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Debate and IE Relationships


At the 2008 National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament, a special meeting was held for the coaches of Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debaters. At this meeting, those in attendance attempted to voice concerns about both the perceived "slights" and the actual structures in place (like sweepstakes formulas, awards, and qualifications) from the larger NFA community, made up of individual events (IE) coaches. Issues like limited judge strikes or mutually preferred judging, changing the schedule so that debaters did not go first and last on competition days, and allowing for oral comments by judges were all discussed. But at the heart of this "rift" is the notion that maybe the LD community and the IE community have different, possibly incommensurate, objectives. It is with that thought in mind that I propose some community, both LD and IE, objectives that could lead us to address this growing divide in one of three ways: Leaving things alone, separating the two groups, or merging the groups into one. This paper will explore the implications of these options for addressing the debate-IE divide.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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