Three Common Misunderstandings of Fiat

“Fiat” is a Latin word meaning “Let it be done.” In debate, “fiat” refers to a debater’s right to assume that her advocacy will happen. In other words, when a debater runs a plan or a counterplan, she does not have to argue that the plan is likely to happen. She needs only to argue […]

Briefly

Competition Theory In LD

Lets start with a baseline- critiques and counterplans are arguments that originated in policy debate. As such, if you deploy a policy argument in LD it logically makes sense that you are bound to debate that issue by the parameters established in policy debate. If you want to make your own new argument form that […]

Briefly

Three Things You Can Do To Improve Your 1ARs

Over the years, VBI instructors have found a variety of ways to express the most important lesson a debater can learn about the 1AR. Neil Conrad says “DON’T BE A VICTIM.” Ben Holguin and David McNeil say “The 1AR is NOT THAT BAD!” The takeaway is simple – most debaters underperform in the 1AR because […]

Briefly

Three Things You Can Do to Clean Up Messy Rounds

Many factors can cause rounds to devolve into the dreaded “messy debate,” including unclear speaking, excessive speed, purposeful obfuscation by one or both debaters, and complicated or overly abstract argumentation. Whatever the cause, it is in your interest to clean up the mess. Relying on the judge to sort out the melee in your favor […]

Briefly

What’s in Your Debate Bag?

Backpack, Backpack: What’s in Your Debate Bag? By: Kyle Allen-Niesen & Cory Wynn EDIT: An updated version of this article can be found here. With the start of the new year, it’s important that we talk about some of the tips and know-how that we commonly take for granted. Most of you already know that […]

Briefly