PF Videos viewing guides

PF Videos is arguably the single best resource for learning PF, ever. Many people I know have watched nearly every video on there, since there's so many varying debate styles and arguments, and a variety of ways you can learn from it. I'll be listing a lot of the rounds I've watched from PF Videos on here, with some information, questions to consider, and potential drills. For all of these rounds, you should definitely flow them to practice and to help with drills!

Flowing practice at different speeds

These are four rounds that you can use to practice flowing. They are pretty varied and should give you a wide range of rounds you can learn from. I did not include rounds that went above the top speed commonly seen in public forum. While high speeds are getting a little more common in PF, few reach those of circuit LD and policy. These speeds are those that you'll see in your rounds, so it's good to get practice seeing how they function and how you can flow.

It's important to remember that while speed certainly is a factor in how debates go and what kinds of arguments you can make, it is far from the deciding factor in most situations. Teams have seen success going at all speeds with all kinds of judging. While the speeds of these rounds vary, the unifying factor is their consistently exceptional argumentation and good explanation.

These rounds should give you a sense of the speed "scale" I've used in the other rounds on this page, with the level in parentheses.

NCFL finals
Miami Beach vs Stuyvesant (1)

This is a classic traditional round. Note both teams speak slowly, and still read complex arguments.

Glenbrooks dubs
Edgemont vs Westridge (5)

This is a nice round, showing different debate styles (from different coasts) from great teams.

Glenbrooks octos
Colleyville vs Ardrey Kell (2)

This round has solid clash, slightly faster but still using great word efficiency to make many arguments.

Glenbrooks dubs
Plano West vs Lake Mary (6)

This is the speed of many "tech" outrounds, with both teams speeding up but remaining clear.

Alta finals
Presentation vs Quarry Lane (3)

Great suit! Also, the debate is solid, getting into a pretty thorny issue from different sides.

TOC runoffs
Presentation vs Green Valley (7)

It's already fast, but has a really quick speech at 16:48. Consider what purpose that speed serves.

Ivy Street RR
Poly Prep vs Plano West (4)

This round speeds up some but shows how speed doesn't have to mean making lots of blippy points.

Cal RR R4
Gunn Sr. vs Nueva (8)

This round shows the depth you can get when going quick, with both teams making nuanced points.

Round information

Berkeley is a large octofinals bid tournament in California, and used the resolution "Resolved: The US should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia." La Salle is second neg, and wins. The US's arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been criticized by some for potentially supplying a war in Yemen, but are supported by others as a crucial part of their alliance.

Speed: 6/8

  • Both rebuttals are very well-organized. Take note of their numbering of responses and clear differentiation between responses to different contentions.

  • The summaries and final focuses of this round are parallel, both speeches making similar arguments in similar orders.

Scan of my flow of this round

Campbell Hall DL vs La Salle DH (Berkeley 2019 R6)

Questions to consider

  • What's the difference between Campbell's two contentions?

  • La Salle spends roughly half their constructive on the first contention, and they never mention it through the rest of the round. What strategic benefit did it serve?

  • What is the most important impact in the round? Is it ever clearly established?

  • After watching the weighing made by each side later on in the round, re-watch their cases. How does each side set up that weighing in the second half with case construction in the first half?

  • The second rebuttal and first summary are two of the most important speeches, especially with frontlining. What responses does each speech drop, and why? Is it strategic to do this?

  • Where does each team start their weighing arguments? What are the strategic advantages and disadvantages to each approach?

Potential drills

  • Assume the first (aff) rebuttal knew ahead of time that the neg was planning to collapse on the first contention about oil (but was not held to this, i.e. they want to go for C1 but won't necessarily). Give a redo that adjusts the time allocation, responses, and weighing accordingly.

  • Which responses are absolutely essential? Give a redo of the second (neg) summary or final focus that only extends one piece of defense and explains and weighs it much more.

  • If you thought the drops made by the second rebuttal and first summary were not strategic, give a redo that does not drop those arguments.

Round information

The Cal Round Robin is a small invite tournament in California, and used the resolution "Resolved: the United States should end its arms sales to Saudi Arabia." Archbishop Mitty is first neg, and wins 2-0. The US's arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been criticized by some for potentially supplying a war in Yemen, but are supported by others as a crucial part of their alliance.

Speed: 5/8

  • Great round between two criminally underrated teams. Maybe cause they're from the West coast and I was from the East, but they deserve more hype. One my personal favorites.

  • Higher-level rounds are often decided by the strategic choices in the second-half, here especially.

Archbishop Mitty VK VS College Prep DP (Cal RR 2019 r7) - summary focus!

Questions to consider

  • This is an interesting round to me because of the 1st summary, which I believe wins the round. This speech violates one of the general principles of debate - collapsing - and wins. Why? Consider some of the typical reasons to collapse, why they might not apply here, and what advantages and disadvantages there are to the approach taken by Archbishop Mitty.

  • Look very carefully at the 1st rebuttal responses. To collapse, which responses are must-answer regardless of which link the aff goes for?

  • The neg reads, but does not frontline/collapse on, a first contention about oil prices. Despite not being a voting issue, consider what effect it had in the round, especially between the 2nd rebuttal and 1st summary.

Potential drills

  • Flow the 1st summary and identify each path to the ballot the neg has.

  • Most of the uniqueness clash happens on evidence recency. Give part of a summary or final focus speech that resolves it with more warrants.

  • The 2nd summary in this round is tough coming after the 1st. For a challenge in efficient weighing, collapse on one of the aff's case arguments and compare it with each of the neg's extended voting issues conclusively.

