I had been somewhat sloppy in my responses, missing posts etc. I was on vacation and had only a smartphone to use and HSD and smartphones don't mix very well. My apologies.
@Jonathan: I am not referring to what happened with your bracket pool or the fruit incident when I am speaking of enforcement of rules. I do feel that NCFCA is incorrect in what they did in these cases, but I would contend that these are isolated incidents. Is it terrible that it happened? Yes. Is it indicative of large problems in NCFCA? No.
So, can we add rescinding the #BracketGate decision to the list of changes to email to NCFCA?
mountain dude wrote:
I think Brennan was actually right in that sometimes you see how pointless rules are by seeing them enforced. That's when, as you said Hammy, there'd be an argument that the rule isn't needed. I don't know if that's what he meant though.
I'm all ears for hearing an argument about how a rule shouldn't exist, but it should be in the context of a whether or not it is a helpful rule. The punishment and enforcement of the rule is another matter entirely.
I have a longish list of rules I would take out...but I'd rather keep to the punishment/enforcement aspect of things because that's what frustrates me the most. I'm sticking to this for minor rule violations: Punishment is appropriate for cheating, but cheating is twofold: an unfair advantage AND the intention to gain it (it is rather easy to look at a violation and tell whether it's intentional or inadvertent). If you're warned by the tournament staff to change something before the next round, tournament, etc., and you don't change it, then you either have amnesia or you willfully didn't change it, in which case you deserved to be dropped. For more major rule violations, see my previous post.
In extemp, the judges would never know.
In apol and impromptu, the uninitiated wouldn't know that it's unusual to have someone take half prep/select only one topic. The initiated would know that it's for minor rule violations, and thus that it's nothing to worry about. Instead of informing the judges, there could be a tournament staff in the room for the initial topic selection/for the first half of the prep time.
Re: if doesn't rectify: I'm not sure "aggressive punishment" is really ever appropriate for minor rule violations like forgetting to label electronics. I would support increasing the punishment for each successive infraction, but I think the larger context (that is, the significance of the rule) should always be considered.
Why punish the violation when you can rectify it fairly without punishment? I think you should always be given a warning first before you're punished for not labelling a computer.
I had a brain wave. For minor rule violations, like labelling your extemp computer or a citation or something like that, I think you should be required to show that you've corrected the error before you make it through script submission/check-in etc. at the next tournament. That way it's easy to verify and easy for them to make the change.
Another idea I had is that for the first tournament every year, the competitors should be required to read through the rules for their events (say, while their script is being checked) before they can get through check-in.
Here's the deal-yo. NCFCA is not God, they are not your parent, and they are not your teacher either. NCFCA is a facility for competition. We learn things from competition with the other competitors, not from the almighty infallible league. Rules are to keep the playing field fair, but disqualifying a good speech for a small, inadvertent error is unfair, not fair. I'm gonna pull out an old quote here.
I believe that you're missing something here. While part of the reasoning behind punishing people for rule violations is to keep the playing field fair, the majority of the reasoning revolves around learning to follow the rules. This is something that a lot of homeschoolers lack, an ability to follow the rules consistently. Generally there is so much more leniency in the homeschool world than in the public school world. Deadlines, submission content, etc. can easily be shoved aside or overlooked. NCFCA is a representation of the real world when it comes to rules. It stresses that we need to learn to follow the rules, and if we can't learn to do this, then we're punished accordingly.
Maybe there's a place for homeschoolers to learn more about rules, but it's not NCFCA. NCFCA is a competition which should be judged on the merit of the speech, not on the virtue of the speakers. I agree with you that NCFCA is a representation of the real world which stresses rules to the letter. I do not agree that this is a good thing. So, here are the two purposes of their enforcement of the rules:
1) Keep the playing field fair-the method of their enforcement perpetuates UNfairness, not fairness because they're disqualifying perfectly good speeches.
2) Teach kids about rules-NCFCA is not God, your teacher, or your parent. They're a competitive league which is there to teach you about public speaking, not how to follow rules.