Monthly Archives: April 2011

Follow The 2011 TOC On Twitter

This widget will display all tweets that include the hashtag #TOC2011. If you’re tweeting the TOC, make sure to include the hashtag so that your tweets show up to everyone and not just your followers.

The Tournament of Champions In The 3NR Results Archive

The results from every Tournament of Champions since 1995 (XXIV through XXXIX) are now accessible via The 3NR Results Archive. Packets remain missing for 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, and 2008; if anyone has access to these packets (or to results from prior to 1995), please email the author.

1995 — Immigration
1996 — China
1997 — Juvenile Crime
1998 — Renewable Energy
1999 — Russia

2000 — Education
2001 — Privacy
2002 — WMD
2003 — Mental Health Care
2004 — Ocean Policy

2005 — UN Peacekeeping
2006 — Civil Liberties
2007 — National Service
2008 — Sub-Saharan Africa
2009 — Alternative Energy

2010 — Social Services

Some statistics have already been provided from the last 15 runs for the roses. More TOC-related content will be shared over the course of the next week.

Top Speaker at the TOC: A History Of The Mark Shelton Award

This year marks the 40th running of the Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky. In the run-up to the tournament, we will be sharing several notes about its history here on The 3NR. First up: the top speaker award.

Since 1993, the top speaker award in policy debate at the Tournament of Champions has been named the “Mark Shelton Top Speaker Award” in honor of one of the most accomplished high school debaters in Kentucky’s history. Who was Mark Shelton? And why is the top speaker award named in his honor? Below the fold is an article from the April 1995 issue of Rostrum—”A Tribute To Champions“—that details his story as well as a complete listing of the past top speakers of the TOC.

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Podcast: Preparing For The TOC, Part 2

Scott Phillips and James Herndon are back for part two of their discussion of TOC preparation. This time, the goal is to help students prepare to debate on the negative. How can you prepare topicality arguments to protect yourself against new cases? How does the politics disadvantage fit into your preparation? What counterplans should you have ready to go? These and other questions are discussed by two of the coaches of this year’s Copeland Award winning team from Emory University. Head over to and download the new episode to find the answers. As always, you can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Damien Becomes First School To Win Two NDCA National Championships

The National Debate Coaches Association National Championships has quickly grown to become one of the most prestigious high school debate tournaments in the United States. Since relaunching in 2006, the NDCA National Championships have brought together the vast majority of the nation’s best policy debate teams for an intense postseason tournament. This year’s champion was Nadeem Farooqi and Pablo Gannon from Damien High School in La Verne, California. The win marks Damien’s second in the past three years and gives them the honor of being the first team ever to win the NDCA National Championships twice.

The results from each of the six NDCA National Championships tournaments are presented along with some statistics below the fold.

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Podcast: Preparing For The TOC, Part 1

Preparing for the season-ending tournaments? Heading to Lexington in a few weeks for the TOC? The latest episode of The 3NR Podcast is here to help. In part one of a two-part series, Scott Phillips and James Herndon discuss affirmative preparation and strategy. When should you read a new case? What makes a new case strategic? How should you write your plan? How can you use add-ons strategically? Head over to and download the new episode to find the answers. If you haven’t already, you can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Speaker Point Inflation: Real or Imagined?

One common request over the past few months has been for an assessment of the effects of the new .1 scale on speaker points in high school debate. With most if not all tournaments now utilizing this system (or its 100-point variant), it is now possible to look back and analyze how the new scale has impacted speaker point assignment. Four major national circuit tournaments—two in the first semester and two in the second semester—were included in this study: Greenhill, Glenbrooks, MBA, and Emory. How has the .1 scale effected speaker points at these tournaments? The answer (in graphical form) is below the fold.

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Georgetown Debate Seminar Releases Hoya Template 1.0

The Georgetown Debate Seminar over the weekend released the 1.0 version of the Hoya Template, a paperless debate template for Microsoft Word designed by Anton Strezhnev and based on Alex Gulakov’s pioneering Synergy program. The Hoya Template offers several improvements over previous software including a streamlined automatic cite request generator, enhanced speech document functionality, and a superior reading mode.

The Hoya Template 1.0 is available for free download at the Georgetown Debate Seminar website. An example card that was cut in the template is also available for download; use it to try out the impressive reading mode and cite request features.

Strezhnev will again be serving as a technology consultant this summer for the GDS where he will help students incorporate this and other paperless software into their debating.

Have you taken the Hoya Template for a test drive? Do you have any tips for improving paperless debating? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Do you want to be top speaker at the toc? part 1

A few have emailed/posted questions about prep for the toc. Loyal 3nr readers know most every question about how to win the TOC was answered step by step in my pulitzer prize winning series (here, here, here, ). One thing that was not addressed in great detail there was how to become the top speaker at the TOC and so this series will address this.

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