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jrose12

2010 CFL Results

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This tournament (besides the efficiency of the tab room, which was amazing) was a bad experience. Awful judging, cramped days (5 rounds a day), no prep time, no check on evidence tomfoolery, and team codes set this tournament apart from the other national tournaments. Teams that are more tradition oriented might enjoy this tournament, but modern competitive teams could save themselves a lot of frustration and anger by just going to N.D.C.A.'s or N.F.L.'s instead.

 

Well NDCAs nor NFLs doesn't have Jeff in tab. Enough said.

 

Besides that, CFLs is a tournament that requires not just technical skill, but also persuasion, adaptation, and even some luck. The fact that there is less prep time [to you; in PA, five is the norm], more active days, and a higher burden on the debaters makes it a more important tournament, requiring a stronger debater to do well, producing stronger winners.

 

La Salle can do that. They have done it. Congrats to them - I know they deserved it.

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This tournament (besides the efficiency of the tab room, which was amazing) was a bad experience. Awful judging, cramped days (5 rounds a day), no prep time, no check on evidence tomfoolery, and team codes set this tournament apart from the other national tournaments. Teams that are more tradition oriented might enjoy this tournament, but modern competitive teams could save themselves a lot of frustration and anger by just going to N.D.C.A.'s or N.F.L.'s instead.
Awful judging? What constitutes awful judging? Not getting the judge you wanted? I guess you can blame the other schools who came and brought judges that you find questionable.

 

No prep time? You are now allowed computers that have electronic indexes to find your evidence. It was a mere generation ago that debaters had to use card catalogs to find actual cards and they didn’t get 5 minutes prep. I guess we could give debaters an hour of prep, but then the tournament takes 4 days (and therefore costs 3 times as much for your budget). My suggestion for those who feel they need more prep time is to be better organized and know your evidence better so you can find it and refer to it faster. Or think faster (seriously, not being a smart ass. You can train to speak faster, why not train to think faster?)

 

No check on evidence tomfoolery? Unless the “tomfoolery” happened in the 2AR, you had a speech after the “tomfoolery” to respond. I agree ethical violations should be harsh, and it is your job in round to point it out so I can vote on it. And if the violation wasn’t big enough for the judge to vote on, well, that may suck, but so does losing whenever you thought you think you won. I guess that is why the judges were “awful” because they didn’t 100% agree with you. I’ve had teams lose because teams were unethical in selectively underlining parts of evidence, and I didn’t like it either. But I know that unless there is an objective standard to measure whether a rule has been broken, there really is nothing any tournament can do about it. Also, the longer judges look at evidence the longer they aren’t making decisions the longer they aren’t turning in ballots the longer tab goes the longer the tournament runs. That is why they don’t allow oral critiques too.

 

I love team codes. I hate when the judges know that such and such a team is from a “circuit school” versus a school they don’t know about. The teams should be as anonymous as possible. Why introduce something that has the potential for bias? And I don’t know if you noticed but the schematics are already full as it is. What font would they have to use to spell out the school and team name rather than 3 to 4 characters? It works and if that is a reason that you find the tournament objectionable then me thinks you might be a bit nit picking.

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The results package is normally posted within a few days of hte tournament. Since the tourney is run by volunteers, most of whom had a heck of a time getting home from Omaha due to weather issues, they probably need a day or two to catch up on their day jobs - but never fear, the package wil lbe posted!!:)

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He never even tried (although I was in the room a few times when he threw out some thinly-veiled sales pitches for it)...Yeah, silly me, wanting to be able to PAY for stuff instead of just having my kids hitchhike there and sleep on some park benches... :rolleyes:

 

Did you not understand my wink smiley? Twas a joke Shu. Relax. I dont fault you for not coming from all the way over yonder... but it would be nice!

 

 

Jeff invites everyone to PFI....He might even call schools without programs to convince them to send people to PFI...lol.

 

For good reason too. Its a good tournament for debaters of all levels!

 

 

 

On the Issue of Evidence

I know I am in the minority here, and though I have done it in the past, I have come to believe judges reading evidence opens the door to a form of intervention which is totally within the control of the judge. Whether one cares to admit it or not, a judge's understanding of a piece of evidence can unduly influence his or her decision. In my viewpoint, if the debaters are unable to flesh out the meaning of evidence and articulate it well enough for the judge to understand, that is reflective of their (in)abilities as debaters. Only in the extreme circumstance such as failure to read the word 'not' and other such ethical challenges do I ever care to read evidence.

Edited by Ankur

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Did you not understand my wink smiley?
Of course I did. So touchy...you're just jealous because Jeff and Duane are now One Up on you... :D
For good reason too. Its a good tournament for debaters of all levels!
I can't afford to bring my students, obviously, but I might come myself if I can sit in Tab and watch Jeff do his thing... ;)

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but I might come myself if I can sit in Tab and watch Jeff do his thing... ;)

 

Only if you admit that Michael Weston is infinitely cooler than you. ;)

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On the Issue of Evidence

I know I am in the minority here, and though I have done it in the past, I have come to believe judges reading evidence opens the door to a form of intervention which is totally within the control of the judge. Whether one cares to admit it or not, a judge's understanding of a piece of evidence can unduly influence his or her decision. In my viewpoint, if the debaters are unable to flesh out the meaning of evidence and articulate it well enough for the judge to understand, that is reflective of their (in)abilities as debaters. Only in the extreme circumstance such as failure to read the word 'not' and other such ethical challenges do I ever care to read evidence.

