2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

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1992 in spaceflight
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2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:10 pm

Split from 2014 HSNCT Discussion. --Mgmt

So I really hope that NAQT will consider appointing somebody to run all of the Sunday consolation games next year. The logistics for the consolation games this year was a huge mess. Frankly, I'm disappointed; the logistics for consolation went much better last year, which made the situation of us not starting even nearly on time Sunday even more frustrating (along with us not even knowing what on earth was going on).
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Re: 2014 HSNCT discussion

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:27 pm

As Jacob O said, I felt the consolation rounds were poorly organized. What was supposed to be a 7:50 staff meeting didn't start until 8:30 with games not starting until almost 9:30. I think the best solution is for NAQT to appoint someone (doesn't have to be an NAQT member; a lot of the consolation staff are experienced tournament directors) to run each tournament, and just have a staffing assignments accessible maybe by email so consolation staff know which control room to go to, and have all resources ready in said control room, without an hour and a half wait.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT discussion

Post by tiwonge » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:46 pm

pandabear555 wrote:As Jacob O said, I felt the consolation rounds were poorly organized. What was supposed to be a 7:50 staff meeting didn't start until 8:30 with games not starting until almost 9:30. I think the best solution is for NAQT to appoint someone (doesn't have to be an NAQT member; a lot of the consolation staff are experienced tournament directors) to run each tournament, and just have a staffing assignments accessible maybe by email so consolation staff know which control room to go to, and have all resources ready in said control room, without an hour and a half wait.
I don't know what the issue was in this case, but I know for a few rounds, the delays were because packets couldn't be sent to consolation games until after they had been sent to playoff games, and in a few cases, protests prevented some rounds from starting on time. A possible solution might to be to play consolation games on a packet later than playoff games, and then if any playoff teams wanted to play, they'd just have to wait a round.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT discussion

Post by dtaylor4 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:01 am

tiwonge wrote:I don't know what the issue was in this case, but I know for a few rounds, the delays were because packets couldn't be sent to consolation games until after they had been sent to playoff games, and in a few cases, protests prevented some rounds from starting on time. A possible solution might to be to play consolation games on a packet later than playoff games, and then if any playoff teams wanted to play, they'd just have to wait a round.
This could easily lead to teams trying to hear questions they are about to play.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT discussion

Post by TylerV » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:00 am

tiwonge wrote:
pandabear555 wrote:As Jacob O said, I felt the consolation rounds were poorly organized. What was supposed to be a 7:50 staff meeting didn't start until 8:30 with games not starting until almost 9:30. I think the best solution is for NAQT to appoint someone (doesn't have to be an NAQT member; a lot of the consolation staff are experienced tournament directors) to run each tournament, and just have a staffing assignments accessible maybe by email so consolation staff know which control room to go to, and have all resources ready in said control room, without an hour and a half wait.
I don't know what the issue was in this case, but I know for a few rounds, the delays were because packets couldn't be sent to consolation games until after they had been sent to playoff games, and in a few cases, protests prevented some rounds from starting on time. A possible solution might to be to play consolation games on a packet later than playoff games, and then if any playoff teams wanted to play, they'd just have to wait a round.
The issue after the meeting was, at least for us on the 10th floor, was that we didn't have any room key until at least 9:15. Things were pretty smooth after that besides some teams somehow going to the wrong room which messed up the schedule
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Re: 2014 HSNCT discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:41 am

Yeah, Tyler's right: after the rooms were given their keys, everything went pretty smoothly in the Executive Wing.

