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2008 TOC Qualifiers Announced

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It's been said, but Golden Desert is a sick tournament, and easily deserves the semis-bid. The tab works rediculously fast (or at least they did last year) and everyone is awesome. You should definitly consider coming to this tourney.

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Any idea how Blue Key still has their bid? The last three years they have had teams from only 2 or 3 states and this past year there were only about 20 teams there...

 

Nothing at all against the tournament but I was just curious of how they've managed to keep the bid.

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Ankur's Annual Geographic Analysis

 

So my caulculations come up with the following categories based on my google maps estimations of drive times with additional allowances for major traffic scenarios (like the 80-90 merge south of Chicago) as well as regional airfares broken down by the classic airline industry 'zone system':

 

Northeast states with bids include:

Massachusetts (2), New York (2), District of Columbia (1)

 

Southern states with bids include:

North Carolina (1), Tennessee (1), Alabama (2), Georgia (4), Florida (1)

 

Midwestern states with bids include:

Kentucky (1), Michigan (2), Illinois (3), Wisconsin (1), Minnesota (1), Iowa (3), Kansas (1), Nebraska (1)

 

Texas stands by itself

Texas (6)

 

Western states with bids include:

Washington (3), California (5), Nevada (2), Utah (1)

 

 

There are some stretches, with Alta (UT) being an example of a stretch for including it in the West region, but it certainly doesnt belong with Midwest nor Texas, so West it goes.

 

 

Based on those posits, data analysis reveals the following:

Region, % tournaments, % bids

North, 11.1, 13.8

South, 20.0, 20.3

Midwest, 28.9, 26.8

Texas, 13.3, 18.9

West, 26.7, 20.3

 

 

If we make the assumption that a circuit torunament is of better quality (in terms of competition and judging), then it is clear that certain regions are at an overwhelming advantage and others are at a clear disadvantage - most notably the northeast which is doubly screwed by the fact that they have the least number of tournaments to attend and (by far) the least concentration of bids.

 

The significance of the distribution of bids is evidenced by a comparison:

A midwest debater can travel reasonably by car or short commuter plane to thirteen tournaments throughout the year (ignoring any possible overlap) and therefore be competing at high quality tournaments nearly 50% of total weekends throughout the typical academic year! A northeast debater can go to five.

 

Equitable distribution of bids and tournaments is clearly not done!

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Several random thoughts:

 

-Ankur is amazing. Thanks, man.

 

-There's a reason that the Northeast continually gets screwed out of bid tournaments: There aren't enough teams! The TOC commission can't bend the rules just for us; the only way to solve the problem is to revive northeast debate in general.

 

-We should be thankful we at least have Hahvahd and Big Lex, both of which carry a large number of bids.

 

-In my opinion, most Northeast tournaments have better judging than many national-circuit tournaments. The "quality-of-competition" arguement is in question.

 

-Why didn't Bronx get bumped up to a semis bid? They had more teams this year than Lakeland did.

 

Out for now.

 

Cheers,

Kyle

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Thats not entirely true Kyle. I believe Newark meets the requirements (do not know if they applied for TOC bid status) and both Villiger and Pennsbury are close to meeting or already meet qualification requirements (also unknown if applied for TOC bid status).

 

But from what I hear on this thread, a 3-state, 20-30 team tournament has a finals bid... most regional tournaments in the Northeast beat that. And to be honest, I think most regional tournaments everywhere beat that

 

I also found it odd that last year what I was told was a first-year tournament was being given bid status. I find it very hard to understand how a previously non-existent tournament meets the requirements, even if they subsequently managed to do so - but how much of that is a product of being given bid status? Would the tournament have met its requirements had it not been given a bid? Who knows? For that matter, say you strip all of the existing tournaments of bids and give them to all the smaller tournaments. What do you think will happen to the existing tournaments? Shrivel, shrink and die is my guess. Tournaments with bids are flush with teams and those which arent are trudging along or shrinking.

 

Even if two more finals bids were added to the Northeast, its impact would be far reaching because it would encourage peripheral teams to attend. As noted in a different thread, several more Virginia teams would find Pennsbury a more appealing tournament if it had a bid. Without it, they cannot justify the cost of attending. Do you think St Johns would come down to Philly if it had a final's bid? Its only another hour and half to two hours past NYC and if you flew, its the same cost. And I am sure that knowing the tournament director, even though its an hour to the Philly airport, he'd schedule a pick up for you.

