this forum is for discussing a potential qualification system for NPS.
i have cross-posted a proposal from Stefan Sencerz to help get things started. this was first posted in the SlamMaster's Forum, but has been moved here to allow everyone who is interested to become involved in the conversation.
please feel free to post other ideas, ask questions about proposals posted & to raise issues that would impact any qualification system.
let the games begin.
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Originally posted by Stefan Sencerz in the SlamMaster's Forum
HOW TO ACCOMMODATE AS MANY TEAMS AS POSSIBLE (OR AS MANY AS WE WANT TO) IN A FAIR WAY -- A MODEST PROPOSAL
I have posted these ideas on another thread hoping they will lead to a discussion, if they gain some support. I've noticed that my "proposal" is now officially on the schedule for the slammasters meeting. So, here I go again.
There are several seemingly incompatible values that most of us share:
V1) We want to have the National (and other shows) of the highest possible quality.
V2) We want to accommodate as many teams as possible, because we want the slam movement to grow and the poetry spread across the galaxy.
V3) We want to have a manageable show -- not too many venues (as this would be too hard for a host city), not too long (as this would be too hard for the poets).
Here are some ideas that were circulating and some problems with them:
A) REGIONALS : They would contribute to V1. But they could also lead to some problems. For example, they have a potential for cause drama and discord at the local/regional level. To use one example, the beauty of current Texan scrimmages (regionals?) is that nothing rides on them except for bragging rights. We meet old friends, we chill, and we hone our chops so we look OK at the nationals. And we have lots of fun doing it. Then we chill some more. I have heard the same from the folks from the Bay Area, Rust Belt, and so on. Hyper competitive regionals are conducive to destroying this spirit.
Furthermore, if the role of the regionals is to select the teams for the nationals, then it may take years before some small local scenes will be able to send a team to the Nationals. This may be very demoralizing for those scenes. So, this sort of regionals undermines V2.
Finally, regionals do not guarantee that we will have the best possible Nationals and the show of the highest quality. Hypothetically speaking, the worst (and thus eliminated) team in the States of California or New York may be better than the best team in the State of Drunkenness.
B) POINT SYSTEM : Too complicated. Also, it encourages cheating. That's why we have abandoned it.
C) ADD VENUES AND/OR DAYS : I like this idea. But, realistically speaking, we know w cannot go beyond a certain limit. Also, this idea is perfectly compatible with my proposal
SKETCH OF THE IDEA I WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
1) WE CONSTRAIN THE FIELD IN TWO WAYS:
1.1) Only the scenes that existed (in good standing, in certified venues) for at least a year can play.
1.2) Only the scenes that apply by a certain hard deadline play.
1.1: This does not curtail the growth of the movement. But it eliminate teams whose only purpose is to go to the Nationals and to kick ass. If you are this sort of scene, I suggest start your own nationals and run them any way you feel like.
1.2: This proposal is not first come first serve, which Steve hates and which is "officially broken", so far as he is concerned.
2) WE CHOOSE TEAMS ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING FORMULA:
2.1) If the number of submissions is lesser or equal to the number of available slots (=80 for year 2006), then everyone is in. If the number of submissions is greater than the number of available slots, then
2.2) All the teams that made the cut in the previous nationals AND all the teams with the same ranking as the last team that made the cut are automatically in.
2.2) The rest of the teams enter the fair lottery defined as follows:
2.3.1) The (Slam-)Nation is divided into several geographical regions, each having roughly the same # of teams.
2.3.2) First, we select the regions that will have to lose at most one team for each region.
2.3.3) From each region, we chose one team that will not play on a given year.
2.2: This point guarantees the continuity and the quality of the show. The top scenes will be automatically in. Thus, this part contributes to V1, above. What does it mean in practice? 20 teams made the cut in ABQ. 5 additional teams did not qualify, though they had exactly the same ranking. All those 25 teams would be automatically in, provided that they meet the deadline for registration.
2.3: This point guarantees that each region in the country will be represented. For example, it will never happen that, say, 3 teams from NYC will all be eliminated.
3) COMPENSATIONS FOR THE ELIMINATED SCENES:
3.1) All eliminated scenes are AUTOMATICALLY in, for the next two years.
3.2) Each eliminated scene receives 5 free passes, free of charge, provided they come to the host city.
3.1: This will guarantee that each scene will be eventually able to play (at least 2 times for every 3 years). Thus, each scene will have a goal to pursue and that's good for the growth at the local level. (We may limit it to once every two years, if the movement grows.)
3.2: This will assure that poets from those scenes will still have an incentive to go to the Nationals and to play with the rest of us, work as volunteers, host and manage bouts, etc.
So, those are my ideas. Please feel free to humor me.