[eDebate] MPJ across divisions

Jacob.Thompson at unlv.edu Jacob.Thompson
Wed Nov 12 13:28:27 CST 2008


I'd like to second Jon Bruschke's concern about problems related to MPJ 
across divisions.  Based on our experience at the UNLV invitational 
tournament this year, respecting MPJ across divisions creates an odd 
problem. 

Most teams/coaches appear to simply copy the prefs (or copy them with 
slight modifications) for their JV and novice teams from one of their open 
teams.  This means that the judges who are only Novice or JV elegible will 
be struck or ranked incredibly low by most JV and novice teams.   Darren's 
example of his novice or JV teams wanting feedback from some of the most 
preferred judges in the country exemplifies this point... It means that 
they are much less interested in feedback from new judges who are 
learning/developing their judging skills.  While I sympathise with Darrens 
point, in the end, we lost many, many, many elegible rounds of judging at 
our tournament because of MPJ across divisions.  As Jon points out the 
other serious downside of this quandry is that many of the judges who 
could have learned and improved in the novice and JV divisions were 
summarily excluded from judging. 

I think the rule needs some serious revision (or at least the development 
of a new community understanding),

1) at a bare minimum, coaches or the folks who fill out prefs should not 
summarily dismiss novice or JV only elegible judges from judging their 
students. 

2) Ideally, I believe that we should consider MPJ across divisions, but 
only within discrete judguing pools for each division.  Here is my vision 
of how the system would work: if I bring a JV or novice team to a tourney, 
I could select a UNLV judge for that division (or even split that judge 
between 2 divisions--i.e. 2 uin JV and 2 in Open.  That judge would be on 
the pref sheet only for the divisions that they were slated to judge in 
and would be ranked accordingly. 

Here are the benefits: 
        a) each division still gets prefs
        b) fairly good judges would be entered in the pool for the JV and 
novice divisions--any of my assistant coaches are a perfect example.  I'm 
sure that       Darren's team would get great feedback from Grace Saez, 
etc.  We'll take at least 1 JV team to the cal swing, and would be happy 
to dedicate a judge     to that division only.
        c) the judge for your team judging in novice or JV can better 
coach the novice or JV team(s) they are judging for.  They may have 
judged/scouted the      competition and can give the team they are 
coaching more specific pre-round prep advise.
        d) no massive loss of elegible judging 

My two cents.

Jake

Jacob Thompson, Ph.D.
Director, Sanford I. Berman Debate Forum 
Assistant Professor In Residence
Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
Department of Communication Studies
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 Maryland Parkway Box 45052
Las Vegas, NV 89154-4502
office (702) 895-3474
fax (702) 895-4805
cell (702) 809-9670

Rebel Debate on the web:
www.unlv.edu/orgs/debate
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