[eDebate] Worker Rule
Thu Apr 20 17:00:34 CDT 2006
I've been following along but I honestly can't remember if anyone has made
this argument yet, so forgive me if I'm rehashing a little. If the rule is 2
card cutters / coaches what about schools with three teams? Does one team
not get a coach? How should programs prioritize such a matter? X team has a
better chance in X round so write off the "lower" teams? We are kidding
ourselves if we think as a community we'll take qualifying team to the NDT
and choose to not coach them (while we do feed, board, and pay dues, entries
etc for them...never mind that they are contributing members of the team
that we should WANT to work hard to make the NDT the best possible and most
competitive possible experience for those teams).
If you are reading this and thinking: "yeah, but UTD only has one team
qualify, usually..." bite your tongue. That may currently be the case, but
it assumes that we (and I assume other schools that are traditionally
classified as "small schools") desire to stay that way. One day UTD will
have 2 then 3 teams at the NDT and I want to work in an environment where I
can reasonably coach all three of them. Anyway, Burk already handled the
speaking for UTD arguments rather nicely, so I won't go on.
I agree with most of the other criticism of the rule as well (can't enforce,
fuzzy on what constitutes argument construction, etc...) but I think it is
more workable and makes more competitive sense if we at least examine the
number 2. Personally, I like Eber's 40 round suggestion; it seems to solve a
lot of the problems of hired armies of researchers at the NDT while
continuing to honor the contribution of full time coaches to the team with
the add-on of not punishing schools that are attempting to grow their
From: edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com [mailto:edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com] On
Behalf Of Steve Mancuso
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:01 PM
Subject: [eDebate] Worker Rule
The intention of the rule - which I thought had been clear - was to
limit every school who attends the NDT to 2 (two) non-undergraduate
workers. These two people are the only non-undergraduates from that
school who can write or research arguments during the tournament.
I believe that it is an important step in the right direction for the
tournament, even if it is not somehow perfect. The vast majority of
the rules that we have could be re-interpreted and nit-picked to death
- or at least into ambiguous limbo. I don't think we should allow the
perfect to become the enemy of the good.
Repealing the new rule returns us to the rule: "The number of workers
for a school will be determined by their ability to pay." Hmm.
The new worker rule benefits well over 80% of the schools who attend
My rough estimate is that the rule, based on the 2006 NDT would have
benefitted: Baylor, Binghamton, Boston College, Case Western, Catholic,
Central Oklahoma, Concordia, Cal State Fullerton, Denver, Georgia
State, Gonzaga, Idaho State, James Madison, Kentucky, Liberty,
Macalaster, Mary Washington, Miami, Michigan, Missouri Kansas City,
North Texas, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Redlands, Richmond, Rochester,
Samford, Southern California, Texas-Dallas, Trinity, Vermont, West
Georgia, Wichita State and Wyoming. There may be others that should
be on this list.
I'm not saying that every person from every school on this list
supports the rule. Clearly some don't. Just as there are people, like
Joel Rollins, Dave Arnette and Scott Deatherage (more on him later) who
have supported the rule even though it presumably runs against the
self-interest of their programs.
I'll admit that I'm in part motivated by the self-interest of my
program - just as the primary opponents of it are trying to hold on to
their currently granted privilege and advantage. I do think the
"fairness" issue is clearly on our side.
As a director of a program that has difficulties even finding one
assistant coach and one additional steady hired judge throughout the
year, to hear some complain about how unfair it is that their FIFTH
coach can't cut updates at the NDT, I'll admit, discourages me.
Maybe we should just give in and say that the rules of the NDT should
be whatever works best for MSU, Emory, Harvard, Wake Forest, Kansas,
and a few others, since (wink, wink) it's really a tournament just
about them anyhow.
A last point, while I'm in the process of singling out many of my best
Early on in this debate - back in November - the accusation was made
that this proposal targeted Northwestern. [Clearly the recent debate
proves that this proposal cuts against more than one school.] Many of
you know that Scott Deatherage strongly opposed the original rule but
supported the current version, the one we passed. Some believe there
was a compromise between myself and him on this. I don't really view
it that way. I genuinely became convinced by the force of his
arguments that we shouldn't place much limit on undergraduates, for
pedagogical reasons. I also think Scott became convinced that
restrictions on non-undergraduates were for the overall good of the
NDT, even at the risk of slightly hurting his own chances of winning.
So perhaps the debate over this issue has, after all, had the real
effect of singling him out, for the better, in my opinion.
P.S. Don't forget to cast your ballot for the topic area by May 8.
P.P.S. Let me know if you want to help with the 06-07 or 07-08 topics.
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