[eDebate] novice data

Darren Elliott delliott
Tue Nov 27 15:02:43 CST 2007


A huge thank you to Neil for doing the work.  First let me say your commitment and skills are very valuable.

A couple observations:

1.  Your previous work swayed Jackie to conclude the rule change was needed.  My fear is a lot of people gut check voted prior to any consideration of the arguments on both sides or the statistical analysis you've given.  Not sure how the gut check will play out--could be good or bad depending on my perspective.

2.  Combined with your earlier work, my opinion remains firm.  I of course was more familiar with the UNI results being close to home, but I think the West Point and Kings results bear out that "some experience" is certainly enough to put you out in front--when that experience reaches 50 rounds or more, I think the benefits to those teams are obvious.  I am glad you made the notation that "significant" HS LD experience was lacking in the NE.  I hope the folks in the NE realize based on those entries at least, this isnt a rule that would effect many of their teams and will consider voting yes.

3.  The recruitment points made earlier by J Green and Sue are right on the money I think.  In terms of retention I wonder what effects are had when those with 50 or more rounds of HS LD experience are bumbed to JV in the SQ.  PLEASE do not interpret that as a request for you to do more work Neil.  But if there were any grad students out there looking for a project, it might further our knowledge.  If the claim is pushing them up too soon means they quit, I wonder if the numbers actually bear that out.

4.  Finally one comment about the short-lived advantage you mentioned.  I believe that the time we most likely lose novices due to facing much more experienced competition is the first couple tournaments of the year.  While previous experience/success correlation may even out over the course of a semester, I still believe the advantage early on is where we lose novices, and like most of the parli programs--they aint coming back!

Again, Neil, Thank You!

Chief

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

>>> "NEIL BERCH" <berchnorto at msn.com> 11/27/2007 2:33 PM >>>

Hi, everyone!  Here are the data that I promised.  Having paper versions of some of the cum sheets speeded the process.  I will offer some interpretation along the way.  Let me start by explaining that I looked up every debater in the novice division at King's (ADA--limits on high school LD), West Point (CEDA Northeast--no LD limits, and significant crossover with King's), and UNI (smaller division in Midamerica region; no limits on LD).  I checked last year's results on the Bruschke page for previous college policy experience, and I checked the NFL page for high school forensics experience.  Let me offer a few caveats:
1.  There are probably some folks with high school forensics experience who are not on the NFL page.
2.  Misspellings might have caused me to note someone as having no experience when they in fact did.
3.  It's possible that I resolved one or two ambiguities incorrectly.

OK, here's what I found, tournament by tournament:

King's (ADA, with a limit of 18 previous policy rounds, and no more than a total of 50 combined policy and LD):
There were 38 teams in the novice division (and half cleared), and I divided them into the following categories:

Group 1:  No discernable prior forensics experience:  23 teams
8 of the 23 teams in this group cleared (35%), 2 of the 23 teams in this group made it at least to quarters (9%). 

Group 2:  Minimal  HS forensics experience:  5 teams
Team A:  one debater with 8 rounds of HS Public Forum (PF); the other with no experience.
Team B:  one debater with 4 rounds of HS LD; the other with no experience.
Team C:  one debater with HS IE experience; the other with no experience.
Team D:  one debater with HS IE experience; the other with no experience.
Team E:  one debater with 8 rounds of HS PF and some HS Congress; the other with no experience.
4 of these 5 teams cleared (80%); 1 of the 5 made it at least to quarters (20%).

Group 3:  More significant HS experience:  5 teams
Team F:  one debater with 40 rounds of HS PF (and 27 rounds of college policy without clearing); the other with 7 rounds of college policy (note that I include this team in both groups 3 and 4).
Team G:  one debater with 12 rounds of HS policy, 15 of HS LD, and 41 of HS PF; the other with no experience.
Team H:  one debater with 92 rounds of HS PF; the other with 6 rounds of HS policy, 53 rounds of HS LD, and 13 rounds of HS PF (and presumably with an eligibility waiver).
Team I:  one debater with 6 rounds of HS policy, 35 rounds of HS LD, and 13 rounds of HS PF; the other with no experience.
Team J:  one debater with 80 rounds of HS LD (and presumably an eligibility waiver); the other with no experience.
4 of these 5 teams cleared (80%); 2 of the 5 made it at least to quarters (40%).

