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Team of the Year Award

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So many talented teams in Kansas and only 1 wins the state championship or DCI. One silly mistake could drop a team that had performed consistently well throughout the whole season. What would the Kansas debate community think about awarding a Best Team of the Year award to the team that has the best "regular season."

 

What I had in mind was kind of modeled like the NDCA/National Circuit Baker Award or the NDT/College Copeland Award. It could be awarded at DCI.

 

Thoughts? How would the coaches or students feel about this?

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Not that my opinion will probably make much of a difference but..... It sort of seems a little too... exclusive? Wrong word, but anyway, there are so many great teams that I don't think it would be easy to pick the best. Also, a huge problem is the fact that we have tournaments like nfl, dci, and national tournaments all of which require a totally different set of skills. Unless a team was the best at all three styles it would be odd proclaiming them the "best." I think a strength of Kansas debate is that we can pretty much choose any type of debate we want to do and do it. A "best team of the year" award might make teams that choose to do a different style feel that their style isn't the "best." This year I don't think there was a team that was the best at all styles. There's also the question of how it would be chosen. I feel that KS debate is waaaaay too political for the coaches to vote and an accumulative dci bid model sort of entrenches the whole isolated "KS debate: one style" mode of thinking.

 

On the other hand, awards are fun and incentivise teams to work hard all season

Edited by Inherencyftw

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Michael-

 

Not arguing with your reasoning, but does it follow that the existing DCI bid model has the same effect? If so, is there a model of DCI qualification that you would prefer?

 

My own opinion on the larger question is that DCI itself eliminates the need for such an award. It's best to settle the "best team in Kansas" debate through a series of actual debates among the top contenders, not through a series of regionally/stylistically balkanized events.

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My thoughts on DCI:

I think dci is a pretty cool system that does a decent job determining the best debaters in an objective way. In any case, it tends to paint a pretty accurate picture of the top few teams in the state, however I feel that sometimes people get a little too obsessed with dci bids. For example, my sophomore year, all I really cared about was qualifying to the point were I really only wanted to go to tournaments that awarded bids. I think that the dci system, while a great tool for facilitating debate in Kansas, would not necessarily be a good way to pick the best team in Kansas because it would enforce even more the idea that there is only one way to do debate, the dci method. Not only are there different types of debate that dci doesn't account for(namely more local tournaments and circuit tournaments), but it comes to a point were certain teams are going to break at any Kansas tournament they go to and while the bid system can point out the top five teams, its difficult to say which of them is the best. There are exceptions of course, for example if we were to give the award this year I don't think we would have much trouble seeing as there has been a team that pretty much dominated KS competition, but last year would have been a different story. In summary, I personally don't believe that accumulative bids is a good determinant of "the best team in Kansas," an award that seems a bit over congratulatory and redundant in the first place. I'm not saying that dci is bad in any way, I just don't want to see us become too dependent on it. The more need dci the more isolated we grow from the rest of the debate community.

 

 

In case it wasn't clear from my post, to answer your question, no, I don't really have a problem with the dci qualification model nor can I think of a better alternative

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This is radically different from how tournaments work in california. What does DCI even stand for?

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Debate Coaches Invitational. My understanding is after KS teams were banned from the toc, DCI was created as sort of a replacement. It works the same way as the toc but on a local level

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Debate Coaches Invitational. My understanding is after KS teams were banned from the toc, DCI was created as sort of a replacement. It works the same way as the toc but on a local level

 

 

Your understanding is incorrect here. While I don't claim to know why DCI was created in the first place (though I'm certain I could hazard guesses), the DCI bid system is a creation of recent years.

 

Back in the day (read: prior to 2006, I think, was when the changes went into effect), teams filled out extensive applications that included information as specific as the opposition record from every team you hit all year. Coaches around the state then ranked these teams. The best teams, as chosen by the coaches, made it into the tournament.

 

Moreover, there used to be two divisions (pre-2004, ish) -- contemporary and traditional. I think it was decreased numbers applying for contemporary that led the steering committee to merge the divisions together.

