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How to compete as a small school

Adidas06

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I am the only policy team on my debate team. My partner and I went to UTNIF last summer so we have a decent grasp on policy so far. We don't have a coach or anyone else on the team with reasonable policy knowledge. I heard that the best way for teams from small schools to be competitive was to become good K debaters, so thats what we're trying to do. Right now, we're trying to qual for state (we're in texas) but idk if that's going to happen. Does anyone have any tips for small schools?



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Jared is correct. However, if you read up on kritik literature and start to understand certain arguments, I would say go ahead and be kritikal if you want.

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Wow thanks. If you look into my blog you can probably see that I've been asking around about artificial intelligence. That's because i made a small aff with an AI impact. It's pretty good, but i think you're right about K affs because security K's suck. I think youre right about the wiki too because we got nailed by disclosure T in one tourney. 

More than the aff, im concerned about neg strats. Any advice there?
 

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I'm also from a smaller school but seeing as this is only my second year in policy take what I say with some salt.

 

1. Topicality and Theory are your friend, they can be applied to a lot of different affirmatives and unlike DA's dont require metric tons of evidence and work which can be difficult for smaller teams.

 

2. Adapt to your circuits judges as much as possible, knobw the various arguments they like and dislike and adapt your cases and strats round by round, it can make a big difference in a close round and at the very least you can get mad speaker points.

 

3. Speaker points are one of the few things that are not effected (for the most part) by the size of your team, obviously you want to still win and shouldent put speaker points above wins, but take comfort in the points you get.

 

That's all I can think of at the moment, will post some later if I think of anything, good luck and hope this helped.

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so i guess there was merit to what i said on aff, so here goes neg:

have 4 neg strats.

1.  Policy aff with extinction impacts

2.  Policy aff with systemic impacts

3.  Critical aff with identity focus

4.  Critical aff with theory focus

off of these, you can begin to develop strong arguments that fit the in-between affs or affs that don't fit under any of those 4 categories.  those are just to give you a general direction as to where to go.

next, pick things you know.  do not spread yourself too thin.  that's what I've been doing for too long now, and I've paid dearly.

don't overthink it.  

go with your instincts.  even if a team spends 30 seconds on ASPEC and 4:00 on baudrillard in the 1AR, go with your gut if you know you understand baudrillard better, instead of relying on the logic of the situation.  this may or may not have happened to me.

Learn what youre good at and perfect it as much as you can.  I've just started doing it this year and I so wish i could go back and do it again.

lastly-- enjoy every second of it.  it'll be hard, but learn from everything and embrace the time you have with the activity

best of luck :)

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The trick is to send some people to camp- that way you get some good ev. and if you can make friends with some bigger team, and try to get them to support you

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The impact turn stuff is a good point.  There are lots of weirdos with war good, climate change good, etc. stuff.  Read it and they will just get completely off their blocks and confused.

 

Also rights Malthus

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Also y'all should try one on one debates against each other and get really good at thinking up analytics.  Again, the goal is to get the other team off their blocks to level the playing field.

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The impact turn stuff is a good point.  There are lots of weirdos with war good, climate change good, etc. stuff.  Read it and they will just get completely off their blocks and confused.

 

Also rights Malthus

 

yeah malthus I have found is really disorienting for teams that haven't seen it before. Can be a good DA, just gotta make sure you dont sound like you are saying racisum good. I would run democracy links. 

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I would also all run the same AFF, so yall can prep it out together.

Yeah this is true, and if you guys can get LDers or PoFoers on your team to just make a bunch of args against it you can brainstorm 2AC blocks to back it up really easily.

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I've heard from a the former TOC quarter-finalist Alden Conners that college debate is almost ENTIRELY critical, because debate becomes a lot more refined and competitive. Policy teams may have 25+ debaters because prepping out huge files concerning every aspect of the topic in the status quo takes tons of manpower. Policy Affs can simply be overrun by the sheer amount of DA's and CP's in circulation while Critical Affs will always take certain standpoints that are much less susceptible.

 

I think the Affirmative idea ItAintRalphTho suggests is viable and also EXTREMELY IRRITATING: I think you will also lose if the other team has seriously prepped out T because there is only so far you can go before the judge starts to question the Affirmative outside of arguments; Also there is more time for the negative to argue T so as long as they run a K and maybe a generic CP or DA, you'll be pressed for time.

 

Critical is a great way to go but you run into the problem of the large amount of K's/ literature that exists there too... and then there's Framework. 

 

Your school is in Texas however so I totally agree with the other comments: The Texas circuit is HUGE so you should be able to work with other teams or lab leaders (UTNIF is probably one of the best debate camps) to produce at least some evidence. 

