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An Apology To The Ks Debate Community Regarding Dci

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Apology

 

To the Kansas HS Debate community & the DCI Steering Committee, I humbly offer my apology for the recent negative comments that I made towards the Debate Coaches Invitational (DCI) tournament on social media. My comments should not reflect upon KMC Debate & Forensics. They were made by me alone. Please do not punish our team for the comments made by an individual. My remarks were short-sighted and made out of frustration & my passionate drive to have my students succeed--whether that be in academic debate or in other aspects of their lives. I allowed my feelings to get the best of me without also recognizing my place in the community & on our team as an educator and role model. I have nothing but admiration & the utmost respect for the DCI tournament as well as the coaches that selflessly devoted their time & work into one of the most prestigious debate tournaments in the state of Kansas. In addition, I apologize to the debaters who competed at DCI. My intentions were not to criticize your accomplishments at this tournament. I only offer my congratulations for all of your learning & success this season. I hope the community forgives me. Thank you for reading.

 

Andrew Halverson

 

Andrew

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Have no idea what this refers to, but if you have concerns about the event you should backchannel the members of the committee. Nothin' wrong with trying to make DCI better.

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Just out of curiosity: I know reforms have been proposed in the past to make the pool smaller at DCI. With the largest number of competitors ever this year, are any of them being reconsidered?

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Proposals to shrink the field were considered by the coaches. None of them mustered a majority. The consensus view seems to favor an inclusive tournament--and when a team that made it in on two octos bids takes second at the tournament, there's probably something to be said for staying big.

 

We did pass a reform to eliminate the 48-team minimum, making all tournaments 16-bid events provided that all recipients are .500 or better. I don't have my notes with me but will post the wording at some point.

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I'm hesitant to post anything about this subject, but it won't be the first or last time that I give loud opinions about things...

 

Now that it has been established that the large field is the preferred disposition, I think that there are a number of things that should be addressed about the tournament:

 

1. MPJ - It seems like this needs to be addressed. There seems to be changes from year to year on this front that aren't ever discussed or agreed upon. I think that this needs to be standardized with a written procedure, after consulting with a Darren Elliot type to get some best practices. My proposal would be to have a standardized ranking process and require that all judges post a philosophy to the wiki prior to the tournament...

 

2. The tab room should be open. Strategic decisions are sometimes situational.... having information about the importance (or non-importance) of a debate can have influence in what arguments are chosen.

 

3. I think that the tournament should break to octos after 5 (or 6) rounds.... or failing that:

 

a. All 5-2 teams should medal... It broke nice this year, but I suspect that won't always be the case

 

b. Round 7 (at the very least, probably round 6 also) should be paired high-low within brackets as opposed to high-high. I find it odd that the matchup between the 5 and 6 seed in round 7 is pretty much guaranteed to eliminate one team.

 

c. Opp record is probably a better tie-breaker than speaker points or ranks, in this format specifically.

 

The coaches also voted to eliminate the high-high matchup in round 1. This was a positive step.

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I respect your opinions, but must disagree on a couple of your ideas.

 

That tab room must remain closed. Having everyone in the dark about how they are doing makes this a special tournament. Teams that have 2 wins are still debating as if they had 6 because the competition is good and you just never know. While I agree a coach wants to coach, let this be the one tournament where the kids walk in the room and just debate their hearts out against whoever they are facing.

 

Don't make it an elimination tournament. I've voiced before that DCI is special because at the end everyone is still there. Everyone is hoping they won it (because of the closed tab). Everyone is there to congratulate the winners of the tournament, not just the team who took second. This makes for a much better celebration of the best of Kansas. Don't make it just another invitational in which everyone goes home without knowing who did well.

 

I don't care if the coaches decide to medal all 5-2 or how that is decided. The placing is what matters.

 

I think that the current power matching works best, but if there is a bunch of people who are deadset on creating hidden brackets, then high-low for round 7 would be fine. Again, lets not make this the same as all other tournaments.

 

I believe opp record is better than speaker points, but ranks are the most important. Perhaps the tie breakers need to be different for power matching and final placings. opp record after round 2 is pretty meaningless.

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I think these types of discussions are valuable. The best way to get things changed is to talk about it, specifically with coaches who attend the DCI meeting regularly, and can/will propose changes and vote for them.

 

Certainly Tom knows my feelings on most of these questions - but for the sake of everyone else:

 

1. We do need a consistent way to use MPJ, provided we're going to continue offering it. I might be more in favor of offering a set number of strikes, and letting everything else happen as it will in terms of computer assigned judging. But, I could also be pursuaded to vote for a full MPJ system. I think (could be wrong) that Tom's idea of using an MPJ like the KCK tournament was used last year - it didn't work either, from what I remember. But, I'm a firm believer that adaptation is important - if everyone is bringing experienced judges who flow, I think I'm happy to have judges be pretty random. (And this year, I must say, that I think every judge in the pool that I recall met that criteria).

