As someone who runs a tournament, I would really like it if Protein Modeling, Experimental Design, WIDI, and Forensics were all in the morning. Is this something you consider when making up the schedule? Can I ask that 2 of those be in the same block or one of them be self-scheduled? Thanks.
I don't think this request is possible. Typically, except for 1-2 events (e.g. Disease Detectives) which run only during the impound period, all events are run during all six of the main time slots. Therefore, there are not "morning" vs. "afternoon" events. For any given team, it is certainly possible that all of these events would be in the morning. But that would likely mean another team has all four events in the afternoon.
I also wouldn't expect any of those events to be self-schedule; none have been in the past.
As a Tournament Director, however, you are certainly empowered to set your own tournament's schedule to make your requests happen. But I would not expect the National Tournament schedule to reflect any of these requests.
As someone who has also worked as a tournament exec, I agree with this. A lot of people complain about stuff that’s hard to grade not always being in the morning, but at the same time, for some things you can only run a certain amount of teams at a time. For example, for lab events like Forensics, fire safety rules only allow a restricted number of people in the lab at a time - you get all the teams to go by splitting them across the timeslots like how nats does, and in that way, it isn’t really possible to have everyone do it in the morning. The same applies to Protein - you can only have so many people in a computer lab at once. The events like Disease Detectives that run all teams in the morning are able to do that since the way it’s run enables it to be done with everyone in the same room at once.
All in all, a lot of the time the reason why these events are run the way they are in terms of time slots is because of the number of teams attending and limitations on how many of those teams a given space can hold at a time.
While this doesn’t necessarily fully answer the question of opening everything up to self signup, it also applies since like Nick said, for every team that signs up for a morning slot, that’s another team signing up for an afternoon slot. Not everyone is going to be happy.