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Valley Forge Qualifiers

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It is inconceivable to me that Bro. Rene would be one of the ones happy at the low number of policy teams. I have no doubt that he'd enter a "cannon fodder" team if he could, but Delone is at 60 M&D, which means he's only got 13 entry slots to begin with; I imagine he's got enough legit entries in other events to fill that many slots, and then some...

I don't know what Rene thinks, but he has real policy teams that are not just cannon fodder. I can't imagine why he would not bring them to quals. However, I don't know who is going to the tournament, so Delone may have a team or teams.

 

Non-policy schools wouldn't send their kids just to die, I bet. It would have to be a local school with no hotel stay for quals, and one with at least files to give some kids. But then there is the issue of having extra slots under the rules for how many entries you get. And there is the issue of finding judges, and I could see some people questioning that.

 

I know that some PA coaches like to read these boards anonymously - if someone could explain to me how we came to this, or how there are tournaments in the district during the qualifier tournament, I'd love to discuss.

 

I hope the quota system still works. Everything I see says it is 2006-07 school year only.

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According to NFL, Mechanicsburg is "Active" (i.e., it has paid its annual dues) but has recorded 0 new members/degrees this year and has no currently active NFL members...

I'm going to talk to some people about this. It's going on our long list of M-Burg reform efforts for next year. Thanks for that, tshuman.

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I've already explained it all, but no one wants to listen to me.

 

It's the attitude. Our judges are put down, our coaches are insulted, and the tournaments are not designed to accommodate small teams trying to build their programs. ($$$ with little chance of advancing)

 

When you devise your schedules, consider whether a team could do it without a hotel room bill.

 

When you decide where to hold NFL Quals, consider whether the place is centrally located. Did it have heat last year? Did it have lunch last year? Were there coaches and judges being openly hostile to some newer lay judges there?

 

I swear, I said all these things pretty bluntly, but no one wanted to listen to me because I addressed them to His Holiness Ankur. He chose to focus on my remaining anonymous than listen to what I was saying.

 

How was John, a nice young man from Mechanicsburg, treated when he was speaking of success? Did it ever occur to you folks that his coach read that and brought it up to other area coaches? Has it not occurred to you that his school isn't doing overnight tournaments because the schools that host them don't treat their guests very nicely when they get there? That they are looked down upon if they only have lay judges EVEN IF THAT'S ALL THEY HAVE BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE A HISTORY OF DEBATE WITH ALUMNI WILLING TO JUDGE?

 

Just reread all of my posts on that PHSSL qualifying threads and replace my voice with the voices of any number of HADL schools.

 

We get no respect, treated like garbage, so yes, we are taking our balls and going home.

 

And before you get too uppity about Gettysburg, they always hold a tournament this weekend. It's just more and more schools are electing to go to it instead of NFL quals because of the lack of hospitality they find at LaSalle and the cost of sending teams all the way to Philly for a tournament that, by design, requires them to spend the night in a hotel when it could be rescheduled to accomodate the travelers in a one day tournament with only those teams qualifying having to return for a second day. AND they would also probably appreciate heat and food in the building their judges are trapped in for the weekend.

 

I'm know what I'm saying is irritating to listen to, but you have to realize, maybe now, that I have a point. The only guys who are reaching out to the newer schools and coaches are Nailor, Br. Rene, and Bob Casey, who himself doesn't run policy teams and isn't in NFL.

 

I talked to the Delone kids yesterday and of course they're sending teams.

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How was John, a nice young man from Mechanicsburg, treated when he was speaking of success? Did it ever occur to you folks that his coach read that and brought it up to other area coaches? Has it not occurred to you that his school isn't doing overnight tournaments because the schools that host them don't treat their guests very nicely when they get there? .

We haven't done overnighters because I've been told "we don't do overnighters". Not really any explanation other than that. Next year I'm HOPING to change that. Fingers crossed...

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I've already explained it all, but no one wants to listen to me.

 

It's the attitude. Our judges are put down, our coaches are insulted, and the tournaments are not designed to accommodate small teams trying to build their programs. ($$$ with little chance of advancing)

 

When you devise your schedules, consider whether a team could do it without a hotel room bill.

 

When you decide where to hold NFL Quals, consider whether the place is centrally located. Did it have heat last year? Did it have lunch last year? Were there coaches and judges being openly hostile to some newer lay judges there?

