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The Current State Of Missouri Debate

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I'm going into my final year of policy debate and I thought I'd just start a discussion on everyone's thoughts on the current state of MO debate.

 

My initial thought is that Missouri districts are lagging behind most other developed districts in terms of progressiveness in policy debate. Here are a few examples:

 

1. No one discloses--everyone thinks that surprising the other team through breaking an "amazing" new affirmative they just cut would lead to victory. I really don't see how this would make sense and what satisfaction would come out of this kind of victory. Disclosure is looked down upon by most coaches because it defies the traditional style of policy debate, but with increasing amounts of evidence and access to policy tools, these coaches are failing to realize that disclosure is the new norm.

 

The Missouri Policy Wiki created by CaptainFalcon is a step in the right direction for MO, but Missouri has no presence on the national wiki or any other open disclosure system. MSDI joined open evidence, which is also a step in the right direction, but a lot more progress must be made. Only a handful of teams are on the Missouri Policy wiki and many teams are rejecting it for the reasons above.

 

2. Judging capabilities/Progressivism-- the judges in Missouri are subpar to say the least. Most are recruited locally but there are those occasional old policy kids or college debaters that drop by. In general, the judging pool is very lay. I'm not saying lay debate is bad. Lay debate is definitely the most helpful in terms of public speaking and future educational purposes. However, with the rest of the country (most of it) transitioning to a more progressive style of spreading and jargon, Missouri is falling behind. The new style of spreading has quickly become popular among not only national circuit teams, but slowly Missouri teams as well. In my opinion, if possible, tournaments should make a larger effort to find solid competitive-style judges for at least Policy Debate, in whatever amount is feasible.

 

3. National Competitiveness-- Missouri coaches are becoming more and more conservative when it comes to allowing teams to travel to national circuit tournaments. I understand a major reason for this are the MHSHAA team national regulations for tournaments. More coaches, however, should attempt to travel a little bit with any amount possible. Missouri is falling behind also in terms of national competitiveness. While states like Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska are becoming competitive on the national circuit, Missouri remains isolated. With Missouri State hosting a tournament, the opportunities for Missouri teams to have the national circuit exposure and experience is growing but can only be successful if teams are willing to try.

 

These are just my thoughts. I'd be interested in hearing what others have to say.

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Yes.

1. Better judge education

2. Better debater education

3. Better coach education

4. Traveling more if its possible

 

Some of this could be done with:

1. a collaborative Google doc

2. video (vimeo, youtube, etc..)

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Want to know a issue? Paying $3,000 to a assistant coaching but than saying you have no money to hire judges. Well no shit, you are over paying the glorified baby sister. Tell me this, why would I come judge at a STL tournament for free on my weekend off in between college tournaments? I get paid $25-$50 a round for college judging, but I am expected to donate my time in stl. Outside of hiring someone as a coach not paying for rounds will not produce better debate (slow debate is fine, case debate is fine, all of these things could be much better).

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I'm going into my final year of policy debate and I thought I'd just start a discussion on everyone's thoughts on the current state of MO debate.

 

My initial thought is that Missouri districts are lagging behind most other developed districts in terms of progressiveness in policy debate. Here are a few examples:

 

1. No one discloses--everyone thinks that surprising the other team through breaking an "amazing" new affirmative they just cut would lead to victory. I really don't see how this would make sense and what satisfaction would come out of this kind of victory. Disclosure is looked down upon by most coaches because it defies the traditional style of policy debate, but with increasing amounts of evidence and access to policy tools, these coaches are failing to realize that disclosure is the new norm.

 

The Missouri Policy Wiki created by CaptainFalcon is a step in the right direction for MO, but Missouri has no presence on the national wiki or any other open disclosure system. MSDI joined open evidence, which is also a step in the right direction, but a lot more progress must be made. Only a handful of teams are on the Missouri Policy wiki and many teams are rejecting it for the reasons above.

