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View Full Version : Being an Arbiter, tough job?



bunta
10-07-2005, 08:51 PM
Is being a chess arbiter a tough job?

PHAT
11-07-2005, 02:10 AM
Is being a chess arbiter a tough job?

No.

Brickies labourer or public high school teacher or ambulanceman or SAS is tough. DOP is easy peasy - as long as you understand the rules and are a fair and decent person. Any DOP who says DOPing is a "tough job" is probably a crap DOP.

Trent Parker
11-07-2005, 07:29 AM
You need to know the rules very well. Most Chess players don't know the rules to the full extent. Then you have to deal with troublesome players who may try to get away with things.

Also Matt, Doping a tournament of 16 friendly people is much easier than doping 75 people who will try to get away with things. So i think DOPing would be at least a little bit harder than you make it out to be. IMHO

Garvinator
11-07-2005, 01:49 PM
I think bunta needs to define or expand and what he means by tough?

PHAT
11-07-2005, 04:41 PM
So i think DOPing would be at least a little bit harder than you make it out to be. IMHO

Fair enough. DOPing is not a low skill job. In that respect it is not easy, like making hamburgers or stacking shelves. But DOPing is not hard if you are diplomatic yet firm, and confident yet humble. DOPing is a people skills job. The application of the rules of chess is an incidental task to the main job, management of the tournament such that players are happy to return.

I hope that when the NSWCA runs its DOP course, it spends plenty of time on development of interpersonal skills.

Bill Gletsos
11-07-2005, 06:26 PM
Fair enough. DOPing is not a low skill job. In that respect it is not easy, like making hamburgers or stacking shelves. But DOPing is not hard if you are diplomatic yet firm, and confident yet humble. DOPing is a people skills job. The application of the rules of chess is an incidental task to the main job, management of the tournament such that players are happy to return.Given your experience as a DOP of adult tournaments doesnt extend past a tournament with 38 players, I dont think you can speak with any authority.


I hope that when the NSWCA runs its DOP course, it spends plenty of time on development of interpersonal skills.The aim of the course is to teach potential arbiters how to improve their arbitering skills not interpersonal skills. If people want to improve their interpersonal skills thay can take courses specifically tailored towards that end.

After all there is no point in an arbiter having good interpersonal skills yet having poor skills when it comes to applying the laws of chess.

arosar
11-07-2005, 07:11 PM
Hey Matty! Is Matty here?

Listen mate . . . you obviously have some interesting views. Have you thought about creating your own blog? You can create one for free. It's all your own - no mods, no admins and no Gletsos. Of course, you can't just defame anyone. We can even post comments on your site.

Go for it man!

Oh, oh...if you decide to create your own blog, you have to give it a name. We'll have antichrist make a poll on what name best to call your blog.

AR

shaun
11-07-2005, 08:52 PM
The aim of the course is to teach potential arbiters how to improve their arbitering skills not interpersonal skills. If people want to improve their interpersonal skills thay can take courses specifically tailored towards that end.


If the NSWCA does not deal with interpersonal skills as part of being a good arbiter, then they are going to end up with a lot of poor arbiters. The course that helped me most when I became an arbiter was the one I did to earn my Rugby League referees ticket. And the most important part of that course was how to get the respect of players. And that was through communication skills.

Thunderspirit
11-07-2005, 09:03 PM
Matt post misses the point. It not a career like teaching or being a fireman, but is DOPing hard? For the most part: not really. Most big tournaments you're part of a team, so decisions are made as part of the group.

A good knowledge of the rules is essential. Stuart Rueben's- The Tournament Organisers Handbook is a good place to start. I've read it 11 times, and still gain info from it.

On interpersonal skills, you must be able to talk to people and be able to get your point across, quickly and perferable quietly (something I can't do!!) Also team work helps... It's gets easier with experience.

You should give it ago... You'll apprciate your tournaments more and maybe have some fun too...

Bill Gletsos
11-07-2005, 09:26 PM
If the NSWCA does not deal with interpersonal skills as part of being a good arbiter, then they are going to end up with a lot of poor arbiters. The course that helped me most when I became an arbiter was the one I did to earn my Rugby League referees ticket. And the most important part of that course was how to get the respect of players. And that was through communication skills.Thats all well and good Shaun, but the NSWCA is interested in improving the skills of potential arbiters. Given most of the people who have put their name forward are as far as I can tell inexperienced at arbitering, improving their understanding of the rules/swiss pairing rules etc. is considered of significant importance.

The course is currently planned to be run by either Gary Bekker and/or Charles Z and its structure will be left up to them.

