If you were wondering—although if you are a member of the Vast Coachean Army you probably weren’t, since we’ve already come to this conclusion here—the war is over and PF has won. At the upcoming CFL one-dayer, we have 94 teams, over twice as many as we have LDers. And all the LDers are, pretty much, novices. We have joined up with, for instance, Massachusetts, where good ol’ Little Lex will have PFers lined up out into the streets while the handful of policy and LD teams will look on in awe and dismay. LD is still around and still kicking, but it isn't the center of the forensic universe anymore. It kayoed Policy back in the day, and even that activity has its adherents, but it isn't where the action is. And now PF has kayoed LD. So it goes.
There is a lesson here that many people do not want to learn. Offer an educationally sturdy activity with easy buy-in at all levels—coaching, debating, judging—and they will come. No, PF isn’t perfect, and we could pick at it till the cows come home, but it does offer a large number of people easy access to the benefits of debate. Those who do not want to learn this lesson will concentrate their efforts on activities that offer a small number of people difficult access to those benefits, with the warning label that those benefits are somewhat diminished by the parochial nature of the way it’s being done, not to mention the financial costs. Want to pursue the circuit? Well, have a nice flight while the rest of us are wondering where you are at the regional events you could have taken a cab to. By the way, how are your students going to become bid-worthy if they never get any experience on the local level?
I always enjoy our one-dayers, and of course I miss our late unlamented MHL events. That is, I know some people lament them but since the league died by virtue primarily of lack of interest, it’s not many. But on the back end, corralling dozens of younger students into rounds and nudging their student judges to be the best judges they could be and providing succor to the poor sucker parents and making those little speeches during awards congratulating the students on sticking to it and hoping to see them often for the next few years… Sigh.
After this weekend I will have two weekends off, weekends that used to go to the MHL. Any wonder I got myself that PS4?