Minutes: 2018 Spring Coaches Meeting

Lewiston High School, 156 East Avenue, Lewiston
May 18, 2018

Attendees: Lyndsy Denk (Falmouth), Brian Dodge (Deering), Kelli Antonison (Richmond), Joe Pelletier (Bangor), Lisa Melanson (Cape Elizabeth),  Dick Mullen (Cape Elizabeth), Ellen Parent (at large), Nick Waldron (Erskine Academy), Dan Haskell (Cheverus), David Arenstam (Thornton Academy), D’Arcy Robinson (Poland), Matt Leland (Lincoln Academy), Pat Spilecki (Lewiston), Larry Bartlett (Morse), Tom Sheehy (Brunswick), Jason Curry (Greely)

Summary of key decisions and action items

Key decisions/announcements

Officer and moderator voting results:

  • President-elect: Jason Curry (Greely)
  • Secretary: Lyndsy Denk (Falmouth)
  • Speech co-moderators: Pat Spilecki (Lewiston) and Kailey Smith (Lawrence)
  • Public Forum: Joe Pelletier (Bangor)
  • Lincoln-Douglas: Matt Leland (Lincoln Academy)
  • Congress: Paul Bibeau (Kennebunk)

Accepted Sam Rouse’s offer to purchase his printer for $50. Parent will follow up.

Debate evidence: All coaches should reinforce with students that they should know their evidence and not fabricate evidence.

  • Similarly, students should challenge evidence in round. If students wish to challenge outside of a round, be warned that challenges can result in a DQ on either side (1. if the challenge is verified, then the challenged is disqualified, 2. If the challenge is refuted, the challengers can be DQed). For challenge procedure, refer to the State Championship Handbook Article IV, Section F.

General agreement to encourage hosts to allow Public Forum mavericks as a last resort. Recommended alternatives for all hosts:

  • Enter in Lincoln-Douglas, Extemporaneous Speaking, or Congressional Debate.
  • Waive the any fee (drop or late-add) if the remaining PFer swaps to another event.
  • Run Pubic Forum as one-on-one debate.
  • Limit the number of mavericks a school may enter.
  • Reserve mavericking for a partnership that dissolves after the drop deadline and in the absence of a replacement partner.

By popular request: an online flow sheet courtesy of Dodge.

Updates to the State Championship handbook (Denk):

  • Mirror sourcing requirements to State Handbook and update to allow PDFs
  • Specify online ballot procedure and precedence.
  • Update LD sweeps scoring to align with other patterns.

The Novice Extravaganza tournament will run Public Forum as pro-am (teams of varsity and novice debaters).

To ensure appropriately sized House chambers, coaches should continue to:

  • Bring your requisite judges. (Hosts are encouraged to push back and not just charge the missing judge fee.)
  • Fill Senate seats before House.

Action items

  • Parent organize and inventory tabulation boxes. Resupply as needed.
  • L. Denk create a standard form for judges to use for accreditation hours, which should be signed by respective tournament hosts.
  • Spilecki and K. Smith update Speech documentation: Pre-tournament briefing, Storytelling description.
  • L. Denk amend Congress ballots to include date and location.
  • Technology committee (L. Denk, S. Rouse, and Parent(?)) convene on technology needs (web site hosting, Tabroom.com setup for new season,etc.).
  • Use this link to add the MFA Google calendar to yours: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=a9mv9nptaqidooiot3ea3h7ps8%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America%2FNew_York
  • Technology committee (L. Denk, Parent) draft Judging Checklist (general and online ballot entry).

Breakfast and general talking

Welcome and introductions

Vote on Parliamentarian for the meeting

Nominate Ellen Parent (Denk)—declined. Nominate Joe Pelletier (Denk), unanimous.

During Treasurer’s report, motion to swap parli to Jason Curry, unanimous.

Officers’ reports

Secretary Lyndsy Denk (Falmouth)

Approval of Fall Meeting minutes: Motion to approve (Leland, Waldron), unanimous.

