[eDebate] 8 Prelims Makes a Better Debater...

Chris Crowe velcrowe
Thu Oct 23 01:40:24 CDT 2008

Hey All,

     This is just one comment that doesn't even necessarily answer/assume a
lot of the arguments for scaling back, but 8 preliminary debates made me a
drastically better debater, and probably also more accurately placed me in
the doubles.

     For example, DeLo and I were 5-1 a LOT after 6 debates, with pretty
good points.  That could put us fairly high in the bracket.  We turned that
5-1 record into a robust 5-3 record probably more than any team in history,
which often put us in the bottom half of the bracket.  There are a bunch of
progressive hurdles in debate, and one of them is turning a 5-3 record into
a 6-2 or better record (and the next is obviously consistently winning an
elim).  Those 7th and 8th debates, although sometimes awkwardly paired
because of side constraints, etc., were where I learned tons when I was a
"bubble" debater.

     As a side note, watching elims (whether I was in them earlier or not),
were the single greatest learning experience I had.  I can't for the life of
me figure out why more debaters don't do this on their own volition, or are
not required by their coaches.  I think the declining audiences has very
little to do with overall tournament structure, and more to do with laziness
on the part of non-clearing or early-exiting teams, leaving the tournament
early, or partying a lot the night before or the night of.  At tournaments
like Wake, there are somewhere around 140 teams that are not in the
quarters, but these debates sometimes draw ten or so spectators?  Quarters
are in the middle of the day.  There's no excuse.

     I'm pretty sure this puts me in the camp of "if debates from prep to
post-round are so much longer, than be more militant about start times
instead of getting rid of some debates."


Christopher Crowe
University of Wyoming
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