 

2. Judging capabilities/Progressivism-- the judges in Missouri are subpar to say the least. Most are recruited locally but there are those occasional old policy kids or college debaters that drop by. In general, the judging pool is very lay. I'm not saying lay debate is bad. Lay debate is definitely the most helpful in terms of public speaking and future educational purposes. However, with the rest of the country (most of it) transitioning to a more progressive style of spreading and jargon, Missouri is falling behind. The new style of spreading has quickly become popular among not only national circuit teams, but slowly Missouri teams as well. In my opinion, if possible, tournaments should make a larger effort to find solid competitive-style judges for at least Policy Debate, in whatever amount is feasible.

 

3. National Competitiveness-- Missouri coaches are becoming more and more conservative when it comes to allowing teams to travel to national circuit tournaments. I understand a major reason for this are the MHSHAA team national regulations for tournaments. More coaches, however, should attempt to travel a little bit with any amount possible. Missouri is falling behind also in terms of national competitiveness. While states like Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska are becoming competitive on the national circuit, Missouri remains isolated. With Missouri State hosting a tournament, the opportunities for Missouri teams to have the national circuit exposure and experience is growing but can only be successful if teams are willing to try.

 

These are just my thoughts. I'd be interested in hearing what others have to say.

 

So in other words, precisely nothing has changed since the last time someone made one of these threads. Gotcha.

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Yup, same post every year. Probably same results every year. I will throw this out there for you all to ponder and take to your coaches. If you want a more qualified judging pool it is on the tournament host sending out the invite. The reason that the "circuit" ends up with a system of judging that is more "progressive" is because they require teams to bring qualified judges to tournaments to cover their teams. When we go somewhere we have to provide qualified judges or pay the money to the tournament for them to hire a judge on our behalf. This has been a problem in MO since before you were born and the solution has existed since then as well, the problem is that people ahve refused to implement it.

You have a misperception of the disclosure norm. Teams breaking something new don't disclose it before they break it, so it really wouldn't prevent the "new aff" explosion at districts.

The MSHSAA regulations while cumbersume, are not a major stumbling point for travel - if you want to travel, here are a list of "national" tournaments with "progressive" judges that you could travel to (This includes date restrictions as well):

St. Marks - Octos Bid

Iowa Caucus - Semis

KCKCC - Finals bid (you don't even have to travel)

Glenbrooks - Octos

Ohio Valley - Qtrs

Dowling - QTRS

MBA - Octos

Heritage Hall - finals (really good tournament)

Colleyville - Semis

Homewood Flossmoor - semis

Omaha Westside - Finals

 

And most of these tournaments all occur on different weekends. Not to mention you get one tournament out of the millage radius (all of these are in the millage radius) so you can go to Cal or Harvard or Emory or Michigan etc...

The opportunity is there you just have to use it and yes a coach must be willing as well. 2 party system. Team from MO can and do operate within the system completely legitimately without any problem.

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Want to know a issue? Paying $3,000 to a assistant coaching but than saying you have no money to hire judges. Well no shit, you are over paying the glorified baby sister. Tell me this, why would I come judge at a STL tournament for free on my weekend off in between college tournaments? I get paid $25-$50 a round for college judging, but I am expected to donate my time in stl. Outside of hiring someone as a coach not paying for rounds will not produce better debate (slow debate is fine, case debate is fine, all of these things could be much better).

 

Dude. The schools around here in STL aren't as fortuned in terms of budgets and being able to pay for everything as say your college or your former high school or other high schools for that matter. If they asked you to judge, you could take it as a polite request and say no instead of bashing on a problem that's unfixable by the debate teams themselves.

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I would point out.....however.....that funding for debating have numerous sources of funds:

1. school district & school

2. parents

3. students (summer jobs or school year jobs)

4. donation/sponsorship (of teams or tournaments/trips)

 

There might even be others.

 

Or you could figure out something that the college students would like....say a gift card to Target or Amazon....which you might be able to get for half price.

