In 2003, under the leadership of Richard Bracknell, the GFCA became the first state organization to adopt an evidence packet for use in all novice policy debate rounds. The evidence packet was designed to equalize the playing field and provide new programs and new coaches educational resources that could bring them success in policy debate. Today, the National Debate Coaches Association creates a national novice packet that we utilize.  With the help of Maggie Berthiaume, the GFCA has a modified packet below.

The packet is a great reminder of how the Georgia Forensic Coaches Association, and more specifically -- our debate teachers and coaches -- has been on the leading edge of speech and debate education for the past twelve years. 

The 2017-18 Packet is available for download HERE

This Packet will be used at all GFCA sanctioned tournaments. These files are updated from the NDCA Packet. Please use these files, not the NDCA files.

Please note: Any additional arguments released by the NDCA not listed below may only be added by a vote of the GFCA membership.

Because the Word documents were created using a template, they will not paginate consistently across computers. If you are using the files paperlessly, they were created and formatted using the Verbatim template.

Rollout Schedule

Start of Season ( August 21 release date, can be read at Mount Vernon on September 2) - Title I Affirmative/Negative, Hazelwood Affirmative/Negative, Spending Disadvantage (links to Title I), Federalism Disadvantage (links to both), Hate Speech Disadvantage (links to Hazelwood)

October 1st (Starting at Grovetown) — all of above, States CP (vs. Title I Affirmative), Hate Speech CP (vs. Hazelwood Affirmative), Topicality (TBA)

January 1st — all of above, plus Hazelwood Affirmative - Critical Version, Capitalism or Neoliberalism Critique

The Novice Packet has become a truly awesome resource for development of new debate programs across the state.
— Donnie Hatton, Northside High School '05

Novice Policy Debate Rules

Our rules are adopted annually so that we can adjust for trends in policy debate. The following rules were adopted on August 12, 2017 for 2017-2018.

General Rules

  1. Novice students may not modify the plan texts.
  2. Novice students will be allowed to update arguments on their own so long as the content of the argument does not change. If any major argument becomes non-unique the GFCA Executive Committee will release a new argument to take its place.
  3. Novice students may rearrange the organization of evidence and modify tags, underlining, and highlighting, but they may not add new arguments and/or change the content of the arguments in the packet. Students may also find new evidence to support existing packet arguments but not change the fundamental intent of the argument.

Specific Argument Rules

  1. At tournaments beginning prior to October 7th, novice students will be allowed to read the Title I Affirmative and the Hazelwood Affirmative, as well as answers to the negative arguments. Negatives will be allowed to read corresponding case negatives, the Spending Disadvantage, the Federalism Disadvantage, and the Hate Speech Disadvantage.
  2. At tournaments beginning prior to October 7th, novice students will be allowed to run topicality arguments provided by the GFCA (see above), but not theory arguments or specification arguments. Extra topicality and effects topicality arguments will be considered theory and will not be allowed in the novice division. Starting with the first tournament that begins on or after October 7th, novice students will be allowed to run any topicality argument they wish as long as it uses cards provided by the GFCA for their definitions. Extra-topicality and effects topicality arguments will be allowed.
  3. At tournaments beginning prior to October 7th, novice students will not be allowed to run counterplans. Starting with the first tournament that begins on or after October 7th, novice students will be allowed to use the GFCA States CP and Hate Speech CP (and answers). The counterplan text must be one of the texts provided by the GFCA in the counterplan packet and cannot be modified other than to add the text of the plan to the text of the CP as noted in the file. Novice students will be allowed to run theory arguments, but this will be limited to a list of theory arguments released by the GFCA with the packet.
  4. At tournaments beginning prior to January 1st, novice students will not be allowed to run kritiks. Starting with the first tournament that begins on or after January 1st, novice students will be allowed to run the GFCA Capitalism Critique. The alternative text must be one of the texts provided by the GFCA in the kritik packet and cannot be modified. Novice students will be allowed to run framework theory arguments.