2021 Debate Grievances or Rulings:

2021 6A 2-Speaker Debate Tournament
Grievance: Team A Judges 1 & 2 have not judged at a tournament this season.

Also, Judge 1 judged Team B in Octas and talked about, to the debaters, the decision with their 'family members', one of whom is judging with them on the quarters panel and one of whom is debating in this tournament.

Committee Decision: The Grievance Committee decides to deny both grievances. On the first issue, upon interview, both judges indicate that they had judged a video practice round of a debate on the current topic and had provided feedback similar to what the expectation would be for judges at this tournament. On page 15, Section 12, Subpoint C, the KSHSAA manual says, “A judge must have judged at an invitational tournament or on the topic during the current season.” We find that they both meet this requirement.

On the second issue, upon interview of the judge in question and Judge 3, another judge in the round, we find that the debater misinterpreted what was said by Judge 1. We believe that the comment made by the judge, based upon the reports of both he and Judge 3, indicate that the judge was referencing conversations with family members prior to this weekend about the general topic of criminal justice reform and not about this round in specific.

Grievance: The 2A delivered both the 2AC and the 2AR in full. 2A also delivered significant portions of the 1AC (the beginning and the end of the speech) for 30-60 seconds each time, as well interjected analysis other times during the speech.

Committee Decision: We find that the Affirmative team did violate the rule found on Page 10, Sec 9. “The time and order of speeches shall be as follows and no part of any speaker’s time shall be given to another.” After consultation with the judge in the round, we find that this violation did not cause a competitive disadvantage for the negative team, nor did it have any significant impact on the judge’s decision. Therefore, it is the decision of the 6A Grievance Committee that no further action is warranted, nor should be taken.

2021 5A 2-Speaker Debate Tournament
Grievance: The affirmative 1AR AND 2AR read new evidence in the 2AR that did not include the required citation as written in the KSHSAA handbook page 11 Sec 16 C

The request of the Negative team is that the Affirmative has violated rules for evidence, and the decision should be overturned.

Committee Decision: Based upon the information given and reviewed, the grievance committee decided to maintain the judge’s decision and would like to provide a formal warning to the offending team. If the violation is repeated, the offending team will risk removal from the tournament.

Grievance: A school judge providing rude/inappropriate feedback to students.

Committee Decision: Judge removed from pool. School that provided judge will need to find replacement. Contacted the coach of school providing judge, she was fine and said she would fill in to judge if needed.

2021 4A 2-Speaker Debate Tournament
Grievance: Several pieces of evidence in the round used misleading dates. For example, a card from the author McCarthy was read orally cited as 'McCarthy 2021', while the actual article, upon clicking the link, was from 2007. The written citation, which was not read in round by McPherson has 'accessed 15 Jan 2021'. This is used to give the card the date 2021. The actual date of the article, or the date originally published, is not included in the citation. A card from the author Meese similarly uses a misleading date. In addition, a card from the Vera Institute of Justice in 2020 has a link in its citation which leads to a 404 page.

Committee Decision: School A filed an evidence grievance against School B, alleging that a team from School B cited evidence as newer than published. The grievance stated that the School B team used the date accessed as the date published, when the date published was almost 14 years earlier than the date cited. The grievance committee used the following rule in their decision: 16.2. Definitions of Evidence Violations, A. “Distortion” exists when the textual evidence itself contains added and/or deleted word(s), which significantly alters the conclusion of the author (e.g., deleting ‘not’; adding the word ‘not’). Additionally, failure to bracket added words would be considered distortion of evidence. When discussing the ramifications of distortion, the committee referred to this rule: 16.4. Penalties for Evidence Violations, C. If a debater commits an evidence violation of “distortion” (16.2.A) or has used “non-existent evidence” (16.2.B), the offending team will lose the debate and be disqualified from the tournament. However, if a team loses a round due to “non-existent evidence” (16.2.B) violation during an in-round formal allegation, but can produce it after the round within 20 minutes to the tabulation committee, the committee may decide not to disqualify the entry. The loss that was recorded by the judge may not be changed. If a post-round protest is levied against a team for not providing evidence or an original source in round (non-existent evidence), and the judge confirms they in fact did not provide the evidence in a timely fashion when requested in round, the team will lose the round and be disqualified from the tournament. However, if a team produces the evidence within the post-round challenge period, the team may avoid disqualification.

The School B team presented their evidence, but it was clear that there was a distortion. When pulled from the team's original files, the evidence was cited correctly, but what was read in round was manipulated. The committee decided to follow the guidelines in the manual and disqualify the offending team (School B). The committee was in unison with their decision.

2021 3-2-1A 4-Speaker Debate Tournament
Grievance: Affirmative team doctored evidence, when called on it they said that they didn't. Negative team brought it up in the round. Affirmative team was sending pictures of the evidence they read that had sentences added as part of the cards.

Committee Decision: the grievance committee finds in favor of the Negative's grievance. The affirmative team violated a distortion of evidence rule in Sec. 16 of the KSHSAA manual. The committee agrees that the ruling in the round must be a loss for the Affirmative with 0 ballots and 21 speaker points. The Negative will receive a win, and the Affirmative team will be disqualified for Round 7 per Sec. 16.5 of KSHSAA rules.

Grievance: Team A: the evidence that was produced was unethically cut out of context. Three cards were cut in a way that is not representative of the author's intention.

Team B: Team A has done the same as they accuse Team B. Though Team A has included full articles, what was highlighted and read in the round slants the occasion sometimes differently than the context provided. This speaks to Team B coaches worry that there is not enough direction in the KSHSAA manual to warrant what exactly constitutes card clipping. Team B was not intentionally doing anything untoward but engaging in a practice that has been done for years. It is Team B coaches feeling that KSHSAA needs to provide clearer direction to prevent this from happening before action is taken. If someone cannot take cards that represent more than the author's slant - then this changing changes the face of debate.

Committee Decision: The grievance committee is in agreement that the cards as they are cut do not change the author's intent in any way. The ruling of the judges in the round, and the ballots as they have been submitted, will stand. The committee, however, urges KSHSAA to work in conjunction with KSCA to examine and clarify evidence clipping rules.

[Recent Grievances or Rulings]








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Current 4-Speaker Champions
Topeka-Washburn Rural
Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest
Silver Lake
Current 2-Speaker Champions
Overland Park-Blue Valley North
De Soto
Wichita Collegiate

[Previous State Champions]