Henry Clay 2022 Debate Tournament Kentucky Schools ONLY
2022 — NSDA Campus, KY/US
Novice Lincoln Douglas
If you have any questions during the competition, please do not hesitate to contact tournament director (Ryan Ray) at firstname.lastname@example.org
LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE
Lincoln Douglas Debate centers on a proposition of value, which concerns itself with what ought to be instead of what is.
A value is an ideal held by individuals, societies, governments, etc. Debaters are encouraged to develop argumentation
based upon a values perspective. To that end, no plan (or counterplan) will be offered by the debaters. In Lincoln Douglas
Debate, a plan is defined by the NSDA as a formalized, comprehensive proposal for implementation. The debate should
focus on reasoning to support a general principle instead of particular plans and counterplans. Debaters may offer
generalized, practical examples or solutions to illustrate how the general principle could guide decisions.
The hallmarks of Lincoln Douglas Debate include:
1. Parallel Burdens: No question of values can be determined entirely true or false. This is why the resolution is
debatable. Therefore neither debater should be held to a standard of absolute proof. No debater can realistically be
expected to prove complete validity or invalidity of the resolution. The better debater is the one who, on the
whole, proves his/her side of the resolution more valid as a general principle.
● Burden of proof: Each debater has the equal burden to prove the validity of his/her side of the resolution as a
general principle. As an LD resolution is a statement of value, there is no presumption for eitherside.
● Burden of clash: Each debater has an equal burden to clash with his/her opponent’s position. After a case is
presented, neither debater should be rewarded for presenting a speech completely unrelated to the argumentsof
● Resolutional burden: The debaters are equally obligated to focus the debate on the central questions of the
resolution, not whether the resolution itself is worthy of debate. Because the affirmative must uphold the resolution,
the negative must also argue the resolution as presented.
2. Value Structure: The value structure (or framework) is established by the debater to serve two functions: a) to
provide an interpretation of the central focus of the resolution, and b) to provide a method for the judge to
evaluate the central questions of the resolution. The value structure often consists of a statement of theresolution
(if affirming), definitions (dictionary or contextual), the value premise (or core value), and the value criterion (or
standard). This structure is commonly but not always employed.
● Definitions: The affirmative should offer definitions, be they dictionary or contextual, that provides a reasonable
ground for debate. The negative has the option to challenge these definitions and to offer counter‐definitions.
● Value Premise/Core Value: A value is an ideal held by individuals, societies, governments, etc. that serves as the
highest goal to be protected, respected, maximized, advanced, or achieved. In general, the debater will establish a
value which focuses the central questions of the resolution and will serve as a foundation for argumentation.
● Value Criterion/Standard: In general, each debater will present a value criterion (a standard) which the
debater will use to:
➢ explain how the value should be protected, respected, maximized, advanced, or achieved.
➢ measure whether a given side or argument protects, respects, maximizes, advances, or achieves
➢ evaluate the relevance and importance of an argument in the context of the round.
The relationship between the value premise and the criterion should be clearly articulated. During the
debate, the debaters may argue the validity or priority of the two value structures. They may accept their
opponent’s value structure, prove the superiority of their own value structure, or synthesize the two.
3. Argumentation: Because Lincoln Douglas Debate is an educational debate activity, debaters are obligated to
construct logical chains of reasoning which lead to the conclusion of the affirmative or negative position. The
nature of proof may take a variety of forms (e.g., a student’s original analysis, application of philosophy,
examples, analogies, statistics, expert opinion, etc.). Arguments should be presented in a cohesive manner that
shows a clear relationship to the value structure. Any research should be conducted and presented ethically from
academically sound and appropriately cited sources.
4. Cross‐Examination: Cross‐examination should be used by the debater to clarify, challenge, and/or advance
arguments in the round.
5. Effective delivery: Lincoln Douglas Debate is an oral communication activity that requires clarity of thought and
expression. Arguments should be worded and delivered in a manner accessible to an educated non‐specialist
audience. Throughout the debate, the debaters should demonstrate civility as well as a professional demeanorand
style of delivery.
● Written communication: Cases and arguments should be constructed in a manner that is organized, accessible, and
informative to the listener. The debater should employ clear logic and analysis supported by topicalresearch.
● Verbal communication: The debater has the obligation to be clear, audible and comprehensible, and to speak
persuasively to the listeners. Additionally, debaters should strive for fluency, expressiveness, effective word
choice, and eloquence.
● Non‐verbal communication: The debater should demonstrate effective use of gestures, eye‐ contact, and posture.
1. Resolution: The resolution will be one requiring a value judgment.
2. Order of speeches:
Affirmative Constructive 6 Minutes
Negative Cross Examination 3 Minutes
Negative Constructive 7 Minutes
Affirmative Cross Examination 3 Minutes
Affirmative Rebuttal 4 Minutes
Negative Rebuttal 6 Minutes
Affirmative Rebuttal 3 Minutes
Prep Time 4 Minutes per debater
3. Timing: A timekeeper is an option but isn’t required. If no timekeeper is used, debaters may time for
their opponent or the judge may keep time. Prep time for each debater is 4 minutes.
4. Reading case: A team may decide, when asked by the opponent team for a copy of their case, whether or
not to provide it; if the team refuses they will not be penalized in any way.
5. Oral critiques: No debate ballot may be returned in without a reason for decision. Oral commentary is
not considered a substitute for the written ballot. Critiques are discouraged but not forbidden; timeliness
of the tournament is a paramount value. Comments made by a judge (orally or written) should be
constructive and professional.
Lightly adapted from the NSDA’s rules.