One time, I was at a tournament. It was at NITOC last year, and I had never been on the campus before, but my friend had. It was the first day, and he was going to watch a debate round. I decided I'd follow him because I wanted to watch a round too, and I didn't want to go by myself, and also I didn't know where anything was and besides, I wasn't very good at reading debate postings. We headed off to the building where the round he wanted to see was going to take place, but it wasn't where he thought it would be or something. We turned the other way and explored around there for awhile, and then back again. Then I pulled out my map. We walked in circles around that area of the college for a bit, while I stood amazed at how gorgeous the campus was and he stood confused at how puzzling the map was. I felt it would be rude to question his keen sense of direction, especially since I didn't know where we were going and have no sense of direction to speak of. So, for a while, I didn't. Until I realized something. "You're holding the map upside down," I said.
We found the room shortly afterward.
We missed the 1AC, but darn it, we found the room.
Tournament maps are wonderful inventions. Campuses for big tournaments tend to be really super spread out, at least here in California, so it's nice to have a layout that you can fold up in your pocket and pull out every time you want to go someplace new.
Such maps are particularly helpful when you have a ridiculous amount of events, for example. Everyone knows that if you have more than one speech, your speeches will never be near each other. In fact, in a particularly large campus, I'd be willing to bet that if I have five speeches in quarter-finals, I will be visiting five different buildings throughout the round. It's nice to know where those buildings are so I can plan the order I'll give my speeches in. Even in small campuses, it's good to be aware of your surroundings not only to strategically plan when you'll speak, but also to know where one might find a quiet place to practice or where to go to watch other speeches.
Tournament maps can also save you from, say, being late to a debate round, as long as you're holding it the right way. The idea is that you won't get lost. Just make sure the map isn't upside down. Also, maps of competition places allow us to find cool things like coffee shops and restrooms and parking lots. Lots of reasons to be grateful there. So thank you to the guy who decided to put maps of the competition locations in the giant yellow envelopes that will inevitably be distributed. I appreciate that guy.
You're homeschooled, and going places.