[eDebate] GSU College Tournament Invite- Increased Judging Commitment

Mike Davis davismk13
Mon Jul 21 19:51:16 CDT 2008

I know that there are caselist related reasons for increasing the
commitment as well, but I will say a couple of things from inside the
tab room:

1. We have talked about the idea of charging people whose judges
cannot be placed, but there are a ton of problems with that. A lot of
it is luck of the draw so I may be able to get a person in four or
five debates one year because the matchups happen to work out and then
the next year they don't judge at all. Also, it seems to punish
particular schools and judges. New judges (and anyone who hires them)
will be unfairly punished as will those not associate with national
level programs. It is amazing to see how people preference changes
over the course of one year when they move to a big program. Finally,
there are not very many judges for hire. Joe is generous with hired
judging money and if there were more people to hire he would hire
2. Their is a weird phenomenon at GSU because it is the first
tournament of the year. The judging pool gets compressed. Everyone
tends to agree who the top judges are, but more importantly everyone
seems to agree who the bottom judges are. Last year the bottom 3
categories were the same for about 70% of the teams. The first two
years we only gave 6s and 7s to teams that were out of the tournament.
We lost over 100 rounds of judging under that system. We tweaked the
system a little the last two years to allow 8s once teams are out (one
of my own teams got a strike later year) and giving a very limited
number of 6s and 7s (not more than one per team and not in a break
round). Now we lose about 60 rounds from judges we are unable to
place. We still have to beg for judging every year. Some people always
give some never do. It is unfair that those who are generous have to
accept the burden for everyone. The people who give these rounds
complain about being asked every year and a bunch of people still
complain about their judging. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I
know that five rounds will help this problem. I am certainly open to
other solutions.
3. It is not a question of A+ versus B judges. I wish it was. It is a
problem of not having enough judges in the first five categories. I am
all for changing the system of preference. I think that we have too
many categories and the solution I use at regional tournaments is ABC
with no strikes. I like it because it preferences mutuality instead of
preference. This means new judges get some exposure. Now I think if we
adopted this at the GSU tournament not as many people might come.

I appreciate the start of this conversation and I admit I wish I could
give everyone four rounds per tournament and have them only judge
every other elim. I think it is more humane, but the community would
have to drastically change their approach to mutual preference for
this to happen (and keep more people in the activity to have enough


On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 8:11 PM, Aaron Kall <mardigras23 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> ________________________________
> "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 process.
> 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.
> Aaron
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Dr. Michael Davis
Director of Debate/Assistant Professor
James Madison University

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