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A Rationale for Events to be Included in all I.E. Competition


Why does the typical individual events tournament include the specific event categories that it does? Given the many details that forensics coaches must handle when preparing teams and managing tournaments, this fundamental question is often left unasked and unanswered. Sometimes the "standard" nine or ten or twelve events (depending on the national association to which a coach ascribes) seem to perpetuate simply because of inertia and peer pressure. Only occasionally, when a state or national association asks coaches to select an "experimental" event or when a tournament manager looks for a special extra event that will entice added entries, is some sense of what will be useful or fun for students consciously applied.

Nevertheless, in the bock of the minds of all forensics coaches there are good reasons for staying with the standard events. A clear articulation of these reasons can help to justify present practice. Further, since no status quo can ever be perfect, clearly established criteria for evaluating event categories can help the activity avoid falling prey to sheer inertia and not changing when change is necessary. This essay establishes and applies one such set of criteria. First, the criteria are set forth and applied to the standard event categories to reveal their value. Then, several concerns which might require eventual revision of these event categories are discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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