The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

Debate leagues should not allow spreading.

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,980 times Debate No: 56359
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (3)




Hey y'all! This is my first debate, so I want it to be something I care about. As a policy debater, I hear way too much spreading, which is reading arguments and evidence so fast that you fit a dissertation into an 8-minute constructive, hoping your opponent will not have the attention span or time to hear and refute all of it. My position is that debate should be about speaking and rhetorical skills, not playing "Gotcha!' with your opponent by outpacing Eminem. Since I am in the offseason, I would prefer that we focus on logical arguments instead of pages of evidence. I love a bit of comic relief, but please do not accept if you do not intend to discuss this seriously. The format will be as follows:

Round 1: Acceptance/opening statements (STATING positions, not arguing them)
Rounds 2 and 3: Constructives
Round 4: Rebuttals (no new arguments)

Let the games begin, and may the odds be ever in your favor!


I'd first like to welcome my opponent to DDO. As a debater myself, I can appreciate the position he's coming from as he enters into this debate website, and I wish him a great experience here. I believe he's already started with something interesting by posting this debate, and I'll be happy to engage with him on this debate.

Before I get into making my opening statements, I'd just like to clarify the resolution.

"Debate leagues should not allow spreading."

I think this should be read as "All debate leagues should enforce a rule that judges should vote down debaters who speak at a rate faster than 300 words per minute." (the >300 WPM was agreed upon in the comments) So this is non-specific to a particular type of debate, though as my opponent comes from a policy background, and as policy debaters often engage in spreading, that will likely be the focus of this debate. If my opponent wishes to clarify the topic in some other way, I would appreciate if he does so in the comments, as this will be the basis for all of my positions.

Note that, with this resolution, the Burden of Proof is on Pro. He's arguing for a departure from the status quo by completely revamping the rule structures of several styles of debate, whereas I only have to defend the status quo. As such, it is his burden to provide substantive reasons for this departure. If, by the end of this debate, he is only slightly ahead, that is not enough to fulfill his burden. A full reformation of academic debate is no small thing, and not something to be entered into lightly. There needs to be some certainty of the outcomes. I will argue to that effect in future rounds.

I'll briefly outline my argument:

1) Modifying these debate styles from their current form dramatically upsets structures in place that allow for this, damaging these debate practices, harming students, throwing coaches out of work, and making judging more complex.

2) Judges, not debate organizations, should decide how to assess a style of argumentation.

3) There are benefits to a faster speaking style, as it increases the quantity and diversity of argumentation, thus making debate more educational for many. It also has personal benefits to the debaters, positively affecting memory.

4) There are numerous styles of debate that actively dissuade debaters from engaging in spreading, and their practices allow debaters who wish to avoid spreading to engage in debates without it.

This will at least be the basis for my first constructive. I reserve the right to make arguments that do not appear in this outline in R3.

With that, I will yield the floor to my opponent to argue his case in his first constructive. When you are ready, McEpicness.
Debate Round No. 1


Why thank you, whiteflame. Let's jump in, shall we? I will be addressing my opponent's contentions by number, as he listed them in his opening.

1) This issue has multiple points within it. First, my opponent clarified (in comments) that the structures to be upset are "things that make up the basis by which someone decides to engage in a given style and by which someone excels at that style." So the crowd might change. People that excelled because of their spreading skills may fall to the bottom of the pecking order. More likely, though, is that any serious competitor would change with the rules to maintain their place on top. Additionally, those who just couldn't keep up will now have a chance to compete, which does two things:
A - draws more people, who will bring their own unique styles and views, leading to increased philosophical diversity and variety from round to round.
B - because of increased numbers, there will be more satisfaction for winners, making the competition all the more alluring.

I'm assuming we can agree that the proposed changes will cause no physical harm to students and, as I will explain when I address contention 3, no mental/educational shortfalls will come of it, either.

Changing the rules will hardly throw coaches out of work, only require them to shift focus to accommodate a different style. Change helps us grow as people and, although some would disagree, coaches are people, too.

