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tennisfool412

Relation between debate and tennis

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Does anyone see a relation between debaters and tennis players, meaning the first is usually also the second? A lot of debaters that i find are also big on tennis..

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I don't think there's much of a connection, but my hypothesis is that most debaters lack the muscle to play football and the height to play basketball. In addition, tennis is a m0re casual, country-club sport.

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I use a lot of sports metaphors to explain concepts in debate to beginners, because its something they are familiar with and can apply the concepts. Topicality is explained as a tennis match.

 

The service court is the resolution; the Aff is required to hit the ball in such a way that it lands in the service court. If it hits the net first and then lands in the service court, that's a fault (effects T). If we made the service court larger we benefit the server (broad definitions, return person has more ground to cover), if we make it smaller we benefit the return side (narrow definitions, less ground to prepare on). And if we eliminate the rule altogether, the server would NEVER serve the ball into the service court; he/she would hit it the opposite direction from where the return person is, and we would never "play tennis" (T is a voter).

 

This then allows us to talk about the differences between tennis & debate. Every tennis court in the world is about the same size as every other, whereas each debate round the "lines" move. In tennis the lines are painted on the surface for all to see, whereas in debate the "lines" are whatever meaning we choose to give to the words of the resolution, and are thus within the sphere of influence of the particpants. In tennis the server is given a 2nd chance to get the serve "in", whereas in debate its an all or nothing determination (assuming that T is a voter).

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Similiarities:

 

1. The nature of the tournament/ranking/seeding systems.

 

2. Tennis has team (doubles) and LD (singles).

 

3. Tennis - like debate - is an addictive game.

 

4. And I absolutely agree with Coach in this respect: the absolute necessity for control of the tempo and speed and direction of the game in a tennis match is almost the incarnation the need to control the tempo, speed and direction of an argument.

 

Big differences:

 

1. Tennis has many more clearly-defined and objectively-verifiable rules.

 

2. Tennis players (and their coaches) don't have any conrol over selecting the linesman ("person of line" to be PC?); and that means tennis has a certain integrity in "judging" that is arguably absent from debate.

 

3. (Maybe a result of the first two?) People who can't play tennis - or can't play tennis well - or can't play tennis anymore because of age, infirmity, whatever - like to watch tennis, and support it financially.

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Your FX T definition of a serve hitting the net and landing in would be a let. The person would serve again in that case.

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I see great differences between the structure of academic and physical competitions.

 

 

There are difference to be sure, but there are more similarities than you might think. It takes great skill for a QB to "read" a defense and similar great skill for a Mike LB to "read" an offense.

 

One of Lombardy's greatest quotes: "Luck is the residue of preparation," could have be written for a debater.

 

And, to be specific, tennis requires immense psychological self-discipline, pacing yourself physically as well as mentally, and employing stoke-by-stroke tactics and strategy.

 

On the flip side: show me a debater who is out-of-shape physically, and

I'll show you a debater who is performing at less than his/her peak potential. A healthy body = healthy brain = better mind. There are, believe it or not, times that the best way to prepare for a debate (or a trial) is to go jogging, biking, or just for a long walk in the woods (ask prof. shanahan).

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Your FX T definition of a serve hitting the net and landing in would be a let. The person would serve again in that case.

 

The fact that tennis & debate treat violations differently is acknowledged below (on the "differences"); the point is (was)...its not a valid serve. You can't hit something else and THEN land in the service court, it has to be, for lack of a better term, "direct"

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One of Lombardy's greatest quotes: "Luck is the residue of preparation," could have be written for a debater.

 

 

I like that one; I've always used the poster that was on the wall beside the door in our HS locker room: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

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Big differences:

 

1. Tennis has many more clearly-defined and objectively-verifiable rules.

 

2. Tennis players (and their coaches) don't have any conrol over selecting the linesman ("person of line" to be PC?); and that means tennis has a certain integrity in "judging" that is arguably absent from debate.

 

 

1. I'll have to disagree to a degree. Case in point, I was playing doubles yesterday and one of my opponents was stretched wide on the deuce side. He made contact with the ball outside the doubles alley and hit it through the space between the net and net post onto our court in the doubles alley (there is typically this space between the net and net post at local parks). We were arguing about whether or not the ball was good. I said know because if the net extended to the net post like normal courts are then it would be considered the net and thus would have not gone over.

 

2. Well, line judges don't have as much power now because of Hawkeye.

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Mentally/psychologically I think there are similarities. It's a arena-type event (2 or 4 people in a zero-sum game) rather than a "team game" with multiple participants; its not unusual for 2 players to meet each other at tournament after tournament; in such cases each side may select a strategy for that match that best capitalizes on their opponent's weaknesses and plays away from their strengths; in the words of Yogi Berra, it truly "ain't over till it's over" (no such thing as an insurmountable lead).

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I see a pretty strong relationship between debaters and tennis players. I know at my high school several members of the debate team were also on the tennis team. I've debated for seven years, played tennis for eight.

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getting all debaty, does anyone have a warrant for why debaters always play tennis? i think that since tennis players have a lot of mental training over physical, which is what debaters like, they fall for this over the physically inclined sports. Also, as mentioned, it does not require buffness which most debaters (sorry to say) are probably not due to the fact that they are too busy making a future for themselves.

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I would say that one reason is because tennis is because tennis schedules and debate schedules work well together. I know that at my former high school, most of debate activities were over by the time tennis season got into gear. Also, it is much easier to work debate around tennis and visa versa because it only really requires one additional person to practice tennis where as with other sports such as soccer or football, it is probably more difficult to practice alone.

 

A second possible reason is that tennis is a fairly white collar sport. I'd say that people in tennis are probably on average a bit more academically inclined than people who play basketball or football which might attract them to debate.

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I guess there may be some connection, but I don't see as much of that where I am.

 

When I go to tournaments I see a lot more letter jackets that say "Marching Band" than anything else... (and that totally excludes all the schools that don't consider marching band a letter-worthy activity).

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Guest svfrey
i do both

 

me too

but sadly, i've gotten cut from my school's tennis team two years in a row.

maybe next year as a junior i might have more luck

i sill play as often as i can

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Wow this is crazy that this topic was mentioned and I'm surprised no one from my high school team has mentioned this...

 

Looking at the past two years of our debate team, from what I remember, 8 of the 14 members on our team either played varsity or JV tennis with three of us playing very competitively...

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