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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    making time the only workable solution is the 6 round tournament I agree with Ralph that switching to 6 rounds at makes it more likely that points will determine who clears and who does not and that experimenting with a 100 point scale while shortening tournaments and increasing the importance of points doesn t make sense I do think that this is an issue we need to confront as a community and discuss If anyone is interested I have a really good frontline in favor of 6 round tournaments but I wanted to focus on what I feel are the problems with 7 rounds in this post Greg In the spirit of ranks that nobody will ever respond to Hi Whit and D Lo I suppose this post is a reaction to a trend I ve noticed on e Debate regarding tournament safety and some things that I noticed over the weekend while at the Clay My overall point the short version is this Debate is good Shortening tournament length decrease Debate and that is bad part 1 If we are going to make smaller schedules the norm we should reevaluate the structure of the prelims part 2 Part I Against Shortening Tournament Length There seems to be a trend towards having fewer prelim rounds at tournaments A number of arguments are given in support of this claim but few are very well explained Among them are Perhaps the best argument that I ve heard for having fewer rounds is that debaters will be less tired at the end of the tournament resulting in better elim day debates for those involved and less fatigue for all debaters returning home to the school work they have put off for the past couple days or weeks In its strongest articulation the argument for shortening tournament length has focused on the need to improve the general tournament atmosphere making debate tournaments more habitable for all Those who began the movement for shorter tournament those to whom I am indebted to and far less wise than seemed to notice a troubling tide of over exhaustion isolation and general grumpiness at tournaments Although I am in general supportive of measures that make tournaments more inviting and community building I am not yet convinced that shortening tournament length is the appropriate response and I hope that other solutions will continue to be experimented with On face the argument that we should shorten debate tournaments because people get too tired just seems silly I m sure for example that basketball players get extremely tired during the course of a regular season game and even more exhausted during a play off series or a long trip on the road The solution to this fatigue however is not to shorten the length of quarters or the number of games being played during the season Instead coaches encourage their players to live a lifestyle off the court that enables them to adequately handle the stress of the game Debaters are

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    to place judges in and is often the most time consuming debate to pair Added to this is the fact that elim debates generally take longer to decide and that there is usually an awards ceremony before the start of the doubles At Kentucky our team arrived at the school at 7 00 AM on Sunday and did leave campus until 11 PM making this a 16 hour day at the school This is far worse than day 2 at 8 round tournaments and this day effects everyone at the tournament Day 3 is clearly better in that there are only 4 elims but it is really only net better for the 7 people who are involved in the finals and even that is a subjective claim since all of those people are far more tired than they typically would be on elim day since day 2 was so much longer than usual This should not be read as an argument in favor of 8 round tournaments My position is clearly that as a community we need to assess how much stress we are putting on our students and ourselves and I think that short of placing substantial limits on decision making time the only workable solution is the 6 round tournament I agree with Ralph that switching to 6 rounds at makes it more likely that points will determine who clears and who does not and that experimenting with a 100 point scale while shortening tournaments and increasing the importance of points doesn t make sense I do think that this is an issue we need to confront as a community and discuss If anyone is interested I have a really good frontline in favor of 6 round tournaments but I wanted to focus on what I feel are the problems with 7 rounds in this post Greg In the spirit of ranks that nobody will ever respond to Hi Whit and D Lo I suppose this post is a reaction to a trend I ve noticed on e Debate regarding tournament safety and some things that I noticed over the weekend while at the Clay My overall point the short version is this Debate is good Shortening tournament length decrease Debate and that is bad part 1 If we are going to make smaller schedules the norm we should reevaluate the structure of the prelims part 2 Part I Against Shortening Tournament Length There seems to be a trend towards having fewer prelim rounds at tournaments A number of arguments are given in support of this claim but few are very well explained Among them are Perhaps the best argument that I ve heard for having fewer rounds is that debaters will be less tired at the end of the tournament resulting in better elim day debates for those involved and less fatigue for all debaters returning home to the school work they have put off for the past couple days or weeks In its strongest articulation the

