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Author Topic: UMKC and Regional Distribution of Tournaments  (Read 14733 times)
gabemurillo
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Posts: 165


« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2012, 12:59:26 PM »

whit-

cede the political? really?!?! you're argument is that the status quo is too overpowering (they'll never change the rules etc) so we shouldn't have a discussion about changing the CEDA AFA and NDT rules to mandate regional equality, and we are ceding the political? you are literally saying we shouldn't even discuss changing the documents that make rules... i don't even understand where you're coming from on this one.

gabe

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jregnier
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Posts: 94


« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2012, 01:00:09 PM »

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.

The second paragraph is mostly a link of omission (I know I'm a K guy, but come on...) except for the part that is just a caricature of a statement that I haven't seen anybody say on this forum.

As for the cede the political da, this is pretty much a demonstration of why that argument is one of the dumbest arguments that wins rounds in debate.  You shouldn't have a "blueprint for your alt" before, as a community, you've defined exactly what factors play into the creation of the problem, which values you want to promote with a solution, and what criteria you would use to evaluate whether the plan is a good idea.  Decision-making *ends* with the solution.  It doesn't start there.

D3 made a very specific decision to have a viable season opener in their region.  That's done.  It's time to move on.  Now the questions are, "What should the tournament schedule look like?" and, "What courses of action, if any, should be taken to make that a reality?"
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Whit
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Posts: 79


« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2012, 01:09:49 PM »

whit-

cede the political? really?!?! you're argument is that the status quo is too overpowering (they'll never change the rules etc) so we shouldn't have a discussion about changing the CEDA AFA and NDT rules to mandate regional equality, and we are ceding the political? you are literally saying we shouldn't even discuss changing the documents that make rules... i don't even understand where you're coming from on this one.

gabe



Gabe, I never said that. I in fact said the opposite of that. Show me a petition or something that says an equitable division of tournaments should be set up by some governing body and I'll sign it. I just fear that that will not happen. My fear is that the only thing that will come of this is that UMKC replaces GSU. I don't see that as better. At best it is a lateral move. Should D3 have a major? Yes. Should it be at the front of the breadline? No. There are plenty of regions that are struggling that would benefit more from a major national tournament. I'm all about the grand bargain, but I don't like the way the incrementalism looks to be playing out.
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cramhelwich
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Posts: 67


« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2012, 01:10:07 PM »

Plan:

Designate five geographically diverse tournaments as pre-bid qualifiers for the NDT. Develop a point system to measure a team's performance at each tournament. Allow each team to count (up to) their best four point totals. A rough geographic distribution would include a tournaments in the 'west (LAX, PHX, SFO, SLC, LAS), 'north central' (ORD, STL, KC?), south central (DFW, HOU, KC?), southeast (GSO, ATL, LEX), northeast (BOS, DCI, etc).

Adv1: regional travel--removes penalty for 'bad losses' (which deters regional competition), frees up weekends and travel resources for regional 'mid majors'. For example, I and some others would like to see a "Big10 Invitational", but it is really hard to fit it into our calendar as currently constituted
Adv2: fiscal equity--it's not a perfect solution, but it helps
Adv3: burnout--fewer tournaments means fewer class days missed for students and profs--folks could (and many would, I am sure) choose to travel to more than 5 pre-NDT tourneys, but the pressure for 14+ tournament seasons (which many of our colleagues experience) would decrease

If we want the West (and upper Midwest, for that matter) to remain viable, we need to think about how to lower travel costs for existing programs and work on making our product more attractive to potential new programs (welcome Houston!) and potential crossovers (NPTE, anyone?).

I am not committed to this proposal, but it is a starting point--it reflects my memory of one of the Bruschke proposals.

best,
dch
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gabemurillo
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Posts: 165


« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2012, 01:20:28 PM »

I posted what I think is a very similar proposal on a new thread "regional equity proposal" - I'm hoping to move this discussion away from this one which I feel has devolved beyond recognition. I hope a new thread can focus the discussion on proposed solutions. in my opinion, all the fights happening on this thread are BECAUSE of the way tournaments are structured now. the insults and underhanded comments in all directions are not bringing us anywhere closer to a solution to what is obviously a very serious problem. i hope to redirect this discussion more productively on a new thread

gabe
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ScottElliott
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Posts: 148


« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2012, 01:45:26 PM »