 

I still don't think it needs to be a rule. If taking a peek at a few cards helps me make a better decision in a close debate, or helps me teach the students how to better use their evidence in future rounds, I think I should be allowed to (this happens quite frequently for me in other tournaments, I will call for evidence that has no weight in my decision, so I can tell each team how they can use their evidence better). If a judge thinks reading a card crosses the line, they should be entitled to refuse to call for evidence. I would also find it extremely objectionable if a tournament said "you can't make a decision until you read 5 cards from each team". But "you can't call for a card" is almost as silly.

 

There are certainly many judges who struggle determining how to balance "good spin" versus "good evidence", and there is no right answer to that question in my opinion. But while many judges whom I respect fall differently on the issue, telling all judges they must fall into a certain camp is doing no favors to the students.

 

But I do love the NCFL, its certainly grown on me over the years. The tab room once again should be commended for another excellently run tournament, and the hospitality in Omaha has set a new standard!

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I still don't think it needs to be a rule. If taking a peek at a few cards helps me make a better decision in a close debate, or helps me teach the students how to better use their evidence in future rounds, I think I should be allowed to (this happens quite frequently for me in other tournaments, I will call for evidence that has no weight in my decision, so I can tell each team how they can use their evidence better). If a judge thinks reading a card crosses the line, they should be entitled to refuse to call for evidence. I would also find it extremely objectionable if a tournament said "you can't make a decision until you read 5 cards from each team". But "you can't call for a card" is almost as silly.

 

There are certainly many judges who struggle determining how to balance "good spin" versus "good evidence", and there is no right answer to that question in my opinion. But while many judges whom I respect fall differently on the issue, telling all judges they must fall into a certain camp is doing no favors to the students.

 

But I do love the NCFL, its certainly grown on me over the years. The tab room once again should be commended for another excellently run tournament, and the hospitality in Omaha has set a new standard!

 

See, my point is that if you need to look at the evidence to make a 'better' decision, then you're actually giving one of the teams an unfair advantage. Lets say for example the round comes down to a disad link, and you read it. Your reading of it might cause you to vote neg when had you not read it you would have voted aff. That is the very definition of intervention because you have given the neg a pass on their inability to articulate their argument well enough in the round for you to vote neg, so you draw conclusions based on an 'extension' of the round (you reading the link).

 

With respect to the educational factor, I tend to make my decision first, THEN ask for cards so I can show how better to use the evidence, clarify misconceptions about what the evidence is saying, or in some cases, tell debaters to seek out better evidence (especially when i know it exists).

 

But I agree that a ban on all card reading is bad for education. It gives teams an immunity from ethical challenges like I mentioned in my previous post. I think modifying the CFL rule to allowing examination of evidence in the event the debaters challenge the ethical behavior of their opponents is a fine compromise. It preserves competitive equity and education without destroying one of the rules which helps make CFLs a unique experience.

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Ankur, not having been to PFI, nor having seen a tourney run by Jeff, I can't comment either way. Hoping to get to PFI with my speech kids this year.

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Ankur, not having been to PFI, nor having seen a tourney run by Jeff, I can't comment either way. Hoping to get to PFI with my speech kids this year.

 

Obviously, LaSalle deserves all the recognition as they have been working hard and improving every year. Heck, they didnt drop a ballot in elims at CFLs. That doesnt happen by accident. PA debate is at as a whole is at a lowpoint, but PFI draws top competition in debate from out of states. Philly speech is much, much stronger as a whole. So your speech kids willl have good competition. What started with a little joke, I dont want to turn this into a PFI thread... so I'll end it with this:

 

I don't give praise often. I would never endorse something I didn't believe in. Jeff does a great job running PFI. Take what he does in policy tab and then apply that to everything else. But I honestly believe that PFI is one of the best value tournaments on the East coast/Northeast. Tournament fees are ultra-low, cost of hotels is much lower than that of NYC or Boston and the draw, while not Harvard-esque, is still solid enough to merit circuit status in several events. So for DoFs looking to add a good value tournament, I only ask that you take a look at your budget and see if adding PFI is feasible.

 

Duane, really, I don't need to push the tournament anymore. The word is out. The tournament has grown every year except this year because of snowmageddon. Had it not been rescheduled bc of snow, I think the pool was what? About 70 teams in policy? Not shabby considering only about 10 of those are from PA. Jeff hasn't grown the tournament because I am waving my hands like a madman on cross-x. I'll do it anyways, but its because he and his staff run a solid tournament causing the same teams to keep coming back. THAT is the sign of a good tournament. When many of these circuit teams keep coming back despite having plenty of options on other tournaments to attend, you know you've got a hit on your hands. Jeff's track record with PFI is all the evidence in the world. Its a great blend of good competition for students at a low overall cost at a well-run tournament. It really doesnt get better than that.

