Jump to content
politicaloutcast

TFA vs UIL

Recommended Posts

Alright, so for the past 3 years, my partner and I have been doing UIL CX debate. We're not exactly state champions, but we're definitely above-average. Our coach has gotten a little frustrated by how pathetic UIL debate can be and he wants us to take a step up and enter TFA. Neither of us have ever been to a TFA round; my entire understanding of TFA is that it's UIL on crack. If I'm not mistaken, things like spreading, counterplans, and k's are commonplace in TFA.

 

Would any seasoned veterans of TFA like to give us some advice? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yo tfa is intense but we havent devolved into counterplans yet, we dont hate debate. btw samaksh khana from elkins is who you want to talk to

Edited by Swanklord
  • Upvote 4
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With respect, TFA rounds can be equally as, "pathetic," as UIL ones - that depends more on the tournament and the competition than the particular format of debate. I participated in both, and each have their merits and disadvantages. With that said, I believe that you are either somewhat misinformed or have had an unusually negative experience with UIL.

 

You are correct in that spreading is less common in the UIL circuit. UIL believes that debate is both a communication and a spectator event, and it accordingly discourages spitfire delivery. However, that is not to say that spreading is disallowed; it just has to be (relatively) easily comprehensible. If you are enunciating properly on top of your speed, then you shouldn't encounter many issues with most judges. I will concede that some judges just hate speed, though.

 

However, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that Counterplans and Kritiks are uncommon. My partner and I won state in UIL last year with a Kritikal affirmative, with Kritiks present in almost all of our rounds. We also encountered Counterplans in our negative rounds - although, the nature of our case made that somewhat less common. While judging paradigms may vary on a regional basis, I'm very surprised that you haven't encountered these elements at a greater frequency.

 

Anyway, to answer your question: if you've only been doing UIL for three years, you're probably better off sticking with it for the last one. There are several counterintuitive differences between the basic rules of the events - most notably, policies on things like open CX, prompting, and general style - that may very well require an acclimatization period. I would hate to see your team be held back by this transition during your senior year of all times.

 

If you are absolutely determined, I would recommend starting here regarding the philosophy of the event and notable distinctions from UIL.

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yo tfa is intense but we havent devolved into counterplans yet, we dont hate debate. btw samaksh khana from elkins is who you want to talk to

thank u haris , but youve obviously been on the circuit a lot longer and know a ton of more stuff than me, but this is my viewpoint-

like rvi said , it really all depends on your circuit , houston and el paso are relatively lay to other areas in texas . the major kritikal areas are probably dallas , austin and san antonio to some extent.

Im on the houston circuit , and i do read many ks and an unholy amount of theory in a lot of rounds , but its really unadvisable if ur judge hates those types of arguements. honestly going along with a simple cp+ da as net benefit strat can win you many rounds , it also doesnt hurt to know t debating well. 

basically if youre a traditional debater , then you can easily adapt to tfa standards , its usually harder the other way around

Edited by Samkash
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With respect, TFA rounds can be equally as, "pathetic," as UIL ones - that depends more on the tournament and the competition than the particular format of debate. I participated in both, and each have their merits and disadvantages. With that said, I believe that you are either somewhat misinformed or have had an unusually negative experience with UIL.

 

You are correct in that spreading is less common in the UIL circuit. UIL believes that debate is both a communication and a spectator event, and it accordingly discourages spitfire delivery. However, that is not to say that spreading is disallowed; it just has to be (relatively) easily comprehensible. If you are enunciating properly on top of your speed, then you shouldn't encounter many issues with most judges. I will concede that some judges just hate speed, though.

 

However, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that Counterplans and Kritiks are uncommon. My partner and I won state in UIL last year with a Kritikal affirmative, with Kritiks present in almost all of our rounds. We also encountered Counterplans in our negative rounds - although, the nature of our case made that somewhat less common. While judging paradigms may vary on a regional basis, I'm very surprised that you haven't encountered these elements at a greater frequency.

 

Anyway, to answer your question: if you've only been doing UIL for three years, you're probably better off sticking with it for the last one. There are several counterintuitive differences between the basic rules of the events - most notably, policies on things like open CX, prompting, and general style - that may very well require an acclimatization period. I would hate to see your team be held back by this transition during your senior year of all times.

 

If you are absolutely determined, I would recommend starting here regarding the philosophy of the event and notable distinctions from UIL.

First off, I'd like to say I appreciate how informative your response is. Thank you!

 

With that said, I believe that you are either somewhat misinformed or have had an unusually negative experience with UIL.

 

Maybe it's just my region. I'm from South Texas and honestly my partner and I experience pathetic rounds on an unfortunately frequent basis. For instance, at our district contest, 2 teams didn't even have cases. Another team had a case, but it really didn't have any structure and they didn't understand any debate terminology we used.

 

Whenever we venture into Central Texas, the skill level of the teams does definitely increase.

 

However, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that Counterplans and Kritiks are uncommon.

 

We rarely come across counterplans and kritiks. It is a little funny whenever we run a kritik or counterplan and get confused looks from our opponents. Like I said - it might just be my region. Even at state we rarely saw kritiks/counterplans, but that could possibly be attributed to the fact that we're a 2A school and a lot of smaller schools just default their way to state.

 

Anyways, like I said, thank you for your response!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, I'd like to say I appreciate how informative your response is. Thank you!

 

Happy to help!

 

Maybe it's just my region. I'm from South Texas and honestly my partner and I experience pathetic rounds on an unfortunately frequent basis. For instance, at our district contest, 2 teams didn't even have cases. Another team had a case, but it really didn't have any structure and they didn't understand any debate terminology we used.

 

This is unfortunately not uncommon in smaller districts. Many of these schools employ an arbitrarily chosen debate, "sponsor," rather than a dedicated, "coach," meaning that the students are largely on their own when it comes to learning everything. This tends to produce either stellar self-made teams that necessarily know the event like the back of their hands or... well, what you've seen: teams that default their way to State and then go 0-4 every year.

 

If I were you, I would try to hone my skills at as many large (primarily 5A/6A competition) tournaments as possible, accepting that District is just going to be a freebie. If you can consistently top those events, then you'll be a much better debater overall, not to mention very well-positioned when you go to State. Generally speaking, the competition on the second day is going to be much more satisfying, especially as you advance through the elimination rounds.

 

Here's hoping to see your name on the champions' list!

 

PS: Check out the vDebate section of Cross-X. It's an excellent way to get in some practice without having to drive across the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uil is a significantly less competitive than tfa. In south texas though i think it will be pretty similar to tfa. Also it depends a bit on the tournament. If you go to a good tournament the competition will be higher

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we havent devolved into counterplans yet

 

Because an activity primarily concerned with opportunity cost is at its worst when it's making decisions between options. 

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because an activity primarily concerned with opportunity cost is at its worst when it's making decisions between options.

 

haha exactly

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...