Thursday, January 04, 2018

In which we ponder what we do in the smoke-filled back rooms

There’s this great disconnect when you’re tabbing someone else’s tournament versus helping direct a tournament. With the former, you might go over things a couple of times in advance just to shore things up, but if the someone else is, say, CP or Kaz, your expectations of them not understanding how works are, shall we say, limited. On the other hand, college staffs change year to year, plus you’re running the waitlists and assigning out the judges and answering various queries. Needless to say, the latter is more time-consuming, and maybe a little more fun, although there is something to be said for stepping into a nice broken-in pair of comfy shoes like at Bigle X.

I’m a little disappointed that the per-round obligations deal at Bigle is turning out to be mostly people obligated for 6 rounds. It seems to me that last year we had a lot more occasional judges, which was sort of entertaining to balance out against the prefs. The more there is to do in tabbing, the more fun it is. Since tabroom does 95% of the work, mostly that just means making sure that the prefs are good (e.g., 2-3s instead of 1-2s) and then making sure that people show up and finish up. The pool as a whole, i.e., all judges under the sun, is getting better at it. At the point where everyone understands that the only way we have of knowing what is happening is when you press start and when you enter results, and also that it is important that we know what is happening, we’ll have achieved tournament nirvana. Needless to say, I doubt that tournament nirvana is anywhere near, at this point. Way too much bad karma to clear out first.

Tomorrow TBAs will be eliminated from Columbia. Despite my having told people weeks ago that we wouldn’t accept TBAs off the waitlist, some schools have refused to name the teams they presumably are eager to place. Go figure. Of course, I only assume about a 4 out of 5 readership of official tournament emails. This, combined with a 1 out of 5 readership of tournament invitations, leads one to wonder how in the name of all that is holy do people manage to do anything productive in the world. I could be sorry that I stick to something as antediluvian as email for tournament business, but are you recommending Snapchat? Make it an Instagram story? Think deep thoughts and hope that your ESP is working?



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