This virus is novel, new, and we are discovering more about it every day. There are numerous moving parts and elements to in person tournaments. Yet among them, perhaps none appear more complicated currently than opening ceremonies and award ceremonies. The easiest thing to do regarding opening ceremonies would be to eliminate them currently, and offer needed info online to participants, coaches and judges.
Awards ceremonies are significant for teams and competitors, and in an age of increasing pressure of team budgets, one of the metrics (rightly or wrongly) used to evaluate program success. With that in mind here is a phased view of how award ceremonies might work in the future at speech and debate tournaments.
Additional disclaimers. I am not an epidemiologist. I also do not play one on TV. And our understanding of social behavior is changing (see: masks). So I am not offering medical advice, just giving a “lay of the land” as I see it currently. As with everything, the community will over time evolve into using best practices.
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"And the Awards Goes To...Award Ceremonies in a Time of Social Distancing,"
Proceedings of the National Developmental Conference on Individual Events: Vol. 6
, Article 8.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/ndcieproceedings/vol6/iss1/8