Policy Debate/Basic Format

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The format of Policy-Debate as designed by the National Forensic League (NFL) is a series of alternating speeches between the affirmative team and the negative team. Generally the time limits described below are pretty universal, only the time of cross-examination is usually altered.

8 - First Affirmative Constructive

3 - Cross-Examination (2N)

8 - First Negative Constructive

3 - Cross-Examination (1A)

8 - Second Affirmative Constructive

3 - Cross-Examination (1N)

8 - Second Negative Constructive

3 - Cross-Examination (2A)

5 - First Negative Rebuttal

5 - First Affirmative Rebuttal

5 - Second Negative Rebuttal

5 - Second Affirmative Rebuttal

As is should be, the Affirmative has the final word in the debate, because after all, the decision of the judge relies on the infallibility of the Affirmative proposal, or the Negative's interpretation and demonstration of the fallible parts of the Affirmative proposal under the resolution.