Lincoln douglas value debate orientation
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Lincoln Douglas Value Debate Orientation. Volunteers Make it Happen!. We can’t do this without you. You are making an investment. You are performing a teaching role in the lives of our students. You make it possible for young people to

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Lincoln Douglas Value Debate Orientation

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Lincoln Douglas Value Debate Orientation

Volunteers Make it Happen!

  • We can’t do this without you.

  • You are making an investment.

  • You are performing a teaching role in the

  • lives of our students.

  • You make it possible for young people to

  • learn these skills.

  • Thank You!

You are Qualified to Judge!

  • You already participate in communication activities.

    • It is the speaker’s job to communicate with you.

    • It is not your job to be a debate expert before coming.

  • Our goal is for our students to speak to

    • “the thinking man and woman on the street.”

    • That’s You! 

What is Debate?

  • Two opposing debaters argue an idea:

    • The Resolution

      • Affirmative (upholds the resolution)

      • Negative (refutes Affirmative position)

  • Debaters alternate sides during the course of the tournament.

2014-2015 Debate Resolutions

Resolved: When in conflict, an individual’s freedom of speech should be valued above a community’s moral standards.

Resolved: In the United States federal jurisprudence, the letter of the law ought to have priority over the spirit of the law.

Lincoln Douglas Value Debate

Lincoln Douglas Value Debate

* Also called LD or Values Debate

(Values are principles which are recognized by a society, culture, or group.)

* Debaters will be defining, analyzing and arguing values.

* One-on-One debate (one affirmative, one negative)

* One full LD debate round lasts up to 45 minutes.

Role of the Judge


  • Listen to the debate.

  • Decide which debater best supports their position.

  • Reach a conclusion and cast a vote for the debater that best supports their position.

  • Provide written feedback.

Role of the Judge


  • Request or accept written material offered by debaters before or during the round.

  • Interrupt or question the debaters.

  • Leave the room or take phone calls during the round.

  • Extend a debater’s speaking time.

Debater’s Role

  • The debaters are responsible for making their ideas clear to the judge, including:

    • Debate Theory

    • Organization of the ideas and

      arguments in the Round

    • Details of the Topic

What to Expect

  • Number of judges:

    • 1 in preliminary rounds

    • Possibly more in elimination rounds

      • Always an odd number

  • Timekeeper

    • To give verbal signals during prep time and hand signals during speaking time. (Sometimes the debaters will time.)

  • Greeting

    • Debaters will introduce themselves

    • May ask your judging philosophy.

  • Order of the Round


    • Affirmative Constructive

      • Cross examination

    • Negative Constructive

      • Cross examination

    • First Affirmative Rebuttal

    • Negative Rebuttal

    • Second Affirmative Rebuttal

    Affirmative Constructive

    • Common structure (not a rule)

      • Introduction

      • Statement of the resolution

      • Definition of terms

      • Discussion of Value (& possibly a Criterion)

      • Contentions (Arguments)

      • Conclusion

    Cross Examination (CX)

    • Three minutes

    • Immediately follows each constructive speech

    • (no preparation time allowed)

    • Only direct interaction in the round between the debaters

    • One-on-one question and answer

    • Debaters face the judge

    • Judges may not question/comment during this time (or at all during the round)

    Negative Constructive

    • Will refute the affirmative case / the resolution

    • Commonly will supply a negative interpretation of the resolution (a Negative Case) which could include:

      • Introduction

      • Statement of the resolution

      • Possibly, a Definition of terms

      • Discussion of Value (and Criterion)

      • Contentions (Arguments)

      • Conclusion


    • Debaters use these speeches to clarify the important arguments in the round.

    • May not introduce new lines of argumentation, but may bring up additional support to bolster arguments made in constructive speeches.

    • Should refute arguments made by the opponent, as well as reassert own case.

    • Will likely propose “voting issues” – those arguments which the debater feels are most crucial to the round.

    Before the Round Begins

    • Check to make sure:

      • You have not judged either of these debaters in this event at this tournament

    • Fill in your name

    • Fill in the names of the debaters (affirmative and negative)


    • Flowing:

    • Organizes the ideas in a round

      • Use flow sheet or plain paper

      • Just a tool to help you

      • Not to be turned in

    • The right note-taking system allows you to:

      • Absorb the presentation

      • Reach a conclusion and cast a vote

      • Give the debaters written feedback


    Other Key Considerations

    Time Limits

    • Once the time is expired at the end of a speech, a debater may complete a sentence, but should not start a new thought.

    • Once time has expired, judges are free to discard additional comments or speech content when evaluating the round.

    When the Round is Over

    • Do not disclose your decision!

    • Do not ask questions or give verbal feedback.

    • Do not solicit opinions about the round from

      other observers in the room.

    • Immediately following the round, take your ballots to the designated area for completion.

    Filling Out the Ballot

    • Two Independent Decisions:

      • Decide which debater wins the round

      • Reward individual speaking ability

    • Set aside personal bias/opinion

    The Student Ballot - Who Won

    After looking over your flow sheet and considering all of the arguments, you must decide who, in your opinion, won this debate round.

    Circle either:

    Affirmative or Negative

    Note: The person with the higher speaker points does not necessarily win the debate round.

    Deciding Who Won

    Does the affirmative interpretation correspond with the resolution?

    Has the affirmative:

    • Identified a value?

    • Presented arguments supporting the importance of his/her value?

    • Upheld the resolution with his/her analysis of the resolution and contentions?

    • Persuaded you to vote in favor of the resolution

    • Adequately addressed the arguments raised by the negative side?

    Deciding Who Won

    Has the negative:

    • Introduced a more persuasive interpretation of the resolution?

    • Provided arguments persuading you to vote against the affirmative interpretation of the resolution?

    • Adequately addressed the arguments raised by the affirmative side?

    • Presented his/her own value  -- IF so, did he/she present arguments supporting its importance? 

    • Persuaded you that his/her value is more important than the affirmative value?

    Evaluating the Speaker Points

    • Total the points from the six categories for each speaker.

    • Write the Total Affirmative speaker points and the Total Negative speaker points in the appropriate space.

    Speaker Rank

    • Speaker Rank is determined byTotal Speaker Points.

    • Circle 1st or 2nd accordingly.

    • Tied points are allowed, but you must use your overall impression to select a first and second place speaker.

    The Speed Ballot

    • This form is for early handoff to TAB, no RFD or comments please!

    • Vote AFF or NEG

    • Provide speaker points

    • Rank speakers

    • Instructions are on the bottom half of this ballot.

    Reason for Decision

    • Reason for Decision – This is perhaps the most important part of the ballot to the debaters. Here you explain how you came to your decision.

    • Also welcome (and encouraged) are notes to each debater, specifying what they did well and what they can improve on.

    • You are welcome to use the back of the ballot to write additional comments.

    • Remember to sign and date the ballot.

    The Ballot: Reason For Decision

    • Provide Written Feedback to the debaters.

      • Your investment in and encouragement for our students

    • Judge round based upon issues discussed in the round

    • Set aside your personal bias/opinion

      • Be prepared to vote for a position you do not personally hold

  • Once you’ve cast your vote:

    • If you heard ideas or assertions you don’t agree with, or you have insights to share, use the ballot to explain this to the debaters

  • Double Loss = disciplinary only

  • Rules

    Judge Orientation Staff Available

    • If you have questions concerning the round or your ballot, staff will be available to answer your questions.

      Written Rules Available

    • The written rules will be available to you in the judge’s area.

    Thank You

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