[eDebate] WVU JV/Novice Nats--resend

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Mon Sep 18 17:15:10 CDT 2006

I never got a copy of this post in my email (a few other from today didn't arrive either).  Don't know if it's just me, but I also haven't gotten any complaints about the eligibility requirements, so I have a feeling this didn't make it through.  So, reposting...

These decisions deal with eligibility and entry fees, both potentially 
controversial areas, so please read carefully. 

Decision 1: About 10 days ago, I posted to edebate asking people to voice 
opinions regarding whether we should use the interpretation of the CEDA 
By-laws for JV eligibility that we used last year (Option 1), or the one 
that Georgetown used the previous year (Option 2). 

Option 1 makes use of the "exception" clause for JV National tournaments in 
a way that ignores whether you have qualified for the NDT or been in 3 JV, 
Open, or Varsity finals. In other words, under Option 1 (used by us last 
year and also traditionally used by Johnson County for its JV Nationals), if 
you are in your first two years of college debate (or first two years beyond 
novice), you are eligible to debate at JV Nationals, regardless of whether 
you have ever qualified for the NDT, and regardless of the number of finals 
in which you have participated. 

Option 2 basically indicates that if you started the academic year with JV 
eligibility, you are eligible to debate in JV Nationals, regardless of 
whether you reached your 3rd JV, Open, or Varsity final during the current 
academic year, and regardless of whether you qualified for the NDT during 
the current academic year. Where this Option differs from Option 1 is that 
it does not permit someone who qualified for the NDT in a previous academic 
year or someone who was in their 3rd JV, Open, or Varsity final in a 
previous academic year, to compete at JV Nationals. 

I received about 10 responses, all from schools that attended our JV/Novice 
Nationals last year. The responses were split down the middle. Thus, I 
have reached the following decision: Since I believe that Option 1 is the 
best interpretation of the By-Law (and since there is no consensus of 
community opinion, and since it will provide consistency with at least 
Johnson County's interpretation), we will again use Interpretation (maybe 
that's a better word than Option) 1 for the 2007 JV/Novice Nationals at WVU. 
  That means that if you are in your first two years of CEDA debate, or in 
your first two years beyond novice, you are eligible for our JV division. 

Let me note, however, that at least one coach indicated to me an intention 
to introduce a by-law amendment at the CEDA Business meeting at NCA. That 
by-law change would legislate that Option 2 is the correct (and only) 
interpretation, if I understand the proposal correctly. If that passes, we 
will of course change to Option 2 (or any other clarified version of the 
by-law that is approved). I may very well support that proposal, but I 
believe that under the current (and somewhat ambiguous) by-law, Option 1 is 
the best interpretation. 

I welcome comments as always. 

Decision 2: Background: last spring, I indicated that we would charge $90 
per team, with the opportunity to reduce fees to as little as $0 by 
providing extra rounds of judging at $35 per round. The idea was to raise 
some revenue to offset a portion of our costs, to allow schools to replicate 
the previous year's zero fees by providing extra labor, and to create a pool 
of extra judging to improve preferences. Circumstances have changed since 
then, and they require a change in the fee structure. 

Let me recap by noting what we are providing at this tournament. We will 
have 4 rounds on Saturday, and 3 plus doubles on Sunday, all on campus. We 
will then have the remaining outrounds on Monday at the tournament hotel, 
the Radisson (though I should note that we will have to have two octafinals 
debates either on campus or in sleeping rooms at the Radisson-unless there 
are two collisions). We will use 6-category MPJ for all rounds. We agreed 
to provide lunch on Saturday (probably Chinese food, with two vegan 
alternatives), lunch on Sunday (probably pizza, with a vegan alternative 
other than pizza with veggies and tomato sauce), light breakfast both of 
those days (bagels, with cream cheese, butter, and hummus, coffee and 
juice), a generous supply of snacks, the famed pottery awards, and coffee 
throughout the day. We have now decided to add a light breakfast at the 
hotel on Monday and a light lunch during and after quarterfinals. Note that 
we will be consulting further on the menu in upcoming months. 

We thought the $90 was a reasonable price, but, as I indicated, 
circumstances have changed. We've gotten a major contribution from the Dean 
of WVU's Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey. This 
will enable us (fooled ya!!) to lower entry fees. The problem is that I 
have a lot to do at the tournament, don't trust my debaters with money, 
can't do the math that easily, and don't believe in the market model for 
inducing community-minded behavior anyway. So (fooled ya again!!), IT'S 

If you can cover your judging, you can bring as many teams as you like 
without any entry fees. If you need to hire judging, you can hire it 
through the tournament at $125 per uncovered team. If you have extra 
judging, please donate it to the tournament (rather than hiring it out). 
This will enable us to make up some of the remaining deficit, and it will 
allow us to improve preferences. Indeed, we may not even use your extra 
rounds (unless you're popular!). Let's show that a community-based solution 
can work! 

We look forward to hosting an even larger and better tournament than last 
year's. We hope to see many old and new friends in Morgantown, March 3-5, 

--Neil Berch 
West Virginia University 

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