 

As far as the Northeast is concerned though - Pennsbury and Newark need to do something. They are about 70 miles apart and on the same weekend. Newark gets the New England + NY draw. Pennsbury gets the PA + Mid-Atlantic draw. Combine them and you are instantly at high semi's / quarters level caliber, states and quantity. Someone from both of these schools needs to step up and take one for the team and be willing to change dates.

 

And I dont know that there are less teams in the Northeast compared to Texas. Texas has a landmass about the size of ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD and northern half of VA combined... it might be so, but I dont know that statistic.

 

I dont make any claim as to the politics of the matter. I dont know JW Patterson or anyone else who is involved with decisions nor do I know which tournaments petitioned for TOC bid status. I dont care for politics and dont support it and couldnt begin to tell you if it goes on or not. I am not subtly hinting at any politics either.

 

All I make claim on is that the data does not represent any equitable distribution of bids and tournaments. I leave the underlying analysis to those in the community who participate on the circuit.

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I also found it odd that last year what I was told was a first-year tournament was being given bid status. I find it very hard to understand how a previously non-existent tournament meets the requirements, even if they subsequently managed to do so - but how much of that is a product of being given bid status? Would the tournament have met its requirements had it not been given a bid? Who knows?
In that particular case I think the TOC committee went out on a limb to put a bid tournament in an area that consistently produces high-quality teams but which has trouble getting them to bid tournaments; I think they also wanted to encourage "circuit" teams to visit that area in order to experience that competition, which they could encounter at no other tournament on the TOC list. Ultimately the gamble paid off, the tournament met the requirements, and it has retained its bid status for 2007-08. Now that the precedent has been set, I think the time is ripe for a similar outreach effort in the northeast...
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In that particular case I think the TOC committee went out on a limb to put a bid tournament in an area that consistently produces high-quality teams but which has trouble getting them to bid tournaments; I think they also wanted to encourage "circuit" teams to visit that area in order to experience that competition, which they could encounter at no other tournament on the TOC list. Ultimately the gamble paid off, the tournament met the requirements, and it has retained its bid status for 2007-08. Now that the precedent has been set, I think the time is ripe for a similar outreach effort in the northeast...

 

I agree. I think Kansas has had a long history of success and deserved it. No doubt. But I just dislike the argument 'X tournament doesnt meet the quals'... technically, neither did they. :)

I agree, the time to be proactive with the Northeast is ripe. It needs that infusion of quality competition that comes with being awarded a bid.

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This regional disparity issue is easily solved...talk to the NE reps that are on TOC advisory: Sheryl Kazmarek and David Glass.

 

The TOC advisory set up a committee this year to try to find deserving high school tournaments in states/regions where bids were lacking. This is the reason that Marquette (WI) and La Costa Canyon (AZ...I think?) received bids.

 

It is not a conspiracy...it is a matter of not having access to the knowledge. It is a group of eight coaches who give up two hours during Round 7 to discuss...we can't be all-knowing (nor all powerful in that time).

 

Have the coaches at Newark and/or Pennsbury submit their tournament results to JW and argue for a bid...Have Cruz at Bronx Science send his tournament results and advocate for a semis bid. Most of the inequities you claim about certain tournaments getting bids over others is because that tournament's information or regional need for a bid was brought forward to the committee.

 

Tara Tate

GBS Debate

President, NDCA

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-Why didn't Bronx get bumped up to a semis bid? They had more teams this year than Lakeland did.

 

This part caught my attention, because after attending Bronx this year I was disappointed that it was only a finals bid - I would think it was deserving of at least a semis bid given that a) the caliber of the semifinal debates that occurred - as far as I know all 4 teams in the semis would at the very least go on to bid at other tournaments as well - Evan and Matt had some insane number like 5 by the end of the year - and B) the good draw of the tournament - most everyone in the northeast attended plus some farther away teams like Kinkaid, and c) the tournament was very well-run overall - the judging, while it could still be improved significantly, was the best of the past three years I've been at the tournament.

 

As for Lakeland - remember that it was the first year the tournament has had a bid in policy for many years - it was picked up at some point during the year, as far as I know, and it was bumped right to semis. This was justified to some extent because we lost NFA, which was in years past a quarters bid - there was still an overall significant loss of bids because of that. Despite almost being snowed out, it drew a decent number of teams plus some farther away teams as well like Oak Park and Okemos. Even then, I can remember being confident during the quarters that the debates were good enough to justify the semis bid given the teams in quarters.

