[eDebate] [CEDA-L] some comments re tournament rounds structure

Dylan Keenan dylan.keenan
Thu Oct 23 10:16:13 CDT 2008

On a less contentious note, I'm glad to see Wake is bringing back the 100
point scale. I thought it worked extremely well last year.


On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 12:24 AM, Josh <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Obviously, I have done something to offend Ross, obviously not my
> intention.  I made multiple Ross friendly caveats...and tried very hard to
> be measured and careful.  I have no idea why my arguments were dismissed out
> of hand and little idea why the reaction included hostility.
> I will literally concede this debate rather than continue to piss Ross off,
> I have that much respect for him.
> BTW, I am also a huge Obama supporter and have been doing lots of things in
> Ann Arbor and in other places to debunk Mccain attacks etc.  It was both
> written in a soft way and even said in joking tone.....apologies for
> whatever I did to piss you off.
> Josh
> On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 12:12 AM, Ross Smith <smithr at wfu.edu> wrote:
>> Big picture.
>> OVERVIEW: If you cannot figure out, as a coach, how to get a highly
>> educational experience for your debaters that is worth the money in three
>> days at WFU, ask me for hints. Or do not come. A couple of hints: if they do
>> not clear in either division (that's why there are at least  40 teams
>> clearing, Hoe), have them watch and record rounds. Go back home and have
>> them give speeches as if they were in that round. Have them record their own
>> rounds. Have them redo speeches from those rounds. Jeepers. the"POOR AND THE
>> MIDDLE CLASS" unwarranted jive analogy needs to be highlighted here at the
>> top as one of the most ridiculous all time claims (claims, no warrants were
>> provided).
>> Other rebuttalish stuff:
>> 1) The SQ is not an alt. 20+ hour days are wrong.
>> 2) Being there in person, alert, awake, is qualitatively different and
>> better for experiencing elim rounds, banquet speeches, and getting back to
>> school.
>> 3) Totally exhausted students, who cannot appreciate and participate in
>> the to-and-for of an elim round, and totally exhausted coaches/judges who
>> have questionable safety when driving and questionable decision making
>> skills when coaching or judging are not red herrings. Not to mention the
>> fact that the exhaustion does spill over into the next day and the day after
>> when students miss classes or undereperform in school and teachers/coaches
>> do the same. Question: after a tournament that ends on a Monday, when are
>> folks really "recovered" and up and running at full speed? By Wednesday? How
>> often are people sick?
>> 4) I give 25%/33% FACTS and Josh calls it "cherry picking." Nope. Just the
>> raw numbers. Low hanging fruit, perhaps, but that's what I get when the
>> facts are on my side. How about it? Quality/quantity.
>> 5) NDT will probably model our elim day before long, and end before
>> midnight (unless someone has a compelling arg against our Monday schedule).
>> Therefore, no reason to have our tournament and others be "good practice"
>> (by abusing people and ending at 2 am) for an absurd event like the NDT has
>> become.
>> 6) The McCain thing is one of the dumbest and most offensive (to me) thing
>> I have had directed my way on edebate. Hoe expects me to respond by accusing
>> him of advocating debate socialism? WE HAVE THIS THING CALLED A TOURNAMENT
>> On 10/22/2008 11:10 PM, Josh wrote:
>>>  I hate to be "arguing" with Ross, in that I really think Ross has
>>> earned the right to do whatever he wants with his tournament and that any
>>> tournament director should run whatever tournament they want to run.  But,
>>> as I seem to be the "disagreeer"
>>>  1) Debates now take 33% more time to conduct than they did when the
>>> 8-round format was popularized (they have 33% more valuable content if
>>> you think pre-round prep, judge decisions that include careful
>>> inspection of evidence, and post-round discussion of the decision are of
>>> educational value), yet going from 6 to 8 prelims subtracts only 25%.
>>> Or, going from 5 to 8 adds 33%. 6 prelims now is what 8 used to be.
>>> JBH: This is true, but true of an 8 round tournament as they are
>>> currently operated so the 33% argument is kind of cherry picking. However,
>>> its true 6 is better than it used to be.....but 8 is still better.
>>>  2) Stefan: let's just stop the tournament after semis since finals makes
>>> next to no difference to the Copeland?
>>> JBH: Is that another proposal?
>>>  3) Banquets are rare, but they matter. Our activity lacks good social
>>> time, good celebratory time. We honor a national coach of the year. That
>>> ceremony is meaningful, and not just for the person who wins it. The
>>> words spoken in praise resound and reflect on the efforts of all
>>> coaches. The words inspire and celebrate. "Just words"??
>>> JBH: I agree, the question was do they matter as much as 2 more debates.
