[eDebate] New Aff? Pre round disclosure?

Galloway, Ryan W. rwgallow
Wed Jan 21 19:42:03 CST 2009

Jackie raises some good questions, and I think it is a good time of the year to discuss them.  I'll give my 2 cents, and then raise another question.

My general reaction is that the team that wins the toss should not get to strategize "after the toss."  This was honestly something I had never thought of until Shawn & Naveen were about to flip against the Fort years ago, and they wanted to talk to Shanahan and make sure both sides knew the AFF, plan, advantages, etc.  Apparently people were winning the toss, going and strategizing till 5 minutes before the round, and doing things like "new plan, one new advantage" long after the toss happened.

To not give too much of a strategic advantage to the team that wins the toss, I think all the disclosure should be on the table before the toss.  Thus, my reaction to disclosure is to say that each team should disclose their plan, advantages, etc. before the toss under the logic of "if you are aff, will you run x, y, z."  It is fine before the toss to say "if we are aff we will run a new case," or "if we are aff we will run cotton, but it's a new plan with one new advantage and doha."

The team winning the toss already gets a strategic advantage, they shouldn't get to multiply the advantage by shielding some elements of disclosure.  And if the neg forgets to ask for the plan or advantages before the coin toss--honestly that's too bad.  I'm guided by Karla Leeper's line in her run for the NDT finals, "before you flip negative, you should know what aff we're running."  I've made that mistake as a coach before (forgot to ask for the plan before we flipped neg and wanted to run a word pic).  I'll take the blame (sorry Clark & Nick) and say coaches and teams should know in advance.

The danger of the "we could run a new aff or an old aff" is the advantage of post-flip strategizing as well as the multiplicity of what is an "old aff."  I don't think disclosure is "we're going to run an aff that someone on our squad of 15 teams has run at some point this year."  That is the same as saying "we're running something that is on the case list."

Bottom line:  team that wins the toss gets an advantage anyway:  they get to choose their side, which can be a tremendous strategic advantage depending on the circumstances (panel, how good are we on one side, what args the other team runs, etc).  They shouldn't get to multiply that advantage with:  "if we win the toss we could run a new aff, an old aff, or an aff another team on our squad runs."  Then, post flip strategizing goes to the side that won the toss, and they might tell you 5 minutes before the debate what you are debating.  All the cards should be on the table before the flip.

However, this is solely my opinion, and I am eager to hear other's thoughts.

New topic.

What is a new aff. on this topic?  Near as I can tell, all the commodities have been run at this point (with UNT's new wheat aff I think a version of all 10 have been run).

If your squad hasn't run a commodity, can you call "new aff?"  If it's a new version of a commodity you've run, can you say "new aff" or do you have to say "new version of fish?"  What is a "new version" of the case?  Does it have to have a new plan, or are new advantages sufficient?  Is a "new plan" one that switches around a comma or two to deny the neg team the ability to see the plan before the debate?

It might be good to resolve these questions before the high-intensity end of the year debates.


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