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Reply To: Public Forum Pilot Rules

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1: It turns the summary into more of a second rebuttal than a summary and the final focus into more of a summary. A lot of teams were treating it that way before the change and I don’t think it is necessarily a bad way to view the debate.
I think it has also requires teams to be a little more balanced. In the prior rules the first speaker could read an entirely prepared speech, do a cross with almost entirely prepared questions, let their partner handle grand cross, and then use most of the prep time to prepare the summary. This allowed ‘teams’ to succeed with one dominant member. Adding a minute to the summary balances the responsibility a little.
2: I haven’t noticed any obvious changes. Teams seem a bit more relaxed during it and it helps the novices.
3: I’ll be upfront that I’m strongly in favor of paraphrasing and it is not unusual within our district to see it in LD (and, more rarely, CX). I find students to be more honest/accurate with paraphrasing than card cutting (where students might read a few sentences scattered around a page of evidence). I think it’s fine to clarify that a student who cites an author to have to back it up more if questioned about it. The word change did make it a little easier to explain to the teams the importance of having citations for their work.
4: No. Grand Crossfire’s nature is inherently contentious and it’s place in the debate unproductive. It is too late in the debate to advance any substantive questions and becomes more a forum to try and squeeze in arguments/get the opponents to make a mistake. It’s fairly rare to see a Grand Crossfire actually have an impact on the debate.
That said, in my conversations with less experienced judges, they seem to like and value it.
5: Yes
6: Mild yes

Background: In addition to practices and discussions with my teams, I have seen 15 PF debates at tournaments this year under the pilot rules.