[eDebate] Paperless and judge philosophies

Kuswa, Kevin kkuswa
Wed Sep 23 07:30:01 CDT 2009

Out of curiousity, what are people doing when the paperless team does not make all the necessary moves toward fairness?  We debated a team at Ga. State that WAS using paperless for an advantage--they claimed their laptop broke down so they did not share any evidence--when they did hand over a jump drive (literally minutes into our prep time), it had about five times as much material on it as was used in the debate and none of the cards were marked even though all of the cards were shortened in the speeches (and perhaps not all of the card was even being read in the speeches).  The paperless team was pompous about the tech and unwilling to help at all.  In fact, they even delayed getting the jump drives over to us becaue of "upload problems."  It was clear they were taking advantage of a less experienced team and being real jerks about it.  In fact, they may have even given us material on the jjump drive that was not used in the debate on purpose.

This is an exception (I hope) and I agree that paperless is inevitable and an important cost saving measure.  BUT, IN THE INTERIM, THERE ARE "BAD" PAPERLESS TEAMS that do try to use it as an advantage and they do not do all of the things necessary to make these fair debates.  Saving money for them should not mean everyone else suffers when debating them.

What's the solution here?  Have these particular teams go to paper until they can manage the system?  End the debate and vote against that team?  Refuse to consider their evidence in the decision?

Should certain parameters and expectations be set up clearly before the debate in order to move forward?  And if those parameters are not met?  Apparently this team was expected to hand us a sheet with these things listed, but they did not.  We have talked to their coaches and were assured it was just a "bad apple" team, but still...something to consider.



From: edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com [edebate-bounces at ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Glen Frappier [gfrappier at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 6:49 PM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Paperless and judge philosophies

Question - do the same judges who take prep time from teams who are trying to go paperless  also penalize non paperless teams who can't find cards in a timely manner to pass on to their opponents? I would say at least 5 minutes per debate are lost transferring cards from one team to another and it is rarely, if ever, taken out of anyones prep time. What about when someone says "im ready" and then they tell their opponents that they need a couple cards back. That generally takes as long as it does to jump the speech doc so do you also take that out of a teams prep? What about when when we give our oppoents the jump drive and it takes a while for them to open it due to their own incompetence? Does that still come out of the paperless teams prep?  What about teams who use paper but flow on the computer? If there is a computer malfunction do you keep the clock running while they fix their business?
I have very rarely seen anyone keep a true "running clock" in a debate round and it seems strange that the standard is now being applied to teams who have made the decision to go paperless.
There is learning curve to getting this paperless thing down. My teams did it pretty well last weekend but i'm sure there is room for improvement. We're not going paperless in order to get an advantage over anyone, we're doing it to try and stretch our dollar and provide more opportunities for our debaters. Surely thats a goal we all support and i'm afraid that those who think they need to police a paperless teams prep closer than non paperless teams are actively trying to discourage this move. You might hate paperless but i hate that it costs twice as much for my teams to attend national tournaments because we have to fly literally everywhere outside our district. Walk a mile in our shoes and see if you wouldn't want to make this shift.
I guess i just don't see paperless teams as taking anymore time than teams who use paper and i think they are being unfairly persecuted. Rant over. Paperless is awesome and its inevitable. Get used to it.

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM, Darren Elliott <delliott at kckcc.edu<mailto:delliott at kckcc.edu>> wrote:
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<mailto:edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com> [edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com<mailto:edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com>] On Behalf Of Jason Russell [jasonlrussell1 at gmail.com<mailto:jasonlrussell1 at gmail.com>]
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 7:40 PM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com<mailto: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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