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Author Topic: Tournament Models and Scheduling - Some thoughts  (Read 1618 times)
gabemurillo
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Posts: 165


« on: August 25, 2016, 10:39:04 AM »

I’ve been thinking about the debate travel schedule a lot over the last couple months. I will admit I don’t have the experience of a lot of my peers, but from my perspective it seems like our tournament schedule this year is unique. It feels like we are in a time of experimentation and I think it would be worthwhile to have a discussion about what we consider the best practices for tournament organization and scheduling.

A couple observations from my end:

1)   Should we move beyond the era of the “major national tournaments”? I sometimes feel like the goal of our tournament organization and scheduling is to make sure that we continue the model of 150+ team tournaments in limited locations that everyone goes to, but maybe it’s time to rethink that model. I understand the value of having everyone get together and debate each other. I certainly understand the value for the top 32 teams in the country. But is our pursuit of the “major national tournament” model ignoring the benefits of smaller tournaments for a majority of our students? Are we focusing too much on structuring an entire travel schedule around attempting the impossible of providing the correct amount of data to make first round voting entirely objective?  Is this model of tournament travel most productive for much needed regional development?
2)   We need more organization of schedule. There’s too many subgroups meeting to put together tournament schedules without communicating with one another. There are too many decisions about scheduling that are made in private and not through the public means of communication that are readily available. Tournaments should be considered a public good, and the organization of those tournaments should serve that purpose over all others. I would like to work with CEDA, ADA, NDT and tournament hosts in coordinating a travel schedule during either the ADA or CEDA’s summer meetings. This schedule may not provide us with the “major national” everyone wants, but could help organize a more robust regional travel schedule that helps coordinate teams planning to debate inside and outside of their region.

I think we are at a unique time in tournament scheduling. I think this experimental phase could be productive for debate across the country or could lead to division and be against the public good. With a concentrated effort to organize a travel schedule, and a commitment to view travel and schedule decisions as a balance between public good and financial realities I think we can achieve the former. I fear that continuation of current scheduling and travel decisions will guarantee the latter.

Thanks for reading,
Gabe
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jonahfeldman
Jr. Member
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Posts: 96


« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 12:30:17 PM »

Gabe, can you say a little more about what you mean when you say we are in a time of experimentation and a unique time in tournament scheduling?

Having discussions oriented towards a more intentional and collectively agreed upon travel schedule is a great idea, thanks for pushing that
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katerichey
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Posts: 1


« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 12:40:54 PM »

This is a great idea, more info sharing for tournament scheduling coordination certainly couldn't hurt ---> "I would like to work with CEDA, ADA, NDT and tournament hosts in coordinating a travel schedule during either the ADA or CEDA’s summer meetings. This schedule may not provide us with the “major national” everyone wants, but could help organize a more robust regional travel schedule that helps coordinate teams planning to debate inside and outside of their region."
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gabemurillo
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Posts: 165


« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 12:51:29 PM »

Jonah,

This is the part where I admit it may be that my experience is limited compared to others, but it seems like there are a couple unique things about the schedule the last couple years:

1) Pushes by different tournaments for "major national" status (expiremental)
2) Teams experimenting with different travel options
3) Regional alternatives being pushed for various reasons (adding Miami during the Texas Two Step and the Coast, Vermont offering an east coast alternative to Gonzaga, etc)
4) New Round Robins

Maybe its best said that there are a lot of uncertainties in travel schedule (who will go where, how big will certain tournaments be etc) that make this kind of unique from my perspective. And it's certainly been happening over the last few years, not exclusive to this year.

Gabe
 
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