Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

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Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:24 pm

naqt.com wrote:NAQT has updated its definition of small schools to incorporate two divisions, one for traditional public schools and one for charter schools and private schools.


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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cheynem » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:49 pm

Do the two divisions not play each other? Are they required to not play each other?

I remain disappointed with the whole concept of the SSNCT; while I understand there are valid questions regarding charter schools and advantages, I feel like this is a weird split the baby decision. When I was a high schooler, I wanted to play good teams and win. We went to HSNCT, just missed playoffs, and won the Small School trophy as a consolation prize. In 2017, if I was in high school, my team probably wouldn't get to go to HSNCT, we'd have to go to SSNCT, and now apparently we'd only get to be in one division in SSNCT to boot! (I could be misinterpreting what you mean here--if you just are recognizing the top public school, fine, but doing full divisions strikes me as wrong--what's next, HSNCT has a B Team division, a Home School division, and a GED Division?).
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:53 pm

The two divisions are distinct and will not play each other.

Cheynem wrote:my team probably wouldn't get to go to HSNCT, we'd have to go to SSNCT


Note that everyone remains eligible to play HSNCT; we certainly don't intend to discourage the best small-school teams from joining us in Atlanta next May.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cheynem » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:55 pm

What's the number of small schools that either attend both SSNCT or HSNCT or choose not to attend SSNCT and go to HSNCT?
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby cwest123 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:59 pm

With this new splitting of divisions, will "public" and "charter" rankings be assigned to previous SSNCT's? I understand seperate divisions weren't in play at those tournaments, but the dividing of charter schools and public schools obviously would've affected previous SSNCT's.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:06 pm

In 2016 five schools attended both SSNCT and HSNCT. Six SSNCT-eligible schools attended HSNCT but not SSNCT (several of those were significantly closer to Dallas than to Chicago).
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:31 pm

My interpretation is that this allows traditional public, non-selective students in one division, and either non-selective charter schools or private schools in the other. Does SSNCT still not allow any school with a selective admissions policy to attend? Either way, how does that apply to private schools? Are all private schools with fewer than 350 students admitted, even if they are selective?

From an implementation standpoint, this makes adopting the NAQT definition of small schools for other competitions substantively different. I won't outright say it's worse without some further clarification; is there any resource for knowing which schools are eligible for SSNCT?

And on pure opinion: I really hate the separate divisions. I don't think we should divide up schools completely in a competition where many of the "advantages" of not being a traditional public school are often offset by other circumstances. I'm not convinced that SSNCT would be dominated by schools in the Private/Charter division, even if it included schools with selective admissions. I do like that NAQT recognizes contradictions between excluding some schools that don't fit the "Traditional Public" mold but not others, and hope that newly eligible schools reap the rewards of being allowed to play.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Antrobus63 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:35 pm

Hey Jeff,

I wish you guys had spent some more time considering the previous thread, which was still going strong as of this morning, before issuing your new official policy. Intentional or no, two of your stipulations that charters have to meet to play in the Traditional Public division basically eliminate any charters:

It is the default school for a school district. (That is, students are entitled to attend the school by virtue of living in a specific district and they cannot be turned down.)


I know of no charter that is the default school for its district.

It does not limit its enrollment, but is required to accept as many students as want to attend.


The second qualification is also a practical impossibility. There may be charters out there that can accommodate every single kid who wants to attend but I don't know of any. We simply don't have the resources--nor would any good public school, if any student from surrounding districts could join it: charters almost always draw from more than one district. Considering how many people are dissatisfied with public schools--and can't afford private schools--pretty much every charter school would be flooded with far more applicants than it could possible accommodate (lottery/no lottery, whatever.) The Lehigh Valley area has more than twenty public high schools... many more middle and lower schools. How could the handful of small charter schools here, which include arts charter schools and other schools with specific missions, possibly take every kid that wants to attend? Philosophically, the schools could not stick to their missions and, practically, could not house all of the students streaming in from underperforming school districts.

Perhaps the charter provision
Charter schools that meet these criteria may play in this division
was mis-worded and can be amended. I certainly invite other folks with practical knowledge about this to put in their own two cents.

