Danny DeBois 0

Implement Mandated Disclosure at National LD Tournaments

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Sign your name to the petition to encourage more tournament directors to mandate disclosure in their LD divisions. Include whether you are a coach, student, or judge, and what programs you are affiliated with.

Tournaments should require disclosure of case positions on the NDCA wiki (found here:http://hsld.debatecoaches.org/). This entails putting up a page that includes taglines, citations, and the first and last three words of cards of any position that a debater has read on the topic so far.

Disclosure is the most effective way to create transparency in arguments being run. Debaters will be able to know what arguments are being run on the topic and prepare accordingly, ensuring that the substantively better position, rather than the more surprising position, wins. Additionally, debaters are less likely to get away with miscut evidence; since opponents can check cites and call debaters out if they see that a card is cut out of context. Finally, access to “intel” on other debaters shouldn’t be contingent on access to political connections. The wiki allows every debater, regardless of resources, to find out what they might have to debate in a future round. Accordingly, making everyone disclose as a requirement of tournament participation would maximize the benefits of disclosure.

Debaters often don’t disclose for strategic reasons—they’re worried about getting prepped out, or having people copy their positions. The best solution to these current problems, however, is to havemoredisclosure, rather than less. Wheneveryonediscloses, people can access every case on the wiki, not just some debaters’. As a result, a prep out becomes less likely just because there’s limited time to prep arguments, but there are so many positions up on the wiki. Additionally, with so many different positions on the wiki, if position “copying” does occur, at least there are a wider variety of positions to copy, instead of just the cases of three or four teams.

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