[eDebate] Reactionary Provisions

Darren Elliott delliott
Mon Nov 19 17:46:10 CST 2007


Hi Jackie,

Nice tournament at Rochester.  I wonder if it was colder there than in Chicago for NCA.  

Let me address your concerns since I submitted the amendment.  There was some debate at the CEDA business meeting over this amendment and it passed, with less than 2-3 people voting nay I believe.

Your first belief that "we do not need rules to dictate when ethics should probably be more responsible" would be lovely in an ideal world.  I can point to 10's of hundreds of instances however where in a competitive activity this is simply not possible.  For example, we have "rules" about students being enrolled to compete.  Even in the face of these rules some coaches have had ethical lapses.  Imagine the propensity to do so were it not for the rule.  We have "rules" about JV debaters moving up to Open.  We know in early-mid 90's CEDA debate that rule HAD to be written as coaches were sandbagging debaters in JV for points often at the educational detriment of the debaters themselves.  Again, rules were good for both the community and the debaters.  Martin touched on this, but in a world where competition collides with the good of the community, far too often the former is preferred over the latter.  

Your second thought is "the rule counting LD as eligibility is somewhat reactionary, and not appealing to the true hopes of participation for some, in the face of the detrmiments when a novice team gets waxed by a super LD star".  Not sure I can make out the entire intent of that sentence but I think you are saying some who want to participate in Novice are having their chances hurt and its a bigger risk than those who get beat by the LD superstar.  I disagree.  I think if a debater with that many rounds of LD in HS can be told, listen you are too good to be a novice, I think that can resonate with them.  You can build them up a lot easier than you can mend the ego of debaters who are getting slaughtered by the super LD star as you put it.  The rule should have been written a long time ago.  I have had over a dozen conversations with coaches this year who travel novice teams who are shocked at the abuse going on.  For many of them though they werent sure how to change things.  I listened, and I responded because I agreed.  If that is reactionary, so be it.  I see no harm in that kind of a reaction.

You say, "The rationale for the rule makes  too many assumptions and false categorizations from my perspective" and "There are many high school LD debaters that would never debate if they were pushed into JV when they entered college debate.  More than there are that quit whenever a super novice is left in novice and waxes and wanes."  I am glad you acknowledge the lack of evidence here.  My perspective is different and the conversations I have had make me believe my experience to be true.  I talked with a number of ADA coaches this weekend.  Their rule is more strict than the one I have written but I think they got it right by counting LD.  And as for evidence, the Novice divisions THRIVE in ADA tournaments where this rule is even stricter.  Not so much in Regions that have complained about the LD super stars.  That is certifiable evidence.

Finally, two other comments you made that are worth noting: "Currently the rule allows a starting point for those LD debaters  who did not travel National Circuit LD (most of them) to begin college debate and not have to compete against those who were doing CX in high school.  It cuts both ways, thats why rules arent always the answer" AND "My perspective is that if a student is so far above the rest of the students, they should debate JV or open, and not stay in novice".  Dont get confused--my rationale was not just about National Circuit LD debaters but that is a problem in the sq as well.  The fact that multiple (sometimes over a 100) rounds of LD are debated at any level is suspect at best to call them Novice.  They understand time limits, that there is a judge, that there is speech order, that arguments have labels, that theory exists, etc.  All of this is above and beyond the worldview of novices entering college debate with no experience.  And you are right, if a student is above that level they should move up--BUT they arent.  Why?  See Martin and I's description about ethics vs competition.  I can name names but I wont.  But a perusal of results on the Bruschke site with a comparison to rounds of NFL LD will make it clear the problem is more apparent than others are being led to believe by yours and JT's posts.

I'll just add that we have been without the rule for a very long time.  The parts of the country not bound by a similar rule have a hard time making Novice even happen.  I wonder how many novices are walking away.  I know after the first few tournaments this year there were a lot and they pointed to the thrashings they were receiving by "experienced" debaters in Novice.  Conversely, in an area where a rule counting LD exists (ADA) their tournaments have thriving novice divisions.  For too long the absence of the rule for the rest of the country has not been good with only "ethics" to check it.  Thats why rules sometimes have to be written.

Respectfully,
chief

Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC
CEDA 1st VP



>>> "Massey, Jackie B." <debate at ou.edu> 11/18/07 5:09 AM >>>
Hello,

I just wanted to offer my perspective on one of the proposed ammendment changes in the VP report.

My perspective is that we do not need rules to dictate when ethics should probably be more responsible.  I think the rule counting LD as eligibility is somewhat reactionary, and not appealing to the true hopes of participation for some, in the face of the detrmiments when a novice team gets waxed by a super LD star.

The rationale for the rule makes  too many assumptions and false categorizations from my perspective.

RATIONALE: A number of high school students are competing on the
National circuit in LD which is similar to policy debate and then coming
to college understanding the ins and outs of debate and debating in
Novice against people who have never seen a debate before, much less 50
rounds of debate. Additionally college NFA LD is policy LD and should
count as policy debate rounds. Finally, with the lines blurred in
contemporary college debate between policy and critical anyone who has
debated before, even in high school LD, has quite a leg up on a true
Novice. LD, even when not policy oriented in HS, is closer to the
critical side of the community and should count against novice
eligibility.

------- The rationale atttempts to use a false dichotomy of critical and policy to support what is acknowledged as "lines blurred".  I am somewhat of a beneficiary of this rule.  My perspective is that if a student is so far above the rest of the students, they should debate JV or open, and not stay in novice.  There are many high school LD debaters that would never debate if they were pushed into JV when they entered college debate.  More than there are that quit whenever a super novice is left in novice and waxes and wanes.  (no evidence - my opinion)

They still gotta get rid of of the "aff case" and "neg case" terminology.  The problem is some of these students do appear to know the "ins and outs"  (official langauge now) of debate, and devestate some of the new comers.  This is where i say it becomes more of an ethical issue for the coaches to move them up.  Currently the rule allows a starting point for those LD debaters  who did not travel National Circuit LD (most of them) to begin college debate and not have to compete against those who were doing CX in high school.  It cuts both ways, thats why rules arent always the answer.

Peace,

Massey
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