[eDebate] Travel issues

Veronica Guevara veronica_m_barreto
Wed Jul 23 13:28:01 CDT 2008


 
Sorry this response is a bit late.  I'm a lot slower about edebate, which I guess is a good thing :)
 
My question I guess is not whether teams are making the choices to forego more of the national tournaments for closer competition...most pretty much have to. The concern is whether community competitive expectations are following the necessity.  When folks sit down to review prebid or second round applicants, will they consider that rising travel costs and continued resource constraints means that teams have to seek out competition closer to home, at tournaments where competition may be more moderate and the pool is smaller? How does a finals appearance at a regional tournament match up with a doubles appearance at a major? I know there are many formulas
 
We already know that it's possible to get a prebid going to less than 5 tournaments as long as those tournaments are majors (no problem with that), but could a team excel and outperform their competition at 10 mid major/local tournaments and still reliably get a second round? Do prebid-likely teams perceptually run a gamble going to mid-major tournaments ("nothing to gain, but everything to lose")? As long as I have been in debate, there have always been perceived minimums for national travel for teams who wanted to be considered amongst certain competitive tiers, whatever those goals may be.  Have the expectations really caught up to the realities of travel? I hope so.
 
 
 




Veronica M. Guevara
 
Weber State University
Department of Communication
1605 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408
 
 
 

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 12:56:02 -0400From: uwgdebate at gmail.comTo: veronica_m_barreto at hotmail.comSubject: Re: Travel issuesCC: rwgallow at samford.edu; edebate at ndtceda.com
1) De-emphasizing national circuit travel is already underway and i like it. as the director of a tournament that could potentially be affected, i STILL like it. West Coast teams choosing Gonzaga over GSU, Midwest teams choosing Miami over UWG, the growth of the Texas two-step as an alternative to the West Coast swing. ALL of these are good. this isn't the 1970's. the establishment of edebate, the Wiki, and in general the web that is world wide, means that we can reduce national travel w/o an equivalent reduction in knowledge of what arguments are being run by teams everywhere. (more robust regional travel also facilitates the growth of new/young debate programs in those regions). 2) Less Tubs Good, Top Down Regulations Bad. i'm not in favor of tournament requirements on how much ev my teams can bring. the SQ is proving that teams that are efficient with their ev can be successful. i prefer modeling over command&control regulations. 3) Tuna, aka Dr. Snider, aka "Video Killed the Radio Star", showed the way to another solution years ago: Video-Conferencing of Debates. Distance education is already the rage within higher ed. it's only a matter of time before someone in upper administration asks the debate team why they need tens of thousands of dollars to travel when courses are taught over the web. especially when teams start asking for more money for "third laptops" in their budget requests. as a proponent of the unique advantages of face-to-face communication (and swank hotels), i'm not recommending this as a substitute for SQ travel. but someone will soon. hester
On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 10:22 AM, Veronica Guevara <veronica_m_barreto at hotmail.com> wrote:

Denver University, a small program with a small budget but big talent, has done this for at least 4 or 5 years.  They did it to reduce costs associated with printing and copying.  They carry all their files on their laptop, they carry a printer and some paper.  They carry a copy of the 1AC and plan text and I think these days they have most of their major 1NC shells ready to go to.  It's feasible, but they have gotten resistance from competitors.  Some have even made arguments about how Denver's tech is elitist.  Often times, those shells being read against them off of a laptop.  They are incredibly vulnerable to technical difficulties and the solution to that may be to have back ups that could keep rounds running a little behind schedule.  The folks who have debated and coached for Denver probably have better insights into the process. To deal with equity claims, they've tried a number of set ups.  I remember judging a Denver team at Texas a few years ago and they brought a third laptop that which was a very barebones system for their opponents to access anything they wanted.  There were definitely glitches like the power cord shorted if it moved, but it worked. Now they hand over their jump drives to whomever asks, which functionally gives their opponent access to every single one of their files which can all be downloaded during the course of a debate. They shrug it off and take it in stride but they do get some static. So it's not ideal but I think it would be much more workable when the contraints of taking multiple tubs hits those with perhaps more influence than a smaller program. Plus one laptop or one printer going out would be less of a hassle if more people also used that system.  I do have to say that travelling is really tough on a printer and I don't know how many programs could afford disposable printers. I know Jim Hanson has an awesome database set up for Whitman's files.  Weber digitized its files two years ago. We carry one tub or less (sometimes a backpack) with what we need but we still roll with the confidence to deal with a backfile check because we have our warming, dedev files etc on a jump drive and each team and coach carry one.  We also fly the great greyhound of the skies, Southwest airlines, every time it's even possible because they have no extra fees. The more drastic change that may occur as market forces push debate to evolve could be a diminished emphasis on the national circuit, most of which happens in my old backyard of D6.  Cross country airfares are unspeakable.  I run the numbers on every major national tournament whether it's on our schedule or not at least once a month in the off season.  Ga State travel is up over $1200 from last year per team and that's just the airfare and hotel to say nothing of the rising costs to feed folks, the new judging requirement which we'll meet but it means we sell less judging which in turn we use to pay registration, and the banquet fees which makes that registration tab very hefty (believe me our budget does not have our debaters eating ANY meal for $25/head), then there's car rental and gas for that car, etc. This is after Joe and Mike have done everything they could to be conscientious and deal with operating costs as best they can.  Some of the numbers I ran are just obscene and those numbers don't include the best or cushiest itineraries and they certainly do not include tournament hotels, which are categorically struck from consideration.  We treat teams who don't/can't attend the big shin digs as pariahs or as if their programs just aren't serious about competing or they diminish that teams' accomplishments because they're running from competition. Teams without exposure get seeded lower for prelim debates, their speaker points are affected because they have less exposure to the judging pool. We'd love to have every prebid applicant in the country in D9 or D2 or D1 and often.  Instead the West exports its best debaters to compete out East because it's minimally necessary to be considered competitive and they wouldn't be our best debaters if they didn't.  But if the number of tournaments that created those opportunities increased and diversified in geography we would either all equally share the burden of travel or we could each compete within our geographic proximity with maybe 1 national fall tournament, 1 national spring tournament, CEDA and the NDT -- now that's utopian! :) (or for some folks a dystopia, I guess)  I heart D6 & West Coast Love to all. 




Veronica M. Guevara
 
Weber State University
Department of Communication
1605 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408
 
 
 

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 04:24:32 -0500From: rwgallow at samford.eduTo: edebate at ndtceda.comSubject: [eDebate] Thought Experiment: Two Tub Limit 


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.Ryan 

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