Okay, this is gonna be long. I have lots of thoughts on this.
First off, here's a big difference between respecting the authority and agreeing with the authority. Respect and submission are one and the same. Respect and agreement are not. The Bible makes it clear (give to Caesar what is Caesar's) that we need to pay our dues to the authorities. NCFCA is due my respect for their authority and their decisions, but it does not deserve, and should not have, my complete and total affirmation of everything it does. The only thing that I will give my undivided affirmation of is Christ and His word. That is beyond question, but anything other than that is fallible.
I'm not disputing that they're worthy of my respect as leaders and authorities over this organization, but we do have different definitions of respect. We are not called to admire and praise the leadership, we are called to follow their rules and submit to their decisions. Like I said at first, it is not disrespectful to the authority of an incumbent president to support his challenger (@Hammy I know this is a government analogy but that doesn't discredit it). I think this is the same thing.
I think the biggest thing we need to establish is this: we are here to discuss problems with the system, NOT with the leadership.
I mostly agree with this, but you have to realize that in many (though not all) instances the problems with the system find their source in problems with the leadership.
I mean no disrespect here, but If you really feel this way then go find another speech and debate organization because NCFCA is very much about learning to follow rules. Our mission statement refers to addressing life's issues in a manner that glorifies God. Let's see some Biblical support for not following rules or showing that we are glorifying God by not following the rules.
The Bible has a lot to say on this subject. As in many situations, it deals with it on a more severe level, so when you read these passages, keep in mind that I don't think NCFCA is like the Pharisees or wicked people. I just think they have the same problems as discussed in the passages on a lesser level, but they are the same problems so this is applicable.Matthew 23
(particularly, verse 4)Luke 11:46
(same story as above, different gospel)Colossians 2:20-23
(this one is particularly applicable)Romans 14
(mainly verse 1, but I love this chapter so I couldn't help but put the whole thing)
If I may point out this happened to a Duo team this past year in our region. It isn't an isolated ruling.
I know. I can accept the ruling at this point but I'm still a bit frustrated with the rules, because the way the rule is worded it's kinda ambiguous...it could go either way. I'm more frustrated with the rules because I don't think it should be prohibited to do more than one story per non-thematic interp...but rules are rules so I'll give them this one.
We aren't dealing with people's lives. Extreme would be kicking a person out of a tournament for citing something incorrectly. Getting dropped to the bottom of a room is a perfectly just and fair punishment. You cheated and are removed from competition in the round(s) that you competed in because it is unfair to others who were following the rules. As Simon said, dropping you a few ranks would be suggesting that it is ok to cheat. Kind of like if you bring script into a room, it isn't against the rules (except at Nats) and only costs you one rank.
Actually, as I previously stated, there was an instance where one of my friends got kicked out of all 5 of his speeches because he incorrectly cited a youtube URL.
Most of the time, it is for something that was just an honest mistake that any competitor could have made. To punish you for maliciously and purposefully breaking the rules is fine, but for missing one little detail? That's unreasonable. I think sometimes dropping you to the bottom of the room is appropriate, like if you have some lines in an interp that aren't from the literature, because that's clearly prohibited. But if it's an error from a small, ambiguous rule, then it shouldn't be that severe. NCFCA is about communication, it's not about teaching you to follow rules. Cheating your way up in the competition is obviously unacceptable, but when the rule is clearly ambiguous and when there is a reasonable second interpretation then it should definitely not result in dropping somebody to the bottom of the room. Cheating is about two things: 1) UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
(if you take an asprin before a sports event it won't help you, and it's not cheating, even if you THINK it's really performance enhancing drugs) and 2) INTENTION
(if the Pats had not purposefully deflated the game balls and the balls were, say, deflating because they weren't made for the weather conditions, that's not cheating because they had no intention to use balls with less pressure, so then Brady wouldn't have been suspended for 4 games). One uncited fact gives you no unfair advantage, and almost all of the time it was totally inadvertent, and definitely NOT done to try to gain an advantage over other speakers.
