[eDebate] 4 afa changes

Jim Hanson hansonjb
Sat Nov 29 02:01:57 CST 2008


I've sent this to al louden who I believe is the afa president, but figured I would share it with the larger community.

==========CHANGE THE RESEARCH EXPECTATIONS TO BE COLLABORATIVE

CURRENT

ARTICLE II
3. Forensics competitors are expected to do their own research. 
  1.. Persons other than the forensic competitor (undergraduate students, graduate students or instructor/coaches) are not to get charged with the responsibility for doing a forensics competitor's research. 
  2.. This provision shall not be construed to prevent coaches or assistants from engaging in limited research designed to: 
    1.. teach research techniques 
    2.. provide limited examples of high quality research 
    3.. identify areas of research which students should pursue, and 
    4.. provide the coach with the working knowledge necessary to function as effective critic with respect to the debate or speech topics being investigated by his/her students. 
ARTICLE V
7. Forensics squads found guilty of using non-competitors for primary research purposes will have a note of censure published in the AFA Newsletter, with written notice of the censure communicated by the AFA President to appropriate officials at the offending school. The squad will be barred from national competitions sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA for a period of 12 calendar months from the date when the Educational Development and Practices Committee ruled the school to be in violation of this part of the Code. 

CHANGE TO

ARTICLE II
3. Forensics competitors are expected to research on their own or as part of a collaborative effort with other students and coaches. Students who fail to contribute by researching on their own or as part of a collaborative effort should not be permitted to compete.

ARTICLE V
7. Forensics squads found guilty of having students compete who did not do their own research or did not participate in a collaborative effort with other students and coaches will have a note of censure published in the AFA Newsletter, with written notice of the censure communicated by the AFA President to appropriate officials at the offending school. The squad will be barred from national competitions sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA for a period of 12 calendar months from the date when the Educational Development and Practices Committee ruled the school to be in violation of this part of the Code. 

RATIONALE: In debate and in extemporaneous speaking, these research expectations are unrealistic, unhealthy, and grossly out of touch with how debate and extemporaneous speaking is practiced. Collaborative research on squads with students and coaches is a norm and we all know it. Collaborative research is beneficial; it makes all involved work together, as a team. Such research approaches should not be punished by the AFA.
Further, as far as I am concerned, Article V, Section 7 could be removed entirely. This really should be a coach's prerogative.


==============DON'T PROSCRIBE JUDGING TEAMS TWICE IN PRELIMS

CURRENT

ARTICLE III, SUBSECTION E
iii. A judge shall not judge the same debate team or student speaker in one particular individual event twice during a tournament's preliminary rounds unless there is no way to avoid this conflict. In such cases: 

CHANGE TO

ARTICLE III, SUBSECTION E
iii. A judge shall not judge the same debate team or student speaker in one particular individual event twice during a tournament's preliminary rounds unless there is no way to avoid this conflict or if the tournament is seeking to maximize judge preferencing. In such cases: 

RATIONALE: Judging teams twice is a good way to maximize judge preferencing. The provision to avoid a judge seeing a team on the same side remains in place. The AFA should not prohibit this. Tournament directors should make the decision to establish this practice.


=============CHANGE THE EXPECTATION OF A WRITTEN BALLOT

CURRENT

ARTICLE III 

4. Tournament judges are obliged to provide detailed and constructive criticism of any and all rounds of competition they evaluate. Judges are expected to provide written comments on the ballots provided by the tournament. These written comments should be made available to all the competitors a judge has heard by the conclusion of the tournament. All provisions of this article shall apply to high school and college competitors. 

ARTICLE V
9. Tournament directors should forward names of all judges who fail to turn in written ballots for all the preliminary rounds they judge at a tournament to the chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee. Any school which leaves a tournament without all of the preliminary round ballots it should have, and assuming there is no valid explanation for missing ballots, may notify the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee of the judge(s) who failed to provide ballots. If a judge is guilty of failing to provide written preliminary round ballots for all rounds judged by the end of the tournament on two occasions, the judge shall: 
  A. Be subject to censure by notification in the AFA Newsletter, and 
  B. Be declared ineligible to be hired as a judge at any national competition sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA. 
  C. Be informed when notification of the second failure to turn in ballots is received. The judge to appeal that the penalty should not be imposed, under the appeal procedures outlined in Article IV, Section 4 of the Code. 

