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nzlockie
By nzlockie | Jul 19 2014 3:19 AM
As you know this formal debating type stuff is pretty new to me. We did it in High School, but that was a while ago and I don't really remember too much. I have a question for you more experienced ones...

Scenario: I'm engaged in a debate which has a limit that restricts the amount of time or characters I have to present my argument. The case I'm arguing has 5 or 6 very relevant points that I could use to attack with, but I only have the space to make 3 of them.

Tactically - am I best to select the 3 best arguments and run with those for the duration of the debate? Does it make my case look weaker to present the remaining arguments in later rounds? Would I be better to introduce all my arguments in the first round, despite the fact that it would mean I wouldn't have the chance to present them in their best light?

I get that the number of rounds would make a difference to this, so let's say we're talking a 3 round and a 5 round debate. Last round to be used as a summation.
admin
By admin | Jul 19 2014 3:48 AM
nzlockie: Depends a little bit on the style.

What I used to do with the high school teams I coached was to encourage them to come up with exactly four arguments, present three in their first speech and just casually mention the fourth, then present the fourth in detail in their second speech. That was for three rounds plus a summary, and it worked really well. The point was that the fourth argument was SUPPOSED to be weaker, but it forced the other side to think on their feet a bit.

For a two-round plus summary, I'd run only three arguments and try to bring up the others in rebuttal somehow. In fact in such short debates you'd probably not even want to run three as the negative - you can probably do with only one or two plus a very strong rebuttal. If straight negative is acceptable as a strategy then definitely do that (this is when the negative doesn't run their own argument at all but just shuts down everything the affirmative says, but it's often banned in shorter debates because it's harder to establish a burden of proof under such pressure).

For a five round debate, I'd present all your arguments rapidly and hope your opponent can't respond to them all. You then have four more rounds to fill in any gaps or fallacies that you may have made when presenting your arguments initially, and better still your opponent will have to spend time pointing those things out to you, so it'll cut into their case too.

So yeah, overall I'd say it varies.
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nzlockie
By nzlockie | Jul 19 2014 6:19 AM
admin: That's helpful. I learned pretty early here that judges seem to prefer a negative side that presents a counter model, even when the resolution doesn't strictly require them to. It makes sense as I find myself preferring that as well, it makes the side seem much stronger.

The thing I struggle the most with is knowing how much space to devote to rebuttal and how much to devote to the argument. I think the thing I admire about some of you guys is how you are able to convey your point in the clearest and most concise manner while still keeping the text light and simple.
To me this is what makes debating fun and challenging. It also differentiates it from arguing, where the goal in my family anyway, is just to talk as loud and as long as possible.
admin
By admin | Jul 19 2014 7:37 AM
nzlockie: I had my school kids do 50% rebuttal in their second speech, 100% in their third speech, and 0% in their first / reply speeches. If the first negative had a really awesome rebuttal point I let them say it too. Online you can probably afford to be a bit more flexible as you're not under so much stress when you're writing your argument, but in general each round should have more focus on rebuttal than the last. You probably already know this but I wanted to put it up as free advice for anybody else stopping by.

Counter models are pretty useful but only when you can both establish them and knock down the original model. You'll probably see them less in video or live debates for this reason.

And yeah, arguing is the norm around my family too.
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nzlockie
By nzlockie | Oct 14 2014 11:01 PM
New Question.
I need to know the bullet points of how BP works as a debating style. Specifically, how it works on Edeb8.
To preface, I read this wikipedia article on it. Which was useful but didn't really answer my questions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Parliamentary_Style

Here's my limited understanding: (Bear in mind that I'm specifically looking for how it works HERE)
The following would constitute a 2 round BP debate on Edeb8. (I think)

OG - Opening Govt. Speaks first. Defines the terms and then presents one argument for the resolution.
OO - Opening Opposition. Speaks second. Confirms or contests the terms, presents one argument against the resolution and then rebuts the OG.
OG - rebuts OO
OO - rebuts OG
CG - Closing Govt. Speaks third. Presents one NEW argument, ideally-but-not-necessarily an extension of the original one. Rebuts OO.
CO - Closing Opposition. Speaks fourth. Presents one NEW argument and rebuts OG and CG.
CG - rebuts CO and sums the Govt argument.
CO - rebuts CO, (no new information) and sums the opposition argument.

Is that correct?
The judging then goes on which of the four individual speakers did best. So the speakers are not a team and are not judged as a team.

If this is mostly correct, the following questions apply:
1. Correct me if I'm wrong but you have a far better chance of being voted the winner if you are NOT the OG right? In fact the advantage in terms of winning falls to the trailing positions right?

2. Can Closing teams rebut their respective opening teams?

3. On Edeb8 we only have one winner right? It's only individual? Or is it the team and then we use the comments to award the individual prize?

Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 14 2014 11:27 PM
nzlockie: 1. Correct me if I'm wrong but you have a far better chance of being voted the winner if you are NOT the OG right? In fact the advantage in terms of winning falls to the trailing positions right?
The opening affirmation has the advantage of making arguments first.

2. Can Closing teams rebut their respective opening teams?
Traditionally, the opening affirmation and closing affirmation are on the same team. I don't get why they're judged differently, because in the parliamentary debate's I've watched, they represent the same party.

On Edeb8 we only have one winner right? It's only individual? Or is it the team and then we use the comments to award the individual prize?
There is only one winner unfortunately.