 

I swear, I said all these things pretty bluntly, but no one wanted to listen to me because I addressed them to His Holiness Ankur. He chose to focus on my remaining anonymous than listen to what I was saying.

 

How was John, a nice young man from Mechanicsburg, treated when he was speaking of success? Did it ever occur to you folks that his coach read that and brought it up to other area coaches? Has it not occurred to you that his school isn't doing overnight tournaments because the schools that host them don't treat their guests very nicely when they get there? That they are looked down upon if they only have lay judges EVEN IF THAT'S ALL THEY HAVE BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE A HISTORY OF DEBATE WITH ALUMNI WILLING TO JUDGE?

 

Just reread all of my posts on that PHSSL qualifying threads and replace my voice with the voices of any number of HADL schools.

 

We get no respect, treated like garbage, so yes, we are taking our balls and going home.

 

And before you get too uppity about Gettysburg, they always hold a tournament this weekend. It's just more and more schools are electing to go to it instead of NFL quals because of the lack of hospitality they find at LaSalle and the cost of sending teams all the way to Philly for a tournament that, by design, requires them to spend the night in a hotel when it could be rescheduled to accomodate the travelers in a one day tournament with only those teams qualifying having to return for a second day. AND they would also probably appreciate heat and food in the building their judges are trapped in for the weekend.

 

I'm know what I'm saying is irritating to listen to, but you have to realize, maybe now, that I have a point. The only guys who are reaching out to the newer schools and coaches are Nailor, Br. Rene, and Bob Casey, who himself doesn't run policy teams and isn't in NFL.

 

I talked to the Delone kids yesterday and of course they're sending teams.

 

 

I have had it with you and your nonsense and unwillingness to engage my arguments.

 

 

First of all, I have been reaching out to students in central Pennsylvania for a decade now. I make it an intention of mine to reach out to ANY school lacking policy coaching experience comparable to at least my own. That includes essentially the entirety of Central PA. So dont exclude me off that list. Every time you do, you are actively denying the fact that I have been coaching students in the state (and country) for a decade, assisting them with their strategies, giving tips on speaking drills, evidence cutting skills, etc. And I do this for free (thus answering your $$ argument). Just this week, a North Hills debater asked me to critique a specific neg block he wrote. I gave him some feedback and he is making some changes. I also gave him some ideas for different arguments and showed him different strategies and what they are likely to accomplish. He did that because he knows I offer assistance to ANY debater regardless of who they are and what school they are from. I only ask that debaters respect my time. Since I get tons of requests, I ask that debaters understand that I cannot always do things right away and that sometimes I do forget or have some things slip past me. I am not infallible.

If central PA debaters choose not to ask me for help (which they dont), then thats their loss. Dont say I didnt try to help and that I am not reaching out. Central PA refused it. And if central PA decides my help is not desired, thats fine too. Not everyone needs to agree with my vision for debate. If you or your students dont like the types of arguments I advocate, thats fine. You dont need to accept my offer to help. Diversity of viewpoints is a strength in debate, not a weakness.

But dont say I didnt offer my help. Thats just a lie. Dont say those are the only coaches reaching out because there is a judge on this forum that has been doing it for a decade.

 

Second, At no time did I disparage central PA debate. You are actively CHOOSING to look at my comments as a 'put down'. I am telling you that it was NOT my intention for it to be that. If you cant take my words at face value, you have no business passing judgement on me. Its not my fault you have an inferiority complex and actively choose to create connotations which DO NOT EXIST. You are openly ignoring my clarifications.

 

Third, please stop refering to me as "His Holiness" or any other equally ridiculous term. I do not think of myself as that high, even if you do. If you continue to do so, I shall forever refer to you are the stupid bitch. Afterall, if snide remarks and ad homs are what you prefer, it would only be fair that I return the favor. However, I am sure you agree that being named stupid bitch is uncalled for. So is your extraneous commentary. So please stop.

 

Fourth, you accuse me of unethical judging which I take extremely seriously. You dont even have the decency to present some shred of evidence to this fact. You have no authority to pass judgement on me because you act without the slightest shred dignity or honor or professionalism. Even in the fake democracy of America, a defendant gets to know his accuser. I am not 'focusing' on your identity.