Seeking new vigor to scrub the by-laws. I’d like to schedule a small committee during lunch.

As an extension of online balloting, about halfway through the season I started adding a digest of Speech guidelines to each event in Tabroom.com ballots.

Keeping up on posting invitations to the web site wasn’t always as timely as I’d like. The sooner people can submit invitations the better for both announcing and setting up your tournament on Tabroom.com.

I’d like to encourage the officer committee to revisit the initiative of devising grant application process/form/guidance for new schools to request supporting funds out of the Big Ideas fundraising.

Treasurer Ellen Parent (at-large)

We’re in good shape. Looking at some long-term investments for technology, but we can handle that.

Unusually high expense: Trophies because we purchased in bulk (4th and 5th place ribbons for States) to supply future tournaments.

Outstanding invoices from States will go out soon. Reminder: If you don’t pay invoices, you can’t compete in the next States.

Some schools (not coaches) struggled to hit the deadline for MFA dues. Perhaps we can revisit the document to make the deadline more clear.

Q (Dodge): Dues look low.

  • Some schools were late
  • Some opted out because you don’t have to

Q (Antonson): Is there a way to see my invoice and if it’s been paid on Tabroom?

  • Denk: Currently not a feature after two weeks or so after the tournament. It’s a feature I plan to push with the NSDA. I encourage hosts to keep up on sending invoices. Thank you to coaches who try to stay in the loop and pay up.
  • Waldron: Can we keep a Google Doc?
    • Denk: That would be a host-level activity.

Q (Leland): What are these tech expenses?

  • Denk: One of the two printers is starting to jam with some frequency. It might be a good time to buy a new printer. It would be nice to match the other printer so toner is interchangeable. That model is deprecated. Sam Rouse has a barely-used HL-2360DW (purchased 10/2017) that he would offer for $50, if we want the consistency.
    • The next model (HL-2350DW) uses a different cartridge but offers AirPrint for devices…if we ever get it on a wireless network.
    • Motion to purchase from Sam Rouse (Denk, Pelletier)
      • Waldron: I’m not in favor of buying old tech.
      • Denk: Sam’s printer is only a couple years old.
      • Unanimous
  • One of the tab boxes is partially broken and could stand to be replaced.
  • We should we de-clutter the Speech Tab box and probably resupply a few items (paper clips, markers, tape). We lost about a roll of masking tape per tournament this year.
    • Parent: If it’s small and office-y, I’m not going to ask for permission to purchase. Throughout the year, tell me when we need things.
    • Parent: Will inventory boxes and organize.

Approval of Treasurer’s Report. Motion to accept, seconded. Unanimous.

Vice President D’Arcy Robinson (Poland)

Renewed engagement with MPA. Was impressed and supportive with state tournament.

  • Denk: The MPA request for numbers still includes Policy.
  • Robinson: They’re behind. I’ll bring it back to them.

Council of Nine:

  • Biggest issue: gender equity. Worked largely underground with peers, calling out when seeing something of concern. All resolved on their own.
  • Great group of kids.

Certification hour forms available for this meeting and the last four.

Spears: Haven’t made a lot of progress.

Had several schools approach me to support. I’m okay to help.

  • Leland: I’ve been matched with a nearby before.

Motion to accept (Curry, Leland). Unanimous.

President Brian Dodge (Deering)

MPA letter from (need name) praised our State tournament.

States:

  • 31 schools, 256, students, 118. Staggering numbers.
  • T-shirts: Not profitable; $0. Likely won’t partner again, but if they do want to, we’ll advertise more.

Would like to formalize middle school tournament in calendar and Big Ideas. There’s no reason to leave money on the table (Big Ideas).

Recruitment: Forward to any officer or moderator.

  • Heard from Yarmouth High School.

Motion to approve (Leland, Curry). Unanimous.

Moderator’s reports

Speech: Pat Spilecki (Lewiston)

Tournaments run well.

