Managing Tournament Staff

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Managing Tournament Staff

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:57 am

As quizbowl proliferates, more and more teams host tournaments. This is, in general, a good thing. But it does mean that many tournaments are directed and moderated by people who are not aware of the many highly avoidable logistical snafus that occur, and how to avoid them. I am going to list a few here, all of these drawn from incidents that have occurred in the current season. More experienced teams and TD's take note: you may be committing one or more of these errors, in spite of your experience.

(1) Deliberately plan your bracket rhythms. There are two main schools of prelim bracket design. One says that the one seed in each bracket should play their opponents in strict order of ascending ranking (i.e. from easiest matches to hardest). The second says that one should more-or-less alternate between top seeds playing bottom seeds and top seeds playing other top seeds. I personally prefer the rhythm of the second: top teams get a little breather between their toughest rounds, and bottom teams get less demoralized when their worst losses don't come all in a clump at the beginning of the day. But either is viable; and no matter what, the 1 v 2 match should never be the first round of the tournament.

(2) Distribute your good and bad moderators correctly. In an ideal world, every reader can recite the ACF rules by heart; scorekeep, rub their head, and pat their belly at the same time; and enunciate Aztec deities and chemical compounds alike with diction that would make Henry Higgins beam. In reality, some of your staff will be kind souls who have donated their day, but have attended 0-1 practices and are easily defeated by words (a) in English, (b) containing consonants, or (c) both. First things first, distribute the inexperienced staff evenly among the brackets, otherwise one bracket will fall behind. If your rooms are mostly staffed by pairs, do not pair inexperienced moderators together. If the veteran moderator decides to switch off rounds with his or her novice scorekeeper--because the veteran's voice cannot withstand all the rounds, and/or the novice needs experience points before evolving--have the novice read the rounds that are least likely to affect team placement. A team's final standings should not be determined by who is better at parsing syllables that are transposed, swallowed, or accidentally translated into Pig Latin, while a competent reader sits mutely at the side, performing arithmetic.

As a corollary to the above, the 1 v 2 match in a prelim bracket should be read by one of the bracket's best moderators. So, for example, if this is your prelim structure, you might make Team 1 your 1 seed, Team 5 your 2 seed, and Team 8 your 3 seed. Then, Room 3 has the bracket's best moderator, and Room 2 has its second-best.

(3) Re-distribute your good and bad moderators correctly. The playoffs are the opposite of the prelims. Now, instead of distributing your less experienced moderators evenly among all brackets, you are purposely stacking the best moderators in the top bracket. If your brackets are split among buildings or levels, this may require re-assinging moderators to different rooms than those they occupied in the prelims. If your moderators avow attachment to their prelim room, ask them to please move on with their lives.

(4) Read to your players. Many of us need to draw closer to our laptop screens to read them clearly, but moderators should still be reminded to read into the room at large and not directly into their keyboards, as if attempting to perform CPR on them. Likewise, not covering one's mouth with one's hands is always ideal. The precept most commonly violated by even experienced readers is that after reading each bonus part, you should look up from your screen, so you can correctly judge whether a player is proffering an answer to teammates for consultation or is directing them at the moderator. While a TD should certainly brief staff on the last of these points, players should always feel free to politely remind moderators of any of these problems during a match, as they are usually easily remedied.

(5) The reality of time. Our experience of time may be highly subjective, but the actual duration of five seconds is not. You, as TD, may feel stupid explaining to a room of adults (or near-adults) how to count off five seconds. But your discomfort is outweighed by the distress of your players when they discover that one moderator measures five seconds by unfurling their fingers at the pace of a rosebud opening, while the next does so by karate chopping the air as rapidly as humanly possible. And while nothing requires one to count it off in the hair with one's fingers, it is almost always better practice than counting silently in one's head and then calling time out of seemingly nowhere.

(6) Real time means real cutoffs. Don't prompt for an answer on tossups. On bonuses, prompt exactly once and call time. Bless the generous hearts of those of you who do the whole "Answer, please...I need your answer...I really need your answer!" shtick. Thank you for willing us to pull the name of that hard part. But when our time is up, it's up.