 

Fifth, I focused on your arguments and pointed out how you were simply factually wrong. You have no interest in actually responding to me. Dont blame me for your obvious shortcomings. It is YOU who is uninterested in engaging me. I am more than interested in engaging your arguments as I have been for days now.

 

Sixth, it has nothing to do with money. Its not *that* hard to drive to Philadelphia for two or three days straight. Is is a sacrifice? Yep. Is it tiring? Yep. Thank god you only have to do it once a year. Debate coaches dont get into debate so that they can have lives. Debate IS our life for 9 months a year.

But as a whole, I agree that there should be a rotating location for NFL quals or at least more central locations. There is no need for it to be at LaSalle every year. I dont know why it is. It never made sense to me. I cant speak for other coaches, but I think its silly to suggest it should be in one location for all eternity.

Since I am not a coach, I dont really have power over it, but if I did, I would back the idea of a rotating location. But why are you bringing this up to me? I have no power. I am not even a coach. I am a hired gun judge for hire. I have no say in these matters. Why dont you use the correct forum? Like the VFNFL coaches meeting?

 

Seventh, Gettysburg IS at fault here. No one else. Though this may be true for the last couple years, Gettysburg HASNT traditionally had this weekend because when I competed and for some time thereafter, their teams would compete at VFNFL quals. I competed against them as a debater once upon a time. So you are simply factually incorrect. In contrast, the VFNFL quals since as far back as I know (which is at least back to the 80s) has always been 2nd weekend in March. Phila CFL quals the weekend prior.

The whole purpose of aligning tournaments is so that teams arent forced to make a choice between local versus regional or national committments/interests. I am the first person to argue that supporting local debate should be the core interest of every team. Without supporting local debate, the entire activity will die. And not all teams can/want to travel. I have been arguing that for a long long time. Especially with respect to the 'circuit' teams.

Gettysburg is forcing Brother Rene to make a choice between supporting local debate and competing locally and giving his kids a chance to go to nationals. Now, because of this, Gettysburg has effectively eliminated HADL's opportunity to debate against Delone. The importance of keeping traveling teams home, like Delone, is that in competing against a traveling team, your teams learn what Delone has learned by competing others. If Delone goes to Phila. and sees Truman making a particular argument that they fancy (maybe a new-ish T standard), they will come back to HADL and argue it. Now your kids learn from Delone who learned from Truman who learned from Cath Prep who learned from... But every time you take opportunities for local debate away from traveling teams, then your teams lose out on the opportunity to learn from other non-HADL teams by downstream effects. You dont need to compete against the best to learn from the best as long as you keep the lines of competition overlapping between national, regional and local competition. The whole dichotomy between 'liberal' and 'conservative debate is a ying and yang between the liberals opting to travel more and the conservatives traveling less and withdrawing more.

But when you put tournaments on overlapping dates, you are FORCING teams to choose between travel and local. THAT is wrong because you deprive your students and their students of the opportunities they are interested in pusruing. If you want to stay local, fine. I can respect that choice. Not every team wants/needs/can travel. My school didnt travel until one of my former LDers did it on her own. But I draw the line at you forcing the view that 'local is everything' on teams who want to travel. Forcing this choice is inherently bad - and in PA its done for political reasons... because one coach doesnt like another, etc. So what you are really saying is that its okay to screw over students and the opportunities they are seeking because you disagree with another coach or their way of running tournaments.

Whether one likes some coaches or not, taking valuable opportunities away from your students on the basis of some personal animosity is petty at best and downright anti-debate at worst. If personal politics and differences are more important to one than one's students' opportunity to succeed through competition, then one shouldnt be in this activity. We all make sacrifices, and this is one of them. This continued overlapping tournament scheduling is the debate-world equivalent of two divorced parents fighting a decade long custody battle. It doesnt help the kid to be used as a pawn in your petty game and it doesnt help your students in debate.

 

Eighth, I have advocated that I like lay judges many times on this forum. I only expect that coaches who bring lay judges explain two things to them:

1) that debate is not about what the judge believes - its about what the students argue and whose argument is superior and

2) that if you have a preference on speaking styles to openly communicate that to debaters.

If ANY judge does that - lay or experienced - they are good enough to judge in any round my students are in. If my students speak to fast despite the judge saying speed is not okay, then my students deserve to lose the round and I hope the judge drops my student in that situation. If my students dont explain their arguments and assume the judge knows acronyms of the subtle nuances of some critical philosophy of biopower, I hope the judge drops them in that situation. And I hope my student would learn from his/her mistakes.

