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Author Topic: UMKC and Regional Distribution of Tournaments  (Read 14774 times)
William Mosley-Jensen
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Posts: 79


« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2012, 11:40:19 AM »

I think that D-Cram makes a good point. Why the push to have "national" tournaments at all? How many teams are truly going to be competitive for a first-round bid at the end of the year? 20-30 at most. For the rest of the community to chase that metric of success ultimately makes no sense.

I think that it is awesome that both UMKC and GSU occurred and that means an additional 80-100 debate teams were debating at any given time. There doesn't need to be a trade-off unless we assume that there is/should be only one tournament on any given weekend. Why not have some regional diversity, with 2-3 national tournaments during the course of the season?

There are many great regional tournaments that teams could choose to attend. Gonzaga is an excellent west-coast opener. The UNLV tournament is a great alternative to travelling east to Kentucky. Perhaps instead of approaching this question from the perspective of "how do we create a system where there is a national tournament in each district," perhaps we should ask instead "how do we promote healthy regional circuits?"
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kelly young
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WWW
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2012, 11:42:37 AM »

Teams that can drive to UK that can't drive to GSU

Pitt
MSU
NU
Michigan
Clarion
Binghamton
John Carroll
Capital
Illinois State
Iowa
Northern iowa
Concordia
Minnesota
Missouri State (I think they drive to Atlanta, but the one to Lexington is less bad)
For Mary Washington, UK is 120 miles closer than Atlanta
GMU (difference of almost 200 miles: same is basically true for all DC schools, including GW, Gtown)
Wayne State

Already the difference made for districts 4, 5, and 7 is immense.

Do you still want me to google map everything?


Wayne State drives to GSU.  We are pretty hardcore.

4life
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Director of Forensics/Associate Professor
Wayne State University
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kelly.young [at] wayne.edu
www.wsuforensics.org
tcram
Full Member
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Posts: 165


« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2012, 11:49:43 AM »

I think that D-Cram makes a good point. Why the push to have "national" tournaments at all? How many teams are truly going to be competitive for a first-round bid at the end of the year? 20-30 at most. For the rest of the community to chase that metric of success ultimately makes no sense.

I think that it is awesome that both UMKC and GSU occurred and that means an additional 80-100 debate teams were debating at any given time. There doesn't need to be a trade-off unless we assume that there is/should be only one tournament on any given weekend. Why not have some regional diversity, with 2-3 national tournaments during the course of the season?

There are many great regional tournaments that teams could choose to attend. Gonzaga is an excellent west-coast opener. The UNLV tournament is a great alternative to travelling east to Kentucky. Perhaps instead of approaching this question from the perspective of "how do we create a system where there is a national tournament in each district," perhaps we should ask instead "how do we promote healthy regional circuits?"

We should ask 'how can we promote healthy regional circuits', but only as a 'both/and' to the current conversation.  I am so far away from thinking that first rounds should be the only metric of debate success (and that it is insane to mold our activity around it exclusively), but we can't have a conversation on how to improve debate and make it sustainable WITHOUT addressing the cost equity of majors.  A few reasons jump out at me:

1. Circles back into the same prisoner's dilemma especially in years when squads who do not have one or two bid teams every year nevertheless have a team that is in contention, because it is cost prohibitive to split your own squad on the same weekend in many instances.

2. There is a massive educational benefit from getting to debate against elite competition and (even though lots of the field won't directly debate them) getting to see lots of out-rounds of the elite competition.  There is a considerable impact here that is much easier for some squads to achieve rather than others.
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jasonlrussell
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Posts: 20


« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2012, 12:03:27 PM »

I'll bite on this one: the reason I chose to target GSU was pretty simple: I felt that logistically the tournament was not as well run as others in D6 and the fees were going up while the service provided was going down. I stated this case openly when I discussed it with your boss, Witt. We chose to stick to GSU but move the tournament to UMKC to consider airfare for programs that can purchase very cheap tickets to Atlanta (prices to KC are much cheaper than OKC). It wasn't a behind closed doors thing.