 

There may be older systems, and I don't know the full history, but this is how it was as recently as the beginning of last decade (I feel old).

 

As far as a "team of the year" award, I don't really know what the object is. There's DCI and state already. I don't think this award gets you anything more than the system already in place, and there's really no limit to this idea. Sure, a loss or two could ruin your chances of winning DCI. Then again, one bad tournament could ruin your chance at "team of the year" were it to exist. Should we then create a "team of most of the year" award?

 

Other problems exist in my opinion, but I just don't see the point.

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Debate Coaches Invitational. My understanding is after KS teams were banned from the toc, DCI was created as sort of a replacement. It works the same way as the toc but on a local level
I'm going to jump in here to challenge a couple of notions that I feel are misconceptions. No offense is intended.

 

1. The Debate Coaches Invitational is NOT "sort of a replacement" for TOC. It is a debate tournament run by the debate coachs of Kansas. You only get to participant if you are invited, and invites are based on performance at designated invitationals in Kansas. Before recently, it was by application and that was deemed to subjective. Yes, it has recently borrowed the concept of bids from the TOC, but that is the only connection and it definately was never intended to be like or take the place of TOC.

 

2. Kansas teams were never banned from the TOC. The TOC has failed to meet the public and published requirements set by the Kansas Activity Association.

 

3. I think there is a misconception that there is a specific style for DCI bids. Bids are awarded based on local Kansas schools applying to be a tournament that awards bids. That means the style to win a bid is as varied as the local tournaments in Kansas. The style to get a bid at Garden City may or may not be different than the style to get a bid at Topeka or Washburn Rural or Blue Valley West. If someone has picked up on a specific style that does better to win bids (other than just being good at debate in general) I'd love to know what it is.

 

4. Not sure how DCI doesn't account for local tournaments since it is made up of them. That could use some explanation.

 

5. Kansas hosts one single national circuit style tournament, and it earns DCI bids. Not sure how 100% could be under represented.

 

6. I don't think the bids point to who wins DCI, the winner of the DCI tournament does. Is the argument that the winner of the most bids, even though they don't win the tournament, should be crowned the "best of Kansas"?

 

7. This last year had the most parity among bid winners, so it seems like an odd time to say that the same teams will win at every DCI designated local invitational. That seems decidedly false.

 

8. I'm curious, who "dominated" Kansas competition? Like I said, this was a year of parity, not domination.

 

9. How does DCI theoretically isolate us? More than having a state tournament? Texas has a few DCI-like leagues. Others have the UDL. Does that isolate them?

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To clarify, Kansas debaters were not banned from the TOC. As everyone knows tournaments outside 500 miles must be approved like NFL and CFL are and the TOC is no longer approved for graduating seniors as it use to be. The TOC also no longer accepts independents as it use to so there is no way for debaters from Kansas to go to the TOC. Effectively the same as banned, but banned insinuates Kansas debaters were specifically prohibited from attending which was not the case.

 

As far as the Team of the Year Award goes, an award like this would be a great thing for teams to work for but it would be impractical for reasons already mentioned. Someone mentioned it could be an alternative to the NDCA Baker Award but the way the Baker is calculated would not work as well in Kansas. It would advantage schools that go to bigger tournaments (probably the schools that are either in eastern KS or with bigger budgets for travel); as I have never been to a tournament in western Kansas I am only assuming, but those tournaments are probably smaller and therefore would have a smaller multiplier. That's the biggest problem in my mind but the issue of less out rounds could also pose another problem.

 

The other model mentioned for our Team of the Year Award was the Copeland which is determined by coaches vote. Again, I do not think that would work well in KS. There already are people who have complaints of DCI being elitist; whether those complaints have some truth to them or not is beside the point but can you imagine the reaction to an award that would end up being determined by coaches voting for a team based on their performance at DCI tournaments? Because that would be the equivalent to the Copeland. Some may say that's totally justified because the DCI tournaments are the most competitive and the best teams succeed at them. But I can predict the reaction to that attitude. What about smaller schools who don't go to the DCI tournaments, or just schools that can't go or take many teams to all of the qualifiers? They would be considered left out. And for the same reason 6A judges do not judge 6A rounds at State, the paranoia surrounding people making political decisions would preclude an award based on coaches voting from ever being accepted in Kansas.

