Public Forum at its root was conceived to be an event that could be debated in front of a “citizen judge.” This made it different from the other debate events in that its priorities were in engaging in arguments that are not only easily conveyed but also have a wider appeal than to just “experts” on the topic or of debate. Debaters often feel like having lay judges makes debating unpredictable and these decisions are often discussed as illegitimate. I think this narrative not only inhibits kids from improving, but neglects the fundamental principle on which Public Forum was founded . . .
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