Wednesday, September 20, 2017

In which we put the Toolkit to bed

Updating the Toolkit was a real task. A lot of it was predicated on a talk I gave way back when at the NDCA, and all I had from that was a PowerPoint. Usually I work in lots of written words, and I had to take all those spoken words and baffling slides and make essay-ish sense out of them. Some of the data I updated. Some I threw out completely and replaced with better stuff.

Then, of course, there was the challenge of organization, figuring out what went where. Honestly, the Toolkit webpage is the best resource, because you can find something useful right there easily enough, but I like to delude myself and think that some people might download the whole manual as a single document and browse through it.

Here’s the thing, and I see it all the time. Most people don’t seem to know how best to run a tournament, even if they’ve been running a tournament since Trump Tower was just a little Motel 6 down a ways from the interstate. (There’s a metaphor I hope to never use again.) First of all, they do it the same every time, which makes little sense given that any good crafter wants to improve the product with each attempt. Second, and more important, they really don’t compare notes with one another. Agree or disagree with what I suggest, at least it puts forth a potential best practice that you can compare to what you’re doing.

It’s interesting to work with the Rather Large Bronx team of TDs. I can’t imagine more competent, dedicated people, but at the same time, they’re sort of locked into the way things were back in the day. Debate, and tournaments, have changed a lot in the last decade. The good news is that they listen to us and agree with what we’re suggesting. But they’re smart enough to know that their tab staff isn’t just a bunch of puppets useful for three days only. We know how to run tournaments because we do it all the time. We’re learning and improving all the time. Why wouldn’t you listen to us? If you do as we suggest, you’ll improve your tournament. If you ignore us, at least you’ll give us the opportunity to say we told you so. The same applies to the Toolkit, now captured in amber for the ages.

Which raises the question, if tournament operations are always evolving, how do I handle that? I’m not quite sure. The Fb page should help. We’ll see. I certainly don’t expect what I have written to be the final word, or for that matter, all that often the first word. If only a handful of people use it to improve their tournaments, that’s at least something. And now that it’s done, aside from presumed updates, I can move on to other things.


No comments: