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Should NCFCA make specific reforms?
Yes 68%  68%  [ 30 ]
No 32%  32%  [ 14 ]
Total votes: 44
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 2:08 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
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Its actually fairly easy, and (not shockingly), the NCFCA/Stoa is the only league I know of that doesn't fully disclose all placings for all teams at all tournaments. Actually, they used to give them out in the NCFCA too, but only to coaches. It also isn't hard to figure it out without them disclosing anything.
NCFCA actually used to give out full bracket sheets for prelims to every student that competed a few years ago in Region 9. I know that lookingforangels and debateohana remember as well. Mrs. Hudson told me that they stopped that transparency so that other students wouldn't know who had a bad tournament.

Good to know. In R5 they only gave them to coaches. That reasoning seems pointless to me, though, since its easy to figure out who has a bad tournament, even without spending an hour or two figuring out powermatching. It takes two minutes to see who has had byes, who has gone down in the bracket, who doesn't break, etc.

EDIT: This also gives a certain amount of accountability to the tab room. My senior year at two different tournaments the tab room made major mistakes in the outrounds. One tournament, which went to quarters, they broke the 9 seed instead of an 8 seed, which was one of our teams. Another tournament, which went to partial octas, they tabbed one of my prelim wins as a loss. That caused me to drop from the 1 seed (which I should have been, as 5-1 with the highest speaks) to the 7 seed and caused someone who shouldn't have broken to break. Because I was no longer the 1 seed, I had to debate in the partials and lost on a 2-1. Of course, these mistakes don't get caught until after the tournament, but it does allow a certain amount of accountability that is missing in the NCFCA. I imagine there are mistakes that are never caught because tab results are never released.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:08 am 
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IsaacFHarris wrote:
The biggest flaw with everyone saying "staff makes mistakes, they do good things for us, don't attack them" is that holding accountable ≠ attacking and disrespecting. Something that homeschool circles as a whole don't seem to understand.

To be perfectly fair, something else that homeschool debaters don't always get is that attacking and disrespecting ≠ holding accountable.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:28 am 
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Hammy wrote:
IsaacFHarris wrote:
The biggest flaw with everyone saying "staff makes mistakes, they do good things for us, don't attack them" is that holding accountable ≠ attacking and disrespecting. Something that homeschool circles as a whole don't seem to understand.

To be perfectly fair, something else that homeschool debaters don't always get is that attacking and disrespecting ≠ holding accountable.


Sure, but I don't see how that's super relevant to this conversation. No one seems to be attacking or disrespecting.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:32 am 
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Hammy wrote:
Crazy-Clubin'-People wrote:
Also, I don't buy that we can't fix it. This hasn't been a big problem is recent years past. The fact this is a problem now clearly shows that we can have a system where this isn't one.

Or maybe, just maybe, this was the first year that a slight error was made in the entering of data. Not something that you can prevent anymore then the thorough doubles checks that are made.

There have been other instances in past years. I love NCFCA, but it's made up of humans. <3

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 5:08 am 
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adnarim wrote:
Hammy wrote:
Crazy-Clubin'-People wrote:
Also, I don't buy that we can't fix it. This hasn't been a big problem is recent years past. The fact this is a problem now clearly shows that we can have a system where this isn't one.

Or maybe, just maybe, this was the first year that a slight error was made in the entering of data. Not something that you can prevent anymore then the thorough doubles checks that are made.

There have been other instances in past years. I love NCFCA, but it's made up of humans. <3

I've seen lots of errors in data entry in the NCFCA.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Two things I think are worth noting:

1. You have other choices. If you don't like the way NCFCA does things, you can go to Stoa or NFL or CCO or whatever multitude of other leagues exist. No one's forcing you to do NCFCA. In fact, no one's forcing you to do any speech and debate. This is a voluntary extracurricular activity. If you really have a major problem wit the way things are being handled, then find a league that does things your way.

