[eDebate] Humaness

Kuswa, Kevin kkuswa
Thu Oct 23 09:53:08 CDT 2008

Wake is getting crushed in this debate.  Really crushed.  This is easy.  At least drop to 7 before you go down to 6!
Seriously--what's wrong with 8 rounds and Octos?  Wake can fight the trend that forced doubles on Ga State and Kentucky. 
What's wrong with no final round?   
If you want a 2 and 1/2 day tournament with six debates and lots of out-rounds, App State is around the corner.
If you want 8 rounds in a 3 day tournament (and a tiny chance to have some good out-rounds), you go to Wake.
25% more debates outweighs.  This is how our debaters improve and get a chance to hear from high quality judges.  Still no real answer except some BS about rounds taking a little longer.  Rounds do not take longer if strict start times and coaching limits are enforced (like you all usually do).
An NDT Champion Director telling programs with no scholarships, no graduate assistants, and few debaters with high school experience to go home and practice more (or watch more), is sick and twisted.  Ross, were you serious about that or just tired?  You do remember that there are novices out there (or students who started as novices) who need to debate more than they need to watch.  If I told my team we were staying home to practice and get better, they would laugh at me and probably drive down to Wake on their own.
By the way, we run an 8 round tournament with almost 100 teams and it is humane--there is also time to coach and socialize.  You have been there--the varsity teams are not as strong overall, but they need time to prepare and receive coaching just the same.  We do not do a banquet because our region decided the cost was too high and that money would be better spent elsewhere.  That saves us time and people actually socialize more Sun night.  When we do have 5 out-rounds on Monday, it only effects those teams in finals (and we always offer to house those people Monday night for safety).
Our debaters like to watch out rounds (and do it a lot), but we travel to debate as much as possible, not just to watch and clap for the top few teams.  When we are at the tournament, we watch out-rounds.  The costs and the need to attend classes usually keep us from staying that last night.
Look, it is a little unnerving to post on this topic given the reactions thus far.  No one wants to alienate a host before coming over for the weekend.  On the other hand, IF YOU ASK ALL THE DEBATERS WHO WILL COMPETE AT THIS TOURNAMENT, A MAJORITY WILL SAY 8 ROUNDS IS BETTER.
Pass around a survey at the tournament and ask this 1: Do you expect to clear?    2. Do you favor more prelims than 6?
I still think this experiment will die or change after this year.  We cater to the first-rounds too much as it is.  For folks who are used to getting first rounds, it is hard to think outside of the bubble, but THOSE TWO EXTRA PRELIMS ARE KEY FOR US---those are usually our best experiences of the tournament.  PLEASE HEAR THAT--re-read that last sentence.
ps--I have debated in the final round at wake, coached the finalists at wake, coached squads who have cleared 3 teams and coached teams who have never cleared.  From 16 years of attending this wonderful tournament, EIGHT PRELIM ROUNDS CAN WORK.  WE MODEL THE UR TOURNAMENT ON THE WAKE TOURNAMENT.  Don't let one experience at Georgia State for a top team ruin a huge percentage of the debates for everyone else.  This was the last change I thought I would ever see--I always thought Wake looked out for the little folks...we'll see.
pss--Harvard is keeping 8 and I bet it will be a great tournament as always.

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