[eDebate] Narrow the topic can you please...

Bob db8coach
Wed May 16 12:14:19 CDT 2007

Hello Bob,

You are so confused.

UMKC has a huge coaching staff.

We have a huge team  -- 28 plus
not small

I don't think so. I think if anything is true, it is that you are being disingenuous. I think that in ANY other discussion of small vs. large you would be claiming to be a small school. You would claim that while you may, indeed, have 28 squad members that they are largely inexperienced (tho no doubt smart and hard working) novices and JVs. You would also claim that your huge coaching staff of TWO certainly doesn't qualify you as a "large" school.

As for UMKC, I think you are again being disingenuous. While Malgor and Amy may have had some great help from friends and GTAs, I think Matt might not agree about the "huge coaching staff". And they certainly weren't flooded with a squad of 30 and a sizable budget. In fact, this was a squad which was rumored to be on the chopping block.

However, if you want to consider yourselves to be Borgs, go ahead. Korcok often thinks of himself as a young guy with a full head of hair..... Just saying it don't make it so.

Additionally, I don't know if it's true or not, but Blake's bio mentioned that they were actually topical this year. If that is true, then that is reason enough to write a narrow topic. If we can get even 1 non-topical team to actually debate the topic I think narrow topics are worth it.

> Sorry, I really enjoyed being able to cut case cards.

Its not about you, its about the debaters.

No, it's about all of us. I am really tired of everyone assuming that coaches are not part of the activity..... We are. I have to be in the debates as well. I cut cards too. I am at the same tournaments the debaters are. I have to listen to the debates.

Is it ALL about me? No, but it is about me ALSO, and my preferences should not be discounted.

And what, you brushed up on your mead and khalizad indicts.
Did that much really change?  

Yeah, I know you fancy yourself a funny guy who likes sarcasm and irony. But Jackie, you don't know me well enough to make judgements about how many and what kinds of cards I cut. And people who live in "give back land" houses should definately not throw stones. 

This year BC had a few generic positions (brand new to this topic), but most of the debating done by the novices (which means everyone but the JV team) was done ON case or with case specific c/plans. And I saw a lot of other teams doing that as well.

Sure, there are always going to be those teams that debate their same one argument year after year, but writing a broad topic won't change that, it will only discourage the others from writing specifics.

I challenge you to chart your success.  Start back in the late 80's, and work yourself up to this point.
(I think  Bakersfield has been involved for a while, i could be confused - i would admit that)

I started at BC in 1987. The debate team itself goes back to 1929, but I was still pretty young then.....

Has your teams been more or less competitive with say, NDT Champions Emory or Harvard.

Hmmmmm, I would have to say that we have NEVER been competitive with Emory or Harvard. I think the better test is how competitive we have been with Pepperdine, San Fransisco State, Cal Poly, Chico State, and all the other Community Colleges. And in charting my successes with THOSE teams I honestly think it has been better with narrow topics.

This year, in fact, was one of our most successful years in a long time. This with one JV team and 4 kids who knew nothing about policy debate. And I think it was because they were able to get a handle on the res and the whopping 4 SC cases. It wasn't overwhelming for them to read the literature. It was easy enough to understand what the aff was doing and how that made them topical or not. With a broad topic, each of the 10,000 affirmatives means a whole new discussion and something else for them to study instead of studying for tests.

And we ran topicality FAR less than normal. I think there is something to be said for debating substance rather than procedurals.

I think narrow resolutions crush small schools that do traditional debate.

You find a card that says X  and the larger schools with many researchers have already found the answers to that card, that quote your evidence.  You lose, get their cite, then they out update you on something else.

Yeah, that is what we call debate. It is part of the process. And while we lose to that with some schools I find it INFINITELY preferable to debating a team who thinks that the way make the world a better place is to 1) play with a ball of wool like a kitten,  2) get in touch with your own excrement, or  3) watch avante gard pornography. That isn't what I envisioned when I got into this activity, and it isn't the legacy I want my debaters to be left with when they leave BC.

Additionally, do you really think that same Borg school isn't writing new affs every tournament on broader topics so that you CAN'T get a case debate going with them? Sure they are. I see it all the time. 

Dont fool yourself with "case" specific debate, it wil happen with a broader resolution.

Really? That's your observation is it? People do case debate more on the broader resolutions? Is that what OU does? It isn't what BC does.

Hmmmm, it certainly hasn't been my observation.

Yeah, you made a true statement. It WILL HAPPEN with a broader rez. Will it happen AS MUCH? I don't think so.

It's really very simple. I like to teach my novices about debate. I teach them about as many aspects of debate as I can. Some folks teach mostly about criticisms. That's OK with me. But they are going to do that on ANY topic. Me, my job is much harder on the broad topics. 

So I will always support a narrow topic. Simple, no?


Bob Lechtreck
Bakersfield College
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