TDL INTRODUCTION & FAQ THREAD
Step 1: Signing Up
Sign Up Thread is here - http://www.wrestlingforum.com/debate-league/785130-tdl-sign-up-thread.html
Use this template to Sign Up:
Here you choose which Division you want to debate in. The 3 Divisions are:
Wrestling is self explanatory. You're fine signing up for Sports and only being able to debate North American Sports or vice-versa. Title Match vs debaters who can't debate on an agreed upon Sport will get Generic Sports debate questions such as "Are sports players' high wages justified?" and "Which is the better method for determining a league winner, playing every league team twice over the course of a regular season or via the traditional American Play-Offs format?". Social Division then covers pretty much everything that Wrestling and Sports don't ranging from Contemporary World Issues to Music to TV & Movies. If you're unsure what topics each Division entail then have a look through the Archive.
Once you choose your Division you can then state what topic areas you're willing and not willing to debate. So for example in the Wrestling Division you might state to not want any topics on promotions other than WWE, in Sports you may only watch American Sports topics and in Social you may want to avoid Music topics. Or maybe you'll be a TRUE WARRIOR and be willing to debate anything and everything that gets thrown your way. Whatever you put here will determine what type of debate topics you get assigned. I do my best to make sure every debate topic falls within the "Will Debate" category of your Sign Up post. If there's ever a topic you feel you CAN'T (not WON'T) debate then let me know and we'll change it. Be warned that not every topic will be an easy "I know my stance and my arguments straight away lets get right to it". Some topics may require you to do some extra thinking and research. As long as the topic fits within what you state you will and won't debate though you'll be fine unless you're being super niche here and will only debate Music topics in the Social Division for example. In that case your opportunities will obviously become more limited.
Once you complete the Sign Up Post you're well on your way to becoming a part of TDL. Due to the trend of many people signing up and then deciding against it and immediately no-showing I've now started getting new joiners to send in a debate before they get a match on an Official Card. This has already helped weave out many of the time wasters and ensures that people aren't having their spots on cards taken by these time wasters who don't submit a debate.
Step 2: Making a Card
No you don't then have to send us Greetings Cards (don't have to not can't :side. This is how the TDL concept works.
1) Roughly every 3-4 weeks a new Card is posted such as http://www.wrestlingforum.com/debat...-once-wont-let-you-beat-me-twice-no-card.html. When you make a card you will receive a PM informing you.
2) On these cards there are matches, debaters and topics. You are the debater and on these cards you will debate a topic (that you don't get to choose yourself) against another debater(s). The amount of opponents you face will range between 1-3.
3) You then produce your debate using 600-1000 words depending on the word count assigned to your debate. Generally speaking only Title Matches get up to 1000 words however for some cards the 1000 word limit will be extended to more/all debates. The minimum word count for a valid debate is 600 or 800 for a Title Match. You PM your debate to an assigned user (their name will be added to the first post in the Card Thread, not immediately once the card is posted but within the deadline). They then PM yours and your opponents' debates out to the 3 assigned Judges to vote on which debate wins. All debates are sent anonymously so don't worry about any judging bias (if I even thought a Judge would be bias to one user they wouldn't be judging period so again have no worries here).
4) The deadline to submit your debate is always 10 days. If you need an extension then PM me in due course and depending on the context I may or may not allow it. Please note that extensions will not be handed out to the same debater on a frequent basis. If you get put on a card and for any reason can't submit a debate then PM me to tell me and you'll be removed from the card and won't be DQ'd for no-showing.
5) We don't take no-showing a debate lightly. If you fail to submit a debate before the deadline then you will be removed from the League. If you do no-show and you want to be given a second chance then PM me and I will consider it. If you no-show twice then there's no coming back ever. If you no-show and you weren't online around the deadline then that will be taken into consideration. If you were online around the day of the deadline then you have no excuse. It's just a common courtesy to at least let me know you can't submit. If you do need to pull out of a debate then you're advised to do so within 5 days of the card being posted by sending me a PM. Leaving this within a few days of the deadline will be considered a no-show as it then gives us barely any time to get a replacement debater for your opponent.