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I'm going to jump in here to challenge a couple of notions that I feel are misconceptions. No offense is intended.

 

1. The Debate Coaches Invitational is NOT "sort of a replacement" for TOC. It is a debate tournament run by the debate coachs of Kansas. You only get to participant if you are invited, and invites are based on performance at designated invitationals in Kansas. Before recently, it was by application and that was deemed to subjective. Yes, it has recently borrowed the concept of bids from the TOC, but that is the only connection and it definately was never intended to be like or take the place of TOC.

 

2. Kansas teams were never banned from the TOC. The TOC has failed to meet the public and published requirements set by the Kansas Activity Association.

 

3. I think there is a misconception that there is a specific style for DCI bids. Bids are awarded based on local Kansas schools applying to be a tournament that awards bids. That means the style to win a bid is as varied as the local tournaments in Kansas. The style to get a bid at Garden City may or may not be different than the style to get a bid at Topeka or Washburn Rural or Blue Valley West. If someone has picked up on a specific style that does better to win bids (other than just being good at debate in general) I'd love to know what it is.

 

4. Not sure how DCI doesn't account for local tournaments since it is made up of them. That could use some explanation.

 

5. Kansas hosts one single national circuit style tournament, and it earns DCI bids. Not sure how 100% could be under represented.

 

6. I don't think the bids point to who wins DCI, the winner of the DCI tournament does. Is the argument that the winner of the most bids, even though they don't win the tournament, should be crowned the "best of Kansas"?

 

7. This last year had the most parity among bid winners, so it seems like an odd time to say that the same teams will win at every DCI designated local invitational. That seems decidedly false.

 

8. I'm curious, who "dominated" Kansas competition? Like I said, this was a year of parity, not domination.

 

9. How does DCI theoretically isolate us? More than having a state tournament? Texas has a few DCI-like leagues. Others have the UDL. Does that isolate them?

 

 

Two things before I post:

1. I'm not trying to be argumentative and I reserve the right to be wrong about any of these things

2. I really don't want to get into a posting war so this will hopefully be the last I say on this matter

 

and now, without further ado

 

 

1. The dci was created about the same time it became clear that KS teams wouldn’t be competing in the TOC. It was made with the specific purpose of creating a tournament with more experienced judges (debate coaches) for the team that had done well over the course of the season. Whether or not its specific purpose was to mimic the toc doesn’t really matter

 

2. KS teams were effectively banned from competing in the TOC their senior year by KSHSAA

 

3 and 4 are pretty much the same so: The tournaments that become the bid tournaments tend to be the ones with better judges. The teams that compete at tournaments that are primarily judged by parents miss out. Furthermore, the dci tournament itself tends to be almost exclusively coaches and assistant coaches

 

5. Just because KS only hosts 1 circuit tournament doesn’t mean Kansas kids only go to that tournament

 

6. I think the point of the award is supposed to be recognizing a team that is supposedly the best even if they choked at State, dci, etc.

 

7. I’m not sure what you mean here. Teams like STA BG, WEast OR, and BVW OR tended to break everywhere they went which is all you need to do to get bids

 

8. WEast gets most dci bids, wins state, and wins cfl

 

9. Texas also has a wreck of schools like Greenhill that also compete on the circuit. The fact that there are multiple “DCI-like leagues” means that there are more options. The more we vest in the dci system in Kansas, the more we exclude possible alternatives

Edited by Inherencyftw
spelling mistake

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Wasn't trying to stir a big fight again between DCI and TOC, just an idea that was floating in my head.

