A term used primarily in Colorado to describe Policy Debate
. It is a type of debate where two debate teams (made up of two members each) are paired up, each team being assigned either Negative or Affirmative. The affirmative team presents a plan adhering (usually) to that year's resolution, while it is the negative team's job to prove what is bad about passing the plan (using such arguments as Disadvantages, Topicality, Counter-Plans, Kritiks, and answers to Inherency/Solvency/Advantages). Cross-x, or CX, is what makes speech tournaments take forever because each round has a minimum 1 hour of speaking.
As CX debate evolved, the debaters realized that the more arguments you can read, the more likely you are to win the round. So, a new style of reading evidence evolved, called "spreading" (a clever combination of "speed" and "reading"). While this is a good idea in theory, some debaters choose excessive speed over clarity, not realizing that almost all judges aren't going to vote for you if they can't understand what you're saying.
Finally, there is a myriad of critics who claim that debaters live in an "ivory tower" mindset. For God's sake, it's a game! Debate's an after-school activity! Don't criticize high-schoolers for viewing the world as they do. They aren't real policy makers, they only pretend to be.