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tpeters

Looking for advice about tie-breakers

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I think that computerized tab would be a good way to increase the number of rounds and can help with tiebreaks. It gets things moving a lot quicker.

Then again chsaa hates technology so doubtful this will change.

 

I must respectfully disagree -- I've attended tournaments with computerized tabs (just about anything held at Overland, for example) and I've attended many tournaments with human-based tabs. That's not the problem with time. Even if it were, the 10-20 minutes saved over the course of the day wouldn't allow more debate rounds. In both types of tab rooms, the tournament personnel is restricted by waiting for ballots to be turned in. Can't power a round if we don't know who won. The difference between entering decisions in a computer and entering decisions on cards, then creating a next round schedule might be 10 minutes max. Waiting for ballots, finding judges who have stepped out for a smoke, and other human elements are the basis for most slow-downs.

 

CHSAA does not hate technology. I have no idea where you get this from. CHSAA does not perhaps use technology the way you would like them to, but I don't see that as any animosity. Furthermore, MY tournament, the Jeffco tournament you referenced, and every other tournament in the state except State Quals and State are NOT RUN BY CHSAA. I was the tournament co-director at the aforementioned tournament. Whether you approve of the decision (were you even there?), I didn't confer with anyone from CHSAA about what to do. I certainly didn't ask CHSAA whether I should use cards or computers for tab, nor did I ask anyone from the state about which tie-breaker to use. Finally, if you have a problem with how I made decisions (quickly or not) about my tournament, then I would encourage you not to sign up to attend them and/or encourage your coach to avoid them.

 

If you would like to discuss the issues of CHSAA rules or practices, then start your own thread on the Mountain forum. Let's not discuss a purely local issue on the coaches forum, a place designed for a more national discussion.

 

Finally, back to the point. Even if we were to use a computerized tab room and even if a computer were to break ties, it is up to the humans to choose which type of tie-breaker to use. I've worked with such computer programs and there is usually a pallette of options for tie-breakers. Hence, we are back to the original question: which tie-breakers are most fair and just?

Edited by tpeters

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Those of us familiar with the Rich Edwards TRPC software for tabulation know that one of the tiebreaking options is to combine speaker points with opposition wins. MBA was the first tournament to use this option and some larger national tournaments have now begun to use this as an option. It's interesting in how it does change the seeding.

 

Another option if you use Rich's program is also the judge variance option. That is a statistical measurement of how the debater is seen by his/her pool of judges compared to how they saw other opponents. It's a good measurement of how that speaker stacks up against others. It is usually placed pretty low on the priority list, but some persons think it ought to be placed higher on the list.

 

Tammie, you situation is a tough one. Three rounds to a final round with over 50 teams is going to create a dilemma. Power-matching after the first round will minimize the randomness of a potential 0-3 opponent in the first round. Total speaker points should be the first option in breaking as well.

 

As to the difference between tabulating on cards vs. tabulating on a computer, I think the difference in time depends on the size of the tournament. The bigger the tournament, the more efficient technology can make you. It is dependent on ballot collection and distribution and how many unanticipated problems arise. However, technology has really helped speed up the tabulation of many tournaments. I would certainly encourage the use of tabulation software like TRPC (it's free) or using Brent Hinkle's Joy of Tournaments program (minimal cost, especially if you use his web registration services). I'm not as familiar with Brent's software, but I do know that he has many of the same tie breaking options as the TRPC program. Either one of those software programs would certainly help with some of the tiebreaking options that you mention.

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Dave: Thanks for this information. This morning, it occurred to me that there should be some way to combine speaker points and strength of opposition. I'd be interested in hearing more about what values Mr. Edwards's program assigns to the various stats.

 

As for the electronic tabulation, that is probably very appropriate for larger tournaments. The ones I have been in charge of do not have more than 40 LDer, 40 PF teams (usually 30), and max 20 CX teams (usually more like 12). Then we have the non-debate events, usually no more than 6 sections of anything (and that would be the largest -- many 4 section events or smaller). Having watched computer tabulated tournaments, I can see our hand-tabulation as taking about the same amount of time. Afterall, ballots must still be recorded before a powered round, etc. So considering the size of our meets, computers might not save us much time -- certainly not enough to be able to fit in another round.

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Let me start off by saying that I have worked tab rooms at several decently large tournaments all using TRPC. I have also worked tab at NFL districts where as everyone knows it is done by hand.

 

It is my experience that it is not necessarily any faster to use the computer system but there are several advantages including having the computer do all of the matching and math. Also, we always print out cross pairings at the end of the tournament. The computer system will let you print out a lot of nice forms and total results etc...

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Try randomizing the first round, not counting it for strength of opposition and using it to power match into the second round. Make finals into a fourth round and decide the tournament based on record, opposition record in second through fourth rounds and then either opp-opp or speaker rankings.

This may seem a little weird, but it might be worth a try.

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In the Golden Desert FL (Southern Nevada/Las Vegas) we do 3 prelim rounds, breaking to a semifinal or a quarterfinal if time permits. An example schedule (all Individual events, such as extemp, interps, etc are on Friday Night):

 

7-8 AM: Registration

8-9:30 AM: Round 1 (CX, LD, PF)

9:30-11 AM: Round 2 (CX, LD, PF)

1-2:45 PM: Round 3 (CX, LD, PF)

3:30-5 PM: Round 4/"Hidden" Semifinals - all teams compete, the four semifinal teams debate without KNOWING that it's a win to advance situation

5:30-7 PM: Finals

7:30 PM: Awards

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Washington/Arlington CFL runs four rounds at regular season tourneys with no outrounds, and then 6 rounds breaking to Semis for our league championship (LD and PF break to 1/4's) in policy. Twice a year we run all five event categories side by side - we don't allow cross-entry. H.

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