 

The economics simply don't make sense given how much time is invested in

a) research

b] practicing

c) traveling

d) debating

for judges not to be paid. (kids work 15 to 25 hours a week on debate....and you can't shell out $500 for judging for a whole season.....when camp is $3,000 or so)

 

Although I guess I can see that this might be a larger issue...if you pay policy judges...you should pay X, Y, and Z event judges too. I think its a little different--normal people can judge most of those events with little impact on overall results (presumably)--but in policy debate the need for expert judging requires paying for that judging. Simply economics of supply & demand--as described above.

 

Even the Urban Debate League offers their judges the opportunity to get paid or just to volunteer. In other words they pay their judges--they couldn't have the caliber teams they do without it.

 

None-the-less....the get sponsorship to attend larger tournaments might work (I don't exactly know what your travel restrictions are).

 

* My numbers were mostly guestimations. I'm sorry I don't have data. You can figure out the time invested in debate for summer + tournament weeks....as well as the cost of hiring judges pretty easily.

Assuming you pay a judge $20 a round...thats just $5 per student in the round.

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Oh look, more kids worshiping the norms of tournaments they've never been to.

 

I don't have a dog in this fight anymore. Missouri debate could be "better" in a number of ways, but it could also be a lot worse (read nonexistent). I'm going to throw this out there though: a lot of kids just aren't equipped to play the game the way it is played nationally, and attempts by a small number of people to adopt what they think to be "progressive" debate won't fix that, and could probably be worse for debate in MO overall. Even for lack of payment, I'd wager that I might judge more policy debates in Missouri (admittedly, a very small number, but that's because gas is expensive and I have other things to do), than anyone save coaches that judge regularly. The largest problem in those debates isn't the lack of speed, the lack of disclosure, or the "old school" debates that occur (though full disclosure, I'm completely uncomfortable evaluating a round in a "stock-issues" paradigm, both because that calculative process makes no sense to me, and the only "stock issue" I think truly exists is probably topicality [inherency, I guess, if the AFF is truly not inherent]). Frankly, it's because debaters don't understand their evidence, don't understand the larger theses of their arguments, and aren't particularly well schooled in the type of synthetic thinking that is probably a pre-requisite to effective debate (at any level).

 

That, I think, is because of three things.

 

1) Very few folks do their own research.

2) Coaches are overworked and can more effectively use their time other ways.

3) Kids are getting ahead of themselves.

 

While hiring judges would be helpful (I'd get out to the county more, though maybe that's a bad thing), there's no reason to assume it's a fix--the same "bad" judges get the pay, etc. More importantly, CJ's just right. Go to the hospitality room at a tournament some time. A lot of coaches sitting around. The use of these coaches in a debate to judge might not do anything to make debates more "progressive" but it would certainly encourage coach involvement, and probably make debates more educational.

 

I guess I don't really have a point, other than, yeah, it's not ideal, but your fixes aren't fixes.

 

I've grown cranky with age.

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Despite not being "progressive," I still really enjoy debate. I experienced spread debate at camp and, from a longterm view, the traditional MO style of debate would be less stressful while still providing a debate experience. The idea that MO isn't becoming progressive is ridiculous. Tournaments like MSUs are opening new venues for that style of debate. In eastern Missouri alone, a majority of tournaments are allowing the use of computers. At some major tournaments like Marquette and Pattonville, you might get a chance to have a spread round, more so than a year or two ago.

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As CJ said, this discussion happens nearly every year... and nearly every year the coaches see the same thing - students who are very committed to changing things in Mo High School debate disappear when it is time to put the change in to place.

Let me offer this small, even modest, proposal. If you really think that debate is transformative and you believe that students in Missouri should have the opportunity to travel the circuit, have more progressive debate, or whatever then you need to coach. That is the only way that it happens. No, it is not the instantaneous solution that you want. No, it is not the most glamourous solution. No, it will not directly benefit you. But, if you truly believe that this is what needs to happen then you do have the ability to change it.