Round information

The resolution is "Resolved: The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans." Nueva is first aff (thumbnail is wrong), and wins 3-2. The resolution questions whether the US should be compensating African Americans for historic injustices, but the implementation (as seen in this round) is left to the debaters to decide.

Speed: 5/8

  • These are arguably two of the best PF teams ever. Learn well!

  • The panel was made up of experienced judges and was still split. Think about justifications for each side through the round, put yourself in the shoes of each judge.

Nueva MS Vs Whitman AA (Bronx 2015 Finals)

Questions to consider

  • After the cases, predict where in the round the most clash will happen - uniqueness, link, impact level?

  • Don't watch the end yet, but predict what teams collapse on just based on the clash. Especially in first cross, where does the most interaction seem to happen, and which arguments does each team lean towards?

  • Compare the interaction on the framing in both summaries. After hearing just those parts, which side do you think is winning that their impact is more important? Whose approach is more effective?

  • If you're debating after 2019, you're probably used to a three-minute summary. Despite having two minutes and going for multiple voting issues, these teams are efficient enough to have good coverage. What are they doing to save time, or improve efficiency?

Potential drills

  • In summary, the aff (Nueva) goes for two voting issues, both under their umbrella of solving racial gaps. Which of those issues do you think is stronger? Do a redo where you choose only one of those and spend more time fleshing it out, and weighing that link in particular.

  • How does each final focus begin? Try making a different choice based on what you believe is the most important impact in the round.

Round information

Bronx is a large octofinals bid tournament in New York, and used the resolution "Resolved: The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative." Cinco is second neg, and wins 2-1. The Belt and Road Initiative is a Chinese plan to build infrastructure across much of the developing world, and now potentially Europe.

Speed: 4/8

  • The cases are very solid. Considering teams pretty much prep the topic from June until October, and this is one of the last tournaments on the topic, this is some great case construction to learn from.

  • The second-half collapse is pretty clean from both sides. After the second rebuttal and first summary, you should be able to see their primary voting issues.

Cinco Ranch RT vs VIP BL (Bronx 2019 finals)

Questions to consider

  • After watching the constructives, where do you think the major points of clash between the cases will be?

  • How does each team collapse, and in what part of the debate does that collapsing begin to happen?

  • VIP makes three arguments around the same general idea of European economic growth, while Cinco makes arguments in three distinct areas. What are the benefits and drawbacks to each casewriting approach?

  • This round has two flow judges, which Cinco wins, and one lay judge, which VIP wins. What specific actions and general argument strategies did each take that led to this result?

  • What impact comparison would you make if you were each team? Think about the strengths of their impacts, and the other's weaknesses.

Potential drills

  • After identifying the key point of clash, give a 30-second overview that could be read either in the second rebuttal or the first summary that would resolve that clash in your favor (either side). Focus on first, identifying the key difference between the two sides, and second, proving why that difference means the judges vote for you.

  • As VIP, collapse on a different argument in summary. Think critically about what the benefits and downsides would be to doing this.

Round information

Harvard is a large octofinals bid tournament in Massachusetts, and used the resolution "Resolved: The US should replace means-tested welfare programs with a universal basic income." Plano West is first aff, and wins 4-1. Means-tested welfare programs give cash and other benefits to low-income people, while a universal basic income gives a flat cash payment to everyone in America.

Speed: 6/8

  • Great round!

  • Good example of weighing and link weighing debates, beyond magnitude/timeframe/prob stuff and to higher-level comparisons.

Plano West NY vs Wootton TZ (Harvard 2020 Finals)

Questions to consider

  • Can you identify any preempting arguments made in the aff case? If making responses against those spikes, how would you account for them?

  • Why did the neg call the cards they did? How was that information leveraged?

  • The aff collapsed on their second contention. What function did the first serve?

  • Try to predict the impact weighing the neg will do, based on their case.

  • In the aff summary, which of the weighing mechanisms do you think is strongest? Try giving a redo where you only talk about that one, then watch the rest of the round to see which they collapse on.

  • Think about some effective strategies the first speakers use in the first cross.

Potential drills

  • Based on the weighing arguments in this round, try drawing out the link chains of the arguments each side collapses on (aff automation, neg foreign aid) and connecting how each potentially links into each others' impacts.

  • Oftentimes it's helpful to condense speeches or try talking slower, but what would you do if you could fit more content into these speeches? Both sides do a good job focusing in on the round's most important issues, so try giving a longer summary or final focus that doesn't make more arguments.

Round information

The Tournament of Champions is an end-of-season tournament that teams qualify to through the year, in Kentucky, using the resolution "Resolved: The United States ought to replace the Electoral College with a direct national popular vote." Colleyville is first aff, and wins 3-0. The Electoral College is the US's presidential election system that determines victory using state-by-state points as an intermediary for the popular vote.

Speed: 5/8

Colleyville NL vs Nueva AT (TOC 2017 Quarters)

Analysis coming soon!

Round information

The Ivy Street Round Robin is a small invite tournament in Georgia, and used the resolution "Resolved: The United States Federal Government should prioritize reducing the federal debt over promoting economic growth." Archbishop Mitty is first neg, and wins 2-0. The US's arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been criticized by some for potentially supplying a war in Yemen, but are supported by others as a crucial part of their alliance.

Speed: 4/8

Lake Mary HM VS PLANO WEST LW (Ivy STreet RR 2019 R4)

Analysis coming soon!