[eDebate] amendment on number of ceda rounds

Gordon Stables stables
Wed Mar 18 13:55:49 CDT 2009

Malcom (and all),

I drafted this amendment because even though the CEDA constitution
provides a lot of discretion to the president in the organization of
the tournament, the number of prelim and elim rounds are set as a
specific mandate. This may have been more appropriate at a different
time, but in an era when a large number of tournaments are
experimenting with fewer prelims it seems like a good idea to provide
CEDA with the same ability to have a shorter tournament.

To be clear, the president would, as always, have to gain support from
the EC and community, so I don't foresee the tournament being changed
without substantial support from the membership.

I can also see this flexibility influencing hosting options. A
prospective host might, for example, detail how certain facilities
might be uniquely available with a specific schedule. Finding campus
hosts on a Friday mid-day have always been a challenge.

You also correct identify the challenges of a four day tournament. As
all programs are planning for difficult economic times, it seems
prudent to provide our organization with the tools to (potentially)
run a shorter tournament. At present CEDA could not reduce the length
of the national tournament, even if members asked for the tournament
to be shorter (and therefore less expensive). This would take a
mid-season amendment and likely be impossible to adopt in time for the
release of the national invitation. This is also an option that would
be provided by the amendment.

I view the function of the CEDA constitution be best reserved for
those concrete items that should be kept clear and (for the most part)
permanent. I don't believe that the exact number of rounds at the
national tournament is such an item. This amendment still provides for
a range of options that are conssitent with community practices. The
amendment, for example, still calls for a minimum of 6 debates (the
minimum norm of our tournaments) and allows flexibility beyond that

To be clear, this amendment doesn't require a reduced tournament, but
it makes this a decision that the organization could take. Many
tournaments are reducing their number of rounds to try to balance the
competitive practices of longer debates with the logistical challenges
of running a quality tournament. I wrote this amendment to provide
CEDA with the same latitude that other tournaments possess.

This amendment, like all of the amendments, will be considered and
voting on at the business meeting at ISU,. Those items that pass will
go to a full community mail ballot. If you cannot attend, but would
like to vote for the business meeting, please fill out a proxy form
located at www.cedadebate.org


Gordon Stables, Ph.D.
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Southern California
Office: 213 740 2759
Fax: 213 740 3913

2009/3/18 malcolm gordon <malgorthewarrior at hotmail.com>:
> What is the rationale for opening the door to fewer preliminary rounds?
> Despite the trend of national tournaments decreasing preliminary rounds, I
> don?t see the purpose in doing so for the ceda championship tournament. ?I
> hope people decide to vote and prevent this from happening. ?CEDA is already
> a 4 day tournament, and even in a lower attended year such as this there are
> 146 teams.
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