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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:37 am 
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mountain dude wrote:
Our God is a God of second chances.

To a certain degree yes, but don't discount God's holiness and justness. Yes, He will forgive us our sins, but not when judgement day comes. There is a time for justice and a time for mercy.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:55 am 
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anorton wrote:

So, I had this whole snarky reply written up, then decided it probably shouldn't be said. I'll just say this instead:

"If they let you do whatever you want outside of round at a tournament that would be the real travesty." Umm.... I've been in totally secular competitions (with (gasp!) public school students) where they let you do literally anything outside of rounds, and no one does anything really wrong. Amazingly, freedom is actually a good thing. Who would have guessed? :roll:


I don't mind snark. :lol: But I may respond with something equally snarky. 8-)

That's not my point. NCFCA is a Christian group whose ultimate aim is to proclaim the word of Jesus and grow kids in that through speech and debate. That's why at tournaments, there are strict standards on conduct. It's to further that aim. Again if you look at my quote in context you will see that I'm talking about how NCFCA is actually showing the love of Christ through conduct standards something which I certainly don't expect a secular group to do.

And yes of course nothing bad happens most of the time. That is why the conduct rules are rarely enforced and not even officially codified. But there are instances when people step out of line.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
mountain dude wrote:
Our God is a God of second chances.

To a certain degree yes, but don't discount God's holiness and justness. Yes, He will forgive us our sins, but not when judgement day comes. There is a time for justice and a time for mercy.


Justice does not include punishing someone who did nothing wrong. Parents don't punish their kids for spilling a glass of milk. Justice includes mercy.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:04 pm 
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The Invisible Hand wrote:
anorton wrote:

So, I had this whole snarky reply written up, then decided it probably shouldn't be said. I'll just say this instead:

"If they let you do whatever you want outside of round at a tournament that would be the real travesty." Umm.... I've been in totally secular competitions (with (gasp!) public school students) where they let you do literally anything outside of rounds, and no one does anything really wrong. Amazingly, freedom is actually a good thing. Who would have guessed? :roll:


I don't mind snark. :lol: But I may respond with something equally snarky. 8-)

That's not my point. NCFCA is a Christian group whose ultimate aim is to proclaim the word of Jesus and grow kids in that through speech and debate. That's why at tournaments, there are strict standards on conduct. It's to further that aim. Again if you look at my quote in context you will see that I'm talking about how NCFCA is actually showing the love of Christ through conduct standards something which I certainly don't expect a secular group to do.

And yes of course nothing bad happens most of the time. That is why the conduct rules are rarely enforced and not even officially codified. But there are instances when people step out of line.


Jurisdiction to punish ends with regulation. NCFCA regulates against doing something that is clearly Biblically wrong. Gambling is not Biblically wrong. #BracketGate

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:27 pm 
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Sorry for the three posts in a row...but it really comes down to your support of NCFCA's rules. I believe that when you sign up for NCFCA you're putting yourself under their rules, but those rules are often so badly communicated that to five entirely intelligent and sensible people they could mean five different things. You should try to follow the rules but there comes a point where that's not always possible.

