While we (ok, mostly me) vent about the struggles debaters have with the paperless process (no need to really rehash them all is there?), there is one facet of the debate that we haven’t talked about much, post round decision time.
In theory having all or most of the evidence electronically should streamline decision times. Only one person can read a paper card at a time but multiple people can have a document with the same card open. Unfortunately what I’ve found in the debates I’ve judged or waited for decisions on, is that the opposite is the case. Laptops are constantly being exchanged, evidence is being added to documents, more word files are being opened, etc etc.
There is an easy solution to this problem that I think could drastically reduce decision times and make the post round process much more efficient. Paperless teams at the conclusion of the debate should compile all the evidence they read into a single word document, and organize / sort them by appropriate headers. When a judge calls for X or Y piece of evidence, the debater can either provide them their laptop with all the cards there or jump them the document with all the cards read in the debate on it and let the judge find the cards in the word document.
I’m guessing some teams do this already but ALL teams definitely do not do this. The laptop merry go round is too inefficient a process to continue especially on elim day where people are constantly stressed about making flights and decisions taking a long time anyhow.