[eDebate] topicality is a penalty and an appropriate one

pacedebate at aol.com pacedebate
Sat Jun 2 11:46:10 CDT 2007

If you lose topicality you deserve to be penalized for at least two reasons: #1 you are an uninvited party crasher #2 there are better ways to achieve your goal.

#1 That's why tournaments invite people. In the invitation they indicate what topic is to be discussed. If you show up at a tournament that invited you to debate about the middle east and demand to talk about the genocide in darfur it seems the group is being more than a little lenient to allow you to speak at all. Indicating you lose seems like a minor penalty and doesn't really sound that much like exclusion. Exclusion would be the treatment you get when you show up at a World Cup match with shoulder pads and helmets and demand the right to play
#2 If you really think Darfur is more deserving of debate than the middle east then host a debate tournament and invite people to debate about Darfur. If people show up to your Darfur tournament and insist on debating about the middle east you would be justified in showing them the door.

what's truly a waste of time, not to mention money,?is to attend a debate tournament about a particular topic and not plan to discuss that topic.

Tim Mahoney
Director of Debate, St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230
214-734-3673 cell

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