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TTF Debate Tournament - UNOFFICIAL Rules Draft

Gil-Galad

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Originally posted by Idril
Crikey! This didn't even occur to me - tactical judging! You're assuming the judges are that clever!;)

I have to admit though - all this moaning about the judges and there abilities is kinda insulting:(.

Some of this sounds a bit like sour grapes to me.
INSULTING?! ?!!!If you think my thoughts are insulting then what more can I say.I just said things that may happen some day.I'm not offending anybody,but who knows what would happen?ah?
There are persons among the judges who I deeply respect and I don't want to offend them.I just mention a simple possibility.And that could happen someday,who knows?Moaning?!That was not moaning,but thinking about some improvements.Nothing is perfect and we should try to do it as better as possible.
You said I was moaning......:( ....sad..........I've never moaned about such things.I'm sad to hear such things.........:(
 

Confusticated

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c) No posts in the debating thread shall be made in an attempt to influence the judges, either by the debating members or by other members of any Guild; the Judging thread shall be a place in which opinions are set out as simply as possible, and only the Judges shall expound on their reasons for a vote;
Only the judges shall expound on their reasons for a vote?

Do you mean that only official judges should post a judgement and give reasons?
 

Ithrynluin

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Perhaps it should read 'only the Judges should expound on their reasons for a vote'. No one besides the judges is under any obligation to elaborate on their reasons...
 

Eriol

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I think either reading is OK. The operative part of that rule is mainly the first sentence (No influencing the judges); and if a non-Judge posts his vote and gives reasons, he will have to thread a thin line to avoid influencing the judges. Some would say it is impossible.

As the rules stand, a non-Judge may even incur a penalty for his own Guild if the Host sees his opinion as an attempt to influence the Judges. It is safer for non-Judges to keep their opinions to themselves, at least while the Judges have not posted their votes. Later, anyone is welcome to posting a reasoned vote. Is this right, in your view? Or should the rules be more lenient about non-Judges giving their opinion?

What do you all think, Shall or Should? For me it is indifferent...
 

Confusticated

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I just think non-judges should be allowed to post their own judgements.

I certainly aim to do so in the current debates, the ones about Manwe (love that topic!!) and the Finrod/Turgon! I was also planning to do so in the last debate between OiE and GoS but was asked to be an official judge at the last minute... so it worked out fine!
 

Eriol

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What do you think of opening a different thread for non-Judges to give their opinions?
 

Beleg

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No. There is no need for a seperate thread. Sure It would be a good idea that any member who is not a judge should post his un-offical judgements/thoughts/reasonings after the judges have decided. It's fun, It's intellectual and It is nice to see that other people are also interested in reading your work. No need for a seperate thread.
 

Eriol

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Yes, but I believe that the question Nóm raised was pointed at non-Judges giving their opinions before the Judges. Of course they can post their opinions after the voting is over, but should they be allowed to do it before the voting?

I am inclined to say no, or at least not in the same thread. It is far too easy to construe an honest, compelling opinion as an attempt to influence the Judges. It can lead to unnecessary quarreling. I think that if a non-Judge wants to post an opinion, it is better to do it in another thread.

But this is another subject that must be discussed between the Guilds... Just like many subjects that have been raised here, chances are that the rules will stand as they were drafted, since no one really wants to discuss it :(.

Nóm, if you feel strongly about that, I suggest that you try to persuade the GoO to assume the official position of not agreeing with that part of the rules. Then at least the other Guilds will have to say something.

My own opinion is in favor of opening a second thread for non-Judges. The moderators can merge the two threads later, after the voting is over.
 

Confusticated

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Is anyone other than Eriol against sharing the same thread, and even someone posting their opinion before the judges do?

You say posting before a judge in the same thread that he/she will post in (see brow raiser below) may be taken as an attempt to sway the judges. So what?

You can not prove a person has posted his/her opinion for that reason, and I'd hope you think more of the judges in general than to think they're going to be swayed by another person's opinion alone.

At worst a judge will read it and realise something he had over looked... and that is doubtful with a judge who knows their stuff.

But no matter what, 4 out of 5 judges are going to post after they have had access to another's opinion, and this is the main reason I think it doesn't matter if a non-judge post before all judges have.

But this really raises by brow:

My own opinion is in favor of opening a second thread for non-Judges. The moderators can merge the two threads later, after the voting is over.
You trust the judges to hold off on reading the judgements in the unofficial judging thread. Now, is would there be a rule that says they can not look there?
If not, then they are allowed to! In which case it doesn't matter if it is in the same thread or not - a judge can read it regardless!

Now if it is a rule that they can not look in the non-judgement thread, it is absurd to the point of being hilarious because this can not be enforced, and again, is shows a distrust of judges. Trusting judges is something we have to do in this.