For what it's worth, I know that it's not the fault of Nathan or anybody else that room keys were not given back promptly on Saturday night. I'm led to believe that that helped to lead to some of the delays, as well as some of the protest resolutions. Hopefully we can learn from this and make the consolation schedule next year even smoother logistically.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT discussion

Post by mtn335 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:31 pm

To address the consolation stuff:

My intention had been this:
7:50 staff check-in
8:00 Greg tells staff how things will work (takes ~20 minutes); staff told they'll go to rooms after teams have brackets
8:20 or 8:30: Greg gets brackets and keys, briefs teams
8:40 or 8:45: Greg gets packets, everybody leaves

I actually did have a complete set of keys over and above the ones handed back Saturday, but they vanished on me (they were later found at FedEx, where I think they fell out of my pocket while I was printing consolation brackets) on Sunday morning. I realized this as I went to hand brackets and keys to Greg at 8:30.

It took me until about 8:50 to get them replaced, and I gave them to Greg immediately. At this point he was still explaining things to teams, which leads me to believe that more people are required - some focused on staff and others focused on teams.

My understanding is that once things got going they were very smooth.

So here are my takeaways: (1) Have separate people assigned to deal with staff and teams for consolation, and (2) don't lose the :capybara:ing keys. I'm sorry about that part, folks - a clumsy flub on my part.

Anything else that people know needs to improve, please let me know!


One thing I want to quickly address -
pandabear555 wrote:I think the best solution is for NAQT to appoint someone (doesn't have to be an NAQT member; a lot of the consolation staff are experienced tournament directors) to run each tournament, and just have a staffing assignments accessible maybe by email so consolation staff know which control room to go to, and have all resources ready in said control room, without an hour and a half wait.
We do apologize for the wait; they keys were clearly a part of that, and I think at that point Greg was so completely wrapped up in dealing with teams that it took him a while to break away. Separating the team and staff portions of this job would probably solve this issue.

We've traditionally shied away from pre-setting consolation staff grids, for a few reasons - every year, we have to pull some people off of consolation to either fill holes in the playoff grid or solve other problems; every year, people don't show up (we're improving accountability here, but it's still an issue); it's just been easier to let the Consolation TD deal with it.

We'll have some discussions about the best way to do this, but I think the most important thing I can do is separate the "team-facing" and "staff-facing" Consolation TDs, so that one person's in a room doing assignments and keys and packets and such, and another is outside doing brackets, ad-hoc room assignments, etc.

I'd appreciate any additional feedback about this, either here or at nmurphyNAQT (google's e-mail service).

FINALLY - I want to publicly commend Greg and Ian for dealing with this. The key situation dropped them in a really tough spot and they dug out of it. Well done, guys. The mess is largely my fault with the keys; they were just fixing what I threw them.
Nathan Murphy
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by KnicksRule » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:47 pm

Is there a possibility that the 2015 HSNCT will guarantee more than 10 rounds? In other words, will the current "consolation rounds" actually count for something next year (like PACE offers a few more games Sunday morning even for the lower brackets)?
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by mtn335 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:24 pm

KnicksRule wrote:Is there a possibility that the 2015 HSNCT will guarantee more than 10 rounds? In other words, will the current "consolation rounds" actually count for something next year (like PACE offers a few more games Sunday morning even for the lower brackets)?
NAQT's belief (stated in the other thread by Jeff) is that an unacceptably high number of these games would very likely end up as "You finish in 148th place because your opponent decided to go to the Art Institute."
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by jonpin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:46 pm

Even were that to be the case, an alternative to what I recall to be mass chaos on Sunday morning at the consolation desk would be to have on the same card as the "this is our record" confirmation, "Check One: Yes or No, we want to play consolation games tomorrow". Sure you will get some teams that change their mind, but I'd imagine 90% of the teams that say yes will show up and you can have brackets preset and ready to go.

Or, as has been said, you can apply the model of "If you schedule it, they will come." In the past two years, only 1 team has failed to return for Sunday play at NSC (plus one team that inexplicably booked an early departure and had to forfeit Sunday post-lunch games and one that declined to play a placement tiebreaker), and I think that's because they know they'll have 3 or 4 scheduled and placement-determining games against other teams of the same caliber.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by Kyle » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:41 pm

What would happen if you awarded a trophy to the winner of the consolation tournament?
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by ScoBo » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:42 pm

Yeah, I think separating responsibilites for staff and teams would be a big help. I read one playoff game on Sunday morning and then made my room available to consolation games. Despite there still being a bunch of people around the consolation desk waiting for something, it still took close to half an hour to get teams, and it wasn't clear to me why that was.

