[eDebate] Reply to Kelly Young

Alfred C Snider alfred.snider
Mon Sep 21 08:59:03 CDT 2009

And thanks to you for your friendly and professional attitude, Kelly.

Richard Tews said:
"The JV and novice rumor is not true.  The other "rumors" are correct but will be remedied next year." 

Two attending coaches said the tournament was "prompted" into extending limited prefs to novice and jv.

Every tournament has complaints, but if they are always covered up hosts cannot learn about them. We miss the real lesson of debate when we react that all disagreement is bad and all criticism is negative. It is the basis of our activity, and using disagreement constructively is the key to developing better answers to problems. 

I trust Richard and Katie to understand that. I support them fully as growing & evolving debate professionals. I will treat them like adults. 

We are about to run a 115 team tournament next weekend, and if there are any problems or difficulties please let us all know as soon as you can and be specific. We will try and use that criticism to do better. 


Kelly Young wrote:

Message: 6
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 16:32:47 -0400
From: Kelly Young <kel1773 at msn.com>
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Northern Iowa questions
To: <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Message-ID: <COL120-W46162D0EA8332C77D70009A5DF0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

"I heard that prefs were not really being used (just 2 strikes) because 

those running the tournament do not know how to use them.

I heard that there are NO prefs at all in JV & novice which means the 

tournament may not be CEDA sanctioned.

Any truth to these ugly rumors?

This is absolute bush-league slander and is really unprofessional and uncalled for, particular from someone that isn't at the tournament. Perhaps you should back-channel the directors of the tournament before you publicly sander a good program that runs a nice tournament. I was in the room exactly at the moment that your source asked if pref system was being used and I specifically heard him then misrepresent the answer and justification.

At a tournament with 20ish teams there just aren't enough judges to give any real flexibility to have meaningful prefs. If you have an A, B, Strike system, you have to require so many As that you end up with just about everyone in the pool as an A. And in late rounds, the pool is so constrained by that point, you will get many scenarios that are mutual but not preferred (which again, the mutual is meaningless because you have to rank about 85% of the pool an A). So, its either the facade of pref or it's the reality, you get a couple of strikes and accept it.

The people running the tournament have ran several of highly competitive high school tournaments. This is not a lack of competence or ability. I still can't believe you dared to suggest such a thing. 

More importantly, there ARE JV and novice strikes. It was the first strike sheet I picked up at registration. Unsure where this ugly--ugly because it's a lie--rumor came from. There is only one strike, but the language of the constitution is: "If a preference system is used, a version of a preference system must be used in all divisions (Open, JV, Novice, etc.) offered." A VERSION OF A PREFERENCE SYSTEM IS BEING USED.

Get your facts straight.




Alfred C. Snider aka Tuna
Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics
University of Vermont
Huber House, 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
Lawrence Debate Union http://debate.uvm.edu/debateblog/LDU/
Global Debate Blog http://globaldebateblog.blogspot.com
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