[eDebate] Changing the NDT Worker Rule

Michael Eber eber
Thu Apr 20 11:47:48 CDT 2006


Specific ideas:


1) Repeal It


2) Codify Steve's bright line into the rule in a clear way.


"An 'NDT Worker' is defined as a person who is not a competitor in the
tournament and who researches and/or writes any arguments during the
tournament, including evenings."


This is just not good enough. Everyone seems to disagree on what constitutes
research and writing and the bright line is barely flickering. Is it only
research if evidence gets cut? Can coaches read the newspaper? Can coaches
scan a solvency article to help a student researcher? Is this really just a
prohibition on the physical act of using a pen? Of typing? Isn't coming up
with an argument and telling it to a student the writing of an argument? 


You may have opinions about how to answer the above questions. My point is
just that the answers are really not that obvious based upon how the rule
reads. Letting individual programs set the line is the worst option (see
other post).


3) Eliminate the Luphole of "other individuals".


a) The part I quoted above should begin with "An NDT worker is defined as
ANY person."

b) Explicitly state that researchers who are not competitors or NDT workers
are prohibited. 

c) Define "significant coaching"

d) Change the beginning of section d to say: "Individuals WHO DO NOT MEET
THE DEFINITION OF AN NDT WORKER and who provide scouting or significant
coaching.". This would make clear that if you do meet the definition of an
NDT Worker, you cannot escape the cap of the first few sections.


4) Create an exemption for judges who have judged X number of debates prior
to the NDT. 


a) X could be high, maybe 40. 

b) This would allow full time regular season coaches to work at the NDT. It
would address one of my biggest complaints with the new rule: I think it is
unfair for people who are full time coaches and cut cards throughout the
year to be excluded from at-tournament research when it matters most. I can
understand why folks don't like big programs who bring in alumni research
help. I can understand why folks don't like schools who have hired guns
throughout the year that never judge or contribute to the community. I can
understand why folks dislike programs buying up researchers whose teams did
not qualify. But full time coaches *are* different and should be allowed to
work as usual at the tournament. Having a third or fourth coach is not

c) This encourages programs to take their "hired guns" and have them become
full time judges throughout the regular season. I think the benefits of that
are obvious.








Michael Eber

Interim Director of Debate

Michigan State University

10 Linton Hall

East Lansing, MI  48824

517.432.9667 (w)


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