[Ndca-l] NDCA and card-clipping

Scott Wheeler scottwheels
Thu Dec 13 13:27:51 EST 2012

I think there's a bigger problem, which is that speech documents have replaced actual speeches as the way we communicate information in the round.

I try to drill into the students' heads the importance of flowing (which includes flowing the warrants, or else your only means of comparison will be lining up tags about the same general idea, and hoping your arguments are dropped).  Then I get into a round and see one of my teams spend a minute of the 1NC on an advantage that wasn't in the 1AC because the other team didn't get to it.  The advantage wasn't extended in the 2AC (or mentioned again) and I'm scratching my head until my team tells me afterwards that the advantage was in the speech they were jumped.  The students thought that the other team had "cheated" in jumping them cards that they didn't get to, instead of the real lesson, that they themselves were terrible debaters for not listening.  After our talk, I think (hope) that has changed.

But it's a tough battle these days.  If I'm judging and ask for a card after the round, debaters suggest others that I might find helpful.  I politely decline, but presumably others don't.  Some students have asked if I also want the speech document jumped to me before each speech, and tell me that some other judges want them.  In an LD round, a student brought me a pre-flow.  I handed it back, astounded, and asked if other judges had accepted it.  He said yes, that every other judge had appreciated it.

Though telling opponents to mark cards at the appropriate point and telling them after each speech what was not read is good practice, it's only an ethical issue because we've been lazy in other areas.  There really shouldn't be any incentive to card-clip.  If a model lesson plan is the answer, it needs to go deeper than just pointing out these best practices.  We wouldn't need any sanctions if we had never strayed from the actual best practices--listening, flowing, and speaking.  Otherwise, in a couple years we'll just be "debating" over email.

On Dec 13, 2012, at 8:24 AM, Joe Carver wrote:

> I am glad to see the board initiate this conversation Tara, as even my casual interactions with coaches over the past two years have indicated a significant increase in the alleged occurrences. I really only chime in to provide two points.
> First, the NDCA's greatest strength (and perhaps, itsweakness) has been the lack of "teeth" that any measures that it enacts can collectively have on the community as a whole. I think that to its credit, this has allowed the organization to serve a partners to programs instead of governors- and the activity benefits from that. For that reason, I think that you are correct to position yourselves to not " police" these activities.
> I do think however that the board has the ability to truly impact the decision calculus of teams and directors because the Baker Award and the NDCA tournament's profile and credibility have increased so dramatically. I would hope that you would act more definitively than suggested here should an allegation be proven. The Baker Award has come to represent high school debate, the NDCA and the activity as a whole. If a team has been proven to violate the most basic ethical principles of the activity, they should not be allowed to carry the activities mantle. They should be disqualified from the Baker Award entirely. 
> I understand that the challenge is in defining what "proven" means in this context. You have far greater minds than mine to resolve that. I would just encourage all of you to really take into account what damage this practice does to the activity and it's credibility. Educators are charged to develop certain competencies in their charges- quality decision making, personal integrity and interpersonal cooperation among them. As a leader in the community, and the collective respect and credibility that the NDCA has, I believe that precluding a team that has cheated from claiming ownership over an award given named after a coach who would never have allowed such a thing to happen on his watch is the least that can be done.
> Either way, I am glad to see the NDCA Board continue to be on the forefront of these issues and wish you all well. Now I will crawl back into silence. :) 
> On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM, Tara Tate <ttate at glenbrook225.org> wrote:
> Dear colleagues -
> 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.
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