leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

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BuzzerZen
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by BuzzerZen »

OK seriously all of you dumb fucks are making this far too complicated.

Leaving tournaments early when it will fuck things up or without telling the TD is bad.

Leaving tournaments early at an appropriate juncture, giving the TD some advance notice, for whatever reason, isn't, you know, awesome, but probably nobody is going to give you shit for it.

And seriously, TDs, if any of your moderators will take more than 30 minutes to run a round, don't let them read and hold a smaller fucking tournament.

OK?

OK.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by naturalistic phallacy »

BuzzerZen wrote:OK seriously all of you dumb fucks are making this far too complicated.

Leaving tournaments early when it will fuck things up or without telling the TD is bad.

Leaving tournaments early at an appropriate juncture, giving the TD some advance notice, for whatever reason, isn't, you know, awesome, but probably nobody is going to give you shit for it.

And seriously, TDs, if any of your moderators will take more than 30 minutes to run a round, don't let them read and hold a smaller fucking tournament.

OK?

OK.
Like Jerry said, quizbowl involves a social contract that one tacitly enters into when one goes to a tournament. Please be a nice person.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mike Bentley »

Pssst sometimes you don't have enough good moderators to finish rounds in 30 minutes or less.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Pssst sometimes you don't have enough good moderators to finish rounds in 30 minutes or less.
If by "sometimes" you mean "in practically every tournament run at any point in the year," then yes.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by BuzzerZen »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Pssst sometimes you don't have enough good moderators to finish rounds in 30 minutes or less.
ITT I am surly.

Ok, so, maybe in the upper northwest, Mike and Brittany are probably the only really experienced moderators; that's fair. But really, anywhere else in the country, you shouldn't be recruiting random friends to moderate your tournaments for you. Just don't. They'll suck. They won't know the rules. They will be slow. They will trip over science words and they will say "Go-ETH" for Göethe. If the people on your team aren't good moderators, make them read at practice until they are. Part of this whole contract thing with the TD is that the TD promises to provide good moderators who won't screw you out of points by stumbling and not knowing what the rules are.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

BuzzerZen wrote:Part of this whole contract thing with the TD is that the TD promises to provide good moderators who won't screw you out of points by stumbling and not knowing what the rules are.
This actually ought to go double at timed tournaments, since the TD actually has complete control, through quality of staff provided, over how much quizbowl you actually experience: hearing 15 tossups from a packet of 26 really doesn't cut it, and yet with many poor mods that's the norm. Actually, I'll rephrase: with many untrained mods, that's the norm.

But this is going far afield of the topic: if you leave early without a good reason or without alerting the TD long, long in advance, then no amount of mangled philosophizing can save you.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

In response to Evan's points, in only a few cases can I definitively say that the tournament directors and moderators acted as though they didn't care about the experience of the teams playing the tournament. In the vast majority of cases, the tournament staff is making an honest, good-faith effort to run the best tournament that they can. This is obviously part of that "social contract" that I was talking about earlier, and most staffers fulfill their part. Likewise, most teams fulfill their part as well; they stay through the whole tournament. The focus here is on those teams that don't do this because they feel that their inconvenience or lack of desire to play another match or two is sufficient justification for throwing a tournament into chaos and ruining the experience of the remaining teams. Just as staffers and TDs that run horrible tournaments should be called out on it, so should teams that ruin the tournament for others by leaving early. This is a matter of basic respect for the rest of the circuit and it boggles my mind that I have to continually re-emphasize that point as though it were a major discovery in applied ethics rather than basic common sense.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

BuzzerZen wrote:
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Pssst sometimes you don't have enough good moderators to finish rounds in 30 minutes or less.
ITT I am surly.

Ok, so, maybe in the upper northwest, Mike and Brittany are probably the only really experienced moderators; that's fair. But really, anywhere else in the country, you shouldn't be recruiting random friends to moderate your tournaments for you. Just don't. They'll suck. They won't know the rules. They will be slow. They will trip over science words and they will say "Go-ETH" for Göethe. If the people on your team aren't good moderators, make them read at practice until they are. Part of this whole contract thing with the TD is that the TD promises to provide good moderators who won't screw you out of points by stumbling and not knowing what the rules are.
This is a shocking post from somebody who should know better. Many times, a team will simply not have enough players to host a tournament, especially if the tournament is quite large. I don't think most cases of bad moderators stem from the fact that players are lazy and don't want to read. I think they stem from teams being limited in number and availability on that day.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Whig's Boson wrote:This is a shocking post from somebody who should know better. Many times, a team will simply not have enough players to host a tournament, especially if the tournament is quite large. I don't think most cases of bad moderators stem from the fact that players are lazy and don't want to read. I think they stem from teams being limited in number and availability on that day.
Evan's thesis has been for years that you simply shouldn't host a tournament you don't have the people to staff adequately.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

