No, I don’t have the day off

I’m not bitching about it, though, given that I was ready to come in and put in a day’s effort anyway.  I like getting things done while no one else is around, since it actually happens when no one else is around.

This weekend was the Gracia Burkill Memorial, a nice tournament at Natick that happens once a year in memory of the coach at David Prouty, who coached herself Dick Gaudette among others.  So it goes way back, in other words.  Sarah was very pleased that the tournament is now a “real” tournament, when before it was just a small unserious afterschool affair.  The MFL doesn’t have afterschool tournaments anymore; the overhead is perhaps too great, and our weekends are all full up, so it’s not like we lack for opportunities to spend far too much time in high school cafeterias.

Sarah also foolishly volunteered to take part in efforts in judge training, which is something of a tilting at windmills task, but at least we can standardize our ineffective efforts.  Judge training is a game of trying to prevent the least common denominator.  We react to funny stories of judges screwing up elementary aspects of tournaments, such as the judge who thinks extemp time signals mean she should start signaling with 5 seconds left in the speech.   We hear the horror stories of the day, and tut tut about the unfairness of it all, and try to legislate away the story.

That’s really no way to run a league; chasing down the corner cases and random moments of appalling idiocy is really not productive, as our efforts are finite and the potential domain of stupidity vastly unlimited.  And the bulk of our judges are good, honest, thoughtful and intelligent souls who dedicate themselves to doing what’s best for the students.  So I wonder if we shouldn’t just standardize our judge training process, make sure the major bases are covered, and then inspire an attitude among the coaches and students that when a random judge does do random things, it’s part of what we roll with, not a tragic end of the world.

Kids care about trophies and the competition aspect of things far too much, and most of the coaches do too.  Most coaches think that the worst possible outcome of a tournament day is one where results are screwed up and rules are applied incorrectly and the wrong person wins.  Personally I have a hard time with that, since it’s such an unsatisfying standard; it cannot get me up in the morning at 5 AM to go to a high school, knowing full well I’m not getting home until 7 at the earliest.  I care about running fair and accurate tournaments, but it’s not the highest value for me; I’d sacrifice both those things for the educational value and overall health of the activity.  I think that attitude of mine pisses people off in the MFL sometimes.

Ah well.  Screw them all, I’m president and none of them ran.