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SlavojZizek

The Current State Of Missouri Debate

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This will probably be my last post on this thread. My post somehow ended up on the 1st page. I think it is still there. If not, I did not delete it. Slusher went to UMKC for about a year if that - maybe that is the MO link. If he is from MO then cool, but since I am from KC and we debated around the same time, I would suspect we would have run into each other, that being said that is why I think he is from the Kanas side. I can' confrim that. No appologies needed.

I am going to go out on a really thick limb here and say that nathan_debate has never A. debated in MO, and B. never been to a local HS tournament in MO. As a coach in MO, I feel pretty comfortable with what is going on with other coaches in the state. Even with coach turn over the same problem persists. And the existence of a video is not going to change it. I don't know how better to put it to you, but a 10 minute video about debate even if sent as a link to judges won't make debate more progressive in MO. Whether about stock issues or best policy option, because they don't understand argumentation theory and they don't understand the theory of the game. This lack of understanding means no matter what video or other medium that lay judges are attempted to be informed by will be irrelevant.

Here is another group of people you are missing as well. Former policy debaters in the state that come back to judge that do not like progressive debate as well.

The idea that coaches are going to change here is possible. All hope is not lost. Let me be clear on that. I can tell you when I talk to other coaches about it the few times that our teams do go to a local MO tournament, the coach backlash and resistence is large. The demonization has occured for the most part. Even some HS programs have been demonized by other coaches in the state. And thier coaches are mocked and ostracized at local tournaments. The idea that there will be some massive revolution or coach turnover is laughable at best.

Last problem. Coaches in MO run FULL SERVICE programs. They have LD, PF, CX, Congress, HI, DI, DUO, Extemp, OO, etc.. ONE COACH maybe 2 coaches. Most of them have zero assistants to help. This means that coaches do not have the time necessary even if they wanted to, to be able to develop thier policy programs to a level where they could compete nationally.

To be clear I am not saying teams from MO can not hang, I am saying that coaches from MO don't have the time to prepare thier teams to. There is a difference and a big one. Anyone who tells you otherwise is kidding themselves. To play the game that way require a ton of time and dedication not just from debaters but from coaches as well. Coaching one of only two schools from MO to ever attend the TOC and being a former debater from MO who tried to assist a local team, and I can tell you that the program directors ability and knowledge directly correleates to a teams sucess OR the ability for that program director to hire external coaching with that knowledge. Most coaches who run a full service program are not willing to spend the money for that purpsoe to service a limited number of people on thier squads when a general assistant could cover a whole lot more people. Same is true of traveling, traveling policy teams takes away from being able to travel the rest of the team. These are just facts about the current situation.

Advice/Solutions - So a couple of years ago I suggested a solution to the current state of debate in MO. It was a very good compromise from what I thought, and got very little feedback. I can't find that post so I will give it again here.

1. CHAMP TOURNAMENTS - the best possible solution that could happen and could acutally be done under all current formats is to run 3-4 four champ division tournaments. 2 in each semester ideally. This allow debaters to have thier fun and allows coaches not to be inundated all at once. The premise is simple, debate would occur on Fri and Sat. 5 prelilm rounds (2 on friday 3 on saturday) tabbed on a computer with dedicated judges to the pool. break to Qtrs. Debaters in that division could not be double entered in other events. Schools who want to compete in that division would be required to bring QUALIFIED juding to cover thier commitments. If not cover the cost of the tournament having to HIRE someone out. The problem once again is getting coaches on board. Can't say it will happen, but this model allows all events to compete at the tournament. occurs at a tournament that is already going to happen anyways.

2. Option 2 - is to accept MO debate for what it is. There is educational value to be had in that debate. Some people enjoy the current form. Be nice to those people as well, don't chaztise them. Making enemies only entrenches people's views it does not change them. Look into debating in college. There have been very sucessful debaters come out of MO. Not enough though, but more are hopefully coming.

