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How the NDT has changed since the beginning of the Louisville project

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more black people. 


edit: sorry if I was ambiguous, but that's defintiely a good thing

I would say along with more black and brown people, there’s lots of entirely new literature bases that nobody used before

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The K has become a lot more common, especially identity-based arguments. Antiblackness is particularly dominant. More broadly, about half of the college debate circuit doesn’t read plans. Most people perceive a substantial division within the debate community between the “K” and “Policy” camps, and it isn’t getting any better. But the rise of non traditional debate has made the community a lot more diverse, as others on this thread have alluded to.


7+ off is standard for high-level Policy teams. Conditionality largely goes unchecked. Speaker points are inflated— a 28.5 is roughly average. Debate is also a lot smaller than it used to be. Many of the big tournaments that existed in 2004 do not happen anymore, others are significantly smaller. CEDA was smaller than the NDT this year.


Perhaps the most significant way debate has changed since 2004, aside from all the K business, is the rise of paperless debate. Debaters now use software called Verbatim, which is a modification for Microsoft Word used to compose a singular document for each speech, and share their speeches via in-round email chains. Many old timers will tell you that this trend has severely diminished the quality of flowing and organization, since people have become reliant on the speech docs rather than their flows.


Based on many of the things I’ve laid out, it would sound like debate has gotten a lot worse since 2004. Maybe it has; I cannot say. But what I can say is that regardless of whether or not current trends are “good”, debate is still tons of fun and highly rewarding, and there is a huge community aspect, despite all the division.

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