However, if this stipulation doesn't change, I doubt that LVA will be going to SSNCT this year or in the future. For 2017, we wanted to play against the best small schools, but if we can only afford to go to one national tournament... an SSNCT without the traditional powers like West Point, Glasgow, Hallman, Russell, SW Piasa, Drummond, etc., seems pretty anti-climactic. I'd rather take our chances with the big boys at HSNCT or PACE than travel to play against a much smaller, more diluted field.

Now, in the future, once small magnet and private schools realize that they can target the Charter and Private Division, I'm sure it will grow and become more competitive. But this year is already underway, so I don't know how many teams can incorporate this new possibility into their 16-17 budget. Maybe a ton of magnets and charters will enter so it will be worth the trip for us... but in years to come, once Alex has gone, when the Private division has really developed, we'll have the opposite problem: the small magnets and selective private schools will simply crush us.

But them's the breaks, I guess. Like I say, I know you had a tough decision to make and that you have to listen to your constituents. I can see the benefit in having two divisions... I just don't agree with the way you divided 'em.

I'll be interested to see how everyone else feels.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:03 pm

cwest123 wrote:With this new splitting of divisions, will "public" and "charter" rankings be assigned to previous SSNCT's? I understand seperate divisions weren't in play at those tournaments, but the dividing of charter schools and public schools obviously would've affected previous SSNCT's.


We do not plan to assign new rankings to past SSNCT results.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:13 pm

Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:My interpretation is that this allows traditional public, non-selective students in one division, and either non-selective charter schools or private schools in the other. Does SSNCT still not allow any school with a selective admissions policy to attend? Either way, how does that apply to private schools? Are all private schools with fewer than 350 students admitted, even if they are selective?


Yes, all private schools with 350 or fewer students in grades 10-12 are eligible for the Charter-and-Private division.

Note that selective public schools are not eligible for either division of SSNCT.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:14 pm

Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:From an implementation standpoint, this makes adopting the NAQT definition of small schools for other competitions substantively different. I won't outright say it's worse without some further clarification; is there any resource for knowing which schools are eligible for SSNCT?


Feel free to contact us directly if you have questions about a specific school's size or admissions policies. We recognize that in some cases it may be more difficult to find information about the policies of private schools.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Important Bird Area » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:20 pm

Antrobus63 wrote:Hey Jeff,

I wish you guys had spent some more time considering the previous thread, which was still going strong as of this morning, before issuing your new official policy. Intentional or no, two of your stipulations that charters have to meet to play in the Traditional Public division basically eliminate any charters:

It is the default school for a school district. (That is, students are entitled to attend the school by virtue of living in a specific district and they cannot be turned down.)


I know of no charter that is the default school for its district.


This is a relatively rare situation, but there are a number of schools around the country that meet these criteria.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Antrobus63 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:52 pm

I wish you guys had spent some more time considering the previous thread, which was still going strong as of this morning, before issuing your new official policy. Intentional or no, two of your stipulations that charters have to meet to play in the Traditional Public division basically eliminate any charters:

It is the default school for a school district. (That is, students are entitled to attend the school by virtue of living in a specific district and they cannot be turned down.)

I know of no charter that is the default school for its district.

This is a relatively rare situation, but there are a number of schools around the country that meet these criteria.


Well, I guess Lee was right: there really are a bunch of people that hate charters being at SSNCT: the charter exemption cited above is meaningless: if a charter school is the default school in its district and accepts anyone in the district... it's a traditional public school, pure and simple. The only thing charter-y about it would be putting the word "charter" in its name, for chic value, I suppose.
Last month, when you wrote...

Just wanted to note that NAQT is paying attention to this thread (and to commentary more generally from teams about how SSNCT works). We're working on potential revisions to SSNCT eligibility policy; expect an announcement in the next few weeks.


.. I thought you were encouraging debate and that the subject was still open for discussion. If NAQT had already made up its mind, I could have saved my time.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby jonpin » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:10 pm

bird bird bird bird bird wrote:
Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:My interpretation is that this allows traditional public, non-selective students in one division, and either non-selective charter schools or private schools in the other. Does SSNCT still not allow any school with a selective admissions policy to attend? Either way, how does that apply to private schools? Are all private schools with fewer than 350 students admitted, even if they are selective?