Garvinator
12-07-2005, 12:58 AM
Thats all well and good Shaun, but the NSWCA is interested in improving the skills of potential arbiters. Given most of the people who have put their name forward are as far as I can tell inexperienced at arbitering, improving their understanding of the rules/swiss pairing rules etc. is considered of significant importance.

The course is currently planned to be run by either Gary Bekker and/or Charles Z and its structure will be left up to them.
When is this course due to be run and related information?

McTaggart
12-07-2005, 10:59 AM
I have been reading Chesschat on and off for some years now and have come to the uavoidable conclusion that Gletsos is a complete and unredeemable idiot! Sorry Bill, but you are

Bill Gletsos
12-07-2005, 11:26 AM
I have been reading Chesschat on and off for some years now and have come to the uavoidable conclusion that Gletsos is a complete and unredeemable idiot! Sorry Bill, but you areI really shouldnt feed the troll, but what the heck today is a slow day. ;)

So you finally decide to register a few days ago and come out of the woodwork and this effort is your first post. :rolleyes:
I'm sure with a little effort you can do much better.
Perhaps you could even try adding something to the actual thread topic.

Bill Gletsos
12-07-2005, 11:34 AM
Also that he did not misrepresent the NSWCA constitution by saying that it barred ordinary members from attending council meetings. Whereas the true position is that it gives Council the power on such matters.Now, now A/C, dont be like the other fools here and misrepresent things.
I never said they were barred. What I said was that non council members (other than life members) have no right afforded them by the constitution to attend Council meetings.

Garvinator
12-07-2005, 11:52 AM
I would like to see posts 12,13,14,15,16 removed as being off topic and are only flame value.

Bill Gletsos
12-07-2005, 12:12 PM
I would like to see posts 12,13,14,15,16 removed as being off topic and are only flame value.And of course your post only adds to it. I'll be ignoring it as well as A/C's off topic post #16.
As for the other posts I see no reason to split them off.
In responding to McTaggart's post I invited (;)) him to make an on topic post. Perhaps he might enlighten us as to his arbitering experience and take up the offer.

Kerry Stead
12-07-2005, 03:55 PM
Thats all well and good Shaun, but the NSWCA is interested in improving the skills of potential arbiters. Given most of the people who have put their name forward are as far as I can tell inexperienced at arbitering, improving their understanding of the rules/swiss pairing rules etc. is considered of significant importance.

The course is currently planned to be run by either Gary Bekker and/or Charles Z and its structure will be left up to them.
Bill, I really think Shaun has a point ... although a throrough understanding of the rules is an important part of being an arbiter, its not the only part. One aspect of the job involves resolving disputes, and if you have a dispute between two volatile personalities who are shouting at each other, its not going to help solve the situation by coming up to them with the rulebook and giving an interpretation of the draw claim rule when one player has under 2 minutes left, is it? The first thing you need to do is to get them to calm down, and to get them away from other players, so that any difficulties that you come across in resolving the dispute don't affect other players in the tournament,as well as getting the players in a setting where they can have the rules explained to them and how they relate to the current situation without shouting at each other.
If you look at the better arbiters from Australia, they all have good interpersonal skills, as well as a good understanding of the rules. Gary Bekker, Jason Lyons, Manuel Weeks & Cathy Rogers are the ones who immediately spring to mind. They're good arbiters because they have both qualities. Although the course is intended to show the basics, interpersonal skills should also be included ... either way, its somewhere to start - the course can hardly expect to produce perfect arbiters right away, but you need to give them the tools to work with!

Garvinator
12-07-2005, 04:13 PM
When is this course due to be run and related information?
Thought I would just repeat my question.

Bill Gletsos
12-07-2005, 04:13 PM
Bill, I really think Shaun has a point ... although a throrough understanding of the rules is an important part of being an arbiter, its not the only part. One aspect of the job involves resolving disputes, and if you have a dispute between two volatile personalities who are shouting at each other, its not going to help solve the situation by coming up to them with the rulebook and giving an interpretation of the draw claim rule when one player has under 2 minutes left, is it? The first thing you need to do is to get them to calm down, and to get them away from other players, so that any difficulties that you come across in resolving the dispute don't affect other players in the tournament,as well as getting the players in a setting where they can have the rules explained to them and how they relate to the current situation without shouting at each other.
If you look at the better arbiters from Australia, they all have good interpersonal skills, as well as a good understanding of the rules. Gary Bekker, Jason Lyons, Manuel Weeks & Cathy Rogers are the ones who immediately spring to mind. They're good arbiters because they have both qualities. Although the course is intended to show the basics, interpersonal skills should also be included ... either way, its somewhere to start - the course can hardly expect to produce perfect arbiters right away, but you need to give them the tools to work with!Agreed.
However Matt claimed that application of the rules was incidental. My point was that there is no use having excellent people skills and being lousy at interpreting and applying the laws of chess. As such I simply pointed out that people can gain interpersonal skills from other courses and sources. Unfortunately they cannot gain skills in interpreting and applying the laws of chess in those other courses.

