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larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 6:24:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
After discussion with Airmax, I have been delegated responsibility for running the official tournaments. Rather than have several running every month, I'm going to propose that DDO only has two tournaments this year after the present ones are finished, aside from any you may want to start yourself.

This site has too many tournaments, and we should rather put our efforts into fewer tournaments and make those really successful.

I wanted to start a thread for discussion of my proposal. If you have alternative ideas or ways to improve mine, I'd love to hear them. If you would like to help in some way, let me know too. I'll be collecting feedback and hopefully put out a tournament calendar in about a week.

I'll put my ideas in the following two posts.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 6:24:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
DDO Prepared Championships

The point of this tournament is that the debaters have three weeks to prepare on topics of their choosing, but the tournament itself is very intensive as it happens all at once. The longer prep times will hopefully create more high quality debates.

Once sign ups close on the 12th of July, you will be paired with four other debaters in the tournament by a random algorithm (if numbers don't work out, then possibly three and we'll assume you drew the other one). In about half of your debates you will be asked to be the instigator. You have one week to work out topics with your opponent via private message, and then after 3 weeks (2nd August), the instigator has up to one week to issue all their challenges. 8,000 characters per round and 72 hour posting times. Challengers have to accept ASAP. Four rounds, first of which is acceptance-only. The vote period is one week.

It is strongly recommended that the three weeks are used doing a lot of research for the upcoming topics and preparing lines of attack/rebuttal.

After the debates are completed and voted on, debaters are ranked by number of wins (draws counting as 0.5 wins), then by marginal votes (ie if they won by 7 points over their opponent their marginal votes would increase by seven, if they lost by 3 votes it would decrease by 3), then by ELO scores and then by coin toss. Then the tournament goes into a knockout finals stage, where semifinalists have one week to agree on a topic and prepare. Once the semifinals are over, the grand finals will have the same rules as the semis.
larztheloser
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6/19/2013 6:24:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Shadow Worlds

This tournament would "shadow" the World Universities Debating Championship, the biggest tournament in the world, and also to the World Schools Championships which generally takes place near the start of the new year. The winner of this tournament is DDO's very own world champion of online debating.

I want to make this the biggest tournament on DDO, and if at all possible, make it an annual fixture. It's three months of epic debating action. It does fall into the holiday period though. To accommodate this, debaters are allowed to select ONE of the five rounds (but do not have to) when they do not debate. This must be done BEFORE the tournament begins. In this round it will be counted as though they drew their debate. Because of how the draw works out a given round may have an odd number of teams - if this is the case, one debater might have a bye in a given round which will count as if they won their debate. Debaters who have the worst performance are the most likely to be selected to have a bye.

Each round you will be assigned an opponent and a side (either pro or con - these will be balanced so that you will be pro around 50% of the time insofar as this is possible). If there are specific opponents you do not want to face because of a conflict of interest (for example, if you are currently dating them) then you will be allowed to negative preference them, and barring extraordinary circumstances (probably the only one that's likely to happen is that both of you happen to make the grand final) you won't need to debate them.

Although this is a feature of Australs and not Worlds, I'm going to do topic elimination in this tournament anyway. What this means is that you'll get given THREE topics on a general theme in each round (I'm going to have as many different themes as possible). For example, one round might be on the general theme "international relations", and your three topics might be:

A. That NATO should invite eastern block states as members
B. That the UN should have a standing military force
C. That the USA should sanction China for currency manipulation
(stealing these from Australs 2012)

Each side will then, in secret, rank these topics from one to three in order of preference (one being the most preferable to debate). Each side will then send me their rankings. Both sides will definitely NOT debate whatever they rank last. On the odd occasion on which they both rank the same topic last, if they have ranked the same topic first, then that topic is debated. If not, I will toss a coin to determine which of the two topics remaining you debate.

I will pick topics, probably with the help of other members who help organise the tournament, with the deliberate aim of using as many different kinds of topics as possible, so debaters will probably have to face topics they are unfamiliar with (but they can veto individual motions, of course, so it's not too bad).

Tournament participants will be encouraged to vote on debates that are on one of the two topics they did not choose. If each participant only votes on just one debate per round then that would make it go pretty smoothly. This is, however, not mandatory.

The timing is very strict. Both competitors have 24 hours to think about their preferences and send them to me. When I have recieved both, I will immediately send out your topic to both debaters. The instigator must make a challenge within 24 hours, with no acceptance round. There is a 24 hour posting time for each of the three rounds. This ensures that each round is completed in seven days. Challengers who try to cheat this by accepting challenges late will be penalised. After the six days, there is a fast 72 hour vote period. However, while the votes are still coming in, the next round of the competition will already start, so you'll have a new debate every week.

