- Debate is a contest in arguing a specific resolution. Each
affirmative team will interpret the resolution differently. Your
task is to determine whether the affirmative proves that the
adoption of the resolution would be in the best interests of the
- Regardless of your judging philosophy, there are generally six
types of arguments which may evolve in a debate round. To make your
judgment, you should take notes, and after the round, balance the
issues. This will help you determine, based on what the debaters
presented, whether adopting the resolution is in the best interests
of the United States.
||Whether the affirmative plan supported by the
case is within the current resolution.
||Who or what is being hurt.
||Whether the harm the affirmative talks about is
||Whether the problem the affirmative talks about
can be solved by the present system without much modification.
||Whether the affirmative plan can meet the needs
described in the affirmative case.
|A common negative issue
||Whether the affirmative plan would create
additional problems beyond meeting the affirmative needs.
- Making the decision:
- Is the case topical? Unless the negative disproves
this, assume it is. If not vote negative. DON'T USE YOUR OWN BIAS.
- Inherency/Solvency Balancing. Balance how much of the
problem can be solved by the affirmative proposal. If part of the
problem remains, go on.
- Significance/Disadvantages Balancing. Balance the gains
expected with the affirmative system over the present system with
any disadvantages the negative has proven will occur in the new
system. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, vote
affirmative. If not, vote negative.
- Speed of delivery: Some debaters have developed
an excessively rapid style of delivery that interferes with the
element of communication that is basic to debate. The ballot
provides an avenue for indicating to the debater that his speed of
delivery did or did not interfere with communication. The speaker
whose speed of delivery is considered excessive should be given a 2
or 3 in speaker points. The speaker whose delivery is not considered
excessively rapid should be given a 4 or 5 in speaker points. If the
speaker's speed of delivery interferes with your ability to follow
the course of the debate, you should also lower the speaker points
in those categories where the debater failed to communicate.
- Filling out the ballot:
- Record decision (affirmative or negative)
- Award points (30 points is highest) to each debater.
- Award ranks (1,2,3,4 with 1st being awarded to the debater
with the most points and so on) to debaters. Points and ranks
- Write your reasons for your decision in the space provided.
- Sign your ballot.