LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for USDEBATE Archives


USDEBATE Archives

USDEBATE Archives


USDEBATE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Monospaced Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

USDEBATE Home

USDEBATE Home

USDEBATE  April 2014

USDEBATE April 2014

Subject:

Re: The definition of a novice

From:

"James P.E. Hardy" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

USA Debating in the WUDC Format <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Apr 2014 15:49:32 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (137 lines)

Hi Ken, Others,

This is sent on behalf of the CA team at USU this year - however, the
reasoning is mine and has not been agreed by the other four, who may
have their own reasons for preferring the definition we have adopted.

--

Our definition of novice is those in their first year of University debating.

--

My reasoning goes as follows. Consider what the purpose of the Novice
division is. I believe that there is a value to recognising new
members of our community who are performing well. It highlights the
influx of new talent, it motivates those who are new to a strange
activity, it gives them some experience of outround debating, it
provides some competitive success and incentives to keep going and
keep improving.

When considering whether to use "first year of BP debating" or "first
year of University debating", I thought about which of these would
advance the above goals more effectively.

We felt that the inclusion of people who were in their first year of
BP debating, but had experience in other formats, would weaken those
goals. The skills learned in other formats are definitely transferable
- argument development, strategy, general public speaking and so on.
It gives a significant advantage to those transferring across; enough
of an advantage, I would suspect, that to break in the 'Novice'
category as a first year speaker would be a big challenge. This is
particularly the case given the state of US debating, where many new
schools are coming over to the format.

I don't wish to name individuals, but the US circuit is littered with
extremely capable speakers who have transferred from one format to the
other. Vermont will have a Senior competing who has 3 years of Policy
experience, and 1 year of BP experience, who would qualify for the
novice division under the "first year of BP debating" suggestion. She
is clearly at a significant competitive advantage over Vermont's
first-year novices who have just 1 year of competitive BP experience.
If this is institutionalised across a circuit that has a lot of
transfers, I think it significantly limits all but the very best first
year novices from having even a chance to make the novice break and to
get a novice speaker award. Then we lose their access to the benefits
outlined above.

I recognise this concern applies to people coming from schools
debating as well. However, I believe it to be less significant. The
advantage of coming to BP from schools is less significant, as Schools
debating tends to be of a lower standard than collegiate debate. Even
in the UK, where Schools debate is more prevalent (and even in BP
format), the advantage of being a schools debater tends to be quickly
eroded over the first year of University debating. Furthermore,
currently the US has a higher presence of format crossovers than it
does former schools debaters. Should the ratio shift, this policy may
be worth revisiting, but I believe at present it is appropriate.
Even if we do consider this to be a major concern, and the prior
experience of School debating being relevant, I'd rather exclude
former schools debaters to have a pure novice division than allow
experienced crossovers - many of whom will break open at this year's
USU - to have a chance to pick up novice placings and awards should
they slip up.

We ultimately thought it was preferable to provide the benefits of the
Novice division more to those who are new to the activity, instead of
more to those who are new to the format. While it's regrettable that
there is a tradeoff, there's only a set number of outround places and
speaker awards available for novice divisions.

I hope that answers most of the concerns. I'd be very happy to answer
any questions that people may have, and definitely think it's a good
area of discussion for a meeting.

Yours,
James

Quoting "Newby, Kenneth" <[log in to unmask]>:

> Hello all,
>
> As we prepare for USUs, I wanted to raise an issue for discussion -
> the proper definition of a novice. I recently learned that our
> current definition is anyone in their first year of collegiate
> debate competition, which on its face sounds reasonable, but in
> practice strikes me as an inherently unfair definition. Why, for
> example, is someone with four years of high school debate experience
> who is in their first year of college considered more novice than
> say someone in their first year of BP who only had one year prior
> experience in college and no high school experience? This is even
> worse for the future when you consider World Schools debate is
> gaining popularity at the high school level. In the future, I could
> imagine a national (or even World champion) in World Schools debate,
> which is similar to BP, qualifying as a "novice" while a sophomore
> who attended a few tournaments in a completely different format
> during freshman year who decided to try BP instead is disqualified
> from consideration as a "novice". In essence, you could have been a
> a national champion in various forms of debate while someone just
> learning how to debate in the BP format doesn't qualify for novice.
>
> I believe the proper way to bring parity to this definition is for
> it be either: (i) anyone in their first year of BP debate (if we
> believe prior debate experience in any format should not be
> considered relevant), or (ii) anyone in their first year of debate
> including high school experience (if we believe prior experience in
> any format is relevant). In my opinion, either definition would be
> better than the current one as it makes a definitive choice rather
> than blurring the lines of importance of prior debate experience.
> Personally, even though I believe high school experience matters, I
> support the first suggestion because I believe it will help expand
> BP by encouraging students who participate in other formats to try
> it out and still have a chance for Novice breaks despite the fact
> that they will still face varsity/open level competition. I would,
> however, be ok with the alternative of saying that a true novice is
> someone who just discovered debate in college.
>
> I think this definition matters and carries significance beyond this
> tournament because what we do at Nationals should set the standard
> for how tournaments operate during the school year. After all, I
> believe this is the same reason why we operate USUs consistent with
> the same standards for Worlds. I could probably write more on this
> subject, but I think this is sufficient for everyone to get my
> point. So, what's your opinion? Am I alone here? To the extent
> there is disagreement, I think this issue would make a good
> discussion topic at USUs this week. I look forward to seeing
> everyone there.
>
> Prof. Kenneth A. Newby, Esq.
> Director, Morehouse College Forensics Program
> English Department
> Morehouse College
> 830 Westview Dr.
> Atlanta, GA 30314
>
> 404.736.3728 Office
> 860.983.8633 Cell

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
May 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
November 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
March 2019
February 2019
December 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager