How to manually TAB a tournament

This article is about how to TAB a tournament, if you do not want to use any software, if you do not know how to use it or you just like to depend only on yourself.

It is detailed, to go through the whole TAB process and it even gives you the excel documents, that I use for tabbing. You are welcome to download and share all the info that you find in this post.

We all know, that there are a coupe of different TAB programs out there, that really work, I usually still use paper cards to TAB BP tournaments. The main reason for this is that the tournaments that I tab are rather small. With small tournaments, that have, 3, 4, 5 rooms only, it can be a problem, to tab them with the software. The first problem that I see is the power pair. If you do 5 rounds of power pair, you will have teams constantly debating each other, and this is REALLY boring for them. That’s why I normally make first two or three rounds randomly paired, and go to power pair later. 

Before you start a tournament, you should make sure, that you have all that you need for the TAB. The TAB room should be only the TAB room. It will be much harder for you to TAB, if people are coming in and out of the TAB all the time. I always put a “Come in if you dare” sign on the door. The judges, if they need to bring you their ballots, should knock and wait for you to come out. You will also need a large table and a computer with a printer. A copy machine is a great thing, but you can go without it.

What you do need for a manual TAB are the TAB cards. TAB cards

If you use these cards, you can see that you have a space to enter the team points. What I normally do, is write team points for each round in two steps. If a team gets 2 points in the first round, I write down 2/2. First number represents the number of points, that the team received in the present round, and the second number is the total number of team points. That means if the team gets 1 point in the second round, I write down 1/3 points in the “round 2” space. This is how you always know, how many points a team has all together, and you can check fast how many points they received in this round.

The same thing goes for speaker points (or speaks). You will need the total number of speaker points when you will determine, witch team should go in witch room at power pair. 

You should always fill in all the other parts of the TAB cards, like the judge, position in the debate (I use 1G, 2G, 1O or 2O) and the opponents.

A very important part of the TAB cards is not even there. Because you need to make the pairing that way that every team debates all four positions in the debate, I always make a cross on the right side of each team card. The cross represents the positions in the debate and I write down a number for the round where the team had to debate that position. So the upper left part of the cross is 1st gov, up right is 1st opp, down left is 2nd gov and down right is 2nd opp. If you use this system, it will be much easier for you to determine, in witch position the team should debate next.

If you need to do power pair, you should lay down the cards in a descending order. The team with most team points first then the second team and so on. Now you just lay down the cards in groups of four and you have your power paired rooms. If there are two or more teams, that have an equal amount of points, the team with the bigger speaker points should go to the stronger room (this is why you always count the speaks for all the rounds).

Because you would like to give out the results for the rounds right after the finals end, you need to enter all the results into a excel spreadsheet, so that you can check, if you entered everything right and you can print out all the results and disseminate them after the tournament. I use this  Excel file for it. There is not much to explain, maybe just a hint. When you finish adding the team points for a round, make him SUM up all the points. There is always the same number of points given in every round, so you can check if you made any mistakes.

You will also need Judge ballots, so doc download it here.

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