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Hey, debaters: tell me about debate

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Lol, I judged debate last year (Lincoln Douglas and Team Policy, although Team Policy was my fav), and at the beginning of the round when they ask the judges what they are looking for, one of my responses is to speak at the speed at which you can be CLEAR. They are trying to cram as much info (points, counter-points, etc.) into a short time frame, so they tend to whiz through. Often, they forget that their audience may not be able to process that much info at that rate. If the hearer can't process what you are saying, it is just like you didn't say it when it comes time for the judge to award points. It goes back to the age-old, "Know thy audience."


In our club, they did Team Policy (90 min on a current events topic chosen at the beginning of the season, 2 people per team) and Lincoln-Douglas (I think it was 45 min on a moral issue, 1 person per team.)


They are both fun to watch. Especially when you get kids who are really good. Their minds are so quick. I always got a kick out of it. Have fun!

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I judged debate last year too. I mostly judged public forum, but also did some Lincoln-Douglas. We don't have policy in our region anymore, so while I've heard a lot about it because my son's coach really liked policy, I've never actually seen it. Public forum and Lincoln-Douglas are very different. Public forum is two against two, while Lincoln Douglas is one on one. Public forum is much more grounded in reality. Lincoln Douglas is more philosophical. My older ds has done Lincoln-Douglas for two years and really likes it.


I think they're both very interesting to watch. In our region, the public forum topics change every month, so you move through a lot of topics.


Edited to add: I think debate is a wonderful activity. And while I do complain about the time commitment (for me as a judge), it is definitely worthwhile. I fear I'll be judging for a long time, since my younger son is a freshman this year and thinks he's going to try debate.

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