From after the second round onwards (because of the time it takes to get the votes in for round one) your rank will be adjusted by your performance in the tournament. Participants are ranked by number of wins (a draw counting as 0.5 wins), then by marginal votes (ie if they won by 7 points over their opponent their marginal votes would increase by seven, if they lost by 3 votes it would decrease by 3), then by ELO scores and then by coin toss. Most of the time your opponents will be one position above or beneath you on the table.

In the break rounds, everything is elimination. All participants SHOULD get at least 4 debates (one round they might have a bye). If a participant drops out, the size of the pool of debaters is reduced by one - no drop-in replacements as this stuffs up the ranking table. Participants will be respectfully asked to drop out between rounds, but if some unforseen event happens midweek then some participant might be especially unlucky (or very lucky as the forfeit will pretty much seal them a win).

Here's a quick proposed timeline:

November 18 - R1 topics announced
November 19 - R1 begins
November 25 - R1 completed, R2 topics announced
November 26 - R2 begins
November 28 - R1 voting completed
December 1 - R2 completed, R3 topics announced
December 2 - R3 begins
December 4 - R2 voting completed
December 7 - R3 completed, R4 topics announced
December 8 - R4 begins
December 10 - R3 voting completed
December 14 - R4 completed, R5 topics announced
December 15 - R5 begins
December 17 - R4 voting completed
December 21 - R5 completed
December 24 (Christmas Eve) - R5 voting closes, break announced
The tournament pauses for about a week and a half here
January 3 (2015) - Quarter-Finals topics announced
January 4 - Quarter Finals begin
January 10 - Quarter Finals complete
January 12 - Quarter Finals topics announced, QF participants send in rankings
January 13 - Quarter Finals voting over, semi-finals begin
January 19 - Semi Finals complete
January 21 - Grand Finals topics announced
January 22 - Semi Finals voting over, grand final begins
January 28 - Grand Final complete, everybody cheers for the winner

In addition, for those of you for whom English is a second language, you are eligible to break into your own finals. These are held at the same time as the quarter finals.

There are no pre-requisites to entering either tournament.

My current plan for after the shadow worlds tournament would be a "DDO Classic" tournament run more or less like how tournaments are run now, ie single-elimination PM agreed topics, possibly with a beginner's bracket. I also want to run a live video debate tournament at some stage next year as webcams are becoming more common.
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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6/19/2013 8:25:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
This sounds awesome. Looking forward to all tournaments that you will run!
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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6/19/2013 8:34:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The logistics looks awesome. However, there are problems bigger than just how we set up opponents or how long we have to prepare (though I admit those are important issues). We need to work on voting and inactivity. Every tournament has gone through this. Debates get one or two votes and sometimes a quarter of the lineup has to drop out. I think jury voting (with a more rigorous selection method than Airmax used in his jury voting tourney) is a great way to handle voting if we can work out the problems (inactivity and failure to participate being the main one of course). It all comes down to inactivity. We need to be able to screen in people who won't flake out and screen in those who will take the tournament seriously.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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6/19/2013 8:39:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I do think that the time table for the shadow tournament is unrealistic. We can barely get people in with lax 1-week challenge deadlines (which allow for a week max to accept).
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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6/19/2013 8:51:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think the strict timing is good. These tournaments are meant to be taken very seriously, so it is good that the timing will be taken seriously.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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6/19/2013 8:55:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 8:51:08 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I think the strict timing is good. These tournaments are meant to be taken very seriously, so it is good that the timing will be taken seriously.

But he's also going for mass appeal (i.e., a LOT of people participating). You have to take into consideration the amount of energy people WILL put into these, not how great it would be if they did.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 8:56:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 8:34:55 AM, Noumena wrote:
The logistics looks awesome. However, there are problems bigger than just how we set up opponents or how long we have to prepare (though I admit those are important issues). We need to work on voting and inactivity. Every tournament has gone through this. Debates get one or two votes and sometimes a quarter of the lineup has to drop out. I think jury voting (with a more rigorous selection method than Airmax used in his jury voting tourney) is a great way to handle voting if we can work out the problems (inactivity and failure to participate being the main one of course). It all comes down to inactivity. We need to be able to screen in people who won't flake out and screen in those who will take the tournament seriously.

In general I think you're right. I think voting is a broader site-wide issue that I'd love to be able to do more about. There's a number of things I'm trying. I've hinted already that for the bigger tournament I'd quite like debaters themselves to contribute votes on topics they're not so strong on, as that helps them learn. I think that for both tournaments there should be threads put up listing those debates in particularly urgent need of votes. I think good voters on the tournament should also be recognised alongside debaters.

I'm kind of two ways about having a list of judges. I guess it depends on how many debaters there are. If the ratio of judges to debaters is fine then jury votes would be my preference as well. Otherwise I don't think it's fair to discount votes because they weren't "on the panel".

I also agree inactivity is a problem. Some things I'm doing - having a very set timetable to ensure that nobody has good false illusions about times - allowing for some flexibility for planning around people's lives - telling everybody all this way in advance so they know not to get into other tournaments/challenges that might clash with these ones. I think these things will improve the odds a little bit, though I do know unexpected things can happen in RL.

People not showing up for rounds is a problem in RL debating as well BTW. Anyone with any ideas how to fix it might just revolutionise the debating world.

At 6/19/2013 8:39:15 AM, Noumena wrote:
I do think that the time table for the shadow tournament is unrealistic. We can barely get people in with lax 1-week challenge deadlines (which allow for a week max to accept).

If people can't keep to that then they shouldn't join and will be forced to drop out pretty quick. I think (hope) what will happen is the fact that I'm being so uptight and forward with all the dates will make people take the timing on that one a little more seriously than your regular tournament. I know it's very fast, but the tournament has to be if we want to fit in all the rounds.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 8:58:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 8:55:00 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 6/19/2013 8:51:08 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I think the strict timing is good. These tournaments are meant to be taken very seriously, so it is good that the timing will be taken seriously.

But he's also going for mass appeal (i.e., a LOT of people participating). You have to take into consideration the amount of energy people WILL put into these, not how great it would be if they did.

One of the hardest things is this balance. Yes I do want more people participating, but I also kind of want to teach them to not be slow with stuff like this. I think people have become slack because the tournaments have been a bit loose around the timing issue. Long times to do things tells people they can wait until later to do them, then they forget.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 10:23:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 10:15:38 AM, orangemayhem wrote:
Question. What do you propose to do with the old tournament which is still awaiting 2 more signups? (http://www.debate.org...)

I think its only fair that current tournaments be allowed to finish. If two more people cannot be found the tournament moderator should have the final say.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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6/19/2013 11:13:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I do like that there is strict timing. Don't you think 72 hours would result in a better quality debate than one that is 24 hours per round? Especially in the Shadow tournament where there doesn't seem to be any time to prepare beforehand.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 11:31:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 11:13:39 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I do like that there is strict timing. Don't you think 72 hours would result in a better quality debate than one that is 24 hours per round? Especially in the Shadow tournament where there doesn't seem to be any time to prepare beforehand.

I'm sure there will be a slight drop in quality. In RL most tournaments, including Worlds, give you around 30 minutes from when the topic is announced to prepare for the debate. Really fast tournaments usually give you 2-5 minutes. World schools is slow at 1 hour. Practically no tournaments let you (officially anyway) use the internet or similar resources, especially not world schools. I've seen some people say some unbelievably stupid things (and I've said plenty myself). Sometimes it can be great to have a good laugh about them, and it makes the debates more memorable. You won't get debates with thousands of sources that read like competing phd theses, but it's still really fun. It's certainly a different kind of challenge.

There's also the important practical problem that if we switch to 72 hour posting times the tournament will take 8 months instead of 3.

I am a tiny bit concerned about how this might impact voting. A 72 hour vote period is needed for the draw to update fast enough, and usually debates like this are quicker to digest so easier to vote on, but some voters will obviously only want to spend their time reading the best of the best debates. Not sure which camp is bigger or what I can do to make everyone happy.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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6/19/2013 12:06:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What are your thoughts on other members though running unofficial tournaments? Would you support a regulated tournament system? Why would the official tournament hold any more weight than unofficial tournaments?
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 12:36:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 12:06:27 PM, darkkermit wrote:
What are your thoughts on other members though running unofficial tournaments? Would you support a regulated tournament system? Why would the official tournament hold any more weight than unofficial tournaments?

I think they should be allowed to have them, and I wouldn't regulate them in any special way. I think they're often run poorly and that there's far too many, but in general the quality of unofficial tournaments is improving slightly and I'm cautiously optimistic about that. There is some appeal to a regulated tournament system, but I guess I'm not fully convinced it's worth it. I think being a good role model gives much the same benefits anyway.

An official tournament win is a bit like the Nobel Peace Prize - sounds kind of important, in practice means very little. But it's still cool to win. Making the tournaments less frequent will help with this "worth winning" factor for sure. Other than that I'm happy for the official tournaments to be judged on the quality of the tournament itself and how fun it is to compete in. My goal right from when I started planning these was to have tournaments that everyone would enjoy. I hope they do.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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6/19/2013 12:59:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 12:36:07 PM, larztheloser wrote:
At 6/19/2013 12:06:27 PM, darkkermit wrote:
What are your thoughts on other members though running unofficial tournaments? Would you support a regulated tournament system? Why would the official tournament hold any more weight than unofficial tournaments?

