[eDebate] GSU College Tournament Invite- Increased Judging Commitment

Aaron Kall mardigras23
Mon Jul 21 19:11:21 CDT 2008

?JUDGING REQUIREMENTS. Schools must supply 5 rounds of
judging for every team, regardless of division. If you have two teams, for
example, you will need to provide 10 total rounds of judging.  If this requirement is going to create a
serious financial hardship for your team, please contact Joe Bellon (joe.bellon at gmail.com) so we can discuss
possible alternatives.?

 this e-mail is not directed specifically at the gsu
tournament, which i have always enjoyed.  i'm especially happy with the
new tournament hotel.  the gsu tournament just happens to be the first
major tournament of the college season and it appears they've decided to
increase their judging requirements.  i think this is a bad idea in
general and think a dialogue on this idea and judge preferences in general
needs to be started.  so, hopefully this e-mail will facilitate this

i think it's generally a bad idea for our community to start increasing the
size judging commitments and i hope other tournaments won't consider doing the
same thing.  unless someone is being paid specifically to judge, four out
of eight rounds seems to be an appropriate judging commitment .  i know
directors and the like aren't going to be eager to judge a fifth debate, so
this new policy will likely only add to increased tournament costs. 
considering recent increases in travel costs associated with oil prices, luggage,
etc., it seems like this is possibly the worst time to further increase
tournament costs/fees in this way. 

There are obviously many reasons, but in my opinion (after talking with many tab directors) the
greatest reason college tournaments are constantly short on judging is because
several teams are providing the requisite amount of judging, but not providing the
requisite amount of ?mutually preferred judging?.  Tournaments routinely lose dozens of rounds
of committed judging because several judges can be placed in few or zero
rounds.  This problem gets exacerbated
when a team fulfills their judging commitment with a non-mutually preferred
judge and this same judge hires his or her other half commitment out to another
team so they can also fulfill their judging commitment.  A new policy of increasing the size of
judging commitments doesn?t really get at the root of this problem.  It basically punishes everyone to make up for
the rounds lost from teams that don?t bring enough mutually preferred judges.

One potential way to deal with this problem- If schools don?t
end up providing the requisite amount of mutually preferred judging at
tournaments, they should pay the tournament the appropriate hired judging
fee.  The tournament can in turn use this
money to hire local mutually preferred judges and/or pay other mutually
preferred judges at the tournament who have extra rounds available and want to
judge additional rounds for money.

If this type of system is viewed as unfair or too elitist (certainly reasonable concerns), I
think we have to re-examine the whole concept of mutually preferred judging.  If the requisite amount of mutually preferred
judging can?t be provided by asking teams to provide half judging commitments,
we should re-evaluate the system of mutual judging.  If this year it?s 5/8 round judging commitments,
6/8, 7/8, or 8/8 won?t be that far off in the distance.  At the NDT last year, we had to provide 24
rounds of judging for only one team.  I?m
generally in favor of some type of mutual preference judging system, but not if
the only way to achieve it is through increased judging commitments and
fees.  I would personally rather get an A- or a B
instead of an A+ judge, as opposed to subjecting the entire tournament to increased judging commitments/fees.


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