Explaining the CMSDL Argument Limits Going into Tournament Four in February

On our CMSDL Core Files page coaches with Varsity and JV debaters competing at Tournament Four can find a short supplement to the CMSDL Core Files containing the Astropolitics Kritik as well as Affirmative Answers to it:

Astropolitics Kritik (Word Version)
Astropolitics Kritik (PDF Version)

You can find on that same page the CMSDL Argument Limits.

A few coaches have asked us to clarify which arguments are allowed at this next tournament. Here’s a post helping to do so:

What can JV/Varsity argue?

At Tournament Four, Varsity/JV can argue any one of the three Core Files cases (Mining, Missile Defense, and Colonization) and can also use a researched, submitted Harm/Solvency argument for one of those three cases – more on this in a separate post shortly.

On the Negative, Varsity/JV can argue the new Astropolitics Kritik, Topicality, as well as three Disadvantages (Spending, China, and Space Debris). The Negative is limited to these off-case arguments against Core Files affirmatives that have not previewed any new arguments but may make unlimited on-case attacks.

Against a team that has previewed a new Harms/Solvency argument, the Negative may use any outside Disadvantages it wishes against the new Preview in addition to unlimited on-case attacks.

What can novices argue?

Novices may use any of the three Core Files cases – Mining, Missile Defense, and Colonization.

On the Negative, they can argue Topicality as well as three Disadvantages (Spending, China, and Space Debris). They may make unlimited on-case attacks.

What can’t novices argue?

Novices cannot use the new Astropolitics Kritik (JV/Varsity only) or use the new Previewed Harms/Solvency for the Core Files affirmatives that JV/Varsity submit. Novices may not use Disadvantages or off-case arguments outside the Core Files.

What do unlimited “on-case attacks” mean for the negative?

This means that at Tournament Four and Tournament Five, in every division, both Novice and JV/Varsity, that teams may read any evidence they find or research or make any analysis they wish to in order to attack the Harms and Solvency arguments made in the 1AC. Typically, these are additional reasons, in addition to what’s in the Core Files, as to why the Affirmative Plan can’t Solve the Harms or reasons why the Harms are exaggerated or untrue as presented by the 1AC. These must be ON-CASE attacks related to the Solvency and Harms argued by the affirmative, not new off-case Disadvantages.

Are analytical arguments allowed?

“Analytical arguments” are unevidenced arguments made by debaters as their own thoughts against a position without reading a “card” to support their thought – debate should encourage students to think on their feet and use their intellectual reactions to arguments, so these are not restricted as debaters respond to positions contained within the CMSDL Argument Limits.

Please contact us with any questions about these Argument Limits – more explanation of the JV/Varsity Previewing of Harms/Solvency and how to respond to them is forthcoming in a separate post.

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