(7) Do not send out the whole set to the moderating staff and pray that nobody will read the wrong round. Somebody will. What's that you say? Your staff is too seasoned to make such a scrub mistake? No, they aren't. No. They aren't. There are two ways around this: (1) Have the TD send out the packets one round at a time, waiting until he/she receives the first scoresheet from the previous round before sending out the packets for the next. (2) Send out the whole set, but password protect the files, and send out the passwords one round at a time. I personally prefer the first method, but the second works better if the internet at your site is slow, and downloading packets as e-mail attachments will take forever. Don't send out the list of all the passwords in the morning, either. The state of mind that leads to reading the wrong round transfers easily onto typing the wrong round's password and then still reading the wrong round.

(8) Always assume that you will need more buzzers than there are game rooms. People who claim to be bringing buzzers often forget. Buzzers often choose tournaments as their appointed time to die. And owners who readily testify to the functionality of their buzzers are often clouded by fond remembrances of buzzes past, and blind to the disrepair in which their set actually molders. So, ensure there are extras. But your teammate may object: your other buzzer is in his/her apartment, in the annex half a mile away, and there's six inches of snow on the ground. Why lug it all the way to the tournament when there's already enough sets registered? Explain that the winter outside is nothing as compared to the winter in the hearts of those forced to play slap bowl or on a set that lights up for the player it likes, and not for the one who buzzed first.

(9) When you discover that a buzzer is not working, replace it as soon as possible. Ideally, this means between rounds, with the help of the teams about to play the imminent round. If, for some strange reason, this is simply not possible, then you should definitely be able to do it during the lunch break. If there is simply no way to replace the faulty buzzer, the moderator should determine the exact nature of the problem, clearly explain it to both teams, and determine before the match begins the best way to adjudicate issues. If you wait until a problem actually happens, you may be surprised by the partisanship of the solutions that are suggested. Also, do not place it / leave it in a top bracket room! I'll add that the final standings of a tournament I attended this season were greatly altered by a moderator misunderstanding how the system settled buzzer races, discovering the truth later, but then making no attempt to amend the record afterward, even though the game hinged on a single tossup. This is entirely unacceptable.

Lest my ire seem unduly directed at the inexperienced, let me add that all of us who are experienced have made these mistakes in past and may continue to do so when not reminded. No one expects this knowledge to be inborn, and there is no shame in lacking it while directing one's first tournament. But some schools do this year after year, which suggests that learning is not taking place.

I welcome the contribution of further advice by the many other seasoned TD's whom I know populate this forum.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:39 am

Regarding point 3, while obviously you want every moderator in a top playoff bracket to be good, in my experience, the bottom brackets also especially require good moderators. I realize this sounds stupid--you want good moderators in every room if possible--but sometimes it's natural for staffers to want to be in the top bracket(s) at all costs, and you end up with two good readers trading off or keeping score for each other. If there aren't other games going on (i.e., the top bracket runs more games than the other ones), fine. If not, we must recognize that bottom bracket games, in their own ways, are equally huge challenges that require steady moderation.

Having read in some low playoff brackets at tournaments, what tends to happen is that since there are on the whole, less early buzzes, the rounds will take longer. Teams need to hear more of the tossups and will deliberate more on bonuses. A slow reader would further turn that into a slog. For that matter, if there's less scoring, each question becomes more and more valuable for determining who will win the game (we've all seen and played in some of those 80-70 barnburners!). You don't want an inexperienced moderator fumbling words or (worse) fumbling game procedure by giving extra time or bungling protests.

I realize that not every tournament has a surplus of A1 staff and John was certainly not implying this, but we shouldn't neglect the good staffers for the lower or consolation brackets as well.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Fucitol » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:46 am

Cheynem wrote:Regarding point 3, while obviously you want every moderator in a top playoff bracket to be good, in my experience, the bottom brackets also especially require good moderators. I realize this sounds stupid--you want good moderators in every room if possible--but sometimes it's natural for staffers to want to be in the top bracket(s) at all costs, and you end up with two good readers trading off or keeping score for each other. If there aren't other games going on (i.e., the top bracket runs more games than the other ones), fine. If not, we must recognize that bottom bracket games, in their own ways, are equally huge challenges that require steady moderation.

