[eDebate] Novice at CEDA Nationals 2009

Darren Elliott delliott
Sat Oct 25 23:11:41 CDT 2008

Hi JT.

This has been an ongoing discussion for a number of years.  As for who was involved, again a lot of folks have discussed this for a number of years.  Specifically this year, during at least 2 of the CEDA open forums hosted by the CEDA EC and Regional Reps it came up.  Not sure if it came up at any of the forums you might have attended or had the opportunity to attend.  Well it did come up at UNI's forum.  At one such meeting we were asked to host a Novice Division to justify Novice only programs to come to CEDA and spend the money it would take to get there.  Folks were pretty mixed on this.  The idea of a breakout bracket came up.  A lot of people seemed very supportive of that idea.  As for CEDA reps being consulted, this issue was presented to the Nationally elected CEDA Reps (those in charge of the tournament--1st VP Gordon Stables, 2nd VP Sue Peterson, Treasurer ML Sandoz, and Exec Sec Jeff Jarman).  No one opposed and those who spoke, spoke in favor.  At the various Open Forums mentioned earlier a number of the Regional Reps were included.  At the last 3 tournaments I have been a part of I did informal straw polling of over 30 program Directors (over 1/3 of our total membership).  All were supportive of a Novice Breakout bracket.  After extensive talks with a lot of input and final consultation with the Nationally elected Reps, the decision was made.  I also thought it important to get this decision announced in order to ensure plenty of time for people to make travel plans and budget.  I hope you will continue to encourage Novice debate and encourage your friends to bring Novices to CEDA Nationals.  I cant imagine anything about this decision should make you feel otherwise.


>>> J T <jtedebate at yahoo.com> 10/25/08 10:51 PM >>>
I strongly encourage Novice debate, but have a few questions...Who was involved in this decision?  How exactly did this decision come about?  Were CEDA reps consulted?  Was there discussion of polling the general debate community?  I understand the issue might have been discussed, but this is the first I have heard on the issue.  

Darren Elliott <delliott at kckcc.edu> wrote: Greetings friends!

I am pleased to announce a new addition to CEDA Nationals beginning 2009, and something I hope will continue beyond my year as President.  

It strikes me as odd that part of our mission and purpose is to cultivate new debate programs, new debaters, and encourage and support Novice debate, yet as an organization we do not officially recognize Novice competition in its own right at the National Tournament.  Many programs bring Novices to CEDA Nationals.  For some programs, year to year, Novices may be the majority of their program.  It seems like CEDA should make it a point to celebrate and reward Novice Debate by crowning a Champion among Novices at the CEDA National Tournament.

It is with that in mind that CEDA Nationals 2009 will, for the first time, offer a Novice breakout bracket, culminating in the crowning of a CEDA recognized Champion among Novice Debate Teams.  Once preliminary rounds are concluded, a separate bracket will be created among Novice eligible teams.  Both debaters must be eligible based on CEDA's definition of Novice.  I will work with Tab Room Director Gary Larson to determine the appropriate number of teams (hopefully at least Quarters) and when the best time to begin these rounds based on room availability and judges.

I have engaged this conversation during tournaments throughout the country.  Some Directors wanted a separate Novice division.  Others liked the idea of a breakout bracket.  No one I have talked to was in opposition of having some sort of Novice elim rounds.  For a few programs they indicated it would be the only way they could justify coming to CEDA in years when they only had Novices.  It seems important to me to recognize and reward those Novices who come to the National Tournament.  This, in my opinion, is long overdue.

Looking forward to Pocatello!

Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics--KCKCC
CEDA President
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eDebate at www.ndtceda.com

W. James Taylor ("JT")

Asst. Debate Coach
Emporia State University

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