[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page
Re: Reply-Lechtreck Coaches Poll--Why?
On Thu, 2 Mar 1995, Jim Sahlman wrote:
> Does it matter which "we" I am referring to? I don't think so. I meant
> the "CEDA community" (which includes debaters, coaches, directors, et
> al.). I'm not sure why it would be any more or less important if I
> had meant only coaches or only students. So then, why does the CEDA
> community need the poll? (If that will clarify).
My question of which "we" you were referring to was to illustrate that
those listed on the list, as well as those who make up the list are ALSO
part of the CEDA community. This means that for them, assuming they agree
that they like/want it, it is desired. Do we need it? Probably not.
However, there a lot of things that we don't need, but like to have. So,
absent any "real" harm to the rest of the community, why not?
> I'll take issue with the idea that 20 coaches can assign rankings to
> teams they have never seen--and when they do not take into account
> these other variables I've mentioned from my last message--to bestow
> this so-called "richly deserved recognition."
First, this is is gross generalization. I am probably the farthest
removed from the teams on the list, and I have seen all but 2 of them
debate. I would guess that most of the other coaches being polled have
seen them all. However, I still believe that the pollees, regardless of
having seen ALL the teams or not, can find ways to make an informed decision.
> This is a PR tool for coaches to (1) help increase funding for their
> programs and (2) to campaign for their teams at tournaments.
As for number 1), so what. Why is this bad? As for number 2), this
assumes that some type of campaigning has an effect on the outcome.
Again, teams get on the list by winning tournaments, not the other way
around. I will put the same challenge to you that I did to John Meany; if
you have some proof that the list in ANY way influences a debate round,
please share it with us.
> Just because you don't see any specific harm, you think we should
> have it?
Isn't that what cost-benefit-analysis is? It helps some people (even if
only the 15-20 teams listed). Absent any quantifiable harms, the
advantages outweigh (sorry about the debate jargon, but it's been too
long since speaking english), albeit on a small scale.
> It isn't just about avoiding harms--it's about the
> benefits of having it. And so far, the only benefits that you're
> telling me that it gives us is (1) there's no harm and (2) because
> we can get 20 coaches to respond to a poll.
Come on! You insult me, and the others reading this post. You, yourself
mention other advantages above. Why do you now pretend they don't exist.
And, in addition to those, at least one debater has said that the list
has caused him/her to work harder to be included in the list. I think
that that is enough of a benefit to at least justify its existence in the
absence of a harm.
> >Depends on your definition of valid. The poll is not billed as
> >a scientific certainty, nor is it billed as an absolute accurate
> >list of the best teams. It is just what it IS billed as; a poll
> >of 20 debate coaches from different parts of the country. That's
> The upshot of the validity issue is: Does the poll describe what
> it is supposed to? And though the poll is only billed as what
> 20 coaches think, that is not how it is processed throughout
> the CEDA community (and their respective colleges and universities).
First, I think it does describe what it is. In fact, my message from Tim
always reads; "Top Ten Coaches Poll". I think that is pretty
self-explanitory. As for how it is processed throughout the community, I
am wondering how you know this. Have you taken a poll? So far, you and
John Meany (I think that's all) are the only ones who have come out
strongly opposed to it, while several have come out in its support (with
a few who are not committed one way or another). It would seem that the
community, on balance, sees it differently.
> In other words, "I saw my name in print, therefore, this MUST
> be where I stand." I think there is a compelling argument here
> about what people believe to be true BECAUSE of the poll.
I think that those are YOUR words, not the words of those on the list or
of those voting. You, and John, continue to beg the question. It is a
teams performance that puts them on the list to begin with, not vice-versa.
And before you claim that a team gets lucky, gets on the list, then the
perception keeps them on the list by winning tournaments that they didn't
deserve to win, the fact that the list, and the teams on it, keeps
changing would deny it. If you were right, teams would never enter, exit, or
change positions on the list. This is empirically disproven.
> The implicit attributions about a team's ranking undoubtedly
> influences how that team will do in a tournament (in addition
> to that team's skills in the rounds). There was an earlier
> e-mail on this by someone else on CEDA-L.
Yes there was, John Meany, and he offered not a shred of proof either.
You use the word undoubtedly, but there is much doubt. I am still waiting
for even anecdotal evidence of this influence.
> I think this person's point makes sense.
I think Matt Roskoski's point makes MUCH more sense. If the list were to
have some sort of influence, then wouldn't the CEDA rankings (which have
been sent out 3-4 times per year for many years), CEDA-L tournament
results, and even trophies at each tournament, create just as much
influence. Trust me, I formed an opinion who I thought the top teams in
the country were LONG before there was a "top ten" list. I would be
willing to bet that you did too.
> As for the outcome of CEDA Nationals, (1) this
> is an invitational tournament anyway (i.e., nobody qualifies) and
> (2) this feeds into the argument that judges and teams become
> influenced by the implicit attributions they make toward other
As for 1), I have no idea why this is relevent. As for 2), more begging
the question. You would have to show some influence before this could
feed an influence argument.
> and (2) why do you assume it is specious?
Because like John Meany, you continue to make allegations that are FAR
from documented. You keep talking about an influence that has never been
shown. That's why I call the allutions specious. Just because you say it,
doesn't make it so.
(We're just a J.C., but we're a damn good one)
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Return to main CEDA-L Archive Page