 

One last thought I forgot to mention in my initial post, the award would be named after one of the many accomplished coaches Kansas has had, not necessarily be called "Team of the Year"

 

Not that my opinion will probably make much of a difference but..... It sort of seems a little too... exclusive? Wrong word, but anyway, there are so many great teams that I don't think it would be easy to pick the best. Also, a huge problem is the fact that we have tournaments like nfl, dci, and national tournaments all of which require a totally different set of skills.

Everyone's opinion is important = ]

 

I disagree with you that it would become too exclusive. I would argue that there is a larger pool of great teams on the national circuit and in college, yet their Baker Award and Copeland Award doesn't seem to be target of such criticism. In fact, they have such great competition that many times the Copeland/Baker winners are not the ones who win the NDT/NDCA/TOC, but they still get reckognized.

 

While I agree with you about NFL/CFL, the determination of "team of the year" could exclude those tournaments because they are restricted by divisions/dioceses.

 

Regarding your concern about national tournaments, perhaps a Best Team of the Year award would not only incentivize harder work, but also keep teams who would normally travel the national circuit to stay in Kansas. Just throwing names out there, but I know BVN, SME, and WaRu all had teams debating out of state at one time or another while there were local DCI tournaments in Kansas. While this thread isn't supposed to hate on the TOC, a team of the year award would keep competition here as opposed to seeing teams debate on the nat circuit all year then come back and win state and DCI (Yes, I know may be a rare occurance).

 

 

There's also the question of how it would be chosen. I feel that KS debate is waaaaay too political for the coaches to vote and an accumulative dci bid model sort of entrenches the whole isolated "KS debate: one style" mode of thinking.

Still, I don’t think that would make it exclusive or subjective. I know NDCA uses a mathematical equation to determine the recipient of their Baker award, which doesn’t allow room for bias or exclusiveness.

 

On the other hand, awards are fun and incentivise teams to work hard all season

This.

 

Sure, a loss or two could ruin your chances of winning DCI. Then again, one bad tournament could ruin your chance at "team of the year" were it to exist. Should we then create a "team of most of the year" award?

That's an errouneous claim to make. First, I would argue that it is much easier to lose one round in the octos of state to a new broken strategy and lose your shot at winning state than it is to go 0-5 at a tournament, in which case I would doubt the team would be in strong contention for Team of the Year, DCI, or State.

 

Second, even if it were to occur, not breaking at 1 of 7 regular tournaments has far less of an impact than losing 2 rounds at state or DCI. A stretched example I would use is an MLB or NBA team having a 5 game slide during the season but still finished the regular season champion.

 

Is the argument that the winner of the most bids, even though they don't win the tournament, should be crowned the "best of Kansas"?

Not necessarily most bids, but the best performing team throughout the whole season, even though they don't win the tournament, should be crowned the "best of Kansas." Now how that is measured is still up to question: whether it be an algorithim modeled after the NDCA or as simple as most DCI bids...

 

 

EDIT:

It would advantage schools that go to bigger tournaments (probably the schools that are either in eastern KS or with bigger budgets for travel); as I have never been to a tournament in western Kansas I am only assuming, but those tournaments are probably smaller and therefore would have a smaller multiplier.

This problem is not something pertaining specifically a Team of the Year award, but rather DCI in general. I don't see how the status quo is any different in terms of exclusivness as a result of larger schools with bigger budgets.

Edited by kansas.debate

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One important clarification:

 

1. The dci was created about the same time it became clear that KS teams wouldn’t be competing in the TOC. It was made with the specific purpose of creating a tournament with more experienced judges (debate coaches) for the team that had done well over the course of the season. Whether or not its specific purpose was to mimic the toc doesn’t really matter

 

DCI was created in 1978 and has operated continuously since then. It's the BID SYSTEM that's new, and although the concept was borrowed from the TOC, it wasn't intended as a replacement for it.

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That's an errouneous claim to make. First, I would argue that it is much easier to lose one round in the octos of state to a new broken strategy and lose your shot at winning state than it is to go 0-5 at a tournament, in which case I would doubt the team would be in strong contention for Team of the Year, DCI, or State.

