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

helwich at macalester.edu helwich
Mon Nov 26 12:58:17 CST 2007

Jackie and I agree about the LD amendment. It must be true (could only be truer if Josh and Ede signed on).

At the outset, folks should know that one of the LD-experienced, college novice-winning teams was from UMN. They were in that division with the express permission and encouragement of the tournament director. The team was entered in novice because a) there were many other LD-experienced debaters in the division, b) one of the team members had had a grand total of three practices in policy debate, including one whole round, and c) neither debater knew much of anything about stock JV-level arguments like topicality, counterplans or kritik alts. I hope that no one quit because of my team.

This probably overlaps somewhat with Jackie and Ermo's arguments--if so, I apologize. I can see at least three disads to Chief's proposal

1. Division Collapse DA: No LD debaters = non-viable novice divisions, especially at early-season tournaments. This turns the "novice debate good" advantage.
2. Recruiting Shortfall DA: Many LDers would quit if they were forced to go up against kids with extensive (or even modest) high school policy experience. We lure LDers onto our team by promising them that they can 'get up to speed'  on policy theory and rate of delivery. Our efforts would be compromised if all LD-experienced students started in JV--turns the 'participation good' advantage.
3. Micromanagement Bad DA: Three scenarios: A) Different circuits have different, negotiated norms on N/JV participation/experience--top-down rules disrupt this consensus and open the door to new rounds of inter-program infighting; B) Different programs/directors have varying goals and pedagogical methods--some are served by early novice promotion, some are not; C) The 'fifty rounds' that a student might have will vary widely in their ability to prepare students for JV-level college policy debate... seems to be no reason to hurt students from 'low-intensity' high school circuits to catch a few super-novices--all turn the "everyone should be nice and play fair" advantage.

I have not seen a compelling answer to the "rookie division" counterplan, either.

Like Ermo, I would have to see more evidence before I believe that the system is broken, or that the move up rules are ineffective.



More information about the Mailman mailing list