As for making judging more complex, the opposite is true. Common citizens, not just highly trained professionals, will be able to judge because there will be no need for special listening and flowing strategies. This allows the less educated among us to learn something... from debate!

2) If judges make the call on how to assess argumentation, debaters will be forced to conform to (possibly drastically) different preferences in every round. Only the overseeing organization has the power, yea, the responsibility to moderate and standardize the way in which a debate round is judged.

3) I was excited for this one. My opponent is mostly correct on this point. There are benefits to faster speaking. The one I honestly have no comeback for is the positive effect on memory skills. Do you know, dear reader, what else can help memory skills? A good teacher, or one of the countless other free educational supplements available online or at a store near you! Slower speaking will cut down on the quantity and diversity or arguments, but this is a good thing. It allows debaters to delve more deeply into a few key areas, making them experts on their chosen topics. This leads me into my next point, as there will be no sacrifice of educational content. What is lost by cutting out some variety is replaced tenfold with the necessary skills of condensing and articulating several facts and arguments into a few short statements. These are important skills that have a variety of real-world applications from sales pitches to education to storytelling. Slower speaking shifts the focus from quantity to quality, hinging on rhetorical skills IN ADDITION TO the listening and comprehension required by spreaders.

4) The fact that numerous styles are against spreading would appear to indicate that I am not alone in my views. Since we are not debating one particular style, it seems that the status quo is not fully on Con's side. At such high speeds, it is a challenge to pronounce words, let alone add inflection and feeling. Unless the goal is to train future rappers and auctioneers, high-speed reading cannot compare to the lessons taught by slower, rhetoric-driven debate. Only by abolishing spreading as a whole can we ensure that debaters learn valuable speaking skills to use in any profession.

Lastly, I would like to point out that endorsing such an obscure skill set can promote elitism, turning debaters into stuck-up snobs that alienate prospective newcomers with their off-putting attitudes. Without newbies, debate dies and takes spreading with it.


Thank you to Pro.

Note that in R1, Pro stated that R2 is supposed to be for constructives, yet he utilized this round for rebuttals. As he has bucked his own rules, I will put some rebuttal into this round and use that to expand upon my contentions. I'll go down the same flow.

1) So let's think about this. You've been training for months/years/decades in a particular style of debate, in this case policy. You've learned how to quickly compile your information such that you have many arguments and then speak them out rapidly. You may even teach that style. Suddenly, the system shifts, reducing the amount of WPM you can use dramatically.

Pro thinks this is simple. Pro assumes that a debater, coach or judge is able to take what they've known and done for an extended length of time and modify those behaviors tremendously within a short span of time. He's expecting too much. This will force many people to either leave debate as a whole, or struggle in their remaining schooling to completely buck past behaviors. Even judges, who are often former policy debaters, would have to massively alter their paradigm for voting against their will. Pro's also harming the quality of the decisions; the purpose of judging is not for the judge to learn, but to provide adequate feedback and a reasoned decision, and since now anyone could easily be in a round without any background in debate, this is lost.

He's also forcing judges to monitor speed on the basis of his arbitrary standard for "fast." Does Pro expect judges to somehow clock the WPM of each speaker, while giving time signals and flowing?

2) Pro ignores the fact that debaters are already forced to conform to judges. He gives no reason why a judge cannot make this decision. Debaters should learn to speak to different audiences, as Pro says. Different experienced judges with different preferences are a diverse audience. He's reducing that diversity by taking their preferences out of the matter.

3) Pro essentially concedes this point, he simply tries to outweigh it. He says a good teacher and educational supplements can also help memory, but this is a nonsequitor. It doesn't matter if other things can do this, as that doesn't reduce the benefit. It shouldn't be eschewed just because other methods exist.

Pro provides no warrant on why depth will increase, and his argument ignores the fact that policy still functions based mainly on dropped arguments. All Pro is encouraging is better word economy and even shorter, less explained position analysis. He concedes this by saying that debaters will: "articulat[e] several facts and arguments into a few short statements," which means less depth, not more.