 

This is for sure my last point on this issue. Take it or leave it. @Nathan_Debate - I don't want you to take this as a you are not from here go away issue. My point is simply that disregarding what people are saying on this thread who have lilved and operated in the system for long periods of time when you have never been involved in it, is poor argumentation. It is like ignoring expert testimony infavor of a one sentence card from newsmax. I get your point, but you are missing and ignoring all of the underlying issues that have to be corrected before a video will do anything to make debate more progressive. The video would be good but it would be a pin drop in the ocean. I have been involved in debate in MO comming up on 20 years. This topic has been around since then, and will be around for another 20 years. The reality of it is, that you can not change debate overnight in MO. You have to find a middle ground in which current coaches who might be opposed would be willing to allow some change. There has to be a compromise. You are not going to get there with a we want to travel and spend all the money in the budget at the expense of other people and you are not going to get there with hire judges at all tournaments. There are coaches out there willing to work with debaters on these issues.

Last idea - go to a KS debate tournament in the 1st semester! They only do debate. Find out what tournaments are a DCI bid (its a KS thing) and go to those if you want more progressive debate. They have more qualified judges. etc. Be willing to cross state line.

 

cjc

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The video would be good but it would be a pin drop in the ocean.

 

Point taken. I think you are being hyperbolic.

 

I think you have to take your best ways to change large number of people's opinions and practices--I think judge education is a unique place to make an intervention for better quality debates.

 

Note--I'm not saying total circuit policy--I'm saying something which equips these judges with decision-making capabilities and pattern recognition capabilities in order to make competent arguments.

 

If you don't make it at the level of the judges--you are ALWAYS starting at square one.

 

I appreciate your

 

Your failure to try.....however.....and try diligently with multiple versions speaks volumes. Its time to at least try something--than attempting to "win" argument threads on Cross-x.

 

Your actions are a referendum on the future of the circuit (and your willingness and ability to face uphill battles in the future.)

 

If this is something you care about......do something about it.......even if it only solves 5% of the problem--thats 5%.

 

The Math of the issue is explained (a bit) in #3:

1. Problem: Lack of quality judge education tanks some of the value of the activity.

2. Opportunity: Good judges provide better feedback--improving the activity

3. Kaizen improvement. Kaizen improvement on the judging pool is incredibly helpful. If you improve the judging pool 7% for 3 years--thats a HUGE change. Its compounding interest, which Einstein says is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. (its why the credit card companies own us). Compound interest, in this case can work for you or against you. Resignation everything else that isn't action--is allowing compounding interest to shape things in a negative versus a positive way (ie you have the blind leading the blind).

One other way to run the math. If you improve the judging pool 1.5% per tournament for a 10 tournament season--the impacts are huge.

 

Kaizen improvement enables exponential improvements over time versus just arithmetic ones--

Judging education like this allows scalable change across the circuit. If multiple circuits did this at the same time, they could even share winning strategies for change--and winning content (video, text, etc...)

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Ok, so I guess you missed the part where nobody does any research, nobody thinks synthetically, there's political opposition to paradigm shifts, and there's not really a stable judging pool?

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Been awhile since i have actually gotten on here, but due to my little brother starting his first year in debate i made a trip to a novice tournament last weekend at Oak Park HS. While there i got the pleasure of meeting Quinn O'Brien, well respected individual in the debate community from a few years ago, and we discussed how missouri debate has lost numerous things. ie debaters, education of the debates, judges (the ones that moved on to college would prefer to go to the national circut and judge and others that are still around just lost intrest due to the lack of debate knowledge in the missouri debate community). Now my intention is not to get on here and bash anyone saying that you are bad because yes missouri does have great debaters and always will but meeting debaters from 2002 all the way through 2007 i, among others from that time frame, have begun to notice the lack of passion for debate. Until that comes back you wont see the climb for missouri debate to go to the national circut because for those national teams it seems like missouri debate is a joke. I guess my plead really is for everyone to reach out to those graduates of your high school and have them come back and judge. A lot of coaches stay in contact with their former debaters so push them to do the same. Maybe you will spark up that flame like my little brother has done for me and us alumni can come back and help when we have time or even show up to judge every once in awhile so that way you all do have that quality panel everyone wants when they get to out rounds. Take the small steps first.

P.S. This is Corey Allen not Curtis just dont remember my log in.