Group 4:  Previous college policy debate experience prior to this season:  6 teams
Team F:  one debater with 40 rounds of HS PF (and 27 rounds of college policy without clearing); the other with 7 rounds of college policy (note that I include this team in both groups 3 and 4).
Team K:  one debater with 27 round sof college policy (without clearing); the other with 27 rounds of college policy (without clearing twice).  NOTE:  ADA AND CEDA RULES ALLOW A DEBATER WHO DID NOT CLEAR TWICE IN THEIR FIRST YEAR (REGARDLESS OF NUMBER OF ROUNDS) TO DEBATE IN NOVICE IN A SECOND YEAR UNTIL THEY HAVE CLEARED TWICE IN THEIR LIFETIME.
Team L:  one debater with 13 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team M: one debater with 12 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team N:  one debater with 6 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team O:  one debater with 19 rounds of college policy; the other with 29 rounds of college policy (only having cleared once).
5 of these 6 teams cleared (83%); 4 of the 6 made it at least to quarters (67%).

A few other notes:  
1.  The tournament winner was from group 4, and the runner-up was from group 2.
2.  8 of the 10 speaker awards went to people with no apparent previous experience.  The second speaker was from group 4, and the top speaker was from group 3.

Conclusions:
1.  It appears that previous experience of any sort was helpful.  Those with any sort of previous experience (by either team member) were more than twice as likely to clear as those without, and they were more than 4 times as likely to clear as those without.
2.  Having prior college experience appeared to be even more of a factor predicting success.  Two things to be noted are that this is in the absence of those with extensive HS LD experience and that the West Point results (below) suggest that this may be a short-lived advantage.
3.  It's hard to make any real judgment about HS LD experience.  Assuming that waivers were granted in the cases of teams H and J, the ADA Executive Committee made good calls, as neither debater won a speaker award, both were on teams that went 3-3 (one clearing and one not), and neither made it as far as quarters.


Next, on to the West Point tournament, a CEDA Northeast tournament with 45 teams in novice (22 of whom cleared), including many teams that attended King's (indeed, some extra comparisons are possible; see below).  No more than 24 rounds of team policy prior to this year, with no limit on LD.  Same format, except I'm adding category 5, lots of HS LD experience.

Group 1:  No discernable prior forensics experience (29 teams)
11 of the 29 teams cleared (38%), and 5 of the 29 made it at least to quarters (17%)

Group 2:  Minimal HS forensics experience (3 teams)
Team A:  one debater with 23 rounds of HS LD; the other with no experience.
Team B:  one debater with HS IE experience; the other with no experience.
Team C:  one debater with 8 rounds of HS PF and some Congress; the other with no experience.
2 of these 3 teams cleared (67%), and none of them (0%) made it at least to quarters.

Group 3:  More significant HS experience (3 teams)
Team D:  One debater with 15 rounds of HS policy, 26 rounds of HS LD, and 19 rounds of HS PF; the other with no experience.
Team E:  one debater with 92 rounds of HS PF; the other with no experience.
Team F:  one debater with 6 rounds of HS policy, 35 rounds of HS LD, and 13 rounds of HS PF; the other with no experience.
1 of these 3 teams cleared (33%), and 1 of the 3 made it at least to quarters (33%).

Group 4:  Previous college policy debate experience prior to this season (8 teams)
Team G:  one debater with 13 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team H:  one debater with 11 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team I:   one debater with 21 rounds of college policy; the other with 6 rounds of college policy.
Team J:  one debater with 10 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team K:  one debater with 13 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
Team L:  one debater with 19 rounds of college policy (plus some HS IE); the other with no experience.
Team M:  both debaters with 24 rounds of college policy each
Team N:  one debater with 18 rounds of college policy; the other with no experience.
7 of these 8 teams cleared (88%), and 1 of the 8 made it at least to quarters (13%).