4) If someone wants a debate style in which spreading is frowned upon, they can engage in other styles where judges focus on speaking style. These options exist, and debaters can always select them if they dislike spreading. Pro has never once stated why it is a problem to have the option to spread in certain forms of debate, just assuming that its presence is harmful to debate, though other options exist. Even within policy debate, there are mechanisms to prevent the problems he states. As a policy debater, Pro should know that judges call out "clear" when they feel that someone is not understandable. Pro assumes that people will flock to policy when NPDA, LD, BP, CEDA, PoFo, and Model UN exist that create niches for each type of debater. Even if he's right that it's a draw to policy, all he does is remove them from other areas. It's a net 0, at best.

Pro is a purist, stating that anyone who debates too rapidly is not a real debater and not training for real life skills. Just because it's not the type of debate you like doesn't mean you can deny access. Just because you don't desire those skills doesn't mean others don't.

As for elitism, have you seen this site? It has nothing to do with spreading. Elitism is anywhere anyone thinks they're better than those around them, plain and simple.
Debate Round No. 2


Alrighty now. I would like to formally apologize for my goof-up with the rounds. There were no malicious intents, only miscommunication on my part.
That being said, thank you to Con, and let's get jiggy with it.

1) I never said the shift from spreading to not spreading would be simple or easy, only that it was possible. Yes, some may choose to back away from debate because they cannot change their skill sets. These individuals can go on to advise aspiring rappers on the best speed techniques. For those of us who stay, along with the newcomers that will swiftly replace any dropouts, we will go forward with a form of debate that will be more effective at teaching as well as drawing crowds, for funding, for expansion, etc. One more thing. You said I was expecting too much. I thought it was too much to speak for 8 minutes about the Cuban embargo. Rising to challenges is an integral part of debate and any other serious competition.

As for judges, it would be up to the leagues to determine what background would be required, which is not part of this debate. What I know firsthand is that being judged by uneducated volunteers, including supporters of rival teams, serves only to force us to build flawless cases, so there is no question as to who wins. Also, I'm not forcing judges to count WPM. Rate of speech should be taught by coaches, and an acceptably slow speaking will become the natural norm, as in the other forms Con mentioned.

2) Allow me to add interpretation to my previous statement. I was speaking in the context of speed, not style. I do feel that speaking to varied audiences is best, but not when that variety causes you to be penalized for speaking at a natural pace in one round and praised in the next. Major issues like this require standardization from an overseeing entity.

3) I concede to Con's point only in the way a health activist would admit that smoking can relieve stress. There are benefits, but there are other, better ways to obtain them, ways that offer additional gains.
Count syllables: "There was this time like way back when I was in 5th grade when I thought talking really fast was cool." vs "In 5th grade, I thought spreading was cool." 23-9. I'm not saying that spreaders speak like the former, only showing how precise words can preserve meaning while dropping filler words. In that extra space, I could talk about other things. Granted, the slower pace would cause a bigger gap to jump, but Hemingway told a whole story in 6 words. It can be done.

4) The issue with spreading that i failed to clearly state is that it is simply not the best option. My arguments are about how slower speech is a better choice.

The error in Con's "net 0" argument is that it operates on the premise that debaters will leave their chosen styles for a reformed policy debate. Speed is not the only difference between the various styles, and policy would still be different from LD, BP, and the like. Slowing down would not cause a Parli debater to suddenly like copious amounts of research. On the other hand, individuals who enjoy the principles of policy debate, but were help back by the speed, will now have every reason to join. Sounds like a gain to me!

I am not saying spreaders aren't debaters, just that they could be better debaters without spreading. As for my preference of skills, I have the masses in mind. Think of jobs that involve speaking. How many of those require exceeding 300 WPM?

The fact that elitism exists doesn't prove that spreading doesn't encourage it. The more someone is told they do better than everyone, the more they believe THEY are better than everyone.

Let's step back and take a look at this. Spreading is the tradition, which may help with memory. Slowing down will be a big change, but so was using sails instead of oars. The general fact that large transitions aren't easy doesn't take away from the truth: spreading is obsolete. For future debaters' sakes, can we get over ourselves and be open to something new?