200 Debate Teams debate the CEDA/NDT Policy resolution last weekend. Where's the love?
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Malgor
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Posts: 220


« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2012, 01:46:11 PM »

good god, whit....are you even trying to understand the words people are typing lol. 
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Malgor
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« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2012, 01:51:20 PM »

everyone is getting quite defensive.  I guess that makes sense since this discussion inevitably entails the transformation of some regional tournaments to national ones and national tournaments to regional ones.  but everyone does seem to agree (except whit...don't really know what his position is) that the tournaments are unequally distributed to the southeast.  Well, if you agree with that, and want to fix it, it's time right now to be open that yes, that DOES mean that a national tournament in d6 will go regional.

But I'm tired of one area of the country having a monopoly.  I wish we could all promote debate, instead of promoting debate primarily at places where the top teams go.  Since I think we can all agree that the top teams will dictate the travel schedule (that culture shift seems much more difficult to pull off than a mere changing of the travel schedule), the next best solution is to at least diversify where those teams go.  There will be lots of pouting no doubt, but the points made about UNI make it clear that this is not unique and travel schedules do change over time.

What is the most productive way to move such initiatives forward?
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jasonlrussell
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« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2012, 06:15:33 PM »

I posted a reply earlier, but Stables must have stolen it because of all of the curse-words (JK Gordon, I know you love cursing). Actually, I don't have any personal insults to make and haven't made any thus far -- a first for me, I should add. My position on GSU and UMKC (originally OU) was made public and the rationale was as well. It was not posted to CEDA forums initially because it was exploratory and was never posted to CEDA forums by me because the tournament turned out to not be one I was running (since UMKC ultimately hosted the D3 opener), but it was in no way a secret. It went to a ton of directors nationally, including the director of the University of Michigan, whose advice about the cost of travel to Atlanta compared to OKC became a large part of the rationale in finding a more suitable airport near which to host the tournament. I'll add only this about the notion of a conspiracy: all tournament travel decisions made in private are conspiratorial. The entire system we have set up today is designed to be covert, and that uncertainty about attendance of powerful school impacts the likelihood of travel to certain tournaments. It's not nefarious; it's just the natural outcome of having no organizational control or collective decision-making about the travel schedule. I believe that my decision to replace GSU was one of the only openly discussed travel decisions in the modern history of debate, no big deal.

As for Andrea's confusion and feelings, I don't know what to say really. It's not about you? I'd like to be clear that it's nothing personal and I'm real sorry you feel that way. I don't think it's personal that D6 didn't want to come to Oklahoma when we wanted to have a tournament. It would have been pretty silly for me to do so, honestly. Instead, I saw D6 as protecting their own self-interest, as I suspected all along that they would. And that's the problem with the existing system is that it allows for self-interest to dictate the entire system without any collective decision-making or organizational control. I know you don't want to choose between Kentucky and Wake. I don't want to choose between taking our team to UTD and UNT and driving 950 miles to Winston-Salem each year either. But it is a choice the existing system hoists on us. The Eastern Time Zone has the following bid relevant tournaments: GSU, KY RR, KY, Harvard, Wake, Dartmouth RR, and sometimes UGA/WGA. The rest of the nation has: Gonz, USC, Fullerton, NU/TX, and now UMKC. Gonz has been declining in non-West coast participants in recent years, a product of the free market. UMKC had one school from the Eastern Time Zone. Many schools attend neither USC nor Fullerton. That the travel schedule is regionally inequitable is basically unarguable. That the result of this is largely due to the over-representation of tournaments in D6 is observationally and statistically evident. The question is: what to do about it?

The result will be to make some hard choices among tournaments. One of those happens to be Kentucky. While that is potentially unfortunate for Kentucky, overriding goals take precedence here. Can Kentucky still have a tournament? By all means. No one is taking your tournament away. But it may not be as big in the future if proposals in the works are passed. It would have to compete with other tournaments in your district to be the selection. The good news is that an organizational solution might preserve as majors all three of Wake, Kentucky, and GSU simply rotating the years they host a major. A free market solution may result in people who resent the stranglehold that D6 has on current travel structuring rejecting both Kentucky and GSU for good, choosing alternate sites to host permanently. At any rate, even that free market approach doesn't stop you from having a tournament, it just means your tournament might face competition. I'm certain Kentucky won't go away.