Having read in some low playoff brackets at tournaments, what tends to happen is that since there are on the whole, less early buzzes, the rounds will take longer. Teams need to hear more of the tossups and will deliberate more on bonuses. A slow reader would further turn that into a slog. For that matter, if there's less scoring, each question becomes more and more valuable for determining who will win the game (we've all seen and played in some of those 80-70 barnburners!). You don't want an inexperienced moderator fumbling words or (worse) fumbling game procedure by giving extra time or bungling protests.

I realize that not every tournament has a surplus of A1 staff and John was certainly not implying this, but we shouldn't neglect the good staffers for the lower or consolation brackets as well.

I assume that when John says “moderator” he is assuming the standard overstretched tournament’s distribution of 1 volunteer/conscript per room. Obviously this calls for a tiered system where the N best readers are assigned in order to the N game rooms and then everyone else is assigned as scorekeeper to the bottom bracket upwards (since the good moderators can usually read and keep score at the same time).
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Cheynem » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:48 am

Yeah, I assumed John meant that; I just wanted to be clear that the bottom brackets need good moderators too (and I have seen some tournaments in which good readers all end up clustering--i.e., more than 1 per room, in the top bracket).

Now, for some more general points from my stints as a TD.

1. Always have back-up plans. You know that some team (perhaps Eden Prairie multiple times?) is going to drop at the last minute. You know some staffer isn't going to show up. Do you have an extra schedule in your pocket, or do you know how to readjust staffers on the fly? Do you know whom to cajole at the last minute if you absolutely need a warm body reading or keeping score? This is even important if you're not necessarily the TD, but rather just an experienced team member. I remember showing up to staff a (small, thankfully) mirror of a tournament and the TD (a nice guy but not great at logistics) did not have a schedule prepared or any idea about buzzers.

2. As a TD, you must be a jerk sometimes. By this, I don't mean unnecessarily be a jerk as I think we unfortunately do in quizbowl too much. I mean, as a TD, you're going to displease some people and that's okay. Teammate X really wants to read, and you made him a scorekeeper. Teammate Y is mad that he isn't reading in the top bracket. Teammate Z wanted to read for her old high school and they're never in her room. Teammate A is doing a pretty bad job as reader, so you had his scorekeeper take over. Reader P and Q are for no apparent reason standing in the control room and talking loudly. I'm not saying you need to tear into these people and then post insulting things about them on Facebook, but take into account the tournament, not their feelings. I should note I was on the receiving end of some of these things from TD's and I got ticked...but then I got over it and now I realize I was wrong.

3. Don't automatically assume your staff is going to be proactive. That's not so much because staffers are lazy, but because I think quizbowlers (including me!) don't tend to be the most proactive people in the world. You get this at times when staffers show up at tournaments and just mull around, or after they're done reading rounds, and again, they just mull around (and talk loudly). In these cases, I don't think they're actively thinking "bwa ha ha, we like being lazy dufuses," but rather they just don't think about what can be done. As a TD, instead of assuming they are going to do something, politely point them to a task that needs to be done, like setting up or taking down rooms.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by touchpack » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:33 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:no matter what, the 1 v 2 match should never be the first round of the tournament.
I would go a bit further, and say that the 1v3 and 2v3 matches also, in general, tend to be critical matches, and should never be put in round 1.

As an addendum--PLEASE room-balance your schedules! It doesn't take too long to do and can have large positive effects on both player and moderator experience! (Moderators get to see a variety of teams play, no team gets to hog the good moderators or gets stuck with the bad moderators) My 3 basic rules of room-balancing a round robin schedule are:

1) Every team must play at least 1 match in every room in their bracket.
2) No team may play more than half of their games in the same room.
3) No team may play 3 consecutive games in the same room.

Unfortunately, I don't know any hard algorithms to guarantee this, so I usually just generate a schedule, check to see if it passes these 3 criteria for every team, and if not, swap some rooms (or some rounds, in the case of rule 3), then check again if the rules are satisfied.