Judge training quality still a need:

  • Encourage parents to cross-train to broaden unaffiliation.
  • Advertise to colleagues the certification time.
    • Denk: How do I support colleagues and get them the form?
    • Robinson: Each district is different. Could use a standard form. Likely the host would have to sign off on it. Would likely need guidelines for minimum participation.
    • Denk: I can build our form and post to the web site.

Pre-tournament briefing needs update. Hoping to do this summer and base it on State tournament.

Melanson: Would like to encourage adopting NSDA method of adding a questioning period. Or at least offer some sort of observation guidelines. Either approach could encourage quality of competition.

  • Arenstam: I liked what I saw when I observed.
  • Parent: At minimum encourage students (regardless of event) to observe when eliminated. Questioning also keeps them busy (less idle time).
  • Pelletier: Districts can choose to use questioning in semis and finals. Nationals definitely does. Draws are at 12 minute intervals.
  • Melanson: Encourage debaters to observe finals of Extemp, too. Encourage PFers who lose a partner to join Extemp.

Query from Skowhegan (absent): What’s the rule on kneeling in Duo.

  • One foot on the ground, no lying (anecdotal from daughter (alumna)).
  • Parent: Let’s find an actual source.
  • Robinson: NSDA silent. “Create a believable environment.” NCFL is a little more strict.

Please bring up issues at the tournament when they arise.

Sheehy: Level of competition feels imbalanced to the school or riches. We have low entry enrollment, which inflates their ranks. Example: Lawrence had few entries and a Duo earned second out of two, which generated false excitement.

  • Spilecki: Lawrence had some weather, was a late add to the season.

How did the Extemp topic format change go?

  • Well. Students were excited.
  • Denk: Would like to see more formalization in the voting and announcing of student-choice topics.

Congressional Debate: Jason Curry (Greely)

Another season of strength in competition, participation.

Challenges:

  • Civility (eye-rolling, short tempers) mostly in House
  • Recording student rankings as a result of new features in Tabroom.

Melanson: Can we add date and location to ballots?

Haskell: What’s the possibility of having the judges enter their own scores?

  • Denk: That’s the next step. I think the feature is there. We wanted to work out the kinks before asking judges to enter.

Melanson: Does the parli have to submit ranks?

  • Denk: Yes.

Lincoln Douglas: Matt Leland (Lincoln Academy)

Strong numbers. Strong competition across divisions.

A little oddity (also in PF): Numerous competitors simply not prepared at various points in the day. Assuming it was a fluke; it was hard to tell otherwise.

Public Forum: Joe Pelletier (Bangor)

Also saw lack of preparedness in PF.

Propping in a debate (used laptop to show a visual). The judge raised the concern to officials. Turns out the judge disclosed that they’d voted the debater down. (PSA: Don’t disclose.) Research found no rule against propping (NSDA or NCFL) in debate. Judge amended decision.

  • Parent: How is this any different than a kid presenting a card, which is acceptable?
  • Pelletier: Policy has allowed one visual aid.
  • Waldron: Observed this action, but usually as a quick “I have this” but not readable.
  • Parent: This extends to the biggest issue that judges are well trained. “If you are uncertain, come to Tab first.”
  • Robinson: The larger issue is the disclosure.

Leland: Observed excessive fabrication of evidence. And it turns into a numbers battle. Remind students that this could result in disqualification.

  • Denk: I’ve observed. I’ve also observed students delivering a challenge of evidence when they have no founding (own students). To help, coaches should note the challenge process should start with the coach, then gather your case of evidence to support the challenge, then deliver to Tab (ideally before the next round and/or before a break).
  • Pelletier: Challenge rulings often result in a DQ (including if a challenge is deemed wrong).

Technology committee report: Lyndsy Denk (Falmouth)

Website and communications

Please join the MFA Google calendar to see the current season calendar: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=a9mv9nptaqidooiot3ea3h7ps8%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America%2FNew_York

  1. Log into your Google account and navigate to your calendar.
  2. Click + next to Add a friend’s calendar.
  3. Select From URL.
  4. Paste in the URL above.