6) Debates are judged by 3 Judges who each select a winning debate. In the case of a tie either a 4th Judged is used or the 3 original Judges rank the debates in order and the winner is decided on a Points System (1st Out of 4 = 4 Points, 2nd = 3, 3rd = 2, 1 = 4th). All the debates combined with the Judging are posted in a Results Thread all at once after the deadline like in this thread - http://www.wrestlingforum.com/debate-league/1554785-tdl-xxvii-crossover-part-ii-results.html. It usually takes around 10 days to post these Results. However it may sometimes take more depending on the number of Judges available, the number of debates to Judge, the difficulty of the Judging, etc. Getting inpatient about the time it takes for Results to be posted doesn't help and just frustrates people who make time in their own personal free time to help Judge these debates. Sometimes people get busy and it takes longer. That's just how it is. Please don't be petulant and immature about how long it takes. Very rarely does it take longer than 14 days after the deadline and becomes an issue. Just remember that you have 10 days to write one debate and then roughly the same amount of time to Judge at least 2 debates ranging up to double figures sometimes for some Judges.
Step 3: I won/lost my debate. What next?
The "bigger picture" in TDL is pretty much the same as it would be in WWE. You start off at the bottom with your first debate. Then as you begin to win debates you move further up the card and onto better opponents. The eventual goal is to become Champion of your Division.
When you become a Champion you earn yourself a Coloured Username and you can have the Title Belt as your Userbar. If you are a Non-Premium Member then you will also earn yourself a Premium Membership. Please note that winning a Title is no easy feat so don't join just thinking it's an easy path to a Coloured Username or a Free Premium Membership.
In order to earn a Title Shot you will have to win a #1 Contenders Match first. Like Title Matches these have to be earned and are awarded to debaters on a good run of form and/or who have shown they can be competitive in a Title Match. We have a Rankings Table for each Division which can be found here. Please note this is only a guide to who deserves #1 Contenders Matches and you DON'T necessarily have to be the highest ranked Contender to get a #1 Contenders Match. Obviously a more experienced Debater can be ranked higher than you but have a lesser short term W/L Record and be producing lower quality debates.
I do my best to ensure that everyone can make every card they are available for but this isn't always possible so sometimes you will have to sit a card out. In very rare cases you may have to sit 2 straight cards out but this is VERY rare. Please note that having a bad Win/Loss Record or producing a bad debate on the previous show doesn't mean you will be off the next card.
If you need to sit out a card or a stretch of cards then please use the Sign In/Out Thread. If you are going to sit the next card out then please let me know before the Results for the current card are up so I have time to plan the next card without having to make constant reshuffles. If you do Sign Out then you MUST Sign Back In when you are ready to return. If you're just missing out one card then fine, but any longer then Sign Back In. Otherwise it gets hard for me to keep track of when debaters are returning.
Can I choose my own Debate Opponents and/or Topics?
In short no. Doing this makes it too difficult to keep organised. You can suggest that you'd like to face a certain debater and I'll try to accommodate that. You don't get to choose your own topics, however if you and an opponent agree on a certain topic then it may be possible. Only I get to choose my own debate topics :evil
Am I free to take any stance on my Debate Topic?
Yes. We don't delegate stances. Sometimes this means both you and your opponent will argue the same stance but the Winner is still who argues their stance the best.
How is the winning Debate chosen?
The winner is the Debater who argues their stance the best, NOT the Debate that the Judge agrees with the most. For example a Judge may agree with the stance Debate A took over Debate B but if Debate B argues their stance better than Debate A does then they will vote Debate B the winner. Obviously determining who argues their stance the best is open to the interpretation of the Judge. Judges will decide this based on a variety of factors including use of supporting evidence to back your arguments up and how you deal with counter-arguments against your stance. Quality of written communication is also a factor in terms of persuasion. Writing a more entertaining debate than your opponent that doesn't make your arguments as well won't win you the Debate. For a more detailed breakdown of what Judges should factor into their feedback please see - http://www.wrestlingforum.com/debate-league/1263538-tdl-judging-guidelines.html
How are Judges chosen?
Judges are largely made up of debaters who have shown they can produce high quality debates and thus know best how to give feedback to lesser debates. If I feel that you've reached the point where you can give the feedback required and will make a good Judge then I will ask you if you're interested in doing it.
Does TDL do Tag Debates?
Yes but only sparingly. Tag debates are harder to arrange, rely greater on all debaters not no-showing and also rely somewhat on the tag partners communicating together. That's why they are only used sparingly.
How do Tag Debates work?
