The staff has seen a honest effort by some members to try and get the Debate Forum
and running again as a viable forum on ATS. For a long time, it was an active forum with usually several debates happening at the same time. We even
had several tournaments every year.
The last few years though, the forum has slid in popularity and use and the staff has been lax in promoting it. We've decided to change that, or at
least make an attempt to turn it back into a vibrant forum once again. There are many reasons for it to have slid; it was an awful lot of work to keep
up with, it takes a serious commitment of about a week or so to hold a full debate and not many are willing to commit that much time, finding judges
that could take the time to read the debates and judge them and so on.
So in an effort to simplify things some, we have come up with a new set of guidelines( which are flexible and will evolve as the need arises).
Some of the changes are as follows...
Debates will now be three posts in total. One post to open and define your argument and two posts for the body of the debate.
Fighters will be able to start and run a debate although all topics have to be run through a staff member in the Debate forum before being posted.
Also, a fighter run debate must have a staff member as one of the judges.
Judging will be done by two main judges with a third needed only for a tie breaker. Judges can be known or anonymous at the debate hosts
Character counts will remain the same for the moment. I believe they are 5000 characters per post. That's not to say you need to use every character
in each post.
To gain fighter status, you must be a member in good standing and have either 200 posts or 6 months membership, which ever happens second. That is to
say, if someone joins ATS and racks up 200 posts in a week, chances are they won't be given fighter status. However, exceptions can be made on a case
by case basis. To have fighter status, pm me and ask. The forum isn't meant to be exclusive but as with any special access forum, the criteria is
meant for those who gain to use it and to keep it a higher standard is expected while posting in the forum.
The next tournament, which isn't going to be held anytime soon, will be limited to 8 fighters to hopefully prevent the dropouts, forfeits and no
shows that has plagued the Debate tournaments in the past. That number may be expanded but for now, that is the number.
That's it for now. As I said, these guidelines may change over time as the need arises but that's a start.
The debate forum is a good way to hone posting and research skills and it is free from distractions during the debate itself.