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Author Topic: Tournament Management and Judge Assignment  (Read 1886 times)
glarson
Sr. Member
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Posts: 477


« on: June 18, 2014, 08:18:25 AM »

I'm sitting in my office observing a new batch of tournament invites come out and wondering about where we are going with tournament management in general and judge assignment in particular.  Everyone knows that after the controversies last year surrounding judge assignment at Kentucky, Harvard and Wake, I felt strongly compelled to walk away from the activity.  My judgment at the time was that coaches and students on both sides of the various divides that were impacting the community had independently concluded (for often opposite reasons) that ordinal judge placement and more specifically, my algorithms encoded in STA and CAT were the source of many of the problems.  I'd like to believe that I wasn't just "picking up my ball, saying that I didn't want to play anymore, and going home."  But reading the various characterizations of my decisions in the subsequent months give me the sense that for many, that's exactly what they believe happened.

Though there was never any actual resolution, the sense that ordinal pref needed to go away or that computers couldn't be trusted to find equitable solutions without significant manual intervention by more enlightened tab room staffs seems to have faded.  This lack of resolution could cause a reprise of issues as the new debate season progresses.  So while most of our energy right now is on the topics, I think that more conversation needs to happen regarding tournament management and judge assignment.

So what am I thinking these days?  I need to make clear that I didn't "walk away" because I was personally hurt or offended but rather because I believed that I heard a somewhat universal call to go a different direction.  But if the "different direction" is just the use of an STA-style ordinal judge preference algorithm in tabroom or JOT, then my reasons for leaving aren't really valid.  Now perhaps everyone is just as happy deeding the next generation of managing tournaments to very capable younger hands (Palmer, Bruschke, Symonds, Kall, etc.).  I can live with that.  I don't NEED to do this.  But at the same time, if the community is not really saying that they want to reject the general way I've been running tournaments, I need to make clear that I haven't irrevocably decided that I'm unwilling to do it.

But it isn't about me.  I think that you all need to decide what you want to accomplish with judge assignment going forward as opposed to just being reactive when the first controversy erupts.
 
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Hester
Full Member
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Posts: 156


« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2014, 08:49:58 AM »

...I need to make clear that I haven't irrevocably decided that I'm unwilling to do it.

BY FAR, the best item of information regarding college debate that has been posted on this or any other forum over the last several months. Thank you, Gary.

And to address your question more directly, there is no proposed solution to the concerns about who is in the back of the room to judge that
a) fixes the problems that have been articulated, or
b) doesn't just create problems acknowledged to be just as bad, and
c) is anywhere close to as good as a Larson run tabroom.
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