 

 

IF ANYONE ELSE HAS PFI COMMENTS QUESTIONS, PLEASE DIRECT THEM TO THIS THREAD

Edited by Ankur

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That was a little joke, Ankur. I've heard nothing but good stuff about Jeff's ability to run tourneys!!:) I just have never seen it - as I haven't attended many tourneys he's run..that's all!!:) As you know, Broad Run is a supporter of PFI. However, I have always been a bit leary about singling out one person's ability to run tournaments over another. I mean - there are so many people out there that can run good tournaments, that I think praising one person kind of slights the others - I'm not sure...just my thoughts on it....

Edited by hylanddd

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How is the coding system responsible for this? Each team was given a card with its code printed clearly on it. If your team misplaced that card AND couldn't remember its four-digit code, I don't really see how the fault can be ascribed to using four-digit codes...

 

in a world without the codes this would not have happened because they would have identified their name vs. believing they were in flight b. this is also not a justification for the use of codes. codes slow down the tournament. every round, even into outrounds, judges were messing up codes in our rounds. the tab room at to tell judges to fix codes, and on top of that, judges were putting the wrong codes on the ballots, which prevented me from checking on durkin and seeing how his stomach was feeling after round two. we shouldnt default to using codes just because. there is only a risk they are bad. there is minimal to no justification for them.

 

The amount of prep time is the same for both teams. If there are teams that adapt better to the shorter amount of time than you do, they deserve whatever advantage that provides them. You knew how much prep time there would be. How much time did you spend thinking about how to use yours more efficiently? Besides, if we bumped it to 8 minutes, the only thing that would do is make a long day 30 minutes longer, for no real benefit. And a year after the change, folks like you would be back arguing that it should be increased to 10. Shu's Law of Prep Time: Debaters will always argue for more prep time regardless of how much they are given, so it is best to ignore such requests. ;)

 

personally, i spent no time thinking about how to use prep time more efficiently, given that every 1ar was stand-up and most 2ncs required less than a minute. i never said that any of this would benefit me, just that i would like to protest the rules to make the tournament better.

 

i do not necessarily advocate giving 8 minutes, but a minute more to each team could probably be offset by the lack of codes. there is probably a minimal difference if you add a minute of prep to each team. we would just finish on-time with the lders. and none of this sounds like a justification for 5 mins of prep nor is it in anyway beneficial for debate to keep it that way.

 

The request as it was relayed to us in Tab was for permission to read plan text and counterplan text, not evidence (though we all assumed there was probably evidence on the relevant pages). Kind of a gray area as far as what the By-Laws actually say. I can assure you that the request was treated seriously, and discussed. The ruling was not arrived at capriciously or without debate...

given that the round was fast-paced, i am glad that the tab room could bend the rules so far as to allow a panel of judges with less that 20 rds of experience on the topic each (excluding the judge who voted for us) to look at the texts of a plan vs a pic that i am fairly certain no judge understood until the block.

 

As for the claim that the decision would have been different, I don't see how you could possibly claim to know this. However, even if it were true this claim is the reason for having the rule in the first place. If you didn't do a good enough job presenting your evidence to win the point the first time around, why should you get a second bite at the apple? How would that be fair to the kids from Baltimore City College?

 

we knew this because after the judges turned in their ballots, as with any and many of the judges after our rounds, the judges came to us and asked. and certainly we obliged because it doesnt hurt us to disclose evidence nor did it slow the tournament. they saw it and determined 2 would have voted aff on a dropped permutation that they didnt realized mattered. and i already preempted your argument. judges determined that because it was a pic, the evidence didnt matter because we had no offense. i really wish they had called for bccs ev because it was atrocious.

 

Also, in a world absent the rule, there would be far more inequities: Some judges reading while others don't, some teams leveraging the second bite to speak even more incomprehensibly, etc. Whatever you might think of the rule, at least it provides a consistent expectation for every team in every round. Everyone knows reading is prohibited, so make sure that crucial piece of evidence gets in clearly.

My interpretation of the rules solves this. you still have to appeal to the worst judges who will not call for it. but judges who desire to can. there would be on-face less inequities.

 

That's silly. Glenbrook schools (I assume that is who you mean when you coyly say "Chicago") have won the Grand National many times (including 1997, the last time it was held in your own fair city--imagine how "archaic" the rules must have been 13 years ago!). The key factor is MONEY, as it usually is. The rise of the NDCA tournament put many circuit schools in a budget bind. As expensive as hotels, plane tickets, etc. are these days many schools are forced to choose one of these fine tournaments over the other. That is unfortunate, but budgets are budgets. In 2006, the last Grand National held in Chicago, Glenbrook North had a team reach the finals and another team that advanced to octas; Glenbrook South had one team that got as far as semis and another that got to quarters. Archaic rules didn't keep 'em away when they didn't have to travel to the tournament...

