[eDebate] ans Larson

LACC Forensics forensics
Sun Oct 14 13:58:04 CDT 2007

I think Mike has the right idea about Gary's call for an alternative.

Prior to the full MPJ we practice today, most national-circuit tournaments
simply allowed a certain number of strikes. Beyond that, judging should be
random. The strikes serve the purpose of controlling specific issues such as
judges who have prejudices against certain debaters or programs (a very real
problem) but randomizing the remaining judging pool does require teams to
adapt in ways that currently do not occur.

Of course, there is no perfect solution. There will never be complete
adaptation by teams with the great diversity of argumentative approaches
that have developed. For example, my teams are never going to engage in
performance alternatives or be pirates no matter who the judge is. But, at
least there would be a better chance that my teams would have a fair chance
at the few "policy only" judges, as Josh calls them, who might be in the

I will admit that the evidence is merely anecdotal and confounds Gary's call
for testable alternatives, but the more I read this list lately, the more I
see that I am not the only person in the community who thinks that there has
been significantly more stratification and interpersonal conflict in the
community since MPJ became standard.

Ken Sherwood
LACC Debate

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