Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
smithp5
Wakka
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:54 am

Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by smithp5 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:32 pm

I have a question regarding the possibility of splitting up teams into different skill level brackets during preliminary rounds. This year I will be directing the Quaker Bowl tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina. One idea our group had for our tournament next year is to split the field into different "levels" (meaning, a separate group for more advanced teams and a separate group for newcomer teams). The purpose would be to attract newer North Carolina teams while still retaining or attracting strong teams to come to our tournament.

I am aware of tournaments using Varsity and Junior Varsity labels (and have considered this option for our tournament), but I am more inclined to think that the "Junior Varsity" label applies to B or C teams rather than to newcomer teams. Thus I am hesitant to use those labels due to possible confusion.

I am also aware of the benefits of having newer teams take the challenge of playing tougher or more established teams, but would like to test the waters and see what discussion results about this idea of splitting teams up within the preliminary roudns of a tournament (presumably, the playoffs would be split, as well). Particularly, I am curious to see what readers think of how a team would be placed in a group (should the teams self-select, or should the tournament director decide based on prior knowledge of the field of teams).

I hope that this question is clear. Please feel free to respond here or contact me at ECGQuizBowl@gmail.com if you have any advice. Thank you for your help!
Paul Smith
Coach, The Early College at Guilford

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:59 pm

I am not sure I understand your distinction between "new teams" and "B and C teams" when creating a separate division based on skill. The number of B teams that are up to par with playoff-level A teams in most circuits is pretty small, so I don't see how putting a non-competitive B team from a more established local team in the same division as one for brand new teams would not be the way to go. If you're going to do this, I also agree that allowing teams to self-select their division is what you need to do (although if a team that you think is too experienced for the lower division signs up there, feel free to tell them). I honestly am unsure how big of an issue this is, though, because you aren't using junior varsity criteria (which I think should be more than just being inexperienced, lots of places use grade restrictions as well), and if your tournament uses rebracketed consolation rounds, you will still get everyone in your field a chance to play a lot of games against teams of similar strength, even if they do get blown out a few times in the prelims.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

nadph
Rikku
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by nadph » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:02 pm

Out of curiosity, are you planning to use different sets for different divisions (like Fall Novice or some other suitable novice set for the lower division, and a regular-difficulty set for the upper divisions) or is the difference one of opponent strength only?
Nikhil Desai
Bellarmine College Prep '12
Stanford '12-'15, '18

User avatar
AlphaQuizBowler
Tidus
Posts: 695
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:31 pm
Location: Alpharetta, GA

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:10 pm

We had a lot of success at our first Alpharetta Varsity Tournament offering a "National" and a "Varsity" division to allow teams to play against appropriate competition. It was suggested that teams entering the National division should have qualified for a national tournament (our tournament was in February), but ultimately it was self-selecting, which is how I think that split divisions always should be. Most teams have a good idea of where they want to compete.
William
Alpharetta High School '11
Harvard '15

smithp5
Wakka
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by smithp5 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:20 pm

@Charlie: I see your point about the B/C team vs. new team non-distinction. I suppose my concern relates more to creating classification based on inexperience as opposed to grade level.

@Nikhil: We were planning to use the same regular set for both levels, so that the distinction would only based on skill level.

@William: I appreciate the advice regarding your tournament and am glad to hear that there has been success with this idea.

(Edit: I took out my question about Alpharetta's tournament as I found their post on the message board.)
Paul Smith
Coach, The Early College at Guilford

User avatar
Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill
Rikku
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:44 pm

Chatham's tournament uses "Premier" and "Main" divisions, both of which are played on the same IS set. Teams enter the divisions at their own discretion, though no B teams have ever entered the Premier division to my knowledge. I think it's a good idea on paper, but then you have teams that enter Premier without knowing what they're getting into. Case and point, two teams in Premier this year ended up with under 10 PPB and one had an astounding 3.33 PPB, although last year it wasn't nearly as bad.
Robert Pond
Kings Park '10
Stony Brook '14
University of Victoria '18
Anonymous wrote:naqt is much worse than plagiarism could ever hope to be

jonah
Auron
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by jonah » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:52 pm

I've helped run two tournaments that each used two divisions. One labeled them "Competitive" and "Learning", which led to many teams thinking that the Learning division was only for B/C/frosh-soph teams and everyone was expected to enter one team in the competitive division. The second time I labeled them "Über-Competitive" and "Standard", which worked better. Both times, teams self-selected their division with the stipulation that if a really strong team tried to enter the lower division, that would not be permitted. (This never happened.) We did have 1–3 B teams enter the upper division each time, but I agree that this should be very rare.

Both times, the motivation for splitting the field was to allow a very large tournament (66 and 48 teams, respectively) without compromising on the fairness of format.

I recommend this approach if you are using two different sets, or if your tournament would otherwise be large enough that a fair format given the number of packets you have available (and in a reasonable amount of time) is impossible.
Jonah Greenthal
National Academic Quiz Tournaments

User avatar
Francis the Talking France
Wakka
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:01 am
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by Francis the Talking France » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:45 am

I can see you doing a Varsity and Junior Varsity division at your tournament this coming year, and it would be more highly recommended than the Premier division and Varsity Division. The premier would just hold the 5 or 6 teams that qualified for Nationals (Dorman A/B, Enloe, Raleigh Charter A/B, TJ Classical) given that the field stayed the same. Being that this tournament is early in the year, it is more of a warm-up or wake-up call for most of the teams there. I really liked the format last time around with 5 games in the morning (More or less randomly selected round robin play) and 5 games in the Afternoon (teams with the same record play against each other, top 5 play for qualifications), because it allows teams to compare themselves against the entire field basically, and then playing against teams similar to them. I feel that for a lot of teams in our area, it would be hard to select where they would go unless there was a grade level restriction due to the fact that the players on certain teams vary a lot (my team didn't have the same four play a tournament once, then again we rarely had a full team).
Matt Duchan
Chapel Hill High School '12
University of Denver '16
Director of the 2013 Colorado State History Bowl

smithp5
Wakka
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Different "Levels" of Teams at a Tournament

Post by smithp5 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:45 pm

Thank you for your feedback/testimonials. I will keep this in mind as we plan our tournament.
Paul Smith
Coach, The Early College at Guilford

Locked