I think they should be allowed to have them, and I wouldn't regulate them in any special way. I think they're often run poorly and that there's far too many, but in general the quality of unofficial tournaments is improving slightly and I'm cautiously optimistic about that. There is some appeal to a regulated tournament system, but I guess I'm not fully convinced it's worth it. I think being a good role model gives much the same benefits anyway.

An official tournament win is a bit like the Nobel Peace Prize - sounds kind of important, in practice means very little. But it's still cool to win. Making the tournaments less frequent will help with this "worth winning" factor for sure. Other than that I'm happy for the official tournaments to be judged on the quality of the tournament itself and how fun it is to compete in. My goal right from when I started planning these was to have tournaments that everyone would enjoy. I hope they do.

Yes, I understand its mainly for bragging rights. But there's no system in place that would make the "official tournament" more prestigious than any other tournament (like trophy, hall of fame induction, sticky notification, or so forth). The only thing that could make it presitgious is others thinking it would be prestious, in which case, any DDOer can make a tournament and has a good chance of becoming just a prestigious as well (well prestigiousness is based on what others think though, and isn't anything intrinsic)
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 1:08:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 12:59:13 PM, darkkermit wrote:

Yes, I understand its mainly for bragging rights. But there's no system in place that would make the "official tournament" more prestigious than any other tournament (like trophy, hall of fame induction, sticky notification, or so forth). The only thing that could make it presitgious is others thinking it would be prestious, in which case, any DDOer can make a tournament and has a good chance of becoming just a prestigious as well (well prestigiousness is based on what others think though, and isn't anything intrinsic)

I have very little control over any solution that would require a change to the site. I can't make stickies. I think having a hall of fame is a super idea.

I think prestige is earned, so if some other tournament is done really well and beats these I'll gladly to my hat off to them. I really want these tournaments to be really good though. Prestige also comes because something is rare and valuable, and hopefully these tournaments are. You're right that it's not intrinsic, but at least we can set it up so that its intrinsic qualities give the impression that it is prestigious. In truth, I think these tournaments will be worth winning.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/19/2013 1:29:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Interesting. There are two models of what debate is about. One model, the typical academic model, is debate as rhetorical sport. Another model is debate as a search for correct answers, akin to the trial-by-jury model or Congressional debate model. The proposed tournament structure is hard over on the debate-as-sport side.

The sport model favors preassigned topics, assigned Pro and Con, and short preparation and response times. The truth model favors individual selection of topic and side, and longer preparation.

I don't have a problem with anyone who likes the sport model and wants to engage on that level, but it doesn't much interest me. Because written debate (per DDO) allows for careful research and careful writing, it also allows the truth model.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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6/19/2013 3:21:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 1:29:49 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
Interesting. There are two models of what debate is about. One model, the typical academic model, is debate as rhetorical sport. Another model is debate as a search for correct answers, akin to the trial-by-jury model or Congressional debate model. The proposed tournament structure is hard over on the debate-as-sport side.

The sport model favors preassigned topics, assigned Pro and Con, and short preparation and response times. The truth model favors individual selection of topic and side, and longer preparation.

I don't have a problem with anyone who likes the sport model and wants to engage on that level, but it doesn't much interest me. Because written debate (per DDO) allows for careful research and careful writing, it also allows the truth model.

Fair point. To some extent I think the "find out the truth about a particular topic" model kind-of negates the point of a tournament, as I wouldn't necessarily say that the best debater is also the person who holds the most valid opinions before having written a big essay about them.

In general I was aiming for that kind of debate to happen, though, with my prepared tournament. No pre-assigned topics, no assigned pro or con (although with no pre-assigned topics it doesn't matter anyway), 3 weeks of prep time, 72 hours to post etc. The only way that it's in any way different from just posting a challenge randomly, assuming you don't break, is that there's four such debates going on at once, so it's not totally away from the sport model but still quite distinct from it. Would anyone else prefer it if that restriction was loosened up a bit?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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6/19/2013 3:26:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/19/2013 6:24:15 AM, larztheloser wrote:
After discussion with Airmax, I have been delegated responsibility for running the official tournaments. Rather than have several running every month, I'm going to propose that DDO only has two tournaments this year after the present ones are finished, aside from any you may want to start yourself.

This site has too many tournaments, and we should rather put our efforts into fewer tournaments and make those really successful.

I wanted to start a thread for discussion of my proposal. If you have alternative ideas or ways to improve mine, I'd love to hear them. If you would like to help in some way, let me know too. I'll be collecting feedback and hopefully put out a tournament calendar in about a week.

I'll put my ideas in the following two posts.

Awesome. IMHO clearly the best person for the job. =)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?