I think some judges are not nearly as able as others, yeah. Mostly because I think they either don't understand Tolkien enough, or to be frank, have poor reasoning... but what can be done about that? Nothing. I accept that a team wins based on the fact that it got the majority of votes from 5 members who were selected to decide the winner.
 

Eriol

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I don't distrust any judge -- where did you see that? Quite the contrary, I always said that the Judges must be trusted implicitly...

:confused:

I don't know who agrees with me or not. However, as the rules draft stand now, a non-judge posting in that thread might (not a certainty, and it is up to the Host to decide) result in a penalty for his Guild. If we, the community, do not want that, we must change the rules. But if people (meaning more than you, Nóm) do not speak against it, then the rule will have to remain as set. After all, a lot of people already took a look at it and found no fault. This is not to say that they will not agree with you, but the silence means they agree with the draft -- perhaps because they had not given the matter due consideration. I have no strong opinion on this matter -- for I trust the judges.

I'd rather not get into the subjective analysis of what influences or not a Judge. As I said, they must be trusted implicitly, and no rule will change that. However, having said that, I think it is quite obvious that an opinion in the Judging thread has a greater chance to be noticed, never mind read, by a Judge than an opinion in another thread.

My fear is not that they would break an "unwritten rule" that they should not look at a non-judges thread -- I abhor unwritten rules. If there were such a thread, clearly the judges could look at it. But I think having a separate thread will lessen the opportunity for "unwanted influences". If a judge really wants to see other opinions, that's fine with me, but if he does NOT want to see other opinions, I'd make his job easier by keeping the judging thread clear of opinions.

It has nothing to do with trusting the Judges or not -- it is just about making their job easier. If they want to avoid looking at other opinions, fine; if they want to check them, that's also easy. But it is harder, if there is a lot of opinions scattered about the judging thread, to avoid looking at them, and reading them.

Human nature, you know.

By the way, I think -- but that's, again, just my opinion -- that a Judge should NOT look at the opinions of his fellow Judges, and try to form a judgment without any external influences. But a rule against that would be nonsensical. And this shows the difference between a Rule and a Guideline. A Rule must be enforceable, otherwise it will be ridiculous; it must open the possibility of punishing the Rule-breaker, or it will be ineffectual. A Guideline, on the other hand, is simply a piece of advice - no one can be punished for failing to follow it.

Maedhros already addressed an issue related to Judging in this thread. If I were writing the Guidelines to Judging, I would add this opinion of mine (that they should not look at other judges' opnions). And this is why I am NOT writing these guidelines -- they would be "Eriol's guidelines", and probably idiosyncratic, since I have almost no experience of debates here. We have umpteen members more experienced than myself to do that, like yourself, Nóm.

P.S. I'm quite used to my opinions being brow-raisers :D.
 

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As a judge I do not read the judgements of the other judges first.

I am almost always the first judge to vote though. In the last debate I judged, I happend to be the last judge to give judgement. In this case I did look at the judgements, but only skimmed through to see the votes and did not read the judge's reasoning.

As a judge I just feel better about now knowing the other judges reasons until I have posted.

Any other like-minded judges can simply avoid reading the thread until the judgement is typed up.

Any judges who do like to read others' judgement before giving his/hers, is doing nothing wrong and can do this no matter which thread the judgements are in.

But I think having a separate thread will lessen the opportunity for "unwanted influences".
It is no less difficult to avoid reading a non-official judgement thread than it is to avoid looking into the official judgement thread.

For that reason I think your reason is poor.

I will tell others about this thread and this issue though, so we can get more opinions.
 

Eriol

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Complete agreement about your "judging procedures". And though my reason may be poor, I simply see no reason against it... opening a separate thread is not so hard or expensive :D.

But I hope you get people to agree with you, and change the rules. If only because it will wake them up to this thread :D. I like to think that most Guilds' silence is due to their agreeing with the rules -- but as I said, I'm a trusting guy ;).
 

Ithrynluin

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Waaaaaaa!

This is getting just a little too complicated, and changing anything in this respect would be needless in my opinion.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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NO ONE other than the person opening the thread, the participants and the judges should be permitted to post on the debate thread until the debates if finished and the judging completed and posted. Only then should everyone else who wishes to post about the debate do so. Otherwise you have pandemonium.

Let the debate be properly opened, go forward, conclude and then let the judges post. Once that is over and done with, let the whole world post if it wishes, but I for one believe that to permit non-participants to post either in the debate or before the judges post is sadly lacking in good order if nothing else.
 

Eriol

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Well, Mrs. M., right now the practice is to open a separate thread for the Judging. I think we all agree that posting on the Debate thread proper is a serious offense (unless, of course, there is an OVERWHELMING reason to do so -- we're civilized here, no one will be hanged and quartered for doing it :D).

