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.
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.
We strongly recommend debaters disclose on the NDCA PF wiki but do not mandate disclosure. The only disclosure-related practice we mandate is that teams disclose their DebateDrills affiliation on their disclosure page, even if they elect not to post their positions on the wiki.
Evidence in cases must consist of reading direct quotations from evidence, as this has emerged as a norm on the circuit and is a preferred educational practice. To clarify, students cannot paraphrase evidence in the first two speeches of a debate.
We recommend reading cut cards verbatim in the rebuttal. However, paraphrasing in the rebuttal is permitted as long as the evidence is stored and made available to the judge and opponents in cut-card form. Cut cards must be pasted in the order that the evidence appears directly under the paraphrased block.