 

2. I don't think the tab room should be open. I like it the way it is - even though it drives me bananas throughout the tournament. It does make it something different, and I think not knowing is valuable.

 

3. I don't want elims. I like that everyone gets 7 debates. I think power matching ought to be different, though. I don't like that every round is High-High. I think a combination of H/L and H/H rounds is more ideal. I don't think we ought to be punishing teams for good performances throughout the tournament. Tom does a good job of isolating this. When 5 v. 6, 7 v. 8, etc. happen in round 7...teams get eliminated who have been in the top 10 most (or all) of the tournament. At the very least I think round 7 ought to be H/L w/ in brackets. But I think 2-3 H/L w/ in bracket rounds would be better.

 

4. All teams already medal. But I think Tom meant (and I agree) that all 5-2's ought to place - at least be announced @ the awards. This was a concern of mine heading in to this year. With the addition of an extra powermatched round in the future, I think it lowers the chance of a 5-2 not being in the top 10...but you never know what might happen and we ought to have a contingency in place for that. I don't think its necessary that the medals be engraved w/ an 11th place or whatever - but I think its nice at a tournament this competitive that we ensure all 5-2's get recognized/placed.

 

5. Determining final placings - I think Tom definitely means for final placings here and not for brackets. I think power matching ought to be based no quality points (not speaker points), but that final placings' tiebreakers need to be visited. Teams with lower opp records that are in the top 10 ought to have better speaker points - that's the nature of the game. But, teams who have tougher schedules ought not be punished in final placings for winning a bunch of rounds on 5's. I think if we found a way to normalize quality points (better this year in terms of consistency, still a little short), that'd be the ideal tiebreaker for placings. But, in light of that, I agree that opp record is a better tiebreaking barometer than ranks. Its possible that I field test this idea @ the Tom Kelly Debates next September.

 

 

Finally - field size. I think that it seemed the majority of coaches seemed to hesitant to limit the size of the field. I think many of us are firmly on the fence about whether it ought to be smaller...I know I am. On any given day I feel like I might be compelled to make 3 bids the standard, or leave it alone (the two most diverse settings discussed I think)...or use some metric in between (4 wins @ tournaments gets a bid, 2 bids + 60% w/l record, etc.)...or just to set the size of the field and then limit entries based on a tiebreaker (Mr. Dubois' + system, w/l, etc.)...

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Organizing the discussion. Bolded is any action/vote taken by the coaches. Sub-lettered points are either votes by the coaches or opinions posted by someone other than me.

 

1. General: Reforms to shrink the pool

 

1a. Various proposals to shrink the pool considered and rejected by the coaches.

 

1b. Inclusive tournament is better. See: 2nd place team made it to DCI on two octos bids.

 

1c. I think that it seemed the majority of coaches seemed to hesitant to limit the size of the field. I think many of us are firmly on the fence about whether it ought to be smaller...I know I am. On any given day I feel like I might be compelled to make 3 bids the standard, or leave it alone (the two most diverse settings discussed I think)...or use some metric in between (4 wins @ tournaments gets a bid, 2 bids + 60% w/l record, etc.)...or just to set the size of the field and then limit entries based on a tiebreaker (Mr. Dubois' + system, w/l, etc.)...

 

2.All DCI divisions award bids to top 16 teams; 48-team requirement eliminated by the coaches. Must have .500 or better record to receive a bid.

 

3. Standardize MPJ

 

3a. We do need a consistent way to use MPJ, provided we're going to continue offering it. I might be more in favor of offering a set number of strikes, and letting everything else happen as it will in terms of computer assigned judging. But, I could also be pursuaded to vote for a full MPJ system. I think (could be wrong) that Tom's idea of using an MPJ like the KCK tournament was used last year - it didn't work either, from what I remember. But, I'm a firm believer that adaptation is important - if everyone is bringing experienced judges who flow, I think I'm happy to have judges be pretty random. (And this year, I must say, that I think every judge in the pool that I recall met that criteria).

 

4. Open tab room

 

4a. Having everyone in the dark about how they are doing makes this a special tournament. Teams that have 2 wins are still debating as if they had 6 because the competition is good and you just never know. While I agree a coach wants to coach, let this be the one tournament where the kids walk in the room and just debate their hearts out against whoever they are facing.

 

4b. I don't think the tab room should be open. I like it the way it is - even though it drives me bananas throughout the tournament. It does make it something different, and I think not knowing is valuable.

 

5. Break to Octos

 

5a. Don't make it an elimination tournament. I've voiced before that DCI is special because at the end everyone is still there. Everyone is hoping they won it (because of the closed tab). Everyone is there to congratulate the winners of the tournament, not just the team who took second. This makes for a much better celebration of the best of Kansas. Don't make it just another invitational in which everyone goes home without knowing who did well.

