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Rowland Hall is the first team from Utah ever to reach the finals. Whitney Young is the first UDL team ever to reach the finals. And regardless of who wins, this will be the 26th consecutive year that a national circuit team has won the NFL National Championship (1984—Huron, South Dakota).

 

The fun begins at 12:30PM and will be streaming live at nflnationals.org.

 

~Bill

 

EDIT by kevinwy (moderating note): The majority of these posts were in the other NFL topic, but that thread is going to stick to specific round discussion, congratulatory posts, results, etc. For comments about resource disparity or anything else that is tangentially related to this *specific* NFL tournament, please post here.

Edited by kevinwy
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With all due respect, I'm not sure that a 26 year winning streak by Circuit teams is worth celebrating - translated this means "For the 26th straight year, the NFL Championship was won by the rich, elite programs who can afford the expenses associated with traveling around the nation to deabte, while other schools, who lack such means, are effectively shut out of any glory." Just saying...

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You've become a caricature, Duane. Whitney Young is a UDL school. Rowland Hall had a lot of budget problems this year that prevented them from traveling as much as they have in the past. But both teams had fantastic seasons and are now in the finals of NFL Nationals. I'm really glad you're here to preach, though.

 

Actually, I have a solution: coaches of non-circuit schools should work in the tab room and unethically inform their students whom they will be debating in the elimination rounds the next morning. It would level the playing field, I think. Ever tried that, Duane?

 

~Bill

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I don't know the 4 kids day-to-day situation that are in the finals of NFL. I do know that I've seen them all debate, and I can say without a doubt they all work damn hard and are very talented at this activity.

Congratulations to all 4 of them! Damn the haters!

 

So Duane, with little due respect, who needs you celebrating their success? But before you go essentializing "Circuit teams" do you know what the UDL is? Circuit teams doesn't translate to rich. Yes, a lot of those teams are wealthy compared to average high schoolers. I don't know why this means we shouldn't celebrate their dedication and success to an activity that is open to anyone to compete. Rich doesn't translate directly to successful. Certainly not at NFLs. More importantly, not all the circuit teams are rich. Not even close. Circuit teams may translate to elite, in as much as they have won 26 straight NFL tournaments. Which means they are able to win at two different games. So they are elite, cause they are successful. Maybe it's time to recognize that some of those kids debate, do well in school, have a job, help with their family, and deal with much of the same day-to-day struggles that all the "non-circuit" teams deal with.

 

Jim Schultz

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Well said, Jim. When I celebrate "national circuit debate", I'm celebrating a *method*—fast, research-intensive, and open to "counter-intuitive" arguments and judged by experts/educators. This style of debate is ridiculed by large swaths of the high school forensic community as anti-educational, unrealistic, and unworthy of funding/support. I disagree vehemently, and the NFL National Tournament provides decisive evidence to support my position. Year after year, teams that have been trained in the national circuit method prevail over teams that have been trained to debate slowly, without an emphasis on research, and in front of untrained/lay judges who discount counter-intuitive arguments out of hand. And these national circuit teams win rounds that are overwhelmingly in the non-national circuit style, many of which are judged by individuals who have an explicit bias against national circuit debate.

 

When the students I have coached, judged, and established friendships with over the last four years demonstrate that their training in national circuit debate has prepared them to be persuasive, powerful advocates equipped with the intelligence, critical thinking, and rhetorical skills necessary to persuade lay audiences of the veracity of their positions, I celebrate. And for good reason: this is what I've dedicated my life to doing... teaching students the national circuit method of debate.

 

And I've done that without apology—and without denigrating those programs with more wealth and more resources. And without cheating in an attempt to level the playing field. I'm proud of that.

 

~Bill

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I can see both sides of this arguement being from Kansas but also participating in some Nat Circuit. I think the style of debate is great, however i would like to see that style be more translated into other areas not just nat circuit. On a side note though; Duane you may look at where the kids are going to college before you say anything that may upset them these. At least one of them could potentially be judging in WACFL next year.

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I agree, Guy—and that's why I'm a huge fan of teams like Vermillion (from South Dakota), St. George's (from Washington), etc. And in the past, that list has included great teams from Kansas: SMW and SME, Olathe, etc. It's the method/style I celebrate, not the travel budget. And Duane knows that, but couldn't help but take a shot at the national circuit.