And you will be hard pressed to find an 'eastern' coach who disagrees with me.

The problem is that the coaches of some schools shirk their responsibility of instructing judges about what is appropriate adjudication in the round. Some of them dont pay attention to the speeches, others talk on their cell phones (not limited to lay judges btw). Even when the coach is made aware of the judge's failures, the coach doesnt care to bring a different judge the next time - its the same person in the back of the room. There is no excuse for that. Saying 'oh, there arent any other judges I can hire' is patently untrue.

Dont blame your lack of good judges on not having long established programs. There is a thread stickied on this forum with a list of qualified judges willing to judge for teams. If you give them the cost of transportation and a little money (not much usually), you'll have a stable of judges. If the tournament is in Philly, you can hire a Penn student (former debater) to judge for your school. A lot of schools do this yet the 'central' PA schools make no effort to do this.

During my moderating the northeast forum for heck, six or seven years now, I have been contacted by schools from southeastern PA, and up and down the east coast about hiring judges from Philly - NOT ONCE has a central PA school contacted me about names and numbers for people who are willing to be hired to judge for them. NOT ONCE. That is what I call a poor attempt - or rather a complete disregard for the concept of bringing qualified judges. There are dozens of students at local colleges who would judge for $20-$30. They do something they love and get a little money for it.

 

Ninth, being that I havent been to VFNFL quals in some time, I cannot attest to whether the judges lounge lacked food or whether rooms were cold or hot. I'll take your word for it. But why are you complaining about this maltreatment to me? Or even on this forum? I am not affiliated with LaSalle. I barely know Ray Shay. I agree that its something that Ray Shay should address. In my discussions with Ray, he seems like a pretty reasonable guy. I think if you asked him to improve the conditions, he just might do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly,

You talk about setting good examples, so lets see what you have done in the past week:

1) Accused me of unethical judging without evidence

2) Called me names (ad homs)

3) Ignored my warranted responses to the points you raise

4) Done all this anonymously

 

You have no room to talk about setting examples. You set an incredibly poor one.

 

Lets look at what I have done:

1) Upon receiving criticism of my comments, I clarified the intention - an intention which is not demeaning. And issued a sincere apology to students who may have misinterpreted what I was trying to say.

2) Clearly and methodically answered your positions with warrants

3) Refrained from attacking you personally and remained quite civil considering you are defaming my character

4) Done this openly

 

Your continued criticism of me, or any other coaches on 'my side' is unwarranted and inexcusable.

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And..whewww....I can testify that Gettysburg's tournament used to be in late March, or even early April, because that's when I took kids there back in '00 to get the kids warmed up for VA States, which is normally in late April. It was never this early in March.

 

And, I am willing to drive to SouthEast or Central PA to judge any weekend where I'm not at WACFL or another tourney - now that I've given up policy coaching, a lot of my weekends will be free.

 

H.

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It's the attitude. Our judges are put down, our coaches are insulted

I'll take a different tack than Ankur and respond to some of the substance of this post. Yes, there is an attitude problem, and we all need to be better about how we phrase things and what we say - on both sides of the "divide."

 

That said, I don't think it is fair for you to group everyone who knows Ankur into one camp and think we all have the same opinions or same behavior. However, we all have felt like we are under seige from the non-debate community, and many "old school" debate schools who seem to enjoy bringing judges that don't know a 1AC from a hole in the ground. I have been and will continue to be critical of coaches and judges who refuse to accept that judges - in all events - should have at least working knowledge of the event before they are qualified to judge it. I will also continue to attack coaches who make no effort to expand opportunities for their kids to compete more and against more people.

 

I can't speak to what happened at NFL quals last year. If debaters or judges or coaches are being assholes and insulting lay judges to their faces, then I won't defend them. I've never seen such open hostility, but if it was someone affiliated with Pennsbury, I will get you an apology.

 

 

and the tournaments are not designed to accommodate small teams trying to build their programs. ($$$ with little chance of advancing)

 

When you devise your schedules, consider whether a team could do it without a hotel room bill.

 

When you decide where to hold NFL Quals, consider whether the place is centrally located. Did it have heat last year? Did it have lunch last year?

