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The POI Difference: Expertise


Unlike the majority of tournaments and invitationals, POI sanctioned tournaments require judges to have a strong background in parliamentary debate. Our judging pools are best-in-class and are comprised of high school parli coaches, college parli coaches, former and current college parli debaters, and former high school parli superstars.

POI loves lay judges. They're the backbone of our format of debate and without them the tournament landscape would be barren. And lay judges help debaters develop persuasive communication skills and the ability to distill complex concepts and arguments into something that can be comprehended by an average, non-specialist individual. A trial lawyer needs to be able to learn to speak to a jury, a politician needs to be able to speak to the people.

However, what about the situations where one needs to address a room filled with people who just may know more about a subject than the speaker? How does debating in front of a lay judge prepare one for argumentation in front of a federal judge on a constitutional issue? Or what about defending a doctoral dissertation in front of a panel of professors? Or making a funding pitch in front of the members of a venture capitalist firm? Debate should prepare you for these precise moments when you are trying to convince the specialist, the expert, the people who know more about your art than you do. And its in these moments that you need to learn to show mastery of jargon, theory, and technicalities that are inherent within the craft, of the language experts utilize to communicate with each other, because your ability to use pathos to win is seriously undercut in such scenarios. Lay judge tournaments cannot prepare you for these future moments, these moments that transcend the ability to package a sales pitch and instead force you to draw on your intellectual capabilities to make a difference. POI sanctioned tournaments prepare you for these moments.

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The POI Difference: Expertise


Unlike the majority of tournaments and invitationals, POI sanctioned tournaments require judges to have a strong background in parliamentary debate. Our judging pools are best-in-class and are comprised of high school parli coaches, college parli coaches, former and current college parli debaters, and former high school parli superstars.

POI loves lay judges. They're the backbone of our format of debate and without them the tournament landscape would be barren. And lay judges help debaters develop persuasive communication skills and the ability to distill complex concepts and arguments into something that can be comprehended by an average, non-specialist individual. A trial lawyer needs to be able to learn to speak to a jury, a politician needs to be able to speak to the people.

However, what about the situations where one needs to address a room filled with people who just may know more about a subject than the speaker? How does debating in front of a lay judge prepare one for argumentation in front of a federal judge on a constitutional issue? Or what about defending a doctoral dissertation in front of a panel of professors? Or making a funding pitch in front of the members of a venture capitalist firm? Debate should prepare you for these precise moments when you are trying to convince the specialist, the expert, the people who know more about your art than you do. And its in these moments that you need to learn to show mastery of jargon, theory, and technicalities that are inherent within the craft, of the language experts utilize to communicate with each other, because your ability to use pathos to win is seriously undercut in such scenarios. Lay judge tournaments cannot prepare you for these future moments, these moments that transcend the ability to package a sales pitch and instead force you to draw on your intellectual capabilities to make a difference. POI sanctioned tournaments prepare you for these moments.

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The POI Difference: Resolutions


A constant uniting the community is the demand for better, higher quality debate resolutions in tournament rounds. But why is it that the more the community demands change, the more things stay the same? 

At POI we take pride in the high degree of care and precision we take in crafting debate resolutions. We strive to carve out equal ground to maximize the educational value of each round for debaters, judges, and spectators. At a POI sanctioned tournament you will not be saddled with vague metaphorical resolutions and aff will never be burdened with advocating for the status quo. Teams will be spared the indignity of debating that sexism is worse than racism or advocating etiquette classes be required for high school graduation. And we promise you'll never have to participate in a chicken-or-egg round.

At POI we believe drafting resolutions is serious business and we believe every round should trigger a clash of facts, values, and policies. We believe time is precious and the number of rounds limited so you should be challenged to propose and advocate for solutions to problems that exist in the here and now. We believe by giving you the opportunity to see reality through the eyes of the U.S. President, labor unions, the United Nations, NATO, the African Union, Israel, or the European Union, to name but a few global actors, you will better develop the skills that transcend those that make you an effective product spokesperson and instead transform you into forceful agent for change. POI believes an investment in you is an investment in our future.

The POI Difference: Resolutions


A constant uniting the community is the demand for better, higher quality debate resolutions in tournament rounds. But why is it that the more the community demands change, the more things stay the same? 

At POI we take pride in the high degree of care and precision we take in crafting debate resolutions. We strive to carve out equal ground to maximize the educational value of each round for debaters, judges, and spectators. At a POI sanctioned tournament you will not be saddled with vague metaphorical resolutions and aff will never be burdened with advocating for the status quo. Teams will be spared the indignity of debating that sexism is worse than racism or advocating etiquette classes be required for high school graduation. And we promise you'll never have to participate in a chicken-or-egg round.