CHANGE TO

ARTICLE III 

4. Tournament judges are obliged to provide detailed and constructive criticism of any and all rounds of competition they evaluate.
  A. Judges in debate rounds should provide comments justifying their decision. Based on the expectations set by the tournament host, such judges should provide these comments orally to debaters at the conclusion of debates and/or in writing on ballots provided by the tournament. 
  B. Based on the expectations set by the tournament host, judges in speaking events should provide comments in writing on ballots provided by the tournament and/or orally to speakers.
  C. Written comments should be made available to all the competitors a judge has heard by the conclusion of the tournament. 
  D. All provisions of this article shall apply to high school and college competitors. 


ARTICLE V 
9. Tournament directors should forward names of all judges who fail to meet the expectations of a tournament director to offer oral comments and/or to turn in written ballots for all the preliminary rounds they judge at a tournament to the chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee. Any school which leaves a tournament without oral comments or written ballots for all preliminary rounds, and assuming there is no valid explanation for the lack of oral comments or missing ballots, may notify the Chair of the Educational Development and Practices Committee of the judge(s) who failed to provide oral comments or ballots. If a judge is guilty of failing to provide oral comments or written preliminary round ballots as expected by the tournament director for all rounds judged by the end of the tournament on two occasions, the judge shall: 
  A. Be subject to censure by notification in the AFA Newsletter, and 
  B. Be declared ineligible to be hired as a judge at any national competition sponsored in whole or in part by the AFA.
  C. Be informed when notification of the second failure to offer oral comments or to turn in ballots is received. The judge to appeal that the penalty should not be imposed, under the appeal procedures outlined in Article IV, Section 4 of the Code. 
RATIONALE: This section is also embarrassingly out of date for college debate. Virtually no policy debate tournament uses written ballots and many parliamentary debate tournaments do the same. Oral decisions and feedback are excellent ways to directly discuss why the judge decided as he/she did, how to improve, and how to do so before the next round--providing a great way to improve. Further, oral decisions reduce tab errors because the competitors know who won and can notify the tab if there has been an error. This should not be dictated by the AFA; the expectation should be set by the tournament director.


===========TOURNAMENT SETUP EXPECATIONS

CURRENT
5. Tournament directors should ensure that: 
  A. Results are made available to all contestants as soon after competition ends as is humanly possible. 
  B. Their tournament is not run to benefit financially the best (I ASSUME THIS MEANS HOST) school. An anticipated profit in excess of 10% of total entry fees is considered excessive. 
  C. Their tournament runs smoothly and efficiently, with breaks in between rounds for power-matching minimized whenever possible. 
  D. All results are kept secret if that is specified by the tournament rules. 
CHANGE TO

5. Tournament directors should ensure that: 
  A. Results are made available to all contestants as soon after competition ends as is humanly possible. 
  B. Their tournament should not make profit beyond that generated by paying minimum wage to those volunteering their services to the program (for example, team members or coaches judging or assisting with tab for "free"). In the event, that a tournament makes profit in excess of this amount, it should make note that such is possible in its tournament invitation.
  C. Tournament schedules should be realistic so that rounds actually occur close to the times included in the tournament's invitation and they should not exceed 14 hours a day except for a select few competitors in the last elimination round.
RATIONALE: This section of the AFA code is updated on two accounts. First, some programs depend upon their tournaments to fund their programs. Further, "10%" is arbitrary. The key should be the amount of work a program puts into a tournament. And, if a tournament is going to make profit beyond that, they should just let other programs know it. Programs can make their own determination about whether to attend or not. Second, the power-matching time minimized and secret rules seem irrelevant/unimportant. What is important that tournament days not be too lengthy and that they remain on schedule.

  jim :)
  hansonjb at whitman.edu


jim :)
hansonjb at whitman.edu
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