 

all i am suggesting is that i would like to change the rules for the future. i enjoyed the tournament, i think it is much better than nfls. that doesnt make it amazing. i just think that the cfl is worthwhile to put my effort into in order to make it better. all i asked was how to change the rules. thank you for responding to all of my post except the main point of it?

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These posts are made after every NCFL tourney - Shuman - just ignore them, they eventually go away, although I do find it funny that they are being made by one of Durkin's kids.

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Sorry Pacheco, but since I am tied to Jeff, I will be defending CFLs ways.

 

in a world without the codes this would not have happened because they would have identified their name vs. believing they were in flight b. this is also not a justification for the use of codes. codes slow down the tournament. every round, even into outrounds, judges were messing up codes in our rounds. the tab room at to tell judges to fix codes, and on top of that, judges were putting the wrong codes on the ballots, which prevented me from checking on durkin and seeing how his stomach was feeling after round two. we shouldnt default to using codes just because. there is only a risk they are bad. there is minimal to no justification for them.

 

Codes don't necessarily slow down the tournament - just because they messed up codes in round, doesn't necessarily deem codes as all in all bad. As well, the alternative may be worse - with some judges offering a bias in their paradigm and decision toward a certain school, codes may prove to be beneficial. Besides, debate it self is just a game. After seriously thinking about the event I've done for the almost three years so far, I've come to realize it's not winning that matters - sure it may be fun to win, and I personally do love to win, but it isn't a resounding variable; rather the benefit from debate comes how applicable the skills acquired apply to the future. If codes necessitate a greater team responsibility, so be it - I agree with them. If not, well the former warrant prevails.

 

 

personally, i spent no time thinking about how to use prep time more efficiently, given that every 1ar was stand-up and most 2ncs required less than a minute. i never said that any of this would benefit me, just that i would like to protest the rules to make the tournament better.

 

i do not necessarily advocate giving 8 minutes, but a minute more to each team could probably be offset by the lack of codes. there is probably a minimal difference if you add a minute of prep to each team. we would just finish on-time with the lders. and none of this sounds like a justification for 5 mins of prep nor is it in anyway beneficial for debate to keep it that way.

It's a skill that's worth while - efficiency is one of the most important skills in debate. 5 minutes prep further helps discern the better debaters from the less experienced ones. Critical thinking comes from less prep. If I could have my way, less prep would be better; 5 minutes is a good amount, and even if rounds would be better with 8 minutes prep, think to debater's future career - it's efficiency that matters. Besides that point, think logistics - much more time; this tournament is one of the roughest logistically and it doesn't need to be anymore. But since logistics is a futile point in your world, we'll prefer the better debater argument.

 

 

 

given that the round was fast-paced, i am glad that the tab room could bend the rules so far as to allow a panel of judges with less that 20 rds of experience on the topic each (excluding the judge who voted for us) to look at the texts of a plan vs a pic that i am fairly certain no judge understood until the block.

 

I agree with this - there needs to be a change with reading important pieces of texts. Ankur is correct in deeming that no reading is not necessarily a good rule. 2AR exaggerations happen. Often. It is through the reading of evidence that can check back this. HOWEVER, there needs to be a distinction between the intervention that Ankur identifies, which in and of itself encourages lazy debaters who don't debate warrants of cards, and the ethics of debate. A balance is needed, not an outright change.

 

we knew this because after the judges turned in their ballots, as with any and many of the judges after our rounds, the judges came to us and asked. and certainly we obliged because it doesnt hurt us to disclose evidence nor did it slow the tournament. they saw it and determined 2 would have voted aff on a dropped permutation that they didnt realized mattered. and i already preempted your argument. judges determined that because it was a pic, the evidence didnt matter because we had no offense. i really wish they had called for bccs ev because it was atrocious.

 

Calling out the evidence in round is important. Better debaters will do that; La Salle did that in the final round with a lot of BCC's evidence. And that's how they win rounds.

 

My interpretation of the rules solves this. you still have to appeal to the worst judges who will not call for it. but judges who desire to can. there would be on-face less inequities.

 

Judge inequities exist - there are bound to be bad judges, and there will be good ones. Trying to check back against the bad judges skews the whole game of CFLs - judge adaptation is a skill that is unnecessary on the national circuit, yet vital during CFLs and NFLs. If you check it back, where else will you get this? Unless you debate in Pennsylvania, you won't.

 

all i am suggesting is that i would like to change the rules for the future. i enjoyed the tournament, i think it is much better than nfls. that doesnt make it amazing. i just think that the cfl is worthwhile to put my effort into in order to make it better. all i asked was how to change the rules. thank you for responding to all of my post except the main point of it?

 

 

Admirable, yes. You yourself did well during the tournament, mainly by embodying most of the principles I identified above. But it is those principles and precepts that make the tournament what it is - unique and distinct from national circuit policy. It allows a different kind of debater to be a winner - it requires a plethora of abilities, rather than the narrowed skills that lets Westminster succeed on the national circuit. Not saying that they wouldn't succeed here, it is the idea that it is harder to do well in this type of tournament. You need efficiency, diligence, determination, persuasion, and resolution. This tournament, yes, may be representative of the tournaments years ago, but it is a tournament that is unmatched in its standard. It's a different being, a different manifestation. Changing it will only change what is CFLs.

