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PKennedy

The status of debate in Kansas

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It has been a long time since I was a 1N and had to defend the SQ, but I do recall some theory that if I’m defending the SQ I don’t have to advocate change. If all else is equal, then we stick with what is known. I haven’t provided a counterplan. I’m going old school, arguing case, showing the harms are imaginary and overblown and that the SQ solves. My partner will bring up the DA’s in the 2NC…

Seriously, I’m not going to bash on the TOC. That won’t do any good. You guys clearly think it is more prestigious and more important that I would ever agree to. I have my reasons to dislike the culture that surrounds the TOC. To that, I agree with Patrick the most. There are good things and bad things about the circuit, and we have imported much of that bad without much of the good.

I don't think I was as clear as I could have been so I'll cut the debate metaphors. There is not an offensive reason why our debate community being closed off from upper tier national circuit tournaments and championships is better than being open. It can only benefit students to create the possibility.

 

Okay, I’m really not trying to be the jackass I normally am, but this silly argument has gone on long enough. Recruitment is not magic and doesn’t just happen to you. I’m sure you are going to give me a counter example, but enough is enough. If you didn’t contact any of the coaches at any of the major programs then you have nothing to say here. You didn’t try. And if you did, and the coach at Northwestern or wherever said she/he didn’t think you were good enough for her/his program due to not winning TOC, then I will retract everything I’ve said. Otherwise quit your complaining! If anything whining about not getting recruited probably proves you shouldn’t have been recruited. And what the heck are you saying about your current situation? Are you saying, “I should by at ______, but I had to settle for here because Kansas screwed me by not letting me go to TOC?” At least you were recruited regionally. I’m just not that impressed with all these claims that TOC is the Mecca of scholarship money and that Kansas’s are considered heathens by the outside world for not going to TOC. Okay, deep breath!

This is unjustified and uncalled for. I'm happy where I am, my grades in high school were not great, I'm also not good enough and was not good enough to receive scholarships from those schools. But a personal attack on me is not a reason why you are right here. It is a reality that squads will not know how good you are and will not make as big an investment if any if they do not see you. If the schools you want to go to aren't in that triad of state schools you probably won't be seen by many of their recruiters outside of them without debating on the national circuit. That is not opinion that is fact. I may not have been good enough academically or in debate to worry about this but I saw and will likely continue to see people in debate in Kansas who do meet the necessary qualifications on both fronts and who could benefit from the opportunity and all the ad homs, character attacks, and warrantless objections you can spew don't change that. Teachers are supposed to be about preparing their students for college and getting them the opportunities that they want and deserve. Why an educator would be so opposed to that is beyond me.

 

And before you say, “We’ll just pay for it ourselves”, think of the message that sends. That the rich get to go to TOC but the poor have to stay home. At least our current system is equitable.

I've known many kids that have payed for it, others have cut costs by staying with friends or family in the area, packing food for the trip so they don't have to eat out, and collapsing down the amount of evidence they bring or bringing it on a computer to help with gas mileage. Even more have gone to absurd extremes like sleeping in their cars in Illinois during the winter. If they want to go and squads can't afford to support them they'll support themselves as long as the opportunity is open. And even if your argument was true its better that some people get to go.

Edited by Felix Hoenikker

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Volen. You are very wrong on the money issue. Very wrong. I am in no way considered rich (In fact upper lower class suits me much more). I paid for my trips out of pocket (MY pocket). I didn't ask my parents to fork over the money so that I could get my butt whooped at Glenbrooks. I paid for my part of the trip out of the money I earned making pizzas (horrible job by the way). You don't have to be rich to go to the TOC or TOC tournaments for that matter. If we would've been lucky enough to get the bids to go, I will garuntee you that I would've worked three jobs to save up the money to go.

 

 

EDIT: I have realized this makes it sound as if we paid for everything on our own. That would be false. Our squad donated a lot of funds and time to take us to colleyville and omaha (which we did not pay for), as well as pay the entry fees at gleenbrooks and maine east (we paid for the rest of these two). I am merely stating that it is possible for kids to do nat circuit out of pocket and not be rich (though I bet it helps). It doesn't have to be paid entirely out of the school's pocket.

Edited by Githens09

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This is unjustified and uncalled for. I'm happy where I am, my grades in high school were not great, I'm also not good enough and was not good enough to receive scholarships from those schools. But a personal attack on me is not a reason why you are right here…. and all the ad homs, character attacks, and warrantless objections you can spew don't change that.
My apologies. That was not supposed to directed to you personnal, but to all college kids who are claiming that Kansas did them wrong.

