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About yairds

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  1. 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
  2. I am assuming you are speaking of NFL nationals? If so, the NFL will only allow you to compete in one primary event during the national tournament. All events (debate, extemp, interp, etc.) run at the same time so it would not be possible to "double enter." I believe this is also the case for NCFL. Congratulations if you qualified in both and are now having to make said decision.
  3. Version

    Payroll Tax extension is the story. Period. This file comes with all the older versions of this story along with recent uniqueness, thumper answers, and answers to some of the popular answers against other disadvantages that other teams may read this weekend. Good luck. Index Shell 3 Payroll tax will pass 5 2nc GOP revolt link 6 Top of the docket 7 Congress will work with Obama 8 AT: Thumpers 9 Payroll tax won’t pass 10 Payroll Tax Impact Turn 11 Bipartisan up 15 Bipartisan Down 18 AT: Elections 19 Obama wins 2012 20 Political capital – Iran Cards 22 US/ Iran war yes 23 US/ Iran war no 24 Plus previous Payroll tax files.

    10.00 USD

  4. Marshfield will be hosting our tournament this year on October 28th and 29th. We will hope to have all flows in varsity rounds and we will have a free section of novice policy. Further details are online at speechanddebate.net. Thanks, Chris Roberds MHS Debate Coach
  5. According to the NFHS (the organization that historically sets the novice limits) here are the novice case areas: 1. Planetary defense: The plan would propose to improve the system for spotting and/or deflecting near-Earth objects. 2. Space-based solar power satellites: The plan would propose to solve global warming and peak oil issues by building space-based solar satellites. 3. Ballistic Missile Defense: The plan would build a space-tier in the U.S. missile defense system in order to protect the American people and/or allies from missile attack. 4. Moon mining: The plan would reverse the Obama administration's decision to de-emphasize the Moon in NASA's exploration plans; advantages could be restoring U.S. leadership in space or gaining energy and other resources from mining the Moon. Please remember that some states/ areas use other limits. Chris Here's the link to NFHS http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=5412
  6. This weekend I went to Ozark. While the judging was lackluster and some parts of the tournament (of which I had no control) were disorganized, one major positive did arise. I was able to speak with 5 different coaches from the area who are looking to start a policy program or have recently revived a policy program in SWMO. At Marshfield we are going to be taking the lead to make sure that these programs have some way to start off. We are going to be offering a Rural Debate League camp this summer that is free of charge. While we won't necessarily have the same caliber of instruction that you may receive at DDW or even MSDI, I do believe that offering a basic introduction on skills and the topic is always helpful. The student who attend will be able to compete in several practice rounds and will go back to their home school with a starter packet of evidence that they can use to get their season off to a good start. Additionally, we have offered 100% of all our research to the teams free of charge. The reason we are able to do this is because we believe that if we are able to take some of the initial work off the students/ teachers by providing evidence then they will be able to enter the debate circuit earlier with a smaller learning curve before they are able to compete. One of the specific needs that the coaches from local rural schools mentioned is that they don't have a knowledge base to start teaching policy. Starting next year, we will be offering local schools the assistance of one of our graduating seniors for free. The students have committed to coming to the high school at least once a week to volunteer and teach their debaters about policy debate (this, by the way, was how the policy program at MHS started 6 years ago). It is exciting to see the progress on this, regardless of how "watered down" this makes the circuit.
  7. Debate in Missouri in the late 90's was mostly lay. While there were tons of teams, we were still behind most of the country with regards to speed, etc. I can only remember hearing 1 kritik during my high school times. Here are some things that I think are better about the way debate is today: 1- availability of research- in the 90s it was impossible for a small school to get the kind of research to compete with strange cases by bigger schools. It was also impossible for schools to get as deep on a topic because the majority of research came from hours spent in the SMS library or from brief books. 2- disclosure- in the 90s no one disclosed- Today most teams disclose at least what they are reading on the affirmative. 3- a higher percentage of better judges- in the 90s, 75-80% of rounds had completely lay judges. The unfortunate truth about this is that it is the same number of judges, just less rounds due to fewer teams. With that said, the things that were fantastic about the Mo circuit at the time were: 1- lots of teams- there was never a chance that we would not qualify 3 teams to NFL through the Ozark district. 2- better case debate- while this was unfortunately the main part of the debate, it definitely went a lot deeper than the simple impact defense that defines many debates. In all of this it is important to me that this doesn't turn into a debate now good or bad vs then good or bad. What it should be is a discussion about how to make debate tomorrow better then it is today.
