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I think the bolded part is where those of us in the pro-code share camp just disagree with you. I'm simply of the belief that information creates better, and more educational, debates through encouraging clash and research of specific arguments

 

That's fine. I'm normally like that, I post to the wiki etc for national circuit tournaments. I'm happy to give people plan text, advantages, neg strat whatever they want before the round. I just think given the way we know our first 6 rounds at nats, I don't have the resources nor the time to prep every single one of those teams. I don't see why if I'm not benefiting from seeing other people's codes, why they should be able to see mine. I believe the code sharing project benefits a lot of people, I'm not in the "anti-code share camp" or whatever. I just don't think it's right to share codes of teams that haven't opted in, because they're not receiving the benefit. You're basically forced to opt in because otherwise, people are seeing your code and you're not seeing theirs.

 

 

Hey, not on the current topic, but my internet went down about half an hour before the final round, anyone know where i could find a recording of it? I looked on the website and was lost in the endless waves of speech stuff.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's a live broadcast and that's it....NFL doesn't allow outside recording cause they sell the video.

Edited by adrianna

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I don't see why if I'm not benefiting from seeing other people's codes, why they should be able to see mine.

 

I think this is inevitable - as soon as round 1 is over, I'm going to go ask that team you just debated who you are, etc.

 

And you know which schools have the most people to do something like that?

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Duane I didnt mean anything bad about WACFL last year i was a fairly regular judge and next year i would like to be as well. I think it has great intentions and I can tell you all care a lot about the kids you have. All i was trying to saw was that i think any league would be honored to have a brilliant kid like Andrew judge a tournament. The things he could teach the DC area kids would be awesome, I wouldnt be surprised if he would teach the coaches a lil something ;)

 

When it comes to Bill i have not had much interaction with him but the little i have was great. I debated in a school that has no national circuit reputation at all. Me and my partner were the first ever to participate in any TOC bid tournaments. Our school is also around 25% Hispanic (including me), has a large amount of african americans and other ethnicities. However when we went to Maine East and had Bill as a judge he gave us just the best judged round i have ever had. He made a hard decision to vote for us in a close round against a nat circuit team. He gave us a great detailed decision and that is something i learned a lot from.

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It would seem like the best way to both congratulate the hardworking students who performed so well at NFL's AND have a discussion on the rich/poor or small school/national circuit divide would be to have a separate thread for the latter discussion.

 

Then you can have thread A) be about: the rich/poor gap, people's credibility, the horrors of national circuit debate, past injustices from when you were in high school and other relevant issues AND have thread B) be about: how awesome Whitney Young is, how awesome Rowland Hall is, how much fun you had at NFL's, asking about the actual debates, etc.

 

Also. How has no one else pointed out the irony in that the thread is in the National Circuit forum?

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How I wish that issues of privilege and fairness in debate could be conducted without so much tribalism -- the "circuit" and "traditional" tribes (for lack of better labels) protecting their turf, ad homs flying, two teams determined to prove, decade after decade, that debate's problems can be attributed to the Bad Guys over there, Them. (Team Tradition has its narrative about the corruption of the national circuit; Team National has its narrative about the anti-intellectualism, the confining league rules and customs, etc.) And I do wish this discussion (conducted by adult educators) wasn't clouding and obscuring (bordering on devaluing) a truly impressive, even historic, achievement by two high school students.

 

I was considering all these posts, and I felt some sort of magnum opus on debate history and money and competitiveness coming on, but that'd take days. Here are some less systematic observations, and I apologize that they're a bit scattered.

 

1) Elitism, otherizing, and hypercompetitiveness are not intrinsic to any particular school of debate. My basic training in debate, an appalling number of years ago, was in a bedrock traditional circuit -- in Missouri! My energetic, smart, skilled coach was a militant stock issues kind of gal. She was deeply suspicious of the Big School Down the Road that ran comparative advantage cases! Clearly, they thought they were better than other people. They went to more tournaments than we did and they won more than we did and they had fancier arguments. No one in our region ever traveled more than 60 miles to a tournament, and the only workshop was a local ten-day commuter institute. But there were still clearly defined castes. There always are. (No doubt in the late 1940s some rump organization of coaches was formed to banish evil, destructive heresies such as the affirmative plan.) Some debate subcircuits and subcultures -- traditional and circuit -- are more collegial and civil, and some are less so, but that's another essay.

