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Jared Nelson

Kansas Reppin' NFL Natz

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It seems like the system favors "fresh" judges on Day 2 and I am a little frustrated hanging out in the judges lounge all Saturday eating Cincinatti chili and watching Division 1A football playoffs. My plan next year might be to do East Kansas or Flint Hills on Friday and then Three Trails on Saturday.

 

Maybe we could get some cooperation going between certain districts to foster "fresher" judges on Saturday.

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obviously the aforementioned guidelines seem effective in terms of solving the perceived problem, but i kind of disagree with assigning preference to a certain type of judge once the pool has been set. lay judges have been asked to take time out of their day just like the rest of us. while i hate being told i don't have a round and learning that i've functionally wasted my time, the fact that i did debate as a high schooler doesn't make my opportunity cost of being at the tournament any higher than that of my lay judge peers.

 

telling those people "oh sorry we used you so infrequently, it will be different at other tournaments though so be sure to keep accepting the opportunity to judge when it's presented for us" isn't good for an activity which desperately needs that type of person virtually every other weekend of the season. once they're at a tournament, they need to be in the same lottery experienced judges are.

 

ultimately i think the normative approach from here for those of you that are graduating and care about the judging pool is to find judges in the future for your coach that fit your idea of what a qualifier judge should look like. you can start with yourself.

 

for those of you with more qualifying tournaments ahead, it might be wise to start thinking about how to improve your skills debating in front of laypersons. i know it's not your preferred activity, but to the extent that you care about debating in june, it would probably behoove you to come up with creative approaches to that type of debate. debate is a game, sure, but it's poor preparation to focus solely on your three-point shot when you know--as anyone reading this thread surely knows--that the three-point line isn't drawn on all the courts you'll be playing. and for the three of you who actually followed that metaphor, here's a hint: when there's no three point line, there's probably also not a very strict interpretation of goaltending.

 

 

i find this "refreshing judges" concept fascinating and actually strangely workable, by the way. sadly it will likely be 2015 before i can judge another kansas national qualifying tournament, so i won't be able to be a test case.

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In response to some of the questions/comments above, here's some insight into the way East Kansas tournaments are run. I'm going to try to keep this post strictly informational rather than editorial.

 

STRIKES: Our strike policy allows schools to strike two judges from the pool pre-tournament, and one judge from the panel in "any round that could determine a national qualifier" - meaning we lay down 5 cards and each involved coach strikes one [if both strike the same one, or one or more decline strikes, the other judge is removed at random].

 

JUDGE POOL: East Kansas no longer has a "community pool" at any qualifying tournament. All schools have the same quota to fill, based on the number of entries. Coaches are used as an "emergency reserve" pile when our quota is exhausted; the goal in creating the quota is that we will have just enough, and we have had to use coaches in late rounds on multiple occasions since shrinking our quota.

 

JOY OF TOURNAMENTS/JUDGE ASSIGNMENTS: The software still provides our pairings (except when it fails, which is less and less often each year). However, we do NOT allow the software to schedule judges. All judges are turned into anonymized cards with only a numerical code, a list of school codes they may not see, and the round(s) they are scheduled to judge. The cards are then allocated randomly, with some anonymous prioritizing in place which attempt to ensure that all judges are used at least once, and that no judge be required to sit for too long.

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This talk of the need for fresh judges is one that is certainly a concern.

 

An idea that I proposed earlier in the thread is one that I think makes some sense in this instance. Host 2 districts at the same site and swap judges. I'm pretty sure that WestKS and Sunflower already do this for congress (which is admittedly a completely different animal).

 

It just seems to me that if executed correctly, the advantages would be extremely high.

 

An example of this would be this year... On day 2 of WestKS NFL, all four of the teams for the school I was judging for (Hutch) were still in, meaning that there was 4 out of the 6 or so debates that I couldn't see. It seems to me that if those judges could be identified and swapped between the districts it would benefit both tournaments.

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This talk of the need for fresh judges is one that is certainly a concern.