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I agree. I think Kansas has had a long history of success and deserved it. No doubt. But I just dislike the argument 'X tournament doesnt meet the quals'... technically, neither did they. :)

I agree, the time to be proactive with the Northeast is ripe. It needs that infusion of quality competition that comes with being awarded a bid.

Hell, Ankur, if you want to get a petition, I only ask that I be the first allowed to sign.

 

And, regarding your earlier post, if Pennslyvania got a bid tournament or two, you can count on our attendence.

 

You're unfortunately right that it's difficult to justify going to a tournament out of state that doesn't provide an opportunity to attend the TOC (which I don't think we have in a decade or more). We did go to Georgetown this year, which wasn't a bid, but we met great friends (shoutout to Blacksburg, Virginia, here!) and helped out a developing tournament.

 

If you get the chance to go, I highly recommend it. Winning the Ankur Stamp of Approval is a big step up for any competition.

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This regional disparity issue is easily solved...talk to the NE reps that are on TOC advisory: Sheryl Kazmarek and David Glass.

 

The TOC advisory set up a committee this year to try to find deserving high school tournaments in states/regions where bids were lacking. This is the reason that Marquette (WI) and La Costa Canyon (AZ...I think?) received bids.

 

It is not a conspiracy...it is a matter of not having access to the knowledge. It is a group of eight coaches who give up two hours during Round 7 to discuss...we can't be all-knowing (nor all powerful in that time).

 

Have the coaches at Newark and/or Pennsbury submit their tournament results to JW and argue for a bid...Have Cruz at Bronx Science send his tournament results and advocate for a semis bid. Most of the inequities you claim about certain tournaments getting bids over others is because that tournament's information or regional need for a bid was brought forward to the committee.

 

Tara Tate

GBS Debate

President, NDCA

 

 

I dont believe my analysis made mention of a conspiracy. In fact, I specifically qualified my statements to the contrary - I dont know how bids are distributed. For all I know, JW and the advising committee could have a completely value-neutral magic algorithm factoring in the average cost of flights in and out of the host city as well as draw and location. I dont know and I wont speculate about it.

 

I only commented on the distribution of bids and the qualified statement that it is indeed not equitable based on the mathematical analysis. My limited knowledge of the history of the TOC is that it is designed to try and spread the bids out across the country to encourage national participation at the top level. I am simply stating that goal is not being met equitably, though it IS being met (as evidenced by the fact that 20 states host bid tournaments, plus the district of columbia).

 

And for all I know, maybe Pennsbury and Newark like being smaller regional tournaments without the hoopla of a bid tournament. I cannot comment on these things and do not wish to.

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Also: I should note, though, that dates need to be picked carefully. If Villiger is on the same weekend as the Glenbrooks again, loyalties may be split more than we would like them to be, which means lower attendence and less impressive numbers when re-applying the next year.

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Also: I should note, though, that dates need to be picked carefully. If Villiger is on the same weekend as the Glenbrooks again, loyalties may be split more than we would like them to be.

 

Kyle,

that should not matter. if two of the biggest tournaments of the year, Berkeley and Harvard can overlap, why cant Glenbrooks and a far smaller tournament a thousand miles away share the same weekend? There are 45 tournaments awarded bid status this year. overlap is both inevitable and necessary.

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I've been saying that for years, although this year I'm strongly considering Villiger, given that it is a nice regional tourney, ran by good people, and it has multi-events. Duane

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My point is, if you put Villiger on the same weekend as the Glenbrooks, the TOC committee is unlikely to agree with your assertation that it will "attract circuit teams". Most of them will be busy ogling that octos bid (myself included...)

 

If you put it in December, I bet you'd get a lot of competition, especially on the weekend Weston was two years ago (first of the month), which I don't think is occupied by any major tournaments.

 

Also, does anybody have the dates for all these tournaments? If we could organise them to figure out what weekends are available, we'd all be grateful.

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Big Bronx (new york city invititonal)- 10/12 to 10/14

Blue Key- the weekend after(not sure on what the date is)

Wake Forest- 9/14 to 9/16

Crestian Classic- 1/18 to 1/20

 

thats what i got so far and if im off by like two days by all means correct me

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i disagree with that logic. although statistically it may be easier to get an octo's bid at harvard or glenbrooks (16 teams out of the ~200 entered = ~8%) versus the finals bid at kansas city (2 teams out of the 80 entered = 2.5%) which is now semis btw, the reality of the matter is that harvard is much more difficult because the larger, well established programs attend those larger tournaments in much larger numbers. if what you say is true, that the big boys go to the big tournaments, then its much wiser for a smaller but capable team to attend the finals bid tournaments, avoid hitting the big teams and have a much better time getting experience against capable adversaries.

