1. Regional Debate is Fun for Rivalries
One of the many virtues of regional debate is that the fields are smaller. That means the odds of debating a team of similar caliber to you in the prelims and elims greatly increases. National tournaments are not a reliable way to get head to heads against any particular team. It helps that regional tournaments are usually inter-district affairs so you have that rivalry angle as well. I think debates are a bit more fun when the teams have some familiarity and try to throw team specific curveballs at one another.
2. Pre Round Prep
Few things here. One, the prep for every debate should be the same. Two, there should not be an hour of prep before round 1 and 5. Push back start times and let people sleep. Three, regional tournaments should do thirty minutes of prep before a debate.
3. How Many Rounds Should Regional Tournaments Be?
One school of thought when looking at tournaments is a "bang for your buck" school. They take how much a tournament costs, divide it by how many rounds they get and the smaller the number the better.
That's not an unreasonable way of going about things, but there are other virtues that could be maximized. One is making debate feel like less of slog. In that spirit I propose regionals be 6 rounds and break to octas unless they exceed 44 teams. This could let you do a pretty chill 3-3-4 schedule which is pretty nice.
The reason 3-3-4 is because it creates chill days for everyone and a normal length day just for those two teams who make it to finals. Schedules should always be slanted this way where benefits are spread to everyone in the prelims and elim days are longer for the teams that make the finals. It's fine, one of them will get a trophy at the end.
Alternatively, you can do a 6 round schedule that maximizes people's ability to not miss class. Tournaments that start on Saturday avoid Friday classes (since we are talking regional tournament and the participants will mostly be driving). Then you could do 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 where most elims are over on Sunday (if you only break to octas) and people can go home if needed.
I am just saying, I went to MBA and they did 3-3-4 and it was pretty deece.
4. Open Source, Let's Be Real
First, we all knew who got to what first. MSU read Scarry 14 at GSU. Northwestern said this NDAA solvency deficit thing first even including the weird do you read or not read the bill part of the block. So like we know where shit comes from.
Second, people take other people's shit. That's fine. That's how it is supposed to go. If we collectively decide that the best answer to ESR is NFU operational changes + NDAA solvency deficit + NOT reading the text of the bill out loud so be it.
HOWEVER, can we PLEASE stop fronting with the citations. I see two ways out of this dilemma. One, we can all format cards the same so things more seamlessly go in each other's files and it doesn't create eye sores. Or two, just copy and paste the card and own up to you didn't get it first.
I would also accept having to say thank you after you read the tag of a card you copy and pasted. That would be pretty funny too.
5. Spicing Up Debate
Another fun part of regional debate is it is less of a death march and people float ideas a lot more. One topic of conversation was making debate more fun by making one change to it.
Example that is pretty realistic---elim debates settled by challenges. Emporia State still does this I think. I haven't heard much first hand feedback but the idea sounds awesome.
You get all 32 seeds in a room and the top seed gets to call out who they want to debate. Then you do that a bunch. And just keep doing that every elim.
My idea---there is a quota on how often you can read an argument. So you can read ESR but only in two thirds of your NEG debates or w/e. It would be great
a. variety is the spice of life
b. if you take someone's trade Aff and your opponents take someone's trade Neg due to open source that is fine, but like you have to read other shit eventually. If open source arrives at "solutions" to best versions of things then people should be forced to branch out.
c. AT---I am a small school, you suck for proposing an idea that is more work. I don't have a good answer really. There is really no redistribution to make the game equitable for small schools now and this is a symmetrical rule so how bad could it be in practice? idk.
6. Longest CP on Record
MSU read one that was 298 words. That seemed pretty long to me. There were no repetitive phrases either. Word efficiency was trying to be maximized. Not sure what the longest one on record is. Let me know before Buntin goes on some rant about CP's back in his day were like 750 words and had 12 DA's to go with them and something about peaches too.
I am Lincoln, head coach at UK and coach with Montgomery Bell Academy. This site's purpose is to post my ramblings about policy debate.