 

An idea that I proposed earlier in the thread is one that I think makes some sense in this instance. Host 2 districts at the same site and swap judges. I'm pretty sure that WestKS and Sunflower already do this for congress (which is admittedly a completely different animal).

 

It just seems to me that if executed correctly, the advantages would be extremely high.

 

An example of this would be this year... On day 2 of WestKS NFL, all four of the teams for the school I was judging for (Hutch) were still in, meaning that there was 4 out of the 6 or so debates that I couldn't see. It seems to me that if those judges could be identified and swapped between the districts it would benefit both tournaments.

 

Tom- That is a great idea. Would probably be alot of classrooms on Friday but the room need vanishes pretty quickly - don't know what that looks like for administrators but sounds like a bigger school could pull it off.

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Let me propose a hypothetical problem with the judge swap idea.

 

Let's say that two neighboring districts host NFL tournaments which usually produce diametrically opposite sorts of qualifiers. One district's judging pool generally produces qualifying teams that are on the more contemporary side; the other district generally produces qualifying teams that are on the more traditional side.

 

If you're a coach whose team emphasizes the style that your district tends to qualify, why would you want to swap judge pools?

 

 

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i guess i thought of it as less of a formal full-pool swap and more an individual school-by-school swap. ie, instead of district A and district B agreeing to swap a group of 30 judges overnight, school A1 and school B1 each get four judges. A1 sends its four to district B friday to fill B1's slots, and B1 sends its four to district A friday to fill A1's slots. then the judges go to the tournament of their financial sponsor saturday fresh for the qualifying rounds. solves back principal agent concerns because payment is pending attendance at both. doesn't require formal changes in structure of tournament as far as i can tell, because it's not a decision being made at the level of the district, thus a] it doesn't matter if a coach or two would prefer not to swap judge pools, and b] the impact on the stylistic preferences of the judging pool is limited, because it's not a full-pool swap but rather a functional refresh of one school's judges [the ones they recruited!] for day two.

 

really, it's not significantly different from schools getting one judge to cover friday and another to cover saturday; the difference is that instead of going to the extra effort to find a qualified judge for friday and another one for saturday [competing for judges against teams from other districts], teams cooperate with teams from other districts to fill friday judging slots without burning their own recruits before the qualifying day.

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I'm sorry that I'm not a person with solutions, but swapping judges would have a whole host of new issues and I'm thinking would not solve the issue that some students and coaches would like to improve upon.

-So far the judging pool of TTNFL and EKNFL have been specifically indicted. So, if TT sends their "poor" judges to EK and EK sends their "poor" judges to TT, how does that improve anything?

-There has been a call for more judging by coaches. Clearly you don't expect the head coach of a program to be judging at a different tournament than they are competeing, do you? And who do you think runs the tournament? And do you really want someone judging who has access to the tab room and therefore can identify the implications of the round for their own teams? That isn't at all to say that coaches are unethical, far from it, but I would never want to put my friends in an ethically challenging position on purpose.

-If you swapped judges, and the judge doesn't show up for whatever reason, is there a consequence? And if there was, whould any school trust another school to recruit for them in such an important tournament? And if there isn't a consequence, could one school trust another to follow through with recruiting enough judges to make the tournament work?

-If schools aren't recruiting the "best" judges for their own tournament, surely they won't try harder for someone elses.

-What is unique about the NFL qualifier judge pool that is different than invitationals, DCI, State, or CFL qualifier? All tournaments require a recuriting of judges. IF NFL qualifier is uniquely worse, what is it about the other tournaments that make them better? If invitationals are better, then should be just have 100% a host school recuit (who then could not compete)? Perhaps have a swapping of host schools between districts? How about DCI, State, and CFL qualifier that also ask participating schools to bring judges? Why are those pools not recieving the same attacks?

 

I just think before we try to change the status quo and attack others, maybe your changes should be able to address these concerns.

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As I’m advocating a greater role for coaches as judges, I will address Phil’s concerns related to that proposal.

