[eDebate] Novice Amendment Issues Post #1 Answers

Darren Elliott delliott
Mon Nov 26 17:03:01 CST 2007


I want to answer these concerns in 2 posts.  The first will deal with the issues raised by Ermo, D Cram, Mike Davis, and that other Elliott character! : )  The second will answer Jackie?s post specifically because simply his seems much more caustic and I wonder why?
 
First to Ermo:
I agree largely with most of what he says.  There are definite differences to what directors consider ?novice?.  He is right, this discussion should be about what a novice SHOULD be.  I fundamentally believe that when Novices have to face people with experience (whether that experience is good or bad) they will be at a huge disadvantage.  Ermo says public pressure has not been tried.  I agree.  But the one-on-one pressure he suggests has been tried and it hasn?t worked?at least not in my experience.  I mentioned many posts ago, the public route only creates political backlash that we know will happen.  I think we should try and avoid that.  The ?opt out of sweeps? CP doesn?t seem to answer the concern that if one debater is much more skilled it creates a disadvantage to the true novice team.  Jarman has suggested not counting Novice for sweeps at all.  Maybe that?s the answer and we will then see how ?committed? people are to teaching novices.
The Division Collapse disad has been raised by Ermo and D Cram so it?s a good segway into D Cram?s arguments against.
 
 
D Cram:
1.  Argues that no LD debaters in Novice means virtually no novice divisions, turning the participation good args.  Maybe Neil will provide the numbers but IF the numbers bear out that the majority of novices have LD experience I would be surprised.  But the number is significant enough I think to create the problems I have outlined.  I also still believe that novice numbers decrease as the year goes on, not because of massive self-inflicted move-ups but because of novices quitting.  I cant help but think there is correlation to the LD experience meaning division collapse disad is inevitable.
2.  The recruiting shortfall disad (also mentioned by the other Elliott) to me is a non-starter.  If this is the key issue to determine a vote all I will ask people to do is consider pedagogically/philosophically what novice is.  I have not recruited LD?ers under the premise that they can learn policy in novice because philosophically I don?t think that?s what the division is for.  If the vote proves me wrong so be it.  But I hope everyone voting seriously considers this belief?that people recruit LD?ers with the express pupose of putting them in novice.  I think the disad is doing that.  There are other ways to get kids to debate and its not like the JV divisions are full of such ringers that thjose with LD experience will be that far behind.
3.  The micromanagement disad is only a reason to eliminate all of our rules about novice time lines, jv move up procedures etc.  We manage now.  It is the only way to ensure a level of ethics.  (Let me also say that if you, in your heart of hearts, believe its ok to put Ld?ers in Novice, I am not arguing that you aren?t ethical).  My ethics argument has always been about those that abuse the system, and in that world, the world we are in now, the ?play nice and be fair? standard is out the window.  But beyond the ethics, it says that there is a standard for fairness and pedagogical beliefs that as a community we should endorse.  Here?s the alternative: Any program that recruits novices finds out in a region where LD experience is allowed to run through novice divisions it becomes hard to keep true novices.  Either A) they quit recruiting novices or quit policy altogether making the division collapse inevitable or B) they take their novices and go to tournaments that have a higher pedagogical standard, thereby leaving their regions which also makes division collapse inevitable and starts a new round of Regional in-fighting that you describe.  
 
Davis:
Mike argues (as many others have) that not all LD is the same.  At least he admits neither is all policy.  While the quality of debate is subjective and the arguments may not always overlap, there is still no evidence to support the contrary to the claim that 50 rounds of experience flowing, debating period, knowing speech order, and figuring out the system puts you far ahead of the true novice.  And if this is true, I assume all who oppose the amendment on this ground will write one to eliminate all move up rules in JV and the 24 round policy requirement for Novice.  These are the same issues.
As for the ?1 semester of Novice and move up? CP, I am not sure it addresses the loss of novices experienced early in the year when all things are not equal at the first couple tournaments.  Interesting proposal but it doesn?t address the fundamental belief that novices quit earlier because of the uneven playing field.  How about instead if you have LD experience you debate in JV for a semester and if you don?t break after 4 tournaments, than you can go to novice.  Protects the true novice on the front end and prevents the quitting Jackie is worried about.
 
Finally the other Elliott:
I?ve already addressed ?not all debate is the same? and the philosophical difference I have with recruiting novices for the express purpose of putting them in Novice.  Not much more I can say to those two.
I do agree that College LD should count against policy eligibility.  However I don?t think you can advocate that only HS TOC should count and not all HS LD.  This seems disingenuous to your original claim that its hard to make those distinctions.  Because many could argue, not all TOC LD is the same.  And since we have neither the ability nor desire to police all local HS LD tournaments to grade the quality of the debate, I don?t think you get to punish one type of HS LD debater because they are more ?elite?.
I am fine with the 3 final rounds and you move up provision assuming it is in divisions where at least 20 teams compete.  I might even prefer Jackie?s offer of 2.  But this should be in addition not instead of my amendment.  Still doesn?t solve for the novices that quit early on.
 
For me this vote is about what you think novice should be for pedagogically and philosophically.  It should also be about what does the least harm to the fewest people?and in my mind that aint the SQ.  You all have offered some good disads (all of which I think are inevitable or non-unique) and some CP?s that don?t solve the issue of losing novices early on.  I think most of them should be in addition to the amendment, not in place of it.  
 
One thing I am happy about however is the discussion that is occurring.  I think its important and I think you all care deeply about debate and your own programs and that is something we all benefit from.
 
Thanks,
Chief
 
Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics?KCKCC
CEDA 1st VP
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