[eDebate] oh, and since i'm pissing people off: Joe Zompetti, wtf?

Zompetti, Joseph Perry jpzompe
Thu Apr 3 10:38:03 CDT 2008

Hester et al.,
I tread into this discussion reluctantly.  I don't mind defending my rankings, but the tone of this email provides sufficient reason alone to not respond.  I read Hester's subsequent message in response to Justin, and I appreciate the backpedaled compliments, but I doubt there sincerity, especially given the caustic nature of Hester's first post.
Hester and others will be happy to hear that I will soon be giving my resignation notice to O'Donnell from the committee.  Actually, I resigned last year, but the Committee needed the spot filled, so out of a favor to Carol Winkler, I agreed to stay on for one more year.  The point of the matter is, I have very little time for the NDT Committee and I am unable to go to the NDT.  Furthermore, I am unable to travel on the national circuit, as my duties now as DOF and associate professor have shifted my priorities immensely.  Those are the reasons I resigned last year.  I honestly don't feel like I can credibly or in good faith commit to the Committee given my other responsibilities.  Apparently Hester thinks I should have not come back for a year.  I assure him that his blood-vessel popping, steam-producing and otherwise emotionally unstable reactions to my voting will be satisfied for next year's NDT rankings.
Having said that, it is quite possible that I lack the context that most other ranking Committee members have since I did not travel to a single national tournament this year (which I explained above).  My basis for decisions involves a complex set of comparisons: win-loss records, number of tournaments, quality of tournaments, quality of wins, etc.  I was quite impressed, overall, with all of the first-round applicants, and a majority of the second-round applicants.  Such rankings are not easy, and as most members of the Committee will undoubtedly attest, occasionally the rankings are a crap-shoot.  While Hester is fond of analyzing my voting record for this past year apparently, he fails to look at how others have ranked historically in the past.  Look at the second-round rankings since the merger.  With more and more teams applying, and with most if not all of them frequenting regional tournaments that are difficult to compare from region-to-region, it is highly subjective.
Of course, Hester et al. are free to criticize my rankings.  I have no problem with that.  As I said, I am happy to defend them, or should I ever serve on the NDT Committee again in the future, I'd be happy to entertain ideas for improving my calculus.  In fact, several years ago Ryan Galloway and I had a serious conversation about the different ways Committee members rank, and I incorporated a few of his suggestions.  So, to think that I took this job flippantly or did it without consideration is not only incorrect, but borderline offensive.
People often disagree with the rankings - they have for as long as I've been in the activity.  I think that is good for the community, as long as such disagreements are done in meaningful ways.  A couple of years ago I remember ranking one of the Harvard teams low.  Dallas sent me a private backchannel about a month after the NDT.  I explained my decision, he seemed satisfied (even though he disagreed), and we moved forward.  That happens with other members of the Committee as well.  Ultimately, that helps the Committee members make better decisions in the future.  Quite honestly, if I were serving on the Committee again next year, the way Hester approached this issue would probably piss me off rather than give me cause for reflection.
Best wishes for all next year -- I'll let Justin do most of our talking from here on out.


From: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com on behalf of michael hester
Sent: Thu 4/3/2008 1:11 AM
To: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] oh, and since i'm pissing people off: Joe Zompetti, wtf?

ranking the first/second rounds is a hard task. we are inevitably forced to make tough calls based on razor-thin distinctions. i'll admit my own rankings had some wrinkles i was concerned with. having said that, 

Joe, did you allow a dart-throwing monkey to do your rankings? if not, please try that next time. even with a blindfold, they might get closer to reality:

Harvard RW 25th?! Missouri State 7th? UWG LS 21st? NU FW 2nd? 

the differences between these teams median and mode rankings vs their MW rep ranking is off the charts. e.g., Harvard RW's next lowest ranking was 11th. ELEVENTH versus TWENTY-FIFTH. 

back in the day, when rankers had to do all the compilation of stats, such a discrepancy might be more easily explained (although still unjustified). but Bruschke's site does all that work for us now. it's easy to read. 

to rank Harvard RW at 25 is just freakin crazy. 15-8 against other bid applicants and they were the next-to-worst applicant?? 

if the response is "well, they didn't have that many rounds together" (i.e., the logic of 'more total debates = better team'), then how in the heck does NU FW leapfrog Emory HW for 2nd place (Emory 41-20 vs bid applicants, NU 31-27). 

i know this is all kinda trivial. it is just the bid process. but dayum.


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