I’ll start letting folks off the Tigger waitlist tomorrow.
As with most tournaments, registration is limited to teams officially representing their schools, although the invitation wording is a little more detailed than that, in aid of making it extremely clear that the freebooters are not welcome. I’ve gone over the reasons for this many times, but one is inescapable. Given that I’ve been to four tournaments this season, and three of them sent people off in ambulances to the nearest hospitals—this was not cause and effect, that is, tournaments making them sick, but simply conditions that happened to be aggravated by not being home in bed with a nice cup of tea—I don’t think it’s terribly conservative on my part to insist that schools know that they’ve sent students to a tournament with responsible adults to handle whatever situations might arise. This is especially true with a college tournament, which may take students quite further away from home than a more regional event. Not that location matters to the people involved. No coach wants to have to handle a sick student, but coaches are prepared to do so, armed with medical forms and contact information and, in many cases, special emergency training. Tournaments should not be hazardous to your health. But if your health is at issue, tournaments should not get in the way of restorative measures. Lone children unchaperoned, with no schools accepting liability? I don’t think so.
If any of this eludes you, do the math by comparing it to sports. Kids who like, say, tennis, don’t get into school tennis tournaments without the proper credentials and supervision. ’Nuff said.
Anyhow, the way we handle waitlists these days is to give them a little time to age in the bottle before letting people in. The old idea that first come, first served, was a meaningful measure of tournament worthiness has been replaced by a calmer system, allowing people a week or more to get their registrations in order so that they actually plan to come with the people they’ve registered. My job, aside from detecting freebooters, is to keep things even. Everybody should get an equal number of slots, up to the physical limits of the tournament. No special treatment. Except… Well, if you’re coming from far away, I might let you squeak in an extra here or there because you have to buy airline tickets, and I know there will be some drops forthcoming. And more local schools will get the normal allotment, but the assumption that they can be more flexible means that they’ll get more slots when things loosen up. But those folks who entered, for instance, 17 novice teams? You’re kidding, right? Some of these are the teams that don’t show up at regional tournaments, and they expect that somehow a college will expand to suck them in. And, notably, at fairly high expense, comparatively. Go figure. I don’t run the list as a punishment for dubious behavior, but I certainly can see and shake my head over those behaviors. Oh, well. It’s your money. Or probably more likely your parents’ money. If coaches want to waste it impressing their parents that their students are all going to participate at Ivies, so be it. Sure, the Ivy tournaments are, generally, fun. But you don’t build solid debaters stone-skipping from one to the other and ignoring the tournaments that will build their skills week after week. But what do I know? I was only a coach for twenty years. Maybe things changed during the year I retired from it. Maybe it doesn’t work that way anymore.
Does the new touch bar on the Macs have a sarcasm detector?
(Speaking of which, at those prices, my old MacBook Pro and my new Chromebook look more than up to any tasks I want to throw at them. I only used the CB at Regis, and it worked like a charm. What can I say? Sorry, Apple. I was primed for a bout of technolust, but you just didn't come through.)
So by Monday the Tigger lists should be cleared, except for the tattie howkers. I’ll give the Tigs marching orders on a few schools to get clearance from the admins, where I’m not quite sure. Otherwise the numbers look about the same as always, and I would imagine that most people, aside from the greediest, will get in. And a swell time will be had by all.