I'm of the opinion that spreading (effectively) is impossible in the NCFCA. You can't really spread unless the judge knows what he's doing and can catch all of your arguments and "get the drift" of what you're saying right when you start to say it. If you try to spread on a lay judge you're just gambling that they picked up on the arguments which you eventually carry the first time and that the arguments you carry aren't among those that the judge inevitably missed.
Unlike the NFL (not the football league), NCFCA judges aren't trained to understand spreading.
To me, it seems as if spreading is a form of art. When you're debating people who practice spreading (as NFL debaters do) it makes sense to spread. When you're debating folks who oftentimes look down on spreading (at least, in Reg10n, spreading isn't exactly admired) I don't see why spreading is necessary.
At the same time, some cases lend themselves to spreading because they are so full of holes.
True, but at the same time, it might be more effective to pick the strongest arguments, set them up "perfectly," and win over the judge 100% on just 6 arguments rather than rushing through 16.
From observation and experience, judges in the NCFCA appear to value a slower pace when awarding speaker points. When I first started debating (I believe Anthony can attest to what I'm about to say
), I spoke...fairly quickly. Most judges understood me because I enunciated clearly, but I always was asked to slow down on ballots. It took a few years (sadly, haha) for me to figure out how to, as MSD mentioned in his post, "slow down and focus on phrasing." Last year, I focused a lot on "word economy." It seemed to help--I received a speaker award at every qualifier. Of course, a speaker award isn't the ultimate goal during a tournament and I'm not guaranteeing speaking slower will earn you a speaker award, but just thought I'd throw that in there.