 

5b. I don't want elims. I like that everyone gets 7 debates. I think power matching ought to be different, though. I don't like that every round is High-High. I think a combination of H/L and H/H rounds is more ideal. I don't think we ought to be punishing teams for good performances throughout the tournament. Tom does a good job of isolating this. When 5 v. 6, 7 v. 8, etc. happen in round 7...teams get eliminated who have been in the top 10 most (or all) of the tournament. At the very least I think round 7 ought to be H/L w/ in brackets. But I think 2-3 H/L w/ in bracket rounds would be better.

 

6. All 5-2 teams should medal

 

6a. The placing is what matters.

 

6b. All teams already medal. But I think Tom meant (and I agree) that all 5-2's ought to place - at least be announced @ the awards. This was a concern of mine heading in to this year. With the addition of an extra powermatched round in the future, I think it lowers the chance of a 5-2 not being in the top 10...but you never know what might happen and we ought to have a contingency in place for that. I don't think its necessary that the medals be engraved w/ an 11th place or whatever - but I think its nice at a tournament this competitive that we ensure all 5-2's get recognized/placed.

 

7. Round 7 should be high-low instead of high-high. "I find it odd that the matchup between the 5 and 6 seed in round 7 is pretty much guaranteed to eliminate one team."

 

7a. I think that the current power matching works best, but if there is a bunch of people who are deadset on creating hidden brackets, then high-low for round 7 would be fine. Again, lets not make this the same as all other tournaments.

 

8. Opp record should be used as a tiebreaker before ranks.

 

8a. I believe opp record is better than speaker points, but ranks are the most important. Perhaps the tie breakers need to be different for power matching and final placings. opp record after round 2 is pretty meaningless.

 

8b. Determining final placings - I think Tom definitely means for final placings here and not for brackets. I think power matching ought to be based no quality points (not speaker points), but that final placings' tiebreakers need to be visited. Teams with lower opp records that are in the top 10 ought to have better speaker points - that's the nature of the game. But, teams who have tougher schedules ought not be punished in final placings for winning a bunch of rounds on 5's. I think if we found a way to normalize quality points (better this year in terms of consistency, still a little short), that'd be the ideal tiebreaker for placings. But, in light of that, I agree that opp record is a better tiebreaking barometer than ranks. Its possible that I field test this idea @ the Tom Kelly Debates next September.

 

 

My various disconnected thoughts:

 

1-2. I think that the pool is well-created in the current system. I don't think I support the Committee's choice to make all DCI divisions extend bids to the top 16 teams; it seems to me that the need for a "must be 50% or better" standard indicates that this rule may be taking inclusiveness a bit too far. I do not know if DCI divisions farther west have had trouble meeting the 48-team requirement or if they have trouble (either logistically or financially) traveling to the majority of DCI bid tournaments that occur farther east, towards KC. I also do not know if those eastern tournaments are generally over the 48-team requirement anyway. If the above is true, the rationale might be seeking statewide equity in availability of bids - a movement which I would support. If the primary motivating factor is inclusiveness, I would tend to oppose it. I suspect the former is true. Either way, we will see the effects of the new tweak next year.

 

3. I don't know if there's an argument to be had against standardizing MPJ, when it is used. I tend to think the real debate is whether MPJ should be used, as per Kelly's post above mine. I support MPJ at DCI, since teams should be able to play to their strengths a bit at a tournament intended to highlight the strengths of Kansas debate. I do not think the judge pool is as homogeneous as some believe. That said, it's not like I'd lose any sleep at night over losing MPJ at DCI, as long as the judge pool continues to be as excellent as it has been.

 

4-5. I agree with the above two responses re: keeping tab closed and no outrounds.

 

6. I think all 5-2 teams should be recognized separately. It's a hell of an achievement to survive the DCI gauntlet with only two losses, regardless of where your speaker ranks or other tiebreakers end up.

 

7. I think high-low within brackets in Round 7 would be a welcome change. Teams at the top of each bracket would experience marginal reward, rather than marginal penalty.

 

8. While I go back and forth on opp record versus ranks, I tend to think that opp record is much less in the control of the teams debating than ranks. If Team A hits Team B in round 1, and Team B has a terrible tournament, sure, Team A likely had an easier round than others had - but there was nothing at all that Team A could do about that. A counterargument, of course, is that Team A may have received a W3 when they might have won on a 5 against another team, but a dropped speaker point or two may be corrected as the tournament continues (by a W5 in the next round, or potentially even a loss, as teams are paired high-high), while a 0-7 opp record is likely difficult to overcome by no fault of the team in any tiebreaker.

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For clarification: The "Committee" does not reject proposals/ideas. Nor do they/we vote exclusively. All proposals are voted on by all of the coaches present.

 

Rationale for eliminate 48 team benchmark: The rationale provided @ the meetings was two-fold:

 

Background: all bid tournaments made it to 48 this year. However, some w/ more stretching (filling) than others....

 

1) Nearly everyone wants tournaments @ 16 bids. As such, many times novices/others are put in as "fillers" for the first couple of rounds. This means that the field is diluted, rounds for some teams aren't against true dci teams, etc. This change eliminates that reality.

