[eDebate] Worker Rule
Thu Apr 20 17:22:02 CDT 2006
I think the case Scott makes is strong, but I want to add another point.
Schools with three teams in the tournament will not only be required to
relegate one team each round to being coached by a person who cannot under
any circumstances find a card or make a block or write a counterplan.
Schools will also be pressed inexorably towards a homogeneity of argument
which is unhealthy, anti-educational, and competitively nonsensical.
Consider a squad with two really good "policy-oriented" teams and one
really good "kritik" team. Inevitably, their coaching support is going to
be divided, or else one of the teams will get left out altogether. If the
coaching staff decides the most productive card cutters don't include a
"kritik coach," that team gets nada.
Over time, debaters will realize that they need to go where the support
is. Kritikers and policy wonks will congregate, even more than they do
now. All of us will be educationally impoverished if we lose intra-squad
diversity of argument, which in turn depends on diversity of coaching.
This is a bad idea. It was circulated after the district tournaments, so
that only a handful of people had seen it before the NDT Committee meeting
in Evanston. The Committee voted on it in haste. It is poorly drafted,
its terms undefined and not commonly understood, and with no clear
prohibition on what it hopes to ban. I join with Zompetti in calling for
On Thu, 20 Apr 2006, Scott Herndon wrote:
> 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
> coaching staff.
> Scott Herndon
> -----Original Message-----
> 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
> To: Edebate
> 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
> the tournament.
> 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.
> Steve Mancuso
> 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.
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at ndtceda.com
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at ndtceda.com
More information about the Mailman