Bill Gletsos
12-07-2005, 04:14 PM
Thought I would just repeat my question.When its determined I'll answer it.

Garvinator
12-07-2005, 04:18 PM
When its determined I'll answer it.
ok :)

antichrist
12-07-2005, 04:42 PM
Bill, I..................
If you look at the better arbiters from Australia, they all have good interpersonal skills, as well as a good understanding of the rules. Gary Bekker, Jason Lyons, Manuel Weeks & Cathy Rogers are the ones who immediately spring to mind. They're good arbiters because they have both qualities. Although the course is intended to show the basics, interpersonal skills should also be included ... either way, its somewhere to start - the course can hardly expect to produce perfect arbiters right away, but you need to give them the tools to work with!

Can I be facetious and ask if Cathy's did not quite measure up when confronted by Ilich a few years back?

Kerry Stead
12-07-2005, 06:11 PM
Can I be facetious and ask if Cathy's did not quite measure up when confronted by Ilich a few years back?
You can be facetious ... but Cathy did try to sort out the issue outside the tournament hall ... which is one sign of a good arbiter!
Yes, the situation could have been handled differently, but language barriers and past history had a bit extra to do with what happened.

antichrist
13-07-2005, 04:49 PM
I have arbited most of the comps I have arranged and usually only had to deal with Johnny Bolens trying to pull a swiftie. But luckily I was able to think on my feet and detour around FIDE rules (which I would not have a clue about the fine print).

The only decision I was not happy about at an SEC was taken by a high-powered committee, and years later I found out I was correct - a sense of justice can be helpful, prevents one from making over-the-top injustices.

Kevin Bonham
13-07-2005, 06:51 PM
It's not particularly difficult but you do need more than just a knowledge of the rules. Reuben mentions these six qualities: commonsense, liking for chessplayers and chess, good sense of humour, excellent understanding of and ability to apply all the rules, good understanding of chess, willingness to take pains to find solutions to problems.

I've only rarely had really difficult decisions to make. We do play a lot of chess at fast time limits here though and I do worry that sometime someone will make a 10.2 that I find genuinely difficult to rule on. I've never had one yet but often I've been watching the time scramble and thinking that as a final position under 10.2 it would be difficult to rule on. However the position has always resolved itself some other way.

PHAT
14-07-2005, 01:02 PM
It not a career like teaching or being a fireman, but is DOPing hard? For the most part: not really.

Agreed.


On interpersonal skills, you must be able to talk to people and be able to get your point across, quickly ...

Agreed. And you are also right that knowing the rules helps. However, if you cannot administer those rules .......... :hmm:


And the most important part of that course was how to get the respect of players. And that was through communication skills.

Shaun, out of curiosity, can you recall in point form, the respect by communiction method.

PHAT
14-07-2005, 01:16 PM
Bill, I really think Shaun has a point

Umm, err. I thought I made the point orginally and Shaun agreed. Lee piped in too with agreeing that communication skills are very important. Now you are with us. That makes three following the leader.

PHAT
14-07-2005, 01:38 PM
Reuben mentions these six qualities:

1. commonsense,

2. liking for chessplayers and chess,

3. good sense of humour,

4. excellent understanding of and ability to apply all the rules,

5. good understanding of chess,

6. willingness to take pains to find solutions to problems.

[modified - MS]

1. cannot be taught
2. a tolerant personality cannot be easly manufactured
3. someone who does not take themselves too seriously
4. can be learned by any normal person
5. experience - which cannot be taught
6. a cordial and flexable personality

WOW, only one of the six can be learned in a course. Maybe good DOPs are born, not made.

Maybe the first quality, "commonsence", can be taught too. It would require a course that was focused toward "how to communicate."

Kevin Bonham
14-07-2005, 03:49 PM
WOW, only one of the six can be learned in a course. Maybe good DOPs are born, not made.

I think Reuben agrees with you; his next sentences go even further in that direction:


There is nothing mystical about being a good arbiter. I have had people do good work who knew nothing about chess or the Swiss System.

(however, I suspect the "good work" he is talking about is closer to the organisational side than the pure arbiting task.)

I agree with flexibility being important and I also think it's very important to be aware of your own fallibility (which is not the same thing as assuming that everyone who says you have made a mistake is necessarily right.) It's also important to be willing to own up when you do get it wrong, and to listen to the suggestions of others and consider them on their merits rather than just finding excuses to stick to a preconceived plan that might not be the best.