 

1. WILL COACHES JUDGE INVITATIONALS AT WHICH THEY DON’T COMPETE: no, which is why I don’t advocate the district swap proposal. I find this argument and others against the swap to be persuasive.

 

 

2. COACHES RUN THE TOURNAMENT: as best I can tell, the tournament requires the host school coach, to address facilities issues, who can also double as a ballot collector, and a second coach to enter the ballots into the tournament software (preferably two). Every other tournament duty (matching, ballot distribution, coaching) occurs between rounds as opposed to during them. The real reason we don’t judge at districts is that we don’t want to. “We have to run the show!†is a convenient excuse, nothing more.

 

3. COACHES ARE AWARE OF IMPLICATIONS: I’d say a number of things about this. Firstly, if this were a real concern for us, we would PROHIBIT coaches from judging; no district of which I’m aware does so. Second, there is a certain standard of professionalism expected of coaches, and the willingness to fairly adjudicate important rounds is pretty clearly part of that. Thirdly, it is hardly as if information about the performance of teams is unavailable to other members of the judging pool; any coach who wishes to alter the results of any round can do so through instruction to his or her school judges, and the fact that accusations of this sort occur so seldom suggests that this is not a very serious possibility. Fourth, we are not dealing with a choice between a coach and an experienced and impartial debate judge; my system explicitly creates a choice between a coach and a layperson in the back of the room. If my team is in that room, I will prefer another coach—even one who is fully aware of the implications of the round—every single time.

 

 

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After reviewing the qualifiers from EK and TTNFL, I have decided that Kansas will lose every ballot at NFL Nationals.

 

 

 

I hope I get to dabait you at DCI, so I can slay your sorry soul.

Get out out of here dude... even if you are being ironic you're not funny nor are clever.

I cannot guarantee how I will perform at nationals, but I can guarantee that I will not be dropping every ballot, and I know that t-high and shawnee heights will also be picking up multiple ballots

 

Essentially you're a punk ass and I look forward to dabating you.

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Phil also asks a reasonable question as to what makes the NFL district tournament distinct from other events which require school judges, such as CFL, DCI, and State.

 

I think the best way of answering this is to say that the NFL district tournaments do not exist as a separate category; rather, each individual NFL district tournament is a separate entity. There are NFL district tournaments which do not seem to be meaningfully distinct in any way from DCI or State. There are district tournaments which produce results which, clearly and consistently, represent a departure from those produced at invitationals, DCI, and state. There are other district tournaments which fall somewhere in between these extremes.

 

As to WHY such a result might take place, again, the answer varies based on the individual procedures of the district in question. In some cases it may be a product of the existence of a community pool that doesn't exist at other school-judged events. In other cases it might be the requirement that schools bring more judges than they need to provide for DCI or State--for many schools, their sixth choice of a school judge is much less typical of the nationals pool than their second choice. In other cases it may be a matter of schools with different debate styles than those which predominate at DCI, State, and NFL Nationals constituting a greater proportion of the pool than is the case at those events.

 

The discussion in this thread was brought about by competitors in my own NFL district. I don't regard my district's national qualifiers as in any sense unworthy; in fact I will go further and predict that all three of our teams will clear to elims at NFL nats. I am clearly a coach whose team has profited more by the existing judging system than has suffered from it. I still think it's worth discussing the issue in a public forum. NFL IS different. In some ways, radically so. It is fair to ask what effect those differences affect our state's performance at NFL nationals.

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I hope I get to dabait you at DCI, so I can slay your sorry soul.

Get out out of here dude... even if you are being ironic you're not funny nor are clever.

I cannot guarantee how I will perform at nationals, but I can guarantee that I will not be dropping every ballot, and I know that t-high and shawnee heights will also be picking up multiple ballots

 

Essentially you're a punk ass and I look forward to dabating you.

 

Why wait for DCI? You and me can slay his sorry soul in a parking lot a lot sooner, although watching you hit him in a round would be hilarious too!