The PFI is an overnight. I won't apologize for that, because we think it makes for a better tournament. It is also by far the cheapest invitational you will find. If your school finds it too expensive to stay in a hotel but wants to attend, email me and we will work something out. We housed students from Dallastown this year.

 

To say that there is little chance of breaking is ignorant. Many teams from outside of the Philly schools have succeeded at the PFI - Meyers, Mechanicsburg, State College, Conestoga come to mind. Susquehannock, with two debaters who came from no where, ended up winning the tournament one year. They came to LaSalle as young kids, got beaten up, and learned from it. Central Columbia sent a team one year that no one in Philly had heard of, and they broke.

 

If you are afraid your teams won't do well, it must be because they don't work hard enough - there is ample precedent of good teams doing well no matter where they come from.

 

 

As far as the location of NFL quals, it has been at LaSalle for as long as I've been around (since 1999). However, no one on these boards is responsible for that. In fact, no one who posts here is on the district committee or is the head coach of a school in VFNFL. We also are not responsible for the food or heat at LaSalle, but it isn't like Philly schools got lunch and you didn't, right? Again, I wasn't there, but it seems that these conditions are bad for everyone, and not the responsibility of the people you are talking to in this forum.

 

 

 

And before you get too uppity about Gettysburg, they always hold a tournament this weekend.

No, this is not true. NFL Quals has been the same weekend for as long as I've been involved, and apparently longer based on what Ankur said. I debated against three Gettysburg teams in one day at NFL quals in 2001. So "always" is a relative term.

 

You can't run the tournament on one day - there are too many rounds. Any school is free not to return the second day if they are eliminated. You couldn't do it on different weekends though, because it wouldn't be the same spirit of a tournament. And you would have a hard time convincing coaches from any part of the district that they should run speech and debate and congress at the same time, because they like people to double enter. So I think it is stuck at 3 days. Again, you aren't talking to the right people to fix that issue.

 

 

The only guys who are reaching out to the newer schools and coaches are Nailor, Br. Rene, and Bob Casey, who himself doesn't run policy teams and isn't in NFL.

Notice that these are people who live near the new schools and coaches. Coaches of Truman can't do a lot for a new school in Harrisburg because they don't know a new school exists! I don't compare the HADL school roster each year and contact the new coaches.

 

In addition, a few years ago Shawn and I agreed to make a CD of evidence available to anyone who wanted it. I had also designed some training materials and offered those as well. I emailed every school I could find to offer my help. I got one positive response, and mailed - at personal expense - a CD of evidence and other materials. Never heard anything back.

 

 

So, mystery person, what I would like to know is this: what can people on this forum do? You've got a few current debaters, a few coaches like Shawn, a few former debaters like Brett and Rick, and a few loving outsiders like Ankur and Duane and myself. What SPECIFICALLY can we do to improve the quality and quantity of policy debate competition in Pennsylvania? Let's all cut the bullshit on both sides and get down to what it is that the people in this forum can do.

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I concur with just about everything Jeff said.

 

And for the record, a few years back, I broached the subject of a free summer debate camp targeting the middle of the state (i.e. new teams or teams without policy coaches) but to get it up and running would take time energy and effort on the part of a team of coaches. My idea was to model the operations of the camp after PA Free Enterprise Week while focusing the educational activity on the very core of debate - the argument: toulmin model of claim & warrant, logical falllacies, how to evaluate evidence etc. The attempt to develop skills in debate which transcend the style of debate one prefers.

 

I got exactly ZERO interest from the middle of the state. The only teams that were remotely interested were SEern PA schools, in which case we dont need a camp because those schools have coaches and do just fine without a debate camp.

 

We, from the corners of PA, gain absolutely nothing by letting central PA withdraw from the rest of the state. We, as a group, are more interested in returning the entire state of PA policy to its more glorious days. We, as a group, are open to more inclusive options for central PA schools - we are just receiving no interest in our ideas and no counterproposals in return. So as Jeff said, what ideas do you have?

 

I remain interested in starting a camp in PA... but I need help. I have far too many committments to undertake an endeavor like that on my own. If you, and other HADL coaches are interested in making this a reality, I can send you some of the initial materials I had begun preparing. Schedules and the sort.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you, both jeff and ankur, for listening to me.

 

Rather than rehash specific past events that can't be redone, I'll leave it at that.

 

I will take both of your generous offers under consideration, see what sort of interest I find, and contact you folks in the future if I find interest.