That being said, NCFCA should not be morally obliging us to obey every letter of their rules. There is one morality that we need to follow and that does not include following the disputable, ambiguous rules of a speech competition. Why are they so particular about citations? Why can't we use a tune from an outside source? (like Yankee Doodle in a piece on the revolutionary war or Amazing Grace in a scene about a church service) Why can't we insert our own narrations between sections of an interp? Why can't we use a piece with multiple story lines? Their rules are not moral and they should be merciful rather than punitive in enforcing them.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:20 pm 
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Quick reminder here everyone. This thread is about POSITIVE IDEAS for change in the NCFCA. Ideas = solutions. This is a policy debate, not just values :D. Please don't hijack it with pointless bashing of the NCFCA and its board. If you have a problem with how the rules are confusing or don't bring about justice, then propose a solution to that.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:53 pm 
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mountain dude wrote:
That being said, NCFCA should not be morally obliging us to obey every letter of their rules. There is one morality that we need to follow and that does not include following the disputable, ambiguous rules of a speech competition. Why are they so particular about citations? Why can't we use a tune from an outside source? (like Yankee Doodle in a piece on the revolutionary war or Amazing Grace in a scene about a church service) Why can't we insert our own narrations between sections of an interp? Why can't we use a piece with multiple story lines? Their rules are not moral and they should be merciful rather than punitive in enforcing them.
I think you're misunderstanding the difference between a moral obligation and a rule. Rules don't have to be moral to be necessary. Essay contests, scholarship competitions, sport competitions, etc. all have rules that are there so that everyone has the same standards to meet. Rules don't have to be moral to be enforced. I did competitive swimming for 8 years, and, at swim meets, if you do something wrong during one of your events, such as touching the wall with one hand instead of two, you get DQed from that event. Sure, you probably didn't mean to do it. And chances are your mistake didn't give you much of a competitive advantage. But the rule should still be enforced. Rules like that, the rules you mentioned about scripts, and other similar rules are designed to level the playing field. They don't have anything to do with morality.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:06 am 
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marinadelayne wrote:
mountain dude wrote:
That being said, NCFCA should not be morally obliging us to obey every letter of their rules. There is one morality that we need to follow and that does not include following the disputable, ambiguous rules of a speech competition. Why are they so particular about citations? Why can't we use a tune from an outside source? (like Yankee Doodle in a piece on the revolutionary war or Amazing Grace in a scene about a church service) Why can't we insert our own narrations between sections of an interp? Why can't we use a piece with multiple story lines? Their rules are not moral and they should be merciful rather than punitive in enforcing them.
I think you're misunderstanding the difference between a moral obligation and a rule. Rules don't have to be moral to be necessary. Essay contests, scholarship competitions, sport competitions, etc. all have rules that are there so that everyone has the same standards to meet. Rules don't have to be moral to be enforced. I did competitive swimming for 8 years, and, at swim meets, if you do something wrong during one of your events, such as touching the wall with one hand instead of two, you get DQed from that event. Sure, you probably didn't mean to do it. And chances are your mistake didn't give you much of a competitive advantage. But the rule should still be enforced. Rules like that, the rules you mentioned about scripts, and other similar rules are designed to level the playing field. They don't have anything to do with morality.


Just because these kind of rules exist in other competitive environments does not mean that they are justified in the NCFCA. The only question that needs to be asked is whether or not the rules (and subsequent enforcement, which is equally important) in question improve the competitive and educational value of the event, while keeping it in line with NCFCA's values. Many of the rules we have simply don't meet that standard. Should half the people competing in an entire event at the largest open of the year be dropped to the bottom of their rooms for failing to label their laptops? No. The punishment simply doesn't fit the crime (hey, maybe you just go around with sticky notes and make people who failed to label their computer do it during prep time? or any of the countless other ways the problem could be remedied?), and not only did the punishment not fit the crime, it skewed the competition of the entire event because people who would have otherwise done well in the round now have 3 last place finishes.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:29 am 
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Sorry, but I must take a slight deviation down the rabbit hole of non-constructive comments:

marinadelayne wrote:
mountain dude wrote:
That being said, NCFCA should not be morally obliging us to obey every letter of their rules. There is one morality that we need to follow and that does not include following the disputable, ambiguous rules of a speech competition. Why are they so particular about citations? Why can't we use a tune from an outside source? (like Yankee Doodle in a piece on the revolutionary war or Amazing Grace in a scene about a church service) Why can't we insert our own narrations between sections of an interp? Why can't we use a piece with multiple story lines? Their rules are not moral and they should be merciful rather than punitive in enforcing them.
I think you're misunderstanding the difference between a moral obligation and a rule. Rules don't have to be moral to be necessary. Essay contests, scholarship competitions, sport competitions, etc. all have rules that are there so that everyone has the same standards to meet. Rules don't have to be moral to be enforced. I did competitive swimming for 8 years, and, at swim meets, if you do something wrong during one of your events, such as touching the wall with one hand instead of two, you get DQed from that event. Sure, you probably didn't mean to do it. And chances are your mistake didn't give you much of a competitive advantage. But the rule should still be enforced. Rules like that, the rules you mentioned about scripts, and other similar rules are designed to level the playing field. They don't have anything to do with morality.

