[Ndca-l] NDCA and card-clipping

Thu Dec 13 10:04:44 EST 2012

Thank you for this Tara and the board,

I like all the suggestion especially the suggested lesson plans on clipping and unethical behavior in rounds.  I think part of the problem may be that some debaters and coaches don't even know what clipping is and the difference in simply highlighting down the card.

I agree is it NOT NDCA's job to enforce or police but to educate.  Well done!

Jane G. Boyd
Director of Forensics, Grapevine High School
Head Debate Coach
Office number: 817-251-5248

The mission of Grapevine High School, an icon of rich tradition and innovative educational practices, is to intentionally develop knowledgeable, creative, ethical, and civic-minded leaders through high standards and personalized, relevant, and engaging learning experiences in concert with the community.

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From: Tara Tate [ttate at glenbrook225.org]
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:00 AM
To: ndca-l at lists.debatecoaches.org
Subject: NDCA and card-clipping

Dear colleagues -

The NDCA Board seeks your input in regards to ways that our organization can help you as a coach and tournament director in regards to ethical practices, such as card clipping.  At national circuit policy tournaments, there has been a massive increase of teams being accused of "clipping cards".  Many coaches believe that this unethical practice is on the rise.  We certainly believe this problem extends in to the other debate events as well.

As an organization that we believe can help the community establish norms and common practices as well as being a resource for you, we would like to start a community dialogue on how you would like the NDCA to proceed in helping the community prevent these instances.

The Board has been discussing a wide variety of options and we are wanting feedback on what you feel would best help you in regards to managing your team and your tournament.

Here are some of the actions that have been discussed by the NDCA Board:

1 - The NDCA could provide a standard piece of language that tournament administrators can utilize in their tournament rules/procedures in regards to how your invitational will deal with card clipping.  This would be 100% optional - we would write up the language and provide it as a resource.  If you like it, you can use it and put it in your tournament documents.

2 - The NDCA can provide a model lesson plan on how to discuss this with your students - what is card clipping or unethical practices in regards to reading evidence?  what should you do if you believe your opponent is clipping cards?

3 - The NDCA has also discussed a sanctioning type of system that would entail not awarding Baker Cup points or Dukes/Bailey Cup points to debaters that are caught clipping cards at a tournament and is sanctioned by the judge or a tournament official with a loss.  If your team is found "guilty" of clipping cards in Round 5 at MBA and awarded a loss by the judge in that debate due to that ethical violation, your team would not be able to receive Baker points for that tournament.

It is widely believed by the Board that it is impossible and not the responsibility of our organization to police these activities.  We do believe we have control over our own tournament and our own awards but we would like input on how the membership body would allow us to proceed.

We would like this dialogue to happen in one of two ways:

1 - Please feel free to backchannel me or any of our other Board members with your thoughts.

2 - We will keep a running dialogue about this on the NDCA-L.  We feel it is best to not flood the email boxes of all of our NDCA members through the NDCA membership mailing list.  Please avoid replying all to  the NDCA membership emails.  Replying all to this email will hopefully just send it to me and those that are subscribed to the opt-in NDCA-L.

Again, the NDCA is an organization that is here to assist its coaches with issues that face us.  We believe this is an issue facing our community and we would like input on how we should proceed.

We look forward to reading your input and providing some direction as we move forward on this timely issue.

Tara Tate and the NDCA Board
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