Its debatable…Speak Up!

June 15, 2009

Great post on Adaptation over at 3NR

Filed under: Debate,Judging — bk2nocal @ 10:35 am

I just wanted to point everyone to a post on adaptation for debaters over at the new(er) blog, The 3NR.  The post is written for high school debaters going to CFL and NFL nationals, but I think it has applicability to all debate at some point.  I know on our regional, California circuit we will sometimes have judges who are primarily parliamentary debate judges or who do not have a background in policy debate.  In parliamentary debate, you will sometimes get judges who have a primarily Individual Events background.  In LD, I think you can get a mixture of these types of judges.

I did debate prior to the days of Mutual Preference Judging, so adaptation was much more important to me than it is to today’s debaters.  But, I think adaptation is a valuable skill and I think that Scott Phillips (who wrote the post over at 3NR) does a good job of pointing out some of the mistakes debaters make when debating in front of judges who may not be their top choices for the back of the room.  So, take note debaters!

I also think its valuable for those of us who judge to realize some of the more specific things we can be asking for from the debaters.  As you go through your judging career, more and more things get added to the list of expectations you have for those who debate in front of you – and making sure you communicate these things to debaters is highly valuable to both the debaters and your enjoyment of debate.  As the saying goes, “honesty is the best policy” – and when debaters know what to expect from you as a judge, they are better able to give you those things.  So, don’t be afraid to constantly add/change your judging philosophy (and if you don’t already have one in the debateresults judging database and/or the judging philosophy wiki and/or the Planet Debate judging philosophy database.  Where you put your philosophy will largely depend on where you spend most of your time judging, but putting it in all three locations can not hurt if you judge high school debate regularly – debateresults is the primary resource for college policy.  If you can put any links to parliamentary debate judging philosophy locations in the comments section, that would be much appreciated (I looked around online, but could not locate a central location).  I also looked for a college LD one, but could not locate a centralized list – so, again, if you have one, please put the link in the comments section of this post!

Thanks all!


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