Realistically, I believe that the best way to do this is to head to schools that don't have any form of debate program and start from scratch. When administrators and others in the district believe that debate happens a certain way (because of previous coaches) then it is very difficult to change that. However, when those who control the purse strings don't know that the majority of Missouri schools don't travel the circuit (and it helps if you see some success) then they are likely to believe that is what debate is supposed to look like.

Let me take a few seconds to answer some basic arguments against this -

1 - I won't be able to find a school that will give me a debate class/ funding.

This may be true. You may have to do some fundraising, have practice after school, begin by recruiting random kids out in the hall, etc. You will likely have to get certified in some other subject (English and History work well since you will see many of the 9th graders who make wonderful recruits). You may even have to make personal sacrifices (yep I'm talking about dollars here) to fund the squad. As an example, my wife and I have made a commitment to live in a smaller house, not have children, and work odd jobs so that we have extra money to support our students when they want to go to tournaments but don't have the financial ability. Yes, it requires sacrifice but so does everything else that is worth anything.

2 - The start-up costs are prohibitive.

This used to be true. There was a time when I first started coaching that the majority of evidence that other schools used was either handcut (still the best obviously) or purchased from a briefbook, PlanetDebate, cross-x.com, etc. However, now the majority of camps put their evidence on the open evidence project, we will open-source all our evidence that we read, and there are numerous other opportunities for people to get the evidence to start the program.

Yes, there are still costs. You may have to pay them out of your own pocket. But I can tell you from experience, when the administration sees the benefits of the program they tend to be very supportive of things like the extra paper costs, the grants to purchase a few laptops, etc.

3 - The high school I attend won't have a debate program any more if I don't go back.

Then by all means go back and help. Volunteer while you are in college. Make sure to judge rounds during their tournament (and others).

This was realilstically one of the hardest things for me as a coach. The fact that the school where I attended hasn't had a policy team in 4 years makes me sick. However, if I had gone back to try to work with program where I went to high school there would have been many fewer students who would have been exposed to policy debate compared to coming to Marshfield like I did.

4 - I don't know where to start.

Reading this post should help. I started by volunteering at Marshfield (a school with NO previous policy program) where I came in 1-2 days per week and talked to one of the speech classes about the benefits of debate. Then I offered to stay after school, drive myself to the tournaments to provide an extra judge, etc. For two years I was a stipend assistant coach. After figuring drive time, gas costs, and time I spent at the tournaments, I was making a whopping NEGATIVE $1.43 per hour. But it provided a lot of experience, got my foot in the door, and gave me a wonderful opportunity to start getting to know the students who would eventually become the core of the program.

After going back to school, getting my Masters and my teaching certificate, and continuing to work my schedule around debate practice and another job, I was able to get a job at Marshfield where they would give me one debate class per day and a range of other classes. In the early days I did a lot of going through the halls to recruit any student who looked smart, was interesting, would come to after school practice, whatever. It meant staying way after school many days to do the same introduction to debate that I had done 1000 times... but you never know which students will end up sticking with the activity.

Today Marshfield has a growing debate program. Last year we had over 40 different students who competed in policy debate. That is on top of the 30+ other students who have done PFD, LD, or individual events. We are now the second largest student organization at Marshfield (behind FFA) and we have traveled to tournaments in 12 states in the last 3 years.

5 - That only works if you have a rich school.

This is a lie. Marshfield is one of the poorest school districts in Missouri. What it requires is not necessarily money. It requires coaches who are willing to put things above the number of dollars they are able to make.

 

This is not meant to pat anyone (other than the students who make debate at Marshfield happen) on the back. What it is meant to show is that the change is possible.

Probably the single thing that makes me the proudest about my students is the number of them who want to grow up to become coaches. They want to go to schools that don't have money and make debate programs happen there for them.

The purpose of an apple tree is not for it to produce more apples... it is to produce more apple trees.