On another note, in almost all formal and legislative debates, the audience can pose questions to the two debaters. In BP debates, and debates in general, I think there should be a round where non-participants can enter and ask the house questions. (The questions can only be answered in the main speech, not through a cx like situation)
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 14 2014 11:29 PM
To clarify on question one, admin said CG has to make different arguments than OG, which means closing good has the disadvantage of both the BOP, and being limited to several arguments the OG didn't use. A fundamental error. I think the one winner system is flawed. OG and CG should be a team. OO and CO too.
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 14 2014 11:31 PM
The BP tournament sounds attractive. I didn't read your proposal in the tournament thread, but it looks like it would be a 4 man tournament where each debater rotates through the 4 sides, OG, OC, CG, CO
admin
By admin | Oct 14 2014 11:35 PM
nzlockie: A bit wrong.

OG - This speech will usually define the context for the debate and give about 2 arguments for it. Some OG strategies that want to block off extensions on open topics will do more arguments, some will do just one if they think it can be really memorable, but 2 is pretty normal.
OO - This one will usually present a constructive case. Straight negatives are rare because they are really vulnerable to extensions. You'll probably also see a fair amount of rebuttal.
OG - Same as you would expect of a 2nd affirmative in a non-BP debate.
OO - Same for a 2nd negative. You'll see a lot more summing up though because the teams will want to remain relevant in the closing half.
CG - Needs to introduce an original argument or analysis. This is known as their "extension" - in fact extending OG's analysis is less favorable to introducing a line of argument the OG totally missed. One can run multiple extensions but it's harder. Will usually press why this issue is the most important one in the debate.
CO - In my opinion the first CO is the hardest speech because CO doesn't have a lot of time to make themselves relevant. Will usually rebut CG's extension, and introduce their own. More rarely will rebut the opening half too, but there's a good strategic reason not to do this - it makes the opening half relevant again.
CG - Will rebut CO's extension and really ram home why the CG extension is so totally relevant, important and awesome.
CO - And the same thing for CG.

OG does not represent one speaker, it's a separate team from CG with separate goals. In RL most BP debates are 4 teams of 2, so 8 speakers/speeches per debate.

1. No. Over the long term all teams have a roughly equal chance. Closing is only easy if you have a good extension. On certain topics that can be nigh-impossible.

2. No, this is called knifing and not permitted. Can be a loss if they even imply something that contradicts the opening.

3. Yip, edeb8 only has one "winner", but ELO is scaled according to who got the next-largest number of points etc. So 2nd or (rarely) 3rd can still gain ELO.
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admin
By admin | Oct 14 2014 11:40 PM
Blackflag: It's not closing good lol, it's closing government.

There are different strategies OG can use but each has its weaknesses. If they spread themselves too thin then they're vulnerable on the analysis front. It's pretty common to see rankings like 1-3-4-2, where the government opening gets 1st but closing gets 4th, and vice versa. If you averaged those out then both aff and neg would get a tie, which isn't allowed in debating. Hence the 1 winner system. If teams co-operate it's collusion which isn't allowed. A few years ago a team was banned from nationals for chatting to their opposition at closing in prep time, even though their chat had nothing to do with the debate. Often tournaments will work on points ie 4 points for a "1", 3 points for a "2" etc.
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admin
By admin | Oct 14 2014 11:43 PM
Blackflag: Traditionally opening and closing are totally different teams. This goes back at least 200 years so I have no idea where you got that from. You're thinking of American Parliamentary, which is quite different.

BP usually has points of information instead of CX or floor questions. Unless the debate is live you can't really do that. BTW, I don't make up the BP rules. They are standardized by a committee made up of representatives from all the debating universities who meet every year at Worlds.
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Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 14 2014 11:45 PM
admin: I've watched parliamentary debates where they are on the same teams. Which is why this format confuses me.
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 14 2014 11:45 PM
admin: I do like the strategy of having 4 different teams though.
nzlockie
By nzlockie | Oct 14 2014 11:46 PM
admin: Great, this clears this up. Thanks!
admin
By admin | Oct 14 2014 11:50 PM
Blackflag: Like in most things, America does it's thing its own way. Whereas every other country in the world does British Parliamentary, America does American Parliamentary (though Canada, to be fair, does this weird cross between American and British just to suck up to you guys and enter your tournaments). America only really has 2 parties in their parliament, hence why their debate system does not have 4 teams.
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Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 15 2014 1:06 AM
admin: There is no such thing as an American parliament, or American parliamentary debate. In fact, the only state with a unicameral legislature is Nebraska.
admin
By admin | Oct 15 2014 1:09 AM
Blackflag: "Parliament" in the sense of your congress and senate. It's collectively the two houses of your parliament.

"American Parliamentary Debate" is a form of parliamentary competitive debate you guys have. See http://apdaweb.org/
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Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 15 2014 1:09 AM
though Canada, to be fair, does this weird cross between American and British just to suck up to you guys and enter your tournaments
Canada's system is the exact same as the American Congressional System. The only commonality between Britain and Canada's legislature's is the lower house being called the House of Commons instead of the House of Representatives.
Blackflag
By Blackflag | Oct 15 2014 1:11 AM
admin: That's a website called American Parliamentary Debate. I can't find a style which is called American Parliamentary.
Technically, all legislature's are called a parliament, but that's the first time I've ever heard someone call it a parliament and not a congress, which is its standard name.
admin
By admin | Oct 15 2014 1:15 AM
Blackflag: First of all, you need to understand that parliamentary debate associations are completely independent of government. Canada could have chosen anything to be what they call parliamentary debate and it would have no impact on their parliament.

The ADPA is the national association for the format known as American Parliamentary. That means they set the rules. Here's a description of the rules: http://www.debate-motions.info/debate-formats/195-american-parliamentary-debate-format

You can't tell me this doesn't exist. I've seen plenty of debates in AP happen.
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