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Thread: Crimson Classic 2009

  1. #1
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    Crimson Classic 2009

    Now I mean no disrespect to Harvard, but I feel obligated to write about how poorly run their tournament was today so that maybe it will improve in the future. Not only did captain's start late (it often does), but finding out room numbers and locations was unnecessarily difficult. Additionally, the room in which we were placed for our first trial was so small that there was no well and the temperature was probably 100 degrees. The judges were not instructed re: how to properly fill out ballots (1 of them forgot to fill in best attorneys even though both judges were repeatedly reminded to double check that they filled everything out) and before the trial even started 1 judge asked the other how the scoring sheets worked - he/she had no idea. After the trial, there were no runners in sight so the time keepers had to make the trek back to Emerson. Upon arriving, it was discovered that the judges had not filled in the ballots properly, and the time keepers had to go back. Furthermore, when asked if Harvard had runners, the response was "...what are runners?" Ballots were not handed out during captain's meetings but were instead delivered to each room by a Harvard mock trialer which unnecessarily delayed each trial. Why couldn't they be provided at captain's to the prosecution team?

    That being said, I again extend a hearty thank you to Brandeis for their flawless tournament last weekend (Matt!) That was the first time I had ever seen the closing ceremony start on time.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=MockTrialControlsMyLife link=topic=4338.msg179530#msg179530 date=1257645498]
    Now I mean no disrespect to Harvard, but I feel obligated to write about how poorly run their tournament was today so that maybe it will improve in the future. Not only did captain's start late (it often does), but finding out room numbers and locations was unnecessarily difficult. Additionally, the room in which we were placed for our first trial was so small that there was no well and the temperature was probably 100 degrees. The judges were not instructed re: how to properly fill out ballots (1 of them forgot to fill in best attorneys even though both judges were repeatedly reminded to double check that they filled everything out) and before the trial even started 1 judge asked the other how the scoring sheets worked - he/she had no idea. After the trial, there were no runners in sight so the time keepers had to make the trek back to Emerson. Upon arriving, it was discovered that the judges had not filled in the ballots properly, and the time keepers had to go back. Furthermore, when asked if Harvard had runners, the response was "...what are runners?" Ballots were not handed out during captain's meetings but were instead delivered to each room by a Harvard mock trialer which unnecessarily delayed each trial. Why couldn't they be provided at captain's to the prosecution team?

    That being said, I again extend a hearty thank you to Brandeis for their flawless tournament last weekend (Matt!) That was the first time I had ever seen the closing ceremony start on time.
    [/quote]

    A lot of this stuff is pretty common. Many tournaments don't have tab room runners, and it goes without saying that Captain's Meetings and rounds can start late, often due to circumstances out of the control of the tournament coordinators. As far as judges go, the judge's meeting presentation is the same at every tournament. And at EVERY tournament, you have judges who don't follow instructions. Quite frankly, you should be thankful if a failure to fill in the attorney ranks was the worst problem you had with judges filling out ballots. Nothing quite beats the awkwardness of sitting there in silence for 20 minutes as my co-judge struggles to fill out the ballot he should have been scoring throughout the trial.
    Mock Trial with J. Reinhold! Mock Trial! Mock Trial with J. Reinhold!

  3. #3
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=The Gelf link=topic=4338.msg179533#msg179533 date=1257656161]
    As far as judges go, the judge's meeting presentation is the same at every tournament. And at EVERY tournament, you have judges who don't follow instructions.
    [/quote]

    That's not true at all, plenty of invitationals don't use the power point presentation. I have sat in judges meetings where no presentation was given at all, and they spent the whole time assigning the people who were there and trying to round up more people.
    "Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure." -Earl Wilson

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    Harvard disappointments

    I have to echo, and supplement, the concerns of the previous poster.

    Locations of trials aren't a trivial point in tourney selection. Harvard promised courtrooms up until the last week before the tournament, then informed us we would be on campus. We received no refund for the downgrade in quality.

    The rooms we were in were tiny and had terrible layouts. One of the rooms in which we competed just had one gigantic conference table.

    I understand there's a lot of work involved in tab but Harvard took forever working on tabs and results. It took a long time to confirm that there were no judge conflicts, though this is a disadvantage I'll agree many tournaments share.

    They consistently failed to meet the schedules and deadlines they set for themselves. If you're going to be slow, at least be honest about it.

