Hi I’m attending the second session at the UTNIF as well, but anyways I’ll answer what I can…
1. Do they ask simple questions similar to: What are the parts of a disad? Counterplan? etc. or do they ask more detailed questions. What would these detailed questions entail?
Yes, after the diagnostic debate they will ask you general questions. For example, one of my sophomore debaters is attending the first session at the moment. She was asked about the different forms of perms (intrinsicness perms, timeframe perms... etc)
2. What is the major difference between labs? Do debaters learn different things or are the concepts different? I would rather learn advanced concepts than learn simple stuff any decent policy debater could explain.
Labs depend on varying levels of experience/skill. That’s why you here tokened phrases such as ‘Top Lab’ or ‘Bottom Lab’ (of course they aren’t explicitly named them). “Bottom labs” (from my knowledge) consist of novices and learning the basics and building upon them. “Top lab” requires being a more seasoned debater, so seeing from your post you still have a lot to learn (I’ll add some tips pertaining to this at the bottom).
3. Is there a way to get into higher labs for any purported advanced concepts?
Not really sure what you’re asking, but each lab goes at the pace that is most fitting for the general population of that lab. So debaters in the top labs do move on to other concepts at an accelerated pace.
4. Do the camp directors place you into labs based on diagnostic debate performance or on diagnostic test?
The questions are just to check how much knowledge you have about debate, and the practice debate shows how well you are able to use that knowledge in an actual debate setting. Lab leaders and directors take both into consideration, but don’t worry about the “test” too much. Focus on debating well, such as killing the line-by-line and comparative analysis on your impact calc.
5. What exactly is conditionality?
Conditionality is testing the ‘status’ of a CP or K. There are 3 ‘Status’s’
• Unconditional- the counterplan will be in the 2NR.
• Conditional- negative can kick it at any time in the debate; affirmative answers are irrelevant to this (i.e. turns and stuff).
• Dispositional- the negative can kick it unless the 2AC straight turns
· Only instance where you DON’T perm the counterplan
6. Retro theory e.g. counterwarrants, no neg fiat, justification, fiat bad, and multiple cp's
Check this out: http://webpages.charter.net/johnprager/IPD/Chapter13.htm
7. Are multiple cp's acceptable in debate?
Yes, but get ready to have a condo debate.
8. Some general advice for novice policy debaters (e.g. what you wish you had known before you got into policy debate.)
Tips at UTNIF: Don’t care about which lab you are assigned to, focus on getting better. UTNIF has an amazing staff compromised of great college debaters and people who have been around the debate scene for years, ask as many questions you want and I guarantee they will help you out. Ask a lab leader or a previous staff member that judged your round to watch you do a rebuttal redo of that round. Make friends and have fun, and make sure you take showers unlike half of the guys that go without taking a shower for a whole week. Next is that camp is a privilege that a lot of kids don’t have, do your best and make the most of what camp has to offer.
Tips in general: Don’t waste time, if you want to get better at debate then try to spend some of your free time towards debate. I went the whole summer last year on just having fun and not doing debate work. I had to catch up on 6 months of not paying any time towards debate, which wasted a lot of time I had to improve. And remember to have fun and don’t be an asshat. LOL hope this helped.