I wouldn't be surprised by a lack of people responding to this thread. Cross-X.com isn't exactly the most "friendly" environment for a dialogue about such heavy ideas and pedagogy. It's great that you want to have this discussion. But, I'd encourage you to have the discussion via a more neutral and professionally appropriate channel. (I wish I had a suggestion.) The problem is that you're critiquing the very foundation of many of these professionals. Even if it is not your intent, it's hard not to see that as an attack (which I genuinely understand is NOT the intent). You're also asking a bunch of professionals (many of whom are not members of this forum and probably don't like being backed into a corner) to come and play on your terms. Again, I get what you're trying to do, but just wanting you to see that perception.
Also just a few notes. I've skimmed this thread and I don't debate (or coach) in West Texas, so take all of this with a grain of salt.
The premise behind the thread confuses me. Can you clarify it once more, with these questions in mind? Is the goal for the thread to convince "West Texas" to shift to more progressive debate pedagogy? (In other words, should all judges be tab? Is it "wrong" to be a stock issues judge? Etc...) Is the goal merely to address evolving debate practices (including but not limited to spreading, Kritik reading, disclosure, post-round critiques, etc...)? Is the goal, as one poster alluded to, to create a more homogeneous sampling of debaters and judges? Or, are differences among coaches, debaters, judges acceptable? With a "mission" like yours (which certainly has its merits), I'd just be 100% clear on what you think ought to be gained from it.
I'd argue that it's important to recognize that debate is (and ought to be) a heterogeneous sampling of participants at every level. There may always be a "norm" of debate, but I think that each debater ought to be empowered to express her- or himself in a way that fits by the "rules" (which are actually very few all things considered). When students ask my paradigm, I generally always say that I want my debaters to explain how each argument functions (both in the round and in the argument -- ballot implications). Lots of debaters ask me about adaptation and I actually think I'm better served as the adjudicator of the round if I adapt to the debaters. While that can be confusing, I think it ought to be up to the debaters to limit my role in the debate. This paradigm, in my humble opinion, allows debaters to express themselves in numerous ways while empowering them to learn and self-discover.
But, I don't think that every judge ought to agree with me, necessarily. I respect the difference of opinions that many of my colleagues have. I would never want to shame or embarrass them into changing their ideas. I'll also respect (and try to take their perspective and give every bit of my attempt to understand) their paradigms and teaching styles.
With regards to tournament practices, I really would caution you to re-think some of these comments and attempt to understand what it's like in the minds of a tournament director. Policy debate is expensive to run. Minute for minute it's the most time consuming event (Congress is a close second) so there's usually the expectation of higher pay for judges, it requires the most knowledge (e.g. you're dealing with a limited talent pool), it can easily get behind in the schedule (if oral critiques and disclosures happen), and it requires a great deal of room space which many tournaments cannot hold (hence the potential reason behind limiting the CX pool of participants). Several tournaments are looking at (and have begun to) cutting policy debate all together. As a tournament director, sometimes you just try to get through the day. Many judges for policy are college students and (speaking from experience) can be extremely flaky. It's a really frustrating process. Any solution to these "problems" would need to keep these realities in mind. (Also, it seems really fallacious to say that "if UT didn't have to accelerate to keep the weather in mind, other tournaments shouldn't either." As a coach, I have to respond to parents when I get home after midnight or when I risk lives in dangerous travel concerns. Many times the higher power administration makes the call about student safety.)
I will always respect a tournament director's rules regarding start times of rounds (impacting pre-round prep), disclosure, and oral critiques. I'd encourage everyone to do so as well. Although this number is decreasing, many tournaments try to allow for cross-entry in public speaking events and policy debate. When this occurs, a schedule is vitally important. Try schedule six rounds of debate (three prelims and quarters) and three rounds of extemp (prelims, semis, and finals) that can coexist. The two hour cushion and time to disclose and oral critique sounds like an easy fix, but it may not be a reality that can work. Again, tournament director discretion. They should weigh the pros and cons and make that decision for themselves. Having done it both ways, fiscally I often elect to allow cross-entry and limit disclosure and oral critiquing.
On the question of oral critiques: there are many programs that are coached by one coach with no assistants or college-level helpers. My program is one of those. While I 95% agree that oral critiques are exponentially beneficial (the 5% difference being because many judges, typically college-aged students, lack the professionalism necessary to discuss debate with 14-year-olds), as a coach, I want to be able to read those critiques. I prefer the ballots to have more than just "Oral" or "RFD" with a single sentence. I want to see as much of a play-by-play of the round as possible. Then, I can reinforce some of the things I read with my students. I don't have to rely on the "words" of my students to tell the whole story. I have something to go back to them with. For novice debaters (and even young varsity) this is crucially important to help them understand the round. My advice for all judges: write as much as you can. If there's wifi at the tournament, resist the urge to Facebook or cut cards. Fill out your ballots as completely as possible. Even if you're "going to say everything that you wrote in the oral critique" it will still help that coach and will still help to reinforce your ideas to the students. I think a lot of judges forget that they are being paid for a service. There is more expected than simply to "show up". Professional decorum is extremely important. Call me old-fashioned for that, but I don't see any compelling argument for NOT adhering to norms of professional interaction with high school students. In an age where debate programs have to fight for financial support, it does little to that cause for students to come home and repeat unprofessional encounters that turn off financial backers (community, administrators, etc...). (Or for those backers to witness it themselves.)
I hope that my contribution is helpful and lays some useful parameters for discussion.
One final thought. Although it's not impossible (Hunter indicated he learned a lot through Facebook), many students venture into the opportunities of "better" debate by spending money. Much education occurs at debate camps and many perspectives are broadened by this experience. The problem is that while some camps are affordable, many are not. The "elite" camps are several thousand dollars. I know the answer to this argument, and I would reiterate it to my students as well: "there is ALWAYS a way around it" OR "there's always a way to earn and make this a priority". That's true. But it still speaks to the cause of such division in policy debate. Even the higher level tournaments have more expensive entry fees and often require travel. The norm now also seems to include numerous "assistant" coaches. I'd encourage everyone to do some looking into other states (or encourage others to chime in). Policy Debate in Texas is just different. The number of circuits and the sheer size of the state make it so. UIL began with policy debate over 100 years ago. They have continued to support policy debate as an inclusion to the UIL Spring Meet. This support necessitates other schools to participate. Administrators see the requirement of UIL and are more willing to fund it. Policy debate would not exist in places like West Texas without UIL. I don't know that I making much of a point with this last paragraph. Just continue to go forward by taking the perspectives of others.
Hopefully this will be a positive dialogue.