For drops the day of the tournament, we strongly encourage text message rather than phone calls. It takes less time and provides a safer, more durable record. It is never too early to text. It *is* sometimes too early to call. 🙂

Sam Rouse (volunteer) renewed the maineforensic.org domain through December 1, 2027 and maineforensic.com through May 2021. He will continue to donate hosting for the foreseeable future.

On December 28 we added a security certificate to provide HTTPS support (which is moving toward a required web standard). We will need to recertify annually (less than $20). Sam plans to donate this, too.

The maineforensic.com domain includes our mailing lists and Tab phone number (207) 370-4632. We need to either move our Google G Suite account off of maineforensic.com, or keep renewing the domain. The transfer process involves some pain. It’s worth keeping .com for now because it shows up ahead of the .org domain in search.

Sam and Lyndsy plan to meet over the summer to discuss and manage hosting, including ensuring more than one person has access.

Hardware

We effectively have just the one Windows 10 laptop that Kris Deveau purchased. The other Dell Sam provided some years ago is not really up to doing any work these days. We typically bring our own computers/devices, so the one laptop is probably sufficient for now.

Tabroom.com

Preface: Tabroom is still the best solution for us and continues to make our tournaments run decently smooth.

We had some unique struggles with Tabroom.com this year. Some features and upgrades ended up causing more struggle than not, specifically in relation to running the District tournaments. Kris Deveau and Lyndsy Denk plan to air some of the grievances and concerns at the NSDA tournament in Florida. Lyndsy and Kris plan to share with the NSDA when at the national tournament.

Sam Rouse would like to involve himself in Tabroom.com’s plans to update the existing infrastructure.

Epilogue: Tabroom is still the best solution for us and continues to make our tournaments run decently smooth.

Online Ballots

Online balloting was a success. We’ve run some of the most efficient tournaments ever with Tabroom and online ballots. Whenever used, we had demonstrable results:

  • Faster round start with the ability to blast messages to judges and students.
  • Less time between rounds
  • Registered students can view their ballots as soon as they are published (on their phone on the bus ride home, potentially)
  • Coaches spend less time ballot sorting under the vulture eyes of your team on the bus ride home.

We’d like to see more adoption, which we’ll encourage as much as we can but need the help of coaches to encourage all judges to:

Students also should increasingly create and link accounts so they can access their online ballots.

How do we encourage adoption? We need everyone’s help:

  • The tech team will continue to work with officers and moderators to devise and document standards and best practices for judges and coaches
    • Always indicate time and reason for rank
    • It’s okay to submit only ranks, then paper comment ballots
  • Increase outreach to bring devices to tournaments

Parent: Overwhelmed by the sheer number of schools I’ve judged for.

Parent: Would like electronic flow.

  • Dodge: I’ll send a link to a site.

Join the committee

Lyndsy could always use help setting up tournaments on Tabroom.com and helping hosts. While she confesses to have had a difficult time following up on the offered help last year, she promises to suffer the ego and ask again.

Elections

President-elect

Larry Bartlett (Curry, Haskell). Declined due to commitment level.

Jason Curry (Leland, Pelletier). Accepted. May face a choice next year a take another opportunity.

Dan Haskell (Leland, Curry). Declined.

13 approved, 2 abstentions.

Secretary

Lyndsy Denk offers to continue as Secretary if someone nominates her.

Denk (Leland, Curry). Accepted.

One ballot.

All moderators

Speech:

  • Pat Spilecki (Melanson, Curry).
  • Kailey Smith (Denk, Curry).
  • Motion: Co-moderatorship (Pelletier, Leland).
    • Curry: How do you feel about that SpileckI?
    • SpileckiI’ve done it before and well.
    • 14 approved, 1 abstention
  • With only two people nominated for a co-moderatorship (two positions) we cast a single ballot.