 

Oh and ignoring comments is also not a good thing, and neither are straw man arguments. Discussion is the basis for introduction of new ideas. If Pacheco wants to express his opinions, he has the right to do so. There are some problems, yes, that many agree on, including Ankur. Hiding away from politics is common to Washington. And I despise Washington - Jeff will tell you all about that.

Edited by Comp_XPS_001

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These posts are made after every NCFL tourney - Shuman - just ignore them, they eventually go away

 

lol'd

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Glad I stumbled back over here, as my name is being tossed around a lot...

 

To clarify for those who do not know me - a few years ago I became co-chair of Policy Debate Tabulation at NCFL Nationals. My entrance into the tab room coincided with both the use of computers and increased efficiency in running the tournament. I think I'm pretty good at running tournaments, but you can decide which factor was more important.

 

I am not a part of any decision-making at the NCFL level or local league level. I am associated with Philadelphia but teach in the Arlington diocese. I did not create the rules, or necessarily like them, I just follow them. I know many of the important players but claim no special influence or access. I do, however, know how much of this works because I have tried to get rules changed in the past.

 

I do not think we should fault Pacheco for asking me here rather than asking his coach; though Durkin is the long-time chair of Policy tab, he is no longer the head coach or Baltimore director. And Pacheco may also have wanted to stimulate public discussion.

 

To get into some of the issues, without lots of quoting...

 

1. Codes - the use of numeric codes is annually a source of frustration for me in the tab room, just as it was when I was competing, judging, and coaching (this was my 11th consecutive NCFL tournament). People misread the sheet or forget their codes (or never get told by their coaches/people who hire them) constantly. We misread the codes that are written down on ballots. And they unnecessarily mask what we can mostly figure out anyway - who is what code.

 

The problem appears to be certain leagues, probably speech-dominated, who believe that random codes prevent judges from repping out, and who think that you shouldn't know where people are from in rounds. We in the debate world know that this is silly - you recognize people, or just ask where they are from.

 

I see no real purpose in keeping codes in CX, LD, or PF, especially for judges as there is nothing you can do but adapt to your panel, and knowing who they are and where they are from would help.

 

2. Prep time - being from PA where 5 minutes is standard, I understand why people want more time, but frankly, let's not add any time to the day. If we are going to make a scheduling change, let's get rid of the use of lag-pairing for round 3 (which is the motion presented on my behalf last year, and defeated).

 

However, I will say that the comparison to other national tournaments and the mention of Chicago is warranted. Boston was not there either. I think, as Shuman said, it is because of budget crunches and attending NDCAs. But I think teams attend NDCAs because of some things they don't like about NCFLs (or NFLs for that matter). Now, maybe we can't tailor NCFLs to be what those schools want, or maybe I am wrong about their motivations and they just didn't want to go to Omaha, but I think some tweaks around the edges to improve the tournament are always a good idea.

 

3. Reading evidence - there is a very real concern that allowing the reading of evidence will cause tournament delays; however, especially in elims, that should not come before getting the decision right. I agree that reading evidence is not a substitute for better argumentation, but there comes a point where all you can really say is "vote for the disad if you think I'm wrong, but read their link evidence - it says nothing." Debates between equal teams (equally bad or good) often come down to the quality of evidence, and judges should be able to read it. The intent behind the rule as we in tab discussed after the Baltimore Throwdown in semis was about communication, not time or intervention, so you might not get that one changed, but certainly it at least needs to be clarified as to whether plan text or CP text is included. We decided based on framers' intent as it were to not allow the reading.

 

[for the record, the decision was made by the Tournament Director and myself; Tom Durkin was recused as it involved his team]

 

4. Miscellaneous complaints -

a. Judge quality - I agree with Mr. Najor that the quality of judging has greatly improved from 5 or 10 years ago. And yes, there are still bad and unqualified judges at the tournament, and we have no choice but to use them because 1) we don't know everyone, 2) I can't just impose my own definition of good judging onto everyone else, and 3) we don't have a lot of extra judges. If you want to fix judge quality, you need to get to the leagues who bring bad judges...good luck unless you are paying them to fly in someone better!

 

However, the key to NCFLs is judge adaptation. This is a different skill than at TOC which has (I assume, at least) a more homogeneous judging pool. I wish there was a paradigm book or something like that, but you have to come ready with penetrating questions about judging philosophies and adapt as best you can and as quickly as you can. Teams who do not like that are doing an educational disservice to themselves.

 

b. Long days - we are doing our best to keep the days short. When I debated, you didn't see daylight at NCFLs, so we've improved! This year we pushed back the start time by 30 minutes and moved up the schedule, which we then beat anyway. This will never change - some high school principals body will only approve of the tournament if it is Sat-Sun, and many leagues around the country can't come if it is not approved.

