ERIC Number: ED343169
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The American Debate Association: An Evaluation of Rules for Academic Debate.
Many of the American Debate Association (ADA) rules merely codify conventions which are almost universally practiced in ADA tournaments. Among them are such standards as who is eligible to debate and judge, what shall be debated and for how long, and restrictions on ballot submissions. Other rules come under the general heading of "which speech" rules that codify conventions for specific kinds of arguments. There are two content-based rules, one designating topicality as a voting issue, the other restricting counterargument to one non-topical counterplan. Three rules distinguish ADA tournaments from other debates. One requires the random assignment of judges to debate rounds. A second rule bars judges from revealing decisions until preliminary rounds conclude. To emphasize the oral nature of debate, a third rule limits judges' ability to read materials upon which arguments are based. Policy debate has decreased drastically in recent years. ADA debate has been successful because of its consensus on rules. In reviewing its rulemaking, the ADA should accept Learned Hand's argument for judicial review in a constitutional system: that it is "proper to engraft upon the text such provisions as are necessary to prevent the failure of the undertaking." (One attachment containing standing rules of tournament procedure is appended.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: American Debate Association; Debate Tournaments
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).