Thanks again to Pro, and I'll launch right in.

1) Pro concedes the harm, and seeks to mitigate. He says that it's possible to change, but I've shown how it's very implausible that such a shift will occur for many. I provide warrants, he provides none. Whether they leave by a lack of ability or unwillingness to adapt, he's assuring a substantial loss. It means a lot to many debaters. It's the livelihood of many coaches. Pro tries to outweigh this by saying many will flux in, but this is always going to be uncertain. The sole certainty here is that the numbers will start by going down.

Pro states the need to "rise to challenges," but never explains why rising to this particular challenge is beneficial or integral.

Pro says that the league will select judges with appropriate backgrounds, however, judges are currently screened by that speed. If they can't keep up, they don't judge. Pro assumes that some other mechanism will go into place to ensure a quality judging pool without stating what that mechanism would be or how it would work. That's not to mention that the amount of experienced judges decreases, so tournaments will have to draw from lay judge pools. He then says that it's fine to have uneducated volunteers, but policy debate is not simple to understand, even if you build a "flawless case." Simply understanding the structure, how to evaluate evidence, how people use cards, and all of the technical language (Kritiks, Topicality, A/O/Espec, etc.) is a huge task for a lay judge. So either these people don't judge at all, negating Pro's benefit, or they do judge and force people to speak to the lowest common denominator, further harming policy debate.

Pro states that he's not forcing judges to count WPM. This leaves no incentive to regulate rates of speech if judges are put under no pressure to enforce it. It is only because judges are required to take rules into consideration in their rounds that they are enforced, and yet Pro has not specified any pressures whatsoever for judges. Pro gets no solvency.

2) Pro doesn't respond to my point that debaters are already required to conform to judges. He simply says that this is a "major issue," but why is that any more important than views on highly technical argumentation, or flowing? He never warrants why this is special, simply stating that it might provide some round-to-round judging variation. It's interesting that Pro doesn't want debaters to have to conform to judges, and yet is supportive of including a very different judging pool with varied expectations.

3) Pro says, again, that there are other ways to obtain memory boosts, but that's still a nonsequitor. He then states that precision in word usage is possible, but doesn't link it to his case. Even Pro admits that faster speakers aren't more prone to less precision. He never responds to my argument that reducing the rate of speaking will reduce depth, which means I'm winning both that depth and breadth are negatively affected by the slower rate of speaking.

4) Three things are assumed. One, he assumes that there are people outside of debate who are clamoring to get in, and all they need to see is policy debate slowing down. No warrant. Two, he assumes that no other form of debate requires "copious amounts of research." However, both Model UN and LD both have long preparation times and less rapid rates of speech. So he'll draw from them. Three, he assumes that any flux in will exceed flux out. No warrant.

Lastly, Pro says that what makes a better debater is a person who speaks at a pace under 300 WPM. Still sounds arbitrary. His only warrant is that speaking to the masses is important, but it's not up to Pro to decide what is and is not a useful skill, or to narrowly define its uses. Nor is it up to Pro to decide what makes someone elitist. If he doesn't think it's "best" then he shouldn't do it. It isn't "obsolete" because there's nothing backward about speaking quickly. The only elitism I see here is his own.
Debate Round No. 3


For the third and final time, I would like to thank Con for a rock-solid debate.

Even rock can be broken.

Throughout this debate, Con has accused me of being among the elitists I condemn. While I see no way this connects to the debate, there's a difference between THINKING I'm better and KNOWING my argument is.

By attacking only my solvency and desirability, Con concedes to my inherency and topicality. (Interesting that my opponent is being a CONceder.) As for the others, allow me to walk you through two alternate futures.

#1: Debate continues as it is. Some styles, like policy, continue to let spreading fester. This skill, which is almost completely useless in the outside world, will dominate these forms of debate. Debaters will learn just enough about a topic to speed through it and call out their opponent for missing it. You see, spreading isn't only detrimental to speaking, but also to research habits. Still, these debaters will have an advantage over non-debaters, and hold it over their future colleagues when possible. These colleagues grow to resent spreaders, as I've seen before, and pass that feeling on. Eventually, spreading dies out, taking down the styles it has infected with it.

