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StrawserM

LD - Introduction to Progressive Debate

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Hey there! I'm from a very traditional district and I was wondering if anyone could help me out with how to start getting into more progressive LD for when my team travels the state/national circuit.

 

1. How are the AC and NC different from traditional cases? What do they look like and how are they set up?

 

2. How do rounds function differently?

 

3. Do traditional weighing mechanisms work, or is there a better method to win the round?

 

And if there's anything else I should know...please let me know!

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I was under the impression that LD didn't allow plans (specifically CPs). It could just be my district.

 

I judge PF at the national/state circuit level. Both PF and LD at the district level.

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1:

 

A: ACs are more varied, yet standards (criterions in traditional speech) are actually less varied, and usually come down to Util/ Minimizing Suffering (prevent nuke war with 10 million cards), or treating people as ends/ Deontology (Dehumanization stuff). This topic currently is a bad example because its much more grounded in philosophy. And yes, there are plans. Choosing one instance from the resolution and defending it. There are also performances, but lets hope you never have to deal with that.

 

B: NCs. You don't always have them. The ones you do have tend to be more apriori stuff (states cant have moral obligations, justice isn't objective, states should do whatever the hell they want etc). The popular and best ones are usually short philosophical questions the Aff must answer before we can even consider affirming. Now, the offense they have are usually in the form of offcase arguments.

 

Disadvantages or DAs, which say something the resolution causes nuclear extinction.

 

Counterplans or CPs, which either show a better way to fix the affs harms. Normal counterplans are less popular in LD. An example with the nuke weapons topic could be "States ought install destruct after launch systems in nukes". More common in LD are PICs (plan inclusive counterplans), in which the neg will change the resolution to add net benifits. This is usually in the form of exception. For example "States ought not possess nuclear weapons" could be PICd to "States ought not possess nuclear weapons except arms specifically used for destroying asteroids" These are strategic because they perm (or include) the benifits of the aff. However, these exception PICs are basically DAs that accept the benefits of the AC. This basically forces the aff the answer the CP before their case even counts. Now this seems really awesome, however, PICs are commonly open to Theory.

 

Theory is basicly structured arguments saying an argument the other side made is unfair or uneducational, and the judge should either ignore the argument (less popular), or all out drop the debater (more popular)

 

Kritiks arent as popular in LD anymore, but I love using them. They criticize mindsets, rhetoric, or language. Now good kritiks will say that it is the mindset of the resolution that leads to the Affs harms, however, people too often just badly criticize the debater's mindset/rhetoric/language and thats why many people look down on them in LD now. Good kritiks are really fun and interesting, bad ones are just too common however

 

2: Rounds are generally the same except for a few things

 

A: Spreading, I assume you know what this means.

 

B: Disclosure. You are often expected to let your opponent see/take/read your case in cross x/prep. Some tournaments have debaters just take the papers when the opponent is done reading it in a speech. Sometimes they will even look over your shoulder and breath down your neck during speech

 

C: Prep is more flexible. You can take papers, or even use prep as extended cross ex, however what this entails varies tourney to tourney

 

3: Judging is usually more objective. Persuasion and eloquence take a back seat to argumentation. More proving you are right than convincing the judge you are right. This usually forces judges to disconnect from the substance and look directly at the arguments. I always say judging progressive LD is more like judging a yugioh game than a debate round, but it forces debaters to actually develop extream critical thinking rather than blippy crap.

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Thanks a ton, Sweater. That helps a lot!

 

You said that ACs are more varied, but that standards are pretty consistent. In what way are ACs more varied?

 

I mean, they will try to support one thing, but use many ways to do it. Progressive debaters tend to use a vastly more varied pool of authors, where Ive noticed traditional debaters are more consistent with their authors.

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I was under the impression that LD didn't allow plans (specifically CPs). It could just be my district.

 

I judge PF at the national/state circuit level. Both PF and LD at the district level.

 

The NFL explicitly forbids plans and CPs. People run them anyway though.

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The NFL explicitly forbids plans and CPs. People run them anyway though.

 

The NFL and CFL are proponents for traditional LD, which Im not saying theres anything wrong with, but they do tend to believe themselves to be more powerful than they are.

 

National Tournaments are independent of CFL and NFL, so those rules dont even apply. But yeah, people run then anyway.

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I am curious about the statement: "but they do tend to believe themselves to be more powerful than they are." How does the NFL or NCFL perceive that they are powerful, other than holding national tournaments and, in the case of NFL, providing the bi-monthly topics for LD?

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I am curious about the statement: "but they do tend to believe themselves to be more powerful than they are." How does the NFL or NCFL perceive that they are powerful, other than holding national tournaments and, in the case of NFL, providing the bi-monthly topics for LD?

 

 

The NFL itself does not decide the topics, every coach in the country is able to fill out a ballot consisting of 10 options-- the topics are chosen democratically.

 

The reason I tend to back up the statement of "but they do tend to believe themselves to be more powerful than they are." because they often try to legislate new rules into debate formats which may or may not be the best thing for the activity. I've always been a fan of the idea that debate (any debate) has no rules other than the time limits. Meta issues should be dealt with in round. The rules that they do legislate are ignored at nearly all national circuit tournaments, and only apply a few times a year (your district tournament, NFL nationals, and maybe one or two more).

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