 

~Bill

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Oh..dear..God..it's so reflexive - "You dared criticize the almightly circuit, you must not know what the circuit is, you must not know what the UDL is." Please....You both know very well that I both know what the circuit is, and what the UDL is. So going down that line of argument is obtuse and beneath both you. My comment does not denigrate any team in today's final, nor does it denigrate the National Circuit, it simply points out the fact that debate at the NFL level, like other levels, has become the province of teams that can afford to travel nationally and debate against the highest levels of competition week in and out, and that schools that cannot afford that are, pretty much, excluded from these oppurtunities. That's a statement of reality, not an attack.

 

And, Billy - since when does saying "High School X does not/cannot travel the circuit, and therefore, is mostlikely excluded from national success" an attack on circuit style debate? You're being obtuse - you know I have no problem with fast delivery and evidence - but fast delivery and evidence based debating is not solely the province of the Circuit, and you can't say that saying there's a divide between the debate haves and have nots is the same as saying "speed and evidence sucks."

 

And, Billy - the nice thing about sins, is that they are forgiven through penance, and hard work. And in the end, I give a far greater damm about what Roland Burdett, Tom Durkin and the rest of the NCFL officials think about me, than I do about what you think of me. The people that count, gave me penance, gave me the lecture I needed to hear at that point in my career, and, most of all, have forgiven me my sin and realized that one action doesn't define an individual. Thanks to their kindness and caring, I have spent all my remaining days, as I will spend all my remaining days, making sure that I live up to the faith those people placed in me. The experience, whily very unpleasant, was transformative and instructive - and it helped to become a better person and coach, and in the end, that matters most of all. Besides, if we had a discussion the ethical lapses of the debate community - administrative, behaviorial, etc., we could find a lot to talk about. Perhaps you are not blessed to know such great individuals, but I hope on the day you make a big mistake in you life, that you do know people such as those - true giants in this field - and that you receive the same consideration I received.

Edited by hylanddd
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Fact; UDL schools are not full of rich kids. Fact; UDL students have run rough shod over rich kids at tournaments all year long. Fact; a UDL team is in finals of the NFL. Fact; I have no clue what you are trying to say. Fact; you said "the NFL Championship was won by the rich, elite programs who can afford the expenses associated with traveling around the nation to deabte, while other schools, who lack such means, are effectively shut out of any glory" and then tried to disguise this normative statement as a fact which is a cheap rhetorical move to disguise the ignorance in this statement.

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Guy, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at? How have I upset you be pointing out that many coaches in this nation feel that there is a growing divide in the debate community? And, I am absolutely not clear how to intepret your last statement - you are more than welcome to judge in WACFL, God knows we need the level of judging you represent (especially for our varsity teams). But, that said, I hope you will do some resesarch on the League, to learn what we expect of our judges, what our traditions and values are - before you join us. It will make your time with us more productive.

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Jim, I hear your indignation. And, you are of course correct about who cares what I think - that said, I could care less about your respect for me either...beause it's not about me or you. It's about the greater future of the activity - and there is a growing divide in this activity. My views are held by many, and are echoed at non-circuit tourneys all across the country every week between September and May. So, despite what you think, or I think, the opinions are out there and the discussion is worthy. I think it's a real shame that the large majority of debate programs will never know the thrill of a national championship in policy debate because they lack the funds necesary to compete at the top levels. I'm not taking anything away from the top, I'm just saying it's a shame that field tilts towards those schools that can afford that level of debate, locking out many other students equally as smart, equally with talent, etc. Why is it that when I have these discussions with other forensic educators, including some from your circuit, albeit most are older than you two, we have polite discussion, which actually leads to further understanding of the issues? I don't know...something to think about.

Edited by hylanddd

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"I think it's a real shame that the large majority of debate programs will never know the thrill of a national championship in policy debate because they lack the funds necesary to compete at the top levels"

 

Setting aside temporarily all of Jim/Batterman's points-Duane, most schools won't experience the thrill because, in the words of Connor MacLeod, there can be only 1. Many schools with boatloads of resources never experience the thrill either. I guess I just don't see what solution is pointed to by your comments. Do you think schools that have resources should be stripped of them so that schools who don't have the resources have a shot at NFL?