The purpose of a good debate program should not be just to produce debaters... it should be to produce more debate coaches.

 

Those are my two cents. Thanks for reading.

Chris

 

Marshfield Debate

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I would second what Chris said above...

1. Focus on what really matters. Learn about the practice of persuasion, learn about presidential speeches, and learn about critical thinking. That doesn't require any funding. At most its interlibrary loan money. Which books to read? Well...do a search on "critical thinking syllabus" on Google advanced, with limits for .edu (you could also play around with limiting to .doc and/or .pdf). You could also play around with searching for top named schools (ie Harvard, Northwestern, Berkeley, etc...) Read textbooks on argumentation. Most debate camps & coaches totally ignore this--or don't have the time to read the best books and insights from science, academia, or the popular presses on these topics.

2. Model the best of the persuasion & public speaking around you. Listen for distinctions, metaphors, contrasts, juxtapositions, and going big picture.

3. Pool resources in your community if possible. For instance, its cheaper to split paid coaching between 4 squads than just 1--at least for practice debates. (This is a raising tide that helps all boats)

4. Get creative. Get resourceful. Find your own solution. Life isn't easy--learning about the struggle and ingenuity will pay off later (it probably makes for a decent college essay...and stories later on as well)

 

Three ways to get the books you want/need:

1. Interlibrary loan. This I believe is less than $2 a book. I think its often free.

2. Amazon has a ton of used textbooks books that are quality, but used. (note: sometime you are better off getting new if the price is close)

 

Chris and his wife are a prime example of putting his money and life where is mouth is.

 

5 - That only works if you have a rich school.

 

This might help if you had examples. I know Slusher came out of Missouri and is now coaching at Gonzaga (if I'm not mistaken)....not sure which HS he went to.

 

And this principle is probably not that much different than what happens in the Olympics....where often athletes struggle with average coaches and sometimes no coaching at all.

 

Love this quote from Chris:

The purpose of an apple tree is not for it to produce more apples... it is to produce more apple trees.

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Dude. The schools around here in STL aren't as fortuned in terms of budgets and being able to pay for everything as say your college or your former high school or other high schools for that matter. If they asked you to judge, you could take it as a polite request and say no instead of bashing on a problem that's unfixable by the debate teams themselves.

 

Actually I was directly referring to the budgets of local teams along with how they see judging. To pay $5 bucks a round is more token than anything and really is far below minimum wage. But go ahead, assume that it is a ill-founded issue even thought it is exactly what you identified. You don't get to pick and choose the demands you make about progressive debate. National tournaments are where they are because they attract judging and competition not because they got some magic label that instantly made them have +100 plus teams.

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I believe the answer to this is far easier than anyone else has put it: If you don't like things then come back when you graduate. While students are debating they talk about how they do not like the direction that Missouri is going, but the only way to fix this is to come back. Offer your time to a local team (whether that be at practice, researching, or judging at tournaments and hopefully a mixture of all three). When you have this contact with present debaters you are able to at least tell them the way you think debate should look in Missouri. Be involved is the best way to solve the problems you see with Missouri debate.

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I say:

1. Change the system now. Create better judging now--build systems at your local tournament to improve the circuit. Or lobby the NDCA to do so....they are the people behind two of the most transformative reformations in debate to date: the open evidence project and the case list--both of which massively increase education in the activity (as well as leveling the playing field and making things fairer). A short 15 to 20 minute video for judge education could be incredibly helpful--or some system to make this process easier. It would be interesting if they put out something which contextualized voting paradigms.....(ie stock issues) for what it is--theory thats 25 years outdated. Sure we still use them as a thinking tool, but they fit in a much more targeted and helpful decision-making calculus. One which hopefully mirrors the real world much better & encourages better debate (ie clash on policy not terrible procedural arguments).

2. Come back and help out. (ie what Chas said above)

3. Set yourself up for success (I pointed out ways to improve your skills without spending much cash....with would pay lifelong dividends....even if you don't teach or become a lawyer).