#2: (my favorite) We make the transition to abolish spreading. It won't be easy; some will leave debate altogether. However, it's human nature to be fascinated, and also to be held back by the smallest things. For all the people who don't like the format of LD or the spontaneity of parli, styles like policy will become a beacon, a perfect form of debate. I say this with certainty, as I have seen multitudes who want to debate but stay away. These new debaters bring with them diversity of all sorts, including outlooks and backgrounds, which broadens horizons and eliminates any elitism. Could you get an ego being equal with past addicts and speaking with theologians? Unlike future #1, this overall attitude of equality draws parents, who speak highly of debate to their children, who go on to debate as soon and as long as they can. Debate grows, equipping our youth to speak to any audience and function in any crowd. I do not exaggerate when I say that they will be better equipped for their lives, simply by having debated and doing so without spreading.

With that, I believe I have won solvency and desirability.

A I stated, the transition will not be easy. We can all be certain of that. Because of human nature and frequent observations, I can say with equal certainty that the transition will be wholly worthwhile. Con would have you to believe that there is nothing wrong with the current system. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." However, incandescent lightbulbs aren't collectively broken; they work fine. That, along with the continuing resistance to them, doesn't take away from the fact that CFLs and now LED lights are more effective and efficient.

I honestly have no further comments, as there is nothing left that needs to be said. We have a clear winner. Innovation is one thing, but why should there be any controversy about implementing an existing system?

Please vote Pro.

It's for the children.


Thank you to Pro, as I agree that this was a solid debate.

In the end, Pro is just one person expressing his grievances with a system he doesn't like. Pro continually uses lines like "useless," "obsolete," "detrimental," and, most recently, "fester" to describe spreading, even claiming that it only breeds useless skills (beyond improved memory). Each of these arguments lack necessary warrants, making it impossible for him to meet his BoP. Despite conceding that the faster speaking can improve memory and increase breadth and depth, he continues to claim that this is not what's best for anyone, again with a lot of unwarranted analysis. So he's making these changes not for their benefit, but for a nebulous group of people external to debate who, and we have to trust him on this, are just waiting for the moment that policy debate speaking speed goes down to less than 300 WPM. Apparently, equality is only important when applied to those who agree with his views on what makes for good debate.

At best, Pro's harms are uncertain and/or low impact. Even if you're buying any level of harm, he completely lacks solvency. Pro drops my argument that spreading can occur at slower speeds with word economy and less detail, which means he provides no benefits by just reducing allowed WPM. Pro drops my point that, under his plan, judges have absolutely no incentive to enforce the WPM cap, and thus the policy will be a paper tiger. Pro's plan isn't, as he claims, "implementing an existing system." It's distorting an existing type of debate for the benefit of people who like other types of debate. If, as Pro suggests, this system does exist elsewhere, then there's no reason these people couldn't join that type of debate, which again means Pro lacks solvency.

At worst, Pro is actively making things worse. He's conceded in previous rounds that depth AND breadth is reduced in a world without it. When every single debater loses such large amounts of quality, it far outweighs any harm he can possibly provide. The same is true for when judging quality decreases, which is certain when Pro drops my points about increasing numbers of lay judges being used. He's similarly conceded that debaters will leave, the coaches will lose their jobs, and that qualified judges will be at a premium. As these are the sole conceded impacts, they are the sole certain outcomes, and should always be preferred.

Pro does eventually get to the warrants, though he apparently chose to do so in new arguments in this final round. His future #1 is an entirely new argument, asserting that spreading will die out on its own. Two responses. One, spreading got its start in policy debate due to popular opinion, and Pro is merely asserting a dramatic shift in that opinion based off of a feeling of advantage that is non-unique to spreading. Two, if he's right, this annihilates his inherency. He asserts in future #2 that the policy will create some "overall attitude of equality," but I fail to see how an enforced changes that many people will despise compare positively to a natural change of the overall policy community towards this supposedly equitable policy. If you buy this future, you're voting Con.