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Confusion continues... How does saying we shouldn't celebrate Whitney Young and RHSM being the finals of NFL's accomplish anything to bridge the alleged nation-wide divide between circuit and non-circuit debate? Are you interested in bridging this divide or widening it? If you are interested in increasing access for debate and debate success, what are you doing to contribute? Certainly you can't think accusing programs of being rich and elite in the pejorative sense is a move of community building. Certainly you can't think saying we shouldn't celebrate the accomplishments of hard working students contributes the future of the activity. Do you really think most students won't win a national championship because of resources, or because its hard - it should be incredibly hard - and requires at least a little bit of luck?

 

You wonder why there is more politeness in some of your other discussions. I'm guessing some of it has to do with being like minded, the choir is usually polite when you are preaching to it. But, when you say things like "I'm just saying it's a shame that field tilts towards those schools that can afford that level of debate, locking out many other students equally as smart, equally with talent, etc." when talking to folks, you can't expect that to be greeted with smiles. You don't get to make these accusations and then paint yourself the victim that is being attacked. You don't get to say circuit teams have rigged the game and locked out students that are smart and deserving and not expect people to call bullshit. Although, I do appreciate you calling me young, even if it was meant as a slight, cause I've been called old too much the last few years.

 

Both Whitney Young and RHSM are in their infancy as debate schools, let alone "circuit" schools. Neither of these programs represent the old guard with big resources. They both have budget struggles. They both have excellent coaching staffs, but those staffs have earned their relatively new reputations. This seems to be an example of how a small group of dedicated individuals can succeed without the deep pockets of their competitors. Again, much congratulations to all 4 debaters and their coaches.

 

Also, does Kent Denver get no love for getting to the 14th round? Are they also rich elite circuit debaters? Or is being in the last 5 teams competing not a measure of success? Congrats to Kent Denver, I hope you are met with the kudos you deserve.

 

If you want to provide more opportunities for more students to succeed, thats great. You don't need to accuse people of tilting the playing field, or refuse to celebrate hard working intelligent and talented students of their EARNED appreciation. All debate success is earned, none of it handed to you, even if you are rich.

 

Jim Schultz

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You know... there's no discussion here....so I'm out..enjoy...and continue to believe that the well of the national circuit is debate in its entirety - you'll be missing out on a whole lot more debate by doing that, but I just don't care. Hell, I don't even coach policy anymore...lol..

Edited by hylanddd
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Probably because most of those discussions dont start with:

 

With all due respect, I'm not sure that a 26 year winning streak by Circuit teams is worth celebrating - translated this means "For the 26th straight year, the NFL Championship was won by the rich, elite programs

 

That was so out of line. Even if they are rich, elite programs (which they aren't, a point made by others), it's still out of bounds. Im unsure if I missed it, but you owe all 4 debaters, and their coaches an apology for such an ignorant statement. Then maybe if you wanted to continue this discussion you would be treated with more respect, and less name calling.

 

Just saying...

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Both Whitney Young and RHSM are in their infancy as debate schools, let alone "circuit" schools. Neither of these programs represent the old guard with big resources. They both have budget struggles. They both have excellent coaching staffs, but those staffs have earned their relatively new reputations. This seems to be an example of how a small group of dedicated individuals can succeed without the deep pockets of their competitors. Again, much congratulations to all 4 debaters and their coaches.
I think this marks a nice shift in the thread.

 

I think its easy to oversell how much of an underdog story this is. Both successes reflect massive resources (institutional) + massive hustle/work + luck + sacrifice. (I'm sure one or more of the coaches has well exceeded the 10,000 rule that is bandied about in the popular literature for becoming a domain "expert." I wouldn't doubt that at least one of the coaches I know personally reached at least 20,000)

 

I'm happy for both teams and enjoyed the part of the debate I watched. Congrats!!!

 

Bill B suggests the following correlation, but I strongly disagree:

 

Well said, Jim. When I celebrate "national circuit debate", I'm celebrating a *method*—fast, research-intensive, and open to "counter-intuitive" arguments and judged by experts/educators.
Not a fair comparison at all. Its a rigged game.