Congressional Debate:

  • Paul Bibeau (Curry, Leland).
  • One ballot.

Lincoln-Douglas:

  • Matt Leland (Curry, Waldron). Accepted.
  • One ballot.

Public Forum:

  • Joe Pelletier (Denk, Curry). Accepted.
  • One ballot.

2018-2019 Calendar

The calendar below represents a tentative season.

Sept 7 Coaches meeting @ Lewiston High School

Oct 6 SAT
13 Novice Extravaganza @ Lincoln Academy (pro-am PF, full Congress with novice placing only, ODec, Prose, Poetry)
20 Bangor (open to 10/27)
27 Bangor (open to 10/20)

Nov 3 SAT?
10 Deering (debate and congress), Lewiston? (speech)
17 Falmouth (Speech, but hoping for all)

Dec 1 SAT? Medomak (debate and Congress) (Lincoln Academy support Speech at Medomak)
8 Poland
15

Jan 5
12 Maine NSDA Congress
19 (Maine Music) York (debate and Congress?), Cape (Speech)
26 (Maine Music) States @ Thornton Academy

Feb 2 CFL Qualifiers @ Poland (States snow date)
9 Maine District @ Brunswick?
16 February break, Harvard tournament

May 17 Coaches meeting

Week of June 3 Maine Middle School Tournament @ Falmouth High School

Seeking schools to host:

  • Fall/early winter: North school and south school for any afternoon for Big Questions. Must reserve date with NSDA no later than one month prior.
    • Dec 5 Cheverus?
  • Oct 20 or 27 (Bangor will take the other not chosen)
  • Nov 3
  • Dec 15
  • Jan 5
  • Jan 12 (location for Congress only)
  • Feb 9

Reach out to Maranacook, Medomak, Lawrence, Scarborough, Erskine Academy, Biddeford.

New Business

Amending States Speech sources requirements (Lyndsy Denk)

At this year’s States (and another regular-season tournament?) tabulation received challenges to Speech pieces that resulted in disqualifications. As an officer, by the end of the second adjudication, Lyndsy found the documentation about sourcing unclear and hidden.

Sourcing is currently defined in the invitation, but not the State Handbook.

Recommendation:

  • Mirror sourcing to State Handbook.
  • Allow some/all PDF originals (i.e. eliminate requirement of providing printed sources)
  • PDF time-stamped prior to round in question.

Storytelling guidelines reviewed (Lyndsy)

There’s a lot of confusion around what Storytelling is, what makes it distinct from interp (other than the costuming and props). What language can we use to enhance the Speech Handbook?

Melanson: My understand is that Storytelling pieces should derive from the oral tradition.

  • Denk: Agreed, but we’re seeing more printed-published pieces. If we agree that we’re based on oral tradition, what does that look like? And if we’re allowing printed-published, what’s required to turn that into something that follows oral tradition?
  • Spilecki: Kailey and I can discuss over summer.

Online balloting precedence proposal (Sam Rouse)

Now that we have online balloting, tabulation staff encourages the organization to define ballot precedence. We (Sam Rouse and Lyndsy Denk) propose:

  • If an electronic ballot is entered, it shall serve as the ballot of record
  • If no electronic ballot is entered, the paper “Master Ballot” shall serve as the ballot of record.

Melanson: Favor tracking down the judge first. And if you can’t, then electronic.

Haskell: Entering online scores is analogous to crossing a threshold and we don’t change that.

  • Pelletier: Or is this comparable to chasing down a judge to verify a low-point win?
  • Haskell: No.

Bartlett: Regardless, this is something we need to stress in the judge briefings. We can’t say it enough to check your ranks, check your ranks, and check it again. Besides the hangup in tab, it’s heartbreak for students.

  • Denk: Agreed.

Parent: I like lists of things to do. Can we devise a list to share with judges? Volunteering to draft some judge documents in brief.

  • Denk: I’ll share. It’s important to provide both comprehensive and digested.

Denk: I’ll add to State Handbook that we first attempt to track down judge, then apply online ranks over paper master.

