Judging from the comments I've read (published or otherwise) from real parents, impostering ones, trolls and all, here's what I gathered:
The SCF should indeed take a hard look at the way current large-scale junior competitions are run. We have seen recurring instances of ill discipline amongst the students, over-crowding at the pairings corner, mis-communication regarding rules of the competition in general. There are of course solutions to be found and I'm suggesting some of them right now.
A) TECHNICAL MEETING
In view of the changing personnel taking charge of the school teams, I feel it is best to address basic matters such as pairings, board order of players, protocol inside the tournament hall etc in a technical meeting with teachers and SCF officials. This of course cannot be done on the day itself. The technical meeting can be conducted at SCF premises perhaps a week before, on a Saturday so that teachers concerned can attend.
Issues such as discipline should be communicated to the teachers at the meeting, who shall be solely responsible for their wards' behaviour. Regarding punishment, I propose that should anyone be caught misbehaving in the tournament hall, his/her entire team shall be given a yellow card or 1 match suspension but the team can compete after serving the suspension. In a 6 round competition, a 1 match suspension technically rules the team out of any contention for the top places. Students can then learn the consequences of their actions and we will not have future instances of any SCF official seen as rude or imposing when all they are doing is their job of keeing order in the tournament hall. This should be reiterated at the start of the competition and thereafter carried out with no exceptions should any student insists on breaking the rules.
B) USE OF TECHNOLOGY
Pairings I feel should be uploaded once done, so that teachers and interested parents can then check them online with their smartphones and not rely on students milling round the pairings corner for it. There may be a difficulty in entering the round results of every team due to manpower shortage and time constraint at the time of the tournament, could they be added on after the tournament?
C) IMPROVING THE FORMAT
I've talked about this at my earlier post to increase the number of prizewinners in the competitions.
These are my views on the other issues raised:
Parents are of course paying good money and have every cause to examine the training given to their children. I wish more parents can be forthcoming in expressing their woes so that this feedback can be channelled to the relevant parties without malice. When I tried to address the concerns of Raymond and Christina who wanted help, they did not communicate with me. Strange, unless..
I have withheld several postings which I deem as inappropriate, incendiary and mischievous. At the start of the post I've pleaded with readers to keep it clean. However this does not mean that I harbour any legitimate queries which may place the organisation or person concerned in a bad light. At the same time, I urge those giving comments in the guise of anonymity to exercise fair comment and not use my blog as a battleground to grind their axes because really, it wastes everyone's time and does not do anything constructive. Those who do care to get it off their chest and feel that they are right should identify themselves.
Once again, thanks (and no thanks to those who know who you are) for your comments and till the next comment request...