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THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO ALL OF THE FINE JUDGES FROM BOTH VISITING SCHOOLS
AND FROM AMONG MY STUDENTS, CO-COACHES, ASSISTANTS, AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE
MADE THE PAST TEN GATEWAY DEBATE TOURNAMENTS POSSIBLE.
We are sad to see that Gary Rees is so disappointed your performance at the
10th Gateway recently concluded.
Since Prof. Rees took it upon himself to mention specifically our
tournament as an example of "incompetent judging," however, I feel that I
must challenge him to be even more specific in substantiating his claim.
First off, we do train our judges here. Second, have a fee structure that
encourages visiting schools to use their most competent judges rather than
paying us to hire our own. According to the records of who actually judged
Central Methodist in debate, Central Methodist had only one UM-St. Louis
judge among the 18 rounds it debated at our tournament. That judge was
Candy Ousley--she gave Eric Kennedy his highest speaker points of the
tournament (28) and affirmed his well-deserved advancement into the
semifinals rounds at the tournament in LD. Based on my own observations of
Kennedy's improvement over the past years, I am inclined to agree with her
assessment. Since she did give him the win, I doubt Gary has any problems
with her ballot. Although she only performed individual events for us, I
have trained her as a judge, she is a veteran of over 30 tournaments on
both the high school and college levels, and she is well respected among
area high schools and colleges as a competent critic. So, what about the
First, I won't address the other five who judged Kennedy--Marlowe (MOSO),
Hunsaker (McKendree), Miller (SELA), Fuller (SBU), and Crocetti (Vandy).
I'm sure that since Eric broke Gary has no problem with these, and anyway,
they are all among a virtual "Who's who" among nationally known and
competent judges of LD debate and CEDA debate. So what about the 12 who
judged the novice Central Meth teams--from among the 2 named by Gary are
guilty of incompetence? Who is he naming here? Look at the list and judge
for yourself whether the Gary Larson, Doug Duke, Glen Strickland, or,
ultimately, Al Madrid or myself used bad judgment in allowing these judges
to critique Gary's teams, or whether they could offer a useful,educational
criticism of his speakers. Also, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN THE NAMES judge
for yourself their level of scoring consisistency:
Here are the other 12 judges who judged Central Methodist at our
tournament, including their decisions regarding Gary's novice teams. Keep
in mind both CMC teams went 3-3:
Nick Backus, Washburn--gave Jones/Roeder (I presume CMC's "top team"
since they made finals at Wichita State) a loss (27 pts) vs.
Crocetti, Vanderbilt--gave Jones/Roader a loss (25-24) vs. 3-3 Fisk
Markstrom, McNeese--gave Jones/Roader a win (25-24) vs. 2-4 Trinity
Bye--gave Jones/Roeder a win vs. 0-6 bye (26-25)
Stairs, Ball State--gave Jones/Roeder (25-23) a loss vs. 4-2 UMKC
Rigdon--SE Missouri--gave Jones/Roader a win (28-29) vs. 2-4 Webster
Note: without the bye the true record of this team was 2-3. Using that as
a yardstick. Every team they lost to ended up with a better record; every
team they beat had a worse record. I defy anyone to beat that for
consistency. I now challenge Gary to 1) name the "culprit" (Backus,
Crocetti, or Stairs), and 2) challenge the director at whatever program to
better train their judges rather than only mentioning "UMSL". I honestly
feel that Washburn, Vanderbilt, and Ball State are three of the most
respected programs in the nation and I have total confidence in them to
provide competent judging. Although I know and respect Backus and Crocetti
both by national reputation and years of competent ballot writing and don't
know Stairs, I owe nobody--even a "varsity" coach--an apology for letting
them judge their debaters. Perhaps Gary should write the perceived
incompetent a letter, or give them a phone call to discuss privately the
matter, rather than publicly attacking a tournament over the internet on an
incident isolated among even his own teams, not to mention the rest of the
As for the CEDA-L subscribers, I wanted you to know whose competence is
really being attacked here.
Now, for that other team, Kincaid and Jones:
Kostun of Southern Illinois--awarded them a win (27-26) vs. 2-4 SEMO
Stairs of Ball State--awarded them a loss (25-20) vs. 3-3 Webster
Hunsaker of McKendree--awarded them a loss (21-23) vs. 4-2 Vandy
Collier of UMKC--awarded them a win (27-27) vs. 2-4 Wheaton
Miller of SE Louisiana--awarded them a loss (20-19) vs. 3-3 SEMO
Mason of Western Kentucky--awarded them a win (25-23) vs. 1-5 CMSU
Again, PERFECT CONSISTENCY!!! Come on, Gary! Why the crybabying? For
crying out loud, Linda Collier judged your team--IN A NOVICE DIVISION! She
is the NATIONAL CHAMPION, MAN! DICK HUNSAKER is one of the most widely
published coaches of all times (Does the word "Springboards" ring a
bell?)--Yuri Kostun is at SIU and was a dynamo for McNeese! So what's the
problem with the judging at our tournament? If it's Miller, talk to Scott
Elliot--but do so softly, because their budget is being threatened even as
I write and I'd hate to see a good program go. Also, Scott's a nice guy
whose program demonstrates that nice guys can finish first. If Stairs is
the problem once again here, then please call Professor Bower in Muncie.