*Note: it is mathematically impossible to room-balance a 4-team round robin. Don't waste your time.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by jonah » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:45 pm

touchpack wrote:I would go a bit further, and say that the 1v3 and 2v3 matches also, in general, tend to be critical matches, and should never be put in round 1.
Depending on the pooling scheme, 2v3 can often be "more important" (which I take to mean "more likely to be close") than 1v2, and it can vary from pool to pool at the same tournament. For example, if you have four snake-seeded pools of six, the top three seeds in one pool ("pool A") are overall seeds 1, 8, and 9, and the top three seeds in another pool ("pool D") are overall seeds 4, 5, and 12. In pool A, 2v3 is overall 8v9 and is more likely to be close than 1v2 (overall 1v8), but in pool D, 1v2 (overall 4v5) is going to be closer than 2v3 (overall 5v12). All assuming your seeding is good, of course.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Victor Prieto » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:26 pm

I agree with just about everything in John's post, but I don't know to what extent the "bracket rhythm" can be planned out by a TD. At ACF Regionals, I made sure there are no matches in the first round between teams even remotely close in skill level (sorry again Case Western and Princeton), and then tried to put close matches in rooms with the most experienced moderators, but after that, it was pretty much indiscriminate. This is a lot of micromanagement to put on a TD, which leads me to my second point...

Backup schedules are important, but it took me hours to prepare an appropriate 21-team schedule to hit points one and two (for John's post), with the right seeding and avoiding the same schools in one bracket, and making sure each team hit every room between one and three times in seven rounds. I did some preliminary backup schedules, but the thing I was terrified about was a team dropping last minute or no-showing, and forcing me to redo all that work for a new schedule. It was a lot of pressure. I was constantly communicating with teams about rosters and we contacted all teams on the morning of the tournament to make sure they would arrive, but it wasn't until about 8:15 am that I knew all the teams were going to arrive and that I could stick to my schedule. So, basically, the other caveat I have to say is that the onus is on the teams too, to make firm commitments as early as they can, don't back out on them, and make things as easy as possible for TD's.

The other thing not mentioned in this thread is that there should be an effort to distribute teams from the same school across different prelim brackets. If you have more teams from a school than brackets (e.g. Berkeley A through D, but three prelim brackets), then try to put the A team with the lowest or second-lowest team.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:31 pm

Anecdotally, my most frequent experience is that you actually don't need to worry about the bottom bracket speed: a lot more questions tend to go dead, skipping bonus cycles and saving time. It's the second-to-bottom bracket that really tends to drag.

Some other stray pieces of advice:
- Be mindful of the physical constraints of rooms. Some rooms have thin walls, and now you're getting reports that people can hear questions from the next room over. Try to space rooms out so that you don't have ten teams all clustered in the same small space creating a racket while waiting for rounds, but also not so far that there's a huge trek for players every single game. (A tip: if you can keep the same team in the same room, they're not going out in the hall and further adding to the noise/traffic). And if you're using paper stats, don't forget about the time it takes mods to run back and forth from the war room.
- The backups thing. Seriously, have a backup for everything. A backup for spare buzzers, for spare rooms, for stats. HFT notably had to deal with all three last year (teams didn't bring buzzers, we got shafted by administration out of rooms, and Neg5 went down), but we had [decent] plans in place for each. Other things that tend to go wrong: not enough paper packets/not enough laptops to read, mods don't show up. Obviously not everything will go wrong at once, but experience is knowing that they eventually will.
- A lot of TD time is wasted on trivialities, like answering "where's the bathroom" or ordering food. This is fine when there's nothing critical that requires attention, but it can br attenuating when there is. Having an online google doc that you can point to where teams can refamiliarize themselves with info -- as well as find the schedule so they're not constantly asking for extra copies -- and a first mate you can assign to deal with less crucial issues both help a lot in freeing up your time.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by jonpin » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:02 pm

jonah wrote:
touchpack wrote:I would go a bit further, and say that the 1v3 and 2v3 matches also, in general, tend to be critical matches, and should never be put in round 1.
Depending on the pooling scheme, 2v3 can often be "more important" (which I take to mean "more likely to be close") than 1v2, and it can vary from pool to pool at the same tournament. For example, if you have four snake-seeded pools of six, the top three seeds in one pool ("pool A") are overall seeds 1, 8, and 9, and the top three seeds in another pool ("pool D") are overall seeds 4, 5, and 12. In pool A, 2v3 is overall 8v9 and is more likely to be close than 1v2 (overall 1v8), but in pool D, 1v2 (overall 4v5) is going to be closer than 2v3 (overall 5v12). All assuming your seeding is good, of course.
Moreover, in a number of formats, the top two teams from each prelim pool advance to the top playoff group, and for those formats, the 2-v-3 game is likely the most important.