 

2) Pushing for 48 teams dilutes judging pools. The change ensures that a tournament with 40 teams doesn't add 4 judges to the pool that they did not originally intend to put in the DCI division.

 

Rebuttal: The argument was made and considerd regarding making the pool bigger. The coaches present seemed to think that this was non-unique, given that every tournament was at 48 teams this year anyway - so we won't hand out more bids next year...its not possible. The "winning record" rule just ensures that should a bid tournament be @ 30 teams, they won't be giving bids to teams w/ 2-3 records. No tournament will give more than 16 bids.

 

Overall - this was about further dilution of the pool in terms of competition and judging - not equality or increasing inclusiveness.

 

 

And,

 

Ranks v. opp records is tough...but in the same way folks don't determine their opp record, they don't determine ranks, either. Especially in a power matching world when many many rounds are won/lost on 5's.....Ranks benefit teams w/ less opp wins....while opp wins certainly puts some luck in the tournament - 6 rounds of direct power matching probably solves that as best as possible....

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For clarification: The "Committee" does not reject proposals/ideas. Nor do they/we vote exclusively. All proposals are voted on by all of the coaches present.

 

Right, yes, of course. I shouldn't type long posts over lunch when I'm tired. Thanks; fixed.

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Re: dilution. Interesting; I didn't know all DCI tournaments met the 48-team requirement.

 

Would the following system(s) address the issue, in your mind?

 

Sliding scale, fully proportional. 48 teams in the division = top 16 receive bids. The top 1/3 of the pool (with some rounding calculation) receives bids, with a floor at 8 bids (24 teams) and a ceiling at 16 bids.

 

Sliding scale, adjusted proportional: Alternatively, the sliding scale could adjust proportionality, and decrease bids on a sliding scale between 48 and 32 teams (48 teams receiving 16 bids, 32 teams receiving 8 bids, and a sliding scale in between depending on the number of final entries). This would result in larger divisions giving bids to 1/3 of all teams and the smallest divisions giving bids to 1/4 of teams - a system that may make sense. (between 32 and 48 teams, every two teams added results in one extra bid, so 40 teams for example would result in 12 teams receiving bids)

 

There's little motivation to dilute, here. Dilution is largely motivated by the severe jump from 16 bids to 8 when one team drops. Instead, it's a loss of one bid at most. In the case of a fully-proportional system, it seems that the opposite motivation could exist - that teams would want to create and seek out smaller divisions. However, this motivation (if it occurred) would result in those smaller divisions becoming larger anyway, addressing its own issue. In the adjusted-proportional system (which would probably be my preference of the two), the motivation may be minimized since it's a loss of one bid rather than 8.

 

EDIT: I recognize that some teams may believe "more bids = good" and still believe that a full 48-team division is the best case for them. However, this can be rectified simply by informing about the new system. It's an economy problem of imperfect information, is all. Adjusted proportional does not eliminate this motivation, but it seems to be minimized somewhat.

 

Maybe teams would still drop novices (for example) into the field to increase bids - maybe the only solution is entirely removing the motivation through the system the coaches voted on and accepted this year. I'm not sure. Just throwing ideas out there.

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We actually did discuss this sliding scale, also. Ultimately we decided your last point was still probably true - coaches/teams will still work, it seems, to maximize the number of bids to be given out each weekend. While no one thinks the tournament should be bigger, and no one necessarily seemed to think we needed to ensure a pool size this large, it did seem that most coaches thought they'd still shoot to maximize opportunities for their own students....

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teams get eliminated who have been in the top 10 most (or all) of the tournament. At the very least I think round 7 ought to be H/L w/ in brackets. But I think 2-3 H/L w/ in bracket rounds would be better.

 

Amen.

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I'm not hearing any arguments about why the tab room should be closed other than "we like it that way" which doesn't solve for my offense.

 

How about the perm? Open it one round earlier so that coaches and teams know whether or not they are in the break round (before the round). Note that I'm not basing this on hypotheticals, I really think that the debate that I judged in round 7 would have been very different if the teams knew it was a break round going in. I've also seen this happen in the past. You can still close it back to make the assembly a surprise. This also has the net benefit of being able to potentially address a tab mistake.

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I think the overwhelming consensus amongst coaches has been to keep the tab room closed. I don't think its an offense/defense thing - just a preference thing. You're right that it probably DOES change debates...but so does knowing.

 

I guess the argument is that keeping it closed makes every round feel like a break round - which is preferable because then top to bottom teams feel like they're debating for something. Either teams embrace that or they don't.

 

I guess the argument is, in your world: knowing before round six means there are 8 "break" rounds (this year - 16 teams competing for the top 10), and the other 17 rounds were not "break rounds" - the disad outweighs by 200%....twice as many rounds BECOME "irrelevant" in your world (or 67% of the tournament), while in the status quo's world 100% of the debates should be perceived as "relevant"....your world means only 33% of the tournament "becomes" "relevant" in round 7...and several teams would be "eliminated" from "relevance" on day one....