Yes, all private schools with 350 or fewer students in grades 10-12 are eligible for the Charter-and-Private division.

Note that selective public schools are not eligible for either division of SSNCT.


This seems patently absurd. On what basis is a selective public school to be disqualified from SSNCT, when private schools (which are, almost by definition, selective) are permitted?
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby AKKOLADE » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:04 am

This makes little to no sense and is a step backwards.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:15 am

Will NAQT's new President, Lee Henry, be making any other major changes? Should I be worried that he might fire Seth Teitler?
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Everything in the Whole Wide World » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:31 am

I for one think it is a wonderful idea to further Balkanize quizbowl, making it even less comprehensible to potentially new people outside the community. Let us continue in the natural path of cutting up and confusing the question of what it means to win a national title, as we always have. More I say!

In seriousness, this is a really bad idea, and I find myself agreeing more with Mike Cheyne and others. This hypersensitivity to a few vocal customers and creation of multiple competitions (because any way you slice it, this is what this is) without a clear competitive raison d'etre is of utmost suspicion, and regression from the high standards I have come to expect from NAQT.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cheynem » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:35 am

I had a very long conversation with Andrew Hart last night about this; he disagreed with me, which is fine. He's a good guy with some valid points and he may be right.

But I really find this particular decision to be pretty problematic. As much as I dislike SSNCT and the idea that teams must "choose" between playing SSNCT and HSNCT (yes, I know they can play both--very few teams do), at least a team who still wants to go to HSNCT and qualifies can still do so. Here, you are preventing the public school who thinks they can hang with the charters (which, judging by previous SSNCTs, there are a lot!) from competing with the charters (and vice versa). The charter school that genuinely wishes to play against everyone gets an asterisk next to their title; they are not the best small school, they are the best small charter school.

To use a perhaps risky college analogy, what if all the undergraduate-only teams at ICT or Nats were placed in their own division and not allowed to play mixed or graduate student teams? What if small liberal arts colleges were placed in their own division, as opposed to universities with grad programs? We wouldn't like it. Andrew said (and he was just spitballing, not really speaking for NAQT) that it's important that we recognize a wide variety of teams to keep them part of the circuit and motivated--I agree. I just think you have to find a balance between that recognition and gameplay, and I think this decision warps it.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Scottietodd » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:51 am

For what its worth, a couple of my better players reached out to me last night after seeing the thread and expressed their disappointment with the change. They felt that if we should ever win the SSNCT that it might not mean as much as it had before.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cody » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:54 am

I agree entirely with Mike.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:33 pm

I think continuing to prevent selective public schools from playing, while allowing both charter AND private schools, is only a magnification of the very double standard that I had such a problem with in the first place.

Although perhaps it's good that selective public schools are singled out and prevented from playing, because they would have probably just been shoved in a meaningless division anyway.

It's seems that the ideal policy that generates the most widespread support is having SSNCT as a tournament open to all small schools, while awarding a trophy to the top Traditional Public team in a similar fashion to the top undergraduate team at ICT. I don't think the changes actually move SSNCT in that direction, and I think the long term viability of the event is in danger because of it. If the actual teams involved thinks it means less now, will teams actually spend money to attend in lieu of other events?
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:52 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:Will NAQT's new President, Lee Henry, be making any other major changes? Should I be worried that he might fire Seth Teitler?


