Mere days ago, NCFCA and Stoa announced that, in response to several practices in debate they disagree with, they will be implementing several new rule changes for their upcoming tournaments. In this article, we hope to give you a comprehensive summary of these changes:
- New Judging Criteria
A recent study has shown that according to the most reliable metric available, the opinion of the debater who lost the round, judges tend to get it wrong quite a bit. “I don’t get it,” complained a TPer who recently went 3-3, “The judge in round 6 clearly didn’t flow my third piece of evidence under voting issue 14 subpoint d subsubpoint ii in the 2NR. Otherwise, they clearly should have voted for me.” A tragedy indeed. The study concluded that based on the debaters’ own analysis of the rounds they compete in, the average debater should win upwards of 90 percent of their rounds, compared to the measly 50 percent average that pervades the competitive sphere currently. This new rule change would disqualify any person from judging if they have voted against a debater on at least three separate occasions who thinks they should have won the round. An LDer who went 6-0 at their last qualifier remarked that they don’t see the necessity of such a change: “Why would they do that? The judging around here is already spot on! I haven’t had a bad judge this whole tournament!” But that one anomaly aside, the change is viewed as a net positive by the majority of the debate community, a survey this week revealed.
- Rapping the 2AR is now Outlawed
As you’re likely aware, groundbreaking analysis published roughly a year ago revealed that rapping one’s 2AR, in TP, LD, or otherwise, greatly enhances one’s chances of winning a round–so much so, in fact, that several debaters on the West coast in both leagues, who have adopted this practice, have yet to lose a ballot this year. And nobody else really likes that at all. The proposed rule change would ban the use of all rhyme schemes during the last affirmative rebuttal in both primary styles of debate. And even in just the few days that it’s been in place, this rule has been used to great effect. On Saturday, one TPer, doing his best to avoid rapping, accidentally used the words “nation” and “inflation” in the same sentence during a finals round. He could be heard loudly protesting the new rule as bouncers waiting in the wings pounced and dragged him off the stage. “WHAT?! I’M NOT RAPPING! THAT WAS AN ACCIDENT!! DO NATION AND INFLATION EVEN TECHNICALLY RHYME?? THIS RULE IS THE WORST THING EVER!!” The negative team, when interviewed after the round, commented that this is the best rule change they’ve seen in years.
- Changes to League Funding
Both NCFCA and Stoa, for a variety of reasons, have undergone significant funding cuts in the past two years due to COVID. I can’t tell you how on earth COVID did that; I just know that COVID affects everything. Somehow. Anyway, both leagues have been looking for solutions to this issue, and leadership believes they’ve settled on an optimal solution. They’ve announced that beginning in May, third-party companies will be able to pay a fee that allows them to barge in during debate rounds and promote their product for between 5 and 15 seconds–although if the debaters and/or judge find the promotion interesting, the salesperson will be allowed to ramble for up to an hour, if allowed. An anonymous source has informed us that companies such as Raid Shadow Legends, Grammarly, Flextape, and others have already signed contracts that will last for the duration of the season.
We here at Ethos believe that every debater should be as prepared as possible when they walk into their rounds, and we hope that this article will help you to do just that. Happy debating!
Disclaimer: The above article is satire and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Ethos Debate LLC. Happy April Fools’ Day!
Ben Brown is the blog manager for Ethos Debate LLC. He has competed in Team Policy debate for four years, ranking in the top 16 nationally every year of his high school career in addition to having obtained a smattering of national placings in speech. When not debating, Ben can be found wishing he was debating, playing board games, or hanging out with friends and family.