As usual, the Regis Noel Conflagration was a blockbuster. Eight—count 'em, 8—divisions of debate, all viable. But, I have to admit, the whole proceeding has me wondering if we could improve this process. I'm not thinking of the CFL (yet), but the MHL here, although the same thing applies. The problem is three rounds. I mean, three rounds is fine to get some practice, but very hard to take tin. You have to win all three of them, and worse, if there's enough of a field, you have to have stratospheric points. Since we sort by total points (you can hardly drop a round when there's only three of them), any one judge can send you into the bottom of the bracket, or, of course, out of the running completely. Given that most of the judges are upperclassmen (at least at MHLs; Regis tends to field a lot of parents) who have their own particular opinions of resolutions that are, to be honest, about one week more mature than their judgees, if that, this is a pretty cold approach to adjudication. At Little Lex, on the other hand, there's always 4 rounds, and losing one still can get you a trophy, and regardless, 3-1 looks so much better than 2-1. So the question is, why not redesign the MHL as four-round tournaments? Sure, we'd get out a little later (although we could start a little earlier too, which would work for everyone except Bronx Scientology, which always gets lost, even when the tournament is at Bronx Scientology), but it's not as if most of us expect to be home for dinner on a debate night anyhow, so what's the loss? Not much. And the gain for everyone is an extra round and a better competitive structure: since we lag-pair, this would mean also that round 4 is based on 2 rounds rather than 1 (albeit still random ones, but it would eliminate a little of the riffraff). I think it's probably too late for this in the 07-08 season, but I will put it before the assorted minds of the region and see how it flies for next year. I can't imagine much opposition. Although I might probably keep the first-timers event at 3 rounds, because it starts at noon, at least if it stays at Byram Hills, which has been a very nice venue.
And so, onward to some Christmas brouhaha. While the assorted nuts that are my family are fighting over the mashed potatoes, I will be polishing up Caveboy, which I looked at yesterday for a first run-through. What a