 

2) In any competitive activity -- in virtually all social structures -- there are elites. The relevant question would be: are these debate elites created along meritocratic lines? This is a complex matter, and so of course my answer to that question is "Yes -- and no." Yes, because debate is in most ways a very honest and open activity, and intelligence and hard work are still the most important determinant of success in the activity. Every year teams from someplace next to nowhere show up and start winning rounds, and even tournaments. Usually it's because a few brilliant kids, sometimes but not always mentored by smart energetic adults, decide they want to be championship debaters. They may or may not have had to scrap for the material resources; but they're smart and they work their butts off. On the other hand, I could easily draw up Les's Index of Rich Lazy Mediocre Squads, folks who have all the advantages and don't win much; most any of you could make your own, similar, lists.

 

No, because scrapping for the resources is harder than ever. The core of that problem: the rapid diminution of public resources that are devoted to forensics (program budgets, stipends, speech/debate curricula) combined with rapid growth in the real dollars needed to run a program. Which means that forensics has to run on private resources, which means the process that chooses elites is much more tilted toward the prosperous. Perhaps this increases the comparative advantage of "circuit" schools over "traditional" schools at the tournaments where they are both represented; I am much more worried about the rich/poor gap within each camp -- the national circuit programs that no longer exist, and middle-class traditional in-state programs that have been outrun and outbid by the richer traditional in-state programs. And the less prosperous students in prosperous schools who leave debate, or never start debate, because too much is required out of pocket. To me, that's the core of our trouble, and I stress: our trouble.

 

3) Regarding the choosing of elites, I do want to respond to some remarks by Mr. Terrance Shuman (who knows that I have admired him for many years). He observes correctly that privilege is not just money, and that a magnet school with a high achieving student body is one form of privilege or advantage. And, of course, it is; but, Terry, what are you arguing here? You can't be arguing that it's unfair when schools with a lot of hard-working, smart kids win debate tournaments? You lose me here . . .

 

4) Debate is not just a competitive activity; it is an educational activity, and it ought to serve more than just a few kids. I think many of the traditional coaches who are irked by national circuit practices wish to remind us of this fact, and they are absolutely right to do so, and I join in this urgent concern. Debate should have a place for the junior varsity kid; for the student who wants to work hard but in a limited scope, not obsessively. And though some national circuit programs try to make that possible, much of the circuit ethos runs counter to that sort of inclusiveness. I think the problem is still money: the economics of running debate programs has made it much hard to run a broad, inclusive program, anywhere.

 

5) Debate coaches should be more respectful of each other's motives and values. We have so many struggles and difficulties in common, and we are so quick to highlight, and be suspicious of, our differences. The big circuit coach and the traditional coach are, for the most part, trying to educate kids. They see different ways of doing that. They work in different conditions and answer to different imperatives. It is all one world. I really hope that some of the parties in this discussion will revisit their rhetoric, take a few steps back, and rethink . . . and, in general, to rethink and question the tribalism I've described above.

 

6) It's quite true that the admirable Mr. Scott Phillips did not debate for Lexington.

 

Well, that's more than enough, for now . . .

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Also:

 

-- The "NFL philosophy" on scouting is just that, a philosophy; not a rule, not intended to bind those who disagree. I can speak directly to the legislative intent on that question.

 

-- Too often differences in coaching and educational practice get stigmatized as "not ethical," when they're simply different ways of administering or coaching or teaching, and should be recognized as such.

 

-- I agree with Mr. Lee Quinn that the intensity and quantity of preparation done by circuit teams at NFL Nationals is generally much exaggerated/overestimated.

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Congratulations to Whitney Young. Your hard work and commitment have paid off, and you deserve every tribute that you will receive. Congratulations to your coaches, the Whitney Young teams that have built the program to this point, and the entire CDL for creating a system that can support a national champion. Your success shows UDL debaters what they can achieve; it shows volunteer coaches how far they can go; it shows donors that their money can go to successful program; and it shows school administrators the potential from participation in policy debate. I don’t think that it is any exaggeration to say that your hard work and your success this year will Dramatically help the UDL movement, and help make debate accessible to thousands of additional students by helping start new programs. I honestly think that your championship may be one of the most important contributions to expanding UDL opportunities, and therefore policy debate, so I want to thank you for your hard work.

