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Reasons I would choose CEDA or NDT
.but never parlimentary!
(From a coach's perspective) I would choose CEDA...
(1) If I were in a geographic area in which everyone else did CEDA. When
coaching at UNLV a few years ago, I was offended by the fact that a
California school chose to run one NDT team nationally at the expense of 2-3
teams that wanted to do CEDA. They were forced to attend regional
tournaments at their own expense. My guess is that the school could've
bought 2-3 CEDA championships for what they spent on one NDT team. The
reverse is also true. Why would a school in the far Northeast choose CEDA
when ADA seems to be the dominant game in town?
(2) If I wanted to run some really cool theory arguments, although the
tolerance for such arguments seems to be diminishing on a yearly basis. The
problem (not unique to CEDA) is that these arguments become ad homs against
people who support them ("Counter-warrants" - Isn't that Rhodes' wacky idea?
or, as one judge said, "I just can't buy Murphy's position on jurisdiction"
with no substantive reason why). I think one of CEDA's biggest threats is a
close-minded "this is about impacts" perspective.
(3) If I had a large number of debaters. With the sweepstakes system, it
makes sense. All members of the team feel they contribute.
(4) Because it is less predictable than NDT. Who can forget Rhode Islands
upset over SIU at the USAFA Nationals (and the famous point-down in the
awards ceremony)? These things seem to happen less in NDT. I've always been
bothered, since the system was first established, by NDT's bid system. Once
teams are designated as "bid" teams, they carry a presumption so great that
it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had an NDT team who was told, more
than once, after losing a close elim round, "Well, you know they are a bid
team." That's pure crap!
(5) Because of the regional/national structure. Outside of the ADA area, the
only remaining structure in NDT is the former national circuit. I have heard
many NDT coaches complain that, because the first two tournaments of the year
are UNI and Kentucky, that there is no place to take their JV or Novice
teams. The regional/national structure in CEDA allows a coach to move her
teams in and out as necessary.
(6) Because of the six-round, two-day format. Of course, Glen could respond,
"Wasn't your UNLV tournament 8 rounds and three days?" Yes, but I got to
sleep in my own bed.
(7) Because the political side of CEDA is more open. I was invited to serve
on one of CEDA's most important committee assignments in my second year of
coaching. I think a large part of this has to do with removing the regional
impediments to participation. My feeling is that CEDA operates pretty darn
close to a real democracy.
I would choose NDT...
(1) For exactly the same reason in (1) above.
(2) If I had a small number of teams. It is now easier to cover the fewer
number of teams in NDT, case-wise, than the massive number of teams in CEDA.
On the violence/political oppression topic a few years ago, I counted over
200 different cases by the third week of the fall season. If more judges
voted on whole res, like me, this wouldn't have happened.
(3) If I had a lot a money and a number of TAs. I don't view this a positive
or negative, but reality. The reason so many schools left NDT is simple:
resources. The same problem is now occurring in CEDA. I compete to win and,
if I don't have the resources, will find a forum in which I can compete. How
is a school like Eastern Nowhere University (I went there), with no TAs and a
small travel budget (and limited library facilities), expected to compete
with a school that has a $30,000+ budget, 3-4 TAs, and paid researchers? If
money were no object, I would seriously consider NDT.
(4) Because of its historical tradition. I confess to an emotional
attachment to NDT. When I think of great debaters in my District as an
undergraduate, I have vivid images of Gerry Paul, Sam Cohen, and others. Tim
Sanders, who I knew from high school, had incredible competitive instincts.
CEDA is developing its own history: I would put Mark West and Jim Haefle up
there with the best debaters I've every heard. It's just that NDT has about
30 years on CEDA.
(5) Because the judging is more uniform. This was Frank LaSalle's (a former
Miami NDT debater and TA) major gripe about CEDA. I have actually had teams
dropped for (a) sitting on the wrong side of the room, (b) failing to write
their names on the board, (c) on topicality arguments never made in a round,
and (d) simply because the judge did not like them.
(6) Because it is more predictable. This isn't necessarily bad. My students
always shudder at the prospect of traveling to other regional tournaments.
Once you get used to a group of judges, they become like an old shoe. New
ones hurt and are, at most, uncomfortable. Old ones feel very nice, even if
they rub your heel a bit.
My own personal belief is that CEDA and NDT should begin a dialogue with an
end goal of some sort of merger. I am amazed at the negativity this
suggestion has generated from my colleagues in NDT and CEDA. Both believe
they don't need the other. My position isn't whether each needs the other,
but how each can benefit the other. As my former chair, Gerry Sanders, put
it "debate is debate." Calling it NDT or CEDA doesn't really change it that
much. Why can't we all be sisters and brothers?
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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