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Nelsonwins94

Is speed killing debate?

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I see more and more people leaving the debate world because of speed. i see it at every vss tournament when only 4 teams show up. i see it at state when there are more pf teams then varsity. Is speed killing debate?

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This might be more of an issue in your state than in other states or nationally. Speed probably does deter lay judges and inexperienced coaches/teams at small schools from competing at local tournaments, but for nationally established schools a la GBX, Westminster, Greenhill, etc, it's less of an issue.

 

Also on a side note, I approve of your classification of PF as a separate division from varsity.

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This might be more of an issue in your state than in other states or nationally. Speed probably does deter lay judges and inexperienced coaches/teams at small schools from competing at local tournaments, but for nationally established schools a la GBX, Westminster, Greenhill, etc, it's less of an issue.

 

Also on a side note, I approve of your classification of PF as a separate division from varsity.

but what about new teams that want to get into the national circuit?

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This might be more of an issue in your state than in other states or nationally. Speed probably does deter lay judges and inexperienced coaches/teams at small schools from competing at local tournaments, but for nationally established schools a la GBX, Westminster, Greenhill, etc, it's less of an issue.

 

Also on a side note, I approve of your classification of PF as a separate division from varsity.

 

This isn't necessarily true. I debate in KS for a school whose debate program is 5 years old this year, and we've been pretty successful at the local level in both novice/open and speed-style varsity with a coach who had never coached before. We don't have access to ANY databases, and we don't have Planet Debate or anything like that. We're a fairly lay-heavy circuit, but there exists a half-dozen or so chances (in-state) every year for teams to debate in front of mostly flow (80% or above) judging pools.

 

Anyone who complains about speed either 1) doesn't do speed in their region, or 2) just isn't trying hard enough. I hate to phrase it that way, but it's true.

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This isn't necessarily true. I debate in KS for a school whose debate program is 5 years old this year, and we've been pretty successful at the local level in both novice/open and speed-style varsity with a coach who had never coached before. We don't have access to ANY databases, and we don't have Planet Debate or anything like that. We're a fairly lay-heavy circuit, but there exists a half-dozen or so chances (in-state) every year for teams to debate in front of mostly flow (80% or above) judging pools.

 

Anyone who complains about speed either 1) doesn't do speed in their region, or 2) just isn't trying hard enough. I hate to phrase it that way, but it's true.

 

I know you didnt want to phrase it that way, but you did. What about the people that try really hard but jsut physically cant get up to speed? should they not debate?

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What about the people that try really hard but jsut physically cant get up to speed? should they not debate?

Q. Can you name even three people who are interested in policy debate but decided not to because they "physically can't" get up to speed?

A. Probably not.

 

The only people who "physically cant" get up to speed are those with speaking disabilities. There are very few people with speaking disabilities who are interested in debate, and excluding them won't kill debate. The increased educational benefits of faster debate justifies the tradeoff. Also, they can debate in other forums, so there's no terminal impact to this exclusion.

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Q. Can you name even three people who are interested in policy debate but decided not to because they "physically can't" get up to speed?

A. Probably not.

 

The only people who "physically cant" get up to speed are those with speaking disabilities. There are very few people with speaking disabilities who are interested in debate, and excluding them won't kill debate. The increased educational benefits of faster debate justifies the tradeoff. Also, they can debate in other forums, so there's no terminal impact to this exclusion.

 

Matter of fact, I know someone with a speaking disability who's pretty good at debate. It really just comes down to the amount of effort you're willing to put in.

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Q. Can you name even three people who are interested in policy debate but decided not to because they "physically can't" get up to speed?

A. Probably not.

 

The only people who "physically cant" get up to speed are those with speaking disabilities. There are very few people with speaking disabilities who are interested in debate, and excluding them won't kill debate. The increased educational benefits of faster debate justifies the tradeoff. Also, they can debate in other forums, so there's no terminal impact to this exclusion.

 

No terminal impact? What about entire debate teams switching to pf? what about pf only tournaments? i think the death of policy is a terminal impact

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Matter of fact, I know someone with a speaking disability who's pretty good at debate. It really just comes down to the amount of effort you're willing to put in.

 

on my team there is a kids with dyslexia. several kids with comprehension problems, and me i cant write and listen at the same time. three right there. if not more

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No terminal impact? What about entire debate teams switching to pf? what about pf only tournaments? i think the death of policy is a terminal impact

 

This is assuming some kind of spillover from local tournaments in like Ohio or Montana to national tournaments like Glenbrooks or Blake. Speed isn't really harming the national circuit. At worst policy only dies in areas that don't want to put in the effort to maintain a policy program, which won't be too many, because once a school has gotten the hang of policy it likely won't end it without some drastic change.

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This is assuming some kind of spillover from local tournaments in like Ohio or Montana to national tournaments like Glenbrooks or Blake. Speed isn't really harming the national circuit. At worst policy only dies in areas that don't want to put in the effort to maintain a policy program, which won't be too many, because once a school has gotten the hang of policy it likely won't end it without some drastic change.

 

do you not think the national acceptance of speed is a drastic change?