 

Thank you again.

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All is well and tranquility has been returned to the world. :)

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I remain interested in starting a camp in PA... but I need help. I have far too many committments to undertake an endeavor like that on my own. If you, and other HADL coaches are interested in making this a reality, I can send you some of the initial materials I had begun preparing. Schedules and the sort.

I'd be the first one signed up. Travelling to another state for a camp would be pretty difficult so if there's a decent tourney right here in the heartland I'd rustle up some debate funds and some cash of my own and do it.

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Well, my idea was basically to have it at Penn State (since it is functionally equidistant for all PA students and very much accessible for central PA). Being a Penn State alum, I have a solid knowledge of the resources available for use and believe me, they are numerous.

I even contacted their conference management team and got estimated project costs etc, and I drew up manpower projections, objectives and measurable targets against very specific timelines.

I have a lot of good ideas for how to move forward with a camp. I just cant do it myself. Sadly.

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Yeah that's a pretty good idea Ankur, if you get some people together and start it up I'll most likely go... we've been floating around the idea of sending me to camp anyways.

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Just a couple quick comments about the location of NFL qualifiers.

 

The reason it is at La Salle is because it is during the weekday, and no other public school will cancel school for two days in order to have a qualifier tournament. If you would rather host the tournament, and think you can get school canceled for two days to do it, I am pretty sure many many people would be more than willing to entertain that request, and while I do not speak for La Salle, they would probably be pretty happy with that as well. Hosting a tournament is a lot of work, just ask Jeff.

 

Also, a sidenote, you are aware that Br. Rene was the lead moderator of forensics since like 1990 when he became the president? He left the school in 2005, took a sabatical (rumors indicate it was in the Amazon), and now he is at Delone.

 

Finally, while I have never judged qualifiers, La Salle offers judges lounges and whatnot generously. La Salle offers up the school, and its services for two weekdays. Because this is not an invitational, I would not get too angry with a poorly stocked judges lounge. And heat, well, is that such a big deal?

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Just a couple quick comments about the location of NFL qualifiers.

 

The reason it is at La Salle is because it is during the weekday, and no other public school will cancel school for two days in order to have a qualifier tournament. If you would rather host the tournament, and think you can get school canceled for two days to do it, I am pretty sure many many people would be more than willing to entertain that request, and while I do not speak for La Salle, they would probably be pretty happy with that as well. Hosting a tournament is a lot of work, just ask Jeff.

 

Also, a sidenote, you are aware that Br. Rene was the lead moderator of forensics since like 1990 when he became the president? He left the school in 2005, took a sabatical (rumors indicate it was in the Amazon), and now he is at Delone.

 

Finally, while I have never judged qualifiers, La Salle offers judges lounges and whatnot generously. La Salle offers up the school, and its services for two weekdays. Because this is not an invitational, I would not get too angry with a poorly stocked judges lounge. And heat, well, is that such a big deal?

I'm sure Ray and LaSalle would not mind not having to deal with hosting. I don't know why it has to be on a Thursday, but Brett's point is still a good one - someone has to do it, and no one has stepped up to take it. The judges lounge is a hit or miss deal at LaSalle. Usually there is no judges food Thursday night, in my recollection (judged at quals from 2003-2006). And heat is a pretty big deal I think.

 

But I digress. There ended up being 8 teams, but they are saying that still 2 teams will qualify because of the bonus thing. Again, I'm not there, but this is what I'm told.

 

Four teams dropped after 2 rounds - Round 3 debates are happening now, and it is LaSalle A vs. Pennsbury C and Pennsbury B vs. LaSalle B. That means that both Truman teams, Pennsbury A, and Delone dropped.

 

Someone is going to bye to nationals in Round 5, potentially without debating in Round 4 (if both teams from one of the schools win). Odds are very strong that each school gets 1 team. I'll keep updating this because I love double elimination.

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Way to go Sperger!

 

The rounds were split, so all 4 teams return tomorrow for apparently non-simultaneous round 4.

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As far as the location of NFL quals, it has been at LaSalle for as long as I've been around (since 1999). However, no one on these boards is responsible for that. In fact, no one who posts here is on the district committee or is the head coach of a school in VFNFL. We also are not responsible for the food or heat at LaSalle, but it isn't like Philly schools got lunch and you didn't, right? Again, I wasn't there, but it seems that these conditions are bad for everyone, and not the responsibility of the people you are talking to in this forum.

