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USDEBATE  April 2014

USDEBATE April 2014

Subject:

Re: A couple proposals

From:

"Barnes, R Eric" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 8 Apr 2014 14:16:56 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (82 lines)

I should have been clearer, Tuna.  I didn't mean that no one was doing this.  What I'm surprised by is that not EVERYONE is doing this as a matter of course.  Also, and more importantly, the main issue is NOT the listing of internal rankings of teams from a school.  The big problem is that the school name is listed on the draw and on the ballots at all, as I said in my post.  At the HWS Fall Classic, schools have codes, so that a Yale team code might be "Jaguar WP".  This keeps most judges from knowing where the debaters in front of them go to school, which prevents the almost inevitable bias toward debaters from more well-established programs or prestigious schools.  The system isn't perfect at masking team identities, but it is MUCH better than doing nothing.  The issue of listing internal rankings (HWS A, HWS B, etc.) is of comparatively little importance.

- Eric


******************************************
Eric Barnes
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Philosophy Department
Public Policy Program
Debate Coach
(315) 781-3182
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

On Apr 8, 2014, at 9:16 AM, Alfred Snider wrote:

One has been done over and over again in recent history. Not sure why this is new. My plan is to use last names as abbreviations at USU14.

Two changes with the CA. When I was the CA at Willamette we made very, very few changes unless directed by the judge. OK, a debater who said "I am dating X" also could file a strike.

T

On 4/8/14, 8:54 AM, Barnes, R Eric wrote:
Hey James and everyone,

These are spectacular ideas and I can't fathom why they haven't been done well before now.  The first idea of team codes is just a no-brainer.  There is no legitimate purpose served by a judge knowing that one team is from Yale and the other is from a local community college.

Strikes can also become quite pernicious if left unchecked, but a VERY limited number of them may be necessary.  At my tournaments, I ask the judging pool to self-identify potential conflicts, and then allow teams to strike judges only with cause.  I understand the downsides of the latter part of this policy (especially with a big tournament), so perhaps allowing 2 or 3 strikes by teams is an acceptable alternative.  The thing to guard against is any move toward debaters selecting the audience that suits their style.

- Eric


******************************************
Eric Barnes
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Philosophy Department
Public Policy Program
Debate Coach
(315) 781-3182
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]><mailto:[log in to unmask]>

On Apr 8, 2014, at 3:52 AM, James Kilcup wrote:

Hello Debate Community,
I have a couple of modest proposals that I think would help improve the quality and equity of our judging at the upcoming USUDC. I thought I would see if the proposals gain support among our community and perhaps our Adg-Core could implement them.

1) Stop using university name and internal ranking to identify teams (i.e. Loyola A, Brown C, Cape Cod B, etc.) In place of this traditional practice, we could use any number of signifiers (Mary Nugent has proposed to me a random word generator, which I think sounds nifty and fun!). At the very least, we should stop using the internal rankings of the schools. This information undoubtedly colors the judge’s impressions of the arguments made in the round, and that detracts from what should be the exclusive focus of judging: evaluating the relative quality of the arguments made in the round.

2) Stop allowing people to personally lobby for judge scratches. We could either eliminate any scratches outside of institutional conflicts or we could afford each team some number of scratches (say 3). The problem with determining scratches on a case-by-case basis is that the adjudication core is too busy to follow up on any alleged reason for a scratch, so they’re usually just stuck saying yes or no based on a gut call. The case-by-case basis also significantly advantages people who are friends with the adjudication core because they feel comfortable bringing forward their concerns. Insulating yourself from judges whom you perceive to be disinclined to vote for you is a major advantage. If we allow it at all, it should be standardized and transparent.

I consider these proposals to be low-hanging fruit, in the sense that they would be neither terribly difficult to implement, nor radically change our activity. I do think, however, that if implemented, these reforms would improve both the reality and perception of judging and judge allocation at the USUDC.

What do y’all think?

Once I figure out how to do it, I’ll put up a poll of some sort to collect your views of these proposals.

See you soon!

--
James Kilcup

Visiting Assistant Professor
Assistant Director of Debate
Communication Studies Dept.
Loyola Marymount University

Mobile #: (503) 857-7266
Office #: (310) 338-7742
Office Location: Foley 313


--
========================
Alfred Charles Snider aka Tuna
Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics, University of Vermont
Director, Lawrence Debate Union; Director, World Debate Institute
475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
802-238-8345 mobile, 802-656-0097 office
http://debate.uvm.edu/alfredsnider.html
http://debate.uvm.edu/tunacalendar.html
@asnider Twitter

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