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Why wait for DCI? You and me can slay his sorry soul in a parking lot a lot sooner, although watching you hit him in a round would be hilarious too!

 

 

dude i don't want to physically harm anyone. calm down

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Finally, I think that the most substantial way to add experience to the judging pool would be to offer payment or significant compensation to a few qualified judges, hired solely for the purpose of judging and not debating. I have recently been involved with a tournament in such a capacity, and found that I could be incredibly unbiased in my adjudication of the debates. Further, because I was being paid, I felt a strong obligation to be as fair, attentive and complete in my decisionmaking as possible. I understand that many feel there should be an inherent sense of obligation to judge; even if that is the case, duty is a weaker motivating factor than economic compensation, which encourages the best possible decisions in order to secure a future position as a hired judge. Additionally, such judges could see virtually every team in the pool, assuming they are hired collectively via a tournament fund. This is the best way to secure the involvement of those who, like me, no longer have any connection with a high school team. Further, judges who would not otherwise participate would reconsider in exchange for payment. I made a conscious decision not to judge debates at the beginning of this season, because I have limited time and other priorities. However, I have judged at one tournament because the amount of money I was offered caused me to adjust my priorities so that I could judge. This is the case for many experienced debaters.

 

Please note, if you really want a lot of experienced debaters to judge, there is not a good alternative to these suggestions. Things like "we're got a good hospitality room" are not persuasive to those of us that work enough to buy our own chili and nacho cheese. Guilt has little effect when you have to work 30 hours a week. Duty is easily outweighed by a similar sense of obligation to attend to schoolwork. Finally, judging is hard, thankless work, and the most experienced judges know that and don't really want to do it for free. I know this suggestion will not be well received by many, but I can assure you that after you have considered even anecdotal data, it will become clear that my suggestion offer the most effective solution to the "judge experience problem."

 

Here's the problem: Those van rides you took in high school weren't free. Neither were the hotel rooms you stayed in, or the paper on which you printed your evidence, or the computers you used to access it. The judges in the back of your debates likely donated their time, just as your coach essentially did when he/she stayed long hours after school and sacrificed their weekends for a paltry amount of supplemental pay.

 

I'd like to think that you place much value on the education (and other benefits) that you received from this activity... It has value because it was never free to begin with; lots of people invested time and resources in you for you to be able to participate in debate.

 

In life, you can choose to be a giver or a taker... It's not about guilt, it's about looking yourself in the mirror and recognizing which one you are, and figuring out whether or not you are happy with that choice. If you are a taker, that's cool... you're probably in the majority.

 

This lecture (which I fully admit is soapboxy) is not about you - PKennedy, it is a critique (or Kritik if you prefer) of the ideas you put out there. Hopefully someone reads this and says to themselves: "I've never thought of it that way."

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I argued above that MPJ was difficult/impossible to implement at NFL. Explanations why, following the lines of Patrick's arguments. I’m not seeking a line-by-line debate so much as I’m trying to create a mechanism that ensures that I address the issues fully and directly.

 

1. LAY JUDGES ARE PREFERABLE TO TRADITIONALISTS. I don’t entirely disagree, but that’s not really relevant at NFL. You are attempting to qualify to a national tournament that will be judged largely by traditionalists, and very seldom by outright laypeople. The tournament judging pool ought to select for teams that will succeed in that environment.

 

 

2. MPJ BENEFITS. Many of the problems here occur as a result of tournament mechanics.

 

 

-Unlike most tournaments with MPJ, there is no impartial central authority figure to serve as a “deciderâ€. If you have a human being engaged in the process of “balancing†the panel along Patrick’s guidelines, you’re going to create protracted arguments among the nine coaches watching as to whether the selection of a particular judge creates balance or not. Imagine this environment as it applies to rounds involving the balancer’s own teams.

 

 

-The nature of the judging pool is substantially different than is the case at most tournaments with MPJ in that many judges enter and leave the pool from round to round. Not only does this create a constantly shifting pool in terms of the overall number of lay/flow/flay judges available, it also necessitates a system where the tournament runs on time—if it doesn’t, big sections of the judging pool simply leave due to other commitments. The panel-creation process isn’t conducive to the tournament running on time.

 

 

-Unlike other MPJ events, judge scarcity becomes a massive issue. With a pool of judges that isn’t much larger than the number of debates, you can certainly accommodate the debates at the top of the bracket—but once you reach the bottom of the bracket, you are left with the judges you’re left with. This wouldn’t be an issue at most tournament with MPJ because that would be a debate between winless teams. At NFL, the “bottom†debate is an elimination debate between teams with one loss, and is every bit as important in the overall scope of the tournament as the “top†debate.

 

 

-Judge absences are epidemic at many NFL qualifiers, and generally one finds out about these absences when the judge isn’t present to take the ballot in question. Obviously this is even more true when the tournament is running behind, as above. The problem with an MPJ system is that the absence must be filled with a judge who satisfies the requirement for “balanceâ€â€”and that will range, under the circumstances we’re discussing, from difficult to completely impossible.

 

 

-The easy solution to the problems above is to have a computer program assign judges. Most of the MPJ programs of which I’m aware, though, employ an algorithm involving the assignment of ranks by teams to individual judges, which is a different animal from what Patrick seems to be suggesting, and creates problems of its own. In any case, this doesn’t solve for the problems of absences and rebalancing, nor does it appear to be within the scope of the capabilities of the tournament software with which NFL has saddled us.

 

 

3. AN IMPERFECT SYSTEM IS SUPERIOR TO A RANDOM, UNBALANCED ONE. If your goal is to make teams relatively happy with their judging over the course of the event, this might be true. If your goal is to qualify teams capable of succeeding with nationals judges who are assigned to rooms at random, I am not as sure. That imbalance will exist is a regrettable given, but I tend to think that the creation of a representative judging pool is a better means of assuaging that problem than the attempt to accommodate preferences within a non-representative pool. Ideally one would do both, and I could see myself endorsing a combination proposal that didn’t creative massive logistical problems.

 

 

4. FIRST YEAR OUT JUDGES. I am OK with this. I know of no other coach in Kansas who agrees with me. Nor are these judges permitted at NFL Nats. Patrick and I will both have to lose on this one; it is a more or less settled issue.

 

 

5. CHANGING COMPETITION DATE. Creates massive, massive problems with the calendar.

 

 

6. ALLOW JUDGES TO JUDGE MULTIPLE DEBATES. This works within the context of a strict MPJ approach but could not be made operational under any other format. I am envisioning a situation under Patrick’s “balanced panel†proposal in which a team is being heard for the third time in their qualifying round by a judge who the team DIDN’T prefer—the judge is being used for “balanceâ€â€”and has already voted against them twice. Your tab room had better be soundproofed. That there are three judges will be scant comfort under these circumstances. This may also require a change in national procedure; I don’t recall offhand whether this is permitted under the national guidelines for district tournaments.

 

 

7. PAY JUDGES. Many schools do pay their school judges; judges seeking to be paid need do no more than seek affiliation with one of these teams. I’m honestly a little bit puzzled by this suggestion—are there judges out there who seriously cannot find a paying sponsor for NFL weekend?

 

 

8. KANSAS SHOULD SEEK TO CHANGE NATIONAL PROCEDURE. Well, yes. But the attempt to do so presumes a consensus among programs in the state that can only arise as a result of the reforms actually having been implemented locally and having proven popular—so, where we are talking about NFL district tournament rules, there is kind of a chicken/egg problem in play. I think it might be more productive in the short term to discuss those changes that can be enacted within the NFL’s parameters. Another idea would be to experiment with some of these suggestions at the CFL qualifiers, where the coaches have complete leeway.

 

 

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It's a Christmas Miracle!

 

Olathe Northwest is hosting the 6A/5A 2- and 4-speaker state championships on the weekend of January 13th and 14th. As the hosts, we are required to recruit a big chunk of the judging pool, especially for 4-speaker. We are very short on judges right now and not for lack of effort.

