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What role do coaches play in your program?

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  • What role do coaches play in your program?

    How are coaches involved in your program? Do they have a significant impact on your team(s)? Do they just give occasional advice? Pick (and/or discuss) what applies to your program!
    Logistical support
    Script writing
    Making major decisions (captains, stacking, tryouts, etc)
    My program doesn't have coaches

  • #2
    I'm very curious as to how programs where the members create the stacks work. Seems like having members make stacks would be messy, especially if you have coaches who can hopefully be more objective. Anyone from one of these programs have any insight?


    • #3
      At my program we have meetings among the captains from each team. We all work on a roster for each new teams then vote on it. You're right. It can and often does get very messy. But we don't really have an alternative as our Advisor doesn't get to see everybody.


      • #4
        But how do you choose captains in the first place? Do you have a separate exec board and how does that dynamic work? Do captains of each team get more say over their specific team than captains of the other teams? How do you settle disputes without harming team culture and making everyone hate each other?

        My program is currently in a non-ideal spot where coaches make stacking decisions without having seen half the program compete, but all the alternatives seem real problematic.


        • #5
          My program is currently entirely student run and student taught, with little to no help from any attorney (mainly no help, except when we call a program friend to judge scrimmages). We have an executive board that is voted on by the members at the end of each year (after the competitive season ends). The executive board makes decisions about what tournaments we go to, who gets placed on what team initially, and who the captains are. The captains and stacking are decided by interview and tryout, respectively. We don't stack during the beginning of the year so we distribute our 2nd-4th year members across 3 even teams and then place new members in slots on those teams. Sometimes we have 4th team of all new members that is coached by a senior/junior. We aren't allowed to cut per university policy so we take everyone who tries out. After this first stack the 3 equal teams attend a tournament together, and the fourth team competes at our own tournament. After that, the executive board choses new captains and stacks competitively. We then send the 4 stacked teams the various invitationals and the A,B, and C teams go to regionals.

          Captains control their team with regards to handling disputes and the president and vice president may step in if necessary. Captains can decide to let a member go from their team and then the person is a "free-agent" and the executive board decides where on the other teams to place them (if possible). The president has a meeting weekly with the captains to determine any problems and discuss ways to deal with specific issues. We have a pretty clear hierarchy so there aren't many disputes. A normal member answers to the captain, the captain answers to the executive board, and the executive board answers to the president. From this people know that whatever captain says goes. We do have a captain/vice-captain system where the vice-captain is really there to support the captain and enforce but the captain generally has the say at the end of the day.

          The only awkward thing that happens is the A team and the executive board generally have a lot of overlap but that's because the A team and the executive board share a lot of things in common (dedication to the organization, years in the organization, etc.). Our stacking process is generally based on reviews written by the captains of each team as well as ballot analysis from the first tournament that all teams go to together. After that its based on if you flop at a tournament (or two) and get pushed down for underperforming.


          • #6
            Haha what, you can "free agent" aka exile someone? What school is this? Has that ever happened?

            ​​​​​​For the poll, what's the difference between Administrative and Logistical Support?

            Also, "Advisor" probably doesn't provide much meaningful information without more differentiation. Teams with "advisor"- only coaches, how often are you "overruling" your coach? Is your coach making calls re: a team stack, or a witness lineup, or a theory decision, and if so, do you as an exec say nah and do whatever you want instead? Or does your "advisor" not even make those suggestions, and they just show up and offer their opinions on the exam they watch and then go home?


            • #7
              Originally posted by pmgf View Post
              For the poll, what's the difference between Administrative and Logistical Support?
              I was envisioning administrative as generally running the program- maybe deciding which tournaments to go to, dealing with registration, or running practices, while logistical support would be more in-the-weeds, roles like coordinating transportation or hotels. I think they go hand in hand for some coaches though.

              And for the advisor question, that's why I put "Making major decisions" as a separate category. But the more discussion of these categories the better!
              Last edited by J.D. Lorean; February 6th, 2018, 02:31 AM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by pmgf View Post
                Haha what, you can "free agent" aka exile someone? What school is this? Has that ever happened?
                To my knowledge, there has only been one time when someone wasn't placed on a team after being let go from a higher one, and that was because it was post-regionals so there was no more team to compete on (We have fun activities for everyone, like we go bowling and what not, especially after the season is over). We try our best to make sure the teams stay as constant as possible. The captains have the power to say that someone shouldn't be on their team (rarely happens) but we can't kick anyone out of the organization (nor do we want to!). It's possible things use to be different but I can't say for sure. Now a days, we try to keep people in the organization and we invest a lot of time in to developing talent to have as competitive a season as possible.

                The school is Rochester, since you asked.


                • #9
                  Every year, especially around ORCS, stacking is a point of contention for our program. Specifically because all power regarding stacks goes to the coaches. Our program, between winter and ORCS has three restacks, one for the end of the fall invitational season, one right before regionals, and one right before ORCS. All of these stacks *likely* take into account score analysis, reputation, and team dynamics, in that order. There are two schools of thought within the older members of our program when it comes to ORCS stacking: "The team that gets the bid goes to ORCS," and "The competitors who've performed the best go to ORCS." Ideally these go hand in hand, but in reality, it has led some competitors to distrust the coaches, leading to varying degrees of program instability.


                  • #10
                    My school of thought for ORCS stacks is: "which team would have the best chance of winning?". To me, the team that earns an ORCS bid is not always the same as the team that would have the best chance of winning. That's why I've always been on the "the competitors who've performed the best" school of thought.

                    Last year, for example, UCLA A did not earn a bid to ORCS, while UCLA B, C, D, and E did. To me, it would be ridiculous if competitors from UCLA B, C, D, and E, but not A, competed at ORCS. There is too much luck that goes into regionals, and the "team that gets the bid goes to ORCS" school of thought is one that would tend to weaken the strength of the program.


                    • #11
                      That being said what does it say if an A team fails to make it out of a region. Yes we may think they are better, and they may think they are better, but judges at regionals clearly didn't. Even if there is a weirdly hard schedule or a weirdly easy one, I think if you get the bid you deserve to go. If three teams get bids and you need to choose two then of course reconsider, but I definitely come from the school of thought to let the team that got the bid keep going and I would only restack if people drop and/or there was an anomaly scorer who did insanely well or insanely poorly and the team decides to adjust for that person. But to be fair, that team that earned the bid did earn it, why does the A team get a second chance and get to steal that other teams bid?


                      • #12
                        Adevans, the reason I would argue that an A team should "steal" a bid is that I trust the coaches and competitors of a program more than the judging pool and tabulation randomness of a regional. By the time ORCS comes around, each competitor and team has several data points to work with, and the "send the team that earned the bid" philosophy weighs the results of a regional over all other results combined. A program with multiple teams should send their best to ORCS, no matter what. Sometimes the team that earns a bid from regionals is not that team.

                        That is NOT to say that regional performance shouldn't be considered - it is still the most significant data point. So to an extent there should be a presumption that the members of the best-performing team at regionals should be included. But that should not outweigh the program's duty to compete with their best.
                        Last edited by DefenseMid; February 7th, 2018, 04:06 PM.