>>>  All of that could happen on the net/edebate/wherever and I would send just
>>> as many congrats letters to whoever won.  As you said above "they have more
>>> valuable content if you think pre-round prep, judge decisions that include
>>> careful inspection of evidence, and post-round discussion of the decision
>>> are of educational value."   In addition the "social events are good" thing
>>> flew the coop a long time ago.  Most coaches go prep if they have a team in.
>>> People like free food. Coaches like being recognized but I suspect most of
>>> the non-director coaches move on to work.
>>>  The real question is does the banquet social value outweigh 120 more
>>> debate rounds for the unlucky 60 (or whatever).  As much as I would sometime
>>> love to win coach of the year...I would probably understand getting it
>>> without Greg Achten making fun of me in front of the 300 people (in the
>>> fantasy work in which I won).
>>>  4) Audiences matter. Most of us learned a lot from watching elims we
>>> were not good enough to be in. Excessive prelim schedules and late night
>>> elim rounds result in tiny elim audiences. Stefan says only 7 people
>>> participate in the final round. That does not sound good to me. I
>>> envision big audiences for doubles in classrooms that are well suited to
>>> debate (as opposed to early morning cramped hotel rooms with a few
>>> people watching, half of whom fall asleep in the neg block). I envision
>>> relatively well rested people watching the Monday elims all of which
>>> have known starting times.
>>> JBH: This is a red herring, the people who book tickets for monday leave
>>> when the tickets come up...the people who leave tuesday watch rounds...one,
>>> two, three, or whatever.  I doubt very seriously that finals grows in
>>> audience much more with the change.....people start partying and play poker
>>> and hang out or watch rounds...The problem is never that a bunch of people
>>> would watch substantially more rounds if only there were less prelims.
>>>  5) High quality elims matter. Especially when there is an audience. It
>>> helps the audience learn more, and helps the competitors. The final
>>> round should be the best round in the tournament. If not, why do we even
>>> use elims to determine the winner? S
>>> JBH: Do they matter as much as 120 rounds to non-elim debaters?  When was
>>> the final round ever the best round of any tournament.  In addition, and
>>> perhaps most important, the NDT is even more of an endurance
>>> contest....having a few tournaments that are equally as rigorous on the last
>>> day is probably a good thing.
>>>  6) We will have at least 40 teams in elims, 30% or so of the tournament.
>>> JBH: ?  did you expand to triples?  I might just have missed something
>>> here...All 4-2s?  If so, thats a decent argument....of course, my point is
>>> still those rounds would be good for the unlucky/not as talented 30%
>>>  7) There really seem to be two leaders as alts: this year's Shirley of
>>> 6/doubles and the alt of 8/octas. The 8/octas was rejected
>>> overwhelmingly by the community at Ga. State and at Kentucky not so long
>>> ago: people clamorred for an extra elim round and all but forced it on
>>> those tournaments. Maybe folks are ready to rethink that. Good for us.
>>> Let's think. 7 rounds has problems of scheduling with a banquet and
>>> severe unfairness in side assignment.
>>> JBH: No, that assumes the sq isnt an alt, or the sq sans banquet, or the
>>> sq w/7, or the sq until semis, all options that have been suggested.
>>>  8) Surprised no one has commented on the rules regarding elim judge
>>> decision time and post-round discussion time.
>>> JBH: agreed
>>> 9) Total quality of the experience is not solely a function of the
>>> quantity of debates you are in.
>>> JBH: Clever but I suspect its not mutually exclusive with more watching
>>> either way.
>>> 10) Judges and coaches matter. A lot. What do we ask of them? What is a
>>> fair demand?
>>> JBH: Again, does making the night better for the 8 teams and coaches and
>>> judges ow the impact on the poor and middle class?  This is Mccain v Obama
>>> here.
>>>  Anyway, there was no real discussion of this - I realize the Shirley is
>>> whatever you want it to be.....Thats cool, you have always been supportive
>>> of debate in ways most people only wish to be......I may disagree this
>>> once..but it happens,
>>>   Josh
>>> --
>>> Ross K. Smith
>>> Director of Debate
>>> Wake Forest University
>>> 336-251-2076 (c)
>>> 336-758-5268 (o)
>>> http://groups.wfu.edu/debate/
>>> http://www.DebateScoop.org <http://www.debatescoop.org/> <
>>> http://www.debatescoop.org/>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>> --
>>  Ross K. Smith
>> Director of Debate
>> Wake Forest University
>> 336-251-2076 (c)
>> 336-758-5268 (o)
>> http://groups.wfu.edu/debate/
>> http://www.DebateScoop.org <http://www.debatescoop.org/>
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Dylan Keenan
Debate Coach
Barkley Forum
Emory University
dylan.keenan at gmail.com
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