[eDebate] [CEDA-L] Encouraging your "yes" vote on CEDA business

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Mon Nov 26 12:22:20 CST 2007

I think Jackie (and Andy before him) raise an important issue.  I only 
focused on novice winners because that gave the broadest picture given the 
time I had.  A broader view is important as well.  I've got a busy few days 
ahead of me (both professionally and personally), but I'm going to try to 
look at all the teams that debated in novice in the largest ADA tournament 
so far (King's), the largest CEDA Northeast tournament (West Point), and the 
largest Midamerica novice division (UNI, with just 11 teams).  I'll try to 
get this done in the next couple of days, and I'll post my results to debate 
and CEDA-L.  Note, though, that this is probably about 5 times as much work 
as the previous post, and first I have to change our John Carroll hotel 
reservations (remember, Brent, anyone can run a tournament when there are no 
glitches; it's how you respond to crises that is key, and clearly you're on 
top of this!).--Neil

--Neil Berch
West Virginia University

>From: "Massey, Jackie B." <debate at ou.edu>
>To: Darren Elliott <delliott at kckcc.edu>, 
>"CEDA-L at ndtceda.com"<CEDA-L at ndtceda.com>, "edebate at ndtceda.com" 
><edebate at ndtceda.com>
>Subject: Re: [CEDA-L] Encouraging your "yes" vote on CEDA business
>Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 11:45:57 -0600
> >From my mailbox:
>Amendment #9 Novice Definition
>This amendment has created the most discussion on the listserve.  While I 
>wrote the original amendment, I would not be against changing my mind in 
>the face of good reasoning.  While some arguments against have been put 
>forward, both in the Business Meeting (where it received near unanimous 
>support) and on this list serve, none of those arguments have swayed me.  
>Both sides of this issue can prove that we might lose novices with or 
>without the amendment.
>----- Why didn?t you just stop here?  Let people decide now?
>Chief Says:
>  However the arguments I put forward are the only ones that seem to answer 
>all of the offense generated, solving that offense, and at the same time 
>provided unanswered disadvantages to staying the course.
>---- 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.
>Chief says:
>  Some people have provided good anecdotal evidence how debaters they have 
>with HS LD experience can achieve success even in JV with little to no 
>coaching (Hanson) and have provided ample hard evidence (Berch) that those 
>winning Novice divisions have HS LD experience a lot of the time (and in 
>some cases have ridiculous amounts of
>  experience) and are walking through Novice.  Yet they arent being moved 
>--- 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 
>Chief Says:
>The problem is in the SQ there is no check and no way to prevent the abuse. 
>  When ethics and competition collide there is often a slide on the ethical 
>(Harris), and this remains unanswered.  Pressure has not and is not 
>working.  The only arguments against have been that people forced into JV 
>will quit.  No one has answered that we allow an exemption waiver process 
>in CEDA that if a debater is really not ready for JV they can go in Novice 
>with an exemption.
>------- 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?
>Chief says:
>   This solves the offense and remains unanswered.  And I will go one 
>further--the CEDA EC has already granted such waivers this year, proving 
>the system works.
>--- 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 
>Chief says:
>   These were cases where the debater really was a novice even though not 
>so definitionally.  What CEDA cant do however is the reverse.  We cant tell 
>novices they have to move up even if they have 50, 100, or 150 rounds of HS 
>LD experience.  That means the debaters they trounce have no protection and 
>THEY are the ones who walk away.
>--- 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.
>Chiefs Says:
>   I also believe that any coach can make decent arguments why a debater 
>should go JV at least at first if they have HS experience, thereby 
>preventing the debater from quitting outright.  And, if that debater does 
>so poorly, they do deserve to move down, the coach can assure them there is 
>a waiver process that allows that.
>---- 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?
>Chief says:
>Unfortnately very few coaches will be successful in convincing a true 
>novice (no experience) that they should stay even in a world where they are 
>getting hammered by novices with experience.  Myself and others have also 
>spoken to the nature of the policy/critical divide that is blurred these 
>days and one can no longer assert that LD is so different from college 
>debate that it shouldnt count.
>--- I think that your assumption that LD is ?critical? is laughable.  I 
>have to say no more.
>Chief says:
>Finally, I think anyone with a concept of a flow, speech order, time 
>limits, a judge, etc. (especially with over 50 rounds of such experience) 
>is so far ahead of any true novice, that they really should not be 
>considered novice without some pretty serious limitation on their part 
>(which can be accounted for in a waiver process).  In order to preserve the 
>intent of the novice division, in order to protect the novices that 
>currently do not have protection, and in order to help grow and preserve 
>the numbers in novice, I encourage you to vote yes on this amendment.
>---- 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?
>Chief says:
>Let me add one other thing about the Novice Amendment.  My program could 
>gain a lot more from the SQ than the world of the amendment.  In KS, MO, OK 
>there is a ton of LD debate.  Tonight I looked up how many graduating 
>Seniors this year in the 3 state area did just LD (and high amounts).  In 
>case you didnt know there is a ton of debate in KS, MO, and OK and a ton of 
>that is LD.  I would have a hard time deciding which of the 10 to offer 
>full ride scholarships to and recruit and stack the Novice division.
>---- 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.
>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.
>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 
>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.
>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.
>  I guarantee you there were a lot more than 10 to choose from.  Multiply 
>that by 10 and add some.  I havent done this because I honestly believe the 
>community and the intent of novice sides with the amendment, and until now 
>it has just slipped through the cracks.  Maybe I am wrong and I have just 
>always seen Novice as something different.  The vote will determine that I 
>guess.  But this amendment is in no way self-serving.  I honestly believe 
>Novice should be something other than
>  what it is at some tournaments right now.  If the vote proves me wrong, I 
>guess I can push harder for Rookie Divisions then start doling out the 
>"novice" scholarships to area HS LD debaters. ; )
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