I have decided to try and use speaker points as an incentive to encourage practices I think are good for debate. I think the way most people use points is to punish people who do things they don’t like. However, a cursory reading of any psychology literature will reveal that punishment is a terrible way to change behavior- only rewarding the desired behavior really works….
First, I will implement none of these things unilaterally- in order for any of them to take effect in the round the other team must bring them up and win the argument. If they don’t bring it up or don’t win that it is a legitimate argument/win its merits then it will have no effect.
Second, I think all of these things improve the quality of debate (in terms of competition and education) but am open to arguments to the contrary. Therefore, if one of these does not work out or I am convinced it is a bad idea I will change it rather than clinging to it dogmatically.
Third, when I discuss bonus points below what I mean is that I will try and figure out what points I would have given you prior to my bonus system, and then add the bonus. Obviously this means if you get a 30 you will be unable to get the bonus- sorry 🙁
So, the following are all issues that I think should be brought up and argued in debates by the debaters. If a side successfully brings up one of these issues (brings it up and wins that it is a good argument) each debater will receive an additional .5 speaker points. If one of these arguments is brought up and “turned” (will become clear below) then the other side will get an additional .5 speaker points per debater.(on the 100 point scale you will get 2 extra points)
So, onto the issues
1. Case book disclosure- if you debate in front of me and you have done a better job of disclosing to the NDCA wiki than your opponents, make an argument in the debate that you have done so . If you win that disclosure is good and that the other team has done a worse job of it you will be rewarded. At a minimum you must have your 1AC and a generous amount of neg arguments on there- having one thing when your opponent has none will not cut it.
2. Author qualifications- if you successfully argue that another team’s key piece of evidence (something that matters at the end of the debate) is unqualified, win that qualifications are important, and you yourself have a qualified piece of evidence on the issue- bonus points.
3. Incomplete citations- if the other teams evidence is not fully cited (author, publication, page, full date) and yours is- bonus points. Just because something is a .pdf doesn’t mean you don’t need the page number- same with ebooks and google books.
4. Clarity- if you successfully argue that the other team was unclear (which should be easy if it was the case) and you and your partner are both clear (which may be harder) bonus points. Let me be clear- I think speed is still the most important debate resource. I don’t think Battermans Mom should be able to follow a good debate anymore than I would expect Roy to pass drivers ed. Debate is a specialized activity, and one of the specialties is speed. However, you unclear schmucks are ruining the good name of speed for the rest of us.
5. Case specific strategies- if you read one on the negative- bonus points. Some people think “case specific” is not a black and white issue and that having specific states CP solvency and politics links is case specific. I don’t.
6. Smart impact comparison- not just “time frame probability magnitude”- if you actually get in depth and do it well- bonus points.
7. Going for theory on the aff- I realize this isn’t reciprocal for the neg- and I would be open to potential remedies /things I could give the neg to make it reciprocal. But I will add these caveats- the neg strategy must be egregious in terms of either multiple conditional options, or a cp/alt that severely abuses fiat in a non reciprocal way. If the neg has done these things, then I will have no qualms. I think a potential remedy could be if the neg successfully defends theory, but that seems prone to abuse as the aff rarely extends it. So I think provisionally if the neg does an “awesome” job on theory that the aff goes for competently they can get the bonus.
8. Not a points thing- at the end of the round I may say something like “give me all your link cards”. This is most likely because I am looking for evidence that I can steal. FOR MY DECISION- I will not be counting any evidence that was not either extended specifically by citation or explained well in the final rebuttal. I don’t necessarily think you have to do both- if smith 09 slips your mind but you in detail explain the warrants in the evidence and refer to it as “our key solvency card” that is enough for me, but you definitely need to do more than “extend our link wall” or some such nonsense.
Why give points to both debaters?
Because I want the incentive to be more meaningful. Giving the points to both obviously magnifies the effects- and for teams who are on the cusp of clearing, who are some of the teams I think most need to make some reforms, more points as a bonus will make the argument choice more appealing.