The reforms that you're suggesting would create a mammoth bureaucracy (comparatively speaking) and is quite honestly irrational and downright rude to expect the team of volunteers to meet the rules that you laid out.
When we're dealing with an organization that expects a bunch of high schoolers, who (I can at least speak for myself) are quite honestly just as busy as the leadership of the organization, what with homework and extracurriculars, to follow very specific rules and procedures both within competition and outside of it, I think it's reasonable to expect at least a certain level of organized procedure from them. This is honestly pretty basic compared with a lot of the stuff that NCFCA already does. It's just a set procedure for the adjudication process. Maybe there isn't a set process, but that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be.
Listen, I know what it feels like. But you need to stop thinking like a lawyer. A lawyer thinks about what he can get away with and he asks for set rules so that he can justify his errors at a later time and intentionally bends his actions so that they remain within the confines of the law while being unethical the whole time.. Instead of thinking about it as what you can get away with, think about what you can do to live above reproach. The spirit of the law is so important here instead of the letter. We are a Christian organization built on solid Biblical foundations that strives to attain the blessing of God when administering judgement. Take some time to think about the disparaging thoughts that you are presenting against NCFCA. You are striving too hard into the territory of "what can I get away with?" and this is leading you to make unrealistic and inconsiderate demands of the NCFCA staff, criticism that they do not deserve and is unwarranted by the lack of examples of failure.
As you probably noticed I fully admitted that in the one instance I was actually involved in an adjudication, I agreed with the process. I don't like the rule but I can see that I was in violation and should not be competing in that event. I'm not trying to get out of anything myself at this point, I'm just honestly concerned about the organization.
I understand and agree with the Biblical principles laid out by this organization but I would challenge the fact that they uphold them unless they can hear and consider objections to the way things work. I'm trying to be fair to the organization and I think I have been. I've said that they can be unreasonable and unfair but I also yet respect the process and agree with them on many counts. I never draw the line where I stop respecting their decisions. The only line I'm drawing is that when I disagree with the organization, I'll say something. I have, after consulting our pastor and discussing it with my family, concluded that I have some objections to the way this organization is conducted. I think this is a decent proposal to solve it. I'm not saying it's perfect but I think it deserves consideration.
Do not tell me that I am the one advocating the letter, not the spirit, of the rules. That's both presumptuous and rather hypocritical, as this is the organization that disqualifies competitors for inadvertently violating a possible interpretation of a very ambiguous phrase or sentence. The spirit of this organization is communication.
That's why I think you all are the ones overreacting. Don't make this bigger than it is. I'm just objecting to some details of the process and suggesting a way to solve them. To me, it shouldn't be that big of a deal. If this league is devoted to fulfilling it's purpose, and there are allegations of problems in the system, they need to address that. I think that some of your reactions, for example
Simon Sefzik wrote:
Oh boy oh boy oh boy...
show that you think this is a huge deal. That really betrays what's behind your defense of the current administration. It only becomes a big deal when they defend their authoritative process without question, which is largely what I've seen. They're not the perfect infallible word of God, so they need to come to terms with the fact that there could very well be some issues. It's not a big deal for me to just say "Hey here are the problems I see, and here's one way I think they could be fixed" regardless of what it is I'm proposing. That's not a big deal is it?
From what I hear now and had experienced when my siblings and I competed in NCFCA, NCFCA is basically using Authoritarian leadership, making sure kids have strict adherence to the rules. By doing that, they're actually shooting themselves in the foot, which is why you get speeches like Riaz and others.
This is all super subjective and as a five year competitor in NCFCA I couldn't disagree with you more.
This attitude is what the system thrives on. NCFCA isn't a blatant authoritarian structure (that's easier to recognize), but it bears too many resemblances for it to be simply subjective.
I still yet disagree with you on the enforcement of rules, because they're the ones who are not communicating exactly what violations are, and this is a communications
organization. They need to fulfill what they expect us to fulfill.
I'm not necessarily advocating a democratic process in NCFCA but I think the authorities of the organization should put some of their time into considering the suggestions we have to offer.