Andrea, others suggested that Kentucky be involved in that conversation if travel costs were calculated openly, and I said I was willing to consider it but felt that the round robin would make it infeasible. After hearing many complaints this summer that individuals were choosing to attend GSU because of the round robin, either explicitly or implicitly, I've personally come to view the RR at Kentucky as tied to the difficulty in getting teams on the East coast to attend a D3 major. I strongly suspect alternatives to Kentucky's round robin in the future and will support them.

This isn't a conspiracy against anyone or anything. The decision to move UNI's major to GSU was as behind-closed-doors as the decision to support a major at UMKC. Let's don't act like this happened in the long-long-ago. It was a rational decision then and updating the schedule is a rational decision now. If it doesn't work for Michigan or anyone else, I respect that. I appreciated Aaron's input regarding a D3 opener a ton; it helped us in D3 to create a very successful tournament.

As far as the round robin goes, RR's are what they are. They're a huge boon to a very limited number of teams. All of the decisions about a pre-season round robin are subjective. They're an enticement to attend a particular tournament's invitational as well. I am certain that Kentucky won't "go away" as a result of competition, but I so suspect that some healthy competition could inform more open and objective decision-making.

That said, Jonah's obviously right. We should be considering policies to make these decisions less personal and more institutional. If the NDT (AFA?) and CEDA would organize to have a travel schedule that governed the first-round application process, that would be ideal. The rationale is even more pertinent today than it was 14 years ago when I first heard of it. I'd be glad to talk to anyone about this and my ideas regarding it.
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gabemurillo
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Posts: 165


« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2012, 12:03:52 PM »

Whit - I'm going to try to repeat what others have said, maybe in a different way (probably the same). this is not about UMKC vs. GSU. a lot of your frustration seems to be stemming from people answering questions of yours that are not what the major deal here is. umkc was scheduled when it was this year because the consensus was that more people were more dissatisfied with GSU. this decision was made after an attempt at transparency amongst all the districts. this decision only happened in this way because there was no community rule or consensus that supported regional equity. if there had been a rule similar to what most people are proposing then the decision about which tournament in d6 was considered the d6 major would have been up to d6 or some other group the community decided on. ultimately the discussion of which d6 major to "sacrifice" puts the cart before the horse. the reason people feel decisions were made behind close doors and the reason people feel defensive is because of how the current tournament system is structured. if there were a change which more or less mandated regional equity over free-market decisions for tournaments then the process would be more open, and the discussion of which tournaments to keep as majors could be based on the merits of the tournament (based on community consensus). I think UMKC was important because it showed that there are teams (100 or so) that are excluded from competing at majors that can make it to tournaments further west. now that the experiment was (in my opinion) a success, its time to start a discussion about a more inclusive travel schedule. THAT is the question at hand, after that is resolved there can be a more open and productive discussion of the particulars of which tournaments are our new majors. trying to do that before is counterproductive and non-responsive to the question at hand.  
gabe
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Adam Symonds
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Posts: 349


« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2012, 12:10:41 PM »

This is why I can't take any of you seriously. You like to pretend that it's all about the economic bottom line, but you are all willing to admit that sometimes cost should lose out to tradition. None of you are willing to say Wake shouldn't happen.

Instead you go after the cheapest tournament D6 has. That's why I suspect that this is about opportunism and jumping on a tournament that was perceived to be in jeopardy. I assume this is the "pragmatism" that Symonds spoke of.

That's about as totalizing a K as you can get. I haven't said a thing about specific tournaments, because it doesn't much matter to me, provided I don't have to spend $3500-4000 3 times in the fall just to take 2 teams to majors that are all in the southeast. And while there are productive conversations that can be had about the benefits of GSU vs Kentucky vs Wake, the relative cost differences between the 3 are far less important than the cost differences of the concentration of all 3 in the same region vs 2 being distributed elsewhere. I'm perfectly content to let D6 choose their regional. Hell, rotate it every 3 years between the 3. So the "you're picking on GSU for ulterior motives" shtick really misses the boat.
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Whit
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Posts: 79


« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2012, 12:19:20 PM »

But it is about "GSU vs. UMKC."

