[eDebate] Exactly Wrong...

debate at ou.edu debate
Thu Oct 4 21:11:04 CDT 2007

These claims of absolutely true are so false are absurd.  You are not the know all of debate.  Your experience does not define 
the debate conventions.


I really should stay out of this, but... 

Zomp and Scott Elliott are exactly right in the debate about the damage of non-topical aff's to those just learning debate. I will 
expand on that argument and make an additional argument about small schools. 

When I worked at Augustana College, every student on the squad started as a novice. We worked our tails off to become 
competitive, and qualifying for the NDT was a big accomplishment. 

This small school large school thing is a false dichotomy, and we both know this. Or at least I see it that way.

My students #1 complaint about debate was when they would debate teams that wouldn't defend the topic. It was VERY difficult 
to have strategies about both the topic and the non-topic. Repeatedly, the teams who would do this would say "helps small 
schools." It might help them on the AFF, but it certainly doesn't help a school with limited debate experience debate you when 
you won't play by the basic rule that you should defend the topic. 

My students number one complaint are mean people who like to kill terrorists defending their policy debate.  You speak as 
though the students they deabte are like these varsity debaters who stay in novice cuz they are kritik debaters, they dont have 
to be able to defend against both sides?  

It is true that we frequently also lost debates to bigger schools with lots of cards. But when Emory GP (a specific example) beat 
them, they could say, "ok, that team was faster, more experienced, and had better cards on 'x.' The judge said if we did x, y, 
and z; we could win. I know how to get better." 

In the other debates the after-rounds with judges were often hilarious. You would ask "what could we do?" [long pause]. Maybe 
you could run, "x argument having nothing to do with the topic that we've never heard of any lit on." How on earth could we 
have an infinite variety of those arguments against a 180 team field at a large tournament? Especially when many of these 
arguments arguably existed nowhere in any literature. 

I take it you had problems figuring out how to disagree?  

Is it that unreasonable that a team DEFEND THE TOPIC so our topic-specific strategies could apply? 

Write better topics! Your one of those in charge.

I've basically already made argument #2: it is false that allowing the affirmative to defend non-topical aff's "helps small 
schools." It HURTS small schools when debating such AFF's. 
Not very well though.

Further, large squads gain an additional advantage--specialists. I could go into a long discussion about this, but when your 
coaching staff hits about four you can have an argument specialist. About all Eber did at MSU was cut cards against K teams. 
Other large squads have their specialists. When a specialist can target a team with non-topical aff's the advantage to the team 
running the non-topical aff shrinks dramatically. 

Your misunderstanding the reason for such strategies. How about creating debaters that cut their own cards, then you dont need 
ten coaches.  This is what my style of coaching does.


Against squads that can't afford (literally cash-wise) an argument specialist. Then the non-topical aff. defender can say "but we 
lost to Baudrillardian geo-politics bad last night, go research that..." AND your politics updates, and five countries, and the 
twenty or so cases per country. 

I would put the politics updates at the bottom of the list.  We all have the same infinite prep.

It's a losing battle. Judges should vote on "you're not topical--go write a topical case." 

Adjust your strike sheets accordingly, but I'm already on record in the judging philosophy as saying the number 1 strongest bias 
is that an affirmative should be topical. 

And this is the primary reason why. 


Strike sheet adjusted.  I say disagree, and then debate out why that disagreement is imortant.



More information about the Mailman mailing list