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About utkdebate

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  • Name
    Nathan Johnston
  • School
    University of Tennessee
  1. We appreciate everyone that has taken the survey already! Just wanted to bump this thread, and encourage anyone and everyone who hasn't taken the survey yet to do it! We need your thoughts on the subjects in order to have the firmest grasp on this community as we prepare to write our paper! Thanks, Nathan & Jordan
  2. Coaches and Competitors, On behalf of the Tennessee Speech and Debate Society, as well as the Department of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, we are extremely excited to begin our research on the social capital impact of debate as an organization and an activity. We have spent the past few months planning and drafting our survey, which is designed to test specific aspects of debate and their relationship with and impact on social capital indicators. The survey should take 10-12 minutes. To view the survey you can click HERE or go to the following website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/utkdebate. In order to get as much data as possible, we are sending this survey to debate organizations across the country. We are heavily relying on people like you and organizations such as yours to accomplish our goals, which will yield information that is valuable to both the political science community and the debate community. We ask that you please complete the survey yourself, then pass along the link (as well as this letter if you wish) to your students, fellow debaters, coaches, judges, or anyone involved with competitive debate at any organized level (high school and beyond). We hope to collect as much data as possible on the members of the debate community, but we need your help in order to do so! We would be more than happy to forward you our data, statistical interpretations, and conclusions (as well as our final paper, if you are so inclined). We are also open to suggestions for further research, modifications of our current survey, or collaboration on current or future projects. Opening a line of communication with us can be arranged by entering your email address on the last page of the survey (when prompted) or by emailing either Nathan Johnston or myself, using the email addresses located at the bottom of this page. Thank you so much for enabling our data collection. We hope that you will join us in this opportunity to explore the community that we are all members of. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact us at your convenience. We hope you enjoy our survey and the light it sheds on debate! Sincerely, Nathan Johnston & Jordan Smith University of Tennessee Department of Political Science Co-Coaches and Tournament Directors Tennessee Speech and Debate Society Njohnst4@utk.edu; Jsmit265@utk.edu
  3. Greetings everyone! We hope your years are getting well underway, and you're looking forward to ample rounds of competition. This is just a friendly reminder that applications to "The Gauntlet" are due by this Friday (Sept. 14) at 5 PM. You can, and we encourage you, to submit them earlier. Information can be found here: http://www.joyoftournaments.com/tn/utk/info.asp The tournament is Oct. 6-7 and we have a lot of great things in store for you up here on Rocky Top. Come be a part of history as a member of the first annual Gauntlet. And in case anyone is interested and/or needs a little extra enticing, the trophies and traveling trophies have arrived and they look fantastic, the menu is set and is equally amazing, the building housing the event is finished being renovated and looks great, and the free t-shirts are quite nice as well. We hope to hear from you soon. As always, any questions comments or concerns email me: njohnst4@utk.edu
  4. Updated information is up. In order to maintain still inviting the same number of competitors in policy, that round robin will now just advance to the Final 4 round rather than the Elite 8.
  5. Thanks for the site tips. And yes, ask and everyone shall receive. We are revising the schedule and everything now to 5 rounds. Expect the updates to the website and invite by midnight. We hope everything has reached a point of desirability that we get applications from all of you!
  6. A quick update for everyone, there are going to be some very unique, cool traveling trophies for the champions in each division (PF, Policy, and LD). We are also working on a couple of VIP guest judges for the PF final panel. We don't want to say who until it is finalized, but for hints we are talking governors, former ambassadors, and mayors....
  7. Our tournament is a round robin. So, to the best of our knowledge, we will never be bid eligible. We are desirable to highly competitive teams to other reasons (i.e. bringing together the best of the best and guaranteeing that they debate each other).
  8. Also, are there any high school listservs that we can send this out on? We are aware and familiar with many at the collegiate level, but can't seem to find any at the high school level? We will take any suggestions you guys may have about how we can get word out for this tournament. Currently, we plan on posting it on Joy of Tournaments, but we don't know what else to do. Any suggestions are welcomed!
  9. Just so everyone knows, since the tournament is round robin format we are going to go ahead and make all of the prelim postings in advance. Everyone has to debate everyone in their division so order doesn't necessarily matter. So when you check-in you will get all the postings for the prelim rounds. That should help out with timing at least a little bit (the posting will have start times for each round on them too). We will certainly look into that podcast. Just so you guys know, we aren't just up and deciding to run a tournament with no experience. We host our college tournament annually, and have experience running some high school local tournaments.