 

1) additional coaching staffs for circuit teams (on site and otherwise)

2) more tournaments = more experience (probably sometimes by a factor of 2 or 3)

3) more tournaments = more exposure and familiarity with judges

4) better judging panels at circuit tournaments elevates the knowledge learned

5) resources, resources, resources (going to camp once or twice vs. all four years....or going to a regional camp vs. a national camp with people who have been in the activity for 10 to 25 years....or going to a 3 week vs. a 6 week)

 

Huge disparities. Huge resource inequalities. Period.

 

You've proven a correlation between time spent on activity + resources = success....not the proof that one model beats the other.

 

While it suggests the edge of the model....it is a nice and extended correlation. (Any 3 of those is enough to shift the balance. Feedback alone from quality judges is just qualitatively more helpful--add camp, resources, or coaching to that and you have a deadly mix. Also all of it has a gestalt effect by creating a community of practice & interest around it) I don't think it does so to the extent that your assertions might suggest. I'm not sure the success of the model is demonstrated by consistently acquiring a trophy.

 

And theses no reason why non-circuit debate can't be research intensive.....if the judging was quality is there.

 

To say that circuit debate is better than regional debate is like saying Harvard Debate (with a squad of 12 or less) is better than Rochester Debate (with a squad around 30 to 50) or Liberty Debate (with a squad around 20 to 30 I believe). No, they serve different purposes. Local circuit debate is more democractic and egalitarian in access (even if judging isn't necessarily that way).

 

Again congrats to both teams. Congrats to both coaching staffs. Congrats to all the kids & coaches who put time into the activity and are passionate about the community & activity.

Edited by nathan_debate
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Bruce - You're right - my remarks should take nothing away from the amazing final round I just watched between four well coached debaters. I apologize, but at no point did I single out those young men for criticism. My problem is with the larger notion that we should celebrate this entity called "The National Circuit." And since I no longer even coach this event, I'm out. It's not worth it to me - and it's clear that it's not worth it to anyone else, and it's evident from the downward spiral that more feel about the activity as I do, than don't....something to think about.

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As the coach of WY, I just want to add that our school traveled on donations this year. We would not have traveled at all, if not for donations from private parties.

 

Additionally, to remain competitive, my kids and volunteer coaching staff worked a ridiculous amount.

 

Thanks for everyone's support.

 

Drew

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That's excellent, Drew. For many years, my teams traveled the same way - contributions and my wallet. You are fortunate to have that level of support! It obviously paid off. But what about the schools that aren't as fortunate to have donations and private support? Who can't devote time to fundraising? And who don't have a talented pool of amazingly unselfish people to coach on a volunteer basis? What should we do for those schools to allow them the same amazing oppurtunities you've been blessed to have?

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We continue with things, such as the Urban Debate Leage, to bring debate to urban and underfunded areas. Just as many schools do not have the best teachers, computers, or other learning technologies, the disparity should be addressed in a different way. American culture, and the way in which we deal with schools based on criteria such as property taxes, are the real cause of these "injustices." Your position is compassionate, and may be true. However, to take away something from the "privileged" parties only reduces the activity and doesn't address the problem.

 

I attended GBN. My single mother fought to keep me in the district working two jobs. Yes, I was fortunate. If I had not traveled and had the opportunity afforded to me, I would have never coached WY.

 

It seems as if you have a larger problem with the income distribution in society. I won't take a position on that in this forum. However, I believe that your attacks on the NFL's and elite schools are misguided. Why not take away the tennis program, football program, new computers, etc.? There is tennis camp, baseball camp, golf camp, math academy..... All of these things require extra resources.

 

The activity itself, even with the advantages given to wealthier communities has inherent value. Many of these students are compassionate and go on to do great things for all communities.

Edited by DrewWY
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That's excellent, Drew. For many years, my teams traveled the same way - contributions and my wallet. You are fortunate to have that level of support! It obviously paid off. But what about the schools that aren't as fortunate to have donations and private support? Who can't devote time to fundraising? And who don't have a talented pool of amazingly unselfish people to coach on a volunteer basis? What should we do for those schools to allow them the same amazing oppurtunities you've been blessed to have?

