[eDebate] Solution to the Policy v. K Gordian Knot

Josh jbhdb8
Sat Oct 13 10:25:20 CDT 2007

Honestly, as a squad that has been primarily policy oriented - I would have
to say that our experience has been that there are not enough "policy-only"
judges for us to "game" the system.  Most often it has seemed that the
opposite is true - that MPJ has allowed "K" teams to never deal with
anything worse than a "moderate" K judge.

The truth is that the vast majority of judges attempt to be open to most
types of debate which is probably how it should be.....This is why people
who did performance would even occasionally pref people like me and Brovero
not so long ago.  This means that you are always more likely to get a "K
friendly" judge than a "policy-only" judge.  Thats ok, it forces us to learn
to debate a wide variety of styles.

BTW...The K/performance is hardly the unique domain of the "non-elite
team."  Most "elite" programs LONG ago incorporated K/performance into their

Anyway, there are definately more K friendly judges then "policy-only"
judges - by a huge amount,


On 10/13/07, Gary Larson <Gary.N.Larson at wheaton.edu> wrote:
>  Scott offers an intriguing idea and since he's not the first to mention
> it, it deserves some discussion.  Scott suggests that the solution for
> policy-oriented teams would be to write the kind of arguments that Andy
> Ellis would find appealing if they didn't have the luxury of preffing him
> out.  Now I presume from this that Scott would equally oppose the use of
> strikes since they could just as effectively be used by the same team to not
> have to adapt to the judge.
> During my career I've been blamed for being the architect of genuinely
> random judging (back in early CEDA days when the transition was being made
> from backroom arbitrarily-managed "tabroom preference").  I've also been
> blamed for ever more sophisticated MPJ algorithms that Scott and others
> argue permit teams (presumably elitist policy-oriented teams) from needing
> to embrace diverse perspectives by shielding them from judges they don't
> want.
> But doesn't this argument cut both ways?  If the numerical majority of
> teams and critics at any given time are not embracing diverse argument types
> and styles, doesn't random judging rather stifle creativity and diversity of
> argument types by forcing teams that want to explore alternatives to adapt
> to their more numerous "traditionalist" judges.  Quite apart from the more
> basic questions of whose responsibility it is to adapt to whom and whether
> debaters should have any input into whether the judges in the round are
> sympathetic or antagonistic to their strategies, in practical terms MPJ
> probably protects diverse perspectives rather than stifles them.
> For every traditionalist team that would have to confront the prospect of
> writing arguments that Andy would like, there would be many more rounds
> where the teams that would like to explore the boundaries or new approaches
> to argumentation would be faced with even more hostility than they face at
> present.
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