Prevalence of mavericks in Public Forum (Lyndsy Denk)

While allowing mavericks in a tournament is host discretion during regular season tournaments, Falmouth’s position is that is mavericks run counter to the spirit of the event, which is teamwork between two debaters. This is hardly different than Duo Interpretation. Some might think mavericking is a handicap, but there are certain circumstances in which mavericking is an advantage. Public Forum depends on solid communication and shared duty between team members. Mavericking takes away that dynamic, especially when there are multiple mavericks from the same school. We encourage hosts to reconsider allowing mavericks.

Some alternate ideas:

  • Run Pubic Forum as one-on-one debate.
  • Reserve mavericking for a partnership that dissolves after the drop deadline and in the absence of a replacement partner.
  • Enter in Lincoln-Douglas, Extemporaneous Speaking, or Congressional Debate.

Parent: We have a category that would blend well: To discourage mavericks, use an extended add deadline for Extemporaneous Speaking.

  • Denk: It would be more about waiving the drop fee if entering into Extemp.
  • Robinson: The host has total control of swaps, drops, adds.
  • Robinson: NSDA said no mavericks whatsoever. We don’t have to follow them, but if we’re coming back to NSDA points, they shouldn’t be allowing claim of those points.
    • Denk: Tabroom.com allows the function of mavericks and autoposting takes the points. This is contrary to their own rules.
  • Pelletier: The only tournament we as coaches control is States and we disallow mavericks. The precedent, though, for canceling an event is that we offer the student another event.
  • Leland: As for the advantage, the kid should probably be in LD. It’s a stronger position when you don’t have to coordinate with a partner. There’s silent partner for your own thinking.
    • Could encourage hosts to not place a maverick.
  • Robinson: The host discretion takes precedent. The default should be no mavericks, but the tournament director can override. Time of year makes a difference, too.
    • Denk: That’s why I like host discretion.
  • Waldron: Host could limit the number of mavericks from a school.
  • Pelletier: As PF moderator, we had mavericks at 6 of 7 main season tournament. I agree with Falmouth.
  • Bartlett: I also disagree with mavericks, but also agree with host discretion. Saying no placing adds layers.

Correct the LD sweepstakes numbers (Dan Haskell or Matt Leland)

Background: We have sweepstakes points that we issue to ranks. For JV we issue points in this order: 7, 6, 5, 4, and 2. Usually this doesn’t make a difference, but at States this year it did. Leland (follow the documentation) and Haskell (amend on the fly for fairness) disagreed on procedure. This resulted in the LD fourth and fifth LD Sweeps award flipping.

In Congress, House is considered JV and has sequential scoring.

Motion to change JV LD sweeps scores to 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 (Haskell, Pelletier). Unanimous.

Denk will update on web site and Google Doc.

Middle School tournament (D’Arcy Robinson)

Falmouth hosting on June 13.

PF, LD, Prose, Poetry, ODec, Duo

Need a PF resolution.

  • Topic could mirror LD resolution.
  • Melanson: Gun control
  • Leland: Could take an event that occured
  • Melanson: Student walkouts (general agreement)
    • Denk: I’ll ask Josh Denk to draft and run by PF moderator

Dress code (Michelle Adams)

Dodge: We have no report, so assuming she just wants to reinforce and encourage professional attire during tournaments.

Pro-am PF idea (Lisa Melanson)

Background: Maranacook versus Thornton. One partner is much more experienced. Inspired the idea of running a tournament somewhere in the season calling for PF teams that are an experienced competitor with an amateur partner.

Leland: I could run that at the novice tournament. It could benefit the novices to work with an experienced.

  • Denk: At the novice tournament opens up to mentorship, team-building, and encouraging a team to consider shuffling partners.
  • Pelletier: For the novice tournament that’d reduce the judge pool. Veterans like to judge.
  • Pelletier: I could run this at the Bangor tournament.
  • Leland: You earn more points for competition.

