[eDebate] 50 point scale at Wake

michael hester uwgdebate
Fri Nov 2 12:31:07 CDT 2007

I like that Ross et al. are willing to experiment in an effort to
improve the activity.

My questions after reading the proposal for the scale is this: how
different fis it rom the SQuo? Does it address the inherent barriers
that cause the current harms? the list of suggested points (40-50)
doesn't appear any different than a 20-30 point scale, which exists
now. granted, no one appears willing to actually give points below 26
unless a hate crime has been committed in the round, but I don't see
how that reticence will be solved by simply sliding the scale up
20pts. Ross explictly says "28.5 does NOT equate to 48.5," but it's
kinda close. the proposed scale is 10 points, and the functional
status quo (what judges tend to give) is 4 points.

The problem is not that the scale judges are currently allowed to use
is too small. The problem is that judges refuse to use the scale as
broadly as it is designed.

I suppose the 50point scale could be argued to "shake things up and
make folks think differently." i.e., if people are forced to use a new
scale, maybe they'll be more willing to use more breadth in their
assignment of speaker points.

imo, it's messed up that the only way to get the debate community -
which is supposedly an open-minded group of intelligent folk - to stop
doing stupid stuff (and we all seem to agree that the current
assignment of speaker points is dumb) is to change a structure that
really isn't broken (we just refuse to use it correctly). reminds me
of the way we deal with most things in college debate - rather than
acknowledge the agency we have as individuals to make a difference, we
displace that agency and recommend institutional reforms that don't
really address the attitudes at the heart of the problem.

my post is not a knock against Ross or Wake. i appreciate his efforts
to fix the problem. if judges will make an effort to adopt a broader
points scale, the tabulation system will work better. of course,
judges could accomplish the exact same thing if they'd simply apply
the same effort within the current point scale. damn, we are stupid.


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