NCFCA team policy rules

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The following is a basic overview of NCFCA Team Policy debate rules. It should be noted that these rules are paraphrased from the original, and are intended solely for general information. Anyone who is competing in NCFCA Team Policy debate should make themselves fully familiar with the official rules.

Actual NCFCA tournament rules for debate are relatively general; for example, they do not say anything about the responsibilities of the Affirmative and Negative teams, or the purpose of the resolution. This information is not actually found in any rules document, but rather in the standardized judge's orientation slideshow.

Tournament rules may be found here; orientation slides may be found here.

Style

Conduct should be respectful to other participants, the activity, and Jesus Christ. In-round content should be appropriate for general audience.

Delivery should be civil and comprehensible, and conversational-style debate is valued. Arguments should be supported with what a general listener would consider "good reasons". The use of evidence increases the validity of arguments, but must be done in accordance with the NCFCA evidence ethics standards.

Structure

Speeches follow the order given in the general Team Policy article: four eight-minute constructive speeches, separated by three-minute cross-examinations; and four five-minute rebuttal speeches.

Speakers are not allowed to swap positions mid-round; the speaker that delivers the 1AC must also deliver the 1AR, etc. "Tag-teaming" is not allowed - speakers may not communicate with their partner while he or she is delivering a speech. In-round use of the internet, or any internet-capable electronics, is prohibited. Audience members may not attempt to communicate with debaters mid-round.

Tournaments are required to provide Team Policy rounds with a timer.

Orientation material

(This material is found in the orientation slides, not the actual tournament rules. It is possible to argue that nothing in this section is actually a "rule"; but in practice, it should be followed anyway, because judges use it to make a decision.)

The Affirmative team argues for the resolution. The Negative team argues against it.

Constructive speeches bring new arguments into the round. Rebuttal speeches respond to arguments already introduced in the constructive speeches.

In deciding the outcome of the round, the judge should set aside personal bias and judge the round based on issues entered into and refuted in the round. The ultimate decision should be based on which team best supports their position. Win/loss decisions are not determined by speaker points. The judge should not consult anyone else about his or her decision.

In the event of an evidence dispute, the judge may request review it by speaking with a Judge Orientation staff member. (Note that the judge is not supposed to ask the debaters directly for the evidence, as was done in the past - and is still done under Stoa rules. Many debaters are unaware of this change in procedure.)

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