Friday, October 30, 2009

More on judge assignment

I just realized that comments were being posted (I thought I was getting them sent to my email, but obviously I wasn't). And I love the phrase strikes and dice.

As an habitue of one of those smoke-filled tabrooms, I can say a couple of things. First, protesting that we don't favor our own teams would sound disingenuous, but in reality, we deliberately make sure that there are representatives from more than one school, to prevent that from happening. Of course, anyone who has sat with me in tab knows that my personal motto is, "Make this damned thing end," so the only manipulation I'd be doing, if I could, is closing out the tournament in, if possible, doubles. But seriously, I have often heard accusations made against certain people manipulating tab; as far as I know, none of those people are any longer active in debate, and no one has accused any of my cronies tab team colleagues of anything like that, so at least the northeast is clean.

Secondly, the issue of putting the better judges into the tougher rounds is not really just us making it up. Obviously we can use prior knowledge: we certainly know who all the coaches are, but by default we will highly rank coaches we don't know personally on the basis of the simple idea that, if they're a coach, they know what they're doing until they prove otherwise. (And make no mistake, many coaches quickly and categorically do prove otherwise, but that is up to them, not us.) We also use the experience of each tournament's previous rankings. I keep a spreadsheet of every tournament that I've done with community rankings of every judge in the pools. Community rankings from tournament to tournament tend to remain stable, and I'm able to consult this list when I have no knowledge of my own. Just as a point of information, we've started adding to this list the names of parent judges we have trained ourselves at MHLs, so we know who we can trust at the newer level.

So, realistically, a good tab room ought to be making reasonable and honorable assignments when they are simply not going at random. But this does not subtract from the appeal of strikes and dice. We talked in the podcast about trying it at Ridge, but instead we're going to test MJP (since it's new to me from an operational standpoint, and I'd like to try a little baptism of fire). Maybe we should try S&D at Lakeland, which should be humongous. The big question is, what is the number of strikes that makes sense for a field of, say, 100?

Episode 4 — Defining the divisions: novices, jv and varsity

In episode four, Les Trois Critiquers discuss who should debate at what level, when. Get it here.

On the tech side, we discuss how we're using Twitter, successfully and otherwise. For the record, we are @jimmenick and @debatetab (for official tournament business), @bietz and @joncruz1138.

And Bietz predicted something, but it's been a couple of days now since we recorded (I had a high time trying to get this one up) so I can't remember for the life of me what it was.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Episode 3 - Judge preferences and rankings

This week the Tres Meatballeros discuss Mutual Judge Preference, Community Rankings, strikes, random selection of judges, and other tabbing issues. Get it here.

Our tech selection for the week is Dropbox. And our prediction for the near future is that there will be a short gap between Jon Cruz worrying about this year's Big Bronx tournament and starting to worry about next year's tournament, but the smart money is against us.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Episode 2 — Mandatory immunization

Get it here. Menick, Bietz and Babycakes Cruz discuss, first, the Nov-Dec resolution. (My confusion on measles wasn't all that confused. The general vaccine is for both measles and so-called German measles. But is is German measles that is the contagion that causes birth defects, while measles contagion just leads to measles. One ought to be able to come up with the odd oodle of evidence on this, given the WHO statistics on measles deaths. Africa has the least amount of vaccination and, apparently, the highest death rate.) This week both Mike and Jon have new microphones, marking a giant leap forward for mankind.

The "This American Life" episode is here.

The tech spotlight this week is on iDebate. Predictions cover the Kaiser tournament in Monticello, New York, and baseball, whatever that is.

Feel free to comment, and especially to suggest future subjects for discussion. I would also imagine that soon we would be able to add guests, provided they have Garageband or Audacity and some decent sort of microphone beyond the built-in, which picks up more ambient noise than you can shake a shtick at.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Episode 1 — Case Disclosure

Our first episode concentrates on case disclosure, stemming from recent events at Greenhill. There is surprising consensus among our panelists, Coaches Menick, Bietz and Cruz. Download it here, or subscribe to The View from Tab on iTunes.

Also we cover instapaper, our tech tip of the week, and a peek at upcoming events.

Feel free to comment on the proceedings.

(We'll perk up this blog as time goes by. At the moment, we're concentrating on sounding good. Or at least better...)