 

So here's your chance to transform all your complaints into something helpful. Help me find these flow judges. I don't know their names, and I don't know how to contact them. Send me a PM with their contact info, or have them email me. I WANT to use them, and they are guaranteed to judge every single round. I will contact them, and I will sign them up.

 

If they exist (and you say they do), tell me who they are, and I will seek them out.

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It's a Christmas Miracle!

 

Olathe Northwest is hosting the 6A/5A 2- and 4-speaker state championships on the weekend of January 13th and 14th. As the hosts, we are required to recruit a big chunk of the judging pool, especially for 4-speaker. We are very short on judges right now and not for lack of effort.

 

So here's your chance to transform all your complaints into something helpful. Help me find these flow judges. I don't know their names, and I don't know how to contact them. Send me a PM with their contact info, or have them email me. I WANT to use them, and they are guaranteed to judge every single round. I will contact them, and I will sign them up.

 

If they exist (and you say they do), tell me who they are, and I will seek them out.

 

Have you contacted Wichita State, Emporia, UMKC, KU, etc? I don't really know how the recruiting process works but if this hasn't already been done it may be a good way to find some extra quality judges. Also, if you want to pm me I'm sure I could find a list of quality judges we usually try to recruit for the SME tournament. Thanks for taking the time to recruit experienced judges!

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-There has been a call for more judging by coaches. Clearly you don't expect the head coach of a program to be judging at a different tournament than they are competeing, do you?

 

No, but that isn't part of the proposal I raised.

 

-And who do you think runs the tournament?

 

Coaches.

 

-And do you really want someone judging who has access to the tab room and therefore can identify the implications of the round for their own teams?

 

Yes.

 

-That isn't at all to say that coaches are unethical, far from it, but I would never want to put my friends in an ethically challenging position on purpose.

 

I don't think it's ethically challenging. You vote for the team that wins the debate. You have to trust your colleagues to do the same. If you don't, you entrust the fate of the most important competition of the year to what is sometimes no better than random chance.

 

I've been on the other side of this equation, yelled at for making a controversial decision to decide the final qualifier spot at the NDT district tournament. I'd still take that over the prospect of my team missing the NDT because the troops shouldn't be in Cyprus during Christmas 100 times out of 100. I also suspect that the environment is (hopefully) a bit less direct in high school and folks treat each other professionally.

 

I don't want to force coaches to burn the candle at both ends or be forced to judge. Is there a middle ground? Perhaps an exception to Dubois' rule stating that a judge may recuse themselves if they have any concern about the ability to make an objective or accurate decision? For other reasons?

 

If a coach doesn't want to judge, that's fine. But if they want to they shouldn't be greeted with suspicion; they should be welcomed and encouraged to judge.

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Being back in Kansas and judging here this past weekend made me check out cross-x and I have a few thoughts:

 

-I haven't been in the state much the last 3 seasons so I don't know a lot about what goes on that isn't from the era I was in but it seems every year the districts produced teams that always included top teams in the district, it does leave teams that are some of the best out every year. The nature of qualifiers and the national tournament will always exist like that. March Madness probably hasn't had the best team as the national champion the last two years. But because someone is angry and going about making their point in a way that rightfully angers people, that does not mean we should not strive to make the qualifying procedure better if their is a majority of the community that would like to change the qualifying process or if there is a way to make the process better.

 

-I agree with the sentiment traditional judges are the hardest to predict. Predictability is essentially what we want in a subjective event we try and make as objective as possible. At Nationals my senior year we saw how this could play out in a couple of ways. One judged ranted about the debate for 30 minutes after without making a substantiated decision and dropped us(2 ballots said great debate and best ever, one said good luck and that was it). Our final round we dropped on a 2-1 with all the judges who before the debate said they were fine with speed and politics, the other team seemed to believe that was not the case and adapted towards a more traditional understanding of debate and won. No one explained their decisions or how those would go down.