  8. Some sobering realities about debate in Missouri: 1- In the last 15 years the size of the largest tournaments for policy debate has dwindled from over 140 to less than 50. (I know in 1998 that the policy division for Parkview had 50+ CCX teams and 90+ RCX teams, this year there were 42 total teams in a combined division) 2- While some schools now offer debate that didn’t 10 years ago (Marshfield, Pembroke, Logan-Rogersville, the KC and StL UDLs, others), there are many more schools that would have had 5+ entries at every tournament 10 years ago that today have 1 or fewer (Kickapoo, Glendale, Neosho, Nevada, Ozark, others). 3- Last year, for the first time in memory, the Ozark district NFL was only able to qualify 2 teams due to lack of entries. This meant that the team who was the 2nd seed at NCFL nationals (Greenwood) and the team that won state (Logan-Rogersville) did not get an opportunity to represent Missouri at NFL nationals. 4- Nixa didn’t offer policy debate at their tournament. There are other major schools in Missouri that have seriously discussed not having policy at their tournament as early as next year. 5- After talking to Mr. Tuckness from Central, I found out that last year 4 of the districts in Missouri didn’t even offer policy debate at their district tournament last year. He also said that while they have been able to travel a full circuit of tournaments this year, many of the tournaments had very low amounts of competition. Often times when people post these things it is followed by a diatribe about how debate needs to “go back to its roots,” “slow down,” “communicate,” or “become less elitist” OR that coaches/ MSHSAA need to “loosen up,” “change policies,” or “allow us to travel all over the country every week.” Those of you who know me know that this post will not follow that path. Please realize that my intent here is not to criticize any of the coaches of any school. In fact, many of the coaches that would say things like “slow down” or “work on communication” are the coaches that I consider to be some of my closest friends. The solution to this problem is simple but the execution is not. If debate in Missouri is going to survive it is going to require many of you who are reading this today to coach. This doesn’t mean that you have to coach as a full time job. It really could be as simple as volunteering at a local high school near where you go to college. For many of you, volunteering at the school near where you work or go to college would be sufficient. However, for some of you, this realistically means that you need to consider going into coaching full time. Yes, I understand that this is a sacrifice financially (I am a teacher after all). Yes, I understand that this means that when your high school debate friends are talking about buying their new BMW and you drive a ’99 Honda Accord that you will just have to grin and bear it. However, I also know that this is the only way to save this great activity. My suggestion is that you volunteer at a small school that doesn’t have a history of a program at all or just does individual events now. In southwest Missouri there are several schools that would meet this criterion: Gloria Deo Academy, Strafford, Springfield Catholic, Niangua, Ava, Mansfield, West Plains, Billings (all near MSU/ Drury/ Evangel/ OTC) Buffalo, Halfway, Humansville, Pleasant Hope, Marion C Early/ Morrisville (all near SBU) I am sure that there are more, if you know of more in SWMO or in any part of Missouri please add them at the bottom of this threat and I will try to add them in when I get a chance. Much of the reason that schools don’t offer policy debate is that schools simply are unaware of it. When I came to Marshfield six years ago (as a volunteer trying to make a difference in my community) the squad was not participating in policy debate at all. There were a few kids who were doing PFD, one who was doing LD, but no one from the school had ever competed in a policy round. In the last six years, Marshfield has grown from no policy teams to ten. We have started a junior high group of debaters and will likely have 20+ teams within the next three years. They have grown from a point of obscurity to a point of winning 3 tournaments this year. While I am very proud of my students, this is not a “brag on your school” post. I am merely trying to show what can be done. The vision for this is that in less than 10 years Missouri will have a thriving debate community again. There could realistically be a community of students from Missouri that debate the way that many of you think should happen. One of the biggest benefits of coaching at a school that didn’t have a program before you is that you can form it in the way that you most see fit. If you want to focus on communication skills, that is fine. If you want to focus more on argumentation and speed that’s fine too. One of the major benefits of this approach is that it doesn’t require changes