WDM Valley Closes Out Iowa Forensics League State Tournament

Jason Smith and Gina Scorpiniti of West Des Moines Valley High School closed out the final round of the Iowa Forensic League All-Iowa Finals on Saturday, March 8, 2014, hosted by Paul Bellus and the University of Iowa.

Jason and Gina are coached by Dave McGinnis, Alex Kramer, Lucy Korsakov and Adam Hoffman.

The All-Iowa Finals is the second of Iowa’s two state championship meets and is hosted by the state’s debate coach association, the Iowa High School Forensic League. IFL All-Iowa Finals is the longest-running secondary school competition in the state’s history.


Partial Octos

Stilwell Junior High CT defeats Valley JC (Jackie Chu)


Valley JS defeats Stilwell Junior High CT (Conal Thomas-McGinnis)

Valley GS defeats DM Lincoln LF (Leelabari Fulbel)

Valley TG defeats DM Roosevelt RW (Reid Wade)

Valley TF advances over Valley EM (Evan McKinney)


Valley JS advances over Valley TF (TJ Foley)

Valley GS advances over Valley TG (Trent Gilbert)


Valley JS (Jason Smith) & Valley GS (Gina Scorpiniti)

  • mcgin029

    Potentially controversial concern raised in a mostly non-confrontational way by a non-anonymous poster. Detailed reply provided in a friendly manner by site coordinator. Look at us all getting along. πŸ™‚

  • Michael Crabtree

    This might be stupid, but I think it is worth posting. Also want to pre-face this by saying congrats to Valley for a five way closeout.

    It is wrong that NSD only posts the results of some state competitions. I know that some states are more competitive than others, but by not posting the results of other state competitions, NSD maintains those states as more important. NSD excludes those states by not posting the results of the state championship. In ways this excludes the state from national circuit debate. Maintaining a vicious cycle where the state is not expected to perform at a higher level. At its core the policy is just discriminatory.

    It seems stupid, but it is true. This news site (along with Victory Briefs) is the primary source of LD news for the national circuit. By excluding certain state tournaments, you exclude them from the national debate community. The only other option for them to get their name heard in this community on a large scale is to attend and do well at a national circuit tournament. Some students will never have the opportunity to do that. Given that every being a state champion is an achieve for every debater, it seems that it is a great opportunity to incorporate people into the community. By only posting the results of “competitive” states, NSD has excluded people from the community. It shows that their achievement isn’t great enough to be know to the larger community, but other’s are.

    The state competition is different than normal NSD posts since those posts (as far as I can tell) are normally about bid tournaments. There are no state bid tournaments, so it is just up to the NSD admins to decide which states are worthy of being on the NSD page. This is the root of the discriminatory policy.

    I think that NSD should either post every state tournament’s results or post none.

    Any ways thats my rant. I would love to know what other people think, and would just like the make the community more accessible and open.

    • Jayant Tripathy

      haha really long post really easy solution

      send a nice email with results -> they’ll prolly post it

    • BenjaminKoh

      tl;dr- if people send me state tournament results, I’ll post them. I don’t secretly hate New Mexico

      The central problem with this is that the reason why for example the Iowa State Tournament is posted is because we have the results (in this case Dave was there). I simply DON’T KNOW people who would be at say the Oregon State Tournament or the South Dakotan State Tournament (unsure if there is one or not), nor are there easy ways of accessing information like how TFA has a “warm room.” It’s not as if I am “discriminating” against those states. The suggestion that I actively only post some state tournaments and thus “maintains those states as more important” is both illogical and in bad faith.

      If I am sent a tournament I generally post the results (I have only not posted a very local tournament due to the small size of the pool). The TOC Bid tournaments I make an effort in posting because they are a) easier to find results for b) to keep consistent track of the bid list they are a necessity and c) because there is a “national” level impact to those tournaments i.e. the TOC.

