What are the benefits of switching to a three-resolution model for LD?

1. More Interesting & Less Repetitive Rounds

We’ve heard from LD students and judges alike that by the end of the year rounds aren’t as fun or interesting anymore. The meta for the topic has been well established by NITOC, making the rounds repetitive, with little to no new material being presented. Students and judges are getting bored of the topic, which doesn’t create a great experience or education for anyone! By shifting to a three-resolution model, debaters will get a fresh topic to discuss and engage on every couple of months.

We believe that, given the scope and nature of LD topics, the ideal exposure to any given resolution is a handful of tournaments. TP topics tend to be broader, allowing for new cases up to the end of the year. Parli topics are incredibly narrow, limiting their useful engagement to (usually) a single round. Whereas LD resolutions are a healthy middle ground – not broad enough for a whole year of fresh arguments, but still deep enough for multiple months of argumentation.

2. Shifts Focus to Values

With one resolution, the typical LD round tends to be repetitive on a high level (overall strategy, philosophy, value discussion) by the end of the year. The only things that change as the year progresses are the specific details: historical examples, specific studies, anecdotes, evidence etc. What this leads to are LD rounds that start to resemble TP rounds: haggling over statistics, competing over who had more evidence, and so on. The point of the LD event (value & philosophical discussion) gets lost amid the weeds of details. By switching to a three-resolution model, students will have fewer tournaments to engage on any given topic, which will shift the focus back to the big picture question the resolution poses.

3. Increased Skill Sets

Just as Parli challenges students to learn about a wide array of current-day issues, a multi-resolution LD model will challenge students to learn about even more philosophy. They’ll improve their case construction skills by writing multiple cases in a single competitive season, in addition to learning about how principles and values apply to a wider range of subjects. LD debaters will also develop the skills needed to assess new topics more quickly, while still being given the time to process the issues for a reasonable amount of time at home and in-club.

4. Exposure to a Wider Range of Topics

Whether a student debates for one year or many years in LD, this new proposal will allow students to explore a wider range of interesting, relevant topics. Instead of choosing 1 of 3 potential resolutions, debaters will vote for 3 of 5 resolutions. More debaters will get a chance to debate the resolution they like the most! In addition, this allows the debate committee to write more creative topics that would not have enough depth for a whole season, but would be educational, fun, and engaging for a couple of months. Finally, students who may be struggling to connect with a topic won’t be “stuck” with it for an entire season. The next topic may be more interesting to them, leading to increased motivation and more success competitively!

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