Is this a serious comment? What makes you (and anyone else who thinks this) believe that Lee Henry is somehow magically in cahoots with NAQT? Does Lee magically possess some secret persuasive powers that we (and Lee himself!) are unaware of? I urge the community to take baseless opinions such as these with a grain of salt.

note: I have no horse in this race whatsoever, I just fail to see how some people in the community occasionally give legitimacy to absurd opinions such as this one.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby AKKOLADE » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:49 pm

I really thought Lee had done a hostile takeover, though.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Aaron Manby (ironmaster) » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:26 pm

I think SSNCT should just alllow schools below a certain enrollment and give a top non-selective public award like ICT's UG. Allowing small private schools but disallowing small selective public schools would be absurd in Ontario but not Quebec. It seems to me that there's a lot of regional differences and one can't really draw the line anywhere but an enrollment number.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby idrayer » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:06 pm

I like Joe's proposal since it keeps the entire field intact competing within all the teams present. An alternative (I realize that it's too late for this year, but maybe to consider for next year) is to consider for these charter schools total number of students who have taken & received grades for at least 1 semester of classes in the school as population size, and not just total students enrolled - this would eliminate schools who churn through students via self-selection. For private schools, perhaps do the same with regards to counting the population, assuming there is no admission criteria etc.?
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Magritte's Pipe » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:42 am

I think that there are two arguments running concomitantly here (and on the thread Lee Henry started), and that one is productive and one is not.

The first argument is over whether NAQT's changes to the SSNCT qualification formula and to the set-up of the field are good changes. This is an argument that definitely should be had, both now and later. Does it improve SSNCT, or do we find it harms the tournament? I want to see more argument/discussion about this, even if I have little to contribute myself. I'd rather listen to what others have to say for now.

HOWEVER, there is a second argument that doesn't like separate Nationals at all, and I think this argument should be put to bed (especially since it was already rolled out when SSNCT was first created). The feeling in many quarters seems to be that having different levels of National championships somehow diminishes quiz bowl. I do not follow this argument, and I doubt I ever will. NAQT is not turning into :chip: . They still offer what I would regard as "good quiz bowl". So that can't be the problem. Nor do I fathom how having Nationals divisions for smaller schools harms the overall championship in any way. Is English Premier League harmed because there are lower leagues playing association football in England? When a state has different athletic divisions for schools based on their size (as Pennsylvania does), does it somehow hurt a sport that there are four state champions at once? I've never heard anyone make that argument, and I'm not sure I'd take it seriously if I heard it. Rabid high school football fans (of which there are many), don't seem bothered or confused by the various levels of competition. Why should this bother quiz bowlers?

Frankly, I'd have no problem if NAQT in some distant future wanted to have multiple levels of National Championships (call them A, AA, AAA and AAAA if you like). Any team could qualify for AAAA, but some schools would be restricted from the lower levels. Obviously the qualifications for each level would be problematic, but so is having an HSNCT that gets larger and larger each year. Far from diminishing quiz bowl, I think it would popularize it and make it more respected by non-quiz bowlers who will be much more likely to know what quiz bowl is. If a team wants to work really hard to get better and move "up the ladder", they can. If they don't, that's fine too. Any sport that aims to become widely successful has to allow for the "intramural players and teams".

I think there's a danger in assuming that all quiz bowlers and quiz bowl coaches are either gunning for HSNCT championship or barely competent in the basics of quiz bowl. I don't think being a member of the quiz bowl community means I have to be a purist single-mindedly devoted to the sport. There's nothing wrong with people who want to play at tournaments every weekend and are really committed to getting much better. But by the same token, I don't think being a member of the quiz bowl community impels me to go that route. I DO feel obligated to promote good quiz bowl, to encourage good sportsmanship and to encourage my players to work to their potential. So I entirely agree with the "if you don't like losing to X, get better" argument when it applies to an individual game at a weekend tournament (and we small schools always have and always will play teams of all shapes and sizes in the regular season). However, I'm not at all sympathetic to the argument when it comes to Nationals. I like the SSNCT not because I'm hungry for trophies (trophies are fine, but they are a bother to get through airports), but because it's much more fun to play against teams nearer to one's own level. If you get more fun out of working really hard to getting a top 10 finish at HSNCT, that's fine. Fun is subjective. If my team gets Nth place at SSNCT and we act like we are the Nth best team in the Nation without clarifying that's only among small schools, then other teams definitely have a legitimate beef with us. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the problem is.

Sorry for the long post, but I find suggestions that SSNCT is somehow illegitimate a bit galling.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Dominator » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:19 pm

Magritte's Pipe wrote:The feeling in many quarters seems to be that having different levels of National championships somehow diminishes quiz bowl. I do not follow this argument, and I doubt I ever will.