    Judges were often inexperienced peers rather than coaches, law students, or adults. Some of them were peers that competed in trials that weekend and lied about it, claiming to be lawyers.

    Perhaps worst of all was the closing ceremonies. The whole procedure had a feeling of anti-climax about it, perhaps due to the confusing, rapid presentation of awards. It didn't really seem to make sense to have a tourney champion when there were two different divisions.

    The redeeming quality of Harvard is the competitiveness of the teams involved. I must say they delivered on this point; there were a lot of great teams there.

    I think that the only thing keeping the good teams coming back to Harvard at this point is name recognition. They did a shoddy, unprofessional job with the tournament overall.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    Is it also common to promise a tournament in a courthouse, charge teams more $ to pay for court rooms, and then change the venue back to Harvard just days prior to the tournament without providing a refund?

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    Re: Harvard disappointments

    [quote author=emperortrajan link=topic=4341.msg179550#msg179550 date=1257736783]
    Some of them were peers that competed in trials that weekend and lied about it, claiming to be lawyers.
    [/quote]

    Wait, whaaaat?!?! Did this actually happen?

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    Does anyone have the tab summary?
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    This tournament was a complete waste of time, energy, and money. Our team will not be returning. This tournament was Mock Trial blasphemy and the tournament directors should be ashamed, particularly of their own rude, arrogant behavior and what they allowed their own students to get away with. If this is going to consistently be one of the biggest invitationals offered on the East Coast, AMTA seriously needs to consider intervening. What went on at this invitational was detrimental to the spirit and mission of the organization, and I am extremely disappointed for my students that this was the first trial experience for some of them.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=wccoach09 link=topic=4338.msg179563#msg179563 date=1257753151]
    This tournament was a complete waste of time, energy, and money. Our team will not be returning. This tournament was Mock Trial blasphemy and the tournament directors should be ashamed, particularly of their own rude, arrogant behavior and what they allowed their own students to get away with. If this is going to consistently be one of the biggest invitationals offered on the East Coast, AMTA seriously needs to consider intervening. What went on at this invitational was detrimental to the spirit and mission of the organization, and I am extremely disappointed for my students that this was the first trial experience for some of them.
    [/quote]

    I'm not sure what, exactly, you want AMTA to do about that... or what you think they are even capable of doing.

    Rule 5.1 Independence from AMTA. AMTA hosts regional tournaments, opening round championship tournaments, and a national championship tournament. These are the only AMTA-sanctioned and sponsored events. All other events not reflected above shall be deemed invitational tournaments. AMTA does not host, organize, fund or endorse any invitational tournament. These tournaments are exclusively hosted, organized and administered by their respective hosts, and are completely independent of AMTA.
    Check "yes" if you're not a felon.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    What is it with Ivy league schools hosting terrible invitationals?! Cornell being the exception to that rule, of course. :-D
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    This tournament was an abomination. I do not dislike the Harvard team, just their running of this tournament. My team and I will not be returning to this tournament in the future unless there is a severe change in how things are run.
    There's no school like the old school.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=MT4e link=topic=4338.msg179568#msg179568 date=1257779033]
    What is it with Ivy league schools hosting terrible invitationals?! Cornell being the exception to that rule, of course. :-D
    [/quote]

    Columbia runs a damn good invitational, if I do say so myself.

  13. #13
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=MiaWUCU link=topic=4338.msg179571#msg179571 date=1257779642]
    Columbia runs a damn good invitational, if I do say so myself.
    [/quote]

    Haha. Mia, my apologies, CUBAIT is an exceptionally run tournament. I guess the Ivies are 2/4. Still not that good.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    I agree; Cornell runs a great tournament, and I'm looking forward to CUBAIT.
    Hello Harry, what sort of tomfoolery shall we get up to today? No tomfoolery today, Ron.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    KShaw-
    Entirely aware of the AMTA rules. They need new ones in some form or fashion controlling Invitational tournaments if members are going to pay good money to travel to them. One simple suggestion would be to require a host team to fund an AMTA representative to a tournament. It's not an entirely bogus request when it's this far before their weekends are tied up by regionals. Even if AMTA had a stipulation that the event must be run by coaches or advisors, it would have been extremely different from dealing with "Tournament Directors" that were 19 and 20 years old. I don't think that's too much to ask, out of respect for the teams, educator-coaches, and attorney-coaches, that there's someone with a similar background, understanding, and experience present to help officiate and keep undergraduates in check. They're simply not adept to run a tournament this size--that's an overall judgment, having coached them for several years, even when you expect Mock Trial students to have their heads on straight and be a relatively competent bunch. I agree they help immensely with tab room operations, running, guiding, etc., but to coordinate an event of this scale is absurd--that was demonstrated by the debacle this weekend.

