[eDebate] Novice Amendment Issues Post #2 Answers

Darren Elliott delliott
Mon Nov 26 17:04:35 CST 2007


This post is to answer Jackie on point because I feel like the tone of your responses are markedly different and I wonder why.  
 
Jackie:
----- Why didn?t you just stop here?  Let people decide now?
 
Me:
Just because I think there is anecdotal evidence on both sides does not mean I also don?t think I am right about the tangible evidence nor do I think I should just let the community decide after some caustic emails from you.
 
 
Jackie:
---- Is this how you talk to your administrators? Your trying to make facts out of subjective interpretations.  Why cant you accept that it cuts both ways like above, and not continue with somewhat of a not so ?true? method.
 
Me:
Is this how you talk to people you respect?  I thought we had some of that between us, but your caustic tone seems like an exercise of someone who is upset that contrary evidence is being presented.  And actually when talking to my administrators about hiring a new asst. coach I did talk about the advantages, the disadvantages, and the impacts to the program.  They werent turned off by such terminology.  The facts Neil presented speak for themselves.  LD experience has translated into mucho success in Novice this year alone.  
 
Jackie:
--- Yes, berch?s evidence was overwhelming.  However, it really depends on the debater.  Some LD debaters learn to flow, others don?t.  Neal?s post may have changed my mind on the issue.  What about the ?anecdotal? evidence I offer that LD debaters are much more willing to join debate if they can go novice.  One thing about neals post is that it only recognized the winners, not to mention the many former LD debaters who don?t even win in novice.
 
Me:
I don?t dispute your anecdotal evidence that debaters you have coached have said they would quit if forced to go JV.  But I also have faith in your ability to convince incoming frosh that JV is the place for them until its proven they cant cut it there and get a waiver.  Even if you don?t like the waiver process, it exists.  And if someone coming in has such little experience in the world of debate, how hard is it to say to them ?you are in JV? and when they retort ?what about novice? you say ?oh that division is for people with no debate experience?.  Will they really walk out the door right then Jackie?  Really?  As for Neil?s evidence not mentioning the former LDers who didn?t win in Novice, I bet dollars to donuts none of them had 50 rounds of HS LD experience.
 
Jackie:
------- Actually, someone did answer the waiver argument, maybe you just forget those posts that don?t agree with you.  Just ignore It maybe it will go away?
 
Me:
I will not be swayed by insults to my ability to understand when an argument was answered and when it wasn?t.  Neil is the one who addressed it, and merely said it creates problems such as varying views from year to year depending who is on the EC.  I did answer that concern and pointed out this is the SQ.  My amendment doesn?t create the waiver process, merely I want to make sure uninformed people know its there ALREADY and aren?t swayed by your red herring that there is no hope for anyone with LD experience forced into JV.  I am not the one ignoring arguments here.
 
Jackie:
--- This is so subjective ? the EC determine if students should be in novice or not?  There is a time lag, etc.  I think this is a bad alternative.
 
Me:
Again it?s the SQ not the alternative.  If you dislike it, write an amendment to abolish it.  But you are wrong about the time lag.  The EC about a month ago worked our butts off when an appeal came before us and the decision impacted an upcoming tournament.  Yeah, the CEDA leadership spent hours on email, dropping a lot of other things we were doing, to protect someone who should be allowed to go in novice even though definitionally he wouldn?t have been allowed.  
 
 
Jackie:
--- This is your best way of dealing with the issue that the current rule is a bridge, and does also allow for a situation where LDers move to policy.  I agree, some Novices get trounced and quit, but ?THEY? are not the only ones effected by this rule.
 
Me:
No I understand programs will be affected when it comes to CEDA points.  But the LD debaters have a check in the SQ that has worked already.  The only thing suggested to protect the debaters getting trounced is pressure, but it isn?t working.  It seems like the waiver process is the only thing that is working.
 
 
Jackie:
---- Do you explain this to the new students as going JV solves all the offense of you debating HS policy debaters and the waiver process solves all the disads to the intimidating experience you will engage?
 
Me:
Not sure I understand the question entirely but I think the answer is yes.  Putting those with 50 rounds of LD experience in JV only hurts them if they are really bad whereby the waiver process can solve that problem.  The amendment protects those with no experience.  In a world with no amendment, the LD experienced kids can get sheltered in Novice and there is no protection for the true novice.  
 
Jackie:
--- I think that your assumption that LD is ?critical? is laughable.  I have to say no more.
 
Me:
Ahhhh the old ?ignore it and it will go away? strategy ehh?  Now somewhere I read that such a strategy is not very valuable.  Where was that?  I don?t know how many LD rounds in HS you judge.  Can you share that with me?  But you are wrong that in many places it isn?t critical.  Another reason KS HS coaches are hating on College Debate is because now those ?damn k?s are being run in LD?.  Martin posted a video too.  Did you watch it?
 