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I like speed, I like kritiks, I like all kinds of things that would be considered progressive. But the one thing I detest is disclosure. Disclosure takes all of the fun and competitiveness out of debate. Now, a smaller school has ZERO chance of winning a debate round.

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I'm from Kansas, but Hephaestus, do you truly think that revealing what the debate is going to be about beforehand will truly reduce competitiveness? I think the entire point of disclosure is to increase education, competitiveness, and to keep teams to refrain from reading "squirrely affs" that would hurt small schools on the whole because they are unprepared to debate affs that they have no prior knowledge/evidence on.

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Agreed with Tucker.

 

Disclosure improves research.....so its focused more (versus random)......so the little school can actually compete.

 

Plus little schools compete in other ways:

1. Time & focus of work

2. Hiring coaching (ie assistants)

3. Being smart

4. Very clear focus on the strengths of the debaters

 

Also one on 4 and one on twelve debate meetings.....versus one on 24. The former affords more practice debates.

 

It also levels the playing field a bit between those who are awesome at research and those who are ok. It makes this less of a barrier--and makes hard work & preparation more viable for a larger swath of the country. By doing that, it means less famous teams can end up in elimination rounds.

 

Also, there are various types of disclosure.....its a continuum of options for both aff & neg.

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To jayhawks. I have done most of my judging on another top national high end policy circuit. This is where I learned to debate, and this is where I judged for many years after graduating from high school and college. There are powerhouse national teams on this circuit that the smaller teams used to be able to compete against, but not anymore. Now, if you look for example at the state champions, there is zero parity. All that remains is these 3 powerhouse schools, an urban debate league, and a handful of other small teams that get crushed at every tournament.

 

Nothing facilitates this trend more than disclosure. Without the ability to break out new arguments during the round, a team is not only competing against their opponents; they are competing against their coaches, the other 30 debaters on their team, all of their money, etc.

 

Every circuit is different. Perhaps you feel that disclosure hurts smaller teams. From where I am from, the big schools love disclosure because it is the key to smashing smaller schools with their coaches, their computers, and their money. Perhaps for reasons I have yet to hear, the opposite is true here. Perhaps with the advent of on line positions, disclosure has become necessary because it has become too easy to 'whip out' a new position. For me, however, the overwhelming consideration is this: a team like, say, Kinkaid in Texas asks 'will you reveal?' The other team nervously feels the pressure and agrees. The Kinkaid team then emails and texts their four college coaches who then structure a whole negative strategy with specific links, etc., 15 minutes prior to the round, while the affirmative awaits their execution. That has GOT to stop. Perhaps a rule on 'no coach contact after disclosure' is necessary. Certainly, the process of requiring disclosure, but only as a courtesy and not as something in the rule book makes the whole process even worse.

 

People keep saying 'do you really think you are going to win if you pull that one item out of your file that you have been hiding?' The answer to this question is a definitive yes. I know that when I was in high school, I beat at least two round robin teams that way.

 

I realize that disclosure is the norm. And it's a really, really shitty norm if you ask me.

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To jayhawks. I have done most of my judging on another top national high end policy circuit. This is where I learned to debate, and this is where I judged for many years after graduating from high school and college. There are powerhouse national teams on this circuit that the smaller teams used to be able to compete against, but not anymore. Now, if you look for example at the state champions, there is zero parity. All that remains is these 3 powerhouse schools, an urban debate league, and a handful of other small teams that get crushed at every tournament.

 

Nothing facilitates this trend more than disclosure. Without the ability to break out new arguments during the round, a team is not only competing against their opponents; they are competing against their coaches, the other 30 debaters on their team, all of their money, etc.

 

Every circuit is different. Perhaps you feel that disclosure hurts smaller teams. From where I am from, the big schools love disclosure because it is the key to smashing smaller schools with their coaches, their computers, and their money. Perhaps for reasons I have yet to hear, the opposite is true here. Perhaps with the advent of on line positions, disclosure has become necessary because it has become too easy to 'whip out' a new position. For me, however, the overwhelming consideration is this: a team like, say, Kinkaid in Texas asks 'will you reveal?' The other team nervously feels the pressure and agrees. The Kinkaid team then emails and texts their four college coaches who then structure a whole negative strategy with specific links, etc., 15 minutes prior to the round, while the affirmative awaits their execution. That has GOT to stop. Perhaps a rule on 'no coach contact after disclosure' is necessary. Certainly, the process of requiring disclosure, but only as a courtesy and not as something in the rule book makes the whole process even worse.