 

Finally, don't underestimate small teams; Single team squads have won the TOC and one of the lab leaders at UTNIF last year, Q, is one of the best anti-blackness debaters and placed at the college national tournament and she came from a small school. 

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I've heard from a the former TOC quarter-finalist Alden Conners that college debate is almost ENTIRELY critical, because debate becomes a lot more refined and competitive. Policy teams may have 25+ debaters because prepping out huge files concerning every aspect of the topic in the status quo takes tons of manpower. Policy Affs can simply be overrun by the sheer amount of DA's and CP's in circulation while Critical Affs will always take certain standpoints that are much less susceptible.

 

I think the Affirmative idea ItAintRalphTho suggests is viable and also EXTREMELY IRRITATING: I think you will also lose if the other team has seriously prepped out T because there is only so far you can go before the judge starts to question the Affirmative outside of arguments; Also there is more time for the negative to argue T so as long as they run a K and maybe a generic CP or DA, you'll be pressed for time.

 

Critical is a great way to go but you run into the problem of the large amount of K's/ literature that exists there too... and then there's Framework. 

 

Your school is in Texas however so I totally agree with the other comments: The Texas circuit is HUGE so you should be able to work with other teams or lab leaders (UTNIF is probably one of the best debate camps) to produce at least some evidence. 

 

Finally, don't underestimate small teams; Single team squads have won the TOC and one of the lab leaders at UTNIF last year, Q, is one of the best anti-blackness debaters and placed at the college national tournament and she came from a small school. 

"manpower" ?

And your username is "LeKritiker"

Shame.

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so me and my partner are in the same situation as you, compete on the same circuit as you and quald for TFA state last year and broke to doubles. Almost knocked out the winner of the tournament as well. We took on the same strat your questioning and it got us really far, the thing you need to remember when moving left though is that its not a competition to see how confusing you can be, you need to be researching not just good evidence, but explanations of the high theory arguments your going for otherwise you will never be successful. Good starting place would be Andrew Robinson's A-Z theory on ceasefire magazine. He does a great analysis on the real implications and historical relevance of some of the highest level of philosophers and his articles are really easy to understand. Another thing to keep in mind when moving for the high theory route is to not sever your identity from the argument. Some of the most successful k debaters are the ones that truly believe and put stock into their plan. That doesn't mean you should make up some fake connection to some high theory argument that people don't understand, rather you should look for something that you understand and can see in context of your own life. Once you find something you jive with, get a good grasp of it and run for dear life with. The more you debate that argument the more it will become unbeatable strat for you. Your ability to understand and argue something that you believe in will also increase your ethos with judges exponentially, and the more you run something the more judges will start to understand and jive with your theory.

 

                 Hope this helps with your decision for the rest of the season and good luck qualifying for state, I hope i see there in the finals round ;).

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Thanks a lot yall, good to know there's other small schools competing out there. I'll definitely check out Robinson's stuff. I'm really going to try to network at UTNIF, get some contacts and maybe build a support network. 

 

As for arguments, we're thinking of running DnG, lacan (familiar with it), death k-ish stuff, schlag, a little baudrillard, etc. In short, generic/ over reaching arguments, but a lot of odd/ trippy arguments meant to mess the other team up. Any feed back on whether or not these kinds of arguments work for small teams? 

 

Identity is interesting to me, but I feel like I'm not in a position to run it. 

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so me and my partner are in the same situation as you, compete on the same circuit as you and quald for TFA state last year and broke to doubles. Almost knocked out the winner of the tournament as well. We took on the same strat your questioning and it got us really far, the thing you need to remember when moving left though is that its not a competition to see how confusing you can be, you need to be researching not just good evidence, but explanations of the high theory arguments your going for otherwise you will never be successful. Good starting place would be Andrew Robinson's A-Z theory on ceasefire magazine. He does a great analysis on the real implications and historical relevance of some of the highest level of philosophers and his articles are really easy to understand. Another thing to keep in mind when moving for the high theory route is to not sever your identity from the argument. Some of the most successful k debaters are the ones that truly believe and put stock into their plan. That doesn't mean you should make up some fake connection to some high theory argument that people don't understand, rather you should look for something that you understand and can see in context of your own life. Once you find something you jive with, get a good grasp of it and run for dear life with. The more you debate that argument the more it will become unbeatable strat for you. Your ability to understand and argue something that you believe in will also increase your ethos with judges exponentially, and the more you run something the more judges will start to understand and jive with your theory.

 

                 Hope this helps with your decision for the rest of the season and good luck qualifying for state, I hope i see there in the finals round ;).

 

Are you Anthony/Ronak?

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