2. If reforms really need to be made, this is not the way to accomplish your goal. No reform (no matter how necessary/unnecessary it might be) will come about as a result of a few high school students writing blog posts about the "injustice" that exists. If you want to accomplish something, talk to your state rep, your RC, or Mrs. Hudson, and come with a solution to the problem - don't just complain about it. Work within the system to reform it - but actually work for change, rather than just complain about rule enforcement. (I have to say, everyone's for looser rule enforcement... when they're the ones breaking the rules. ;) ) I don't mean just writing about possible solutions either. If there's a problem in an organization, you will get it fixed by actually taking action to solve it. I know that's almost heretical stuff to say in a speech and debate league, but words alone accomplish nothing. If you want to learn to work in the real world, you need to learn that goals are accomplished by the relationships you have with the people whose help you need (the networking). Slogans and online protests are good for getting people angry, but not for accomplishing anything productive. Unfortunately, it seems that we are creating a culture that makes trivial calls for "reform" without giving any consideration to what will be reformed, why it will be reformed, or how it will be reformed. Very, very few of us have accomplished anything in the real world yet. Those of us who have realize that you truly do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Remember that the leadership of NCFCA isn't out to get us - they're giving of themselves so that we can take part in the fantastic opportunity to build skills. But let's also remember that the NCFCA isn't all there is. It's a training ground, not the end in itself. Keep that in mind, and you won't blow the few problems that exist out of proportion. (And keeping everything in perspective will keep you happier, too. :) ) If you can point to specific, systemic problems, as well as to specific solutions (which would not compromise the integrity of the process), then talk about it with your leadership and take action. But rabblerousing accomplishes nothing productive.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 12:54 am 
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The LDer wrote:
1. You have other choices. If you don't like the way NCFCA does things, you can go to Stoa or NFL or CCO or whatever multitude of other leagues exist. No one's forcing you to do NCFCA. In fact, no one's forcing you to do any speech and debate. This is a voluntary extracurricular activity. If you really have a major problem wit the way things are being handled, then find a league that does things your way.

It simply isn't true that there are options in most areas. Stoa has no presence where I live, and in many parts of the country. In many states homeschoolers aren't allowed to participate in public school extracurriculars. The CCO has no presence outside a small part of the Midwest and, for all the NCFCA's flaws, its much worse than the NCFCA. Hillsdale hosts a CCO tournament every year. I had to judge. It was...interesting. But, regardless, is "there are other options" really a good reason to resist reform if its needed? That attitude is what led to the NCFCA/Stoa split in the first place. Just because there are options doesn't mean we shouldn't make our league as good as it could be.

Quote:
(long story short, this isn't the correct forum)

Here's the thing. Other attempts for reform have been tried, and failed. There have been petitions, and the people who signed it were threatened with disqualification from nationals. The board doesn't respond to student input and, as I think it was Coach Carter pointed out, the board doesn't see itself as beholden to the wishes of the community or its competitors. I think the Stoa split showed that perfectly, along with a lot of other policies in recent years. We have tried taking it to the board, and they ignore it. If a critical mass of debaters see change is needed and demand it, then possibly change will happen. This thread is a discussion of what that change should be. No one is attacking the leadership, we are questioning their decisions. Attempting to silence reasoned discussion never turns out very well, for any organization.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:15 am 
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If anyone here genuinely dislikes the leaders of NCFCA or does not appreciate the time they spend for us students, I am not aware of that HSD user. I think we all are very thankful for what NCFCA has done. NCFCA has in many ways formed the person I am today. I am extremely grateful for the hard work of my State Rep, the R7 RC, league president, and countless other individuals. HSD is not the place where reform will happen. However, we can reasonably discuss what needs to be fixed and how specifically it can be fixed. We can't just go to the board and say, "There are problems." We need to have realistic solutions to discuss with them, and we need to inform the members of this league about those solutions. I have learned of many intriguing possibilities from this thread of discussion already.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 5:55 am 
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I agree wholeheartedly. Although I see many problems with NCFCA, it is still better than many other options. And it is amazing how much time and energy parents put in to the league. But because NCFCA has been so important to me, I want to see it be the best it can be. I think at this point discussion is important. We can't just ask for things willy nilly. If change is going to happen, it has to be targeted and well thought out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Settota wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly. Although I see many problems with NCFCA, it is still better than many other options. And it is amazing how much time and energy parents put in to the league. But because NCFCA has been so important to me, I want to see it be the best it can be. I think at this point discussion is important. We can't just ask for things willy nilly. If change is going to happen, it has to be targeted and well thought out.

