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Using Google in a Debate round?

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I always hear that there are "no rules in debate", and this seems to be true (excepting some federal/state laws that apply during rounds as well). I have never seen a "rule-book" for debate that prohibits in round research and now with laptops springing up all over tournaments it is troubling to think of all the "in-round research" and even "in-round coaching" (over g-chat and such) that could very well be going on. While on one hand having teams that can do some last minute research on the things that hit assures a greater quality each round, it also limits the advantage of having a new or unexpected aff. So what does you all think? Should the use of Google and other Search engines be allowed in Debate rounds? Should the use of the internet be allowed in Debate rounds? Or should debate have an official rule created banning both? Do teams have to disclose when they use Google and open themselves up to theory arguments, or do you need to spy on the other team to catch them and enforce the unspoken "no-google rule" with a voter?

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Well at least at NDCA, I was cutting uniqueness evidence for sanctions (LD) during rounds my speeches, and cutting blocks to arguments as well...

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This is usually taboo. I don't know why, but I wouldn't do it because you might upset your judges.

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Idk about official NDCA rules, but at most GHSA/GFCA tournaments, you can be disqualified and/or reprimanded for cutting cards/ using the intranetz during your round(s).

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Not everyone can afford laptops or a coaching staff that can sit in their rounds. Seems like a pretty damn classist practice.

Not to mention that the vast majority of judges would frown, if not DQ you, on it.

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To me it seems fair if you get mutual buy in from your opponent and your judge.

 

In terms of rules--most tournaments issue rules for the event--but generally these are only the resolution and time. I don't know if any tournaments have more extensive rules than that.

 

Also, various state/local coaching organizations/associations have policy debate rules I believe.

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I have never seen a "rule-book" for debate that prohibits in round research and now with laptops springing up all over tournaments it is troubling to think of all the "in-round research" and even "in-round coaching" (over g-chat and such) that could very well be going on.

 

The use of computers, electronic storage and retrieval devices, etc is allowed in rounds of Policy Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, and Student Congress. They are not allowed in any other event. Connectivity

to any person, machine, device, or server outside the competition room or persons other than the competitors in the round is not allowed. This includes the prohibition of the use of wired or wireless local, or wide, area networks; cell phones; personal digital assistants; Palm, Treo, or Blackberry type devices; etc. The establishment of such a connection will constitute a violation of this rule. Competitors violating this rule will be disqualified from competition.

 

NCFL Bylaws

Edited by dhanson

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the problem is proving that your opponents were using the internet. It's not like you can hold a mirror behind them so the judge can see what's on their screen.

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The Bylaws for technology state:

 

The use of computers during debates is permitted for both flowing and research purposes including retrieval of evidence stored on hard drives and accessing resources via the internet during debates.

 

The only thing is there is only NDCA nats...

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