[eDebate] CEDA Nats Geography

matt stannard stannardmatt
Sat May 9 10:18:53 CDT 2009

As I recall, some people complained back in '98 that the Rochester CEDA Nats was too far away from them.  Conversely, it was very accessible to schools close to it (duh).  ISU this year was extremely accessible to some programs, while others found it difficult to go to both CEDA and NDT in a time of tightening budgets and a few others sneered "Idaho?" in an indefensible way.  


Rochester is a beautiful city and anyone who got to visit it that year got to see its classic, gothic, old-industry history and form, and got to experience an epic snowstorm.  Pocatello is located on the side of a mountain, overlooking unbelievable peaks and valleys; those who came to this year's CEDA also got to experience an epic snowstorm.  


The decision to host at Rochester wasn't solely made by Tuna, who presided as CEDA President, and it was not Chief who unilaterally decided to host at ISU.  Myriad considerations came into play and a bunch of people debated and voted.  Location came into play in discussions preceding both the Rochester and ISU decisions.  The deliberative process took its course.  


Speaking a little closer to home both spatially and temporally, CEDA Nats at ISU was analogous to CEDA Nats at SIU, in 99.  In both cases, participants had to fly into a major airport and then drive to another state to get to the tournament.  The drive from St. Louis to Carbondale is longer (and, I dare say, less aesthetically impressive) than the drive from Salt Lake to Pocatello.  The decision to host at SIU was somewhat "inconvenient" from a strictly logistical point of view: hotel space was sparse and people don't like to drive 2+ hours after landing at an airport.  But SIU at that time was considered a vital cornerstone of the community.  Many of us consider ISU to be a foundational post-merger debate school who routinely supports tournaments all over the country and whose coaching faculty are extremely involved in organizational service and leadership.  


Should we be concerned that tournament travel is too expensive?  Certainly.  It is.  But air and other travel-related expenses are relative to where you are, and unless we want to be strictly utilitarian in deciding where to host tournaments (and if that's what some of us want, let's have a transparent discussion about that), then some years some regions get a break and other years other regions do.  If you want to be utilitarian, then don't be surprised when the regions furthest away from the tournament in any given year don't attend.  And not attending one year is not the end of the world, particularly if you have good substitutes like a nearby novice/JV nats, ADA championship, whatever.  


The most positive use of our energy would be finding a way to host a FREE CEDA Nats: no entry fees, free food, free trophies, possibly even free sleeping space, possibilities that have been raised publicly in the past.  That would be huge.  It would be a goal we could all share in no matter where we had to fly or drive in from.  And we could do it if we put our minds to it.  

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