[eDebate] [CEDA-L] MPJ Clarification for multiple divisions

Bruschke, Jon jbruschke
Wed Nov 12 11:29:30 CST 2008

Just a quick note on the subject.

If the intention of this rule was to have separate pref systems in different divisions, I wish someone would have communicated that to me.  Since separate systems for separate divisions had NOT been a practice prior to this amendment, the debateresults page was not set up to handle it.  It will require a major revision, and I can't really devote the time to doing that now.

I agree that we need good judging in novice division.  But, I feel just as strongly that our new judges need to hear rounds to get better, and for pedagogical reasons it is better for everyone if they get their practice in the novice and JV divisions.  MPJ in novice and JV divisions frustrates that goal.  In addition, MPJ results in "lost" rounds in open division with un-placeable judges.  If those judges can't hear rounds in JV or novice either, the ONLY solution is to increase the rounds of commitment per team.  This, in my view, creates a situation where we are now weighing judge burnout against the value of more preferred judging in novice and JV.  I do believe judge burnout is a much greater threat to the long-term viability of our community than less experienced novice judging.

Utlimately, I am supportive of systems that explore a workable MPJ in novice and JV, but I'm not sure that it should be mandated in the constitution.

But, I'm happy to program into debateresults whatever the community norms are, but I will not be able to make the changes in a timely way without a much earlier heads-up.


From: ceda-l-bounces at www.ndtceda.com [ceda-l-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Darren Elliott [delliott at kckcc.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 8:56 PM
To: CEDA-L at ndtceda.com; edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: [CEDA-L] MPJ Clarification for multiple divisions

Hey all.

Since I authored the amendment requiring MPJ in all divisions at tournaments that use a preference system in any division, I thought I should also weigh in.

A few things:
1.  Jarman is correct (someone write that down in a permanent archive please) : ) about my original posting on the subject where I encouraged a yes vote.  The amendment was not written to make each division use the SAME system.

2.  I understand and appreciate the frustration of Scott and Doug et al.  We talked a lot about this lately.  Bottom line for many of us with Novices and JV teams is that sometimes those people need the kind of feedback and critiques in order to learn that tournaments tend to preference into the Open rounds.  Like Scott I would love my novices to have a break even chance of being judged by Calum Matheson, Roger Solt, JP Lacy, Will Repko, etc.  Rarely does it happen.  There are a couple different schools of thought.  I can empathize with Hanson's, about Open debaters and debates being more nuanced, requiring a more discerning judge.  I lean towards the one I mention above-the need of young debaters to be educated by the best and brightest.  I also think it should go without saying that tab room directors should try hard to place judges in rounds that matter first across all divisions.  Dont place A+ judges in a division for teams that are down and out before placing judges in
 break rounds in other divisions.  If this isnt standard practice it should be in my opinion.  I think tab room directors should be willing to share how they will assign judges and how they ended up assigning judges (should something change over the course of the tournament).  When I ran tab at East Coast JV/Nov Nats last year I posted a lengthy description of how we placed judges.  The days of smoke filled, shady, protect my friends tab rooms are hopefully long behind us.  Everyone should be willing to be open and honest.

3.  If the work of Gary and Rich continue to imporve these practices we owe them even more thanks.

4.  One thing I have come to believe is that every single tournament no matter the size of the divisions or judge pools CAN use MPJ across all divisions.  While my amendment did not require the same MPJ, I believe every tournament has the capability to provide more than strikes, and use MPJ.  And it is better for the tournament likely.  UCO this weekend gave 6 strikes in JV and Novice.  I thought this was an ample amount given the judge pool.  In fact after our first 5 I just kind of picked a 6th.  In this world, if most teams strike the same 5 or 6, you could lose a lot of rounds.  I think it would be better for the tournament tab room AND for the teams to at least allow A B C Strikes.  You could reduce strikes by a couple AND ensure some mutuality.  In a world where all judges except strikes are treated equal, is where the shaft usually occurs.  Why it seems ok to assume a non-struck judge is the same mutuality for everyone is beyond me.  My #1 may be my opponents #30.  Sur
 e, they didnt strike them, but that wide a discrepancy seems ludicrous.  At least with A B C, even if you place that #30 judge, it will be a mutual #20-30 as opposed to a 1-30 range.  I cant imagine a world in which a tournament could not offer A B C across divisions at a minimum.  Worst case?  You have to place an A/C judge.  It will rarely happen.  In a world of random or just strikes, it is likely happening a lot in the squo.

5.  Finally, I would encourage programs to ask tab directors their methods.  Vote with your feet if you need to.

PS--I dont think if you place a mutual strike, in order to preserve preferences in another division, you are really compliant with the CEDA amendment.  That's my opinion.


Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics
Kansas City Kansas Community College
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