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Fun & Games in Tournament Administration

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In my MUCH younger days (early 80s).......the TFA State tournament was being held at the Uiversity of Houston, which also meant rounds scattered all over the campus, locked rooms & buildings, etc. But my main memory of the UH tournament was:

 

Friday afternoon/evening I was judging in the last prelim round, and the round I was judging was widely known to be a "break" round. All thoroughout the Neg block, the classroom door kept opening, a head would pop through and then disappear again. Right in the middle of the 1AR, the door opens again and in walks an early-20-ish white guy followed by 12-15 black teenagers....he starts yelling at us that we have to leave and I'm trying to "shush" him as the 1AR is literally still talking. I finally signal the 1AR to stop & I stop his time to deal with the interruption. The 20-something is still screaming about us having to leave.....I eventually discern that this room is used Friday evenings for a tutoring program run by the math department at UH for inner-city HS kids. I try telling them the round has only about 15-20 minutes left, and he keeps screaming that they need the room "NOW"....there are literally NO other open classrooms in the building....this guy keeps moving in closer to me, still yelling. I finally tell him that we are NOT leaving until the round is over. He says something like "Then I guess I'm just gonna have to kick your ass and throw you out myself!" I figure, what the hell, he's 10 years younger than me and about 50 pounds heavier, but I might as well give it a try, so my response was pure John Wayne: "No....the BEST that you're gonna do is TRY."

 

For some reason (whatever it was I'll always be thankful!), the guy backs down....they all leave....we resume the 1AR and finish the round. The 4 debaters in the round immediately start spreading the story, and of course at each re-telling it becomes bigger and better. By the end of the tournament I had the image of being a cross between Rambo and Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry.....

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just saw this topic....i directed a large affair in the 1970s....i took teams to the bellaire tournament at the height of its longtime run of entertainment... there were a number of great stories coming out of those two ....however ,none of those stories compare with cherokee nationals held at tahlequah,oklahoma high school in 1969....in an attempt to raise money.the coach there allowed and even encouraged everyone to bring as many students as possible.....tahlequah had a small building ...tahlequah had a small population...a real room ...instead of a hallway was a luxury...we prayed for judges who were at least qualified to be a bus driver...most of the funds raised had to spent to repair the gym floor because most of the participants "hung out".... in the gym.the debate coach at tahlequah later went on to greater fame ...any guesses as to identity

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.the debate coach at tahlequah later went on to greater fame ...any guesses as to identity

 

Well, I know the answer....but won't say yet because the fact that I really AM "asoldashartney".....EXACTLY asoldashartney........instead of this young pup here.... :wavey: ......gives me an unfair advantage on such trivia questions.

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just saw this topic....i directed a large affair in the 1970s...

 

which is something like Bill Gates saying "I've made a lot of money in my life"......

 

I've heard many stories...legends really.....of the old Ponca City qualifier....in fact those stories were part of the inspiration for this thread. Please...regale us....unless of course the statute of limitations has not yet expired on most of the events there.... :D

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there are a number of stories that have been told over the years...perhaps the best is told by brit mccabe ...currently the coach at bishop mcguiness but who was a first year coach at duncan ....who claims that the ponca city cafeteria was so full of bodies,noisy and confusing that a student rolled a joint in public view....since this happened in 1975,the statute of limitations has run ...btw,i was reminded of this accusation several years ago when my daughter was in mccabes class and was told this story...also,i still have a shirt that my students gave me that has tournament director on one side and "you paid your money,you take your chances"printed on the other

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Just a guess, is it Drew Edmondson? He graduated from NSU in speech ed in the late 60s...I know because he was at an event for our squad when I was there.

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Just a guess, is it Drew Edmondson? He graduated from NSU in speech ed in the late 60s...I know because he was at an event for our squad when I was there.

 

Not a bad guess......but not a right one either.

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there are a number of stories that have been told over the years...perhaps the best is told by brit mccabe ...currently the coach at bishop mcguiness but who was a first year coach at duncan ....who claims that the ponca city cafeteria was so full of bodies,noisy and confusing that a student rolled a joint in public view....since this happened in 1975,the statute of limitations has run ...btw,i was reminded of this accusation several years ago when my daughter was in mccabes class and was told this story...also,i still have a shirt that my students gave me that has tournament director on one side and "you paid your money,you take your chances"printed on the other

 

Both of those stories are legendary......as are the rounds being held in the elevator & on the busses in the parking lot....and several others revolve around Ponca City's excellent selection of motels and other lodging choices.

