[eDebate] re: what are we going to do about parli
jbhdb8 at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 11 12:55:37 CDT 2004
I have been debating or coaching since 1983 and I have only heard reference to someone voting "the list" once and it was in about 1992 and it was in jest. Where is this "list" you make reference to, or are you saying its a "intuitive" list? If you are saying that, you should probably make some non-conspiratorial warranted charges because I would sure either like the conspiracy "exposed" or to just move on. If it is just a conspiracy theory it seems fairly insulting to the large group of debate professionals who do this for limited pay and mostly out of a love of the game.
CEDA has always wanted to make debate a big tent. I said at CEDA meetings for years that its a fools errand to try to bring the vast majority of people back because they left because they found something that fit them better. Policy Debate should aspire to welcome everyone but that does not mean that it works for everyone.
From: Terry West <West at suu.edu>
Sent: Jun 11, 2004 12:20 PM
To: GatorDebate at aol.com, edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] re: what are we going to do about parli
1) MPJ: We have an apples and oranges problem here; big school/small
school is not the same as list/non-list, which is the argument I make.
Tim, Josh, and Frank are using mpj as it's operating now to exemplify
how it works. I've already said I think it's inevitable and ok now,
with a relatively homogeneous pool of teams/judges. Fine, there's some
degree of diversity, but it's pretty artificial. MY arguments about mpj
are not big/small school. They are list/non-list. Big difference.
Irrelevant now; most of the non-list schools have either been chased out
of policy or are content to be entry fees buying bigger trophies for the
list schools. Josh asks how getting rid of mpj would solve large
schools getting their preferred judges. It wouldn't now. Back in the
day, what it DID solve was list judges repping decisions against
non-list teams (we've been through this on the listserve before; list
judge votes neg for list school in "risk of a link" to the da; hears the
exact same round with teams reversed and votes aff for a list school
because non-list da is "non-unique")--if a judge repped out in
ridiculous and obvious fashion, they couldn't guarantee that the judge
from the school they just screwed over would not hear them in subsequent
rounds. Now I know we don't like to think about crap like that, but it
happens all the time, and most of the people who used to argue with me
about that have since admitted it (although some did it backchannel, and
I respect that). Look: bottom line is that this discussion is
irrelevant. The genie is out of the bottle and it isn't going back in.
If CEDA wants to save itself, it will have to do a lot more than change
judging selection practices. This is, however, an example of the point
I'm making; CEDA is only willing to villify Parli, not seek meaningful
changes in the way it operates.
By the way, I haven't seen an explanation yet for why mpj is so good if
we have to have affirmative action to get it to include women and
minorities. Seems to refute the utopian view of mpj to me. Unless the
argument is that CEDA has discovered that women and minorities are
incompetent to judge.
Let me narrow this part of the debate down a bit. I want someone to
tell me why my school should continue to field or attempt to field
policy debate teams when:
--I bring a judge to a prestigious national tournament. This judge had
a good rep; a former All-American
CEDA debater who broke at nationals. She did not judge ONE damn
round at the tournament. Not one.
--The last time we had a team in elims at CEDA nats, they lose a round
with 3 list judges we were forced to
"prefer" to a list team and all three RFD's were issues that DID NOT
OCCUR IN THE ROUND. I listened to
it; the judges' RFD's could have won a prize at any science fiction
Of course, my story is the only one of it's type. That's why CEDA
membership is really not declining, and we really didn't start this
thread about how to defeat the evil parli. All is well! All is well!
2) National circuits. Oh, now we're talking about "de facto" national
circuits. Well, that's a different argument altogether. But if the
midwest was a defacto national circuit, and you went to nationals
without mpj, your odds of getting a judge from another district were as
great as getting one from the midwest. You could not assure that you
would get a midwest judge if you met a team from a smaller region.
Under mpj, you can do that. Just pick the midwest judges you've done
well in front of, and don't pick other regions. Those smaller regions
will HAVE to pick at least some of your midwest judges, and you're going
to get them under mpj.
And the first couple of official CEDA national tournaments WERE the
zenith of the activity, not its beginnings. CEDA had been around a long
time before it had an official national tournament. And the decline in
CEDA membership has been one significant jump (around the time of the
adoption of mpj), followed by a continuing gradual decline. Remember,
the number of debate programs has not gone down; it has gone to Parli.
