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 on: January 21, 2017, 10:03:12 PM 
Started by coach_hanes - Last post by V I Keenan
You should look up the International Public Policy Forum by the Bickel and Brewer Foundation (now just Brewer Foundation).  It is a HS scholarship competition that the first few rounds of competition were written, then written plus oral defense in the Sweet 16, and then verbal debates.

 on: January 18, 2017, 01:44:52 PM 
Started by Dan Fitzmier - Last post by LaTonya Starks
My name is LaTonya Starks and I am an alumna, and current coach, of the Northwestern Debate Society.  Many of you have probably seen me around at tournaments.  If we have not yet met, we will soon.  I will be helping to run 54th Owen L. Coon Memorial Debates from February 4th-6th, 2017 on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  We are pleased to be able to bring back the OLC this year, after a long absence while our campus was under construction. 

While I will likely be wearing many hats during the tournament (all of them stylish, of course), I will also be directing our accessibility initiative.  We strive to serve as the chief point of contact for is heading up the accessibility initiative. I will be serving as the main point person, so any tournament participants with disabilities and/or health-related needs should contact me.
The goal is to do all that I can to make our campus as accessible as possible for each and every tournament participant and guest.  I have, and do grapple with my fair share of health, accessibility and transportation issues, and I can guarantee you that I take this matter quite seriously.  With that in mind, please feel free to contact me directly.  I can be reached by phone at (312)316-6102, or by email at: (all letters are lowercase).  Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to avail yourself of this initiative, so that we can plan accordingly.

I am happy to announce that members of the Northwestern Debate Society will be happy to provide accessible transportation, limited room movement, and anything else we can reasonably accomplish to make the tournament experience as best as possible for all our guests.  We recognize that the scale of the tournament and the weather conditions at this time of year In Evanston pose unique challenges – please let us know what we can do to make this an exceptional experience.  We have committed extraordinary resources to accomplish this goal and aim to exceed your expectations in this regard. 
The debate community thrives because of its diversity.  Please join me in helping to continue the culture of inclusion and accessibility during the 54th Owen L. Coon Memorial Debates.  I look forward to hosting you all here in Evanston in February!

LaTonya K. Starks

 on: January 17, 2017, 01:27:57 PM 
Started by glarson - Last post by glarson
I apologize for LaTonya for seemingly implicating CSUF and perhaps seeming to criticize their efforts.  That was not my intent at all but evidently I communicated poorly.  I was just communicating what was told me from tabroom support as to when the change was made in tabroom to indicate to those who were filling out pref sheets who had opted in and who hadn't, something that judges who opted in were not necessarily aware of based on reports I received from Navy participants who were surprised.

That's the only question I was asking - not in any way complaining about the procedures at CSUF.  Should it be automatic that if a tournament permits opt-in (as many or most which obtain CEDA sanctioning now do), the opt-in status of each judge will be disclosed to those doing the pref sheet.  As I noted there are potential arguments both for and against.  And I imagine tournaments might have different opinions as to whether 1) they want to encourage opt-in AND disclose it on pref sheets, 2) they want to encourage opt-in BUT not disclose it on pref sheets or 3) use something other than opt-in to increase diversity.

I'm thankful to LaTonya for her efforts.

 on: January 17, 2017, 12:13:05 PM 
Started by glarson - Last post by LaToyaGreen
There was also nothing "hidden" about opting in or how to do so. A special button was created on Tabroom to facilitate it and tournament wide email blasts were sent to publicize it. Those who indicated they were "black," were added to a list of indicated judged and the responsible community we have avoided trying to "game" that system by *perceptually "gaming" the opt in. There were no forced disclosures, forced opt ins, or heavy handed regulations of who opted in. Besides me heavily endorsing it, the entire initiative was organic and transparent.

All of the risk listed, are risk I put my name on this initiative, as ones worth taking. Understandably this can set a precedence for preferences writ-large (a meaningful and direct one, imho), but my hope is that in an activity that thrives on being substantively responsive to the issues it has, this is what is interpreted as a step in the right direction.

 on: January 17, 2017, 12:06:56 PM 
Started by glarson - Last post by LaToyaGreen
CSUF actually did not opt in judges; we heavily encouraged diverse judges to opt-in and subsequently attempted to enforce a pref policy to encourage those who do prefs to rank indicated and specified judges above 50%. If that quota wasnt met, preferences were adjusted to meet the bare minimums of the "50% of opted in judged ranking above 50%" standard of the equity initiative.

 on: January 16, 2017, 06:29:23 PM 
Started by cvtheresume - Last post by cvtheresume
The Cross Examination Debate Association's call for submissions to the 2017 NCA Conference in Dallas, TX is now available through the NCA Convention portal (l The deadline is Wednesday, March 29 at 11:59 PM PST. Please contact me via email at vitolo at if you have any questions or need assistance. The text of the call is posted below:

Cross Examination Debate Association
Submission Deadline Dates:  Mon, 1/16 2017 12:00 AM - Thu, 3/30 2017 3:30 AM EDT
Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA)
The Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) is the primary national association promoting policy topic intercollegiate academic debate. CEDA encourages scholarship which promotes and develops understanding of argumentation and debate in contexts including academic debate, political debate, legal argumentation, and debate in the public sphere.

Submissions for presentation and discussion of issues important to competitive debate practice and the teaching of debate and argumentation, as well as argumentation theory, philosophy of argument, advocacy, decision making, argument across cultures, and argument in applied contexts are welcomed, as are interdisciplinary linkages within and beyond the field(s) of communication.

