Category Archives: Noteworthy

The 3NR Podcast Archives Now Available

It has been almost nine-and-a-half years since the debut of The 3NR Podcast and more than seven years since the last episode was posted. Unfortunately, the podcast recordings have been unavailable since the site was hacked in early 2012, and many readers have reached out during that time to ask about acquiring them. I am happy to finally announce that they are once again available for download.

While some of the content is unlikely to be relevant to contemporary debates/debaters (and the audio quality varies from pretty good to almost unlistenably bad), there is still a lot of useful material in these episodes. The 2010 NDCA episode with Will Repko and Jonathan Paul holds up well, for example. If nothing else, The 3NR Podcast provides an accurate summary of the state of high school policy debate from 2009 to 2011 and its major controversies during that time period.

To download the archived podcast episodes, visit For descriptions of each episode, visit; I have updated the download links in each post. You can also use the Wayback Machine to access better episode-by-episode descriptions (including the list of participants on each episode).

An Updated Speaker Point Scale Based On 2015-2016 Results

Since it was changed from half-points to tenth-points (a process that began in the 2010-2011 season before becoming standardized in 2011-2012), the speaker point scale in high school policy debate has dramatically evolved. It is helpful to systematically review point distributions to ensure that students, coaches, and especially judges are aware of the actually-existing scale. To figure out what speaker points mean in today’s scale, I analyzed points from several major national tournaments held during the 2015-2016 school year: Greenhill, St. Mark’s, Michigan, Glenbrooks, Blake, MBA, and Emory. I confirmed that the results of this survey accurately reflected the speaker point scale at the recently-concluded NDCA National Championships. Below the fold, I will provide a summary of the results as well as a descriptive speaker point scale that judges might consider using to align their points with the evolving norms.

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Thoughts on the Proposed Resolutions for 2015-2016

The National Federation of High Schools has released descriptive paragraphs of the proposed resolutions for the 2015-2016 season in order “to promote extensive discussion by coaches and students over the next six weeks.” Below the fold, I offer my initial thoughts about the slate of potential topics. Keep in mind that it is still early in the process and these opinions are subject to evolution and change based on further research and discussion. If you have an opinion about one or more of the proposed topics, share it in the comments. 

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Site Moved To New Host

We have completed moving the site to a new hosting provider. There will be many bugs until all the kinks are worked out, but our existing content should now once again be available. We have also restored our results archive. The podcast and other content will be restored as soon as possible. The new setup should give us a fresh start and make it possible for us to publish new content. Please bear with us as we complete the transition.

The Return of The 3NR Podcast

The long-awaited third season of the 3NR Podcast kicks off with a special guest edition featuring James Herndon (of Emory University) and Whit Whitmore (of the University of Michigan) alongside Scott Phillips. Topics covered include international fiat, impact turning new block impacts after link turning in the 2AC, and research practices/qualifications. The Contemporary Argumentation & Debate issue discussed in the podcast is available here.

Interested? Head over to and download the new episode. If you haven’t done so already, you can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Glenbrooks To Host Space Policy Forum

This year’s Glenbrooks will feature a free Space Policy Forum on Friday night. Tara Tate—Director of Debate at Glenbrook South and Co-Director of The Glenbrooks—announced the forum today:

The Glenbrooks is pleased to present, in conjunction with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as the National Forensic League, a Space Policy Forum open to all and free of charge. The forum will be held on Friday, November 18th at 7pm in the Ravinia Room at the Hyatt Deerfield. This panel is a must-see for any policy debater or coach who is interested in expert advice on this year’s topic. Current members of the panel include:

  • Dr. Stanley G. Rosen, former Director of Strategic Development and Integration for Boeing Satellite Systems, now a consultant to the Tofler Associates. Dr. Rosen was also the coach of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s debate team in the 1970’s.
  • AIAA Public Policy, Space Portfolio Manager, Ross G. Bell. Ross will discuss the nature of space policy as it relates to the appropriations committees and other public policy implications.
  • Chelsey Robinson, Southern Illinois University. Chelsea will be speaking to the role of the life sciences in space exploration/development, both as a reality and as a consideration for debaters debating colonization and long-range exploration cases.

Additional forum members will be announced on the Glenbrooks Joy of Tournament web site. Please arrive a few minutes before 7pm to ensure that seating is available. The formal presentation will conclude with a Q/A opportunity for students and coaches to ask specific questions of the experts.

If you’ll be at the Glenbrooks, this is a must-see event.

Infrastructure and Immigration Final 2012-2013 Topic Candidates

The National Federation of High Schools has announced the final two topic candidates for the 2012-2013 season. Based on voting by states and national organizations, the candidates are infrastructure and immigration:

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its legal protection of economic migrants in the United States.


Evan McCarty's Senior Speaker Address

Each year at the Heart of Texas Invitational at the St. Mark’s School of Texas, a senior debater is selected to deliver a speech at the Sunday morning breakfast. Quarterfinalist teams, Sophomore Hoe Down competitors, and their coaches are invited to attend. This year’s speaker—joining an impressive list of previous honorees—was Evan McCarty from Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham, Alabama. The text of his speech—about the importance of friendship in debate—is available below the fold.

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