Leland will run pro-am at novice.

Seeding LD at State Tournament (Lisa Melanson)

LD appears to be the most competitive category across the entire field. Proposing something like points over a season that we’d use to seed the State tournament first round.

Leland: First and second round is randomly paired. At round three student faces only those of a similar/same record. There are different conflicts with pairing too: ex. Can’t compete against your own school unless there’s no one else.

Pelletier: Does Tabroom even support something like this?

  • Haskell, Denk: No idea.
  • Haskell: If it doesn’t, we shouldn’t do it.

Bartlett: What problem are we actually solving?

  • Leland: Seeding presents an additional problem of perpetuating 4-0 and 0-4 records with no ability to climb.
  • Melanson: Saw this mostly at NSDA qualifiers.
  • Haskell: We have to abide by NSDA. There is no flexibility.
  • Denk: Kris and I can take to NSDA as another factor that tends to unfairly affect smaller districts.
  • Bartlett: Seeding eliminates a lucky win. Seeding means a weaker debater is always going to lose.

Haskell: Agree that collapsing divisions for NSDA means a weaker debater is going to unfairly eliminate them.

Button poetry presentation (Spilecki)

Glenn Uhde has offered to present to coaches about button poetry for definition.

Why are judges appearing at the same event in speech (Sheehy)

We’re seeing judges assigned to the same event. They get tired of the same pieces, the kids aren’t seeing fresh opinions.

Denk: Tabroom.com might still be experiencing a bug.

Denk: Things that help:

  • Cross-train your judges
  • Annotate your judge notes to indicate how a judge is cross-trained

Lunch

Congress House category limits for States (Lisa Melanson)

House doesn’t have limits on entries, but Senate does. Consider limits per team. Congress is the only event that doesn’t institute limits. The chambers feel large.

Dodge: Reached out to Paul who has no position right now.

Curry: Based on how I see Bibeau build chambers, the burden of chamber size is about the number of judges. If we have too few judges, we must build larger chambers.

Leland: Have we thought about adjusting the ratio?

  • Denk: Ditto.
  • Curry: But that wouldn’t help the schools that struggle to bring their requisite judges.

Robinson: For fairness of students and competition, it’s not a stretch to set limits.

  • Curry: You’re telling me that congress is too healthy. I don’t want to discourage participation.

Robinson: What about a novice chamber?

  • Curry: That’s what House is.
  • Denk: It’s more novice and JV. And where schools dump senators after they’ve filled their two senate spots.

Leland: What about putting kids from one school into a single chamber.

  • Curry: The consequence is that a school is unfairly competing against itself.

Curry: The only thing I hear that I don’t hate is create a middle tier.

Denk: We could be more firm on requiring schools to bring their requisite judges or drop entries.

  • Curry: It’s not a waste of a student’s day to not compete, but rather sit in and observe Senate.

Leland: We could make a State House for first and second-year competitors.

Pelletier: Part of the point is that we cap all other events. And yet a cap of 6 entries in debate isn’t hardly ever hit. We could eliminate caps altogether.

  • Robinson: As long as you have rooms to accommodate that could work, but it could make space a problem.
  • Leland: Don’t agree to eliminate caps. I could easily swing my entire team to one event. And don’t agree about capping Congress because it’s the most easy space-wise to run.

Leland: Perhaps lower the debate caps.

Pelletier: What’s an ideal chamber size?

  • Curry: 10 is a little too small. 18 too big. Ideal 12-16.
  • Denk: Why did we have only 10 in Senate at States? There are some schools that are only in House.
  • Curry: I’d recommend filling Senate seats before entering in House.
  • Denk: I’m converted and agree, and will encourage my own.

Recommendations based on discussion:

  • Bring your requisite judges.
  • Fill Senate seats before House.

1:53 Adjournment

Motion (Curry, Dodge). Unanimous.

Post meeting

  • CFL report: D’Arcy Robinson
  • NSDA report: Lyndsy Denk
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