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Nathan, while your comments are appreciated you lack background knowledge about how things actually work in MO. I do not know a MO coach who is a member of NDCA absent maybe 2 who travel the national circuit. So NDCA can't do jack to pressure anyone.

Creating a better judging system requires coaches (the people who run all of the tournaments in MO) to use a system and if one did other coaches have to be willing to agree. It has been done a number of times and consistently fails. They do judges workshop, not enough doesn't work to create progressive debate. Judges are usually parents who volunteer, they don't care enough. Judges are given ballots prior to rounds they are not assigned. They don't use computers to tab debates or assign judges. So all of this is almost irrelevant.

It requires coaches who work for schools to actually authorize these things to happen!

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For the sake of being seen as a troll, I guess I'll throw in my relative sage-like opinion.

 

Missouri debate in its current form is inevitable because of budgetary issues. Chris hit the nail on the head here. It's just true. Even if some money is being funneled to go to an assistant coach, cutting that coach might only provide enough resources to travel a mid-sized team to one, maybe two large tournaments.

 

I guess that's just the obvious, but I'll try to throw something else into the mix. As Ben Reid might say, I'm sounding like Cheesewright here, but, oh well.

 

Why should we prioritize this very specialized, particular form of knowledge? Whats to say that such a form has any more intrinsic value than what Missouri currently has. Yes, there might be more research benefits for competing in what some call the "national circuit", but from my experience, those who do well in Missouri are those who do the research anyways and those would be competitive on the NC anyways. Why make the whole ordeal into some projection of inferiority to "the big boys" at some private school or Chicago suburb?

 

I lived 4 years envying them and carrying out my college plans accordingly only to determine that it doesn't make a difference. I did the same research as them. I did the same preparation as them. When push came to shove, I ran the same arguments as them. I feel like my experience in Missouri gave me the research skills that I needed to be successful in college, in combination with the often overlooked (and oh god, scoffed at) public speaking and communication benefits. Why do you think the vast majority of collegiate programs are housed in communication departments? Sure, there are some historical factors. The main reason continues, debate is an activity focused on communication in any form. The method of communication may differ, but there is no difference between the the "technical" and the "persuasive" in any substantive way.

 

I look back at my time in Missouri with favor. I don't think for a moment that I got "screwed over" because some "bus driver" made a "shitty decision". If you think that doesn't happen in the national circuit, you are idealistic. I'm sure you can ask CJ.

 

Moral of the story - you can't always get what you want, but if you try some times, you might find that you get what you need.

 

High school is temporary, you shouldn't live it in envy of what others might have - it prevents you from seeing your own privilege. You'll be fine as a collegiate debater if that's something you want to do. Ask any of the Mo State kids. Ask Malcom Gordon (shit, he debated for Ozark). The benefits you learn in Missouri, the ability to communicate in a very basic way, will help you out where it matters. Even if you value the "technical", it will help you there when you get to college in a way that other individuals might not have had the same opportunity.

 

Just my thoughts. I don't think it's too long not to read. Might be helpful to the discussion.

 

Thanks.

 

-Ben

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I will agree with Ben on this one. There are plenty of MO debaters that go on to have super successful college debate careers. The fundamentals of HOW to play the game don't change, just the execution.

 

Baby Jo - 1994 CEDA National Champion

Malcolm Gordon - 2nd at the NDT

Mike Kearney - NDT outrounds several years

Matt Bostick - 1st round

Gabe Cook

Justin Stanley

Louie Petit

 

This is the short list I can think of off the top of my head. My larger point is to agree with Ben. The skills exist. Go to sollege and show them.

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I see the point about politics--thats only a slight constraint on the vision of what I pointed out, I was thinking a solution which would work for every circuit in the country. The intent of the video/media content/article wouldn't be to make it more "circuit" based....but simply fairer and less simply stock issues based.

