[eDebate] Paperless and judge philosophies

Darren Elliott delliott
Tue Sep 22 14:40:27 CDT 2009

I've read Russell's updated philosophy and it reminded me to make a brief post after judging 9 rounds at UNI this weekend in the dawn of paperless debate.

I am not sure how I feel yet, and am looking at feedback/experiences of others.  So I have yet to decide about the prep time issue Jason elucidates but am leaning his direction.  It would be nice if other judges would state if they have a feeling about this one way or the other.

Experiences this weekend with paperless teams:
1.  Extremely slow in terms of transfering data.  I gave leeway since it was the first tournament and its new and some of them even complained "It's not my choice, coaches forced it on us".  I began keeping track of time between "stop prep" and actual speech starting time to transfer data.  Avg amount--3 min 33 sec per speech.  Multiply that by 4-5 speeches by 4 debates a day.  Now Steinberg has to eat two donuts!  Seriously this is an issue.  I didnt take it off prep time this weekend.  But like I said leaning Russell's way.  If we add 15 minutes to every debate thats an hour to every day.  Some of the transfer issues were people relying on an internet connection to do it--never reliable at many tournaments, some were because of the speed the computer could keep up with I'm sure, and others were people finishing and not even having a jump drive where they knew where it was before they started prepping (here's an idea--keep it in the computer).  : )

2.  Most teams transferred data to the small netbooks.  A couple times the other team clearly was not happy to have to read from such a small computer.  Not sure how I feel about this.  

3.  Transferring data and letting the team have the whole speech and asking them not to read ahead.  I think this is a good idea and is reasonable as a best practice.

4.  One team offered to jump it to the other team's computer, put it on a 3rd computer, OR print it out.  I like this option best.  It's good for the opponent who does not want to have to deal with your computer AND allows them to split the 2AC for the block's prep time.  This last thing is a big concern for me.  When the info is jumped to a 3rd computer only, the block has to share that computer to prep.  Paper 2AC's are something the block can split up physically with no issue.  So I am concerned for the block's ability to prep off 1 single computer.

Those are just some random thoughts and experiences I had.  My biggest concerns are the prep time issue, and like I said I am leaning Russell's direction--counts as prep.  The utility of paperless for the opponent is also a big concern I have and something that created some minor issues this past weekend.

Would love to hear solutions to the above problems from those who have become experts at this.  Would also like to know the prep time stance of other judges.


From: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com [edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Jason Russell [jasonlrussell1 at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:40 PM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] judge philosophy

I've made some updates to my judge philosophy. Some of them may be
applicable for paperless teams. Others are just about args like
process cp's, T, and PICs/presumption. Some stuff about speaker
points. Fair warning to those of you I'm judging in upcoming
tournaments. It's nothing you don't already know if I judge you
frequently, but I wanted to get it out there. It's on debate results.

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