[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page
Re: Bad judging etc.
Some people think there are shitty judges.
Some people think there are shitty debaters.
I happen to think that both statements are probably true.
There are some of each.
And I think it is OK for the students to complain about bad judges. They
are (at times) competitively hurt by bad judges. They miss out on an
educational opportunity when they get a lousy judge.
It is NOT OK for the judges to complain about students being lousy
debaters. Even many good judges were lousy debaters themselves and
subjected others to their idiocy, of course. Even more importantly, the
role of the judge is to provide some level of education to the debater via
verbal and nonverbal (ballot) feedback. Judges should embrace the
opportunity to hear rounds between so-called "lousy" teams because it
presents an opportunity to give something to the debaters. The thought of
judges complaining about having to listen to bad rounds is rather
Note: I am not making apologies for those debaters who are hateful and
rude with critics after the round. I am talking about the oft-heard
complaint of "the teams I judged were horrible and I HATE judging those
Over three years of coaching I had the opportunity to judge hundreds upon
hundreds of rounds.
I used to think to myself while judging those wonderful Big Dog Open rounds
that I would prefer to be watching novices, in some sense. Though I loved
watching the good teams test one another (and their panels), I also felt
that I had little to offer them but a (hopefully well-reasoned) decision.
I think I was a good debater, but I really couldn't imagine myself offering
too much in the way of educational advice to debaters who were certainly
more talented than I.*
Judging novice, jv, and "low" open rounds--the oft-called "shitty"
teams--provided an opportunity to provide something more than a decision.
I may have occasionally made an ill-conceived joke about the quality of a
round. I may have even complained a bit out loud. But I know that Never
once was I really thinking "I hate judging. Especially crap like this."
So, if you are someone who Hates judging, you are (perhaps) in the wrong
line of work... Or at least need an attitude adjustment. It is your job,
your obligation, and your opportunity. If the debaters are rude and make
you feel bad, I'm sorry. But sometimes the assholes need help, too. Just
like all the other participants in "horrible rounds."
Make your preferences known, be consistent in your decision-mkaing process,
try hard, listen hard. And provide whatever you have to the debaters with
a smile. Some one did it for you. And you may very well have been
Horrible, Obnoxious, Shitty, Lousy, and Annoying.
And I would bet that you became better, in large part, because of those
judges who spent less time complaining about bad debaters and more time
caring to offer them advice.
>From firstname.lastname@example.org, on 4/8/97 1:23 PM:
i think leahs view is a bit harsh....
On Tue, 8 Apr 1997, Rebecca Galentine wrote:
> Amen to my sister from Texas! Does anyone find it interesting that
> given our recent rages we are both a. 3 or less years out b. considered
> "flow" or "fast" or "whatever is cool" judges and we feel this way???
> Don't you think that says something? Ususally those who bitch about
> debates are labelled "buffalo" and "old school." Don't think that label
> applies to the two younguns from the NW.
maybe the problem is that "whatever is cool" is not who becky or leah
"are." my impression of the 2 younguns from the nw is that they like a
coherent strategy or story to come out early and be continually
i think it is important to communicate this to debaters and coaches.
that is one reason i advocate writing ballots. and ross' post yesterday?
gets to that (i think becy even wrte as much)-you find out info about the
critic which is very useful. i have had the chance to her becky and leah
explain their decisions, and through that i better understand how to
coach for them. but if i never heard these decisions, and absent a
considered ballot, how would i know? i would ask ian and will and they
would say "becky? shes cool...you can do whatever." and that really is
> just an observation,
> Leah Castella wrote:
> > I absolutely detest judging... no matter what you do, people are pissed
> > you and no matter how hard you try, the people that lose think that you
> > screwed them. Quite frankly, I'm completely sick of all the whining of
> > debaters about getting screwed, bad judges, etc. etc. etc.
i understand, but i dont think this can be taken personally, to a point.
one thing i have learned this semester is that _my_ defensiveness about a
"whining" debater has cost them and me valuable educational episodes. i
really think judges need to try to have a thick skin.
> > Do debaters think that it is fun to listen to four people spew
> > incomprehensibly up until the last second of the round and then have to
> > for an undefined period after the round trying to figure out what the
> > was said? I mean, come on....
> > That's not debate, it's babble. Does the fact that I can't get down 25
> > answers to a T position that come out in the first 35 seconds of the
> > mean that I take a bad flow? I don't think so. Most debates are
> > unclear. It is feasible and likely that reasonable people can and will
> > differ on who they think wins because the debaters do an abysmal job of
> > telling you who wins. Instead of bitching about the judges, work on
> > last rebuttal skills.
this is the heart of my point. i think debaters are working on rebutal
skills. but it is HARD. and very few debaters ever achieve the model we
hold out to them. i guess my question for people who feel this way is:
how do your debaters debate? if your 2acs dont spew down answers that
are to quick to flow, then maybe you have a beef.
i doubt the bitching will ever stop, but how does this compromise sound?:
judges try as hard as you can to make a good decision (i think most
debaters try as hard as you can to debate well. ( i think most already
everyone take into account that most everybody is trying as hard as they
can to do a good job.
> > Do you people who are still competing think that judges should feel
> > privleged because they have the honor of judging at nationals? Sure,
> > every judge there is fantastic or takes a perfect flow but have you
> > to think about the fact that there wouldn't be a nationals unless those
> > judges were there? Maybe you think that you would be better off
> > judge in the back of the room and then the teams can have a civil
> > conversation after the debate and figure out who won? Because if the
> > who you are labelling as shitty judges didn't show up, there wouldn't
> > tournament.
> > Or maybe debaters think that the princely sum that judges/coaches get
> > means that they should be grateful at the chance to be at a tournament.
> > Come on, I could make more money waiting tables. At least then I
> > have to deal with the massive amount of disrespect that is constantly
> > onto me because I had the audacity of voting for the team who I though
i do not think that this is how becky or leah really feel, in total,
about intercollegiate debate. but if it is how you (and others) feel,i
wonder why you coach? and that is not a challenge, but a sincere question.
> > I've been in this activity a long time and for the most part, I like
> > What I hate, and what I find a lot of people hate is judging. And the
> > reason I hate it is because of all the bullshit that I have to take
> > teams who are unable to recognize the fact that by god it's possible to
> > a round. Well, here's some news... it is so get over your bad
> > deal with it.
i dont think you _have_ to take it. demand respectful discussion. i
tried that and found that i was to sensitive about the "attacks." it is
a personal choice.
i guess my response is rooted in confusion and surprise. i know judging
is tough, but this view seems so overwhelmingly negative it is hard for
me to understand.
faculty associate-asu =)
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page