As for his future #2, this is where he finally warrants the statement that new debaters will flux in. Late as it is, it's also entirely dependent upon anecdote. "I have seen multitudes who want to debate but stay away." Pro is not a reasonable, unbiased source. My experience certainly doesn't support his assessment, but I don't expect anyone to trust me. There's also:

No warrant for speed being the sole barrier that keeps them out
No rationale for them bringing increased diversity into debate
No basis for believing that this influx outweighs the certain loss
No reason why other forms of debate (like Model UN) aren't the source of this influx.

Pro's case lacks basic solvency, necessary warrants, and only succeeds in harming debate. Vote Con.

The children can suck a lemon.
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Loving the extensive RFD, thanks Blade!
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Conduct, I believe both debaters involved remained civil and practiced fair conduct. It was a pleasure seeing that this debate was carried on until the end, and I commend both for the well-fought debate in that regard. This is clearly a tie.
S & G, neither debater made any evident mistakes. They both clearly have excellent form and are well-taught in regards to accurate spelling and grammar usage. For this, they tie.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
R1 " Con presents four initial arguments, without expanding on them too much* as he said these would be a basic outline.
1) Modifying these debate styles from their current form dramatically upsets structures in place that allow for this.
1.a damaging these debate practices,
1.b harming students,
1.c throwing coaches out of work, and
1.d making judging more complex.
2) Judges, not debate organizations, should decide how to assess a style of argumentation.
3) There are benefits to a faster speaking style, as it increases the quantity and diversity of argumentation, thus making debate more educational for many.
3.a It also has personal benefits to the debaters, positively affecting memory.
4) There are numerous styles of debate that actively dissuade debaters from engaging in spreading, and their practices allow debaters who wish to avoid spreading to engage in debates without it.
R2 " Pro present"s rebuttals to Con"s initial outline of arguments.
1) & 1.a " Pro successfully rebuttals the first point raised by Con by showing that any serious competitor would evolve with the rules to remain at the top. He also shows how this change would allow more people to compete who otherwise wouldn"t have been able to keep up, draws more people, and would ultimately make the win more satisfying due to larger crowds. Most of this is nothing more than speculation though. The only reason this refutation stands is due to the first part, regarding the increase in participation due to new rules stopping spreading, and even that is slight speculation. I would have preferred seeing similar cases presented as evidence to show that such change and increase in participation would indeed occur.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
1.b " Pro expanded on this in rebuttal 3* and basically said that instead of harm, good would actually come from it in terms of educational integrity and ability. While it is a strong rebuttal, it calls for evidence to support such claims and no evidence was provided at this point.
1.c " I believe this rebuttal stands as well, judges would merely have to alter their focus on the new styles in accordance with the proposed change.
1.d " This was the weakest rebuttal yet, it"s understandable that under the proposed changes it"d be easier for the average person to judge, but would we want an average person judging? I am hoping Whiteflame clarifies what he means by complex, so far " both arguments in this regard aren"t helping either side.
2) Pro"s rebuttal to this, in regard to participants having to conform to the interests of judges is a strong point. I would have to agree with Pro, so far, that organizations should be the ones setting and maintaining standards, not individual judges. This is based on the fact that I can see this being a major issue if one judge has a certain preference over another judge which leads to unnecessary conflicting votes compared to if only organizations set standards instead.
3) Pro raises a good point about how slower speaking would increase quality and the opportunities for more focused discussion. Unfortunately, this is once again nothing but speculation. Some form of similar case that would validate such an assumption would have really been well timed right now, because without evidence to support such claims, it"s hard to award Pro his burden points. Pro also concedes that Con is mostly right about this point. While quantity might be viewed as a negative compared to quality for Pro in this sense, he failed to really push that point home with any form of evidence.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
3.a " Pro concedes the memory point by admitting he has no comeback.