 

Well, not any more... You know, it's bad enough when we were doing debate tab outside the tab room, but you doing debate tab from another state? We've got to get you another hobby or something. Anwyay...

 

The reason we've been at LaSalle for almost a dozen years is b/c of Bro. Rene. As the primary fundraiser for LaSalle College Prep, if he decided the VFNFL needed the school for a day of debate, he had the power to turn the Friday of NFL quals into a school holiday. We would have unlimited access to a moderately large building for three straight days. That's something no school can provide us. Ray doesn't hold the same sway as Rene, but that's ok [i'm done with the rhyming, I swear]. Ray still gets us access to the building, the LaSalle moms do a fantastic job of supplying the judge's lounge for the Friday night, and judges have to eat caf food with the kids on Thursday. Not the greatest situation, but it serves the need.

 

As Well, my idea was basically to have it at Penn State (since it is functionally equidistant for all PA students and very much accessible for central PA). Being a Penn State alum, I have a solid knowledge of the resources available for use and believe me, they are numerous.

 

The reason we don't (or can't) use somewhere like Penn State is because they want to charge you for their facilities. It's the reason PHSSL bailed to Susquehanna years ago. Susquehanna (and the Selinsgrove area) were happy to have a bunch of debaters descend there over a weekend and cut us a nice deal; PSU saw it as a burden and did us no favors.

 

If schools in the middle of the state, or at least more to the west, could provide us with the number of (school and hotel) rooms to handle our registrations, there may be some impetus for us to move the location, but as far as I'm aware, that hasn't happened. We're lucky that LaSalle keeps stepping up to handle this tournament, even in spite of all the construction they're undergoing (which explains the lack of heat last year). If the LaSalle admin ever decided that we can't have the tournament there, we're in for a messy scramble to find a school that can handle us for Thursday night, Friday in the morning (critical), and Saturday. And with all the other leagues (PCFL, HCFL, ACFL, etc.) running their quals during the other weekends of March, it's not like we can somehow break up the NFL qual weekend into multiple schools/locations.

 

I can't speak for the declining numbers in policy -- that's your domain. But I know we got quite lucky with hitting the bonus system (which seem to be running on a one year delay; long story), and there's about a snowball's chance in hell of us hitting bonus numbers next year. Some heavy recruitment needs to be done if we're going to continue to qualify two teams.

 

But I will say this: you don't get any better by avoiding challenges and running local events against the same old schools when a bigger world is one short van ride away. I'm not talking about just SE PA debate, but about the chance to see other teams in the nation. You don't get to nationals if you don't show up. Yes, hotel room costs, suck, but that's part of the lifestyle we all accept.

 

Your (occasionally) friendly voice in tab

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Oh I know about PSU charging. I have a budget from them. Various versions some with no frills and others with all the bells and whistles. But my idea is to model after PFEW which solves the cost issue. Its time consuming and requires a ton of effort, but if you get the right people, it becomes far simpler. The key with any organization is people. Working in pharma in pseudo-project management roles has taught me that much.

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Well, not any more... You know, it's bad enough when we were doing debate tab outside the tab room, but you doing debate tab from another state? We've got to get you another hobby or something. Anwyay...

 

The reason we've been at LaSalle for almost a dozen years is b/c of Bro. Rene. As the primary fundraiser for LaSalle College Prep, if he decided the VFNFL needed the school for a day of debate, he had the power to turn the Friday of NFL quals into a school holiday. We would have unlimited access to a moderately large building for three straight days. That's something no school can provide us. Ray doesn't hold the same sway as Rene, but that's ok [i'm done with the rhyming, I swear]. Ray still gets us access to the building, the LaSalle moms do a fantastic job of supplying the judge's lounge for the Friday night, and judges have to eat caf food with the kids on Thursday. Not the greatest situation, but it serves the need.

 

 

 

The reason we don't (or can't) use somewhere like Penn State is because they want to charge you for their facilities. It's the reason PHSSL bailed to Susquehanna years ago. Susquehanna (and the Selinsgrove area) were happy to have a bunch of debaters descend there over a weekend and cut us a nice deal; PSU saw it as a burden and did us no favors.

