Author Topic: Shirley Judge Constraint Clarification  (Read 6076 times)


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    • Kansas State Debate Team
Shirley Judge Constraint Clarification
« on: November 11, 2013, 02:40:27 PM »
We have been approached by several people to declare what it means to constrain a judge.  At first we thought this would be easy, we’d just look up what the AFA, ADA, NDT, CEDA, and COTD documents have to say about this.  Turns out, that wasn’t helpful.  None of these organizations provide guidance for debater-initiated constraints. Therefore we have distilled the following guidelines from the relevant organizations (and may we add we would really appreciate if the governing bodies would take up this issue at the next available opportunity).  Judges should not judge:

-          Debaters they presently or formerly coached
-          Debaters with whom they were on the same squad at the same time
-          Debaters with whom they have otherwise indicated a conflict of interest (ex. Romantic relationships)
-          Debaters with whom they were at the same school in the past two years, even if not on the same squad
-          In situations governed by CEDA’s Sexual Harassment Policy

We intend for mutual preference to provide as much control in judge selection as is reasonable to still allow for successful tournament operation.  If someone believes that the definition of constraints should different than those above, we strongly encourage individuals to approach governing organizations.

Justin on behalf of Wake Debate
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 03:28:42 PM by JustinGreen »


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Re: Shirley Judge Constraint Clarification
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 02:52:36 PM »
So in light of this post, I must ask, what happens if you have another category that you feel is important for the education of your student?

To be honest,  those guidelines were created under a system of colorblindness, that does not allow space for indifferential racial treatment.

And, what happens to teams who conflict judges for reasons not under those guidelines?  Will this create an investigation of all judge conflicts for every team?

I am really asking questions here.




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Re: Shirley Judge Constraint Clarification
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 03:21:03 PM »
Since I'm the one that has to track the entry of constraints, regardless of source, let me start with Jackie's initial question.  The objective of creating a protected space for student education is one of the most critical components of MPJ, well beyond the concerns raised by constraints.  Students and their coaches can exclude from consideration a large number of judges using pref guidelines.  Whether a team is in or out of contention at the tournament, I anticipate that no judges beyond the 80th percentile will ever be assigned, thereby creating the opportunity to "exclude" those that students or coaches believe can't be fair or provide an appropriate educational environment.  For teams remaining in contention, I anticipate that the boundary will be somewhere in the vicinity of 55%.

Concerning the colorblindness question, I agree with Justin's call for all of the relevant debate organizations to formally discuss their guidelines for constraints, considering all of the issues currently at play.

Regarding tracking constraints entered by teams as opposed to those entered by judges, I will be creating a before prefs and after prefs list to determine whether unusual patterns emerge.  It is still the case that debaters perform a valuable final check of constraints that follow the listed guidelines but were missed by the judges - judges can help tremendously by doing their own doublechecks NOW.  That said, I will provide appropriate gentle but firm reminders to teams that appear to be entering constraints that the judges themselves would not have entered.