4) This last rebuttal by Pro was rather humorous, especially the line about rappers or auctioneers. It is also a valid point, but I believe the point Con was making is that there are already places where people who don"t like spreading can still debate and satisfy that desire to have slower paced debates that do focus on rhetoric and quality of information presented rather than speed. Due to this, I don"t believe the rebuttal satisfied the burden of Pro. Hopefully this point will be expanded on in later rounds.
R2 " Con presents rebuttals to Pro, due to Pro doing so in R2.
1), 1.a, 1.b, 1.c - Con raised an excellent rebuttal by showing how Pro is expecting too much. This immediate change would negatively affect the debaters, coaches, and judges as shown in the example presented by Con. This does effectively harm the participants in all regards, and while such an issue might be overcome in the long-term, we must look at all scenarios including short-term ones in order to fully weigh the outcome of such a change and the effects that change would have.
1.d " Con also shows how this would drastically interfere with the integrity of judging and effectively cause harm via limiting how the judges provide adequate feedback that they are trained to give. Con shows that it is asking too much of judges, which when given in the example he provided, makes sense.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
2) Con states that debaters already conform to judges and brings up the point that Pro has failed to show why judges should have that ability to decide themselves. Con effectively rebutted Pro"s point by showing that with these judges, there is already a diversified audience and that by limiting the preferences it is actually negating the exposure to a broad audience that would come from judges having differing preferences.
3) Con points out the concession on this point by Pro, as well as utterly destroying any chance of Pro balancing the concession. By showing that shorter analysis does not equal more depth, as well as showing that other ways for memory enhancement doesn"t negate the benefit of spreading in terms of memory enhancement, Con has clearly taken this point.
4) Con clarifies this point in the manner which I expected. Con showed that Pro doesn"t provide reason for why we should end the practice of spreading when other options do indeed exist. With Con showing the safe-guard in place in regards to policy debate judges calling out "clear" if something requires clarification or expansion, I just don"t feel that Pro has upheld this point very well at this point. As Con pointed out, there is no net benefit from cancelling out something when other options already exist, or at-least not one that Pro has raised at this point.
*Con further argues that just because one person doesn"t like something, it doesn"t mean that other people don"t as well. He also raises the elitism point raised by Pro by showing that it exists everywhere.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
R3 " Pro rebuts Con, and apologizes for mistake.
1) 1.a, 1.b, 1.c Pro"s rebuttal is weak in regard to dropping the aspect of individuals who would drop out or leave due to the changes. Essentially saying, "forget about them, we"ll keep going". Pro is relying on newcomers who will come due to the non-spreading policy being implemented. Pro is still relying on speculation and assumptions to support his burden of showing how or why the debates would continue to improve and grow from what they are now in terms of popularity, accessibility, and funding. Some form of evidence is required to validate these assumptions" yet that evidence never came.
1. d " Pro still says it should be up to the league (organization?) to set the judging standards, yet still fails to show why it should be up to the organizations as Con called for in previous rounds. The rival judge argument, while good, is still possible under either condition whether the spreading is stopped or not" Pro needs to show how this would improve based on his proposed system of non-spreading. Pro also shifts the burden of keeping WPM from judges to coaches, which still doesn"t necessarily solve the issue of coaches having to retrain themselves as well. There is no concern for the short-term effects based on Pro"s response in this round it seems.
2) Pro still claims oversight is necessary, with the only evident justification being that he was meaning it only in terms of speed, not style. Pro seemed to ignore Con"s request to provide justification for why judges are not capable of doing this themselves based on the weak justification that was somewhat but not totally related to Con"s inquiry. I believe that this lack of response is evident that Con has taken control of this point as well. Hopefully Pro expands or provides the justification being asked for by Con in the next round.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
3), 3.a - Pro gets back into contention 3 by providing further clarification to his attempt at balancing the concession. This is done by showing that although there are benefits to spreading, there are other means to attain the benefits and then some from other sources. Pro also provides an example showing how quality can still outweigh quantity without costing any benefits from the quantity that would be lost if spreading is not practiced. For me, this is Pro"s strongest point in this round.