  16. #16
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=wccoach09 link=topic=4338.msg179575#msg179575 date=1257782275]
    KShaw-
    Entirely aware of the AMTA rules. They need new ones in some form or fashion controlling Invitational tournaments if members are going to pay good money to travel to them. One simple suggestion would be to require a host team to fund an AMTA representative to a tournament. It's not an entirely bogus request when it's this far before their weekends are tied up by regionals. Even if AMTA had a stipulation that the event must be run by coaches or advisors, it would have been extremely different from dealing with "Tournament Directors" that were 19 and 20 years old. I don't think that's too much to ask, out of respect for the teams, educator-coaches, and attorney-coaches, that there's someone with a similar background, understanding, and experience present to help officiate and keep undergraduates in check. They're simply not adept to run a tournament this size--that's an overall judgment, having coached them for several years, even when you expect Mock Trial students to have their heads on straight and be a relatively competent bunch. I agree they help immensely with tab room operations, running, guiding, etc., but to coordinate an event of this scale is absurd--that was demonstrated by the debacle this weekend.
    [/quote]

    WC,

    As a former tournament director, I believe you are either new to AMTA or have never run an invitational tournament.

    I have run the BRIC starting my sophomore year, I was 19, and ran it for 3 years. In addition, I was also competing in the tournament every year and yet, the tournaments ran pretty flawlessly (as backed up by Nonsensical's post above, thank you for that btw). Obviously I had help (a lot of it from GooglyMoogly in the tab room), but still, I was the tournament director.

    Student mockers CAN and should run tournaments because it is an amazing life experience and at the end of the day isn't that what doing mock trial and being in college are all about? To ask that AMTA change rules so invitational tournaments start on time is not reasonable; to "require a host team to fund an AMTA representative to a tournament" is also not reasonable. AMTA has better things to do than to make sure 50 or so tournaments start on time and are run to people's standards.

    These are invitationals. You do not have to go nor do you have to voluntarily give them your money to attend. If you are so unhappy then do not go back. Simple as that. These invitationals are held for the simple purposes of raising money for the mock trial programs and for mockers to hone their cases before the real trials begin (i.e regionals, orcs, and nationals.)

    If you have never run a tournament than it is very easy to criticize as you are not aware of the hard work and the insane amount of variables which are completely outside the control of the people running the tournaments (i.e. weather, judges, administration, other teams.) I wasn't at Harvard this weekend, however, I have been to Harvard in years past and the undergrads ran a fine tournament, maybe we should cut them some slack, people are allowed to make mistakes. I understand being angry because a tournament was poorly run. But saying that undergraduates can not nor should not run invitational tournaments is a little bit too much, no?

    *Edited for spelling
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    Harvard was SO poorly run this year. I really hope no one who ran it is ever a future leader of America. Otherwise, we're screwed.

    I'll confirm that my team was judged by undergraduates. One of them was a freaking sophomore. When I confronted one of the Harvard dudes about it, he was incredibly rude to me. Seriously, the people running the tournament had no class. This weekend was such an unpleasant experience. I don't know if we'll go back to Harvard next year. I hope we don't.

    We should all get a written apology and our money back.

  18. #18
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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    I think this thread has gone a little far. I don't believe that undergrads can't run a tournament. I just think that this tournament wasn't properly run this time.
    There's no school like the old school.

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    [quote author=LetTheRecordReflect link=topic=4338.msg179611#msg179611 date=1257789535]
    I think this thread has gone a little far. I don't believe that undergrads can't run a tournament. I just think that this tournament wasn't properly run this time.
    [/quote]

    It's perjuries, every thread goes too far.
    I bleed Big Red & Fightin' Violet!

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    Re: Crimson Classic 2009

    Not only do I agree AMTA should have involvement with how invitational tournaments are run, I think they should provide gift baskets for participants consisting of My Little Pony toys, slinkies, Mattel Hot Wheels, and Gak. Call me old-school.
    Hello Harry, what sort of tomfoolery shall we get up to today? No tomfoolery today, Ron.

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