 

It's all about hard work and doing whatever it takes. I have been fortunate to know both Kevin and Misael the last several years and seen how hard they work. They cut more arguments than most teams, had a neg strat ready to break against head start that no one else had broken. They were two awesome people that were friendly and showed their dedication. Because of that they received support from coaches who wanted to be apart of helping them out to ensure they could receive support. I showed up earlier today to try and offer any help I could to WY because of how cool those guys are and good for the activity they are.

If you want something bad enough you can set up resources and do the work necessary to do well. Kevin and I'm not sure about Misael, drove to Lakeland and judged so they could get extra teams entered. They had new affs ready to break and were a team that constantly read and did more work. There were a lot of richer schools watching in the audience because any money they had couldn't buy the work Kevin and Misael had done. Sure it would be easier to go to a richer school, but still unbelievably difficult but WY is a perfect example of what can happen when two great debaters compete.

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THis has nothing to do with WY....I want EVERY high school in the nation to benefit fromthe same amazing support that those young men received! I want every school in the nation to come back from a national circuit tournament and go "wow, that was the singular best experience of my life!" I want a level playing field for ALL debaters. That's what I want. Of course they work hard - all debaters should. Mine worked like coal miners, 'cause hard work is the only thing I know.

 

But here's what I know - right now, not every school has those benefits, and it hurts the kids who don't. Coaches come back from the circuit demoralized - either because of the level of competition (which is eye opening) or because of the, as one put it, the vaguely hostile vibe they pick up on there to new comers who are not already part of the "club" through their participation in the activity. Here's my final perspective on the situation - WY and RH represent all that is right in the system - work hard, find success.

I hope, eventually, that all schools can benefit from that model. But right now - schools with many hardworking kids are not benefiting from that model, because the resources aren't there for them. We all do what we can, but it's not enough....and I'm concerned with the enough....what do we do?

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lol another rich vs poor debate argument, in the end, disparity will exist, unfortunately, but to those who say that hard work bridges the gap-this is simply false. But obviously, hard work is the reason these teams are successful, and Im not entirely sure about this-but not all udl schools are "poor", isnt it more about one's district. Whitney young is certainly not well off, but it is still a magnet school with funding. Its not like we're talking about a school straight out of a slum, or anything. But that doesn't even matter, because winning nationals is a feet that is about 96 percent predicated off of hard work

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You've become a caricature, Duane.
With all due respe...aaaaaaaaaaaahhh, to HELL with that! Stick it, sir. Duane is more than capable of defending himself, but speaking only for myself, I am not inclined to sit by while you bash someone who has twice your positive reputation. Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?
Whitney Young is a UDL school.
They are also a magnet school focused on a college-prep curriculum exclusively. They have around 2,200 hand-picked students (who must achieve a minimum test score before they can even apply for admission). As I'm sure you know, they competed this season at Greenhill, Valley, UMich, Blake, MBA, Pace, and Emory (in addition to the Glenbrooks and the Northwestern RR, which are in their backyard but hardly cheap). When you said "UDL," I'm sure you meant for folks to infer you were talking about a basically private school that sends kids to elite tournaments all over the place, right? :rolleyes:
Rowland Hall had a lot of budget problems this year that prevented them from traveling as much as they have in the past.
How is that relevant to Duane's argument? They're not an exclusive, private school anymore? Times are tough budget-wise most places, but they still managed to get to Cali twice and Vegas twice...
But both teams had fantastic seasons and are now in the finals of NFL Nationals.
Again, did anything Duane said take away from their achievements? Yes, they worked hard, and yes, they are to be congratulated for reaching the national finals, but what does that have to do with Duane's concern?
I'm really glad you're here to preach, though.
I'm glad he's here. You, on the other hand... ;)
Actually, I have a solution: coaches of non-circuit schools should work in the tab room and unethically inform their students whom they will be debating in the elimination rounds the next morning.
As opposed to unethically masterminding the code-breaking project every year? :rolleyes:
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As opposed to unethically masterminding the code-breaking project every year? :rolleyes:

 

The voluntary sharing of information among a large group of people.

Using one's personal position to exercise a monopoly on information.

There's a difference.

 

You could be being sarcastic. If you are, it's not obvious.

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