 

I think that the discussion of resource disparities, while an important and productive discussion, should not be done in the thread congratulating the national champion. While it is theoretically possible to both congratulate the team and criticize the system, that is never the way it has ended up occurring. The discussion inevitably becomes heated, because it always appears to be a criticism of the two specific teams – they become the focal point of the discussion of privilege, which then becomes a discussion of whether They specifically are privileged. People become defensive because placing the criticism next to the achievement makes it appear that one is saying that the privilege is solely responsible for the achievement, which naturally causes people to defend themselves. The criticism inevitably takes up the Vast majority of the thread. It makes people believe that one is not serious about the congratulations because it is seen as just a perfunctory caveat to begin the “real” discussion about the criticism. And even if none of these things are natural or inevitable or true, we do have about a decade of empirical evidence on this question – this community has proven itself Singularly incapable of having both of these discussions in the same thread productively.

 

The reason that I use the word “productively” is that I think about this as an Opportunity. A UDL program has won the national championship – this is both an achievement and an opportunity. One way to approach this opportunity is to use it to help spread the word about the benefits of a debate program – to debaters, volunteers, donors and school administrators. Another way to approach this opportunity would be to use it to spark a discussion about education inequalities. I would love it if Whitney Young debaters, parents, teachers and administrators could come to Cross-Ex.com and see 200 posts congratulating their champions and lauding their work ethic and commitment. I think that that would do more to expand debate opportunities than virtually any other program, initiative or decision. Instead, if they came to our website, they would find a debate about whether Whitney Young actually “qualifies” as a UDL school or as a “national circuit” team. I see that as a wasted opportunity – an epically wasted historical opportunity.

 

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have the discussion about education inequalities – that is obviously an important discussion, maybe our Most important discussion. Duane and Terrance – I don’t think that you should keep quiet about your concerns, and I think that you know that I share and have written about many of those concerns. I am just saying that it would be better not to mix that discussion with our congratulations of the national champion. It is not as if we are never going to have that discussion about resource inequality – we talk about it all the time, in every possible forum, and at every opportunity. That may be the Most discussed issue in policy debate, so I am not worried about missing out on it just this one time each year.

 

Also – Seven week MIXED props and congrats to KHirn.

Edited by TimAlderete
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I would just like to say that I couldn't agree more with the posts that Tim and Les just made. While I obviously have a lot of very strong opinions on a subject that has defined the last several years of my life and who I am today, it would be redundant and needless to repeat much because I think that the majority of what I think about the issues Duane and Shuman brought up was surmised or at least closely paraphrased by the last three posts.

 

also Tim - 7-week Mixed pride! That lab was incredibly formative in my understanding of debate in everything from what constitutes a kritik to the theoretical history of conditionality, and I would like to thank you profusely for everything that you have taught me and contributed to the activity in general.

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The success of Kevin and Misael this year (and last) is a demonstration that UDL programs can kick ass at the highest level. Octos at the TOC, Julia Burke Award winner, 12th and 3rd speakers at the TOC, and now NFL champions. Fan-freaking-tastic! May their success be an inspiration to debaters and coaches everywhere, and an encouragement to all of us in the coaching community to do what we can to support broadening access to the activity to which we have devoted our lives.

 

I have a real problem with adult coaches using kids as fodder for their arguments. While it is important for us to address the resource disparities that plague our activity, this thread is not the place to do so. Pointing to certain debaters and labeling them privileged is both hurtful and silly. On the one hand, none of us really know the privilege (or lack thereof) of most debaters who are not our own students. It's not our business, and we shouldn't be putting students in a position that makes them feel like they need to come forward with personal financial or other information in order to overcome assumptions that people are making about them.

 

On the other hand, it's also a waste of breath to point out that debaters who win national championships are privileged. Of course they are! Regardless of their family's socioeconomic status, they are privileged to have attended a school with a debate team. They are privileged that they could attend the championship, whether that was because their team has a generous budget, their parents wrote a check, or they held fundraisers to cover the expenses. They are privileged to have been able to attend enough tournaments to get good enough to win a national championship. They are privileged to have received a good enough education to allow them to excel in debate, and to have had access to adequate research resources.