This this this.

Unfortunately, NCFCA is the best we got on the east coast for now. It can't be just me though when I feel that NCFCA has gotten slightly dictatorial over the last several years, and there have been way too many policy changes to detract from the competition. Don't even get me started on the semi-finalist thing. Does the leadership even know how demoralizing it can be for students to not know their final position in the top two rooms of a tournament? To get to semis is a big deal for most and those that don't make it to finals will now never know how close they were to making it.

I am so glad to be done with NCFCA because of things like this. Good times, very educational, met a lot of friends. But NCFCA's policies have been getting progressively worse, and I'm just glad to not be competing in that kind of environment anymore.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:36 pm 
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lookingforangels wrote:
Settota wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly. Although I see many problems with NCFCA, it is still better than many other options. And it is amazing how much time and energy parents put in to the league. But because NCFCA has been so important to me, I want to see it be the best it can be. I think at this point discussion is important. We can't just ask for things willy nilly. If change is going to happen, it has to be targeted and well thought out.

This this this.

Unfortunately, NCFCA is the best we got on the east coast for now. It can't be just me though when I feel that NCFCA has gotten slightly dictatorial over the last several years, and there have been way too many policy changes to detract from the competition. Don't even get me started on the semi-finalist thing. Does the leadership even know how demoralizing it can be for students to not know their final position in the top two rooms of a tournament? To get to semis is a big deal for most and those that don't make it to finals will now never know how close they were to making it.

I am so glad to be done with NCFCA because of things like this. Good times, very educational, met a lot of friends. But NCFCA's policies have been getting progressively worse, and I'm just glad to not be competing in that kind of environment anymore.


I've actually become really concerned recently over the dictatorial nature of leadership in NCFCA. It probably wouldn't be right for me to go into detail as to all of the situations I'm referring to, but an example would be earlier this year, when most of an impromptu semis room in Region 7 got DQed, and there wasn't even a rule that was broken. Most of the room decided, as a joke between themselves, to all include the word cantaloupe in their speech. Two of the judges caught it, complained to Ms. Hudson, and everyone that said it got DQed. There was no rule broken. Ms. Hudson personally chewed them out, even to the point of saying that the guy who started it was immature and acting in a unchristian manner (Btw, this guy is not at all either of those things. I know him personally, and he's one of the most standup guys in the region.). Most of them were literally in tears when they came out of JO about an hour later. It was ridiculous on multiple levels, and is now humorously referred to among the region as the "scandaloupe".

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:20 am 
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_TakenUsername_ wrote:
lookingforangels wrote:
Settota wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly. Although I see many problems with NCFCA, it is still better than many other options. And it is amazing how much time and energy parents put in to the league. But because NCFCA has been so important to me, I want to see it be the best it can be. I think at this point discussion is important. We can't just ask for things willy nilly. If change is going to happen, it has to be targeted and well thought out.

This this this.

Unfortunately, NCFCA is the best we got on the east coast for now. It can't be just me though when I feel that NCFCA has gotten slightly dictatorial over the last several years, and there have been way too many policy changes to detract from the competition. Don't even get me started on the semi-finalist thing. Does the leadership even know how demoralizing it can be for students to not know their final position in the top two rooms of a tournament? To get to semis is a big deal for most and those that don't make it to finals will now never know how close they were to making it.

I am so glad to be done with NCFCA because of things like this. Good times, very educational, met a lot of friends. But NCFCA's policies have been getting progressively worse, and I'm just glad to not be competing in that kind of environment anymore.


I've actually become really concerned recently over the dictatorial nature of leadership in NCFCA. It probably wouldn't be right for me to go into detail as to all of the situations I'm referring to, but an example would be earlier this year, when most of an impromptu semis room in Region 7 got DQed, and there wasn't even a rule that was broken. Most of the room decided, as a joke between themselves, to all include the word cantaloupe in their speech. Two of the judges caught it, complained to Ms. Hudson, and everyone that said it got DQed. There was no rule broken. Ms. Hudson personally chewed them out, even to the point of saying that the guy who started it was immature and acting in a unchristian manner (Btw, this guy is not at all either of those things. I know him personally, and he's one of the most standup guys in the region.). Most of them were literally in tears when they came out of JO about an hour later. It was ridiculous on multiple levels, and is now humorously referred to among the region as the "scandaloupe".

