Friday, January 4, 2013

Selecting WIZARD Champions
“Unfair” is “Unfair”
To describe the decision to send the top ranked Canadians to the World Finals as “unfair” is unfair.
Regardless of which of the 3 possible selection methods applied there will always be a group that is largely disenfranchised. So if the current process is ‘unfair’ so are the alternatives.
The December poll that was conducted did not show a clear mandate for any one of the 3 processes:
WizFest..18,      Online Tournament..16,      World Ranking 10.
It is not surprising that “World Ranking” scored lowest inasmuch as it automatically shut out 99% of the players.
The online feedback suggests that the best method would be an online tournament spread over a number of months as we are currently doing to find a USA champion. However the very fact that online play is used rules out a vast number of Wizard players. We sent out about 1,000 invitations to USA Wizard players who participated in the live local tournaments sponsored during 2012. Players were invited to take part in the online tournament to find a US Champion. Not one player joined in the tournament as a result of the mail out. The only conclusion to be reached is that although many people enjoy playing Wizard with friends in a live situation they were not interested in online play.
The claim is also made that the site “doesn’t care about promoting the game”. Ouch! This is an inane remark. The site is expensive and time-consuming and has no financial return. Its sole function is promotion. Similarly “WizFest” is a serious money-pit and is run as an adjunct to the site with no other goal than to promote the game.
Nevertheless, I am pleased to receive any feedback, negative or otherwise and I do think that determining both a USA champion and a Canadian Champion may best be accomplished via a multi-month online contest. This method is best both in terms of cost and time management. However it does very little in the way of acquiring new players. I would be very happy to allow any of the members who advocate the online tournament process of selection to volunteer to administer the tournament for the 2014 reps.
 It is true that the contributions made by both cargobeep and mactonight over the years was a major factor in deciding to go with the “Top Ranking” method of selection. I think it’s “FAIR” because they deserve some reward for their efforts. And of course, their scores confirm that they are both excellent players.
There are many other unseen factors that work into the equation when making these decisions. I think the story of the “Blind Men and the Elephant” best illustrates this point.

The Blind Men and the Elephant
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL. Without knowing all the facts false conclusions are often made.

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