      Granted for sake of full disclosure there are some tournaments that are not posted on this website because it is not the role of this site to post every tournament. I don’t feel obligated to actively struggle to find the results of every single tournament that occurs in the country (from league tournaments, less than 10 person tournaments, the results of CFL/NFL Qualifiers, etc.) on virtue of that this site’s role is not to be the be all end all for all tournaments. That expectation is both not pragmatic but also makes this site a gigantic example of why quantity is not more important than quality. I mean this both in regards to the quality of each post on this site but also the “impact of reputation” for debaters. I would defend the statement that on this site a relatively unknown debater who reaches quarterfinals at a local tournament with less than 20 entries will not, even if that is the only result posted that weekend, get the same amount of “fame” as would a relatively unknown debater who reaches octafinals of Harvard or Yale, etc. By “reputation” you’re referring to a national reputation in your post. Burying national results doesn’t help that.

      ^To clarify, this is a reason why there should not be an expectation to post every result as would seem some of the warrants you give would conclude with.

      “There are no state bid tournaments, so it is just up to the NSD admins to decide which states are worthy of being on the NSD page. This is the root of the discriminatory policy.”

      This is the definition of jumping to conclusions. In the case of a state tournament, yes I will post it. However I HAVEN’T RECEIVED the results of any that are not posted on this site. I am sent results all the time from tournaments like the Western Championships that occurred (Shrey Desai and Andrew Bower messaged me results throughout which is why I could post them both here and on the facebook page). However, if there does not seem to be a demand for a tournament, I will not burden myself with trying to figure out who in my facebook friends might know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows the results. It’s not as if modding this site is a job I do full-time or anything.

      The problem you present is not a problem of whether or not I/NSD cares more about some circuits or not. It’s an efficacy problem- there isn’t any passive-aggressive slight going on.

      • sjadler

        I’m amused that Ben wrote out such a long reply to this–fairly sure his heart’s in the right place here.

        But yeah, send results and they’ll go up; not much more to it.

      • Michael Crabtree

        Thanks Ben for such a nice explanation. Sorry if that was written in an offensive way; I just felt like it was arbitrary which state competitions where going up, and I appreciate that you toke the time to clarify.

    • tlonam

      To preface, I don’t believe this is a valid concern, the NSDupdate people are upstanding and nice and make a huge effort to run this site and keep it a great resource for the community. I believe and agree 100% with everything Ben Koh said.

      That being said, if this were a real issue, this would have been absolutely the wrong way to go getting actual change. A far more appropriate and professional way to go about this would have been to email or facebook message any of the very public moderators on this site, who I’m sure would have been glad to field your concerns and could have satisfied your objection in 100 characters or less.

      I think you bring up a generally important point, making sure the site isn’t arbitrarily biased, but that by posting your concerns in this public thread, you turn your question and concern into an antagonizing accusation.that I think makes you look like you have a chip on your shoulder and are bitter about circuit debate (which may or may not be true but my guess is that you weren’t intending to convey that)

      None of this is meant to belittle your character (I haven’t met you to my knowledge and so couldn’t really do so) but to just remind us all that there are real people running this site and the way that we frame our discussion about them is important.

    • Andrew Wixson

      I assume you’re referencing CHSAA state given that you’re a Colorado debater. You and I both know the arbitrariness of local debate in Colorado doesn’t warrant posting the results on NSD. As always, another frustrating weekend in CO.

  • Megan Nubel

    Do my eyes deceive me or is Jason smiling???

    Congrats to everyone πŸ™‚

    • mcgin029

      I think your eyes deceive you. If I remember correctly, he is in mid-complaint in that picture.

  • Debater

    Valley EM, Valley TF, Valley JS, Valley GS, and Valley TG all have an equal claim to “winning” this tournament, not just JS and GS. Anyway, congratulations to Valley for evidently being the strongest debate team in the state of Iowa, hands down.

    • Guest

      Roosevelt won sweeps. Imma just put that out there.

      Congrats to Jason.

    • Guest

      Roosevelt won sweeps. Imma just put that out there.

  • Denis Ledford

    It was a 5-way close out

  • Anon Debater

    Shouldn’t it be a semis closeout?

    • Denis Ledford

      It was a 5-way close out

      • Anon Debater

        Then why aren’t Trent, TJ, and Evan in the picture and title?