 

Second, even if it were to occur, not breaking at 1 of 7 regular tournaments has far less of an impact than losing 2 rounds at state or DCI. A stretched example I would use is an MLB or NBA team having a 5 game slide during the season but still finished the regular season champion.

 

 

The point I was making wasn't that these other awards would then rationally exist; I was making the point that this award serves no purpose.

 

A team that chokes at both state and DCI is not Team of the Year. Sorry.

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Hill: Glad you reserved the right to be wrong. :) I'd be happy to educate you on the history of Kansas debate for what I know. As already pointed out, others know much more than me (since they've lived more of it, ha!)

 

I agree with Seize the Night. The 1996-1997 Jayhawks beat Arizona 8 out of 10 meetings, but that night Bibby and Simon were on fire. That team lost 2 games all season (Arizona and Missouri at Missouri). Losing 2, and still not champs. But that is why the tournament is so exciting. The 2007 Patriots only lost one game, and they weren't champs. Being the best means competing against the best and winning at the critical time. I'm not so sure I'd brag about being the team that was really good that lost in the end. I guess the award could be the "best team that didn't win the big one", but trust me, that is not very satisfying.

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Debate Coaches Invitational. My understanding is after KS teams were banned from the toc, DCI was created as sort of a replacement. It works the same way as the toc but on a local level

 

You couldn't be more wrong about this. As Dubois said, DCI has been around since 1978 and its creation had nothing at all to do with the TOC. The state tournament at the time only had 4 speaker teams (until I think, 1994) and was obviously broken up by classification. The way I understand it is that DCI was created to allow teams from all over the state to compete across classifications to attempt to determine the best 2 person team in the state. That information was given to me by my coach in high school who claimed to be in on the origination of the idea.

 

The 2 divisions, "Traditional" and "Contemporary" was an experiment that the tournament went through for a few years in the early '00s. I'm fairly certain that no one mourns the loss.

 

The bid system for qualification was adopted in 2007 I believe, and was mirrored after the TOC process. There were many reasons and goals for the change and overall I think it has been a success. Prior to the bid system, teams had to submit applications with detailed w/l records, tournaments attended, and teams faced. Coaches then voted to determine the teams participating.

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I thought that if Kansas debaters went to the TOC they were banned from participating next year, not that graduating seniors were banned. I thought seniors who had gotten the bids needed and wanted to go to the TOC could go, not that they were banned from participating. Could someone please clarify on this?

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The idea of the DCI seems like a really cool thing to me. I have never been to a DCI level tournament through. I wish there was a way to expand it so smaller schools and schools from smaller regions got to participate more. Right now with almost all the tournaments taking place in the major cities it simply isn't possible for my area (south kansas) to get up there. Some teams do, but as a whole its very few. It simply hard to justify paying to go so far away when there is always a tournament close by each weekk. I am not sure there would be a way to change the system to make it possible for this change. I mean maybe give bids in much smaller amounts than the normal DCI tournaments to smaller regional tournaments, just an idea. I am also not sure we would be able to compete due to the difference in DCI competition from our area, but it be cool to get the chance. South Kansas had three state champion teams this year and I just wish we got to compete more against the big boys. Just my thoughts on the matter.

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I thought that if Kansas debaters went to the TOC they were banned from participating next year, not that graduating seniors were banned. I thought seniors who had gotten the bids needed and wanted to go to the TOC could go, not that they were banned from participating. Could someone please clarify on this?

 

Here's the deal with TOC as I understand it...

 

KSHSAA rules prohibit teams from traveling beyond a 500 mile limit for tournaments. That said, tournaments like NFL and CFL have been approved by the association.

 

It used to be that debaters who qualified for the TOC and were graduating that summer could attend the TOC. However, that is no longer allowed, which leaves the teams with 2 options: Either they apply as an independent, which isn't accepted by the TOC. Or, I think they can still go as the school, in which case the school is banned from all KSHSAA activities (I think. I could be wrong about teams still going as part of the school). Either way, Kansas teams cannot go. So it's not really a "textual" ban, but rather functions as a ban.