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I'm not hearing any arguments about why the tab room should be closed other than "we like it that way" which doesn't solve for my offense.

 

Your offense:

Strategic decisions are sometimes situational.... having information about the importance (or non-importance) of a debate can have influence in what arguments are chosen.

 

Well, if we're going to call this offense as if it's a debate round...guess I'll number some responses!

 

1. You never articulate why that's good.

2. In reality, that can be awful - who wants to judge a 1-5 bracket round where one team decides to run performative anarchic ocularcentrism and the other team runs 8 minutes of inherency?

3. There's no situation where a team who wants to win strategizes differently for a round because they're 4-2 instead of 5-1. Your premise is flawed.

4. DCI is a tournament with some ceremonial intent, intending to recognize the very best of Kansas debate. Not knowing the results prior to the awards ceremony puts everyone in the same boat in terms of anticipating results. This preserves the awards ceremony.

 

In addition, I echo Kelly above.

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I think the overwhelming consensus amongst coaches has been to keep the tab room closed. I don't think its an offense/defense thing - just a preference thing. You're right that it probably DOES change debates...but so does knowing.

 

I guess the argument is that keeping it closed makes every round feel like a break round - which is preferable because then top to bottom teams feel like they're debating for something. Either teams embrace that or they don't.

 

I guess the argument is, in your world: knowing before round six means there are 8 "break" rounds (this year - 16 teams competing for the top 10), and the other 17 rounds were not "break rounds" - the disad outweighs by 200%....twice as many rounds BECOME "irrelevant" in your world (or 67% of the tournament), while in the status quo's world 100% of the debates should be perceived as "relevant"....your world means only 33% of the tournament "becomes" "relevant" in round 7...and several teams would be "eliminated" from "relevance" on day one....

 

First, let me clarify my position... Strategic choices are heightened by the importance of a debate. 2 examples:

 

1. My round 7 this year was a break round. The Negative decided to run wipeout, an argument that they didn't normally deploy... Had they known that the round was a break round, I'd imagine that they would have chosen different arguments. Perhaps not, but certainly having access to the information about the importance of a debate helps make better choices.

 

2. A hypothetical: Lets say a team has a case that they haven't broken and perhaps are saving for state. They may choose to break the aff early if they are aware of the importance of their debate. The reverse is also true. If they know that a round is irrelevant, they will know not to break the new aff (if secrecy for state is something that they want to preserve)

 

This argument about making MORE debates irrelevant is kind of absurd.

 

1. The coach could choose to not tell the teams how they are doing. The coaches can choose not to go in there at all. ANY tournament can be a closed tournament in this way.

 

2. Kind of terminally non-unique, since EVERY OTHER TOURNAMENT OPERATES THIS WAY.

 

3. Irrelevant debates with good judges can be FUN, you can read poetry, or run D&G... or whatever other dumb thing the kids are doing these days. (I'm fully aware that I'm opening myself up to offense by making this argument)

 

The perm solves all of your other "offense"... I just don't get why anyone would be against this, when the stakes are at their highest, I'd kinda like to know what's up.

 

There has been no answer to my "tab mistakes" argument. I'll go ahead and assume that you made some sort of probability argument against the link.. EVEN IF you think it's not likely, the SQ doesn't allow any mistakes to be fixed. The Aff (open tab room) and the perm (open after round 5, then closed for round 7 results) both solve for the terminal impact (which is probably the biggest in the round)

 

To preempt: I get that it's a tradition. No one loves DCI more than me, I've judged there more than any other non head coach. You know what else was a tradition? SLAVERY. Zero. Point. of. the. Holocaust.

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Your offense:

 

Well, if we're going to call this offense as if it's a debate round...guess I'll number some responses!

 

1. You never articulate why that's good.

 

See my post above, it's answered there.

 

2. In reality, that can be awful - who wants to judge a 1-5 bracket round where one team decides to run performative anarchic ocularcentrism and the other team runs 8 minutes of inherency?

 

Sounds AMAZING. Sign me up. If you're not compiling "guess what dumb thing I saw" stories, I'm not sure why you're judging at all.... It's like 83% of the reason I judge.

 

3. There's no situation where a team who wants to win strategizes differently for a round because they're 4-2 instead of 5-1. Your premise is flawed.

 

That's answered above.

 

 

4. DCI is a tournament with some ceremonial intent, intending to recognize the very best of Kansas debate. Not knowing the results prior to the awards ceremony puts everyone in the same boat in terms of anticipating results. This preserves the awards ceremony.

 

The perm solves this.

 

In addition, I echo Kelly above.

 

Probably not a good idea. He's been pretty insufferable since the COY award :)

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First, let me clarify my position... Strategic choices are heightened by the importance of a debate. 2 examples:

 

1. My round 7 this year was a break round. The Negative decided to run wipeout, an argument that they didn't normally deploy... Had they known that the round was a break round, I'd imagine that they would have chosen different arguments. Perhaps not, but certainly having access to the information about the importance of a debate helps make better choices.