I'm not entirely sure that different levels of national championship by itself diminishes quizbowl. However, I can tell you that I used to not take my team to the Illinois NAQT "State Tournament" because it was just a regular invitational (circa 2010), and without widespread participation, it was not a valid state championship to me. Could splitting a nationals field into parts hurt the overall fields? Absolutely. If I were a coach of a small school, I would refuse to take my team to SSNCT now since the field in my division would not be as strong as a combined field would. Do enough coaches think like me to jeopardize the future of SSNCT? I doubt it, but we'll see.

The soccer analogy, though, does not hold water (unless I know even less about soccer than I think I do). Do the lower football leagues play shorter games or on smaller fields? The SSNCT definitely uses easier questions than HSNCT, which lowers the incentives for small schools to engage in high-level quizbowl throughout the season. That could cause smaller fields in local tournaments. (What I'm more worried about, though, is the message being sent to smaller schools, but that's not the question under debate right now.) Will this effect exist? I'm positive of it. Will it be large enough to cause problems? Again, we'll see.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cheynem » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:23 pm

I certainly am not arguing that competing at SSNCT is "illegitimate." Obviously, as you point out, fun and desire for quizbowl is in the eye of the beholder, and anyone can play whatever they want. That's fine.

My concerns are micro and macro. The micro concern, as you note, is a very valid one expressed by a number of people here--does the creating of two separate divisions harm SSNCT? I would argue it does. In this case, as you point out, the option to "play up" (or whatever you define a public school playing a charter as) does not exist. I don't think that's fair, any more than I would argue it's fair that a small school is forbidden from playing HSNCT.

The macro concern is something I want to clarify in that I think this is more subjective, i.e. I understand not everyone shares my concerns. My concern about what you propose (multiple levels of HSNCT at varying difficulties and skills, an idea that I think NAQT would like to implement at some point) is that we end up creating a mish-mosh national competition in which it truly becomes what every team or school wants it to be for them. The beauty of quizbowl to me is actually that it lacks the bureaucracy and politicking of many other high school or college sports. Schools from poor districts, small schools, schools that lack the facilities to compete in bigger sports, they can all compete. In a leveled system of HSNCT, it would be very tempting for schools to pigeonhole themselves (we compete in level 3), for more conniving schools to hunt for trophies by staying at certain levels, and for a perpetual system of quizbowl haves and have nots to be created. I might be too much of a purist here, which is why I want to clarify that I am only speaking about the high school national championship--the one time in our competition's season where I think we should truly compete for excellence. We should honor teams from different advantages and skills, sure. We should make it so that teams play as many matches as possible with teams of their skill level. But it is my belief that we can do this without turning quizbowl into a segregated system based on "difficulty" or "skill."
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Magritte's Pipe » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:05 pm

Dominator wrote:The soccer analogy, though, does not hold water (unless I know even less about soccer than I think I do). Do the lower football leagues play shorter games or on smaller fields? The SSNCT definitely uses easier questions than HSNCT, which lowers the incentives for small schools to engage in high-level quizbowl throughout the season. That could cause smaller fields in local tournaments


I'll grant that my soccer analogy is inexact (I used soccer because it was the best example I could think of of a sport with a pyramidal structure and promotion/demotion). However, I think that in any sport the different levels are very different in spite of the field and rules being the same. The players at the higher levels of play are not just faster, they can do things people at the lower levels simply can't do. I'm thinking, for example, of Willy Mays' quote about knowing what pitches Sandy Koufax was going to make and still being unable to hit him because Koufax's pitches moved in ways batters just couldn't predict. Major and minor league baseball can have the same rules and still be very different.

It's certainly possible that what you're predicting could come to pass, but it's also possible that a lot more small schools may get into pyramidal quiz bowl, go to SSNCT, realize they need to do a lot of work to really hang with the good teams, and then go out and improve. The number of quality quiz bowl teams has really improved over the years, and there are still a lot of schools out there stuck in their parochial leagues with bad questions or their local TV tournaments. For every team that feels less incentive to work hard because of SSNCT, there could well be several that feel more incentive. Certainly my teams are more inspired by the prospect of improving our performance at SSNCT each year (a manageable task to handle) than they would be by trying to compete with Hunter College.