 

 

So, ultimately, to answer the question of how to change the rules - go to your local league director (Donovan in Baltimore of course) and ask him/her to make a motion at the Fall directors' meeting for a bylaws change. I expect Philadelphia to re-propose my motion from last year to end lag-pairing. I think a motion to use school name + debater initials could work. A motion to use judge last names would probably have a lot of support as even speech judges would like that.

 

I appreciate the support of all judges and teams in your help in running the tournament on time. We are much more efficient than we used to be, but one person can hold up the entire show, so we still rely on you. I can't speak for the NCFL, but as a coach and someone with long-term plans to attend NCFLs, thanks also to those of you willing to engage in this discussion and persuade your league directors to help make effective changes for the tournament.

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<Insert annual request for someone to post the results packet here.>

 

:)

~Bill

Roland Burdett, the TD, has everything from us in Policy, so it should be posted. I don't want to step on their toes but I will supplement anything they are missing.

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As a coach from a non-National Circuit school/state, I feel the need to address a couple of the concerns that have been expressed here.

 

1. The use of codes - I feel very strongly that the masking of school affiliation is essential to valid decisions in rounds. All of your "good judges" also know who the "good schools" are. At the point that the school is put on the schematic instead of codes, the non-National Circuit schools are immediately alienated, as we will get "repped-out" at some point in the tournament if we dare get deep in the tournament. This has happened at most National Circuit tournament we have had the gaul to go to. Listening to judges talk about things that didn't occur in the round as the reason that they vote against us is, for lack of a better term, repulsive.

 

2. Quality of judge - What makes your "tabula rose" judges any better than my "policy-maker" judges. What makes a 4 year debater at Loyola any better than my 4 year debater at Shawnee Mission West...and yes...it is judges just like mine that you are complaining about. Lets be honest. Learn some adaptation (which you obviously have since you made it to sems) and this won't be an issue. Ask your judges some intelligent questions before the round and this will be resolved. In other words, if you want a "National Circuit Championship", go to TOC. If you want a championship that represents the nation, including all of its circuits, go to NCFL and NFL. I have a real problem with the term "bad judge" as a fact, not an individual opinion. Your circuit's "bad judge" is another circuit's "high quality judge". Sorry we can't all live up to your standards.

 

3. Prep Time - In the backwards state of Kansas, we too have 5 minutes of prep...and contrary to popular belief, we produce some quality debate and debaters here in the land of Oz. If you don't believe me, just look at the pairings from NCFL this year (oh, I know, you won't give that any validity due to bad judges...I'm sorry).

 

4. Reading of Evidence - Articulate it in round and it's a non-issue. After all, this is a speaking, not a written, activity. If the round is too fast to do so...then SLOW DOWN and articulate your point!!!

 

5. Long days - Seriously, this must be a joke. 5 rounds in a day is nothing!!! Our novices in Kansas do 5 rounds in a day. Our top debaters do 6 rounds in a day when they make finals!!! And they are never done by 7:00pm. I'd rather you just say "Thank you" for only doing 5 rounds in a day. And you can get back to school to take the rest of your final exams the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

 

I'm not saying NCFL is perfect, but for a "National Championship" as opposed to a "National Circuit Championship", it's pretty darn close at this point...especially considering Jeff's expertise on a computer...and TShuman's expertise collecting ballots.

Edited by King

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...I stumbled across an analogy that I think really sums up the crux of this entire "National Tournament" jumble. Imagine sports like golf or tennis, there are 4 majors or grand slams. This is also true currently for debate in terms of national championships with the NCFLs, NFLs, NDCAs, and TOC. This was the original use of the analogy as it was difficult to explain this "national championship tournament" as we prepare for "NFL nationals" and was very effective in conveying the nature of the debate postseason as it exists. The analogy gets better though when you consider the intricacies of each of those 4 grand slams in tennis; You have the French Open which suits a faster, more athletic, defensive style of player with the clay slowing down play. As a result, heavy hitters who SOLELY rely on their power game often do poorly at this tournament, some even choose not to attend. The US open on the other hand is a much faster surface where a different game is played and different players, who perform poorly at the French Open, stand a much better chance. The great, well rounded players (Federer, Nadal, etc) are almost always in the late rounds of these tournaments because they can adapt and execute under any condition. Golf even better illustrates the example as each course plays to certatin players skill sets and adaptation is even more critical. These sports celebrate the fact that their most prestigious tournaments are full tests of the players in the sport. They use the diversity to test how great a player truly is by allowing no comfort zone. We have that exact situation in debate and we criticize it because it isn't homogenous? The best "circuit" schools that attend NCFLs and NFLs invariably do well at these tournaments. (wasn't BCC incredibly succesful on the circuit this year? Low and behold they are in finals at NCFLs... Interesting) They get over the "bad" judges and figure out a way to pick them up, because that's your job, to pick up the judge, regardless of who it is or what their experience is. Making the tournament more educational by adding judge names and allowing for evidence calling in the later outrounds are great ideas. Complaining because you showed up to the British Open and expected the Masters isnt.

