[eDebate] Re: Redisticting and Bid Allocation Thoughts From a Lone Cowboy...
Mon Nov 15 18:37:08 CST 2004
I think that guy that directed Almost Famous (I'm a big fan -- not at all hating) has Jenkins and Justin's reallocation process confused with designates for first-rounds. I want to be clear about the differences. Designates create an incentive for national debate, but make that national debate truly national (not limited to 4 districts and centered on D6). The travel burden is shared equitably. I agree that allocating bids both discourages national travel and creates a perverse system where the first-rounds may not be truly representative of the top 16 teams in the country. Designates would look like national circuit tournaments we know now, but would move geographically with one in each district and only these tournaments designated by each district as their "first-round" tournament would count toward the first-rid bid system. It is very difficult for me to imagine how the designate system would have a detrimental effect on the quality of national circuit debate. It is much like the system we have now, but more geographically equitable.
Some might suggest that the reallocation process could retain the first-round system for the other bids (we don't have 16 districts). This won't help to resolve geographic equity because there is no reason to expect that bid voters would change their criteria for what tournaments are most valued in rankings (the presence of applicant teams) and there is no reason to suspect that applicant teams would stop going to the same tournaments that they do now in order to get those remaining first-rounds. The de facto geographic segregation we are currently experiencing would continue. This system also continues the cherry-picking problem. The creme de le creme will continue to attend the national tournaments and vye for the "real" first-rounds while the rest of the community muddles through meager draws at regional tournaments.
District allocaters must present a proposal for how they would deal with the remainder of first-rounds and any proposal they come up with will create disincentives that undermine the "regional" aspects of their original proposal or maintain de facto geographic segregation.
A couple of other disadvantages to reallocation vis-a-vis designates. First, travel. Am I the only one sick of going to the same tournaments year-in and year-out. Designates have the advantage over both the regional allocation process and the de facto first-round process of radically altering our travel schedules EACH year. Every district gets to vote on what tournament will represent them every year and this means we could go to some pretty cool places none of us have ever been. I mean, it's not like we're going to take a trip to Disney World together, but as much as we travel it's sort of sad that we see as little of the country as we do. Obviously, region-only travel would create new patterns, but these patterns would replicate after they were established and generate inertia much the same way our existing schedules have.
Second, designates share the wealth. A lot of schools would like to host a big tournament. It has prestige value. Sometimes they make money (And, yes, I know a lot don't). They are good PR for the team in the eyes of the school. High school kids are impressed by them in recruiting. Under the designate system a lot of schools would have an opportunity to host a large tournament and receive the subsequent benefits. Reallocation's incentive toward regional travel would probably make all tournaments relatively small, although bigger than the tiny regional tournaments hosted in the squo. De facto segregation limits these opportunities, not because of some NDT conspiracy but because of interia, exposure, and the bandwagoning effect the current bid allocation process maintains. If you want a bid, you go where the bid teams will be. Designates make the tournament hosting market more equitable too.
Third, and finally, the designates will employ a series of "objective" criteria to evaluate bids. Reallocation would probably still involve voters whose rationales are usually not made explicit and whose criteria differ widely from one voter to the next. De facto segregation is based on this principle as well. The designate could involve a Brushke style ranking program (or some BCS knock-off) to rank the top teams at the designated tournaments. The criteria for qualifying would be explicit and neutral.
I want to reiterate the feelings of other who have urged committee members specifically and the community at large to disaggregate these proposals. Designates do not hinge on your view of redistricting. You should love designates even if (and maybe especially if) you hate redistricting. Designates will help the regions. Don't confuse designates with the new reallocation by districts suggestions. They are not the same and ought not to be treated as such. End de facto geographic segregation and maintain national travel while improving regional debate.
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