[eDebate] Thought Experiment: Two Tub Limit

Galloway, Ryan W. rwgallow
Tue Jul 22 04:24:32 CDT 2008

What if, instead of saying that "schools must supply 5 rounds of judging for every team..." a tournament invitation instead said..."EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS.  Teams are prohibited from bringing more than 2 tubs of evidence to contest rounds."

I mention this because the market may essentially be forcing such a system upon us anyway.  With airlines cracking down on extra baggage and the high costs of travel than AK mentions, the burden of carrying extra tubs may force innovative solutions to our heavy packing needs.  

So my query is:  what would you do, either as a squad or a coach, if a tournament your team HAD to attend (for whatever reason that means to you) banned the carrying of more than two tubs.  Some initial ideas:

*Rich Edwards wrote an article in the Rostrum a few years back on the idea of a team using one tub, a laptop, and a printer.  Is the technology currently available to essentially "print as you go?"  I heard rumor that the MSU squad essentially debated under this system the first day at Texas, without tubs, printing as they went.  Is this feasible, partially feasible, or utterly utopian?  I ask those with more tech experience and the debaters who debate in an era where file printing/card printing in rounds is common.

*Jim Hanson has apparently claimed that we are only a few years away from tubs being obsolete.  What do he and others think about moving to two tubs?

*Would this encourage the carrying of a "third laptop" so teams could share evidence with the other team?  I've heard this as a possible tech solution--teams bring a third laptop and evidence the other team needs to read that was read off the computer could be flash drived to the third computer for the other team/judge to read.

*Could there be an "evidence room" in each building for squads to stash the "squad copy" of certain backfiles?  In other words, instead of every team from a large squad carrying their "backfile check" answers could an evidence storage room for the team copy be put in a building and teams get one "time out" to go raid the evidence storehouse.  Likely infeasible, but a thought.

*Would this encourage or discourage negative disclosure of arguments that might require a heavy printing burden?  Would teams be tempted to run certain arguments in a gambit that "they don't have answers to this printed?"

*Is it feasible that tournaments could supply some back-up printers in case of emergency?

*Would teams become less reliant on evidence and more reliant upon analytics?  Would judges be amenable to the transition?  My guess is that the "tech solutions" are more likely.

Two last thoughts:

One answer to the thought experiment is to essentially cheat and re-define tub to mean "bankers box" or something huge that isn't a tub.  Hoping people play by the rules in responses to encourage a discussion as to how squads could rely on technological solutions and/or less evidence to bring to tournaments.  

Second, this is not a serious proposal for tournaments to move to, but rather a question about what would happen if the market essentially forces a system upon us like this.  More curious about what would occur if we were forced as a community to consider a world with substantially less tubs.

Just designed as a thought experiment to see what would happen in a world with less tubs.

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