap transportation
        • hotel facilities (including practice and meeting rooms)
        • food (teams, volunteers, judging panel, etc.)
        • shuttle bus service
        • discounts on airlines
        • weather issues
        • volunteer management
        • registration check-in and database management
        • implementing a modified tournament schedule, if necessary
        • press/media relations
        • entertainment for the evening(s)
        • entertainment available nearby (for family, before/after the event, etc)
        • lists of nearby restaurants and tourist sights
        • area maps (for the courthouse, at least) and driving directions
        • press release
  3. Responsibility and Obligations
    By submitting a bid and being selected as the Host State, the Host State is entering into a contractual agreement with the Board of Directors to plan and carry out the mock trial championship for the year bid. The Host State has a responsibility and obligation to the Board of Directors to do this in the manner prescribed by the Board. Any actions taken by the Host State in violation of its contract with the Board may result in rescission of the bid award. Actions which may result in rescission of the award may include, but are not limited to, direct violations of the bid agreement without the approval of the board.
  4. Bid Submission
    Host organizations wishing to bid on hosting the National High School Mock Trial Championship must declare their intention to do so by submitting a Letter of Intent no later than January 15 no earlier than three years and no later than two years out from their proposed host year. This submission must be accomplished by sending the letter in electronic format to the Chair of the Site Selection Committee via email. A reply will be sent upon receipt of the Letter of Intent. If a reply is not received within 24 hours of submission, please contact the Board Chair directly to determine the notification status. Once the Letter of Intent to submit a bid has been received, the Site Selection Chair/Committee will remain in close contact with the "bidders" throughout the remainder of the bid process. It is expected one person on the bid team will become the liaison to the Site Selection Chair during this time. The Board may also arrange a "virtual" meeting with the bid team to discuss specifics of the proposal. This meeting would be via a telephone conference call. The final bid is due on April 1 in the year the Letter of Intent is submitted.

Concluding Information

Bids are accepted up to three years out from the applicant's target host year. The Board reserves the right to award multiple bids during one May board meeting for succeeding years in order to avoid asking potential hosts to re-submit a bid the following year. The Site Selection Committee of the National High School Mock Trial Championship Board will review each bid and make a recommendation to the Board. Only those bids that meet the criteria listed above will be considered. The Board has the full authority to make the final decision on the Bid.

All competitive bids will be discussed during the annual Board meeting in May. One or two people from each bidding state will be asked to make a presentation to the Board during its May meeting. Each state bidding to host the competition will receive a maximum of 15 minutes for its presentation. [This time could be less depending on the number of presentations.] There will be no PowerPoint, overhead or videotape demonstrations permitted. One of the people making the presentation for each state should be the person who will serve on the Board, should their state win the bid.

The Board will make the decision based on the submitted bid, the presentation and the Site Selection Committee's recommendation. The state winning the bid will be notified during the National Mock Trial Championship.

All questions regarding the bid process should be directed to the Site Selection Committee Chair.

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