Author Topic: Paperless etiquette  (Read 3292 times)


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Paperless etiquette
« on: January 17, 2010, 03:49:09 PM »
After a little more experience debating paperless teams, I decided to post some of the things I have come to notice, especially since the judges/coaches might not be aware of this unless they've heard it from their debaters.
I understand that debate has moved towards everything that wins and everything that loses - however I think there are some codes and mannerisms we keep that are supposed to keep debate A) fun and B) "fair". mostly fair.
Just like I don't, and hope most people don't, throw my papers up in the air as i read them, and don't hide my opponents or my own evidence and look very slowly, I would hope that teams debating paperless also make it mostly balanced. I have witnessed a couple of 'tactics' this year by paperless teams that I would hope are eventually phased out.
A) jumping innane amounts of evidence. When i recieve a 80 page file titled "1nr round 4" it makes me feel either like a super super slow debater or that i'm being a little bit cheated. This problem is exacerbated by slow viewing computers, teams changing tag lines and order from what they have on the computer, problems using a foreign computer (problems that obviously can't be stopped, but should be noted).
I would hope that teams don't do this too intentionally, or worse yet, read from a completely different document then they jump. To me, and I bet for most paper(ed) teams, this would be the equivalent of reading one card, flipping it face down on the floor, and then throwing 20 more cards down on the ground next to it.

some of my problems mentioned can be solved by jumping the document to your computer so it's not slow and you know the controsl which brings me to my second problem
B) lying about computer capabilities. If your computer can be unplugged and you say it can't so the team has to huddle in some awkward position, that's no good. If you say your jump drive or files might be corrupted by a virus, then that's not good.

In conclusion, just as I view it as the responsibility of myself, as a papered team, to make it easy for my opponents to see my evidence, I hope that paperless teams try to do the same. It may be strategic for you to muddle the flow, make it hard for us to see the evidence, but really it just makes debate less fun, and the quality of the debates worse.

Taylor Layton
Northwestern Class of '13
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 05:11:13 PM by TayLay »