Monthly Archives: September 2010

Debating the case in the 2AC

Many, many teams are having some 2AC trouble in the debates I am judging. Some of this relates to poorly written 1AC’s, some to poorly written 2AC blocks, and a lot to misunderstanding where cards need to be read. There are definitely other problems, but those are for another post, perhaps by Roy if he ever gets out of his coma.

In order to highlight some of the issues related to these problems, I am going to go through some simple examples that come up most frequently, but the general idea is applicable everywhere.

Continue reading

Lessons Every High School Debater Can Learn From Their Intercollegiate Counterparts

With very few exceptions, the best intercollegiate policy debate teams in the country gathered in Atlanta this past weekend for the Georgia State National College Debate Tournament, a season opener that is widely considered the first “major” of the year. Most everyone would agree that the quality of the debating that occurred at GSU was superior to that found at even the best high school invitationals. This only makes sense: college debaters are older and more experienced than their high school counterparts and should therefore be expected to demonstrate a superior skill set.

But what actually is it that separates good college debaters from good high school debaters? What lessons can high school debaters learn from the GSU college tournament? My “top five tips” list is below the fold.

Continue reading

Full Text Disclosure: Good, Bad, or Ugly?

The winners of last year’s inaugural 3NR Spirit of Disclosure Award—Bronx Science’s Zack Elias & Andrew Markoff—set a new standard for comprehensive disclosure in high school policy debate. Instead of posting only the tags, citations, and first-and-last words of the evidence they read in debates, Bronx disclosed the full text of their evidence on the NDCA Wiki. While others feared that doing so would put them at a competitive disadvantage, Zack and Andrew were pioneers that racked up an impressive array of accomplishments despite raising the bar for openness and transparency. By winning the NDCA Championships, reaching the quarterfinals of the TOC, and finishing fourth in the Baker Award standings, Bronx put to rest the notion that a top-tier team can’t stay competitive using an open-source-after-the-fact model.

Continue reading

Site Redesign and News

As you can see, we have freshened things up for the new season. If you hate the new theme, we welcome constructive suggestions — this is a work in progress and hopefully we can improve it over time.

In addition to the redesign, we will soon be unveiling a new podcast-specific site that will hopefully play nicer with iTunes and other podcast aggregators. The first podcast of the season will be recorded and published sometime this week; if there’s something you would like us to discuss, please let us know in the comments.

The last few months have been hectic for all three of us and our publishing schedule suffered as a result. With Scott and I settled in to our new jobs and our new city, we plan to once again provide a lot of new content each week for our loyal readers and listeners.

On behalf of Scott and Roy, thanks for your support!

Tips For Using The New NDCA Wiki

With the first weekend in the books, I wanted to share some tips with debaters and coaches regarding the new NDCA Wiki. While there has been some criticism of the new wikispaces site, the vast majority of people that I talked to at Greenhill were pleased with the change. From an administrative point of view, the new site is substantially easier to manage and hopefully will cut down on the amount of cleanup required to correct mistakes. With the goal of assisting users with the transition, I have provided several tips regarding the wiki—they’re below the fold.

Before diving into the tips, though, I wanted to issue an official 3NR shout-out to Kinkaid’s Vivek Datla and Zach Rosenthal, the early favorites for this year’s Disclosure Award. Their wiki page is well formatted, well organized, and comprehensive; while it could be improved at the margins, it is a great example of what a well-maintained page can look like using the new wikispaces format. Kudos, Kinkaid!

Continue reading

Affs at Ghill RR

As listed on the wiki now

Carrolton- Japan BMD

Hooch- Afghan COIN

Dallas Jesuit-Japan

Damien- Japan


Ghill- Japan

Gulliver- End counter narcotics in Afghanistan

Homewood Flossmoor- Afghan COIN

Kinkaid- Korea

Lexington -Afghan COIN

Mountain Brook- Afghan PMCs

St. Francis- Korea

Westminster- Afghan COIN

NDCA Unveils 2010-2011 Wiki

The National Debate Coaches Association has announced an upgrade to the 2010-2011 National Argument List, colloquially known as “the wiki”. The wiki is now hosted by wikispaces, the same software that is used for the college caselist. Please take a minute to register for the new wiki before the season gets underway. If you have questions about the transition to the new software, please check out the transition page; if that doesn’t answer your question(s), post ‘em here and someone will help you.