 

I find myself regurgitating Ciera's comment, I thought hers was pretty explanitory.

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Thanks for the explanation. I don't understand why they wouldn't approve the TOC. Is it only NFL and CFL that are approved, or are tournaments like Harvard, Barkely Forum, etc. approved as well?

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The ToC is not approved because they will not fill out the paperwork/take the minimal steps necessary to be approved by some organization that I can't remember offhand. Moreover, the KSHSAA is concerned about the amount of time that the tournament takes students out of school, as I recall. Please don't let this thread devolve to this -- it's rehashed constantly, is never productive, is usually full of misconceptions, and a number of other reasons that I won't list for sake of baiting the same topic I hope to avoid.

 

Right now with almost all the tournaments taking place in the major cities it simply isn't possible for my area (south kansas) to get up there.

 

The DCI committee chooses locations to be as diverse as possible. The problem is (at least used to be, I can't speak for the last couple years) finding schools willing to volunteer for hosting a tournament that at times can seem overwhelming and frustrating.

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The idea of the DCI seems like a really cool thing to me. I have never been to a DCI level tournament through. I wish there was a way to expand it so smaller schools and schools from smaller regions got to participate more. Right now with almost all the tournaments taking place in the major cities it simply isn't possible for my area (south kansas) to get up there.

 

 

Each year, the DCI committee asks the state's coaches to submit their tournaments for consideration for status as a bid tournament. To the best of my recollection, no SKNFL school has ever sought to have its tournament deemed a bid event. Why not have one of the SKNFL schools seek bid status? Week two (ie immediately after WaRu) would be a good choice; it is often difficult for the committee to find an event that weekend.

Edited by STADB9
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The ToC is not approved because they will not fill out the paperwork/take the minimal steps necessary to be approved by some organization that I can't remember offhand.

 

The National Association of Secondary School Principals.

 

Absent the organization's endorsement and subsequent KSHSAA approval, there are major insurance and liability issues involved. As CN said, let's not go there in this thread.

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I really don't understand the point of this. Every year, the DCI pamphlet has the top teams from all previous years, and every debater who participates in quarters at state or higher is preserved on the KSHSAA website. If SME or WaRu or WEast really need another jack-off, why don't they just buy a trophy and engrave "SQUAD OF THE DECADE" on it, just so they feel that much better about themselves.

 

The idea of the DCI seems like a really cool thing to me. I have never been to a DCI level tournament through. I wish there was a way to expand it so smaller schools and schools from smaller regions got to participate more. Right now with almost all the tournaments taking place in the major cities it simply isn't possible for my area (south kansas) to get up there. Some teams do, but as a whole its very few. It simply hard to justify paying to go so far away when there is always a tournament close by each weekk. I am not sure there would be a way to change the system to make it possible for this change. I mean maybe give bids in much smaller amounts than the normal DCI tournaments to smaller regional tournaments, just an idea. I am also not sure we would be able to compete due to the difference in DCI competition from our area, but it be cool to get the chance. South Kansas had three state champion teams this year and I just wish we got to compete more against the big boys. Just my thoughts on the matter.

 

The problem of just randomly assigning DCI bids to South Kansas tourneys is that the style differences will make it difficult for those teams to compete at DCI if they do qualify. If you get both your bids for getting into finals at some lay-dominated tourney, the requirement for high-flow judges at DCI is going to bury that team. Plus, there's already kind of too many teams qualifying for DCI (yes, I realize the irony that I'M the one making that statement). The state tournament does a good job of letting lay-oriented teams compete, and DCI is for those who want to compete in national-circuit style policy.

 

Plus, the way it stands, you really only have to travel to one tournament to qualify. Trust me, I know the feeling. Rose Hill doesn't have the biggest travel budget either. Last year we could only go to three DCI tourneys, and we didn't even compete in the DCI division at WaRu.

 

The system right now is fine. There's always going to be someone left out, but the current system does a fine job of highlighting those elite teams every year.

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