 
Jackie:
---- You are saying that we should take first year LD debaters and first year policy debaters, and put them in the same division.  I am saying the HS Policy debater has a huge advantage over the HS LD er. Then does the LDer quit for getting trounced?
 
Me:
And you are saying take a debater with 50 rounds of experience and put then in a division with debaters with zero experience.  Give me a break.  Do you really think your example is as harmful as mine?  Honestly?  No I don?t think the LD?er quits for getting trounced because either there will be more parity in that scenario and they likely wont get trounced OR they are so awful they get to move down with a waiver.  Seriously, I have told you what I would say to that kid?what would you say to the kid with no experience ready to quit?  Or have you ever had to face that in a world where you recruit LD debaters into policy novice?
 
Jackie:
---- Stack the novice division?  I am skeptical on why you don?t have more novice teams, but I guess this clears it up.  And to say you do it for ethics is grand of you.
 
Me:
Your ad hom aside I never thought I would align with the belief of getting rid of points in Novice (an idea Jarman has expressed) but I really would like to see what it would do to novice numbers in programs espousing the grand philosophy of growing debate for debates sake.  Talk about skeptical.  As for why I don?t have more novices, I actually have 4 on my team.  1 has travelled in JV all year?guess what?  He has some HS LD experience.  The others may not have the luxury experienced by your debaters.  But before I get fired up into a rant about single mothers, and people of color barely surviving much less trying to debate every weekend (and keep up against debaters with extensive HS experience) I will just say you can quit being skeptical?it?s a waste of your time.  And finally I will add, once again, our definition of novice is clearly at odds with one another so I don?t give you credit for some of the novices you claim.
 
Jackie:
----We probably agree on the problem.  Neal?s evidence was overwhelming.  However, is it just LD?
Many of the students have IE experience, Student Congress, Public Forum. Since they did those activities, should that count also?  That was just as common as LD.
How about a move up rule in novice instead?  You win 2 novice tournaments or final 2, you move up.  This sounds much better.
 
Me:
IE?s, PFD, and StuCo in my opinion don?t teach the same techniques needed to succeed in policy debate.  No more than band or football do.  I don?t disagree with your move up rule, but I would prefer it be in addition to, not in place of.  Others disagree.
 
Jackie:
----I admit that I benefit from the current rule.  I love teaching LD debaters policy debate.  However, very seldom do any of my debaters stay in novice more than two or three tournaments.  As far as benefits for points and rankings, I am not sure that novice brackets have counted for many of the CEDA points in our region ever. The average size is about semis.
What will novice look like in a region that is comprised of over ? their debaters in novice have LD experience?  Will we even have a novice division?
Take UCO, what if all the teams with LD experience were eliminated.  We would have probably 2-3 teams in novice. IE ? no novice, those novice have to go JV, and then what happens?  Oh yeah, your scenario happens still in a worse way.  DA to your ?plan?.
There is a huge divide in the skill level of LD debaters.  At UCO there was one novice that was way ahead of everyone else. Even the other debaters who had LD experience were no match.   She made my debaters better, trying to figure out how to beat her.  She also had a partner who was totally unexperienced.  Bottom line, she was good. Rules don?t change that.
 
Me:
Novice brackets count in a lot of places for a lot of people and I am sure some of the points earned by some of our programs in our region were because of novice.  But I believe the division collapse is happening now and is inevitable as more people make this the practice to keep up, recruiting LD kids for novice divisions.  For me, and programs like ours, if the trend continues we have 3 choices.  We can begin recruiting LD debaters (and there are plenty of them) and put them in Novice, we can not make the commitment to get true novices up to speech given their lives outside of debate and given up on novice altogether, or we can begin travelling to tournaments with stricter rules where there is more parity (read ADA and out of the Midwest).  I believe in Novice debate and I believe in the power it gives people, so most likely in the interim our choice would be #3, meaning divisions in the Midwest don?t benefit from our novice numbers.  I can live with that, and if it leads to division collapse in the Midwest I promise to not say I told you so.
 
Jackie:
----That?s it.  I will probably vote for the rule that is an attempt to help novice debate become pure, while I think its going to help it disappear. That is why I challenge those who were at NCA and voted on the rule to show up next year with two novice teams and travel them all year.  Its not all about ?solving all the offense? and ?no disadvantages to the plan?, its more than that.  It's about coaches taking the time and energy to teach students with no "policy" debate experience how to debate.
 
Me:
While we have no way to know if you really vote for it or not, I hope that the anger it has caused you, can subside and we can work together on issues that I think are close to both of us.  Is mine the perfect solution?  Probably not.  Is it better that the SQ?  By leaps and bounds in my opinion.  I have seen too many novices quit, too many others hang around but not put in the effort to fight the uphill battle, and still too many others not even try in the first place.  I think if we really want to have novice as viable divisions, we have to change the competitive practices in our community.
 
Respectfully,
Chief
 
Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics?KCKCC
CEDA 1st VP
 
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