Recent Debate Grievances or Rulings:

October 22, 2022
Grievance: During Round 1, School A’s coach filed a grievance as relating to Section 9, page 11 of the KSHSAA Debate, Speech & Drama Manual. “The time and order of speeches shall be as follows and no part of any one speaker’s time shall be given to another. Speech times may not be substituted for or used to extend other speech times…” and “each debater will give one constructive speech and one rebuttal speech.” During one of School B student’s speeches, the speaker’s partner allegedly “prompted” their partner on which arguments the speaker should cover during their speech. School B’s coach responded that this particular section was not violated, as it did not violate the “speech times” provision of the section.

Committee Decision: It was within the opinion of the committee that more details regarding what words were said to who mattered when it came to the number of speeches a competitor was allowed to give. After clarification, it was determined that the School B competitor was speaking to the partner, and not the judge. Therefore, it would not constitute a “constructive” or “rebuttal speech.” By effect, since this was not a speech, no sharing of time occurred. The act of “prompting” was not found to violate any additional KSHSAA rules. It was the decision of the grievance committee that the grievance was not sustained as no rule violations appeared to have occurred.

October 15, 2022
Grievance: The Negative team asked for the Affirmative team’s evidence before the 1AC. It was shared via Speech Drop. The problems with the evidence included: 1) incomplete/inconsistent tagging of evidence, 2) evidence not being read was included, 3) Affirmative would not identify what actual evidence was read. In CX after 1AC, Negative team asked for clarification and showed them the issue and the Affirmative team said it was Negative tech’s fault. Affirmative team would not provide it in a readable way or share it differently. Negative team feels this violates Section 14 of the Debate regulations – “in a form usable by the opposition.”

Committee Decision: While the 1AC was not formatted the most clearly, the committee believed that the offense was not large enough to violate the phrase “form usable by the opposition” spelled out in Section 14. The judge’s decision stood with a warning to the Affirmative to clean up the formatting of the 1AC.

2022 5A 2-Speaker Debate Tournament
Grievance: After the conclusion of Round 6, Affirmative team continued pleading their arguments to the judge violating rules of Section 8 regarding speech times saying: “Speech times may not be substituted for or used to extend other speech times” and “Each debater will give one constructive speech and one rebuttal speech.” The conversation with the judge regarding arguments was only ended when the Negative team coach returned to the room roughly five minutes after the round concluded. The judges’ ballot was only submitted after the post round conversation was interrupted.

The judge approached the Affirmative team coach stating he anticipated a grievance from the opposing school as the Negative team coach had entered the room and asked the Affirmative team and the judge to vacate. The judge characterized the interaction with both teams as a polite conversation and did not indicate it as an attempt to plead the case. The judge also stated that he attempted to continue to speak with the Negative team after the round as well but that they simply left the room quicker.

Committee Decision: The grievance committee did not see the grievance as a rule violation. After reading the initial grievance, the response from the Affirmative team coach and the judge – they did not believe the post round discussion between the judge and the Affirmative team was malicious or an extension of speech time. The grievance committee suggests that in the future there is either a rule or further explanation for all parties to understand the importance of all judges submitting their ballots prior to providing any oral comments to the debaters (i.e. students should not ask judges questions about the round prior to the judge giving an all clear).

2022 3-2-1A 2-Speaker Debate Tournament
Grievance #1: Affirmative team went over speech time multiple times, admitting they went over time and were not timing speeches.

Grievance #2: Same Teams Negative team violated 16.1 C – no URLs, author qualifications, date accessed, full publication dates, author/source not consistently clear. 16.1 F also violated, no markings.

Committee Decisions: Affirmative team: it became apparent that the Affirmative team did exceed the time limit and received a loss on a 7.

Negative team: the judge was aware of the rules in question. She penalized the team with a loss. The grievance committee did not overrule the judge’s decision in this matter. The team received a loss on a 5.

[2021 Grievances or Rulings]








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Current 4-Speaker Champions
Topeka-Washburn Rural
Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest
Current 2-Speaker Champions
Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest

[Previous State Champions]