A Tag Debate consists of 2 individual debates that are judged in unison. So you will submit a debate and so will your partner. The winning team is then the team who submit the best 2 debates as a combined effort. So you could submit a brilliant 9/10 debate but if your opponent only submits a 5/10 debate and your opponents both submit 8/10 debates then you will lose the match despite having the best individual debate. For a more detailed explanation of Tag Debates please see - http://www.wrestlingforum.com/45256626-post4.html
Is there/will there be a Tag Division?
There isn't currently and there most likely won't be in the foreseeable future either. Basically the 3 Divisions aren't big enough to accommodate a Tag Division and/or Tag Titles along with the Singles Titles for each Division and Tag Titles covering all 3 Divisions aren't feasible due to the variation in topics people from each Division will debate. Tag Debates are a rare novelty addition to TDL, nothing more. Anything more just wouldn't work alongside the Singles Titles.
Is there/will there be more Titles?
No. One Title per Division is plenty and is what every debater with title aspirations is working towards.
I have an issue with the Judging for my Debate. What should I do?
Ask the Judge the issue is with for further clarification. You can do this privately but doing it in the Results Thread is advised. That way everyone can learn from it (and have fun reading it :evil). If you do have an issue then please don't be a prick in how you approach bringing your issue up. That just pisses people off and won't produce the best outcome. Please remember that this is something Judges take out of their own free time and it can never be perfect. Judging fuck ups are rare and when they do occur they are innocent so be nice about discussing them. The original decision is final and is never overturned but discussion of issues with Judging can help prevent them from happening again.
I don't like the Topic I've been given to Debate. What now?
Unless it's a topic that fits with in what you said you wouldn't debate the topic you get is the one you have to debate. You will like certain topics you get more than others, that's just the way it is. Topics will only be changed if you CAN'T debate it, not because you WON'T.
What does and doesn't count towards the Word Count?
A Title for your Debate (e.g. the Debate Topic)
Formatting tags e.g. quote/spoiler tags
References in an Appendix at the end
Embedded YouTube Videos (only as supporting evidence, videos of people/you making your argument for you is cheating)
To clarify what part of Quotes and Spoilers count each below would count as 4 words:
these words don't count said:this is 4 words
this is 4 words
To what extent can I use abbreviations in my Debate?
Our stance on abbreviations is that you can use them if they are commonly used in professional/academical situations. For example World Wrestling Entertainment is always abbreviated to WWE so obviously this is an accepted abbreviation in a debate. IMO for example though would be spelt out as in my opinion and thus isn't an accepted abbreviation in a debate. If you are unsure then ask but if the abbreviation you are using wouldn't be used in a professional news article for example then it will be held against you. With the word count as challenging as it is, it's simply not fair to your opponent to be cheating the word count in this way.
Do I need a Bibliography?
Proving something to be true rather than stating it to be true is great practice in debates and references are a great way to go stating an argument to proving it. If you are something is a fact then you really need a source to back this claim up and a Bibliography or a Reference List are a useful way to contain any sources you use in your debate. If you are posting links as sources then all you need are the links, no referencing style is required. Alternatively you can also hyperlink the sources into your debate when you refer to them. If you do use a Reference List then directing the reader in your debate to which source you are referring to is helpful, e.g. "as proven by abc3". Any form of a Reference List does not count towards your word count.
What happens if my Debate goes over the allowed Word Count?
If it's only a few words over then a Judge will likely inform you. If it's more then you run the serious risk of forfeiting your match. Please note this has happened before so check what your word count for your debate is and be sure to remember that quotes in your debate DO count towards the word count.
Can I be in more than one Division at once?
No, you can only be Signed In to one Division at once. However...
Can I switch Divisions?
... you may switch to another Division. If you wish to do so then please use the Sign Up Thread again following the same template as when you first joined but for your new Division. You can change Divisions whenever you want but please don't be jumping between Divisions on a regular basis.
I want to read some Debates to learn from what a great Debate is. Where should I go?
These threads are a valuable source for which debates are the best ones. Take the nominated Debates of the Year and then look for them in the Archive by clicking on the Banner for the Show the Debate was on which will redirect you to the Results Thread containing the Debate. Don't just read the Debate either, also read the Judges Feedback to get a picture of why the Debate was so good. Reading Judges Feedback for Debates at the bottom of the card can also be a valuable resource for new Debaters trying to get a grasp of what makes a good Debate and how to get there.
Is there anywhere I can find Debaters' Records and links to all the past shows?
Well what do you know there actually is.