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There was a very good debater in KS with a speaking disability (mostly in R's and S's) who did a good enough job speed reading, and what he lacked in speed he made up for in sheer skill. He realized he wouldn't be able to out-speed anyone, so he worked harder in order to get plain better than everyone.

 

If you have dyslexia or another learning disorder, chances are debate isn't going to be on the top of your "to do" list. If you can't write and listen at the same time, college is going to be a bitch and you have larger problems.

 

And, like DML said, if a team dies because they collectively can't adapt to national circuit style, they probably weren't very interested in the first place.

 

And speeding on the national circuit is far from a DRASTIC change. It's been going on for a while there.

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Speed may be killing debate in WI but in general it has caused debate to be generally better nationwide, based on the widespread acceptance of it for a fairly long time.

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on my team there is a kids with dyslexia. several kids with comprehension problems, and me i cant write and listen at the same time. three right there. if not more

 

Policy debate isn't your deal then. There isn't an ada for every activity, don't make us change because you can't keep up.

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No terminal impact? What about entire debate teams switching to pf? what about pf only tournaments? i think the death of policy is a terminal impact

 

This terminal impact won't happen until after we all graduate, so it really doesn't matter

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There was a very good debater in KS with a speaking disability (mostly in R's and S's) who did a good enough job speed reading, and what he lacked in speed he made up for in sheer skill. He realized he wouldn't be able to out-speed anyone, so he worked harder in order to get plain better than everyone.

 

If you have dyslexia or another learning disorder, chances are debate isn't going to be on the top of your "to do" list. If you can't write and listen at the same time, college is going to be a bitch and you have larger problems.

 

And, like DML said, if a team dies because they collectively can't adapt to national circuit style, they probably weren't very interested in the first place.

 

And speeding on the national circuit is far from a DRASTIC change. It's been going on for a while there.

 

 

Everyone sights that one example as if its suppose to make up for the hundreds of thousands of people that cant do it. i dont now the specifc situation so i cant comment further

 

But thats the thing, people with learning or physical disorders are able to function in the rest of life. college they can do and they can hold jobs and do jsut fine in life. but debate is on a level so far above that this it excludes those people that cant do it.

 

Just within the last 2 years five teams in northern wisconsin changed completely to pf. and more teams leave every year.

 

and in the last 10 years speed has shown up, its more new than most people realize. i understand you have time restraints and need to speak faster to get some stuff in. but when your running 6 t blips and 7 das 3 ks and a cp it gets unfair and abusive. this is whats making teams leave. not everyone has the ability to speed like the pros. weather its equipment or time or money or skill. not everyone can get to this point, in fact most cant get to this point. shouldnt this majority be considered in the world?

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The idea that policy debate HAS to be for everyone sort of undermines the activity. The major difference between CX and LD or PFD is that it requires an immense investment in time and dedication. The others require some levels of both, but not to the level CX does by any account. This is an activity for those who want to participate in an activity that is different because it has different norms: speed, nuke war, large amounts of evidence are generally the major differences.

 

THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE CX DEBATE SO INTERESTING TO ITS PARTICIPANTS. Saying that those people that enjoy the activity as it is shouldn't get to enjoy their activity because someone doesn't want to work as hard or they don't like one aspect of it is worse than any exclusion because it punishes people for working hard and trying to be productive.

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and people like me dont work hard either? people who are slower debaters dont work just as hard as the speedsters that claim to be better? what justification do you have that speed debaters work harder, think faster, and are smarter?

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Matt Nelson you're being way dramatic about this- speed is supposed to be a tool used with the right judge, if you're circuit is really that "lay", chances of people spreading are about zero- I seriously doubt the switch from policy to PF is ONLY because of speed, PF is a lot less work and it's shorter, PF just might be more popular in your state too

 

Spreading is really good for debate, anyone who says otherwise isnt working hard enough

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Matt, trust me when I say this, I know for a fact that most of the people that are leaving policy in WI are because they have other things to do, hate the K, and stuff like that. A lot of the people that quit CAN spread too, so don't blame it all on spreading.

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and people like me dont work hard either? people who are slower debaters dont work just as hard as the speedsters that claim to be better? what justification do you have that speed debaters work harder, think faster, and are smarter?

 

I NEVER said they were smarter, just that they are more dedicated to the activity because they put in the time to cut and update all those arguments. Plus, what stantheman said. Chances are if you don't want to speed, there is some sort of lay-style circuit in your area you can do. Don't punish those on the national circuit because you can't speed read.

 

Look, if you spend 15 minutes a day doing speed drills, you will get faster. At camp, we spent 20 minutes at the beginning of lab every day, and by the end of camp I was super fast. Was it because I went to camp? No, it was because I worked hard and I didn't use the time the lab leaders set aside for speed drills to highlight evidence or check Facebook.