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jeff, thank you. i will talk to donovan. my problem is that he is primarily my problem- having no interest in policy or my concerns, he epitomizes my uphill battle.

 

1. The use of codes - I feel very strongly that the masking of school affiliation is essential to valid decisions in rounds. All of your "good judges" also know who the "good schools" are. At the point that the school is put on the schematic instead of codes, the non-National Circuit schools are immediately alienated, as we will get "repped-out" at some point in the tournament if we dare get deep in the tournament. This has happened at most National Circuit tournament we have had the gaul to go to. Listening to judges talk about things that didn't occur in the round as the reason that they vote against us is, for lack of a better term, repulsive.

i find this funny. loyola blakefield has minimal renowned. this is the first year we ever sent anyone to the toc. we broke my sophomore year at ncfl. i find it offensive that you would contribute my wins to the fact that i visited the toc. the only thing not putting it on the pairing does is cost me strategy time before i get to the room and ask the team anyway. and this also does not justify judge codes, another triviality of the ncfl.

 

2. Quality of judge - What makes your "tabula rose" judges any better than my "policy-maker" judges. What makes a 4 year debater at Loyola any better than my 4 year debater at Shawnee Mission West...and yes...it is judges just like mine that you are complaining about. Lets be honest. Learn some adaptation (which you obviously have since you made it to sems) and this won't be an issue. Ask your judges some intelligent questions before the round and this will be resolved. In other words, if you want a "National Circuit Championship", go to TOC. If you want a championship that represents the nation, including all of its circuits, go to NCFL and NFL. I have a real problem with the term "bad judge" as a fact, not an individual opinion. Your circuit's "bad judge" is another circuit's "high quality judge". Sorry we can't all live up to your standards.

first, let's be clear, look through my posts. i do not bash judges anywhere. i see value in adapting, whereas i see no value in your rant. i did a fine enough job adapting. your mentality is fostering a divide in the community, eerily similar to one that led to the creation of what is called public forum. i feel as though "the nation" was rather poorly represented at the ncfl and want that to change. i only want judges who evaluate what happens in the round, and ones that openly admit bias. i appreciated a judge who said she was repulsed by a gulliver swift irony aff in prelims because that influenced our decision to go neg.

 

3. Prep Time - In the backwards state of Kansas, we too have 5 minutes of prep...and contrary to popular belief, we produce some quality debate and debaters here in the land of Oz. If you don't believe me, just look at the pairings from NCFL this year (oh, I know, you won't give that any validity due to bad judges...I'm sorry).

I never bashed Kansas and i am sorry you took it that way. 5 minutes of prep seems like very little time for the national tournament where some of the best debates happen.

 

4. Reading of Evidence - Articulate it in round and it's a non-issue. After all, this is a speaking, not a written, activity. If the round is too fast to do so...then SLOW DOWN and articulate your point!!!

surprisingly, i think that given my partners's 2ar in which he could not have the evidence to reread because the other team was obnoxious (love you too vale) and did not give it to us, i dont think that is a reason to punish us. he quoted the card. without the ability to look at the texts of the plan and the counterplan, it became impossible for the judges. plus, they gave them a risk because they had offense and we only had defense. i really wish people addressing this point could address the context of the round as a basis for reading it.

 

i ALSO think that we are failing to look at the reason for the banning of calling for evidence. to think that we are adhering to the great standards of kansas is absurd. the ban of ev calling was established to prohibit the taking of cases because a coach did that. now, given disclosure is a norm and a proven pedagogical benefit that also acts as an activity enhancer, clinging to this rule has zero benefits except as a roadblock to better debates.

 

5. Long days - Seriously, this must be a joke. 5 rounds in a day is nothing!!! Our novices in Kansas do 5 rounds in a day. Our top debaters do 6 rounds in a day when they make finals!!! And they are never done by 7:00pm. I'd rather you just say "Thank you" for only doing 5 rounds in a day. And you can get back to school to take the rest of your final exams the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

all the more reason to allow what i advocate if the day is a walk in the park. not sure what you are complaining about since you can't defend why things are the way they are, nor do you have reasons why my ideas are bad.

 

I'm not saying NCFL is perfect, but for a "National Championship" as opposed to a "National Circuit Championship", it's pretty darn close at this point...especially considering Jeff's expertise on a computer...and TShuman's expertise collecting ballots.

my only purpose for this discussion is to enhance the competition of the tournament. i could bash the nfl for hours. jeff is an amazing man at what he does, and these rules are in no way a reflection upon him or durkin. otherwise, i know they would be different.

 

and mr. hyland, interesting that you talk about the glenbrooks at all. but, given your insight, i have to disagree with your cynical protect-the-old-way or like-it-or-leave-it attitude. the proven impact to this is public forum. we should break down these divides in the community instead of creating these stark divisions. it shouldnt be "well blakefield happens to like reading 45 card 1acs so they have no place at my tournament." quite frankly, i dont even know what to say. your mentality is just exlusionary. in your attempt to prevent non-circuit debate from being destroyed, you are literally saying you dont want circuit debate to be a part of the cfl. i dont believe that i am saying non-circuit teams shouldnt be competitive. i think that the best debaters will prevail under any conditions. all i want is someone to TRY and defend the ncfl status quo rules. fortunately for me, no one has or can, which proves that something can and should be done. all i hope is that maybe there can be some spurred awareness or something, that people with similar concerns can realize that they should act and that it would be appreciated.