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    maintain 8 prelims and two of those are 4 day tournaments and Harvard only clears to an octafinal However in response to the desire to shorten tournaments many directors have decided to move to 7 rounds After reflecting on this for some time I have come to believe that 7 round tournaments are the worst possible compromise I think they reduce the number of prelim rounds while making the schedule net worse for the overwhelming majority of the tournament participants In a typical 7 round tournament the first day consists of 4 prelims meaning that there is no difference between a 7 and 8 round tournament The second day of a 7 round tournament however is MUCH worse for all of the participants In a typical 8 round tournament there are 4 debates round 6 is a lag powered round so only 2 real power matching breaks exist With 7 round tournaments there are 3 prelims on day 2 all of which are directly power matched meaning that the day is automatically already longer Then the final debate is not just an elim but typically the double octa final As someone who runs a lot of tabrooms I can assure you this is the most difficult debate to place judges in and is often the most time consuming debate to pair Added to this is the fact that elim debates generally take longer to decide and that there is usually an awards ceremony before the start of the doubles At Kentucky our team arrived at the school at 7 00 AM on Sunday and did leave campus until 11 PM making this a 16 hour day at the school This is far worse than day 2 at 8 round tournaments and this day effects everyone at the tournament Day 3 is clearly better in that there are only 4 elims but it is really only net better for the 7 people who are involved in the finals and even that is a subjective claim since all of those people are far more tired than they typically would be on elim day since day 2 was so much longer than usual This should not be read as an argument in favor of 8 round tournaments My position is clearly that as a community we need to assess how much stress we are putting on our students and ourselves and I think that short of placing substantial limits on decision making time the only workable solution is the 6 round tournament I agree with Ralph that switching to 6 rounds at makes it more likely that points will determine who clears and who does not and that experimenting with a 100 point scale while shortening tournaments and increasing the importance of points doesn t make sense I do think that this is an issue we need to confront as a community and discuss If anyone is interested I have a really good frontline in favor of 6 round tournaments but I wanted

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    all 7 rounds in the current structure does not work very well for the majority of the tournament Ralph s post was dead on 8 prelims with travel and debate on different days at the beginning is the superior schedule if done right Maybe not national but our tournament approaches 100 teams and Wayne and UNI all have 8 rounds Add that to NDT Harvard and CEDA Nationals and there are still a number of tournaments I m sure I am missing some that are 8 rounds including some District tournaments 7 rounds is a terrible compromise Greg is right on about that but I am not sure 6 really solves the problem especially given the arguments that more debates are generally better we do come to tournaments to debate and the majority of participants do not compete after out rounds begin Our compromise to the long day on Monday will be to only clear 16 teams in each of 3 divisions instead of the exactly half rule that the ADA encourages but does not mandate There is an important place for 6 round regional tournaments and that makes up a bulk of our schedule but the national or larger regional tournaments looking to have the full prelim experience and a reasonable day of elims for all the competitors can still do well with the 8 round prelim format At the Spider tournament we had 8 prelims or 7 and a teach in for novices for almost 100 teams and 5 elims on Monday but not just 5 elims overall five elims in Open and in Novice and 4 elims in JV For the second elim round we used 60 judges and more than half the teams at the tournament were able to compete on the third day The tournament was over by 10 00 or 11 00 at night on Monday There are improvements we can make we plan to release the full bracket Sunday night as well as the specific judges needed in the morning in addition to limiting the elims to 16 teams per division unless a division gets bigger than 40 Thanks to Ralph and Greg for their posts and I hope the conversation continues on this Sincerely Kevin From edebate bounces at ndtceda com edebate bounces at ndtceda com On Behalf Of gregachten at berkeley edu gregachten at berkeley edu Sent Tuesday October 13 2009 12 27 AM To Ralph Paone Cc edebate at ndtceda com Subject Re eDebate On 7 Round Tournaments I too have been thinking about this a great deal and spent a long time at Kentucky talking to people about this very issue and was actually planning on posting to edebate sometime this week so I thank Ralph for motivating me to sit down and write this As many of you know I am a big advocate of 6 round tournaments I think in general 8 round tournaments with 5 elims on Monday are an anachronism from a time when debates actually took 2 hours and we could start at 8 AM and be done by 7 PM Of course the heightened complexity of debates and the extended decision making times that have corresponded along with the increased demands for pre round preparation have made this model largely obsolete I think there is an emerging consensus in the community that 8 round tournaments are not healthy for the community witness that among the major national tournaments only Harvard CEDA and the NDT maintain 8 prelims and two of those are 4 day tournaments and Harvard only clears to an octafinal However in response to the desire to shorten tournaments many directors have decided to move to 7 rounds After reflecting on this for some time I have come to believe that 7 round tournaments are the worst possible compromise I think they reduce the number of prelim rounds while making the schedule net worse for the overwhelming majority of the tournament participants In a typical 7 round tournament the first day consists of 4 prelims meaning that there is no difference between a 7 and 8 round tournament The second day of a 7 round tournament however is MUCH worse for all of the participants In a typical 8 round tournament there are 4 debates round 6 is a lag powered round so only 2 real power matching breaks exist With 7 round tournaments there are 3 prelims on day 2 all of which are directly power matched meaning that the day is automatically already longer Then the final debate is not just an elim but typically the double octa final As someone who runs a lot of tabrooms I can assure you this is the most difficult debate to place judges in and is often the most time consuming debate to pair Added to this is the fact that elim debates generally take longer to decide and that there is usually an awards ceremony before the start of the doubles At Kentucky our team arrived at the school at 7 00 AM on Sunday and did leave campus until 11 PM making this a 16 hour day at the school This is far worse than day 2 at 8 round tournaments and this day effects everyone at the tournament Day 3 is clearly better in that there are only 4 elims but it is really only net better for the 7 people who are involved in the finals and even that is a subjective claim since all of those people are far more tired than they typically would be on elim day since day 2 was so much longer than usual This should not be read as an argument in favor of 8 round tournaments My position is clearly that as a community we need to assess how much stress we are putting on our students and ourselves and I think that short of placing substantial limits on decision making time the only workable solution is the 6 round tournament

