[eDebate] Tournament Structure

Michael Souders micksouders
Thu Oct 23 00:20:31 CDT 2008

Hi Mike and Others,

The solution seems simple to me.  Seven round tournament and break all
winning records with elim one on Sunday evening, others to follow.  I love
the seven round method because it makes the break so clean.  Winning record
= break, losing record = no break.  Half of the field clearing seems, well,
like overdoing it a bit.  Some 3-3/4-4 teams have no business clearing.  The
lowest 4-4/3-3 team at a big tournament is a long way away from the
best 4-4/3-3 team.  Using points to seperate these teams is not really
preferable to me.  Better done on the field/flow/ballot/whatever.   And iit
hardly seems unfair to ask a team to win more debates than they lose to
qualify for elimination debates.  Thus I like the seventh round because it
seperates, to be proverbially uncouth, the women/men from the boys/girls in
the 3-3 bracket.  .

I know some people don't like the way it means some teams will get four
negs/affs and think its unfair.  It's not unfair, because its random.  You
COULD win four debates before round seven.  In fact, that's basically
required at 6 round tournaments.  With seven rounds you get an extra shot at
it.   You COULD get better at being aff (policy teams) or neg (K teams).
And, elims sides are random anyway.  So who cares

Another thing I like about round seven is that it gives 3-3 teams an
elim-like enviroment (side choosing decisions, specific strategies, high
tension) with only one judge and within the format of elims.  Even if you
lose, it has many of the elements of an elim, including the guarantee of
another debate (partials) SOON if you win.  Plus, since most big tournaments
would only go to partial triple octofinals, many of the top teams who are
likely to have to debate all day Monday would get a break Sunday evening
after round seven.  If that seems unfair, well, get better.  Become one of
the top teams.  The seven round, all 4-3 clears format caters so much to
mid-level teams its not so bad that it gives one advantage to top-level
teams.  It also gives top levels teams an incentive (besides the Copeland
race) to work hard in a 5-1 or 6-0 debate, i.e., a bye in partials.

And, for coaches with teams all various levels, a partial would allow our
second, third, or fourth teams to get the full attention of coaching staffs
for at least one elim--something that they probably don't experience now
because the more senior, advanced teams are diverting resources--something
that the advanced team don't suffer once the more junior teams are
eliminated in the first or second elim.

The last thing I like about this seven round format that would probably
include partials method is that partial triples means that 4-3 teams are
more likely get a winnable elimination debate before facing the 7-0, 6-1
crowd.  One of the hardest things to do is to go from getting to elims to
winning elims, especially when you spend all your time losing elims (trust
me, I know.  I never won a single of the few doubles rounds I ever debated
in.  That sucked).  Often, its just annual or in season attrition by higher
caliber teams that bumps a doubles team into the octos and beyond.

So that's my pitch for that.  Sorry if I repeated what other have said.  It
doesn't even entirely solve the humaness issue by a longshot, especially for
judges.  But it reduces the exhaustion of teams not clearing and the top
caliber teams, gives more teams a shot at reaching elims and even winning
some elim debates, and makes diversity in the bracket more likely.  Yes,
prep time for that evening elim on Sunday will probably have to be limited
to an hour or less.  But it seems worth it.   Many people will be able to go
bed Sunday night proud to have cleared, sad to have lost, and able to sleep
soundly knowing their tournament was successful but is now over.

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