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A huge congratulations to the four debaters in the final round of NFL Nationals...all four = extreme...extreme in talent, hard work, and integrity. Don't let the haters get you down. No matter what the competitive activity is...high school debate, college sports, or whatever...folks will cry foul against those that win for some reason. This same thread happens year after year about national circuit debaters being born with a silver spoon in their mouth. There is not a person that knows the four of you that would disagree that you represent the best of what high school debate has to offer.

 

 

 

 

Tara Tate

Glenbrook South

 

 

i feel like nothing else has to be said

 

congrats kevin and misael

 

and congrats to rowland hall

 

all four of you brush your shoulders off and shake the hate cus for you this forum is purely to congratulate

 

to everyone who is beefing your just hurting our community by fracturing us and there is no space for that when debate teams are struggling to stay alive

 

we need to stay strong and together in this time and continue to try to allow more kids to debate cus it can only help them become more self aware and aware of events in their community and allow them to form opinions on these subjects. a skill which is so necessary in these times we live in......

 

michael

Edited by bobdoleable

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i feel like nothing else has to be said

 

congrats kevin and misael

 

and congrats to rowland hall

 

all four of you brush your shoulders off and shake the hate cus for you this forum is purely to congratulate

 

to everyone who is beefing your just hurting our community by fracturing us and there is no space for that when debate teams are struggling to stay alive

 

we need to stay strong and together in this time and continue to try to allow more kids to debate cus it can only help them become more self aware and aware of events in their community and allow them to form opinions on these subjects. a skill which is so necessary in these times we live in......

 

michael

 

Kevin and Misaels win is definitely amazing and a great opportunity for progress- We are all so proud guys terrific job

 

Aaron Davis

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Is there a way to move the discussions about how to further erode barriers within the debate community to its own thread? That would be productive.

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As a lifelong 'small-schooler' I have a slightly different take on things. Most of you know me to be quite fiery and antagonizing for the purpose of stirring up conversation. But since Duane has already done so on my behalf, I shall try and keep my voice on an even keel. But first things first.

 

I offer congratulations to the participants of the final round and quite frankly all debaters participating in the NFL tournament. I know in some regions of the country, its a true battle just to earn the privilege of representing your district. Whitney Young, I have never had the pleasure of judging your squad or know any of your debaters, past or present, but in any case, I admire your important achievement.

 

As for the core of this annual post-nationals discussion, there are three synergistic characteristics of debate on the circuit and this conversation has functionally ignored half the challenge posed to coaches and boosters of the policy debate world. I identify these three challenges as the following:

 

1) Resource Inequity

2) Access to Competition

3) Reinforcing System of Reward

 

 

Resource Inequity

Beaten to death, no point in returning there. By the way 'hard work --> results' is a tired argument as well. No one denies this; not conservatives or liberals. But financial resources afford opportunities which the disadvantaged cannot access. The criticism is valid and well established. At this point, the objective should be to identify means by which the privileged schools can offer assistance to the disadvantaged schools in such a way that it does not detract from their own competitiveness. Just food for thought (and yes I realize there are liability issues - they are hardly insurmountable), but how many 'elite' schools offer local schools a ride to tournaments? I know many of these schools travel on buses that are half empty. Why can't you pick up another school's students on the way? A seemingly trivial example, but for the school that cannot afford the transportation cost, it does make a huge difference.

 

Access to Competition

To see my views on this, see this thread. Please don't respond there. But do start with my post with geographic analysis about half way down the first page.

 

Reinforcing System of Reward

Circuit schools which tend to dominate the national scene will bring circuit-style judges to tournaments. These judges will generally favor circuit-style debate to the detriment of other styles. As a result, circuit-style debate is favored at these tournaments and teams who do not subscribe to circuit-style debate are at an inherent disadvantage.

 

While I do not feel the need to identify specific individuals, I have personally had post-round disagreements with several judges from prominent circuit schools who categorically reject stock issues debate as 'real debate' and refuse to vote on it. Perhaps I am to blame for my failure to adapt as a debater (I believe judge adaptation to be the paramount consideration as debaters pick strategies), but I do find great humor that these are the same judges and coaches who openly and publicly denigrate conservative judges who refuse to vote on critiques and more modern arguments and strategies. This alarming situation is far more prevalent than many of you care to admit.

