Sidebar?

Interested in opinions from judges or debaters.

A while ago the nooch and I had a brief discussion on here about judges intervening in cx when one team is clearly giving a long drawn out BS answer (which nooch dubbed the filibuster)

A few other instances I have been observing semi frequently have me wondering whether or not judges should be exercising a heavier hand in what goes on in the debate.

I have never and probably will never say anything in these instances, but I have ranked them by likelihood I would say something. For some I have suggested other potential remedies and would love to hear about others ( a common one being debaters could just ask the judge)

-what were the vis? This is where one team asks the other team what voting issues were in their last speech and the team gives them a wrong answer (either from forgetfulness or malice). My reservation for not saying anything is obviously the other team should flow better. Potential alternative remedy- don’t vote on an arg that wasn’t relayed to the other team. Similarly “what cards say turns the case” is a question I hear misanswered a lot in the same vein.

-Did you kick X? I hear this more than you would think, if something is unclear- like was an argument extended, oftentimes teams will try and push the envelope and be like “oh yea, that was extended for sure” when iI am pretty sure it wasn’t, so I would consider being like “i didn’t have that extended”. Again- flow better, but a lot of times this is when the last speech was really unclear and I myself am unsure

-what cards did u read? Similar to the first, but this I feel is both more and less of a flowing issue- you should know what args they made, but sometimes finding out exact cards is difficult. After many debates I have been handed 6 uniqueness cards when i thought the team read 1/2 that or less, if they are handing that many to the other team that seems questionable obviously but does it rise to level of judge intervention?

-Beep beep beep- oftentimes people have asked what the last arg I wrote down was when someone keeps talking after the timer- and I would encourage people to do that. A similar confusing thing is the ventriloquism routine where one partner is telling the other word for word what to say, but the “puppet” is not saying it all, only parts of it- often resulting in a non argument. I don’t think i would ever jump in here, but would def proffer my opinion if queried by the debaters

6 thoughts on “Sidebar?

  1. Anon

    Is this what debate has come to; with so many stupid little cx tricks out there that debaters are paranoid to a point where they will never even give a yes or no answer. I'm fairly sure that debaters are more scared at the notion of giving such a simple answer than at things as big as entirely dropped Disads and such. It's a shame bro.

  2. Ross Garrett

    I think for your first two issues, the punishment of holding the lying team to cross-x seems like the best answer. Judges should make a habit of flowing or flowing parts like these questions and should hold teams to those answers, either through verbal intervention or at the end of the debate.

    I'm not really sure why the card thing is much of an issue, teams demand paperless speeches in real time, it seems like you should be able to follow (even with people skipping cards it was never really a problem for me to follow).

    I think one other surprising outcome of verbal judge intervention is that a lot of teams don't pay attention. I've seen both Al Louden and Dallas Perkins verbally suggest something in the round and many teams don't make any adjustment at all.
    Overall, however, I think judges should try and 'guide' debaters by making sure there is some feedback regarding lying/misrepresentation. You should reflect either in real time, the RFD, and the ballot what offense occurred and what punishment you employed. I think reasonable punishments including holding them to the lie or lowering speaker points.

  3. anon

    Vis–I think if the team that was lied to makes an argument as to why cross-x should be an honest or binding exchange then you should refuse to vote on something that was not noted in cross-x, i also think speaker points should be lowered for the person who lied because that's not what should be done in the activity, or forgot what they just read because a smart debater should be able to remember the voting issues read. However i don't think the judge should intervene until after the round.

    Kicking things–this is a problem on a topic where arguments are so inter-related, i think a team should ask the question intelligently like "was the counterplan extended as an advocacy", rather than just asking if it was kicked or extended. I think this makes it impossible for teams to blatantly lie about it. If the question is asked intelligently and the opposing team still blatantly lies, they should be scolded after the round and speaks likely decreased, but i still think the judge should not intervene in mid round.

    Cards–teams should try to only flash cards they will read, and teams should actually flow. I once hit a team who opened the wrong speech document, and after the speech requested the correct one, and after we showed him where the correct one was on the flash drive he requested we delete the cards that weren't read. For my partner and i it was the first time anybody had requested this of us and we weren't sure what to do, but the judge intervened and said "cmon guys, you should have just been flowing" and i agree with that exact sentiment. There is no reason for a team to delete cards that weren't read, unless a speech was not flashed to the other team before the speech. I think judges should enforce this situation. I also think judges should intervene if it seems like teams are being coerced into deleting cards when it isn't necessary.

    As for the timer issue, i agree teams should ask their judge what the last argument wrote down was. When the puppet routine is going on, i would just blatantly state in your speech "Look, clearly his partner made some very intelligent arguments unfortunately it wasn't his turn to speak, the XXC/R didn't actually make those arguments and they should be ignored.

    I think judge intervention during round should be kept at a minimum, but i think judges should clearly state after the round "i significantly decreased your speaker points because you did this." and get very serious on the isssue.

  4. Anonymous

    In many debates it seems like teams, especially when listing things like voting issues, seem to honestly not remember what they said. Instead of punishing these teams, judges should simply hold them to what was said in cross-examination, as those will likely be the only arguments the other team responds to. However, this is something that should be discussed post-round, but to take away speaker points from either side for forgetfulness or inability to flow a possibly-unclear speech seems a tad harsh. Additionally, the problem also appears to be a proliferation of voting issues, read after each subpoint on theory- voter for fairness, competitive equity, education, jurisdiction…

  5. Anon

    Sometimes when someone gets up during CX or after it's pretty annoying when it seems as though they didn't flow and ask what "you said' on certain arguments. I can see clarification, but the other team should not be held to the standard of having to re-explain everything that went on. There is a line between repeating your speech and just telling what arguments were made.

  6. jss

    Maybe I'm just not very good at controlling CX but I've found rounds go much more smoothly in front of people like Justin Green who tells people to answer the question if they're trying to BS their way around it.

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