 

So we are supposed to risk the inherent DA of changing what isn't broken because 2 high school kids made a bad choice in a round they should have thought was a break round? The fact they DIDN'T know should have caused them to at least error on the side of causion. Sorry, kids treating a round as irrelevant does not give me reason to confirm which rounds are relevant and which aren't. And do you know for a fact they made bad choices because they didn't believe the round was relevant, or that they just made a bad choice?

 

2. A hypothetical: Lets say a team has a case that they haven't broken and perhaps are saving for state. They may choose to break the aff early if they are aware of the importance of their debate. The reverse is also true. If they know that a round is irrelevant, they will know not to break the new aff (if secrecy for state is something that they want to preserve).

All debaters should approach round 7 of DCI as if it is a break round and make any decisions accordingly. The choice to break/not break a new aff in round 7 of DCI versus State seems exceptionally trivial to me and doesn't come close to outweighing the positive impacts from everyone believing they had a shot during the awards ceremony.

 

This argument about making MORE debates irrelevant is kind of absurd.

 

Actually I thought it was a pretty logical argument. At the national qualifiers teams are eliminated after 2 loses, but there are 3 rounds on Friday. So there are kids who after two loses are debating a meaningless round (they can not qualify to nationals). Coaches often have to convince kids that those rounds need to be taken seriously. When kids know they can't be successful, they don't try as hard. That is human nature. When they don't know if they can be successful they try harder. Creating the illusion of relevance has value.

 

 

1. The coach could choose to not tell the teams how they are doing. The coaches can choose not to go in there at all. ANY tournament can be a closed tournament in this way..

 

As a coach of a squad who rarely tells the kids how they are doing during the tournament, I can tell you that if anyone knows, the kids will find out. If the coach of the other team chooses to tell their kids, then my kids will know even if I don't want them to. This isn't an issue of respect or lack of, it is an issue of once something is said it can't be unsaid. When no one knows, we are all in the same situation.

 

To say ANY tournament can be closed in that way is to once again try to make DCI the same as any other tournament. Why? Bottom line the overwelming majority of coaches agree that DCI should be different.

 

2. Kind of terminally non-unique, since EVERY OTHER TOURNAMENT OPERATES THIS WAY.

That is kind of our point. Let DCI be different. We want it to be a celebration of the best of Kansas. Making it like other invitationals deters or destroys that. The celebration is more important than some kid knowing how he/she did before round 7.

 

3. Irrelevant debates with good judges can be FUN, you can read poetry, or run D&G... or whatever other dumb thing the kids are doing these days. (I'm fully aware that I'm opening myself up to offense by making this argument).

The kids have other opportunities to be dumb/have fun. They can go to KCKCC where the judging is more open to the fun stuff. They can agree to meet a Scooters and just have fun. We want there to be a sense of community at DCI which outweighs kids who know they aren't doing well running dumb arguements.

 

The perm solves all of your other "offense"... I just don't get why anyone would be against this, when the stakes are at their highest, I'd kinda like to know what's up.

The perm has a solvency deficit. The solvency of a closed tab room is that NOBODY knows. The logical assumption then would be that since know one knows that teams should treat each round as a go round because it might be. When the stakes are at the highest, and you don't know, then why would you blow the round off? The point is that you "like" to know what's up. You don't "need" to know what is up. If no one "needs" to know, and that causes logical people to treat each round as if it is relevant, that has better solvency than some people knowing and some people treating the rounds as irrelevant.

 

There has been no answer to my "tab mistakes" argument. I'll go ahead and assume that you made some sort of probability argument against the link.. EVEN IF you think it's not likely, the SQ doesn't allow any mistakes to be fixed. The Aff (open tab room) and the perm (open after round 5, then closed for round 7 results) both solve for the terminal impact (which is probably the biggest in the round).

Your best argument. The reason most invitationals, including ours, have an open tab. However, the national tournaments have close tab rooms and are even more important to get the tabbing right. You solve for this by having a system of peer reviews and audits. Open tab is not the only way to solve for tab errors.

 

Sounds AMAZING. Sign me up. If you're not compiling "guess what dumb thing I saw" stories, I'm not sure why you're judging at all.... It's like 83% of the reason I judge.).

Okay, so can we arrange that you judge every kid who wants to run a dumb argument and allow the rest of us to judge the rounds that the kids are actually trying to present persuasive arguments? Seriously, I'll take all the rounds in which kids are attempting real world arguments and you take all the rounds in which kids are trying to one up each other on the stupid thing that can come out of their mouth.

 

That's answered above.

I don't think it was. If a team is 4-2, what are they going to do different if they were 5-1 or 6-0? If every team is entering round 7 as if they are 6-0, what strategy change would be better in the case they really are 4-2? The only thing you can add by letting kids know they are 3-3 or worse is to tell them they will not be winning/placing at DCI so that round 7 is irrelevant. Then they can treat it with the lack of respect. If everyone approaches the unknown as if they are doing well, then the only logical strategy change would come from the truth being different than the illusion. So the only kids who would change strategy would be the kids who are losing, not those who are winning. Your theory of strategy shift is just not logical.