 

If schools in the middle of the state, or at least more to the west, could provide us with the number of (school and hotel) rooms to handle our registrations, there may be some impetus for us to move the location, but as far as I'm aware, that hasn't happened. We're lucky that LaSalle keeps stepping up to handle this tournament, even in spite of all the construction they're undergoing (which explains the lack of heat last year). If the LaSalle admin ever decided that we can't have the tournament there, we're in for a messy scramble to find a school that can handle us for Thursday night, Friday in the morning (critical), and Saturday. And with all the other leagues (PCFL, HCFL, ACFL, etc.) running their quals during the other weekends of March, it's not like we can somehow break up the NFL qual weekend into multiple schools/locations.

 

I can't speak for the declining numbers in policy -- that's your domain. But I know we got quite lucky with hitting the bonus system (which seem to be running on a one year delay; long story), and there's about a snowball's chance in hell of us hitting bonus numbers next year. Some heavy recruitment needs to be done if we're going to continue to qualify two teams.

 

But I will say this: you don't get any better by avoiding challenges and running local events against the same old schools when a bigger world is one short van ride away. I'm not talking about just SE PA debate, but about the chance to see other teams in the nation. You don't get to nationals if you don't show up. Yes, hotel room costs, suck, but that's part of the lifestyle we all accept.

 

Your (occasionally) friendly voice in tab

 

Holy crap! Tom Gushue in a CX forum......I see flying pigs in a frozen hell........

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Holy crap! Tom Gushue in a CX forum......I see flying pigs in a frozen hell........

An LDer, here? Shun the non-believer!

 

 

In other news, LaSalle A picked up this morning and bye to nationals. Pennsbury C beat LaSalle B, and Pennsbury B was advanced on a coach's decision. So the Valley Forge NFL Qualifiers are:

 

LaSalle MS (TJ McCarrick and John Sperger)

Pennsbury GK (Raj Gopal and Sam Kolander)

 

Congrats, boys!

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To clarify the issue of the bonus - apparently, in the 2006-2007 school year, the VFNFL grew by 20%, which means that the bonus was awarded this year for some reason. However, the district shrunk in 2007-2008, so there will be no bonus next year. That means there needs to be 10 teams.

 

The district is shrinking in lots of events, not just policy. This should be of serious concern to everyone in PA (and I would hope the whole Northeast and entire forensics community at large). If you are in a position to do so, make some noise so the district stays competitive and maintains 2 slots in every event.

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And, according to my sources, one Pennsbury team, and one LaSalle team is graduating. That leaves theoretically only 6 or 7 (including the team that didn't show up) teams. I would think that Delone should get another team or LaSalle should maybe send their other two teams in policy instead of PF (not pfd) and talk (not debate) in a wasted event for next year...

 

Hopes for 10 teams next year!

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To share something - one of the reasons I'm taking time off of coaching next year, and possibly the year after, is os that another Virginia coach and I can travel the state and "preach" debate - sort of like Brother Ron and Duane's travelling Inherency Show. Our intent is to get schools interested AND to find money for them to offer debate and supply their teams with the basics. We envision really concentrating on the far west of Virginia which used to have debate (the single A schools way out on the Tennessee border) but don't have it anymore. I'm curious to see how this will go..I'll keep you posetd. H.

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And, according to my sources, one Pennsbury team, and one LaSalle team is graduating. That leaves theoretically only 6 or 7 (including the team that didn't show up) teams. I would think that Delone should get another team or LaSalle should maybe send their other two teams in policy instead of PF (not pfd) and talk (not debate) in a wasted event for next year...

 

Hopes for 10 teams next year!

 

LaSalle, & Pennsbury are not the problem......add in Truman to complete the Philly triad and you will have 6-9 teams altogether at NFL quals each year..... I know Delone will stick around because of Bro Rene....but besides that.....??????? The problem is that we cannot get anyone else to be that reliable.....

 

I have judged many different schools this year and yet they were not present at NFL quals. ......where are they?

 

On a side note... the judging pool at NFLs was actually pretty good. Truman, LaSalle, & Pennsbury judges supplemented by some good hired judges. Ms. Furlong even judged out of retirement, for any old heads reading this, which was a nice blast from the past.

 

On a different side note, I am quite excited about next year for my school. We have been an all novice squad (for CX that is) this season. We have 4 novices looking into camp right now, so Truman should be back in force after functionally taking a year off to coach up a massive amount newbies.

 

Shawn

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