[eDebate] A call to lower entry fees

Beth Skinner beth.skinner
Thu Apr 27 19:57:30 CDT 2006

A concept which has been helpful for me in thinking about these issues as a
tournament host is a menu that includes basics plus other options.  What are
the core things we need when we go to tournaments?  Rounds, opportunities to
eat and sleep, some recognition of results.  That's the bare bones.  If you
can provide these core things and keep them affordable then people who want
more can opt for them on their own.

If you want to treat your teams to a special dinner, go ahead.  If really
nice material awards are important to your program then buy them.  You'll
have saved a bunch of money on entry fees and can afford these things.  Its
a lot harder to opt out of awards ('uh, can we cash in this 8th place
speaker award, please?') or fancy food (the exxon station won't trade your
eggplant parmesan for a tank of gas).  Now people can opt in or out of
hotels.  If we want to keep having banquets, lets try and make it easier to
opt out of them without becoming a pariah or a spectacle.

We have some really nice norms and standards of graciousness and hospitality
in our community.  I'm not making an argument against keeping some of them -
we should just realize that our norms might be different if there wasn't
such a substantial entry barrier.  If you don't have $1,000 to spend a
weekend then you don't come.  If it only cost $200 then more of the people
who came might be willing to take an email to their department chair in
place of a marble plaque.  More people might be happy eating PBJs and apples
than you'd think.  It's nice to have nice things but its better to have more

Beth Skinner
Towson Debate

On 4/27/06, NEIL BERCH <berchnorto at msn.com> wrote:
>  This is a key moment for many programs.  We will support Matt's request
> (and other goals) with the following fee structure for WVU's JV/Novice
> Nationals:
> 1.  Free entry for all teams from any program that hosts a tournament in
> 2006-07 with fees of less than $50 per team (I have visions of someone
> charging $49.95).
> 2.  Free entry for all teams from any program that supports the Towson
> initiative by entering at least two teams in at least three of the Towson
> tournaments.
> 3.  Free entry for all teams from any program that is in its first or
> second year.
> 4.  In other cases, entry (which will cover light breakfasts and more
> substantial lunches on both Saturday and Sunday, snacks throughout the day
> on both of those days, a light lunch on Monday at the hotel either before or
> after quarters, the return of the famed pottery awards to all outround teams
> as well as the top 20 speakers in each division, some other awards, and
> rental costs for the hotel conference space for outrounds) will be $90 per
> team with normal judging coverage (3.5 rounds per team for the 7 round
> tournament).
> 5.  However, even there, you will have an out.  If you don't qualify for
> any of the above fee waivers, you can still get your fees waived by offering
> extra judging.  If you offer 6 rounds of qualified judging (means people who
> have judged at least 12 rounds during the year) per team (instead of 3.5),
> we will waive your fees.  More directly, we will buy extra judging for the
> tournament at the rate of $35 per round.  We are doing this to increase the
> quality of the pool, to give you better preferences, and to allow you a way
> to trade labor for capital (at a very generous rate).
> We will not, however, be able to flatten our campus, no matter how much
> extra judging you offer.
>  --Neil Berch
> West Virginia University
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* matt stannard <stannardmatt at hotmail.com>
> *To:* edebate at ndtceda.com
> *Sent:* Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:03 PM
> *Subject:* [eDebate] A call to lower entry fees
> I am asking each and every tournament host to lower their entry fees this
> coming season.
> You can begin small and painlessly if you like: Lower them by $10 per
> competitor, or $20 per team.
> If every policy tournament we attended lowered their entry fees by $20 per
> team this year, we would save $900 based on last year's attendance
> figures.
> Since we will have more teams next year, I imagine it would be closer to
> $1000, which is a substantial percentage of our budget.
> Fuel prices, hotel prices, food prices, are all going up and we can't
> control that.  We CAN make it easier for a majority of programs to keep
> coming to our tournaments.
> Host a free tournament if you can.  Move to cheaper hotels if you can.
> But
> lower your entry fees $10 or $20...that's something practically everyone
> can
> do.
> Please.
> stannard
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