Things have been going along swimmingly. Overall, people are definitely getting the hang of virtuosity. After all, once you’ve done it, you discover there isn’t much to it. If you can turn on your computer, you pretty much know everything there is to know. The number of tech issues is minimal. If nothing else has gone right during the pandemic, at least forensics has not only survived but thrived. So at least there’s one happy story in all of this mess.
The last few weeks for me have been smallish events that have, at times, required a bit of creativity in the pairing creation. Our CFLs have no school limits, so if you have umpty-ump novice PFers on your team, you get all umpty-ump of them into the tournament. Of course, this usually means same-school pairings, but that is the price you pay for having a successful program. (One of the nice things about the invitiationals this year, unlimited in space as they are, is our ability to have V, JV and Nov divisions of everything, to which the response has been very strong. I think the JV divisions in particular have been godsends for people. The limits in the TOC-bid varsity divisions are serious, but as I’ve noted a million times before, not everyone is—or should be—on the bid hunt. Add to this the need for a place for second-year and lightly experienced third-years to go and have a chance to get meaningful rounds at their own level, and there you are.) With same-school pairings, at least we usually can get neutral judging, which is something at least. We’ve also had to do a little dancing with the pools, throwing LD judges into PF and (if it makes sense) PF judges into CX, and all manner of craziness that isn’t necessary in the normal run of events. It makes tabbing fun (or something resembling fun, in the tabbing sense of the word), but it does keep the judges dancing to different tunes at the drop of a hat. Keeps them on their toes, in other words. Then again, variety is the proverbial S of L, so we’ll leave it at that.
One big problem has been that single flighting has not generated anything close to a surplus of judges. IRL, a 3 to 1 ratio in a double-flighted world where, in reality, you need a 2 to 1 ratio, has obvious overages. In a 2-1 ratio situation where you indeed run at 2-1, overages aren’t so likely. Being in general a devious human being, I’ve been capping the colleges at odd numbers for just that reason. That is, you can have 3, or 5, depending. 2 or 4, I can’t stop you from entering only Castor and Pollux, but if you have both the Gemini twins and the Olsen twins on your team, one of those pairs is staying home. (Sorry, Mary-Kate.) This arithmetic reality is the reason we didn’t hire out judges at Rather Large Bronx, keeping them all to ourselves, and why we won’t be doing it at the Ivies I work either. At the big tournaments we want if possible to give rounds off; the only way to do that is hire extras and work them to death—What? You want me to judge 5 whole hours? What kind of working world is that? If I had a 9 to 5 job I’d only have to work… Oh… Right. I sent out the notice that we were reneging on the judge hire offer for Princeton a couple of days ago, and got zero push-back. Maybe people are waking up to reality. (Or maybe people are not reading their emails. Could go either way.)
Coming up this weekend is Scarsdale, where JV will be cracking the whip virtually to get everyone where they belong when they belong there. Then there’s Wee Sma Lex via the Bronx Local, which still could use a few NYers to perk things up, and then the Tiggers, Ridge and the Venial Sinvitational. Ye gods! Fortunately Thanksgiving is in there somewhere to break things up, and everyone will be over the river and through the woods at grandmother's house, although probably most likely only in their dreams, but, as they say in sports ball, Wait till next year!