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A relatively newer type of debate that gets dissed on by policy and LDer kids primarily because in Public Forum, you debate about current events, don't wear sweater vests, and actually have to use logic, sources, and speaking SKILLs to PERSUADE your judge.

Public Forum is meant to be a spectator event, meaning, unlike LD or Policy, you can't spam your judge and talk at 6 words a second. Policy, LD, and Congress kids usually diss PF, but end up getting raped when they try it because a normal person (i.e. your potential PF judge) doesnt want to see a short sweaty kid in a sweater vest talk about nuclear war caused by helping penguins and all other sorts of batshit not relevant to reality at a speed unfathonable to the human ear.

Side Note: PF kids might also be able to do sports and other athletic things because we dont research for 5 hours a day on the growing patterns of corn for the production of corn ethanol or some other policy shit. MEANING...we can probably kick your ass physically outside a round.
Policy Kid: "Public forum is so stupid! I'll try it at my next tournament and win!"
*After first PF round*
by Policyisgay May 02, 2010
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Jul 26 Word of the Day
Noun: a friend who is usually only called upon by a friend when a more primary/prominent friend is unavailable.

Taken from the term β€œsecond string” in an athletic competition situation. In football, if the star quarterback gets injured during a play, the second string is called off the bench to replace him/her. A β€œSecond String Friend” is essentially benched until needed, if ever.

Synonyms: Plan B, Second Choice, Secondary Friend, Benched Until Needed
I got a call from X the other night. She had an extra ticket to a concert she bought for a friend, but they couldn’t make it so she called me to ask if I wanted to go because I am her Second String Friend.
by Deus-ex-machina August 26, 2020
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The best kind of High School debate. Most LDers/Policy debaters will shit on it for it's simplicity, but they're learning how to talk 300 words a minute for a flow judge while PF is learning to talk 300 words a minute OR 30 minutes a minute depending on the judge.
Ben Kessler: Yeah man, I do debate.

Other guy: But it's Public Forum

Ben Kessler: Can convince anybody on the planet, flow or lay that PF is the best debate.
by CaitBalphon January 18, 2017
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Public Forum is a type of high school debate usually reserved for those who aren't necesarily the brightest kids. Set up by Ted Turner, Public Forum was used as a means to have high school debate become a 'spectator event', which was nearly impossible under the other forms. Because of this, PF is extremely simple and is about a topic, or "resolution", that changes every month. Arguements are very back-and-forth, however they may have no substance to them at all.
"I hear Billy was really interested in receiving a free "A" in his debate class; so much that he even took up Public Forum!"
by me April 13, 2005
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An event not taken seriously by policy debaters and LDers. Also referred to as PuF.
"Winning public forum at Nationals is like being the smartest kid with Down syndrome."
by Azelais January 18, 2010
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I saw some other definitions about LD and policy, and they were old, so I made this so a newer debater can understand. I will assume you understand the rules and various jargon used obsessively throughout most of the debate community. Public forum, compared to other debate events, while not necessarily the best, should still be highly considered. Looking at other debate forms such at LD, policy, and congress, PF is the most fun. PF is like the "Goldilocks" event. LD is too boring (who would want to judge two roman-nosed high schoolers in suits talking about the values in life for and hour), policy requires too much time researching random and stupid arguments (penguins lead to nuclear war) or perfecting speaking speed, and congress is vague, lazy, difficult to become good at, and rounds are loud and you barely get to speak. Public forum also looks good on applications, teaches you to debate lay a lot better (which definitely helps you a lot more in later parts of your life), and is probably the most "easiest to learn, hardest to master" type of debate. Give it a try.
"I'll never quit public forum. Screw policy."
"Ugh...this congress round will never end."
"Who tf cares about principles and values in life?"
by purgeTheUrgeToSplurge December 06, 2020
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debate for kids who either:
1. are too unintelligent to do a real event,
2. can't do their normal event at a tournament and want to be in an event that's easy to win,
3. don't really like debate but want it on their transcripts,
4. don't have time for real debate, or
5. want to practice empty rhetoric.

Ted Turner invented the event so that he could use the "Crossfire" from CNN in a high school activity, but after its first year in existence he disowned it because the debaters were too rude and whiny. Hence the current name, public forum.

This event almost always has lay-judges, or mommy judges, as real debaters call them. The team with the best voice wins. The topic is always simplistic and changes every month. The emphasis is on dumbing down the world so you can explain it to an idiot.
1. I tried so many times to explain the parts of a disad to him, but it was just over his head, so he switched to PF instead.
2. We could only take 4 teams in policy, so they had to go in public forum. They still qualified to nationals, even though they'd never done it before.
3. She's really good at science. She won the international science fair last year, but she wanted to have debate on her transcript, so she's doing PF.
4. He used to love debate, but this year he's taking so many AP classes that he doesn't have time, so he just does PF.
5. She's running for student body president next year and wants to learn how to talk pretty, so she's doing PF.

That lay-judge forgot which team was which and marked the wrong team as the winner. Oh well, such is PF.
by alas poor yorick April 13, 2008
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