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Matt Nelson you're being way dramatic about this- speed is supposed to be a tool used with the right judge, if you're circuit is really that "lay", chances of people spreading are about zero- I seriously doubt the switch from policy to PF is ONLY because of speed, PF is a lot less work and it's shorter, PF just might be more popular in your state too

 

Spreading is really good for debate, anyone who says otherwise isnt working hard enough

 

i think there are plenty of people that work very hard that would say spreading is not good for debate

 

Matt, trust me when I say this, I know for a fact that most of the people that are leaving policy in WI are because they have other things to do, hate the K, and stuff like that. A lot of the people that quit CAN spread too, so don't blame it all on spreading.

 

The MDL is trying to get into the wdca but there reluctant because they dont like the speed. the entire north made there own division around pf because they didnt like speed.

 

I NEVER said they were smarter, just that they are more dedicated to the activity because they put in the time to cut and update all those arguments. Plus, what stantheman said. Chances are if you don't want to speed, there is some sort of lay-style circuit in your area you can do. Don't punish those on the national circuit because you can't speed read.

 

Look, if you spend 15 minutes a day doing speed drills, you will get faster. At camp, we spent 20 minutes at the beginning of lab every day, and by the end of camp I was super fast. Was it because I went to camp? No, it was because I worked hard and I didn't use the time the lab leaders set aside for speed drills to highlight evidence or check Facebook.

 

Why should debaters have to go to a lesser place because they have lesser ability? yes national tournaments are hard, that being said it doesnt need to be impossible for teams not activly involved in it

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I NEVER said they were smarter, just that they are more dedicated to the activity because they put in the time to cut and update all those arguments. Plus, what stantheman said. Chances are if you don't want to speed, there is some sort of lay-style circuit in your area you can do. Don't punish those on the national circuit because you can't speed read.

 

Look, if you spend 15 minutes a day doing speed drills, you will get faster. At camp, we spent 20 minutes at the beginning of lab every day, and by the end of camp I was super fast. Was it because I went to camp? No, it was because I worked hard and I didn't use the time the lab leaders set aside for speed drills to highlight evidence or check Facebook.

 

You don't need hard work work to read fast (i.e. me).

 

If anything is killing debate, it's gotta be the time commitment. Our squad had several people quit due to dropping grades.

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Okay. First off, I Debated for 1 season, and At that time, Speed wasn't all that common, and that wasn't more than 6-7 years ago. Since then I have been a judge and judging Novice/JV/Varsity and I have seen speed/spread (Whatever you want to call it) become more commonplace.

 

Here are a few things I have to say.

 

 

1) I have tried those Speed Drills, and I am pleased to say this. It has increased my ability to read faster. But not to the extent that I see in VSS round and on the national circuit. I read maybe 3 times faster than I did when I debated. Which if you ask the team I judge for, Itsn't all that much faster. I reached a certain point and the drills were not helping anymore.

I just can't reach those speeds.

Am I learning disabled? No.

Do I have a Speech disorder? No.

I just can't go that fast. For as long as I can remember, my brain tries to process the words I read. So at a certain speed, I just can't read anymore without having to stop and 'refocus'.

 

2) As a judge, even if I can't Speed read all that fast, there is the issue of HEARING words read at high speed. When I sit in on VSS/National Rounds, or am Judging them, I hear words, but due to the high speed of the words coming out of the mouth, I can't PROCESS them. How do I judge a round when I can't Understand the sentences?

Now, before you say I suck at it or whatnot, Know this, I have been doing it for 6-7 years, I have gotten better at hearing faster speeds. But I still have a LOT of issues with the HIGH Speed.

 

3) I understand the arguments for speed that say that it improves education because you hear more in a round. and the arguments that say you can process faster when you speed, but some people just CAN'T Do it, be it a disability or the fact they just can't. EVEN IF they try super hard. I am one of those people. And why should those people Not be allowed to Debate? Why should they be forced to do something else just because they can't speed? I personally ENJOY Policy Debate, I love the way it works, the information you learn, the research, and even the argumentation. But when I am trying to judge a HIGH Speed Round, and no one slows down, I look like the bad guy because I can't understand them. Where's the Education for me? If I can't hear/understand them, I'm getting no education.

 

4) Also, Do this. Ask your neighbors to sit in on a round and watch you debate. Then tell them if it is something they would be willing to support and donate money to. Don't tell them anything else, just ask them if that is a sport they would be willing to support. I'm curious as to how many would sit there during the whole thing and be thinking "What in the heck are they saying, I can't understand a word they are saying.. he/she is talking to fast. " And even more curious to how many would support it after hearing it.

 

5) WHAT Reason do you have for speeding? What Profession will you take up that you HAVE to be able to speed read that fast? What Profession has SPEED as a Requirement? or even a 'Preferred'?

I can name only one. Auctioneer.

And that doesn't even require READING fast. just the ability to Speak that fast.

Now, tell me. How many Debaters are going to become Auctioneers?

Edited by Quantum-Wolf
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Why should debaters have to go to a lesser place because they have lesser ability? yes national tournaments are hard, that being said it doesnt need to be impossible for teams not activly involved in it

 

Because the people that work on cutting new args, doing speed drills and getting better technically, people who spend a LOT of time on debate, deserve better tournaments. They work harder, they should be able to reap the rewards, plain and simple. If you say that you work just as hard on slow-style debate, you obviously don't know how hard national circuit teams work.

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