 

if you want the battle-testing experience, you go to the octo bids. if you are trying to secure the bid, you go to the tournament with the competition least likely to give you problems.

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See, you can't go just by odds. Rounds aren't decided by coin flips, they're decided by who has more arguementative skill.

 

Anyway, it's not just the debaters we're talking about. Coaches will be wary of untested bid tournaments, and if there's a demographic that seems largely unlikely to change its mind, it's them.

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eh, possible.

 

all i know is that i'd rather be the big fish in a little pond than a big fish in a big pond or worse a medium/small fish in a big pond.

 

here endeth my discussion of that.

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Fair enough.

 

Do you want to bring this to the Northeast forum so we can get some discussion on which tournaments might be a good staging location for a new bid?

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when is the KCKCC tournament exactly?
Last year it was the first weekend in November. If they don't move, that would be Nov. 2-4, 2007...

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You are right that Georgia four TOC bids: Barkley Forum (octas), Westminster (Finals), Carrolton (Finals), UGA (semis).

 

Now, I'm not wanting to start a "whose-region-is-better-than-whose" fight - but it is easy to defend the TOC tournaments down here.

 

Each of these tournaments draw quality teams from the entire eastern U.S. (everyone eventually flies to or through the Atlanta airport), and BF brings the best teams from around the country.

 

Georgia has a plethora of teams that win on the national circuit (Westminster, Pace, Hooch, Woodward - and dozens of additional teams that travel nationally and, at times, win on the national circuit, including but not limited to: Grady, Milton, Calhoun, Brookwood, Northside, Wheeler, Carrolton). We have a large pool of qualified judges (coaches from the above, and college debaters from Emory, UGA, West Georgia, Mercer, Georgia State).

 

Thus, I would not think that Georgia tournaments are over-represented in the TOC process. In fact, I think we could justify another finals bid.

 

(Note: Edited to reflect that Georgia has 4, not 3 TOC bids)

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No one is saying its a conspiracy - especially not me! I really wish people would stop using these blatantly false attacks on my analysis. But I suppose lying and micharacterizations makes them feel good about themselves... they have a future in politics. You should forget about critiquing the speech of others - look to yourself first.

 

1) You forgot University of GA tournament which is a semi's bid. Unless of course, that is a different University of Georgia?

 

2) Having that many bids concentrated in one area defeats the purpose of the TOC. The TOC is meant to draw the best talent from around the country - not from one area.

 

3) The northeast too has a pool of qualified judges... unless of course the long history of debaters attending the Ivy League schools doesnt count. And if not, most of the coaches would suffice... or do people like Michael Antonucci, Sheryl Kazmarek and Michael Bacon not have sufficient qualifications for you? Former debaters like Raaid Ahmad not good enough for you?

 

4) Lets see how well your Georgia tournaments do if we stripped them of their bids. That will tell you the impact of being labeled a bid tournament. Bids draw teams from around the country - not the other way around. There is no denying the fact that bids draw teams when most coaches will openly admit that if your tournament doesnt have a bit, they wont find it financially worthwhile to attend. Its empirical.

 

 

Plain and simple, the northeast is a landmass about as large as Texas, has many fewer tournaments and much fewer bids. The northeast is mathematically and qualitatively underrepresented in the process. And it shows in the regional breakdown of teams fully qualified to compete in the TOC. 44 teams had 2 bids, 6 represented the northeast (13.6% of teams) - which is right on target for the number of bids available to them (13.8%). (Yes, I know that was a mid year list, and I dont even know if that took into account Lexington, and Harvard hadnt happened yet). And if you look to teams with more than 2 bids (representing the cream of the crop), you still get 13.6% representation!

 

Moral of the story, you increase the number of bids in the northeast, and more northeast schools will be represented at the TOC. Decrease the number of bids in the South and you will see fewer GA schools represented at the TOC. Just because you have a number of programs who have done well historically at bid tournaments doesnt mean the northeast lacks equivalent teams (or does Lexington somehow not count?) or that there are fewer of them. They are underrepresented and have the least opportunity to be represented. Not everyone can fly all over the country and go to tournaments. Its too expensive. And putting more bids in Georgia, despite their tradition of excellence, is nonsensical.

 

The math doesnt lie. So coming from a professional scientist, my analysis is clear - disparity exists and not for any good reason.

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