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News & Notes
July 23, 2020: Friends and colleagues,
In these extraordinary times, the Executive Committee believes that extraordinary measures and practices should be put in place to allow our activity to continue giving our students an opportunity to practice the unique skills that IPDA offers, especially in lieu of university, state, and local ordinances that may restrict travel. Out of an abundance of caution, administrators and coaches may be asked to take significant cuts to budgets and enforce major restrictions to gatherings on campuses. Thus, the EC is releasing some guidelines, which will remain in place temporarily for the 2020-2021 season and allow for online competitions to replace in-person tournaments, while also giving coaches the ability to produce results that will keep their programs viable until some sense of normalcy can resume.
1. Tournament hosts and officials are allowed to make final judgments on platform and software requirements for teams and competitors to compete virtually. While we have heard very promising results about Zoom Pro, which include a low cost and high level of stability and function, other platforms may be more readily available and/or emerge as additional candidates and, much like tabulation software, we believe that tournaments should be allowed to make those decisions independently. a.The EC encourages invitations to make clear the expectations and guidelines for technological failures mid-tournament or mid-round. For example, we would recommend that any “extended” internet outage or downtime, especially once a round has begun, should likely result in a forfeit to keep tournaments functionally on time. b.Additionally, ballot submissions should be explained in the tournament invitation document as well so that all judges complete and submit ballots in a timely and unified manner.
2. Regardless of platform, tournament directors should highly encourage, if not enforce, normal IPDA round practices unless required to meet ADA needs. This means competitors should still “flow” with pen and paper as they would normally, not utilizing laptop or computer functions for flowing or timing. Fundamentally, the video technology and platform should only be used to transmit the round, not enhance the competitor’s functionality in any additional way. Per IPDA Bylaws, competitors should still use handheld timers for timekeeping and no electronic devices capable of transmitting data should be allowed. We would encourage framing practices that would allow the fellow competitor and judge to visually see a non-speaking competitor adhering to these practices by giving some distance (2-3 feet) between the camera and competitor while not speaking.
3. For the 2020-2021 season, eligibility guidelines will be equally applied to competitions whether held virtually or in person. This means that the novice, junior varsity, and varsity eligibility requirements are the same and will be counted the same for all competitions.
4. Ethics: All coaches, competitors, and tournament officials are bound to the same ethical guidelines both outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws. We understand that the use of technology allows for a greater threat to the sanctity of the event and debate and thus, the following expectations are made:
a. No member of the debate, either judge or competitor, should be permitted to communicate with someone not involved therein during the round. Competitors should be competing free of any assistance during the round and judges should not discuss the round with any outside member until after the ballot is submitted.
b. Tournament officials are encouraged to utilize any “lockdown” functionality that the chosen platform allows. This would effectively only allow the competitors and judge(s) into the room and, even if audience members are allowed by the tournament, no one should enter or exit the virtual room until the round concludes.
c. If any member of the round utilizes any recording function, the judge’s ballot should still remain the final arbiter of the round and any squabbles between competitors or programs should still follow IPDA Bylaws for conflict resolution. It is highly recommended that should any recording function be utilized that it only be done with the consent of the other members involved in the round (fellow competitor and judges). Additionally, judges should be directed to render decisions and ballots based solely on the time allotted to the competitors, not using any “playback” functionality that would otherwise have been unavailable.
d. Tournament directors are expected to provide as many precautions as possible to ensure that no rounds are subjected to any unwanted visitors and that the privacy of those involved is respected.
5. All tournament directors should make every effort to adhere to the lay judge inclusion guidelines in the Constitution and minimize any “hiring” of judges unless absolutely necessary.
6. Should tournaments wish to offer Team IPDA as a division, the tournament invitation should outline any expected deviances from the above. Namely, it would theoretically be expected to allow “teammates” to utilize a chat function to pass notes if no other alternative is present.
May 16, 2020: It is with profound sadness that the Executive Committee marks the passing of co-founder Dr. Alan Cirlin this week. Alan was instrumental in the creation and spread of the International Public Debate Association during the early years, and his writings in each of the IPDA textbooks and his work in our IPDA journal continue to provide insight into what makes our form of debate so valuable.
Several members of the IPDA helped sum up what Alan meant to our organization:
Trey Gibson, former DoF at LSU-Shreveport noted, "In the wake of his passing and in phone conversations with others, it dawns on me that few if any knows the history of IPDA. I have often moaned when individual debaters cite incorrectly IPDA rules or talk about IPDA in metadebates clearly not understanding or even knowing about IPDA’s past history. Well, Alan was a big part of that history."
Jack Rogers, the first President of the IPDA wrote, "As I sit here in my office writing this soliloquy regarding Alan, I cannot help but think of that all to famous line in Charles Dickins’ A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Sharing the IPDA journey with Alan, we truly experienced all of the highs and lows reflected in Dickins’ quotation. We shared them together and that’s what made life bearable. As I reminisce about Alan and all that he means to me and the IPDA, his passing engenders the best of times as I celebrate in the memories of him and as his legacy. It also reflects the worst of times as his passing makes the IPDA community’s world a little darker. I think Alan would say ‘quit mopping around feeling sorry for yourself. We’ve got work to do!"
Dr. Cirlin's legacy is his impact on others, and his work within the debate community is nothing short of extraordinary. The IPDA owes Alan a debt that can never be repaid, and his efforts were the very foundation of who we are today. Godspeed, Alan!
2019/2020 IPDA National Champions For the full list of awards, please click HERE.
Though the cancellation of the 2020 IPDA National Championship Tournament & Convention due to COVID-19 left the IPDA unable to hold our annual Championship Banquet, the IPDA is proud to announce the full slate of season-long IPDA National Champions for 2019/2020!
Founder's Cup Champions: Union University Scholastic Cup Champions: Union University Top Community College: Lee College Novice Debate Champion: Elliot Jenkins (University of Tennessee - Knoxville) Novice Speaking Champion: Emma Waite (Southern Methodist University) Novice Squad Champions: Union University JV Debate Champion: Mia Robertson (Mississippi State University) JV Speaking Champion: Megan Arbuckle (LSU - Shreveport) JV Squad Champions: Union University Varsity Debate Champion: Jacob Holland (University of Central Arkansas) Varsity Speaking Champion: Keithen Lewis (Bossier Parish Community College) Varsity Squad Champions: LSU-Shreveport Professional Debate Champion: Matthew Lucci (Southern Methodist University / UT-Tyler) Professional Speaking Champion: Matthew Lucci (Southern Methodist University / UT-Tyler) Professional Squad Champions: LSU-Shreveport Team Debate Champions: Matthew Gedeon / Dominick Mercer (LSU-Shreveport) Team Speaking Champion: Dominick Mercer (LSU-Shreveport) Team Squad Champions: LSU-Shreveport
The Fight Like Emilie Campaign Champions: Bossier Parish Community College, raising $2691.68
Bennett Strange Coach of the Year: Anthony McMullen, University of Central Arkansas
For full awards results, please click HERE. For full season-long scores and standings, please click HERE.
The IPDA Textbook is now available for purchase!
The International Public Debate Association is proud to announce that a textbook has been created that offers specific instruction on the IPDA style of debate. Edited by Dr. Pat Richey of MTSU, with contributions by a host of the top current and former IPDA coaches in the nation, this text will help you and your program train debaters of all skill levels to the highest possible standards.