Fortunately, I didn't see one bad round at our state's Lincoln Douglas debate tournament. Most, in fact, were quite entertaining, intellectually speaking. Some of my observations:
1. Negatives, setting out to prove that hate crime enhancements are just, rarely had sufficient criteria. They'd say, "My criterion is proportionality," which is one aspect of justice, but, in most schemes or theories, not the whole. Sadly, few affirmatives realized this, or took advantage.
2. Several debaters admitted that they had never read the ruling in Wisconsin v. Mitchell; I don't know how this could be possible, but it was. It seemed like such a crucial case.
3. I never saw a value clash. Everyone went with "inherent in the resolution."
4. I was thanked for blogging by a fellow coach. It is still a bit strange to think that I'm a national discussion-shaper for the activity. Power madness hasn't quite bubbled into my head, but I'm sure it will soon.
5. Don't ever argue that destroying your opponent's criterion will win the round for you, and offer an eight-point criterion attack, and then drop all your opponent's contentions. Otherwise, you'll watch as she applies all her contentions to your criterion, and wins it away from you. Saw it happen.
Did you have a state or national qualifying tournament this weekend? What did you learn? What worked, and what didn't?