As to Mike Cheyne's post, I'll certainly grant that my views are subjective as well, and it's perfectly possible both our views could be colored by personal experience. He mentions his experience doing really well at HSNCT and winning the small school award with his team. I spent years getting beaten by Jeff Hoppes! Whatever I did (geography bee, citizen's bee, quiz bowl), Jeff was already doing it, and he was better (he is also two years older than me). It wasn't that I wasn't trying hard, or that I wasn't studying. I studied quite a lot. The trouble was, Jeff was too! Now I'm not saying this to complain. Jeff was/is very good at what he does, and playing against an opponent like him made me a better player over time, but it did make me appreciate the limits of personal effort. What's more, I was at that Panasonic Academic Challenge they used to hold at Disney World. Pennsylvania in its infinite wisdom sent whatever team won the state championship. A lot of states (especially in the South) sent all-star teams. In spite of my best efforts, my team was never really going to stand a chance against a balanced team of all-stars, regardless of anything I did short of learning Dragonball Z style energy attacks. So I suppose I'm very predisposed to see the advantages of different levels of difficulty in quiz bowl and a kind of "championship ladder".
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cheynem » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:00 pm

I mean if I'm presenting myself as some sort of great player who's way above these piddly schools, that's certainly not true. I spent years losing to all the top teams in Michigan, went to Panasonic and also got shelled there too. I lost to Pat Freeburn a lot which when compared to Jeff Hoppes is like when the Pistons drafted Darko instead of Melo. I certainly wasn't that great.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Scottietodd » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:33 pm

The sports analogy has made me think of high school sports in Kentucky and I find myself realizing that there is a pretty good parallel to HSNCT and SSNCT here that may actually support Nick's argument, especially when you look at Basketball.

Kentucky is one of the only states left that has a true sweet 16 in high school basketball. It doesn't matter whether you are public or private, have 200 or 2,000 students, your high school basketball team is in one of 16 regions in Kentucky and if you want to go to State you have to win your region. If you want to be champion you have to beat the very best teams in Kentucky PERIOD, i.e. HSNCT. Other sports are classed AA, AAA, etc... though.

However, for most high school sports in Kentucky, we have what is called an All A Classic. This tournament takes about a month before the "real" state tournament and teams participate based on being of small size. That is the only restriction. Just like the sweet 16, schools that meet the size requirement are eligible for the All-A whether they are public or private. SSNCTish before the recent change.

I will use our girl's basketball team as a case in point. We have not won the KY State Championship ever ... yet. But we have won our Region and made it into the final 8 or 4. Meanwhile, we won the All-A State Championship a couple of year's ago. We are VERY proud of that trophy. Competing in All-A has not made us less competitive with larger teams nor has it led us to schedule only smaller teams or dodge tournaments with "big" schools.

I believe this solidifies my view that 1) SSNCT is a good thing and will not hurt "Good Quiz Bowl" but 2) I wish we could play all schools that meet the size restriction. I am 99% sure that our girls, coaches, and community would not have been as excited had we not defeated ALL KY schools who met the class A size limit.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Rococo A Go Go » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:05 am

There used to be an "All-A" quick recall championship in Kentucky too, where public and private schools competed against one another. I believe that strong public school teams (Pikeville, Edmonson County, etc.) were regularly in contention for the title. I'm not sure why it ended, but I definitely don't think it harmed the existing academic competitions in the state, especially considering Kentucky has a strong history of small schools playing and succeeding at all types of academic competitions.
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Re: Changes to NAQT SSNCT eligibility

Postby Cody » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:51 am

Sports is always a bad parallel for quizbowl - especially state level vs national level. In this case, it's because you have not factored in budget constraints. Given that you could only have attended one tournament, which would it have been?

I don't know your answer but I can bet most high school coaches would answer with "the one we might actually win". I mean, you even see this all the time at the college level with D2 ICT.
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