[eDebate] ans Larson

Jim Hanson hansonjb
Sun Oct 14 14:13:17 CDT 2007

I'm going to respectfully disagree with ken and joe and others who have
rejected mpj.

here's some of the reasons I like mpj:

1. most educational
we pick the judges that can articulate the arguments best and make a sound
decision. jason elucidated this already quite well.

2. most incentive to our kids
our students know they are going to get judges that are going to listen to
and fairly evaluate their arguments--that gives them incentive to work hard
rather than be frustrated and say "why should I do all this work?"

3. fairest
whitman versus a k/performance team with a k/performance judge. fair? I
don't think so. mpj means we're going to get a middle of the road judge for
that round that is going to hear the round fairly for both sides.

4. where the teams go
if a tournament doesn't offer prefs--we won't go unless there are no
alternatives. tournaments that have tried to shift out of mpj, correct me if
I am wrong, have seen major downturns in attendance. that's both a community
indictment of not having mpj and it indicates what happens when you choose
not to have mpj--your tournament tanks.

like josh or jason noted--the glory days were not glory days--they sucked.
our teams back in the 90s repeatedly got judges we wanted to strike but
couldn't and we lost in front of those judges and for reasons that were,
frankly, terrible. when I debated in the 80s and there were fewer
strikes--it was worse.

mpj is a.o.k. with me.

jim :)
hansonjb at whitman.edu

From: "LACC Forensics" <forensics at lacitycollege.edu>
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:58 AM
To: "E-Debate" <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Subject: Re: [eDebate] ans Larson

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

eDebate mailing list
eDebate at www.ndtceda.com

More information about the Mailman mailing list