 

People keep saying 'do you really think you are going to win if you pull that one item out of your file that you have been hiding?' The answer to this question is a definitive yes. I know that when I was in high school, I beat at least two round robin teams that way.

 

I realize that disclosure is the norm. And it's a really, really shitty norm if you ask me.

 

I can't imagine anyone asking people to disclose arguments they haven't read yet. If they are, I certainly don't think you're obliged to comply, because that's NOT what disclosure is about at all. Disclosure or not, surprise is dead once you break an argument. People talk about their rounds. If these schools you refer to really have dozens of competitors and coaches, they're going to find out what you're doing whether or not you disclose. And if your resources are as limited as you say they are, you aren't going to be able to churn out 100% brand new args for every round. In my opinion, disclosure is the only way to level the playing field.

 

Speaking as a debater from a smaller program (not a small school, just a tiny squad), disclosure is a godsend. If we had no idea what other teams were doing, we wouldn't be able to properly channel our more limited resources. For us, disclosure has not widened any gap between our squad and larger ones. There's no reason a small squad can't use it to their advantage, especially when it's only a local circuit (there aren't that many teams to prepare for). You can say that big schools are just card cutting machines, but having a lot of cards doesn't win debates. Good arguments and strategy win debates. Maybe a big school has more backfiles. Great. Do they know how to use them? Plus, evidence disparity is largely resolved by the existence of openevidence and the wiki. These resources allow small schools to have access to all the same arguments that big schools do. You say coaching creates a disparity. Even if that's true, it doesn't have anything to do with disclosure. Let's assume everything you say about the big school/small school divide is true (I don't think it is, quality trumps quantity). How would disclosure make it worse? Why can't smaller schools use it to their advantage and level the playing field by developing their own specific arguments? That's why I think wikis are important, as opposed to just listing past 2NRs 5 minutes before a round starts.

 

It sounds like you were debating several years ago, before the advent of online evidence. "Surprise" probably did make a bigger difference then, but I don't see that as true anymore. Today, even a lazy debater can have at least some kind of answer to most arguments. If people are losing rounds because their opponents didn't disclose, I don't think it's because they totally didn't see that new politics scenario coming, I think it's because they didn't even do minimal work to be prepared (most arguments can be beaten by better arguments, even if you don't have hyper-specific evidence to answer it). There's been plenty of times that teams have read something they thought would throw us off. It didn't help. We've also lost to arguments we had more than enough cards on, simply becaue we lost the debate.

 

It's not about big programs vs. small ones. It's a competition between arguments. Disclosure is just a means to facilitate better clash, research, education, and make the activity more equitable (because big schools are always going to have more resources, so knowing what those are is the best way to level the playing field).

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Have you yourself lost rounds because a team didn't disclose? Or have you always debated in a time when disclosure was universally accepted? You are right - I debated well before disclosure was ever even suggested. But I have judged a whole lot when disclosure was the norm. From my observation, it was,and is, the instrument of oppression, or the dispositif to use a Foucauldian term. As I mentioned before, the teams that really lobbied for disclosure were the huge, heavily funded, powerhouse teams. And perhaps some of these teams' 'toadie satellite schools.' Let me ask you this: if you are debating a round, and the round starts, are you allowed to access evidence on line during the round? Are you allowed to contact coaches during the round? I suspect that you can't contact coaches, but I am unsure about the ability to access on line resources. I would contend that a coach should not be allowed to prep teams post disclosure.

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I agree that debaters have to compete against the coaches of big schools when disclosure happens. I disagree that this would be any better without disclosure. Your post and hypothetical example assume that the only teams capable of utilizing surprising arguments to their advantage are small schools, and I don't think that's true. I'm unsure, but I think that big schools would actually gain more benefits over small schools if disclosure wasn't common. I think that big schools would be able to produce many more surprising arguments and that only big schools would really benefit from the production of surprising arguments. Small schools need to focus on the fundamentals because surprise arguments aren't going to be general enough that they apply to many affirmatives; big schools don't because they have the resources to cover the fundamentals and to produce a few surprises.

