[eDebate] Tournament Structure

Joshua Gonzalez gonza310
Thu Oct 23 11:34:39 CDT 2008

 I concur completely with the alternative post-round proposal.  This is also
another area in which Ross is an innovator, given that he usually makes the
judges on the top of the decision go first if he's on the bottom....

Beyond speeding up the way that decisions are DELIVERED, I think it's also
vitally important to consider ideas to speed up the way that decisions are
MADE.  I've taken plenty of time for my own decisions in the past, but I
just can not fathom how it is that any debate round that can't be decided in
45 minutes suddenly becomes clear after 90.  When it is commonplace for
judges to take a five minute break during their decision on account of
exhaustion, something has to give.

Josh Gonzalez

-----Original Message-----
From: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com
[mailto:edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Dallas Perkins
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 10:46 AM
To: edebate; EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU
Cc: ceda-l at ndtceda.com
Subject: [eDebate] Tournament Structure

This is a very interesting discussion.  I agree with both sides.

One solution that everybody would like is to make the rounds go faster
without compromising prep and decision times.

I have two ideas on the subject, and I wonder what the community thinks
about them.

First, we could release the pairings for rounds five and six on Saturday
evening at 10PM, after most people are done with dinner.  This would not
keep people from staying up all night working, but it might at least mean
that they are well-prepared to begin both rounds punctually, with minimal
time between the two.  I wonder if the community sees this as a useful

Second, we could reshape the post-round discussion following elims.  As it
is, the minority judges usually speak first, telling the winners why they
really lost, then the majority judges tell the losers that in fact they
really lost, and everyone sits and listens and argues about it all.  This
can take upwards of forty-five minutes after contentious debates.  I propose
something like this:  after the decision is announced, each judge delivers a
brief summary decision, lasting no more than 2 minutes.  If the winning team
wishes to discuss specifics with any of the judges, convention will allow
them to go first, ask their questions, demand amplification from the
dissenters, whatever.  Once they are satisfied, it will not be considered
discourteous or otherwise inappropriate if one or both of the winning
debaters excuse themselves from further discussion and get on with prepping
for the next round.  Given this new convention, I think that tournaments
would be justified in pushing the schedule considerably faster on elim day.
This is especially true at the increasing number of tournaments where the
elim bracket is published Sunday night.

I would be very interested in community input on either of these schemes, as
we might try to implement one or both at Harvard this year.

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