I’ve written at great length here about how I think tournaments should be tabbed. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.) And I’ve had some side conversations on my own blog with Chris Palmer, a tabbing theorist and, of course, originator of tabroom.com (and tech support for NDCA). Not all of these conversations were in agreement, and I’ll capture some of the most relevant pieces of them shortly as background on the subject as a whole, since it is a far from closed discussion. In any case, the time has come to summarize best practices. These are not the recommendations of the NDCA—and they occasionally contradict NDCA tab procedures. They are my own recommendations, based on my own thoughts and experiences. Like any set of best practices, they may not be universally definitive, but they can act as the starting point for individual tournament directors and tab rooms trying to figure things out fairly. The following can be distributed as a short, manageable document, which I’ll provide shortly.
Tabbing Best Practices
These are our operating principles in offering debate competition:
Debate tournaments need to be scrupulously fair.
They need to reward the competitors who do [...]