 

The reason that I'm unsure of my conclusion is that there's a relationship between predictability and unpredictability that can get confusing. A small amount of predictability from one team allows the other to produce a lot of unpredictability. If you know what your opponent's argument is you can then produce many different arguments against it, if you don't know what your opponents argument is you have to rely on a few general strategies instead. But this relationship isn't linear and I don't think it would dominate here. I am still uncertain, though.

 

I suppose the core question to ask about the interaction between these two thoughts has to do with the amount of correlation between the generality of an argument and the amount of surprise that it produces, and I don't really know what that is or how to find out what that is. An important side question is about the amount of correlation between specificity and competitive success, and I'm again unsure how to figure out what that might be.

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Have you yourself lost rounds because a team didn't disclose? Or have you always debated in a time when disclosure was universally accepted? You are right - I debated well before disclosure was ever even suggested. But I have judged a whole lot when disclosure was the norm. From my observation, it was,and is, the instrument of oppression, or the dispositif to use a Foucauldian term. As I mentioned before, the teams that really lobbied for disclosure were the huge, heavily funded, powerhouse teams. And perhaps some of these teams' 'toadie satellite schools.' Let me ask you this: if you are debating a round, and the round starts, are you allowed to access evidence on line during the round? Are you allowed to contact coaches during the round? I suspect that you can't contact coaches, but I am unsure about the ability to access on line resources. I would contend that a coach should not be allowed to prep teams post disclosure.

 

I'll be honest, I don't think I've ever lost a round because of a team's lack of disclosure. However, I do think the quality of these debates has been degraded, because it hampers the ability to craft the most specific arguments.

 

As for accessing ev online during rounds, it varies from tournament to tournament. It's prohibited by my state's activities association, but that's not true for everywhere. Communicating with coaches in-round is universally permitted as far as I know (for the record, I agree with prohibiting this). However, I think it is entirely different than talking to your coach before round. Working with your coach in round is basically taking the debate out of the competitors' hands and putting it in those of the coaches. Talking before the round is different, though. The debaters ultimately have to take what is discussed in and use it themselves. That to me is a learning experience and valuable. I'm speaking as someone from a smaller program that only has 1 assistant coach (and a head coach that does a great job running the program but doens't know contemporary debate very well). I understand that some of my competition may have more coaching resources, but I guess I'm ultimately more confident in my ability to take what my coach tells me to and use it better than my opponents.

 

I still stand by the reasons I outlined earlier as to why I don't think "surprise" is effective anymore. I also strongly agree with what qqqqqqqqqqqqq said about lack of disclosure being more likely to give "the big schools" the upper hand in the surprise game.

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

 

i haven't been on cx.com in years. got on randomly after judging raytown's finals, just reminiscing. this is the first thread i see...

 

yup, still the same cx.com.

 

missouri is misery is missouri. the best teams didn't mind.

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For me, however, the overwhelming consideration is this: a team like, say, Kinkaid in Texas asks 'will you reveal?' The other team nervously feels the pressure and agrees. The Kinkaid team then emails and texts their four college coaches who then structure a whole negative strategy with specific links, etc., 15 minutes prior to the round, while the affirmative awaits their execution. That has GOT to stop. Perhaps a rule on 'no coach contact after disclosure' is necessary. Certainly, the process of requiring disclosure, but only as a courtesy and not as something in the rule book makes the whole process even worse.

 

Totally unrelated to this thread, but I have to ask you to please refrain from speaking about another school if you're unaware of the innerworkings of their strategizing. Zach and I do not have "four college coaches who...structure a whole negative strategy." In fact, almost every card and position that we've read this year has been done entirely by ourselves. Speaking from the perspective of someone who's been on both ends of the spectrum (low resources at Dulles to a well-resourced school at Kinkaid), I can say that the divide is in name only. Like, I did the exact same amount of work at Dulles as I do at Kinkaid, maybe even more at Kinkaid. I think it's disrespectful to call out the name of an institution without doing any research or inquiring about the specific nature of that institution's work habits. I realize that you were trying to point out a problem that exists in our community. My problem, however, stems from the fact that you used "Kinkaid" as an example when you don't know how our team functions.

