Tournament of Lights
2020 — NSDA Campus, ME/US
Entry Fee $7.00
Entry 1 competitors per entry
- The resolution evaluated is a proposition of value, which concerns itself with what ought to be instead of what is. Values are ideals held by individuals, societies, governments, etc. which serve as the highest goals to be considered or achieved within the context of the resolution in question.
- Each debate has the burden to prove his or her side of the resolution more valid as a general principle. It is unrealistic to expect a debater to prove or complete validity or invalidity of the resolution. The better debater is the one who, on the whole, proves his/her side of the resolution more valid as a general principle.
- Students are encouraged to research topic-specific literature and applicable works of philosophy. The nature of proof should be in the logic and the ethos of the student’s independent analysis and/or authoritative opinion.
- Communication should emphasize clarity. Accordingly, a judge should only evaluate those arguments that were presented in a manner that was clear and understandable to him/her as a judge. Throughout the debate, the competitors should display civility as well as professional demeanor and style of delivery.
- After a case is presented, neither debater should be rewarded for presenting a speech completely unrelated to the arguments of his or her opponent; there must be clash concerning the major arguments in the debate. Cross-examination should clarify, challenge, and/or advance arguments.
- The judge shall disregard new arguments introduced in rebuttal. This does not include the introduction of new evidence in support of points already advanced or the refutation of arguments introduced by opponents.
- Because debaters cannot choose which side of the resolution to advocate, judges must be objective evaluators of both sides of the resolution. Evaluate the round based only on the arguments that the debaters made and not on personal opinions or on arguments you would have made.
Choose a winner based on who convinced you of their argument better. Leave any preconceived notions or opinions at the door; don’t be a third party debater. Try to answer the following questions:
- Did one side convince you more than the other to their point of view within the round?
- Did one side more effectively refute their opponents’ argument(s)?
- Did one side drop key arguments that you feel should have been addressed? (Students may erroneously claim their opponent dropped an argument. That is where your notes are handy.)