[eDebate] Novice/JV Nats

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Thu Mar 9 12:09:59 CST 2006

Dave--Thanks to you (and others) for your support.  I believe that we will have this worked out amicably by Monday (Beth may even give me the phone number of the pottery vendor).  One clarification:  Jimbo indicated that Marist will attend next year, even if the tournament is at WVU.--Neil
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Steinberg, David L<mailto:dave at miami.edu> 
  To: edebate at ndtceda.com<mailto:edebate at ndtceda.com> 
  Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 12:59 PM
  Subject: [eDebate] Novice/JV Nats

  I do not believe that there is a problem regarding JV/Novice Nats.  


  Except perhaps that Neil Berch is just too nice, accommodating, open and (perhaps) too sensitive.  "We" didn't host a tournament: Neil and WVU did.  I hope that WVU will continue to host (although I certainly could not blame Neil for choosing not to).  Our program loved the WVU experience.  It is a terrific location, a beautiful campus, and easy to travel to.  WVU, if you hold it, WE will come.  Probably, Marist will not.  That is their choice.  Choice is good.


  There are lots of great tournament options for folks.  That is a good thing!  What is the disadvantage to having multiple options for regional and national travel with a title of National Champion?  More people benefit.


  As for CEDA Leadership, it comes from everyone.  If Joe or Beth or anyone else wishes to propose changes in CEDA Constitution or Bylaws, they should.  Then we can debate the merits of their specific proposals.  That is how change occurs, not because one of the elected officers makes it so. 


  I would strongly oppose CEDA adding another national tournament to administer (at least before my term ends.)


  I think I would also be opposed to identifying ONE tournament as the "ONE TRUE  Novice or JV or Honorary or Other Nationals" (although having seen Zompetti's latest post, I would keep an open mind to this.)  However, I do not think we should be in the business of telling people what they can call their tournaments, and this tournament became Novice Nationals at Towson because Brenda Logue called it that.  Then Towson elected not to hold it, and Georgetown held a tournament and called it Novice/JV Nationals.  Then they elected not to hold it and WVU decided to host a tournament called Novice/JV Nationals.  Now Sacramento State is holding a tournament they call the Western Nationals, or something like that.  Lets see how that succeeds and grows.  And of course, the NJDDT has been a great event for years.  Maybe it is time for Tuna to host the World Debate Championships!


  I DO support anything which would promote the growth of novice debate.  I am just not convinced that one big tournament at the end of the year can really have a significant positive impact on this.   In fact, I think it is regional support and commitment that is more likely to grow the division than the national tournament.


  Now, some of the objections I read to Neil's tournament were to me, quite frankly, Outrageous!  Round 3 was 45 minutes behind?  It would be better to be on time, but that's not that bad!   It is hard to travel to?  For us, it is easier than most of the places we go to, and we have to fly almost everywhere we go.  Hard to get around campus?  Ever been to the Church School Building or the dorm rooms at Emory or the basement of the Gym at Wake Forest, or Rochester in the snow?  That building at Pepperdine where they shuttle you up the hill?  Great locations often have their costs.


  I reject the notion that a tournament director has a responsibility to meet the needs of all participants (beyond some things like physical accessibility as per the ADA) or to provide food at all, much less a certain style of food.  If as a courtesy they can, that is great, but it is a luxury, not a necessity.  And I certainly do not think the director is responsible for food options on the highway between your campus and mine, or in my community.  Of course we should embrace diversity, but we should also be adaptable.  


  Rick Nelson said "you can't please everyone, so you better please yourself.   And Mick said "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.."  Or something like that.


  Neil, I echo Justin's plea: bring us back to Morgantown.  Thanks!


  Also, I do not mean this as a knock on Towson in any way: they ran a great tournament and are an excellent location.  I wish we could travel to both WVU AND Towson during the year.




  David L. Steinberg

  Director of Debate, University of Miami

  P.O. Box 248127

  Coral Gables, Florida   33124


  305-284-5553 (office)

  dave at miami.edu


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