Yes, but the difference is that, in competitive swimming, the rules are clearly explained. For instance, no ref is going to blow the whistle on you because you touched the wall starting with your middle finger instead of with your index finger--you know that's not a rule, but you also know that you must touch the wall with both hands. From what I'm hearing with NCFCA, people are being surprised by the interpretation of the rules without possibility of recourse (see #bracketgate or that time when a whole room of speakers got disqualified for mentioning the same fruit (IIRC) in all of their speeches). If the rules are clear, then by all means enforce them unyieldingly! But, if people are legitimately surprised that they were breaking a rule, it might be the rule's fault instead of the person's.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:20 am 
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@JMP I'm currently defending two changes: rescinding the #bracketgate punishment and giving second chances to correct minor rule violations in speeches.

Competitive swimming is different because you get one shot at your event per meet, not 3-5, and it's 100% clear who wins and loses and nearly always 100% clear who cheated and who did not.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:49 am 
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Whoa whoa hold up. I guess I wasn't making it clear what I was responding to. I was addressing Jonathan's argument that rules such as no tunes from outside sources and no narration between sections of interps are not based on morality and thus aren't necessary. I was responding to the argument by saying that those types of rules are designed to level the playing field (because people are competing with each other) and still ought to be enforced.

I think there are a lot of problems with how rules are enforced (e.g. the whole laptop labeling issue). And I also think that there are a lot of ambiguities regarding what is appropriate conduct in speech events. But rules *such as the ones Jonathan mentioned* aren't an issue, in my opinion. They're simply part of the sport.

So I agree with what both Andrew and Brennan said. But that wasn't what I was talking about in my post. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. Hopefully this makes more sense. :)
mountain dude wrote:
Competitive swimming is different because you get one shot at your event per meet, not 3-5, and it's 100% clear who wins and loses and nearly always 100% clear who cheated and who did not.
None of those things are 100% true, but I'm just going to drop the analogy for now. It ended up complicating my argument and doing more harm than good. >.<

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:25 am 
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@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.

_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Should half the people competing in an entire event at the largest open of the year be dropped to the bottom of their rooms for failing to label their laptops?

Yes they should. The rule is in place. I don't know about your region, but in region 8 almost every competitor forgot to label their computer at the first few tournaments. We were shown grace even though we deserved punishment at that time. We had our fair warning. I myself later forgot about it at the Regional qualifier and I was thus dropped to the bottom of my room. Is this unfair? Was I not warned previously about placing a label on my laptop? The responsibility rested solely with me.

Let me be frank here. You feel that this rule is so stupid that it shouldn't be enforced. I maintain that anyone half-witted and imbecilic enough to overlook this rule (and others like it) fully deserve being dropped to the bottom of their room for not practicing due diligence by reading and complying with the rules. Or do you feel that competitors are too unintelligent to follow a rule that requires the labeling of their computer?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:44 am 
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Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Should half the people competing in an entire event at the largest open of the year be dropped to the bottom of their rooms for failing to label their laptops?

Yes they should. The rule is in place. I don't know about your region, but in region 8 almost every competitor forgot to label their computer at the first few tournaments. We were shown grace even though we deserved punishment at that time. We had our fair warning. I myself later forgot about it at the Regional qualifier and I was thus dropped to the bottom of my room. Is this unfair? Was I not warned previously about placing a label on my laptop? The responsibility rested solely with me.

Let me be frank here. You feel that this rule is so stupid that it shouldn't be enforced. I maintain that anyone half-witted and imbecilic enough to overlook this rule (and others like it) fully deserve being dropped to the bottom of their room for not practicing due diligence by reading and complying with the rules. Or do you feel that competitors are too unintelligent to follow a rule that requires the labeling of their computer?


So you are again saying that rules should be enforced just for being rules, and need not have a productive effect or a beneficial purpose? If that's where you're coming from, then I understand your position. I can't say I agree with the idea that rules are good because rules are rules, but whatever floats your boat. I think that rules serve a purpose (as I laid out earlier), and if they either 1) fail to achieve that purpose, or 2) are counterproductive to achieving it, then the rules shouldn't exist, and as an extension, shouldn't be enforced.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:36 pm 
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_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Should half the people competing in an entire event at the largest open of the year be dropped to the bottom of their rooms for failing to label their laptops?

Yes they should. The rule is in place. I don't know about your region, but in region 8 almost every competitor forgot to label their computer at the first few tournaments. We were shown grace even though we deserved punishment at that time. We had our fair warning. I myself later forgot about it at the Regional qualifier and I was thus dropped to the bottom of my room. Is this unfair? Was I not warned previously about placing a label on my laptop? The responsibility rested solely with me.