 

It also doesn't require the NDCA to apply pressure the or the presence of MO coaches on the NDCA (although those two might help). You could even see if someone at the NFL could help. Its just that the $50/$100 in video production/editing would be nice. Given iMovie & laptops with video....if you had 3 smart people, who explain how to judge debates--it would provide a standard and a jumping off point.

 

Sure, they would have to approve it on a tournament by tournament basis--but people who like the video could at least educate their judges.....and encourage others to watch. If we've learned anything from the Arab Spring, no one can stop a video on Youtube from being viewed (save a government like China and Google itself...in extreme examples--beyond whatever filters might exist on school computers).

 

Or perhaps someone could work with Rostrum/the NFL....in collaboration with someone who already writes articles for the Rostrum.'

 

Any national coach could do this. There are roughly 100 hour long lectures online....I know we can get a two 7 to 10 minute videos that explain debate:

1. the debate process

2. how to judge a debate

Obviously their clarity is key to making this work.

 

Malcolm Gordon - 2nd at the NDT

Mike Kearney - NDT outrounds several years

Matt Bostick - 1st round

Gabe Cook

Justin Stanley

Louie Petit

I would add Slusher to that list. He debated pretty well for SIU, when it has a program.

 

I seem to remember Petit even debated with minimal resources and coaching in college.

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I see the point about politics--thats only a slight constraint on the vision of what I pointed out, I was thinking a solution which would work for every circuit in the country. The intent of the video/media content/article wouldn't be to make it more "circuit" based....but simply fairer and less simply stock issues based.

I don't know why you think that the politics of the coaches who run all of the school programs is only a "slight" constraint of your vision. I'll put this in debate terms for you. They say no to the plan. You have to convince coaches who don't like even the current theory structure of debate alot of the times regardless of the speed at which it is practiced to change before they are going to be willing to discuss telling the judges they bring in to allow those norms to exist.

I will address the media issue below.

 

 

 

It also doesn't require the NDCA to apply pressure the or the presence of MO coaches on the NDCA (although those two might help). You could even see if someone at the NFL could help. Its just that the $50/$100 in video production/editing would be nice. Given iMovie & laptops with video....if you had 3 smart people, who explain how to judge debates--it would provide a standard and a jumping off point.

 

Sure, they would have to approve it on a tournament by tournament basis--but people who like the video could at least educate their judges.....and encourage others to watch. If we've learned anything from the Arab Spring, no one can stop a video on Youtube from being viewed (save a government like China and Google itself...in extreme examples--beyond whatever filters might exist on school computers).

Here is a new fact. These videos exist, they have existed for years. Coaches always attempt to conduct a lay judge workshop prior to thier tournaments to educate thier judges. Sometimes they show and sometimes they don't.

Your Arab Spring analogy is so far off the mark I was confused as to where to start. For that to be applicable the lay judges would have to find the video on You Tube and suddenly uprise against the coaches because they want to make debate more progressive. You don't need a video to have a judges workshop. period.

 

Or perhaps someone could work with Rostrum/the NFL....in collaboration with someone who already writes articles for the Rostrum.'

 

Any national coach could do this. There are roughly 100 hour long lectures online....I know we can get a two 7 to 10 minute videos that explain debate:

1. the debate process

2. how to judge a debate

Obviously their clarity is key to making this work.

Again this is done, as I said in previous posts as well. If you think you can teach a lay judge to judge a debate in 7-10 minutes and make debate more progressive then I have some ocean front property I would like to sell you. Judges workshops as they exist now last 30-60 minutes and it is not enough. The reason debate has become more progresssive (really hating this term we have decided to use but whatever) is because the people who judge debates do so 60 times a year and coach all year and think about debate theory and argumentation and strategy. these judges for the most part judge 2 round a year at one tournament a year.

 

The solution requires the coaches of schools to make that decision. Tournaments have to change. Coaches have to judge. Teams have to bring QUALIFIED judges. It has been this way for atleast 30 years that I know of in MO. Coaches have changed but the game has not.

