[eDebate] Thanks to Neil and the WVU folks

Ken DeLaughder kenedebate
Mon Mar 6 21:54:33 CST 2006

Congratulations to Rochester on their win.

The ESU debaters would like to thank Neil and his dedicated team for hosting 
a great tournament this weekend.  I know it was a drain on his budget to do 
it with no entry fees, and I hope that problem can be rectified and still be 
supportive of his goal of inclusion.  I'd definitely like to thank the WVU 
administration for their support of the programs effort to throw the 
tournament.  Everyone took the time to offer to get me things if I needed 
it, and Neil is one of the nicest people I have met in the activity, even 
when I was a bit irritated under pressure :)

It was great to finally meet you Neil!

I'll chime in on the things you posted.

NUMBER OF ROUNDS - I don't know how you can shift to 6 with that large of a 
field and still keep a national feel.  One of the things I discovered (we 
don't make it out East much) after talking to a lot of my colleagues is the 
different way debate is viewed, or how tournaments are viewed.  It seems to 
me a lot of the eastern regional tournaments are more oriented toward 6 
round/2day schedules.  I would say for myself, and not speaking for others, 
but more of what we are used to, that Midwest teams would support a 3 day 
more than 6 round format.  If it is to stay a "national" tournament.  
However, we cannot support the 3 round out at 11:15 format for Friday, that 
was a mess... however that shakes out, we'll have to support.

PREFERENCES - well.. to be quite honest, having not put myself in the pool 
to make sure my teams got coaching on Friday (and bringing extra coaches as 
well) I can't say too much.  However, our average pref was not too high at 
all.  My teams obviously want higher prefs, as a director, I'll take 30% and 
random selection.  I do know that I'll put myself back in if other directors 
will as well (Neil had a list of us who didn't put outselves in the pool... 
yeah.. I know... I did volunteer to jump in though!).  Definitely for me to 
be in the pool, I think we need to not cram so much in.

I would like to add more regional diversity to the pool, we felt 
disadvantaged late as a lot of the judges with which we were more familiiar 
left for home (again, my own karma).  I know nothing can be done about that, 
except to get more folks in to judge.  I hope our positive comments help.

A NOTE:  The only thing I have to add is that my debaters said they kindve 
felt "locked out" when they tried to meet folks this weekend (the Naval 
Academy debaters were exceptions, as well as the Liberty people - nice 
people).  They felt like it was more of an "east coast" tournament, and that 
the folks they talked to were very cliqueish and they felt like it 
distracted from their positive experience (the hosts are also exceptions... 
awesome people).  Nothing too bad, they just felt like they made some 
efforts to talk to non-district people and they weren't real accepting.  I 
chalk it up to cultural differences.  It was good for my younger debaters to 
get out of the district/NDT circuit to see how other regions operate, and 
learn to adapt to the differences.

They learned a ton.

To end on a positive, I enjoyed getting to see people I haven't seen in a 
long time (Ben...luck at the Lab!) it felt very "CEDAish" to me, and I 
enjoyed that.  Special thanks for Brent Brossman for giving one of the best 
round explanations I've seen all year.. and after being in a car wreck on 
Monday! (my kids know why I preffed you now :) ).  I also don't think I've 
seen Neil Butt judge in awhile, but that was also incredibly thorough, I 
think your written notes were longer than some flows I keep! (if you have 
that stuff kept, we'd love a copy).

I'd love to see that town in the spring, I bet its even more beautiful!

Thanks again Neil, for everything...you embody a lot about what makes this 
activity great (don't forget to post that address!)

Ken D. and the Hornets

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