Let me be frank here. You feel that this rule is so stupid that it shouldn't be enforced. I maintain that anyone half-witted and imbecilic enough to overlook this rule (and others like it) fully deserve being dropped to the bottom of their room for not practicing due diligence by reading and complying with the rules. Or do you feel that competitors are too unintelligent to follow a rule that requires the labeling of their computer?


So you are again saying that rules should be enforced just for being rules, and need not have a productive effect or a beneficial purpose? If that's where you're coming from, then I understand your position. I can't say I agree with the idea that rules are good because rules are rules, but whatever floats your boat. I think that rules serve a purpose (as I laid out earlier), and if they either 1) fail to achieve that purpose, or 2) are counterproductive to achieving it, then the rules shouldn't exist, and as an extension, shouldn't be enforced.

We aren't talking about the same thing here. You are contesting the existence of certain rules, I am upholding the enforcement of rules. A rule shouldn't be enforced or not enforced based on it's necessity and effectiveness, rather that is a question of the existence of said rule and not the enforcement of it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:34 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Should half the people competing in an entire event at the largest open of the year be dropped to the bottom of their rooms for failing to label their laptops?

Yes they should. The rule is in place. I don't know about your region, but in region 8 almost every competitor forgot to label their computer at the first few tournaments. We were shown grace even though we deserved punishment at that time. We had our fair warning. I myself later forgot about it at the Regional qualifier and I was thus dropped to the bottom of my room. Is this unfair? Was I not warned previously about placing a label on my laptop? The responsibility rested solely with me.

Let me be frank here. You feel that this rule is so stupid that it shouldn't be enforced. I maintain that anyone half-witted and imbecilic enough to overlook this rule (and others like it) fully deserve being dropped to the bottom of their room for not practicing due diligence by reading and complying with the rules. Or do you feel that competitors are too unintelligent to follow a rule that requires the labeling of their computer?


So you are again saying that rules should be enforced just for being rules, and need not have a productive effect or a beneficial purpose? If that's where you're coming from, then I understand your position. I can't say I agree with the idea that rules are good because rules are rules, but whatever floats your boat. I think that rules serve a purpose (as I laid out earlier), and if they either 1) fail to achieve that purpose, or 2) are counterproductive to achieving it, then the rules shouldn't exist, and as an extension, shouldn't be enforced.

We aren't talking about the same thing here. You are contesting the existence of certain rules, I am upholding the enforcement of rules. A rule shouldn't be enforced or not enforced based on it's necessity and effectiveness, rather that is a question of the existence of said rule and not the enforcement of it.


Firstly, rules should be enforced. I was using those examples as illustrations that the rules are not always flawless and the best way of competition. But I guess that was beside the point.

However, there is a difference between punishment and enforcement. NCFCA should not punish students without warning for violations which give them no unfair advantage over the other competitors. I don't care how dim witted and dumb you are to forget to label your computer (everybody, even you, has a brain fart once and awhile), NCFCA is not only just as dumb as you are, they're also being ridiculously unfair and knit-picky if they punish you for it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:15 pm 
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A large part of the problem is that the NCFCA has (perhaps unintentionally) restricted itself to issuing few types of punishment and AFAIK has not tried to develop better alternatives. They tend to have two responses: dropping the competitor to the bottom of the room or DQing the competitor entirely.

Hammy's right in the sense that (A) there is probably a valid reason to require competitors to label electronic devices and (B) receiving fair warning at a previous tournament and failing to rectify the situation justifies punishment. I think the issue here is that severely affecting someone's competitive status for such a trivial violation is truly excessive. Receiving 8th in a prelim makes it functionally impossible for most people to break.

I would suggest changing the parameters of the event to punish minor rule violations - i.e. cutting prep time for the next round or reducing the number of topics that may be drawn for limited prep events. It affects the competitor in a tangible way without necessarily scuttling their chances at breaking/doing well.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:32 am 
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Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
Should half the people competing in an entire event at the largest open of the year be dropped to the bottom of their rooms for failing to label their laptops?

Yes they should. The rule is in place. I don't know about your region, but in region 8 almost every competitor forgot to label their computer at the first few tournaments. We were shown grace even though we deserved punishment at that time. We had our fair warning. I myself later forgot about it at the Regional qualifier and I was thus dropped to the bottom of my room. Is this unfair? Was I not warned previously about placing a label on my laptop? The responsibility rested solely with me.