 

-I don't think the district tournament can effectively model the national tournament. Winning 8 out of 12 requires a different skill set, including winning different ideological positions both contemporary, traditional, and lay that doesn't seem to be present at the national level. Kansas' coaches also become far different than national coaches. Most coaches that would judge can't replicate the experience of seeing someone write a 6 for CP's on the national sheet before the tournament when teams need to plan how to get 10 ballots(I think teams should never plan to throw away more than 2 but can't plan to win all 12 with how the tournament goes, I can explain that more if someone wants). Most teams can figure out between having debated in front of many assistant coaches before, interacted with teams on a level(I never had Riffer judge me but from conversations with Blue Valley and coaches about his debate viewpoints and experience I would know far more about his leanings than I could ever hope to know about random coach with a 5 for kritiks. If we can't replicate that unknown element, which is essentially what many traditional coaches are I think district tournaments in an ideal world would want people who are as contemporary or lay as possible. If you can adapt and persuade someone you contain elements that are likely to get you places with traditional judges and win the occasional sponsor. The contemporary skill is important as well, especially because so many national circuit schools are just bad at adapting to traditional teams that someone who has handled presumption arguments in that lay round and understands counterplan theory in depth will be in far better shape than someone who won a couple of people who have views on debate that circled 5 for everything on the sheet.

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bRubaie, I appreciate your thoughts on how to improve the tournaments, but I think you are underestimating the impacts of coaches judging rounds that mean something to other coaches. There is repeated history of coaches not getting along at the district tournaments. That history gets to the point where districts split, not based on geography or participation, but based on coaches not being able to see eye to eye. If coaches already need to play in separate sandboxes, now throw in a history of one coach keeping track that another coach always votes against his/her kids. If coach A knows that coach B has voted been the deciding factor more than once in preventing coach B's kids from going to Nationals, it won't be a surprise if coach B and coach A aren't getting along soon. And coach A was probably ethical each time the decision was made, but coach A and coach B have very different styles that they coach and judge. When coach A, coach C, and coach D vote against coach B's kids, perhaps coach B starts feeling picked on and leaves the district. This all happens without coaches judging!!! And no one is to blame for it. Coaches are humans with memories and emotions.

 

I get that quality judging is a high priority. I also agree that coachs make some of the highest quality judges if not the highest. And I see that being more reflective of the NFL Nationals pool. All that being said, the coaches have to work together for often decades. As an assistant coach, I know that other coaches are reading my ballots and mentally holding me accountable. That is fine and I accept that as part of the job. If the decisions I make and the ballots I write upset a head coach, well that sucks but we don't really work together. I don't think it would be the same for head coaches to head coaches, and that is why I say I wouldn't want to put any head coach in the situation in which someone they have to work with is second quessing them. You can claim that people should rise above all that, but I just don't think that is realistic, especially given the history.

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Your description of the history doesn't sound very promising. If this is what happens when coaches judge then I agree, it isn't worth it.

 

I disagree that "no one is to blame" for the behavior you describe. Those coaches are responsible for being immature and unprofessional towards their colleagues. I share your sympathy as a coach. Debate heightens emotions. Adding the attachment felt to certain students and the importance of a national qualifier makes it even harder.

 

Regardless, head coaches frequently judge each other's teams in my district without this level of acrimony. These are not meek-mannered folks. Mr. Huston, Ms. Ferguson, Mr. Mahoney, etc. all put in an unbelievable level of overtime because they're so competitive. While I've witnessed enormous disagreements, none reached the levels you're describing.

 

After the coach who disagreed with my districts decision posted "Hate Rubaie" for a month, "Still Hate Rubaie" the month after and called it "stupid" (among other things) to dozens of my friends, it became pretty clear their feelings were hurt and I had to say something. Instead of losing sleep over it or escalating things, I told them I'd be happy to discuss the decision with them in a professional way. While we certainly aren't friends, no one's leaving the district. I could still judge his team objectively if invited to do so.

 

If a couple 25 year olds can do this I'm not sure why the grown-ups I viewed as role models couldn't do the same.

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