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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
Each year at the Heart of Texas Invitational at the St. Mark’s School of Texas, two special awards are given to deserving students and coaches: the Senior Speaker Award and the Acolyte Award. This year’s recipients were Evan McCarty of Mountain Brook High School and Jon Voss of Glenbrook South High School, respectively. A list of the past recipients of these awards is available below the fold.