Dalmasse Sterner Invitational

2023 — Pittsburgh, PA/US

Debate Event Information

Adapted from NSDA's "Competition Events Guide"

Policy Debate (CX) is a two-on-two debate that involves the proposal of a plan by the affirmative team to enact a policy, while the negative team offers reasons to reject that proposal. Throughout the debate, students have the opportunity to cross-examine one another. Policy debate is a very research-intensive activity. Unlike traditional writing where the author may briefly quote or even paraphrase evidence, Policy Debate relies on the use of cards, or pieces of evidence directly quoted word-for-word from the source. The expectation in Policy Debate is that cards are read verbatim, so the paraphrasing of evidence as it is being read for the first time is discouraged. Instead, the debater should underline or bold the parts of the text of the evidence they deem most necessary.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate (LD) is a one-on-one event where debaters argue against one another on a specified resolution. Most commonly, LD debaters use a value and criterion model to structure their case. Under this model, the students propose a specific value that they feel is the ultimate goal debaters should be striving for in the round. Subsequently, they offer a criterion which offers a specific mechanism to determine if the value is being achieved by either debater in the round. A common example is offering a value of Justice with a criterion of Rights Protection. A debater should offer definitions of these terms, as well as explain how the value best fits the resolution and how the criterion best measures if the value is achieved. After they establish their value and criterion, they would offer contentions. These are the main arguments of the affirmative or negative and would strive to assert that the value/criterion is being achieved.

Public Forum Debate (PF) is a two-on-two event where teams argue against each other on a specified resolution. One team advocates for the resolution, known as the PRO, and one team advocates against the resolution, known as the CON. Public Forum teams will typically cite and/or paraphrase data and statistics from various sources. Note that unlike other forms of debate, the CON may speak first.