  10. The invitation has been updated to hopefully address many of the concerns raised through this forum. I encourage more healthy discussion on things we can do to better serve this community. So please go review and let us know any other concerns you may have.
  11. Point taken. Now that we see that distinction we can get rid of the student judged out-rounds. Additionally, once we have our accepted competitors we will be creating a judge philosophy and competitor bio book. If your concern is that we are just doing this to make money, you can look at our fee structure and compare it to all of the things that we are giving competitors you can see that we genuinely are just doing this to give debaters a great experience, not that we are trying to make a ton of money.
  12. See this is the kind of commentary we are looking for. Helpful information to reform the tournament to make it what this community wants. Going straight to the Final 4 could work for Policy (especially considering the decrease from 24 to 18 participants. As for the concern about food after 7 on Saturday. Knoxville's strip has ample food and hotels within walking distance so that isn't a large problem. We can certainly look into it, though. Any other ideas? Like I said, this tournament is for you guys. We can get rid of student judging to sub in coaches and our hired pools.
  13. We know. We were entirely unaware to the timing concerns, which is why we have proposed the above mentioned schedule and alteration to the policy round robin. This is our first year, guys. We are trying to bring this community a great competitive atmosphere to compete in. We welcome this type of criticism. This a tournament for you guys, and we want to be able to make it something that you can come to and enjoy. This by no means is a plot to make money of you guys in a quickest, cheapest way possible. Here in college, IPDA specifically, we use students to judge out-rounds and if we were to discuss educative value we find those to be some of the best experiences. We were hoping to bring that same experience to you at this tournament. If you feel, however, that is a bad idea, please let us know. Too often we get quick to indict the system rather than reform it. In the case of this tournament, however, we are trying to work with you to make this the best event possible which is why we are trying to keep up with this post and alter around the concerns that you raise.
  14. Yes, yes. We have heard all of your concerns. We are more than willing to redraw the policy schedule to make sure everything fits. Keep in mind, these concerns exist only for policy, with 1.5 hour spacing for LD and PF there is more than ample time to fit the schedule including breaks for meals and other things. Currently, based on these concerns we are looking at the following schedule: Pre-8 - Breakfast 8-10 - Rd 1 10-12 - Rd 2 12-1 Lunch 1-3 - Rd 3 3-5 - Rd 4 5-7 - Rd 5 7-9 - Rd 6 Pre-8 - Breakfast 8-10 - Rd 7 10-12 - Rd 8 1-3 Elite 8 3-5 Final 4 5 Championship Rounds/Awards/Banquet This schedule allows everyone time to disclose. Rest. And get to the next round. That also still gives us 18 debaters in the Policy round robin rather than the 24, but still a good number. Does that tend to absolve the problems?
  15. This concern I can see. We named our tournament the Gauntlet because we are well aware that it will be one of, if not, the most taxing tournaments (physically and competitively. That being said. I can entirely see this concern. Maybe we could cut policy back to 9 rounds (18 teams), but based on the schedule there is no reason for PF and LD not to run on time. I'm still not 100% sure I see the distinction here. Take these two scenarios: 1. Debaters walk outside, wait, judge deliberates. Ballots are filled out. Debaters come back inside, judge discloses and discussion ensues. (what you're advocating, and claim to be most education). 2. Or debaters walk outside, wait, judge deliberates. Ballots are filled out. Judge says "lets talk on the way to ballot table" or says "let me turn this ballot in and then we can talk" (what we are advocating as policy as our tournament). In both of those scenarios education happens at its fullest level, and in the second we are able to expedite the tournament process. Conceivably, on our end, we can mitigate this problem entirely just by introducing ballot runners to whole equation and students can talk to judges in the same rooms without judges having to worry about getting ballots in. Additionally, this idea of cutting from 11 rounds to 9 in policy may be a good decision. All this being said, we do not want to hurt the educative value of our tournament at all. And no one has made any comments to the format of the tournament (which we must be agreeing is really quite good). So if all it takes to put our tournament completely over the top is making disclosure a little more accessible by maybe cutting 4 teams from the Policy division, we can most certainly make that happen.
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