As an addendum to spreading out teams from a single school, in the event that you need to put multiple teams from a school together in a prelim pool, they should play earlier rather than later.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by everdiso » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:09 pm

As an addendum to spreading out teams from a single school, in the event that you need to put multiple teams from a school together in a prelim pool, they should play earlier rather than later.
What problem does this minimise? Just curious.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Monstruos de Bolsillo » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:19 pm

everdiso wrote:
As an addendum to spreading out teams from a single school, in the event that you need to put multiple teams from a school together in a prelim pool, they should play earlier rather than later.
What problem does this minimise? Just curious.
The possibility of teams throwing a match or allowing the better team to rack up as many points as possible for PPG tiebreak purposes.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by everdiso » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:35 pm

True, makes sense, I suppose. Thanks.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Sam » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:00 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote: (5) The reality of time. Our experience of time may be highly subjective, but the actual duration of five seconds is not. You, as TD, may feel stupid explaining to a room of adults (or near-adults) how to count off five seconds. But your discomfort is outweighed by the distress of your players when they discover that one moderator measures five seconds by unfurling their fingers at the pace of a rosebud opening, while the next does so by karate chopping the air as rapidly as humanly possible. And while nothing requires one to count it off in the hair with one's fingers, it is almost always better practice than counting silently in one's head and then calling time out of seemingly nowhere.

(6) Real time means real cutoffs. Don't prompt for an answer on tossups. On bonuses, prompt exactly once and call time. Bless the generous hearts of those of you who do the whole "Answer, please...I need your answer...I really need your answer!" shtick. Thank you for willing us to pull the name of that hard part. But when our time is up, it's up.
In my experience as a not especially good but at least somewhat self-aware moderator, getting the timing correct and actually enforcing it are where the biggest returns exist for finishing a round in a reasonable amount of time. Doing that, and reading at a pace you are comfortable with, is far superior to giving teams ten seconds to answer questions they only heard half of because you stumbled over them. If there is a way you can have a mechanical timekeeping device in your field of vision, such as a wristwatch or something on a laptop, I recommend using it (assuming you can still look up to see who's answering or if questions are being directed).
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by alexdz » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:44 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:- A lot of TD time is wasted on trivialities, like answering "where's the bathroom" or ordering food. This is fine when there's nothing critical that requires attention, but it can br attenuating when there is. Having an online google doc that you can point to where teams can refamiliarize themselves with info -- as well as find the schedule so they're not constantly asking for extra copies -- and a first mate you can assign to deal with less crucial issues both help a lot in freeing up your time.
I want to echo this and provide a suggestion. If you have the luxury of a co-TD or an experienced staffer at your tournament that just happens to not be TDing this particular tournament, that person can be a great "first mate." For example, in the first few years that Charlie Dees and I had events going at Mizzou, he and I would co-TD most of them, but I'd usually be moderating during the day. Since I was reasonably quick, I'd get back to the HQ and help with any issues between rounds, and then when mods from my bracket dispersed again, I would go back and continue reading. It's not a burden I'd suggest placing on an experienced volunteer who isn't part of your club/organization, but it's a great task for your fast readers to help do things like direct traffic, help do any corrections to scoresheets, etc. between rounds.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by 1.82 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:58 am

Having directed a number of tournaments, I've found Cody's room-balanced schedules to be a great help. You can take them and enter the teams at your tournament and have a good schedule ready to go without much effort. If teams drop late and you can't print off a new set of schedules, you can just copy the new schedule onto the blackboard at the opening meeting and have teams take pictures of it; it's not ideal, but it's workable in a pinch and shouldn't cause issues.

However, for a TD who has time, the tournament schedule is a very underutilized resource that can be very useful. There's a lot of information that a TD has to convey at an opening meeting, and it can be a hectic environment, because people are coming and going and everyone just wants to start playing quizbowl. If you want to convey information to teams without dumping it all on them at the opening meeting, you either have to tell every moderator in every room to relay it to their teams, which can turn into a game of telephone, or you have to get everyone together in one room again later in the day, which can take a lot of time. However, you have another option, because when you give every team a schedule, you have a way to convey information to every team in a place where they can easily find it. I didn't think about this until I saw the fantastic schedule that Sarang made (with some input from Ophir) for the Maryland site of 2017 ACF Fall, which is here attached.
2017 ACF Fall schedule.pdf
2017 ACF Fall schedule (Maryland)
(90.89 KiB) Downloaded 202 times
There's an incredible wealth of information contained in this schedule for players and staff alike: who's in what room, where to go after lunch, the structure of the tournament, and even the URL for stats. During the tournament, I heard remarks from several people about how helpful the schedule was. If, as a tournament director, you can take the time to put together something like this, it'll make everyone's life easier.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Monstruos de Bolsillo » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:00 pm