 

As a judge, I once foolishly allowed myself to get into a post-round shouting match with a very prominent debate coach over the fact that I gave his (aff) team a loss on solvency. Its ironic to me personally because I once voted for this coach when he was a debater on inherency. (I will vote on whatever I am offered, regardless of how absurd or liberal/conservative the argument)

 

Camps are taught by circuit-style coaches producing generations of circuit style debaters who then achieve success competing at circuit tournaments judged by the same judges who taught them in the first place. These debaters then become the next generation of coaches and the cycle repeats. Obviously, the same is true of conservative debaters and coaches in conservative regions to the detriment of circuit-style debaters in those regions.

 

There is no denying that taken as a whole, the NFL, TOC and NDCA tend to favor circuit-style debate. This does not detract from the successes of the teams who participate there. One does not accidentally trip and fall into a national championship or even round 10 of NFLs. It is certainly an achievement to celebrate. But it does represent a specific challenge to teams of conservative styles, which for whatever reason you want to identify, tend to be teams of lesser means.

 

Perhaps the best example I could give is of the offense-defense paradigm. As I have stated many times on this website:

From an intellectual perspective, the offense-defense paradigm is bankrupt. It always has been and always will be. The reason is because conclusions are invalid in the absence of persuasive warrants. The whole reason you learn what warrants are is so you can attack them and by attacking the warrants of a claim, in the absence of successful counterpoint, conceding attacked warrants is the same as a reject-able, warrantless claim. Last I checked, we don't like warrantless claims in debate.

Yet time and time again, judges are willing to ignore the warrants debate erected by defensive arguments on the pure basis that the argument doesn't provide an 'offensive' justification for the ballot. The contradiction is hilarious but quite effective in demonstrating of what I speak because generations of debaters have learned this paradigm from coaches and then go on to become judges who believe the same.

 

Fareed Zakaria (sp?) makes an interesting comment on the financial crisis as it pertains to risk taking with debt-structured investment strategies.

"Each time someone at the table pressed for more leverage and more risk, the next few years proved them 'right.' These people were emboldened, they were promoted, and they gained control over ever more capital. Meanwhile, anyone in power who hesitated, who argued for caution, was proved 'wrong'. The cautious types were increasingly intimidated, passed over for promotion. They lost their hold on capital"

 

The situation of self-reinforcing systems in debate is not much different. Everytime you make monsters of the conservatives who are 'holding you back' you are acting precisely as the financial leaders who led America (and the world) towards ruin.

 

Just food for thought.

Edited by Ankur

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I think I would like to point out that i am not a card-carrying member of the conservative camp. I think debate should be fast, well carded, and that disclosure, etc. is generally good. My point is to make the circuit more accessible to all, not to just a few, and to speculate on if we should really celebrate moncultural dominance of the circuit. That's all. I agree, Ankur, with your analysis on the self-perpetuating nature of circuit debate - it reinforces the notion behind the Japanese proverb about the frog in the well, if you stay there long enough you start to think that's what the world should look like.

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I think I would like to point out that i am not a card-carrying member of the conservative camp. I think debate should be fast, well carded, and that disclosure, etc. is generally good. My point is to make the circuit more accessible to all, not to just a few, and to speculate on if we should really celebrate moncultural dominance of the circuit. That's all. I agree, Ankur, with your analysis on the self-perpetuating nature of circuit debate - it reinforces the notion behind the Japanese proverb about the frog in the well, if you stay there long enough you start to think that's what the world should look like.

 

For what its worth, I am not a crazed conservative either. Yes, its true that my argument preference is 'conservative', but that has never stopped me from voting for critiques and counterplans. It never stopped me from doing volumes of research on the microfiche machines or speaking quickly.

 

It would be rather amusing for someone to say I am a conservative if I am generally regarded as ultra left wing with some of my arguments (chaos, fiat math, etc).

 

I appreciate the value of all styles and will continue to allow debaters to debate in the fashion of their choosing. It is their activity after all. I only wish that ALL my colleagues, circuit style AND conservative, in the back of the room would do the same.

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Put comments/discussion here (the discussion that has been going on)

 

The other thread should be only for results/congratulations/discussions of rounds/arguments.