But the point being discussed is whether non-Judges (including debators!!) should be able to post anything at all in the JUDGING thread. We see a lot of courtesy posts ("I wish you all good luck", "Good job!", and the such) in these threads, and I am in favor of them - I think that courtesy is always welcome. But an OPINION about the debate itself could be construed as an attempt to influence the judges.

As the rules are drafted NOW, it is of no importance whether the judges were actually influenced or not -- any attempt to influence the Judges makes the Guild of the alleged "influencer" open to penalty. It is up to the Host to decide whether a penalty is merited or not. But a non-Judge post opens that possibility. "Trusting the judges" is not an issue -- they may not even have noticed the offending post. Who knows? Who cares? As it is drafted, only the Host must care.

What Nóm is suggesting (if I understood her correctly) is that this possibility, of penalizing the Guild of a non-Judge who posted an opinion, should be removed from the rules, therefore "freeing" the thread for everybody.

As I said, I have no strong opinion -- I'm just posting here now because I think you misunderstood Nóm.

(I hope I have not misunderstood her also... :) )

So, the issue is not really about "allowing people to post on the Judging thread" -- they already are allowed. The point is whether their Guild can be open to penalty if the Host judges that the post is an attempt to influence the judges -- whether it is an opinion, an outburst, or any other thing.
 

Lhunithiliel

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If I may, but are you trying to "discover the Americas" again? ;) :D

I'm sorry! I'm not being sarcastic or anything!
The thing with the non-judges posting is not some new matter to be thoroughly thought of and decided about.

In the "Eldar Days" ;) it was a common and a quite successful practice:
>> The Debate is finished
>> The judges post their decisions
>> AFTER that non-judges posted all sorts of opinions.

I think this can work perfectly now, too.
I wouldn't say I distrust the judges but still I think that the non-judges posters should be allowed to post ONLY AFTER the final result is already known.
Eriol:We see a lot of courtesy posts ("I wish you all good luck", "Good job!", and the such) in these threads, and I am in favor of them - I think that courtesy is always welcome.
Oh! One could see some other comments, too! ;) :D

As for posting in a separate or in the same judging thread, I think it doesn't really matter ONCE the judgment has been finished.
I don't think it would be wise to let this happen DURING the time while the judges are still thinking over their decision.

And speaking about the judges, I can only say this: We shall have to trust them and hope and believe that they will put aside all their personal and individual "pro"-s and "con"-s in regard to both - debators and the topic itself.

I doubt however that this will be ever achieved!
Say we put Nom to judge the present debate Turgon vs. Finrod. Nom, (who is the greatest fan of FF!) how could you be objective in such a situation? ;) :D (Please, understand me right! I chose you as an example because I know how much you admire Finrod!)
 

Mrs. Maggott

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What I have said (about no one posting until the debate is finished and that includes the judging) is valid whether one has two separate threads or one single thread for the processes involved. That is quite beside the point.

No one should post on either and/or both threads until the process is complete unless the powers that be wish to permit "good luck" sentiments. However, since someone might say that their "good luck" post (which just happened to include a position on the debate) was only intended to be such a harmless comment, I think it is safer to simply say "NO POSTS" until the contest is completed.

Frankly, I don't understand why this is so difficult to understand or such a "big deal". If all comments are forbidden until such time as the debate is completed in its entirety, there can be no "misunderstanding" about anyone's intentions in their post - and hence, no conflicts. Is this not an example of the simplest solution being the best solution?
 

Ithrynluin

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Originally posted by Mrs. Maggott
NO ONE other than the person opening the thread, the participants and the judges should be permitted to post on the debate thread until the debates if finished and the judging completed and posted. Only then should everyone else who wishes to post about the debate do so. Otherwise you have pandemonium.

Let the debate be properly opened, go forward, conclude and then let the judges post. Once that is over and done with, let the whole world post if it wishes, but I for one believe that to permit non-participants to post either in the debate or before the judges post is sadly lacking in good order if nothing else.
No one is asking whether anyone other than the two teams and the host should be allowed to post in the debate thread itself. And I really fail to see how anyone's opinion other than that of the judges could cause trouble, let alone pandemonium. That's blowing it way out of proportion (and making the judges appear as rather brainless and easily influenced and swayed). I'm convinced that is not the case with the majority of cases - there are always exceptions of course.

Originally posted by Mrs. Maggott
If all comments are forbidden until such time as the debate is completed in its entirety
All comments ARE forbidden until the debate is completed, because the judgement thread is not opened before the debate comes to an end.
 

Ithrynluin

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Originally posted by Gil-Galad
...And we should try to reduce such exceptions.....
Not at the expense of tiring the debators and the judges with needless and countless little rules and restrictions.
 

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