Submissions which address the Convention theme, "Our Legacy, Our Relevance" are strongly encouraged, as are non-traditional submissions engaging alternative formats, including debates and other creative programs. 

CEDA will accept the following submission types: individual papers, paper sessions, panel discussions, and performance sessions. All submissions must be made via NCA Convention Central. Mailed or emailed papers will not be accepted. For guidance, please refer to the step-by-step “How to Submit” Instructions (and other helpful information) provided in the NCA Convention Resource Library.

1. Individual Papers: Submitters should list the title, paper description, and authors in the appropriate section of the electronic form. Submissions must include a complete, single-spaced uploaded copy of the paper. Copies must not include identifying information. Instructions on how to prepare an anonymous copy are provided in the NCA Convention Resource Library. Abstracts will be considered, but completed papers are preferred. Papers will be anonymously reviewed. CEDA will recognize the Top Individual Paper submitted.

2. Paper Sessions: Submissions must include a session title and session description; and the entry of each paper title, description and authors involved. A session chair is required. Please provide a rationale for acceptance outlining the importance of the submission.

3. Panel Discussions: Submissions must include a session title and session description and identification of each presenter involved. A session chair is required. Please provide a rationale for acceptance outlining the importance of the submission.

4.  Performance Session:  A performance session is submitted as a pre-conceived and complete session with a performer(s), chair(s), and respondent (optional).  Debate formats are appropriate for performance sessions.  The performance session is reviewed for consideration as a whole.  Submissions must include session title and session description, individual performance titles and description, with identification of each participant involved; and a rationale for acceptance outlining the importance of the submission. If submitting a debate submission, repeat the session title and description as the individual performance title and description in the appropriate section of the electronic form.
AV requests must be made at the time of submission

Submissions must be made electronically through the NCA Convention Central. NCA Convention Central will open for submissions on Monday, January 16, 2017. The Deadline for submission is Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 11:59 P.M. Pacific time.

CV Vitolo-Haddad
Cross Examination Debate Association Division Planner
(954) 815-2667


 on: January 16, 2017, 09:07:08 AM 
Started by glarson - Last post by glarson
I'd be interested in feedback on a recent change on how opt-in data is handled.  As I understand it, up until CSUF judges opted in at their discretion but that information was not provided to the teams as they were completing their pref sheets.  That information is now being disclosed.

I can imagine reasons both for and against.  On one hand, if a tournament is going to assign judges differently based on opt-in OR if they are going to treat a sheet differently based on opt-in, it would seem that the teams filling out the sheets shouldn't have to do it blindly with respect to opt-in status.  At the same time a team shouldn't be able to say that they didn't know that they were ranking opt-in judges lower because they didn't know who they were.  Even if we are only doing "research" on the data, it is difficult to know ho opt-in impacts the completion of pref sheets if nobody knows who opted in.

On the other hand, there are a number of reasons that opt-in was originally not disclosed on the pref sheet.  Depending on how broadly a tournament defines diversity categories, some opt-in designations might "out" a person for something they would prefer to not publicly disclose.  Additionally, given that the majority of diverse judges do not choose to opt in at present, the individual reasons a diverse judge may choose to opt in or not are not currently open to argument since the decisions are confidential.  It could be argued that neither those who choose to opt in nor those who don't should be potentially required to defend those decisions by their public disclosure.  Finally, from a pragmatic view, public disclosure of opt-in status could have the counter-productive effect of negatively impacting their preference as teams "could" decide that they would prefer not to have that subset of judges but who would then defend themselves by saying that they are actually preferring diverse judges who didn't opt-in.  Admittedly perverse but since opt-in judges are not necessarily a representative sample of all diverse judges, it would be difficult to counter.

In the end, I think those of us who run tournaments and/or create software should be fully responsible to the community.  So I won't put my thumb on the scale.  But I do wait for other responses.

 on: January 15, 2017, 09:32:11 PM 
Started by coach_hanes - Last post by CouldaBeenaContenda
So without "direct quotations", will you be giving more credence to presumption, and to what one might call, "conventional wisdom"?

 on: January 14, 2017, 10:56:04 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
Reminder -- tomorrow is the last day to pay your NDT subscription dues.  You must subscribe to the NDT to be eligible to attend the National Debate Tournament, and to be included in the end of the year rankings.  You can pay on-line at

 on: January 14, 2017, 12:00:49 PM 
Started by coach_hanes - Last post by coach_hanes
I'm thinking of doing a written debate activity in the debate class I teach. I'm looking for feedback.

My main goal is to get students to intensively focus on one single issue. I want them to move beyond tag-line debating and get into the details. For example, instead of just saying, "Economy is good now," I want them to wade into specific indicators of economic well-being and what economists actually infer from them.

Here is my thought: Aff. writes three arguments of its choosing on a narrow topic, maybe two pages, double-spaced, with no direct quotations; the Neg. gets the paper and chooses one aff. argument to respond to--getting to write three responses, two double-spaced pages; the process repeats for a couple of cycles.

The idea is that only getting to respond to one opponent argument narrows down the debate quickly. If they can't respond with breadth, they've got to respond with depth.

Oh, one other detail is that we'll be bouncing two topics back and forth. While the students are waiting for their opponents to write their responses, they'll be working on writing their own responses on a different topic.

Has anyone used a written debate activity in their class? Any feedback or thoughts on my activity?


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