If pre-fiat arguments need to die, it is only because the very idea of pre-fiat is no longer useful within LD debate. As much has been said about the nature of pre-fiat, there is generally a lack of clarity within the LD community as to what pre-fiat arguments look like and how they function. While pre-fiat arguments have traditionally been associated with a specific kind of kritik that draws its link from the discourse used in a debate, there has been a recent trend of referring to any argument that discusses race or gender as being “pre-fiat.” Although many positions that address race and gender involve arguments about discourse, I would argue that labeling these positions as generically pre-fiat allows critics of such arguments to dismiss them as an argumentative fad or trick that exploits the structure of fiat in order to gain an unfair advantage and win rounds. Contrary to what the label “pre-fiat” might suggest, critical arguments about structural oppression are not an attempt to avoid substantive debate for a strategic advantage.Read More
Full results from the NDCA Championships are now available at the NDCA website.
Dukes & Bailey Cup: Ram Prasad, La Jolla HS, (Coached by Tom Evnen, Jeff Liu, Jordan Lamothe, and Zach Parker)
Top Speaker: Annie Kors, Harvard-Westlake School (Coached by Mike Bietz, Stephen Babb, Bill Neesen & Daniel Tartakovsky)
Tournament Champion: Pranav Reddy, Harker School (Coached by Greg Achten, Ryan Fink & Nikhil Nag)
Tournament Runner-Up & Second Speaker: Christian Quiroz, Newark Science (Coached by Jonathan Alston, Elijah Smith & Chris Randall)
Congratulations to Harker's Pranav Reddy for winning the 2014 NDCA Championships! In finals, Pranav defeated Newark Science's Christian Quiroz on a 2-1 decision (Kuang*, Mackenzie, Woodhouse). Pranav is coached by Greg Achten, Ryan Fink, and Nikhil Nag. Christian is coached by Jonathan Alston, Elijah Smith, and Chris Randall.Read More
Ellen Noble graduated in 2013 from Macalester College with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in International Security at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She has interned at Human Rights Watch, The Constitution Project, and The Nonprofit Roundtable. She debated for four years at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland, where she qualified twice to the TOC and won the 2008 NCFL tournament. She has worked as an assistant coach at Apple Valley High School. She attended VBI as a student in 2007 and 2008, and returned as an instructor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.
A few weeks ago, we posted a job listing on behalf of The Hockaday School for a new Director of Debate and Forensic Activities. They are now looking to hire an assistant. Below is a message from Cathy Murphree, the Assistant Head for Academic Affairs and Provost.Read More
Lexington, KY -- Starting today at-large applicants will be informed whether they have been been awarded a spot at the TOC. We will publish the names of the accepted entries as they are announced.Read More
Congratulations to Andrew Markoff and Andrew Arsht of Georgetown University for winning the 68th National Debate Tournament in Indiana! Georgetown AM defeated the University of Michigan's Ellis Allen and Alex Pappas in finals.Read More
For all the technical training and strategic planning to which we subject ourselves in the name of affirmation, judges are as inclined as ever to negate. No amount of spikes, tricks or presumption arguments have changed that. Nor have RVIs and kick-and-turn tactics. Nor the emergence of ever tinier plans. As someone who’s now watched or participated in well over a decade of LD debates, I can only say there’s been a small handful of truly exceptional affirmative debaters. They could have won debates in any era, in front of any judge and against even the most skilled negative tacticians. Here are some of the insights I’ve gleaned from observing the best of the best.Read More
Congratulations to Loyola's Chris Kymn for championing the 2014 Kandi King Round Robin held at Northland Christian School! In finals, he defeated La Jolla's Ram Prasad on a 4-1 decision. Chris is coached by Michael Overing, John Scoggin, Bob Overing, Tom Placido, Tim McHugh, Ashan Peiris, Adam Bistange, and Ben Koh. Ram is coached by Tom Evnen, Zack Parker, and Jeff Liu.Read More
David McNeil is a Project Manager at Epic in Madison, Wisconsin and recently earned a B.A. at Carleton College, where he was team captain of the parliamentary team . He has worked as a research intern with Global Policy Group, and was a chess instructor at multiple public schools in Minnesota. He debated for four years at Edina, where he qualified twice to the TOC. He coached The Blake School in Minnesota in 2010 and 2011. He attended VBI as a student in the summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008, and returned as an instructor in the summers of 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Don't forget to register for the 2014 Counterpoint Debate Institute! CDI will be held from July 6th-19th at Loyola University in Chicago. This post features testimonials from students last summer, a gallery of pictures from CDI 2013, and the MacKenzie/Tartakovsky lab's legendary cover of "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus.Read More
Karlyn Gorski is currently a senior studying Public Policy and International Studies at the University of Chicago. She has interned at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, the Cape May Point Municipal Government, and the National Center for Policy Analysis. She debated for five years at Perkiomen Valley High school and qualified to the TOC three times, as well as winning the 2009 NCFL Nationals. She attended VBI as a student in 2008, and has returned as an instructor every year since 2010; this year will be her fifth consecutive summer working at VBI!
An increasingly popular trend in debate has been the 1AC blitzing of short theory spikes. Strategically speaking, it’s not hard to see why; when dropped these arguments are devastating and potentially round winning. And due to both their brevity and quantity, neg. debaters, more often than not, do end up dropping these arguments. This article will point out generic theoretical spikes most 1ACs employ nowadays and provide answers to each of them.Read More
Ryan Davis is currently studying philosophy at Harvard University. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Arizona State University in 2005, an M.A. in Politics from Princeton University in 2007, and a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton in 2011. He began debating LD and policy in 1996, and dabbled in parliamentary debate as a grad student. He is currently a coach for the Bronx HIgh School of Science, and has coached multiple TOC qualifers and tournament champions. He was an instructor at VBI during the summers of 2010 and 2011.Read More
Congratulations to Greenhill's Bennett Eckert for championing the 2014 TFA State tournament in Houston, TX. In finals, he defeated Katy Taylor's Neel Yerneni on a 2-1 decision (*Emerson, Babb, Tripe). Bennett is coached by Aaron Timmons, Neil Conrad, Bekah Boyer, Eric Forslund, and Rebecca Kuang. Neel is coached by Eric Beane.Read More