in MSHSAA rules or regulations. We can still keep tournament entry fees low, keep the 250 mile restriction, etc. Additionally, if you don’t like the MSHSAA rules, being a coach is one of the best ways to get those rules changed (they don’t really look at cross-x.com too often for opinions on how to change rules). Additionally, I know that there are some high start-up efforts involved in creating a debate program. Please know that at Marshfield we will do whatever it takes to make this happen. If this means that you start coaching at a smaller school and we give you entry into our tournament for free then that is fine. If it means running a free debate camp for rural schools then that is fine. If it means that we email you electronic copies of all our files before we read them, that is fine too. I will realistically do whatever it is that you need. I know that many of you reading this will simply dismiss it as a crazy Marshfield thing. You will say that if this happens everyone will read arguments about womyn, will kritik everything (I find this to be quite funny since MHS hasn’t run a single kritik this year except against Millard South), or whatever. The best way to change this is by coaching and teaching your teams to debate the way that you most like. Some of you will read this and say that Missouri just needs to get back to its roots and focus more on communication skills. This is fine, however, please understand that in a world where people don’t have the option to do policy debate in Missouri (because people want it to be slower) then there will be other schools that leave the state to find competition elsewhere. The best way to fix this is to coach and teach your kids the way you want. Some of you will read this and say that there are other activities that the students can do like PFD or LD. While this is true, most of the schools that offer scholarships to students to debate in college prefer students to have policy debate experience over PFD or LD. Additionally, activities like oratory and extemp provide the speaking skills that you are looking for. Only by having a thriving debate community in Missouri are the people able to get both the individual events and debate since most circuit tournaments only allow you to enter debate or i.e.s. Other people will read this and say that if we wanted to save debate in Missouri that we would stay in Missouri instead of traveling out of state. I understand the thought behind this argument but it is not realistically an either/ or proposal. Honestly, I would love to travel mostly within the state of Missouri (it’s a whole lot cheaper for the students and for me. When we have traveled to “circuit” tournaments, the students who are traveling and me pay 100% of the cost, I drive my grandparents van, we stay in really cheap hotels, and I have had to pay some of the entry fees out of my pocket) but right now the amount of competition is not where it needs to be at most tournaments. I have a hard time justifying why we should take 8 teams to a tournament knowing that there are going to be exactly 8 other teams at the entire tournament. My preferred world would have most teams in Missouri traveling to 3-4 circuit tournaments and 4-6 local tournaments a year. With that said, there are a few of you who will read this and decide that coaching is the direction that you want to enter. For you I say congrats. This is clearly the best decision I have made in my professional life.
  9. I just got the message that the tournament has been cancelled.
  10. Just thought I would drop in on a few of these thoughts since I am: 1) a coach who happens to love the way debate evolves and loves to judge 2) has debated in both NDT/ CEDA style at SMS and Parli style with SBU 3) have met the person who initially ran the K... I personally think it is pretty crazy for people to ban any judge. I love to judge. I love to listen to arguments that are both "college arguments" and "traditional arguments." I think that having judges who happen to know how to flow only leads to debaters making better arguments and if it happens to lead to more arguments being put on the flow then that is fine as well. SBU students are taught Parli at least in part because the head of the communication department of the last 40 years doesnt like NDT/ CEDA debate because of the speed and lack of rhetorical emphasis. These students are better than many judges that are at tournaments because at least they flow, but they probably will not be excited about listening to a Kritik of Biopower or something of the such. Bill Shanahan is the creator/ first one to run the K with any success (at least to my knowledge). He was the coach (may still be) at Ft. Hayes St. in Kansas. During my time at SMS they were known for arguing affirmatives that were the precursors for what we know today as the performance affirmative. Chris Roberds Marshfield Debate Coach
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