We recognize that running a program that consists of competitors attending different schools from across the United States presents significant logistic and competitive hurdles for tournament directors and our colleagues. The purpose of this document is to clearly and succinctly articulate relevant DebateDrills policies.
Reporting Harassment | DebateDrills Coaches and Students
We are adamant that our students maintain high standards of conduct at tournaments and respect their competitors and judges. Each student has full-text linked our Code of Conduct and Harassment/Bullying policies on their wiki entries. You can additionally access the full-text of our policy here and report incidents here.
Pre-Round and Post-Round Disclosure Policy
All DebateDrills students will open-source disclose constructive positions and provide round reports ASAP after debates. Students may occasionally forget due to post-round logistics and human error (e.g. short turnaround time for next debate, flight to catch). If this happens, please let Lucas (email@example.com) know and we will fix that ASAP. Pre-round, we will disclose the affirmative 30 minutes before the debate and ask our colleagues to do the same. If it is a new aff (meaning it has not been read by anyone on DebateDrills), we will say “new aff” and will not disclose any portion of the affirmative.
When tournaments have an entourage rule, we will ensure all DebateDrills coaches are registered as an entourage for our top debater(s). When tournaments do not have an entourage rule, we will input our judges for 1 round obligations for our top students to increase the judging pool quality. Our students are required to avoid using their parents or other lay judges to fulfill judging requirements barring exceptional circumstances.
Over the past few years of online debate we have worked hard to maintain the entourage policy listed above but have found it to be untenable. Often, tournaments are abusing this offer and putting our coaches in for 3+ rounds a tournament, which means our students are subsidizing enormous amounts of free judging at the expense of the coaching they are investing in. Additionally, tournaments have often proven unable to implement entouraging and our efforts have been poorly received. Finally, this creates significant issues with our families host schools, who are ultimately responsible for the judging that is associated to the student. While we will revisit come the return of in person debate, this is not a policy we will be maintaining so long as tournaments remain online. We are happy to answer questions about our reasoning through email.
Mutual Judge Preference and "Conflicts" Policy
As part of our commitment to transparency, we will err on the side of caution to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. The rest of this document contains the official DebateDrills MJP and conflict guidelines we require students to abide by at any given tournament. It also contains a roster of students on our team. While we will strive to check every single conflict to ensure that we are constantly leading the charge in best practices, it is possible we will occasionally make mistakes. If you have any concerns about who is judging our students at any time, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
DebateDrills Official Team MJP and Conflict Policy
“I think the real test should be this and the question is a simple one. Did you or persons with whom work closely have a direct and/or regular influence on or presence with the preparation, development, articulation, and presentation of arguments for this competitor for this tournament or tournaments within this competitive season… that they may use for this tournament? If the answer to that question is "yes," then you need to conflict yourself from judging those competitors. If you did not do those things, then there should be no conflict.”
- Dave Houston, April 22nd, 2018
In the spirit of this email sent before the 2018 Tournament of Champions:
Every DebateDrills student will be required to conflict an independent coach any DebateDrills teammate brings to any given tournament. By way of example, if Student A has Person X coaching them privately in addition to the DebateDrills Coaching Staff, every other student at the tournament must conflict Person X at said tournament. For further clarity, if DebateDrills Club Team Member Rex Evans (Santa Monica RE ’19) hires coach Cameron Baghai privately in addition to the DebateDrills Club Team Coaching staff, and, Rex decides to bring Cameron to Tournament Y, all other DebateDrills students at Tournament Y must conflict Cameron Baghai, regardless of any previous affiliation with Cameron.
If any DebateDrills student hires a judge at any given tournament solely to fulfill the tournament’s judging obligation requirement, other students attending said tournament may not conflict said judge given that the judge isn’t coaching the student in question. By way of example, if DebateDrills Club Team Student Tej Gedela (Enloe TG ’19) hires Tara Norris to fulfill a judging obligation at Tournament Z, no other DebateDrills student attending Tournament Z may conflict Tara Norris.
All previous DebateDrills Club Team Coaches will be conflicted from judging DebateDrills students’ until they no longer have a relationship to any student on this year’s roster. By way of example, if Paras Kumar worked on the Club Team from 2016-2018, Paras may only judge students affiliated with DebateDrills after there are no students on DebateDrills’ current roster from Paras’ tenure with DebateDrills.
All previous DebateDrills students who graduate from our Club Team and then judge on the national circuit will be conflicted from judging DebateDrills’ students until either a) 4 years have elapsed or b) they no longer shared preparation with any current members on the team. By way of example, San Marino ED (Eric Deng) was on our Club Team for 1 season (2017-2018). He will be conflicted from judging our students until either a) the 2022 season or b) he no longer shared preparation and materials with any of the students on the current DebateDrills Roster.