I have not seen a proposed schedule that equally distributes national tournaments amongst regions from anyone. All I've seen is "everyone should come to UMKC next year." Would it be awesome if the NDT committee all told us where to go? Perhaps, but that probably isn't going to happen. Instead we have these ad hoc tweaks to the schedule that (in my opinion at least) are based more on what is convenient than on the stated goals.

For what it is worth, I thought GSU was well run this year.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 12:22:01 PM by Whit » Logged
Whit
Jr. Member
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Posts: 79


« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2012, 12:25:42 PM »

Also... all of this "D6 can have their one tournament wherever they want" talk is funny. Am I to understand that Texas will stop hosting its tournament when D3 gets a major? I wouldn't want you having 1.5 nationals, because that is just unfair.
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ScottyP
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Posts: 52


« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2012, 12:30:27 PM »

Don't remember who mentioned it but the 2 tournament each weekend idea thing seems awesome. Have one tournament that is like 70ish teams of a caliber likely to be at the NDT, have another tournament for the next 100 or so teams. Basically debate tracking.

Advantages
-less mismatched debates no one enjoys- having been on both ends of these they suck
-less judge pool dilution
-smaller tournaments run better, have more potential hosts etc
-younger inexperienced debaters aren't exposed to NU MK

Disadvantages
-coaching staffs would have to split in some instances
-some sort of labeling theory nonsense

This doesn't have a lot to do with "regional equity" or whatever but coordinated 2 tournament weekends seem like a good idea.
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jregnier
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Posts: 94


« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2012, 12:31:37 PM »

But it is about "GSU vs. UMKC."

What we in the argumentation biz call a claim without grounds or a warrant.

I have not seen a proposed schedule that equally distributes national tournaments amongst regions from anyone. All I've seen is "everyone should come to UMKC next year." Would it be awesome if the NDT committee all told us where to go? Perhaps, but that probably isn't going to happen. Instead we have these ad hoc tweaks to the schedule that (in my opinion at least) are based more on what is convenient than on the stated goals.

This is putting the cart before the horse.  I think some want to jump too quickly to proposals for ways to change the schedule without coming up with a clear and comprehensive definition of what the problem is and the criteria that we should use to evaluate proposed solutions (thank you John Dewey).

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jregnier
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Posts: 94


« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2012, 12:40:38 PM »

Also, I'm not sure that I understand all the conspiracy talk.  Of course the GSU weekend was picked.  GSU is not really a major.  Even at its strongest, it is not Kentucky, Harvard, or Wake.  If you had to pick a weekend to put a competing tournament on, then of course you would pick the one that would be most likely to draw teams away while also not jeopardizing your bids.  That's what Malcolm means by "pragmatic."  There is no secret cabal of freedom haters out there trying to get GSU.
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Whit
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Posts: 79


« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2012, 12:44:11 PM »

But it is about "GSU vs. UMKC."

What we in the argumentation biz call a claim without grounds or a warrant.

I have not seen a proposed schedule that equally distributes national tournaments amongst regions from anyone. All I've seen is "everyone should come to UMKC next year." Would it be awesome if the NDT committee all told us where to go? Perhaps, but that probably isn't going to happen. Instead we have these ad hoc tweaks to the schedule that (in my opinion at least) are based more on what is convenient than on the stated goals.

This is putting the cart before the horse.  I think some want to jump too quickly to proposals for ways to change the schedule without coming up with a clear and comprehensive definition of what the problem is and the criteria that we should use to evaluate proposed solutions (thank you John Dewey).



The second paragraph was the warrant. There is no blueprint for your alt (fully equitable tournament division). So all the talking just leads to UMKC replacing GSU, which doesn't even come close to resolving anyone's problem and just helps out the district that dominates most of the NDT anyway. That's what we in policy debate call the cede the political da.
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gabemurillo
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Posts: 165


« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2012, 12:51:30 PM »

