December 20, 2008

Judging at debate tournaments...

Greatly varies depending on both the quality of the tournament and the quality of the debaters.

There are two axises on which you can judge tournaments are the efficiency with which tab runs and the level of debaters that you're judging. Thus there are 4 distinct extremes when it comes to tournaments:
  • Those that are both run poorly and have terrible competition, meaning that not only are you stuck there for a long time, but the rounds you do judge absolutely suck. A badly run local is usually like this. In the NJ local circuit, one example would be Hanover Park I.
  • Those that are run well but have terrible competition. That is, you are done really quickly, but the quality of competition is not guaranteed to be good at all. In the NJ local circuit, most CFL locals fall under this category.
  • Those that are poorly run but have great competition. This usually means that the tournament will run incredibly slowly and have many errors or bad policies, but the people you judge are excellent. An example tournament would be Harvard.
  • Those that are well run and also have great competition. These are generally the big national circuit tournaments, like Glenbrooks or Big Bronx.
In terms of the four tournaments that I have judged at on this topic, these on their rankings on a 0-10 scale (0 = lowest, 10 = highest) of their ratings in both categories:

In terms of quality of tabulation:
  1. Newark CFL Local #3 at Ridge High School (5 rounds in 1 day started at 9AM and were done by 4PM). (10/10)
  2. The Ridge Debates at Ridge High School (Efficient tab as always). (8/10)
  3. Homewood Flossmoor Invitational at Homewood Flossmoor High School (I was impressed by the relatively quick speed of this tournament). (7/10)
  4. The Bustamante Classic at Thomas Kelly High School (Though it ran relatively on time this was the only tournament that was running late relative to its size). (6.5/10)
In terms of quality of competition:
  1. The Ridge Debates at Ridge High School (Biggest draw from the most states with the most people already qualified to the TOC and the highest level of outrounds). (9/10)
  2. Newark CFL Local #3 at Ridge High School (Probably because of the Ridge kids, but there were actual TOC bids here, so the competition wins out, but just slightly). (7/10)
  3. Homewood Flossmoor Invitational at Homewood Flossmoor High School (Diverse draw from Chicago and its suburbs, plus a couple of out of staters). (6/10)
  4. The Bustamante Classic at Thomas Kelly High School (Average draw from Chicago and a few suburban schools). (5/10)
The best tournament of this topic:
The Ridge Debates. It just was the best combination of tabbing and quality of competition that I went to.

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