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    Are longer decisions more educational Personally I just find eliminating a bunch of prelims a high price to pay for decisions that take 2 5 hours instead of one hour On Thu Oct 15 2009 at 3 37 PM Kuswa Kevin kkuswa at richmond edu wrote Hi all 7 rounds in the current structure does not work very well for the majority of the tournament Ralph s post was dead on 8 prelims with travel and debate on different days at the beginning is the superior schedule if done right Maybe not national but our tournament approaches 100 teams and Wayne and UNI all have 8 rounds Add that to NDT Harvard and CEDA Nationals and there are still a number of tournaments I m sure I am missing some that are 8 rounds including some District tournaments 7 rounds is a terrible compromise Greg is right on about that but I am not sure 6 really solves the problem especially given the arguments that more debates are generally better we do come to tournaments to debate and the majority of participants do not compete after out rounds begin Our compromise to the long day on Monday will be to only clear 16 teams in each of 3 divisions instead of the exactly half rule that the ADA encourages but does not mandate There is an important place for 6 round regional tournaments and that makes up a bulk of our schedule but the national or larger regional tournaments looking to have the full prelim experience and a reasonable day of elims for all the competitors can still do well with the 8 round prelim format At the Spider tournament we had 8 prelims or 7 and a teach in for novices for almost 100 teams and 5 elims on Monday but not just 5 elims overall five elims in Open and in Novice and 4 elims in JV For the second elim round we used 60 judges and more than half the teams at the tournament were able to compete on the third day The tournament was over by 10 00 or 11 00 at night on Monday There are improvements we can make we plan to release the full bracket Sunday night as well as the specific judges needed in the morning in addition to limiting the elims to 16 teams per division unless a division gets bigger than 40 Thanks to Ralph and Greg for their posts and I hope the conversation continues on this Sincerely Kevin From edebate bounces at ndtceda com edebate bounces at ndtceda com On Behalf Of gregachten at berkeley edu gregachten at berkeley edu Sent Tuesday October 13 2009 12 27 AM To Ralph Paone Cc edebate at ndtceda com Subject Re eDebate On 7 Round Tournaments I too have been thinking about this a great deal and spent a long time at Kentucky talking to people about this very issue and was actually planning on posting to edebate sometime this week so I thank Ralph for motivating me to sit down and write this As many of you know I am a big advocate of 6 round tournaments I think in general 8 round tournaments with 5 elims on Monday are an anachronism from a time when debates actually took 2 hours and we could start at 8 AM and be done by 7 PM Of course the heightened complexity of debates and the extended decision making times that have corresponded along with the increased demands for pre round preparation have made this model largely obsolete I think there is an emerging consensus in the community that 8 round tournaments are not healthy for the community witness that among the major national tournaments only Harvard CEDA and the NDT maintain 8 prelims and two of those are 4 day tournaments and Harvard only clears to an octafinal However in response to the desire to shorten tournaments many directors have decided to move to 7 rounds After reflecting on this for some time I have come to believe that 7 round tournaments are the worst possible compromise I think they reduce the number of prelim rounds while making the schedule net worse for the overwhelming majority of the tournament participants In a typical 7 round tournament the first day consists of 4 prelims meaning that there is no difference between a 7 and 8 round tournament The second day of a 7 round tournament however is MUCH worse for all of the participants In a typical 8 round tournament there are 4 debates round 6 is a lag powered round so only 2 real power matching breaks exist With 7 round tournaments there are 3 prelims on day 2 all of which are directly power matched meaning that the day is automatically already longer Then the final debate is not just an elim but typically the double octa final As someone who runs a lot of tabrooms I can assure you this is the most difficult debate to place judges in and is often the most time consuming debate to pair Added to this is the fact that elim debates generally take longer to decide and that there is usually an awards ceremony before the start of the doubles At Kentucky our team arrived at the school at 7 00 AM on Sunday and did leave campus until 11 PM making this a 16 hour day at the school This is far worse than day 2 at 8 round tournaments and this day effects everyone at the tournament Day 3 is clearly better in that there are only 4 elims but it is really only net better for the 7 people who are involved in the finals and even that is a subjective claim since all of those people are far more tired than they typically would be on elim day since day 2 was so much longer than usual This should not be read as an argument in favor of 8