 

Bottomline, DCI is not broken. Any harms are insignificant and do not justify the inherent risk of change, much less the clear indications that the changes would push us away from what makes DCI special.

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I don't think it was. If a team is 4-2, what are they going to do different if they were 5-1 or 6-0? If every team is entering round 7 as if they are 6-0, what strategy change would be better in the case they really are 4-2? The only thing you can add by letting kids know they are 3-3 or worse is to tell them they will not be winning/placing at DCI so that round 7 is irrelevant. Then they can treat it with the lack of respect. If everyone approaches the unknown as if they are doing well, then the only logical strategy change would come from the truth being different than the illusion. So the only kids who would change strategy would be the kids who are losing, not those who are winning. Your theory of strategy shift is just not logical.

 

Bottomline, DCI is not broken. Any harms are insignificant and do not justify the inherent risk of change, much less the clear indications that the changes would push us away from what makes DCI special.

 

Agreed. For instance, although my partner and I were 5-1 entering seventh round, we were under the impression we were 4-2. In no way did this change our strategy or approach to the round. Either way, the round was massively important, and we did the best debating we could (even though it wasn't enough :x ). Believing in the importance of every round is indeed one of the things that make DCI special. Not knowing your record until the ceremony is torture, but the anticipation it creates, the importance it assigns to each round, and the payoff at the end of the tournament all make it worth it.

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Bottomline, DCI is not broken. Any harms are insignificant and do not justify the inherent risk of change, much less the clear indications that the changes would push us away from what makes DCI special.

 

Again, not unique. The tournament is bigger than most invitationals now. There was a time when every round mattered and even the 3 down bracket rounds in were relevant round 7... That day has likely passed.

 

I'd rather have more information. There's a reason why every other tournament operates this way. You can still close it for round 7 so that you have a surprise ceremony.

 

It makes no sense to me to risk uncorrectable mistakes at a tournament that is arguably the most prestigious one that we have. It makes no sense to me that the tab process and results should be a mystery. Note that I'm in no way questioning the competence or integrity of the committee or the coach(es) that are chosen to run tab, that's not the point. The point is that I'd rather it be open when the stakes are high. I have nothing but respect for the traditions of DCI, that's why I've judged there 10+ times (6-7 times completely unaffiliated).

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Again, not unique. The tournament is bigger than most invitationals now. There was a time when every round mattered and even the 3 down bracket rounds in were relevant round 7... That day has likely passed.

 

I'd rather have more information. There's a reason why every other tournament operates this way. You can still close it for round 7 so that you have a surprise ceremony.

 

It makes no sense to me to risk uncorrectable mistakes at a tournament that is arguably the most prestigious one that we have. It makes no sense to me that the tab process and results should be a mystery. Note that I'm in no way questioning the competence or integrity of the committee or the coach(es) that are chosen to run tab, that's not the point. The point is that I'd rather it be open when the stakes are high. I have nothing but respect for the traditions of DCI, that's why I've judged there 10+ times (6-7 times completely unaffiliated).

At first I couldn't understand what tournament size mattered, but I think I get it now. You are saying that the tournament is large enough now that only teams with 2 or less losses will place. That is true. I don't think that changes having tab open though. Less rounds may be relivant now, but that is even more reason to keep tab closed. That means by keeping everyone in the dark, there are more rounds that are being debated as if they were relivant even though they are not. I just don't get the reason why we'd want teams that already have 3 or more losses to know that? I really think you are creating a false argument that you perceive that 1/3rd of the tournament will be benefitted at the sacrifice of a better experience for 2/3rds of the tournament. Why do you so badly want teams that have 4 losses going into round 7 to know they have no shot?

 

Closing it for round 7 does not solve. if you lose the first 3 rounds, especially with the tournament size, you will not place. Why do we want those kids to try any less hard in rounds 4, 5, and 6? If a team is 3-0 going into round 4, are they going to do something different than if they are 2-1???? That is a fallacy! Not knowing results does not hurt them and I have repeatedly shown there is benefit to not knowing. We get it. You like to know. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy to know records as the tournament goes. And for every other invitational you get to have that warm fuzzy feeling. But there are additional goals of DCI that are not the same goals of the other invitationals. I get that it is a sacrifice to not have that feeling of additional information, but that sacrifice is not in vain. It has a purpose. And the feeling of celebration of the best of Kansas is bigger and better than the feeling of knowing how things are going.

 

We get that you are not being disrespectful to those who volunteer their time though they have no one competing in the tournament to run the tab room. Thank you for not doing that. I don't think you answered my analogy though. As much as I think DCI is a prestigious tournament, I think NFL and CFL are more so, and both of them close their tab rooms too. They are highly prestigious tournaments and from working in their tab rooms I can tell you they take the risk of error EXTREMELY seriously. The only thing the take more seriously than having an error free tab is having a tab without the mere perceiption of allowing results to get out unfairly. They are vigilent about keeping tab completely closed and at the same time 100% accurate. They have proceedures of peer review, shadow tab, and audits to prevent tab error while remaining close. I agree that DCI is prestigious and the tab process must be accurate, but it does not require that tab room to be open for the risk of tab error to be minimized.

 

And so I'm not accused of hijacking the thread, yes, anyone who says mean things about DCI is a big meanie and deserves to get the stink eye from one of the short coaches in the Topeka area.

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At first I couldn't understand what tournament size mattered, but I think I get it now. You are saying that the tournament is large enough now that only teams with 2 or less losses will place. That is true. I don't think that changes having tab open though. Less rounds may be relivant now, but that is even more reason to keep tab closed. That means by keeping everyone in the dark, there are more rounds that are being debated as if they were relivant even though they are not. I just don't get the reason why we'd want teams that already have 3 or more losses to know that? I really think you are creating a false argument that you perceive that 1/3rd of the tournament will be benefitted at the sacrifice of a better experience for 2/3rds of the tournament. Why do you so badly want teams that have 4 losses going into round 7 to know they have no shot?

 

Closing it for round 7 does not solve. if you lose the first 3 rounds, especially with the tournament size, you will not place. Why do we want those kids to try any less hard in rounds 4, 5, and 6? If a team is 3-0 going into round 4, are they going to do something different than if they are 2-1???? That is a fallacy! Not knowing results does not hurt them and I have repeatedly shown there is benefit to not knowing. We get it. You like to know. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy to know records as the tournament goes. And for every other invitational you get to have that warm fuzzy feeling. But there are additional goals of DCI that are not the same goals of the other invitationals. I get that it is a sacrifice to not have that feeling of additional information, but that sacrifice is not in vain. It has a purpose. And the feeling of celebration of the best of Kansas is bigger and better than the feeling of knowing how things are going.

 

We get that you are not being disrespectful to those who volunteer their time though they have no one competing in the tournament to run the tab room. Thank you for not doing that. I don't think you answered my analogy though. As much as I think DCI is a prestigious tournament, I think NFL and CFL are more so, and both of them close their tab rooms too. They are highly prestigious tournaments and from working in their tab rooms I can tell you they take the risk of error EXTREMELY seriously. The only thing the take more seriously than having an error free tab is having a tab without the mere perceiption of allowing results to get out unfairly. They are vigilent about keeping tab completely closed and at the same time 100% accurate. They have proceedures of peer review, shadow tab, and audits to prevent tab error while remaining close. I agree that DCI is prestigious and the tab process must be accurate, but it does not require that tab room to be open for the risk of tab error to be minimized.

 

And so I'm not accused of hijacking the thread, yes, anyone who says mean things about DCI is a big meanie and deserves to get the stink eye from one of the short coaches in the Topeka area.

 

The nationals argument is not one that I find compelling, mostly because it would be a nightmare to have an open tab room with 5 billion coaches in it. It's just not logistically feasible. They certainly could use an online program that would post results to a website, I'd certainly be in favor of that.

 

Ask yourself this, would you want tab to be closed at State? Most coaches would have a fit... why would they feel this way? Why is DCI any different?

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The nationals argument is not one that I find compelling, mostly because it would be a nightmare to have an open tab room with 5 billion coaches in it. It's just not logistically feasible. They certainly could use an online program that would post results to a website, I'd certainly be in favor of that.

 

Ask yourself this, would you want tab to be closed at State? Most coaches would have a fit... why would they feel this way? Why is DCI any different?

Yes, nationals could have their tabing software publish results online in real time. The specifically choose not to. They truly want the excitement of everyone finding out at once. The love the excitement. And if students can handle being in the dark at nationals, why can't they deal with it at DCI?

 

Yes, I'd be fine with State being closed. I'm not allowed in there anyway as a member of the judging pool. Also, state does not pull off having the same atmosphere as DCI. At the end of State, the only people there to congratulate you on winning State are the State runners up. Everyone else left. There is no sense of the entire debate community being there to acknowledge the acheivement. The goal is completely different. Thus, for repeating for the fourth time, why DCI should be different than State or other tournaments. So perhaps State needs to have a open tab room while DCI needs to have a closed tab room.

 

At this point I feel like I can not possibily convince you that DCI is different. Perhaps the value of celebrating as a debate community doesn't have any value to you. Perhaps you are just absolutely dead set that all tournaments have to be identical both in purpose and in function. Perhaps you feel your need for instant gratification of knowledge of results is so overpowering that nothing else can possibly have priority over that all consuming need and the delay in knowledge is a painful sacrifice that cannot be shouldered under any circumstance. Whatever the reason, I've failed in explaining it in a persuasive manner. I must accept that at this point. Thank you for the polite discussion and I'll see you this weekend at State.

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