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drew is a great guess...he was on the ne okie debate squad with the mystery guy....but in 1969 he was in the us navy preparing for his political career....he did however coach debate at muskogee in 1973 -1974 before going to law school at tulsa

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Glen Strickland?

 

You are quickly exhausting my knowledge of NSU debate history.

 

Beyond him, the only name I remember is Valgene Littlefield, and I don't think it's him.

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Glen Strickland?

 

You are quickly exhausting my knowledge of NSU debate history.

 

Beyond him, the only name I remember is Valgene Littlefield, and I don't think it's him.

 

You're close.....it was half of NSU's NDT Championship team (or did they finish 2nd?), but you guessed the wrong half.

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David Johnson?

 

 

We have a winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yes, the Hall of Fame coach from Houston Bellaire began his career as the coach at Tahlequah HS in Oklahoma.

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We have a winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yes, the Hall of Fame coach from Houston Bellaire began his career as the coach at Tahlequah HS in Oklahoma.

 

 

Awesome. Do I get a cookie or something?

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You're close.....it was half of NSU's NDT Championship team (or did they finish 2nd?)
They finished 2nd to Carson-Newman (John Wittig / Barnett Pearce) in '65. That was back in the days before The List, of course... ;)

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My first coaching job was at an inner-city high school in Ft Worth (way before the UDL circuit) and we hosted a TFA qualifier tournament. This school was (no lie or exaggeration) bordered on one side by a residential state school for the mentally retarded & developmentally challenged (when it was common policy to "warehouse" such individuals) and on the other side by a federal minimum security prison.

 

As with lots of tournaments those days, the first event to happen was extemp, because you could start the draw while school was still in session, then start the round 15 minutes after classes got out. As a result, the extempers were on their way to rounds as our "regular" students were clearing the building.

 

The following Monday, some students from my 1st hour Speech I class came in to see me and asked "were the state school kids here in the building last Friday?" I said I didn't think so.....and they said "well I think they were...cause I was leavin' school an this dude was standin in the hall in a 3-piece suit, and he was talkin to the LOCKERS.....an then I go in the john an there's this other dude dressed just like the first one, only HE'S talkin to the COMMODE......an they was doing all kinds hand gestures an vocal expression just like you tell us we need to do in OUR speeches......only there was NObody there! If they wasn't crazy, I don't know who is!"

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I seem to be the main one posting here...maybe I've just BEEN to more tournaments than anyone else here, or maybe I just get irritated easier than most nowadays....... :confused:

 

My latest gripe is with some attending schools.........those who arrive at the tournament as Round 1 of debate is starting and then drop debate entries on their arrival, which makes it difficult if not impossible to re-pair the division.....Often these are schools who drove about an hour & a half to get to the tournament........they couldn't call from the road????? cell phones don't work when inside debate vans or school busses????? The coaches of some schools just don't seem to comprehend that if the debater was not ON the bus when you left your city, odds are very slim that they will suddenly materialize when you arrive at the competition site!!!!

 

 

Almost without exception, I find this practice among schools who do not actually host a tournament themselves.............

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I seem to be the main one posting here...
Maybe some of us just don't get as much pleasure in reliving those old "war stories" as we used to... ;)
My latest gripe is with some attending schools.........those who arrive at the tournament as Round 1 of debate is starting and then drop debate entries on their arrival, which makes it difficult if not impossible to re-pair the division.....
It has been my experience that a sizable number of coaches who DON'T host pull this kind of thing. Whenever I have to drop an entry, I try to do it as soon as I know. Nothing worse than having multiple first round byes...

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Oh...plus hometown judging advantages. There's a funny story with that but it's kind of tangental.

 

Though it does speak well for impartiality.

 

I have a story about hometown judging...one particular college tournament, we noticed that all the students from that school (who were competing in their own tournament) were wearing sweatshirts with their school letters on them instead of normal tournament attire. I guess they figured as dumb as their judging pool was, they needed to wear billboards on their chest to help them remember which side to vote for.

 

The same tournament -- the only decent judges were engineers they had snagged from the local refinery. Our aff case was promoting a tax on environmental polluters. Mysteriously, most of our team got all those judges when we were on Aff, and the zombies when we were on neg.

 

But by far the worst example of homefield advantage at that tournament was when my partner and I (considered a favorite to win the tournament) got the wife of a competitor in the tournament as a judge our first round (on aff), that competitor had a bye the second round, and we hit them (again on aff) for the third round. Amazingly, he had some pretty specific answers to our advantages.

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