I have no words for this. And this is the president of the league.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:35 am 
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To defend her a little bit, the judges in question were very upset for whatever reason, so I think that played a role into her reaction. Regardless, it seemed like a very rash and uncalled for response, considering how small the issue actually was.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:06 am 
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Frankly, that's the judges' issue. She should have just told them to rank them low if they cared that much. But, seriously, why so serious? Debate/speech is a lot more fun and educational when you don't take it all that seriously.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:59 pm 
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I'm not even sure how it's possible to fix it. In the current system, Ms. Hudson can do pretty much whatever she wants, and there's no real accountability. I'm not bashing Ms. Hudson, although I don't think all of her decisions have been wise, I just don't see why NCFCA can't have elections of some sort, or at least not let Ms. Hudson do things besides enforce rules passed by the board.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:12 pm 
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What about the good decisions?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:28 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
What about the good decisions?


I'm not sure if this was at me or not, but I'll respond anyway. Just because she uses the authority she has to make good decisions sometimes doesn't justify giving her the authority. Those decisions can be made the right way, without giving her the authority of doing essentially what she wants to do without any accountability.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Who should make those decisions then? I'm not trying to claim that Mrs. Hudson has always been right, that would hardly be human. But comparing her wrong decisions to Obama downright is scandalous. And quite frankly, I think that y'all are over inflating the problem. Sure she may have erred some in her decisions, but I seriously doubt that it's as big as you say. More importantly, who else is going to make those decisions? As much as we'd love a system of checks and balances, that's kind of hard in a homeschool debate league. It will always come down to someone.Whether president or tournament director. Having a "representative" government is simply impractical at best.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:02 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
But comparing her wrong decisions to Obama downright is scandalous.


I find your comment here oh so highly ironic.

Scandalous: disgraceful; shameful or shocking; improper: scandalous behavior in public.

1. Your statement implies that president Obama is somehow disgraceful, or shameful. He may not be the best president, he may not be a great president, but the idea that he is somehow so scandalous that it's an insult to compare him to others is simply silly and unsupported.
2. The same thing you accuse other's of about our League's president you do to our nation's president.
- Disrespect: Check
- Over-inflating: Check
3. Your claims just have zero basis.
- "More importantly, who else is going to make those decisions?" -> A board of directors. They definitely could. Or tournament directors or regional directors.
- "As much as we'd love a system of checks and balances, that's kind of hard in a homeschool debate league." -> Um... no it's not. There's no reason why it couldn't be done. Other leagues do it perfectly fine. Your claims lack support.
- "Whether president or tournament director. Having a "representative" government is simply impractical at best." -> You've been reading way too much into the rez from this year. Other leagues have models of government with representation and they work totally fine.
4. If nothing else, be consistent. All the points you give here could just as much apply as excuses for an abusive government (which I've heard you're not a fan of.)
5. The point is the logic of the statement. You're reading way too much into an analogy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:29 pm 
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1 and 2: Your point would be true, except for something you're forgetting, something that Shayne said. President Obama has explicitly violated the rules of America, the Constitution. Mrs. Hudson hasn't violated NCFCA rules, Obama has. It is scandalous to set Mrs. Hudson up as a rule breaker because those were the assumptions held by the analogy.

3: Wait a second, now you're handing the power to tournament directors? What is that going to do? A board of directors? That's what we have already. Mrs. Hudson is just the representative of it.

3 B and C: You are right there, I was a bit off. I meant more that there's still going to be a couple people with the potential to make bad decisions no matter who elects them.

4: Actually, what I'm doing is calling into the question the accusations against Mrs. Hudson about her abusing her authority. I'm not defending an abusive government but doubting that it really is abusive.

5: Or maybe you're not reading into it enough and the seriousness of accusing the NCFCA Leadership of being abusive and violating the rules.

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