Valley Spring Junior High

2023 — West Des Moines, IA/US

Notes on preparation and style

The format for this tournament is intended to give a basic introduction to the practice of debate. As such, teams are encouraged to use language and argument structures that are universal to the activity. Debaters should address the resolution as a whole statement, rather than parametricizing or reading a plan. Arguments about the costs and benefits associated with either side of the resolution are, of course, one of the most basic elements of debate, but teams will not be expected to present advantages and disadvantages with a formal structure. While I understand that schools who are working to develop their policy programs may want very much to introduce the structural concepts of advantages, disadvantages, and counterplans, please work to make sure that the mode of expression of your students' arguments will be understandable to other teams that might not teach those concepts.

Likewise, teams are not expected to read a Value Premise or Criterion. Teams are encouraged to avoid varsity-level strategies such as debate theory or "tricks"-style debating that is popular on some Lincoln Douglas circuits.

None of this should be understood as a set of rules or prohibitions. Rather, these comments should set the tone for the approach to debate at our tournament and serve as a gentle guide to preparation.