everyday847 wrote:
Whig's Boson wrote:This is a shocking post from somebody who should know better. Many times, a team will simply not have enough players to host a tournament, especially if the tournament is quite large. I don't think most cases of bad moderators stem from the fact that players are lazy and don't want to read. I think they stem from teams being limited in number and availability on that day.
Evan's thesis has been for years that you simply shouldn't host a tournament you don't have the people to staff adequately.
I'm not sure I want to live in a world where there are so few tournaments.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by grapesmoker »

everyday847 wrote:
Whig's Boson wrote:This is a shocking post from somebody who should know better. Many times, a team will simply not have enough players to host a tournament, especially if the tournament is quite large. I don't think most cases of bad moderators stem from the fact that players are lazy and don't want to read. I think they stem from teams being limited in number and availability on that day.
Evan's thesis has been for years that you simply shouldn't host a tournament you don't have the people to staff adequately.
Yeah, I can't get on board with this. When we ran EFT, we had to cap at 24 teams several days before the tournament because we realized that we couldn't possibly run a 27-team event. I think we did pretty well with what we had on hand, and most teams got out around 6 or 7, if memory serves. Could we have made the tournament more efficient by restricting the field further (say, down to 16 teams)? I suppose we could have, but in the end that would have, maybe, saved a half-hour somewhere. I think that tradeoff would be a poor argument for limiting the field size.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

grapesmoker wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
Whig's Boson wrote:This is a shocking post from somebody who should know better. Many times, a team will simply not have enough players to host a tournament, especially if the tournament is quite large. I don't think most cases of bad moderators stem from the fact that players are lazy and don't want to read. I think they stem from teams being limited in number and availability on that day.
Evan's thesis has been for years that you simply shouldn't host a tournament you don't have the people to staff adequately.
Yeah, I can't get on board with this. When we ran EFT, we had to cap at 24 teams several days before the tournament because we realized that we couldn't possibly run a 27-team event. I think we did pretty well with what we had on hand, and most teams got out around 6 or 7, if memory serves. Could we have made the tournament more efficient by restricting the field further (say, down to 16 teams)? I suppose we could have, but in the end that would have, maybe, saved a half-hour somewhere. I think that tradeoff would be a poor argument for limiting the field size.
Well, since you reached a point of diminishing returns, I think you did in fact staff EFT adequately. If you were in a situation where you've stretched the field to the point where one room is taking an hour per match and the tournament is taking fourteen hours because of that room, then, Evan would say, don't host a tournament that large. But if you're at the point where you add half an hour to the day and serve eight more teams, totally serve eight more teams. (Evan phrases it absolutely, but I say it either isn't meant to be taken absolutely or, if it is, it sure shouldn't be.)
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling »

SepiaOfficinalis wrote:People come to quizbowl tournaments for their own reasons, clearly they expect to enjoy the quizbowl, or they wouldn't make the effort to come. I fail to see how it's their fault it they decide it's not worthwhile. It may not be the fault of anybody else, either, their expectations may have been completely unreasonable. Nevertheless, teams do not play quizbowl for the benefit of other teams, nor should they, they play because their members are interested and find it enjoyable in general. When tournaments fail to meet their expectations, they are failing in what is undeniably a marketplace, rather than some cult with explicit moral laws. Quizbowl may adjust or it may accept their rejection, but it cannot improve by blasting those who don't like its current form. Go figure.
Possible tangent warning: sometimes on the board someone pushes one of my buttons. This time, it was the "overly-simplistic-allusion-to-the-free-market" button.

Market analogy fail #1: "Only supply and demand matter!" This marketplace does not approximate perfect competition. It is decidedly both oligopolistic and oligopsonistic. There might be 15 tournaments per year your team can choose to go to or not. There might be two dozen teams you can hope to attract to your tournament. There might have to be some accommodation made in each direction when consumers and producers are both so few.

Market analogy fail #2: "Only the one transaction I examine matters!" No, TDs in a marketplace, even were it a perfect one, would have to sell their product to as many teams as they can. If one team's behavior ticks off several others to the point that they decide the tournament is no longer worth it for them, the host loses money by trying to make room for one more instead of telling them, "You're not welcome here." A restaurant doesn't lose by kicking me out when I walk in topless; it gains, because the rest of the clientele didn't want to see that. The money they don't get from me will be made up by the money they don't flush away from the rest of their patrons who otherwise might leave in disgust.

Market analogy fail #3: "Only the amount of money changing hands matters!" Tournaments compete for your dollars, but teams also compete for the privilege of playing. The money that changes hands is merely a balancing term. If we can't set a fee high enough that we'd rather have that much money than the added fun and peace of mind that come from having your team not disrupt our tournament, the logical marketplace move for us to make is to declare that you lose the competition and you won't get to play.

Market analogy fail #4: "The market is fundamental, so it's the best way to understand this interaction!" I am sympathetic to this. I like microeconomics; I really do. But we don't look for solutions of the Dirac equation to describe the behavior of gas in an diesel engine; we have solutions that are indeed less fundamental, but do the job better. Likewise, there's a good reason we have social sciences that aren't economics. Small number of participants? Motivations other than money and goods? Personal interaction outside the business sphere between the actors? Sounds like it might be more easy to describe us as a -- what's that word again, Andrew? -- "community".

We're a social system. It's probably worth consulting the sociologists about us. They point out that social structures are defined, held together, and preserved by their norms. One of the norms here is that quizbowl is about (a) learning and (b) having fun, in some order which we can (and will!) dispute in another thread. Leaving a tournament early may increase your value for (b), but only at the expense of other people's ability to engage in (b) and possibly in (a) as well. I don't think it would be hard to see why such behavior is not cool, and why the community would develop an intolerance for, and a means for attempting to correct, those members who so behave. A community that didn't would have a harder time than one that did lasting in an even bigger marketplace -- that of communities themselves.

EDIT: I fail at clean language and the use of the subjunctive mood.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Oh, I see it's taken me awhile to get around to this spurt of posts.

Okay, Tom - I'm generally a fierce opponent of the social contract as a basis of morality, but not in this case. When you decide to come to a quizbowl tournament, you are making a conscious and unmistakeable decision - you are opting in to the tournament (as opposed to the mere act of being born or remaining within some defined territory as the basis of the social contract). If you want to protest something about a tournament, like you say you protested CBI, just don't come - don't opt in. Don't show up and start breaking all kinds of reasonable community rules, and then claim that you're just as morally justified as the people who are yelling at you for breaking those rules. This is not the way to protest something you don't like - this is intentional interference with the enjoyment of other people, who are not forcing you to sign any contract.

If you were mistaken because you thought you would agree to the rules, but discover that you don't want to do that halfway through the day - sit it out for a couple more measly hours and then elect not to come to any more such tournaments. And, later you can tell everyone why you've made that decision if it pleases you. Admittedly, I don't think this amounts to a moral injunctive - I'm not going to tell you that you're morally bound not to withdraw or leave, just as I wouldn't feign to tell you that you're morally bound not to commit suicide. At this point, what's most at stake is simple politeness, of the kind we encounter everyday - don't greatly inconvenience others just to marginally satisfy yourself - agree to oblige them, especially since you put yourself in that position since you elected to come.

However, what often occurs is that people don't leave these tournaments and go away for good (i.e. commit suicide, as it were) - they leave them, and then show up the next day expecting to again be taken as a serious member of the community. They're not standing in defense of any real principles; they just show up and say "oh, the tournament was okay, but at that point we just felt like hanging out together instead of playing the last few rounds, so we decided to do that instead, sorry." In this case, you're crazy if you don't believe the community is morally justified in castigating such behavior. You can't want to be considered a member of the community (even if you think some practices of the community are flawed, or you'd rather see some things be done another way), and simultaneously be intent on flouting the norms of that community whenever they don't sufficiently serve your interests - at least, you can't do that and then protest when your conduct meets with moral disapproval.
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Re: leaving tournaments early part II: the revenge

Post by Cheynem »

I think Mortimer Adler's lessons in "How to Read a Book" can apply here as well:

pg. 164:

"Do not begin criticism until you have completed your outline and your interpretation of the book."
Give it a try by finishing the event before deciding it is too difficult or too boring.

"Do not disagree disputatiously or contentiously."
Leaving early and screwing other people is disputatious.

"Demonstrate that you recognize the difference between knowledge and mere personal opinion by presenting good reasons for any critical judgment you make."
If you do leave early, there better be a good reason.
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