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    is a fair argument but honestly the majority of things I take out of debate rounds comes from the judge While it s really easy to say well the judges should just make decisions faster we re here for the students in my experience if the judge has not had time to adequately prepare study the flow possibly read evidence possibly even write out their decision that they were planning to just say to the debaters then the entire debate can be ruined I really cannot think of a thing worse than you re judge saying after an extremely competitive round you might have won if i d had more time to fully think through the round This happened in at least two of my rounds last year at the northwestern tournament But in addition to avoiding snafu s like that long decisions that involve teams asking multiple questions of the judge are awesome 1 learn better stuff about the topic I ve found the post round invaluable in gaining new ideas and perspectives about arguments i m running This may be a bit obvious but judges are in unique positions to help argument developments since not only have they just heard you re entire argument but chances are because they re from a different school different debate circle whatever they have a perspective to offer that can at least help you debate the argument better in front of that critic if not improve the argument over all 2 learn better stuff in general as anyone who s ever had a judge like Calum or Pointer explain some extremely difficult acedemic concept like string theory or a particular authors view on macro biology judges as frequent products of debate themselves are smart Taking the time to allow them to teach

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    I think everything Kevin says is correct However I want to reiterate what Gary Larson said as well judge decision times are driving the longer days at the big national tournaments Richmond is indeed well run but the ethic among ADA judges who generally decide rounds within 150 minutes of the announced start time is immensely important in keeping the days shorter No conversation is complete without considering that fact

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  • [eDebate] On 7 Round Tournaments
    actual start time that a particular round happens to begin tournaments now write in an expectation of 2 45 If only it were that simple At Kentucky rounds 6 and 7 both required about 3 05 to receive the last ballots For doubles it was 3 15 for octos it was almost 3 30 We follow the unwritten rule that a task expands to fill the time allotted for it and then some So whatever time is gained by having fewer rounds is quickly more than lost by having each debate take longer Even Monday didn t see as much benefit as we might have hoped since it took between 4 15 and 4 30 to go from start to start for successive rounds As a community we must decide whether having 8 debates that take 3 15 each from start to start 7 debates that take 3 45 each 6 debates that take 4 15 each and so in is better I know that there is a quality vs quantity distinction but if the students do really benefit from a decision that takes a half hour or more longer to complete than the norm we d have to concede that only a small minority or students are getting that benefit while waiting for the few that do I think that this is our Achilles heel and there is no practical maximum where it will just take care of itself But what about the threat of coin flips and the like Perhaps But the community still sides in their heart with the judge that they applaud for being extra careful against the tab room that would decide a critical round with a coin flip I think that this is the conversation that we need to be happening or we will

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