 

 

 

 

I would add Slusher to that list. He debated pretty well for SIU, when it has a program.

 

I seem to remember Petit even debated with minimal resources and coaching in college.

 

I don't think Slusher is from MO. I thought he was from KS. That is why I did not put him on the list. The list is longer for sure, but I was out of the loop for awhile.

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yes. this is not the first time they have done it. kckcc hosts a tournament every year with a ton of regional teams with "progressive" debates and 2 teams from MO were there last year. And only 1 of those schools was on the usual MO local circuit. This only works if people consistently go to the tournament, otherwise it dies. This is a step, but not a solution.College programs can't change the state of debate in MO if the HS coaches don't want to do it. The college programs end up looking like the devil and become vilified.

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The college programs end up looking like the devil and become vilified.

This has already basically happened. I asked my coach about possibly going to MSU tournament or KCKCC and it was a flatout no with an explanation of "they're skewing debate" or something along the lines.

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yes. this is not the first time they have done it. kckcc hosts a tournament every year with a ton of regional teams with "progressive" debates and 2 teams from MO were there last year. And only 1 of those schools was on the usual MO local circuit. This only works if people consistently go to the tournament, otherwise it dies. This is a step, but not a solution.College programs can't change the state of debate in MO if the HS coaches don't want to do it. The college programs end up looking like the devil and become vilified.

 

Small point (read: irrelevant), but there were four MO teams at KCKCC last year: Pembroke, Barstow, Park Hill, and Park Hill South.

 

I haven't talked to Spencer or Grant or Unsell lately, but my assumption is that Park Hill will be back again this year.

 

I'll say this though: if you can't sell your coaches on traveling someplace as close as KCK or Springfield, then you're definitely getting ahead of yourselves in other places. I can appreciate the lack of IE/LD/PF at these tournaments as problematic for some programs, but it doesn't seem like that's the objection, and it would easily be remedied by making a sacrifice elsewhere, putting a little personal money forward, etc. It's obviously not ideal, but nothing is.

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Your inherency claims. Its already done are kind of bunk.

1. I assume thats a non-technology solution

2. Its clearly a bad solution in the SQ (see 90% of this entire thread). I'm sure there are content and/or clarity issues which could be added to make it better (even assuming it does exist).

3. 3 Unique Net Benefits:

Technology or media as the basis can provide a more viable template (this creates three effects: a) time saver b] universal education, versus haphazard c) more predictable ideas about debate concepts). A video can be viewed on a desktop, laptop, a smart phone, a tablet, or even a television (if you have the extra-tech available for linking a laptop). It can also offer an FAQ which helps pre-empt some of the judges concerns.

 

I think the premise of the activity demands that the judging be high quality (policy is defined distinctly differently than public forum, which are supposed to have common judges).

 

I apologize about Slusher. I was just told in the 90s that he debated in MO, but perhaps he wasn't actually from there. Or its possible other SIU debaters were from there. I'll take your word for it.

 

I think you are viewing the mindsets and opinions of your audience to be static (aka coaches). Thats not necessarily the case. And new coaches are created every year due to turnover--so you have an opportunity with each new school year.

 

It may be they would go for a middle ground (not progressive debate, but debate which reflected a more nuanced approach beyond stock issues). Or at least that the other option would get heard in judge education programs.

 

Find common ground. Education & being a laggard versus a leader. No one wants to be a laggard or perceived as a laggard. If debaters have to learn to do a different style of debate when they go to the NFLs--that suggests you might be a laggard.

 

Figure out what motivates your audience & what their holdup is (aka what their barrier to changing or altering their perception).

 

Or.....why not take the Pepsi challenge--why not have a debate on the topic????????? This would theoretically be educational.

 

I think you have lots of unexplored alternatives.

 

Also....did Clevenger's post get deleted? I don't see it anymore....

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