Let me be frank here. You feel that this rule is so stupid that it shouldn't be enforced. I maintain that anyone half-witted and imbecilic enough to overlook this rule (and others like it) fully deserve being dropped to the bottom of their room for not practicing due diligence by reading and complying with the rules. Or do you feel that competitors are too unintelligent to follow a rule that requires the labeling of their computer?


So you are again saying that rules should be enforced just for being rules, and need not have a productive effect or a beneficial purpose? If that's where you're coming from, then I understand your position. I can't say I agree with the idea that rules are good because rules are rules, but whatever floats your boat. I think that rules serve a purpose (as I laid out earlier), and if they either 1) fail to achieve that purpose, or 2) are counterproductive to achieving it, then the rules shouldn't exist, and as an extension, shouldn't be enforced.

We aren't talking about the same thing here. You are contesting the existence of certain rules, I am upholding the enforcement of rules. A rule shouldn't be enforced or not enforced based on it's necessity and effectiveness, rather that is a question of the existence of said rule and not the enforcement of it.


A rule shouldn't be enforced when the enforcement of the rule would be counterproductive to the goal of the rule itself.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:43 am 
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_TakenUsername_ wrote:
A rule shouldn't be enforced when the enforcement of the rule would be counterproductive to the goal of the rule itself.

That's a round-about way of saying that the rule isn't needed, it still has nothing to do with enforcement.

Sharkfin wrote:
I would suggest changing the parameters of the event to punish minor rule violations - i.e. cutting prep time for the next round or reducing the number of topics that may be drawn for limited prep events. It affects the competitor in a tangible way without necessarily scuttling their chances at breaking/doing well.

That is certainly a solid idea and I wouldn't mind suggesting it to the NCFCA board. One note though, you would still agree that if the student doesn't rectify his violation then more aggressive punishment must be taken?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:48 am 
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Hammy wrote:
Sharkfin wrote:
I would suggest changing the parameters of the event to punish minor rule violations - i.e. cutting prep time for the next round or reducing the number of topics that may be drawn for limited prep events. It affects the competitor in a tangible way without necessarily scuttling their chances at breaking/doing well.

That is certainly a solid idea and I wouldn't mind suggesting it to the NCFCA board. One note though, you would still agree that if the student doesn't rectify his violation then more aggressive punishment must be taken?


Hm. Interesting idea, don't know if I like it or not. It would seem that would create some judge bias against the competitor who's being penalized, for one. There are also easier solutions that are less severe and could work just as well.

I think a better solution would simply be to require the competitor to make the change for the next round (add a platform citation, remove the tune that's from an outside source in interp, put a sticker on your extemp computer), and if the competitor doesn't comply, drop him a few ranks. It makes the most sense and is the most simple. If it's something like, the guy has IO boards that are twice as big as they should be, or if the person has a 400-word intro that takes up half the speech, or their interp is 3/4 singing, or they're using profanity, then I can understand disqualifying them because those are violations which are central to the point of the speech category.

There also can be solutions to more major rule violations that don't require dropping the person to the bottom of the room. Say somebody is using internet in the extemp room. I'd give them a new topic strip, no extra prep time, and tell them that if they do it again they'll be DQ'd from extemp and they won't be allowed to use a computer at the next tournament. In that case it's clear that the person was trying to get an unfair advantage over the other competitors, so punishment is appropriate.

Hammy wrote:
_TakenUsername_ wrote:
A rule shouldn't be enforced when the enforcement of the rule would be counterproductive to the goal of the rule itself.

That's a round-about way of saying that the rule isn't needed, it still has nothing to do with enforcement.


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. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:47 am 
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mountain dude wrote:
Hammy wrote:
Sharkfin wrote:
I would suggest changing the parameters of the event to punish minor rule violations - i.e. cutting prep time for the next round or reducing the number of topics that may be drawn for limited prep events. It affects the competitor in a tangible way without necessarily scuttling their chances at breaking/doing well.

That is certainly a solid idea and I wouldn't mind suggesting it to the NCFCA board. One note though, you would still agree that if the student doesn't rectify his violation then more aggressive punishment must be taken?


Hm. Interesting idea, don't know if I like it or not. It would seem that would create some judge bias against the competitor who's being penalized, for one. There are also easier solutions that are less severe and could work just as well.

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.

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