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Addressing Evidence Issues in a Debate Round

Since evidence issues are the most common reason for adjudications at Stoa tournaments, let's look at how to handle them in a debate round. Please keep in mind that all debaters make unintentional mistakes. Therefore, we should extend grace to our opponents and treat them the way we want to be treated. However, what should we do if evidence in the round doesn't comply with Stoa’s evidence standards? As the judges are the first line of defense, we need to make a case to the judge. Here is an example of what it could look like in a debate round:

  1. Read the rule that has been violated and state your interpretation of the rule. For example, a citation must include a complete date.

  2. Explain why the rule applies. For example, dates are required on evidence because it is important to know who has the most current facts.

  3. Specify the violation. For example, the evidence read under my opponent's third point lacks a date.

  4. Tell the judge what the penalty should be. For example, since my opponent's evidence on point three lacks a date, you should consider my evidence to be more credible and flow the argument my way.

Tip: Know the rules, make sure your own evidence meets the standards, and know what a violation might look like. You should also carry the Stoa debate rules with you. Your Debate Committee


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