Whit -

yes, under my ideal proposal d3 would have to decide on one major. this isn't funny or something people haven't thought of - its the obvious consequence of each district having one major, i don't think i've ever made the argument that all majors should be in d3 this is counterintuitive given the larger claim for regional equity. and if you haven't seen anything other than arguments for umkc over gsu you are either not reading very thoroughly or honestly, I'm not sure which one. under the current system yes i believe people should come to umkc because its a way to increase regional equality in the current system, but i think i am making clear that my larger goal is persuade the community to restructure the current tournament schedule, if you'd like me to rehash that i can. regnier is right, the call for a specific tournament schedule again puts the cart before the horse. whats really missing from this discussion is a defense of regional inequality - so i'll reraise here, whats your argument for keeping the current tournament structure? i don't think you're trying to make this argument which is why i'm confused about the animosity.

gabe
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andreareed
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Posts: 101


« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2012, 12:56:25 PM »

Andrea, others suggested that Kentucky be involved in that conversation if travel costs were calculated openly, and I said I was willing to consider it but felt that the round robin would make it infeasible. After hearing many complaints this summer that individuals were choosing to attend GSU because of the round robin, either explicitly or implicitly, I've personally come to view the RR at Kentucky as tied to the difficulty in getting teams on the East coast to attend a D3 major. I strongly suspect alternatives to Kentucky's round robin in the future and will support them.


Forgive me Russell if I misunderstand the argument you are making... I had to reread what you wrote several times, but I'm pretty sure it makes no sense.  If every round robin team chose UMKC instead of GSU, then UMKC would be king of the hill and the GSU tournament would die or become more regional.  Both WHY teams get that invite and WHY people follow them is because they are perceived as the top teams, the ones that coaches want their teams debating.  That has nothing to do with what the next or previous tournament in the schedule is.  So if OU were to decide to host a tournament on top of Kentucky, and say, create an OU round robin, those teams invited to the OU RR would then go to the OU tournament that it is attached to.  Saying that its only the Kentucky RR that ties people to the UK tournament (or even GSU) is a pretty nonsensical argument.

No one has argued that the current failures of the market based system are not based in the idea that the good teams want to inevitably follow the good teams.  Saying there should be a RR somewhere other than Kentucky is merely shifting things around but not changing WHY people want to go to round robins.  Reading this is thread, more geographic distribution is all people want anyways.  So is the answer that D6 should lose BOTH GSU and Kentucky as majors?  From reading these posts, some people would give a resounding yes to this question.  I think Paul made some pretty persuasive arguments about why the Kentucky tournament is geographically located in a place that is optimal for a large number of people (including many of the schools that are disadvantaged by the location of the GSU tournament)... not really sure what the answer to this is, except for, well, we like Wake more and D6 only gets 1 under our dream proposal.  Ok, fine, have us cannibalize each other.  Great, now I have to defend my own tournament against the Wake tournament, one that I love dearly and gave me the very training to run my own.  I'll apologize to Wake, Ross, and the rest of the Deacs in advance if I'm forced into that position.

And, did anyone even read my post?  Why are we treating our fellow colleagues like such crap?  Or like they have some sinister motives, divorced from yours which are oh-so-holy and solely about teaching your students.  Thank god I have a lot of research to do to prep my team for their next tournament, because thinking of any other part of my job right now beside cutting cards is making me feel seriously depressed.  
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Paul Elliott Johnson
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Posts: 134


« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2012, 12:56:51 PM »

But it is about "GSU vs. UMKC."

What we in the argumentation biz call a claim without grounds or a warrant.

I have not seen a proposed schedule that equally distributes national tournaments amongst regions from anyone. All I've seen is "everyone should come to UMKC next year." Would it be awesome if the NDT committee all told us where to go? Perhaps, but that probably isn't going to happen. Instead we have these ad hoc tweaks to the schedule that (in my opinion at least) are based more on what is convenient than on the stated goals.

This is putting the cart before the horse.  I think some want to jump too quickly to proposals for ways to change the schedule without coming up with a clear and comprehensive definition of what the problem is and the criteria that we should use to evaluate proposed solutions (thank you John Dewey).



The second paragraph was the warrant. There is no blueprint for your alt (fully equitable tournament division). So all the talking just leads to UMKC replacing GSU, which doesn't even come close to resolving anyone's problem and just helps out the district that dominates most of the NDT anyway. That's what we in policy debate call the cede the political da.


I thought making things better was called pragmatism.
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