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from terrance shuman and duane for your insulting comments you made towards students on the nfl thread as educators you shouldve held your tongues this discussion cannot go forward until the apology is given to the four debaters in question by those who insulted their hard work and talent. your tongue and cheek performance which you repeatedly claimed you were not insulting the kids accomplishments was just that a performance and a facade, and if anything you are proving that closing the divisions in the debate community is impossible because of polemicists like you, there is no room in this academic community for this hateful form of thinking........

 

 

now onto the discussion

 

i believe that debate tournaments should be free and that this should be done by eliminating entries fees and eliminating the necessity for their to be schools to sponser the teams at the tournaments and by requiring that teams bring a judge to the tournament like in college.

 

dueces

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from terrance shuman and duane for your insulting comments you made towards students on the nfl thread as educators you shouldve held your tongues this discussion cannot go forward until the apology is given to the four debaters in question by those who insulted their hard work and talent. your tongue and cheek performance which you repeatedly claimed you were not insulting the kids accomplishments was just that a performance and a facade, and if anything you are proving that closing the divisions in the debate community is impossible because of polemicists like you, there is no room in this academic community for this hateful form of thinking........

 

 

now onto the discussion

 

i believe that debate tournaments should be free and that this should be done by eliminating entries fees and eliminating the necessity for their to be schools to sponser the teams at the tournaments and by requiring that teams bring a judge to the tournament like in college.

 

dueces

 

thats kinda funny because they never once insulted the debaters. at no point did they say the winners were undeserving or that they reached such heights on the pure basis that they attend circuit schools. in fact, i am pretty sure they fully agree with the opposite of that.

 

this conversation cannot move forward not because of shuman's or hyland's words - but because people wont let conversation develop because they are hyperreactionary to a single word without looking at the context or meaning being conveyed.

 

and yes, that includes you.

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its context clues, they were double speaking the same way fox news double speaks about racism, there clarification that they werent insulting the kids was just apart of that double speak

 

 

and you never responded to my idea sooo dont talk.

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now onto the discussion

 

i believe that debate tournaments should be free and that this should be done by eliminating entries fees and eliminating the necessity for their to be schools to sponser the teams at the tournaments and by requiring that teams bring a judge to the tournament like in college.

 

dueces

 

There are these things called travel budgets, e.g. food, hotel, other travel expenses, etc., that tournament entry fees dwarf in comparison to. Seems like these are structural things to address prior to pinning tournament openness on an entry fee.. your logic is akin to fixing school budget problems by guaranteeing free school for everyone. This is why this conversation will never have an adequate outcome, despite the significant toll it takes on debaters and squads.

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The tournament host has costs other than judging. Somebody has to pay janitors to clean up the mess students make at a debate tournament, for example. Even the ballots themselves cost money.

 

And, even if judges aren't paid, they aren't free. Either the debaters have to pay the judge they bring, or get the judge to do it without pay (thereby shifting the cost to the judge). Sometimes that will work, but it is not costless. And it may not lead to the quality of judging you might hope for.

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its context clues, they were double speaking the same way fox news double speaks about racism, there clarification that they werent insulting the kids was just apart of that double speak

 

 

and you never responded to my idea sooo dont talk.

 

I will then assume that you have never once complained about a conservative judge, right? Because, then every criticism you have leveled in the opposite direction is laced with the same exact insult. Dont forget that.

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its context clues, they were double speaking the same way fox news double speaks about racism, there clarification that they werent insulting the kids was just apart of that double speak

 

 

and you never responded to my idea sooo dont talk.

 

Whatever, all four debaters were clearly rich, suburban, elitist, underprivileged, refuse-to-get-off-their-high-horse, inner-city idiots with no skills in competitive debate. But I'm sure those double-speaking assholes aren't willing to admit that's what they really believe. I'm sure they'll all apologize for having the audacity to suggest material resources have anything to do with debate success, because that clearly means that skill, knowledge, commitment, and dedication have absolutely nothing to do with debate success. To say one person might be privileged over another is a clear insult to every person to ever succeed.

 

More seriously: you can't say "We can have no discussion until you apologize" and then castigate people for calling you out on that rather than engaging a substantive discussion.

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So, let's not pretend it is all simply a good-faith effort to make for better debates. It is an effort to make scouting and pre-round preparation easier.

 

.....so as to have more educational debates. it's a circle. get it?

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