4) Pro argues that spreading is still not the best option, while justifying that Policy wouldn"t change drastically nor would a change in it cause it to lose its uniqueness. Pro justifies the ban on spreading even though other alternatives exist because it is not the most efficient method in his opinion. While this is a strong argument, there is still a lack of evidence that would support the net gain of ending spreading when other alternatives still exist. Pro is still relying on assumptions and didn"t touch on the fact that there is a safe-guard against excessive spreading already in place with Policy debates.
**Pro rebuts the elitism argument by stating that spreading still encourages it. I"m not sure how this is relevant to the debate though, unless Pro is arguing that elitism is bad. If this is the case, he has not shown how ending spreading will end elitism. I am expecting this will be clarified later on. Pro ends this round by comparing the shift from spreading to non-spreading as similar to the shift from oars to sails" In this, he claims that spreading has become obsolete. While the fact that the long-term transition is highly possible, Pro still fails to fully address the issues of the short-term transition.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
R3 " Con rebuttals to Pro
1) Con addresses the issues raised by Pro in the way I expected, by raising the fact that Pro is basing his arguments off of assumptions " which lacks the certainty necessary for Pro to maintain his burden. Con accurately points out the several holes left open by Pro in his lack of short-term solutions for the transition that would take place if his resolution was to pass. Specifically, Con showed the flaws in the screening process for judges, and how Pro"s own points about getting better judges would be defeated by his own suggestion of having volunteer judges that would be able to follow along easier if spreading was abolished. It is evident that Con has taken control of this argument once again, and that if Pro is to maintain his BOP, he must provide solutions for every issue raised by Con in terms of short-term transition problems for students, coaches, and judges.
2) Con points out how Pro has yet to answer the issue of conforming to judges already by reflecting Pro"s lack of justification.
3) Con, once again, takes control of this contention by showing how Pro concedes the point about precision. While also showing that the lack of response by Pro leaves this contention unchallenged in regards to both depth and breadth.
4) Con points out, effectively, the lack of justifications in Pro"s assumptions " in all regards. With Con pointing out that other styles of debate have the lengthy research time and less rapid speech, it is evident that Pro has not provided any appropriate reasoning that would further validate his claims.
**Con also points out the ineffective means by which Pro tries to use elitism to his favor. I have yet to be convinced by Pro that speaking slower than 300 WPM is superior to faster speech.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
R4 " Pro, final rebuttals, remarks & closing
Pro begins by accusing Con of claiming Pro has been an elitist the entire debate, when in reality, the only time Con said that was in the previous round, in one sentence. Pro also attempts to state that Con conceded to his inherency and topicality, unfortunately, I did not see this occur once in the debate. If I am wrong, I"d be glad to correct my mistake in thinking this, but for me, the only concessions visible were from Pro himself.
Interestingly enough, Pro then outlines two different hypothetical scenarios to drive his resolution home, instead of actually providing further rebuttals or touching any of the dropped arguments that Con has caught him on throughout the debate. Pro continues to claim spreading is a useless skill in the non-debate world, without providing evidence to support that claim. Pro does present a case in the second hypothetical scenario for the transition and the beneficial outcomes, but still falls victim to the same mistakes he"s made throughout the entire debate " failing to uphold the burden in terms of the short-term transition. Assumptions, that while seemingly appropriate remain unjustified or without evidence, are no real support for any kind of argument of this nature.
Overall, it was a strong attempt by Pro to state his case one final time, but still fell short of convincing me due to the lack of evidence to support the assumptions used in justifying his claims.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ARGUMENTS go to Con, mainly for his fourth contention. On the other three contentions I was going back and forth as for or against the arguments presented, but the fourth contention pretty much obviates the need for reform. If you don't like spreading, then you can choose a different debate league/style. Good job to both debaters.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Fantastic debate and relevant. After swinging back and forth between the arguments I have come to the conclusion based on definitions and BOP that Con should win this debate. Con showed that spreading can still occur with a slower wpm rate, if this is the case then essentially the proposition is defeated and Con wins. On a side note: Personally, I hate spreading and I do think it is largely a bad debating style. Welcome to the site McEpicness and I hope to read many more interesting debates.