Since you're I hope still planning to send a buncha teams to Webster's
study break, I wish that I had actually found some UMSL judges to weed
out--or find any inconsistencies to weed out. I could find none.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I am open to any new facts Prof. Rees can offer. If
ballots were handed to judges without authorization of the tabroom (if the
judges listed as judging your team were not the ones on the ballots, then
ballots were handed out without authorization of the tabroom), and your
folks BELIEVE they got a rough deal from a judge of ours, then I shall 1)
strike them from ever judging CMC again at any tournament, the Gateway or
the Study Break, any away tourney UM-St. Louis might attend, or in which I
am involved, and 2) retrain them so as to make sure they know what to write
to better justify their ballots for future teams. IF THIS BE THE CASE I am
most open to learning about it, as I am sure Gary is anxious to share.
HOWEVER I MAKE NO APOLOGY FOR THE WAY the two CMC TEAMS WERE TREATED AT OUR
TOURNAMENT--THIS IS ENTIRELY CONSISTENT WITH OTHER TOURNAMENTS, WITH THE
FACT THAT ONLY 8 OF 27 TEAMS COULD BY CEDA STANDARDS BREAK AT OUR
TOURNAMENT IN NOVICE, AND EVEN IF GARY REES WERE TO SHOW THAT EVERY ONE WHO
JUDGED the CMC TEAMs WAS A "LAY" JUDGE FROM UMSL, THEN I WOULD BE DAMNED
PROUD OF THAT SET OF LAY JUDGES FOR ARRIVING AT THAT DEGREE OF CONSISTENCY.
As for the specific comments: 1) that a judge "misunderstood
theory"--well that could be just a disagreement between she/he and Gary
Rees, and 2) that one judge believed "a counterplan could not be run on
this topic"--well, that is a legitimate stand, just as some judges rarely
vote on topicality. This topic is bi-directional--ANY change is topical.
Although I have voted for counterplans, I personally believe that
counterplans cannot be run since the negative HAS to defend the status quo.
So if a counterplan changes our relations with Mexico, it is topical.
Well, to me, it is up to the debaters to decide this, but other judges have
other standards. I believe that I saw Central Methodist's "top team" run a
counterplan while explicitly defending the status quo at Wichita. I voted
for them only because the other team dropped all of their arguments.
However, I could easily see another judge voting against them on the basis
of that contradiction--if that status quo is working, why fixed what ain't
broke and give up presumption. My point--you cannot run a counterplan if
you explicitly defend the status quo. I personally believe that you cannot
run a counterplan effectively on this topic--but I have voted for teams who
have when 1) the other has not responded effectively to it; 2) when they
have argued that topical counterplans are legit and the other teams failed
to respond; or 3) when other agents of change than the US are argued as
doing a better job. I just don't think negative should give up so much
presumption unless it is just unprepared for the case at hand. Of course
my colleague AL loves counterplans on this topic and UM-St. Louis runs them
left and right, but he is entitled to his academic freedom here as well as
I am--and as well as Gary Rees is--and as well as any critic whom Gary Rees
wanted to pick up his teams but failed to do so is. The bottom line--even
the isolated attacks Rees did make seem to me more like legitimate
professional disgreements rather than proven instances of incompetent
Congratulations again TO CMC on the novice speaker award and the
quarterfinals performance by Kennedy in LD. A 2-1 loss is a very good
effort vs. Michelle Turner--I know because she once won a state
championship for our school and since has won several for Scott at McNeese.
Gary, thanks for the opportunity for me to advertise the excellent judging
received by all teams at the Gateway. Although we are still learning the
time limits for NFA LD and some of the finer points of parli in our regiou,
we meet both the educational demands of the students and the divisional
demands of what critics desire to judge.
WE DO ADMIT ONE ERROR--we still owe you a pizza! We'll throw in some garlic
rolls for interest at the Study Break.
As for the rest of you, if you want to see what the judging consistency and
quality is REALLY like at the Gateway, e-mail me for a RESULTS BOOKLET!
Look at the JUDGE LIST we post IN ADVANCE of the tournament!
Also, come experience the great judging that you get at the local and
regional tournaments here! They don't always vote for UM-St. Louis as Al
would like, but we won't attack them just because we lose! We have learned
a lot from them over the years, and so should you! Next big event--the
Study Break at Webster for your novices, Dec. 2. The next REALLY big
event--WILLIAM JEWELL IN January--followed by awesome events at UMKC, KSU,
CMSU, SIU, WHEATON and WEBSTER. CHECK THESE OUT!!!! THERE'S SOMETHING
THERE FOR EVERYONE! CEDA IS GREAT ACROSS THE NATION! CEDA IS REALLY GREAT
IN AROUND THE SHOW-ME STATE!! WE ENJOY IT WHEN WE COME TO YOUR REGION AS
WELL, YET ALWAYS FEEL WELCOME AND BE CONFIDENT OF EXCELLENT JUDGING AT ANY
OF THE FINE MIDWESTERN REGION CEDA TOURNAMENTS!
We do appreciate the feedback--that is what enabled us to grow to 63
schools this year. Thanks for ALL of your comments, including
Gary's--taking these into consideration (like having judging philosophies
available from all, including lay, judges--to make strikes more meaningful)
will definitely be helpful in our continuing to formulate ways to make the
Gateway more "user friendly" to all.
Remember to mark the same weekend for Gateway '96--"The Tournament of
Excellent Critics." (Look at our judge list and I defy anybody to top it!)
---------------------STOP YOUR SOBBING-------------------------
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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