[eDebate] Reaction to Advocates of 7 Rounds

Casey Harrigan charrigan
Wed Oct 22 18:45:12 CDT 2008

1. Seven rounds (with the current structure) may not be feasible:

a) The main "time crunch" at tournaments occurs on elim day for a reason.
Elim debates, with 3 judge panels, coin-flips, etc., take MUCH longer than
prelim debates to complete. This is a big part of why Day 2 ends at 9pm, and
Day 3 ends at 3am.

b) On an 8-round schedule with a banquet (like Wake last year), the banquet
still finishes very late. Four debates + awards is a full day.

c) Switching one prelim for an elim, while keeping all else constant, will
push things even later. Some Sundays/"day twos" do not finish until 9:30 or
10pm as it is. With a banquet, and the added time of an elim - how late can
we push this?

2. Suggestion - eliminate elaborate and extended awards banquets. Speaker
awards + thanks can be reasonably given in 20 minutes. "Banquet time" at
some tournaments burns hours.

Yes, most people like banquets. The food is usually ok. Speakers can be
insightful. Its a public way to honor some folks.

But it is not necessary. If the choice presented was "end the banquet and
use its time to hold a 7th debate" or "have 6 prelims and a buffet", which
would chose?

Awards are good - but they could be given in a WAY more efficient manner.

3. Side note about "humaneness" -

Ross' original sentiment was right. The debate community has proven that it
cannot run a tournament with 8 prelim debates that clears to doubles, while
also providing enough time for preparation, post-round discussion, meals,
and awards, in a humane fashion. As currently structured, elim day is far
too long. Many coaches/debaters wake up as early as 6am on Monday, and the
final round is sometimes not completed until 3am or later. A 23 hour + day
is not humane, enjoyable, or safe. Tournament structure must be changed,
even if it reduces competition.

Casey Harrigan
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