People do follow the best teams. I think maybe here is where you're a bit confused. GSU was tied to the KY RR because some have internalized a message that the opener should feature a cohesive round robin field. Some have suggested that idea came from Kentucky itself. Others I'm sure were just concerned about not having debates against potential KY RR competitors prior to meeting them. At any rate, and I don't really care which it is, the KY RR was a part of individuals' decisions to attend GSU this year. I strongly suspect that next year there will be an alternative to Kentucky's RR and I personally support that idea. I say personally because this isn't an OU policy and I don't make our travel decisions. If we were invited to and attended KY's RR, I would go as I have many times in the past. In the interest of honesty and openness, I believe people are interested in moving to a new RR because of real or perceived ties the RR has to GSU and because of concerns about the objectivity of the selection process. I think the GSU concern is the most relevant.

Whitte, cost was not the sole factor in my determining that GSU would be the place to start with moving tournaments from D6. It was the principle heuristic involved, but once it was determined that a D6 tournament should be moved, I considered a variety of factors, including logistics, administration, and procedures. Frankly, GSU ranked the lowest of the major tournaments in many categories. That was my subjective opinion, but one that was backed up by many years of attendance and afforded a degree of near-unanimity by many I spoke with. It's nothing personal against the GSU debate team or the people involved, but reflected the fact that other tournaments were, on a large number of criteria, better, making their costs and inconveniences more tolerable than those of GSU.

Cost is also not the sole factor motivating an organizational proposal, or at least it shouldn't be in my mind. I think there are a large number of benefits to an organizational designate system over a free market of tournament travel. They include:

A) Reinvigorating regional debate -- Having only a limited number of tournaments count for a pre-bid means that pre-bid competitors could return to the region and attend local tournaments at a low cost without fear that it would tank their bid. They could split up for weekends and debate with other partners for fun without worrying someone would punish their spot in the rankings. They could test out different styles and argument content at a non-bid tournament. A lot of teams that won't be pre-bids but have an outside shot that would benefit greatly from debating regionally also suffer from the chilling effect of "taking a bad loss" or "getting some regional judge". Exclusive designates solves this.

B) Improving tournament administration -- Tournaments would be accountable to the entirety of their district for promoting a quality tournament. Competition among tournaments for amenities, pricing, and quality administration would be expected. Applicants for a bid to be the district designate would drive up tournament quality greatly.

C) Objective pre-bid selection -- Having voters for the pre-bids is silly. We have too many diverse decision-making structures represented. The variance is and has historically been quite large. No doubt some bias creeps into even the most objective decisions and some decision-makers admit their bias openly. We shouldn't make decisions that financially impact the community so dramatically premised on purely subjective criteria. Incorporating some science into the scheme would be nice.

Of course, equity with the impact of cost matters greatly. It matters so much that I don't mind much if it hurts the feelings of a particular tournament director that their tournament could be on the list of contests that would no longer be national majors. Regional debate is fine, your tournament going regional is fine, and this system makes regional debate better also, so the impact is relatively small.

While I find it funny that I've been accused of both making personal attacks and being holier-than-thou, I think very few people would associate me with trying to pretend that I'm above the fray. If anything, I am the fray. I don't mind putting myself out there and fighting for what I believe in. I believe in this. The impact our regional travel schedule is having on programs west of the Rockies is dramatic. We should start moving some of the high impact tournaments from the East to the West immediately if not sooner. I'll tell you that in a backroom, on the Internet, or wherever else you'd like me to. Don't let accusations of gossip or conspiracy hide the fact that we should move west either through a planned organizational transition or through forcing the market if there is no other choice. Sorry about your feelings everyone.
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antonucci23
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Posts: 138


« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2012, 07:34:22 PM »

We shouldn't make decisions that financially impact the community so dramatically premised on purely subjective criteria. Incorporating some science into the scheme would be nice.

Of course, equity with the impact of cost matters greatly. It matters so much that I don't mind much if it hurts the feelings of a particular tournament director that their tournament could be on the list of contests that would no longer be national majors.

As stated on the other thread, I strongly agree with your feelings about both science and equity.  Has there yet been any attempt to amass data on flight and travel costs, and how they might best be equitably distributed?

Your essential proposal here is a redistributive tax.  I find the prospect of income redistribution *very* appealing.  I do think, though, that redistributive measures require a good deal of fine-grained calculation, as well as a fair and democratic governing structure for their implementation.
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