At POI we believe drafting resolutions is serious business and we believe every round should trigger a clash of facts, values, and policies. We believe time is precious and the number of rounds limited so you should be challenged to propose and advocate for solutions to problems that exist in the here and now. We believe by giving you the opportunity to see reality through the eyes of the U.S. President, labor unions, the United Nations, NATO, the African Union, Israel, or the European Union, to name but a few global actors, you will better develop the skills that transcend those that make you an effective product spokesperson and instead transform you into forceful agent for change. POI believes an investment in you is an investment in our future.

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The POI Difference: Transparency & Education


POI prizes transparency. We do not lock your prelim round results in some inaccessible back room. Instead we have your judges disclose at the conclusion of the round. We remove the mystery and let you know where you stand at all times. 

At the end of a POI tournament we deprive you of the opportunity to read a written RFD stating: "Both teams very good, close round, NEG a little more convincing." In fact, at a POI tournament there are no written RFDs of any kind. Instead, at the conclusion of each round your judge or judges will provide you and your opponent with an oral critique explaining, specifically, how they weighed the round, why they gave the ballot to AFF or NEG, what you did well in the round, and, most importantly, what you need to work on to become a better debater. And unlike most every other tournament, at a POI sanctioned tournament you have the opportunity to ask your judge questions. These oral critiques are not specially set aside for elimination rounds, but are provided after every single round of debate.

At a POI tournament education is stressed as much as competition. We want parliamentary debate, the best format of debate in the world, to become even better. So think of your rounds not merely as a zero-sum win-loss game, but as an opportunity to be a student of this competitive art form we hold in such high esteem. 

 

The POI Difference: Transparency & Education


POI prizes transparency. We do not lock your prelim round results in some inaccessible back room. Instead we have your judges disclose at the conclusion of the round. We remove the mystery and let you know where you stand at all times. 

At the end of a POI tournament we deprive you of the opportunity to read a written RFD stating: "Both teams very good, close round, NEG a little more convincing." In fact, at a POI tournament there are no written RFDs of any kind. Instead, at the conclusion of each round your judge or judges will provide you and your opponent with an oral critique explaining, specifically, how they weighed the round, why they gave the ballot to AFF or NEG, what you did well in the round, and, most importantly, what you need to work on to become a better debater. And unlike most every other tournament, at a POI sanctioned tournament you have the opportunity to ask your judge questions. These oral critiques are not specially set aside for elimination rounds, but are provided after every single round of debate.

At a POI tournament education is stressed as much as competition. We want parliamentary debate, the best format of debate in the world, to become even better. So think of your rounds not merely as a zero-sum win-loss game, but as an opportunity to be a student of this competitive art form we hold in such high esteem. 

 

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The POI Difference: Prep


One thing you will not see at a POI sanctioned tournament: a room filled with confined debaters, whispering to to their partners in hushed tones while collating pieces of salmon, peach, or mint colored paper. You will not see prep room authority figures clumsily navigating their ways through the maze of debaters, violating personal space as they peer over debaters' shoulders to make sure a phone, tablet, or laptop is not connected to the dreaded outside world.

Why has it come to this? Why does parli prep need to take its inspiration from minimum security prisons? We're not sure. POI absolutely rejects the idea debaters should be cut off from an outside world that is filled with information that makes for superior educational rounds. We believe that access to information is a panacea to shallow, short-sighted debate embracing pathos over logos that is the outcome of restrictive prep. At POI we encourage you to open the windows, set the colored paper free, and let the light of the world into rounds.

The POI Difference: Prep


One thing you will not see at a POI sanctioned tournament: a room filled with confined debaters, whispering to to their partners in hushed tones while collating pieces of salmon, peach, or mint colored paper. You will not see prep room authority figures clumsily navigating their ways through the maze of debaters, violating personal space as they peer over debaters' shoulders to make sure a phone, tablet, or laptop is not connected to the dreaded outside world.

Why has it come to this? Why does parli prep need to take its inspiration from minimum security prisons? We're not sure. POI absolutely rejects the idea debaters should be cut off from an outside world that is filled with information that makes for superior educational rounds. We believe that access to information is a panacea to shallow, short-sighted debate embracing pathos over logos that is the outcome of restrictive prep. At POI we encourage you to open the windows, set the colored paper free, and let the light of the world into rounds.