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Totally unrelated to this thread, but I have to ask you to please refrain from speaking about another school if you're unaware of the innerworkings of their strategizing. Zach and I do not have "four college coaches who...structure a whole negative strategy." In fact, almost every card and position that we've read this year has been done entirely by ourselves. Speaking from the perspective of someone who's been on both ends of the spectrum (low resources at Dulles to a well-resourced school at Kinkaid), I can say that the divide is in name only. Like, I did the exact same amount of work at Dulles as I do at Kinkaid, maybe even more at Kinkaid. I think it's disrespectful to call out the name of an institution without doing any research or inquiring about the specific nature of that institution's work habits. I realize that you were trying to point out a problem that exists in our community. My problem, however, stems from the fact that you used "Kinkaid" as an example when you don't know how our team functions.

 

I think he was just using Kinkaid in substitution of any major natl circuit team. Aka his point would've been made if he had replaced Kinkaid with Westminster, Glenbrook, MBA, Pace, Damien, New Trier, etc.

 

I agree with humzatariq though. Most teams on the natl circuit have these type of resources so it's not really an issue of divide between big schools and small schools. Most of the debaters are great researchers and coach-help doesn't really impact that many rounds (maybe more at the college level).

 

When talking about Missouri, that coach thing is NOT A BIG DEAL when trying to REFORM debate here. Most programs barely support one coach, let alone a few assistants. These coaches also have to deal with other types of debate/speech like LD, Public Forum, Extemp Speaking, Oratory, etc, so that lessens the impact even more of coach help.

 

 

Not to beat a dead horse, but reiterating, the main problem with MO debate is the judges and lack of coach SUPPORt for reaching out beyond missouri borders.

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Missouri needs more flow judges, lay judges are great and all but for a circuit style debating society like policy debate, missouri is way behind every other state besides Indiana in terms of circuit. Yeah, california has lots of lay judges in league but major natl circuit tournaments/even league ones in Socal near USC, and all those places got a lot of flow judges. Our league tournament for the first time had lots more flow judges.

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Totally unrelated to this thread, but I have to ask you to please refrain from speaking about another school if you're unaware of the innerworkings of their strategizing. Zach and I do not have "four college coaches who...structure a whole negative strategy." In fact, almost every card and position that we've read this year has been done entirely by ourselves. Speaking from the perspective of someone who's been on both ends of the spectrum (low resources at Dulles to a well-resourced school at Kinkaid), I can say that the divide is in name only. Like, I did the exact same amount of work at Dulles as I do at Kinkaid, maybe even more at Kinkaid. I think it's disrespectful to call out the name of an institution without doing any research or inquiring about the specific nature of that institution's work habits. I realize that you were trying to point out a problem that exists in our community. My problem, however, stems from the fact that you used "Kinkaid" as an example when you don't know how our team functions.

 

As a member of the Kinkaid team I can attest to the fact that we do use our college coaches and coaches of college debate to brutally prep out and slaughter our opponents. Also, Humza you don't do any work, so at Dulles you must have done negative work. Did you burn files?

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The whole "MO is dominated by lay judges" idea is starting to change. At least in Eastern Missouri, my judges so far this year have mainly been knowledgable of policy. At clayton, 2 of my 4 judges were speed-style, and Pattonville all 4 of my prelim rounds had judges that could listen to speed or flow really well. I don't know if it is just a coincidence, but it's definitely getting better.

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The whole "MO is dominated by lay judges" idea is starting to change. At least in Eastern Missouri, my judges so far this year have mainly been knowledgable of policy. At clayton, 2 of my 4 judges were speed-style, and Clayton all 4 of my prelim rounds had judges that could listen to speed or flow really well. I don't know if it is just a coincidence, but it's definitely getting better.

Haha I'm not sure if I'd consider the judge at Clayton who flowed on two sheets, aff and neg, to be speed-style. But yeah, flow judges are permeating local tournaments across the state, slowly but surely. 

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