 

Believe it or not, I take debate in Kansas very personally. To say that we failed you is very insulting to me. I’ve been using this thread (and other threads) to open kids’ eyes that we (coaches/community) have a reason for what we do.

 

Still, I shouldn’t have been a schmuck. Especially to someone that I see as one of the “good guys”. My bad.

 

Can you say, "long-term savings!??!"

Brilliant!! You are talking to the guy who brought a propane grill to WaRu twice and to BVN to tailgate for lunch. Tell you what, things change and TOC becomes an option, and I’ll volunteer you and me to sponsor any kids who make it to TOC and we will absolutely camp it out. It would be the 1st debate trip that I could bring Rufus!!

 

Volen. You are very wrong on the money issue. Very wrong. I am in no way considered rich (In fact upper lower class suits me much more). I paid for my trips out of pocket (MY pocket). I didn't ask my parents to fork over the money so that I could get my butt whooped at Glenbrooks. I paid for my part of the trip out of the money I earned making pizzas (horrible job by the way). You don't have to be rich to go to the TOC or TOC tournaments for that matter. If we would've been lucky enough to get the bids to go, I will garuntee you that I would've worked three jobs to save up the money to go.
1st off, I’ve had many a horrible job and making pizzas isn’t even in the bottom 5. Try the 3rd shift at Steak and Shake… 2nd, you should be commended. I’m impressed. And while I’ll contend that you are in the minority of debaters, I know when I’ve been bested. If TOC becomes and option I will 100% support kids working to save and pay their own way. Edited by Corporate DB8er

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@ Volen

If I've given the impression I'm saying Kansas coaches have failed their students I apologize. I am now, and will forever be, grateful to the dedication of time, effort, and resources that Kansas coaches, assistant coaches, and other debaters have made and continue to make for their students and fellow classmates. With this in mind I'd like to say though that to say you are grateful for what someone has done and to say they haven't failed is not the same as saying that there's no room for improvement. There are always ways we can improve as a community and I and others believe that greater access to national circuit competition and the revitalization of champ debate are two such ways that we could improve our community.

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To Mr Swanson,

 

I would speculate that the reason that your tournament wasn't well attended was the lack of having the DCI label attached... I could be wrong... I would certainly be in favor of allowing for more than one DCI tournament on certain weekends. Especially considering the current economic situation. The Winfield/T-High weekend would be one in particular that I'd like to see a dual bid weekend.

 

That is a big part of it. BUT, that is the traditional Wichita East weekend and I will never get the bid over that event I am sure. I also feel/felt that the bid should not need to be a motivator as it is the ONLY event to pull out of state teams with that specific type of judge pool outside of KCKCC.

 

Most importantly there just aren't that many team OPTING to come as they prefer a "real" national circuit opportunity. It is the biggest reason we had so many teams come one year and skip the next one. There was simply not enough interest in any given year to attract more than 8-12 teams. This was true BEFORE the bid system was in place too!

 

Remember - I don't care if the event is held or not but I will NOT put myself through that ringer again by getting the national teams to commit to it and only to have NO interest from Kansas. I have had 4 schools outside of Kansas ask to come this year but absent ANY commitment from Kansas schools I will not put what ever crappy reputation I have on that line again.

 

I can break even by hosting 100 novice teams on a Saturday or lose big money hosting a "champ" event that is snubbed by schools from my own NFL district and school district. The general tone of this thread merely puts me off more. Let's see who still has ownership of the circuit in 10 years. I hope those of you who are most vocal now are still here with me...I will be hitting my mid 50's by then.

Edited by Dinosaurio
Grammar

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That is a big part of it. BUT, that is the traditional Wichita East weekend and I will never get the bid over that event I am sure.

 

While I certainly haven't sat on the committee that decides which tournaments are DCI bids, I believe I have a good idea of how it works. If Wichita East had it the year before and both tournaments are hosted on the same date, the tournament that did not have a DCI bid would tend to acquire one. The only possible reason why this might not always be the case is if Wichita is chosen over Olathe because of geographic diversity of bids, but I do not know what is given priority in the DCI bid system. I would suspect that unless geographic diversity was particularly terrible (it's not great right now to a lack of schools asking for bids, if I recall correctly), the tournament that did not have the bid the year prior would be given priority.

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That is a big part of it. BUT, that is the traditional Wichita East weekend and I will never get the bid over that event I am sure. I also feel/felt that the bid should not need to be a motivator as it is the ONLY event to pull out of state teams with that specific type of judge pool outside of KCKCC.

 

Most importantly there just aren't that many team OPTING to come as they prefer a "real" national circuit opportunity. It is the biggest reason we had so many teams come one year and skip the next one. There was simply not enough interest in any given year to attract more than 8-12 teams. This was true BEFORE the bid system was in place too!

