Recent Debate Grievances or Rulings:

January 12-13, 2024; 3-1A State Debate Tournament
Grievance: Under Sec.16.1C, teams are required to provide a written source citation. Evidence presented by the affirmative team did not include all the information necessary under this rule. When asked to provide it in CX, the neg team received evidence that did not include a link. When they brought this up, the affirmative team answered that they didn't ask for the link, only the evidence, but could have provided the link if asked. The link was never provided to the negative team at any point in the round, which is a violation of Sec.16.1E

Committee Decision: After discussing the violation and referring the rule book and interviewing judges the committee came to the following conclusion: No action shall be taken. The judges indicated that the issue of the link was never pressed in round, and the penalties listed until 16.4 do not give the committee authority to ask. That lies with the judges. All judgements regarding evidence violations specifically for citations mentioned in 16.3A must be made in the round and evaluated by the judges present. All three judges state that the issue was not made and the link discussion was not pushed beyond its initial mention.

November 18, 2023
Grievance: Grieving school feels that a student's gender identity was questioned.

Committee Decision: Grievance not upheld. While the committee is extremely sympathetic to the student whose gender identity was questioned and take that harm seriously, upon hearing accounts from both teams and reading the ballot, the committee did not feel that the actions were done with malice, thus not intended as antagonizing the student. The language in the Manual seems to indicate that intent is important. The committee felt this was a mistake, but also felt the mistake caused harm. The understanding is that apologies were attempted, and conversations were had between the grieved school's coach and students. The committee felt that those conversations were valuable and the best resolution that can be had to this very regrettable incident.

October 8, 2023
Grievance: Team A did not present evidence in their case that was not in the packet of evidence. The judge ballot clearly indicated that they would've voted for Team A if not for the packet in question.

Committee Decision: Committee did a search of the novice packet and used control F. Committee could not find the source or the text of the evidence. The decision of the ballot stands.

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 time" 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
Silver Lake
Current 2-Speaker Champions
Overland Park-Blue Valley North
De Soto
Wichita Collegiate

[Previous State Champions]