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Kenyon makes the very point I always think of when folks complain that Tournament X needs to be more like Tournament Y...

 

Talledega is a cool race track, but NASCAR would be awfully boring if it ran all its races there. Having races a Pocono, Daytona, Kansas Speedway, Dover, etc. adds to the challenge, and makes things interesting...

 

Playing baseball in Fenway Park, or Wrigley Field, or Kauffman Stadium, etc. requires adaptation. Good teams do that, because they want to win. They'd rather win than bitch about how unfair the Green Monster is, or how unfair those ivy-covered outfield walls are, etc.

 

In football, some stadiums have real grass, while others have the fake stuff (and different brands of the fake stuff). Some are open-air, while others are domes. Some play in sunshine pretty much all season, while others (Arrowhead, for instance) can run the gamut from heat/humidity to bitter cold/snow in one season. Funny how you never hear anyone saying that's not fair...

 

Kenyon already mentioned golf and tennis. The reason a Grand Slam in either of those sports is a big deal is because they are so different. Only the best players can compete at all of those venues...

 

Churchill Downs is different from Pimlico, and Belmont Park is different from the other two (much longer). That's why winning the Triple Crown is such a noteworthy accomplishment...

 

If you only know how to win debates one way, step aside for teams that are more versatile. Go win the tournament that caters to what you want to specialize in, and shut up about the rest...

 

The real irony here is that Tom and Patrick cleared as the top seed, 5-0. They were 14-1 in ballot count. Did they somehow manage to dodge all those bad judges Tom is complaining about?

 

1. THe LD tourney is, traditionally, much better than the Policy tournament. I think Jeff would even be one of the first ones to point out that the policy tourney this year was roughly 1/2 of the size of LD. This is the only year that I am familiar with where LD was beat by Policy
Maybe, but don't forget Policy had a secret weapon this year...me! :D

 

You're so cute when you get all huffy, Duane... ;)

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As a coach from a non-National Circuit school/state, I feel the need to address a couple of the concerns that have been expressed here.

 

1. The use of codes - I feel very strongly that the masking of school affiliation is essential to valid decisions in rounds. All of your "good judges" also know who the "good schools" are. At the point that the school is put on the schematic instead of codes, the non-National Circuit schools are immediately alienated, as we will get "repped-out" at some point in the tournament if we dare get deep in the tournament. This has happened at most National Circuit tournament we have had the gaul to go to. Listening to judges talk about things that didn't occur in the round as the reason that they vote against us is, for lack of a better term, repulsive..

Ken, you are 100% right that rep voting happens and is repulsive. My teams have been on the down side of that game, as has Loyola. However, I don't think that codes effectively hide that. I don't think there are people who don't know the debaters who use the "well, they are from school X so they must be good and I will give them the win" system. Rep voting happens, but it happens from judges who already know the debaters. Putting names on the paradigms doesn't stop it.

 

 

2. Quality of judge - What makes your "tabula rose" judges any better than my "policy-maker" judges. What makes a 4 year debater at Loyola any better than my 4 year debater at Shawnee Mission West...and yes...it is judges just like mine that you are complaining about. Lets be honest. Learn some adaptation (which you obviously have since you made it to sems) and this won't be an issue. Ask your judges some intelligent questions before the round and this will be resolved. In other words, if you want a "National Circuit Championship", go to TOC. If you want a championship that represents the nation, including all of its circuits, go to NCFL and NFL. I have a real problem with the term "bad judge" as a fact, not an individual opinion. Your circuit's "bad judge" is another circuit's "high quality judge". Sorry we can't all live up to your standards..

Pacheco did not bash bad judges, others did. He does a good job of adaptation as his ballot count shows - doesn't sound like either team in the Semis round adapted too well.

 

The problem of bad judges is real. Let me define that term. A bad judge for me is one who a) has no experience judging the event, or B) cannot or will not articulate their paradigm in order to allow the teams to adapt, or c) makes a decision based on arbitrary factors (to include repping out and interventions for personal beliefs). If you bring Kansas judges who like stock issues style debate, then the debaters are at fault for not slowing down and leaving out their K files. If a judge says don't read fast, and you read fast, then you are basically flipping a coin for the ballot and deserve the loss.

 

Others might be talking about your Kansas judges, but when I say bad judges, I mean when schools or leagues bring speech judges into the Policy pool or parents who have no experience or background judging, or judges who think they are modern because they went to the NDT in 1985, or judges who say they are college debaters, but they do parli and not policy. Those judges are bad judges whether they are from Kansas, Chicago, Boston, or the moon.

 

But, no NCFL rule change will fix that problem, so let's leave it out of the discussion.

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