1.82 wrote:I didn't think about this until I saw the fantastic schedule that Sarang made (with some input from Ophir) for the Maryland site of 2017 ACF Fall, which is here attached.
2017 ACF Fall schedule.pdf
There's an incredible wealth of information contained in this schedule for players and staff alike: who's in what room, where to go after lunch, the structure of the tournament, and even the URL for stats. During the tournament, I heard remarks from several people about how helpful the schedule was. If, as a tournament director, you can take the time to put together something like this, it'll make everyone's life easier.
I too found that schedule immensely helpful. Having each individual game listed in the schedule makes it so much easier to read, from being able to see where any team was playing in a given moment without having to look at multiple keys, to knowing who the staffers in each room are. I hope to see more schedules like this one in the future.
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Nice hockey Cote d'Azur » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:08 pm

I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this but one very important thing a TD needs to do is double check that for packet sub tournaments, no team is scheduled to play on their packet.
Tejas Raje
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Deviant Insider
Auron
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Location: Chicagoland

Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:58 pm

There are a lot of reasons why moderators are slow, and slow moderators can destroy a tournament. Two common problems are moderators not enforcing timing rules and editorializing about the questions. Sometimes it is because a moderator is bad at reading things. With some people, the combination of reading and keeping score is a bit too much to ask. Sometimes moderators don't do a good job of getting matches started, allow too long for halftime, or turn buzzer checks into meet-and-greets. I once saw a moderator who paused after each tossup sentence to give people a chance to buzz in. I once saw a moderator who stopped reading bonus parts when teams started conferring and then resumed reading when the teams got quiet again. I once saw a moderator reread missed bonus parts for rebounding teams. All of these things can be serious problems.

If you are a team that has a slow moderator, especially in the morning, it is helpful to stop by HQ and briefly describe the situation to the TD. If you are a TD noticing that one of your moderators is falling behind, sometimes it helps to step in the room for a couple of minutes to see what is going on. Be nice to your staff, but it is appropriate to let them know that they are taking longer than other rooms and ask them if they know why.
David Reinstein
Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)

bradleykirksey
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by bradleykirksey » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:15 pm

UCF and Valencia both have irritating set-ups where Valencia gets rooms in an adjacent building, and UCF will gets rooms spread out over four floors. I have no idea if this is relatable to anyone else, but this was God-send to me.

As per Virginia Ruiz, who was something of a moderator whisperer, keep your best moderators far away and your bad ones close. If Julio comes back from lunch 45 minutes late, your moderator is less likely to sit there and wait if you can walk across the hall and ask what's the hold-up. They'll be far less likely to wait for Julio if you can hit them. The farther away your moderators are, seemingly, the more likely something is to go wrong. And the farther they are, the less you'll be able to help.

So, it's much better to have someone's who's been staffing for the last decade and can handle any problem better than you. At least, this helped me a bit.
Bradley Kirksey
Mayor of quiz bowl at the University of Central Florida (2010-2015)

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ValenciaQBowl
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:39 pm

Hmm, I don't know if you're just offering a hypothetical, but I can't recall a Valencia tournament at which we ever waited more than ten minutes for a team late from lunch (and then only if they had texted and insisted they were on their way or something), and we've never waited for one person. And I was putting myself and the other faster readers in the furthest-flung rooms long before Virginia came to Valencia. Just sayin'.
Chris Borglum
Valencia College Grand Poobah

bradleykirksey
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Re: Managing Tournament Staff

Post by bradleykirksey » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:19 pm

No offense intended! Lunch-gate was at UCF, and I'm sure you've been doing that since before Virginia. I just would have never figured it out if someone didn't point it out to me.
Bradley Kirksey
Mayor of quiz bowl at the University of Central Florida (2010-2015)

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