 

Remember - I don't care if the event is held or not but I will NOT put myself through that ringer again by getting the national teams to commit to it and only to have NO interest from Kansas. I have had 4 schools outside of Kansas ask to come this year but absent ANY commitment from Kansas schools I will not put what ever crappy reputation I have on that line again.

 

I can break even by hosting 100 novice teams on a Saturday or lose big money hosting a "champ" event that is snubbed by schools from my own NFL district and school district. The general tone of this thread merely puts me off more. Let's see who still has ownership of the circuit in 10 years. I hope those of you who are most vocal now are still here with me...I will be hitting my mid 50's by then.

 

I will certainly attempt to rally SME's support. I do not expect many issues, we all loved the tournament.

 

Additionally, its interesting that the DCI has chosen to model its qualification system off of the TOC. This gives it close to the same impact as the TOC on many local circuits. There are a lot of tournaments that are now poorly attended, simply because of a lack of DCI designation, despite being valuable tournaments. I've never really drank the DCI koolaid, though, so I might just be biased. Perhaps I am incorrect.

Edited by PKennedy

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While I certainly haven't sat on the committee that decides which tournaments are DCI bids, I believe I have a good idea of how it works. If Wichita East had it the year before and both tournaments are hosted on the same date, the tournament that did not have a DCI bid would tend to acquire one. The only possible reason why this might not always be the case is if Wichita is chosen over Olathe because of geographic diversity of bids, but I do not know what is given priority in the DCI bid system. I would suspect that unless geographic diversity was particularly terrible (it's not great right now to a lack of schools asking for bids, if I recall correctly), the tournament that did not have the bid the year prior would be given priority.

 

Geographic diversity is the big issue here and a very valid one in my opinion. I have never sought the designation as it would be impossible to acquire that many judges for 60 teams or more as the DCI events can draw. I don't think I could do my freestyle division (as we call it) and be a DCI event. You all have NO IDEA how hard it is to properly build a judge pool for it.

 

Remember-I competed in the SECOND DCI TOURNAMENT IN IT'S HISTORY. I absolutely think it is the best thing we can do in Kansas. I admire those who run it as they put in countless hours and devote local squad and (probably) personal resources to it without any real thanks from the community at large. (IMO)

Edited by Dinosaurio

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We've never sought the designation as it makes no sense to have another bid tournament in KC at either Topeka's or Winfield's expense.

 

As for the comment on bid events drawing off competition from other tournaments, I've only found this to be true at the absolute top end. The majority of the teams in the state simply aren't financially able to travel to another congressional district to chase a bid. Our tournament, which is usually the third-tier event for that week, overfills every year. No matter how badly I run it.

 

What the DCI bid system does do is draw off experienced judges. Which is fine, I suppose, so long as the judges in question are choosing to attend an event because they believe that the host tournament philosophy is compatible with their own.

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We've never sought the designation as it makes no sense to have another bid tournament in KC at either Topeka's or Winfield's expense.

 

As for the comment on bid events drawing off competition from other tournaments, I've only found this to be true at the absolute top end. The majority of the teams in the state simply aren't financially able to travel to another congressional district to chase a bid. Our tournament, which is usually the third-tier event for that week, overfills every year. No matter how badly I run it.

 

What the DCI bid system does do is draw off experienced judges. Which is fine, I suppose, so long as the judges in question are choosing to attend an event because they believe that the host tournament philosophy is compatible with their own.

 

Agreed, I have no problem making 100 teams with novice and open debate every year.

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Tell you what, things change and TOC becomes an option, and I’ll volunteer you and me to sponsor any kids who make it to TOC and we will absolutely camp it out. It would be the 1st debate trip that I could bring Rufus!!

 

Perfect.

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The TOC moved to a Saturday-Sunday-Monday format a few years ago, which really minimizes school time missed (especially for those of us who don't break! :sob:

 

If you take a look here at what NASSP requires in order to place an event on their National Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities, you will discover that it isn't merely a matter of convincing someone at UK to fill out a couple of forms. There are any number of requirements that might be problematic for the TOC folks, in particular Program Standard F ("Contests and activities should be held on non-school time. Those involving extensive or multiple day travel will be evaluated in terms of educational benefits to the students measured against the loss of instructional time.") One reason the NCFL Grand National and NFL Nationals have an easier time getting on the list is because neither of them requires students to miss much (if any) school time...

 

In any event, it is obviously the case that the folks at UK have decided that it isn't worth the candle. That state of affairs isn't going to change any time soon...

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