>>> <GatorDebate at aol.com> 6/10/2004 11:00:55 PM >>>
In a message dated 6/10/2004 5:42:58 PM Eastern Standard Time,
West at suu.edu
1) mutual preference judging: some small/poor programs have been
conned into the concept that it's good for them because of what Frank
calls "cherrypicking" the judges you want. But at large tournaments,
that's to the disadvantage of the small/poor program. When you go to
large national tournament and have to pick 30% of a 100 judge pool as
"A," you may find you don't even KNOW 30 judges in the pool. And you
don't assume you'd pick every judge you know as an "A." So if there
even 15 judges in the pool who are real "A" judges for you, you are
forced to "prefer" 15 more who are not.
I think my argument (along with Tim and Josh) is pretty accurate. In a
with no preference, a small school team that opts for a more
non traditional strategy (which is common of a lot of small squads)
to spin the roulette wheel when it comes time to getting judge
now they will at least have some control over their fate. Do what I
Terry. Go to the Bruschke page and check out some of the
non-traditional/performance oriented teams and see who they got as
critics in the majority of rounds at
the majority of tournaments. You will see that there were a lot less
traditional judges judging these teams then there would be in a world
with no MPJ.
Now I'm undecided about MPJ. Like I said, I'm leaning against it just
you, albeit for very different reasons. I think we're close to
agreeing on this
2) development of the national circuit. Frank is just wrong about
beginnings of CEDA as a national organization; he wasn't there yet.
teams that were in deep out rounds at the first few CEDA nationals
included a whole lot of teams that didn't travel much nationally.
in 87 (I think) at SMS we were, I believe, the only school with two
teams in octos at nats, and we hardly traveled a national circuit.
Luckily, midwest district tournaments were very strong.
Exactly my point! The "strong" midwest tournaments (UMSL, Emporia,
Wichita, K-State, UCO, SIU...) WERE the de facto national circuit back
just benefitted because of proximity to that circuit, much in the way I
benefit at Florida being in D6 and within driving distance of Georgia
Kentucky, Wake, West Georgia, Alabama, etc...) Like I've been saying
National Circuit has been there (maybe not in the beginning but
CEDA was in its prime which I define as '86-'95 - first year of CEDA
last year before the merger - plus you said there was no national
CEDA was in its prime, not in the beginning) and only the
3) We now agree that it's not a resource issue alone. It's a
political issue. Will CEDA make the necessary political reforms to make
schools that left CEDA come back? This volatile response from the
listserve every time I post suggests not. I must be a hell of a
dangerous guy; I seem to draw a lot of attention for being such an
idiot. Look, if I'm so damn stupid, wrong, and incompetent, y'all ought
to just ignore me. CEDA is fine; there's no reason to listen to people
saying it isn't.
Will CEDA be able to create NEW programs at schools that were not
chased off in the Great Reforms? Maybe. How long will they last? The
data so far are not very good. Maybe luck will change.
I hope CEDA makes it, whether it's all policy or whether there are
reforms. I hope policy-only debate is going to stay around, whether
it's in CEDA, NDT, or both. I was raised on it; it started my forensics
career. I coached NDT when the topics were still separate (my teams
were brilliant and won lots of stuff in both CEDA and NDT despite my
incompetence; I just drove the van). I love policy debate. But it
stopped loving me a long time ago, and I'm getting old. I'm through
with going where I'm not wanted. But I have lots of friends who are
still in the business, and I wish them luck because they're good for
Several years ago, I was talking with some senior coaches in the
midwest (this was at the JCCC jv nats) about the problems in debate, and
I suggested to them that one of the problems I felt was that people like
themselves weren't judging any more. I had learned so much as a debater
from them when they judged me, and really missed having my debaters
learn from them as well. One of them said something I didn't really
understand then, but do now. He said "today's debaters don't want to
hear what I have to say on ballots, so I don't judge any more." Sad. I
still miss him on the circuit.
Oh well. . .
That's my last post on this thread. It's just damn irrelevant at this
Even Frank's arguments are contradictory here. He talks about how
resource issues mean no small school can compete, then gives his own
record as a resource-poor debater as proof that he knows more than I
My point is just that resource issues alone do not explain the demise
of policy debate.
No contradiction. I said it's always been tough for small squads to
meaning your argument that it's tough today has no uniqueness but, just
a small squad or having a small squad doesn't doom your squad either
used Neil and Morgan from two years ago as well as Ricky and Nate as
just two of
the many examples of smaller squads that can excel. Having a small
resources makes it tough but not impossible.
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