Group 5:  More than 100 rounds of HS LD (2 teams)
Team O:  one debater with 6 rounds of HS policy, 112 rounds of HS LD, and 5 rounds of HS PF; the other with 4 rounds of HS LD.**
Team R:  one debater with 147 rounds of HS LD; the other with 11 rounds of college policy.
**Team Q was from the host school and thus ineligible to clear (though would have done so if eligible).  Thus, my analysis is restricted to one team.
It cleared (100%) and made it at least to quarters (100%).

Speaker awards:
5 speaker awards went to those with no prior experience, 1 (the top speaker went to someone from group 3), and 2 went to people in group 4 (out of 10 eligible speakers).  Both debaters with HS LD experience won speaker awards (4th and 9th).

A couple of observations:
1.  As one might expect, the advantage of those with prior college policy debate (up to 24 rounds) was dissipated significantly by mid-October.  While most of those teams cleared, only one made it to quarterfinals (they were actually less likely to do so than those with no experience), and none made it beyond quarterfinals.
2.  While the two debaters with substantial HS LD experience did very well (and clearly had an advantage), there were not enough such debaters to scare anyone off.
3.  The side-by-side nature of ADA and CEDA Northeast tournaments makes the "move to JV" question available for study.  Each of the two debaters in group 5 has also competed in JV in ADA tournaments.  The record that the two of them have in preliminary rounds in JV is 15-9.  Indeed, each went 4-2 in JV at King's in their respective very first college debate tournaments.  I don't know enough about partners to comment on that issue, but it doesn't appear from speaker points that either was being carried by a partner.

Finally, let me also note that everything these folks have done is within the rules.  I have the highest respect for them and their coaches.  I might also add that they are two of the hardest working debaters I've seen.  Indeed, one of them has had 48 rounds already this year.


Finally, on to UNI.  This one is a little more difficult to analyze, given its smaller size.  However, the larger number of HS LD debaters makes it more interesting.  There were only 11 teams in the division, including 2 from the host school (who, it appeared, would have cleared but were ineligible).  5 teams did clear, plus the two UNI teams makes a top 7.
Group 1:  No discernable prior forensics experience (3 teams)
1 of the three cleared (33%); it made it to finals.

Group 2:  minimal HS forensics experience (2 teams)
Team A:  one debater with HS Congress experience; the other with no experience.
Team B:  one debater with 3 rounds of HS policy; the other with no experience.
1 of these two teams cleared (50%)

Group 3:  more significant HS experience (2 teams)
Team C:  one debater with 67 rounds of HS PF; the other with no experience.
Team D:  one with 37 rounds of HS LD and 108 rounds of HS PF; the other with no experience.
1 of these 2 teams cleared (50%)

Group 4:  previous college policy debate experience prior to this season (1 team)
Team E:  1 debater with 14 rounds of college policy; the other with HS IE experience
This team would have cleared if eligible.

Group 5:  More than 100 rounds of HS LD (3 teams)
Team F:  one debater with 163 rounds of HS LD; the other with 116 rounds of HS LD and 28 rounds of HS PF.
Team G:  one debater with 7 rounds of HS policy and 137 rounds of HS LD; the other with 27 rounds of HS LD.
Team H:  one debater with 24 rounds of HS LD; the other with 143 rounds of HS LD and 4 rounds of HS PF.
all three of the teams in this group (100%) either cleared or would have if eligible.  The group includes the tournament winner and the team it beat in semifinals.

Speaker awards:  There were a total of 4 debaters in the division with more than 100 rounds of HS LD (same for more than 50 rounds); they were speakers 1, 2, 3, and 5.  Speaker #4 had 27 rounds of HS LD.

Obviously, LD is a more important consideration in this region (if this tournament is representative).  And obviously, HS LD experience is tremendously useful.

I'm not likely to do it, but it would be worth investigating systematically Justin Green's claim that those with HS LD experience have dominated at Novice Nationals (thus implying that this is a long-lasting advantage).  My gut feeling is that he is right, but the claim deserves rigorous investigation.

Best to all as you debate these issues.
--Neil Berch
West Virginia University
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