I'm not sure how much of a problem it was this year, but whoever is in charge of assigning teams to single matches should remember to ask teams if they were involved in the playoffs, to make sure that they don't get assigned to a game with a packet they just heard.

If NAQT sticks with optional consolation, I like Jon's idea of having teams sign up for consolation on their record confirmation cards. That seems like it would take a lot of the chaos out of dispersing teams and staff to game rooms on Sunday morning.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by cchiego » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:55 pm

Kyle wrote:What would happen if you awarded a trophy to the winner of the consolation tournament?
I've always thought the idea of a consolation tournament "winner" was kind of silly. It makes sense to play more for placement (finishing 50-70th in the country vs 150th-170th is kind of a big difference in your press releases/report back to principal), but a consolation tournament trophy would be pretty hollow. A full tournament would require more rounds too to get to a single winner and would be especially subject to teams leaving early or 4-6 and below teams deciding not to play in what promises to be an extra defeat in the first round.

The nice thing about 3 extra, meaningful placement rounds is that all teams get to participate and the teams are probably close enough in competitiveness to make the matches interesting. Of course, survey results could prove me wrong here.

I do think extra placement rounds should be construed as "expected" rather than "optional" as Jon mentions above. You could call it the "Tier II playoff" or something like that since it is indeed a playoff with a decent amount of ranking placements at stake.
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Re: 2014 HSNCT Consolation Rounds Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:29 pm

My team went 4-6 this year as a standby team that didn't actually qualify for the tournament. This was the upper end of our goals for the day, and we're thrilled that we accomplished it. It was a great Saturday, and we had no plans for Sunday whatsoever. We're local and had no playoff aspirations, so we weren't in a hotel. HSNCT is gonna have tons of teams like this every year. You're also going to have tons of teams that set 4-6 or 3-7 as their goal and then buy tickets for the Art Institute.

But, speaking as a coach whose team will, conservatively, have a high goal of 6-4 and a more conservative goal of 5-5 for next year, a consolation tournament gives us another goal to strive for. If we go 5-5, we can shoot for "being as good a 5-5 team as we can be." If that takes the form of looking at stats, fine; if it takes the form of three games on Sunday morning, even better.

So, as said coach, here's how I'd ideally have it set up:

*On your record confirmation card, if you go 5-5 or 4-6, you have to check off a box saying "we will play a 3-game consolation tournament Sunday morning." If you don't check the box, or if you're 4-6 or worse, you can show up for impromptu consolation tourneys or individual games the way they've been run in the past.
*NAQT takes all the 5-5 teams who check that box. If the number of 5-5 teams isn't divisible by 8, the best 4-6 teams are added to the mix until it is divisible by 8. Seed them by PP20TUH (not record); put the best 8 in one tourney, the next 8 in the next tourney, etc.
*The tourneys are seeded, schedules are printed, rooms and staff are allocated, and teams are informed of their Round 1 room by cell phone on Saturday night. Teams report to their Round 1 room to start their first game at the same time the 2nd playoff round is supposed to go, where they can pick up the schedule for their tourney.
*The tourneys have nothing to do with final placement in the posted stats, and in fact, aren't announced online at all. Scoresheets would be kept (hooray, more conversion data!), assuming there's enough playoff staff to do this. If not, oh well.

Because each tourney is essentially a bracket unto itself (all the teams in the best tourney are ahead of all the teams in the second-best tourney, etc.), you can tell teams that they're in Consolation Tournament #1 or #2 or whatever (out of however many there are); they can then figure out their placing in the group of 5-5 teams that are playing these tournaments. But NAQT doesn't need to make this about final placement -- all they have to say is "if you do well in your consolation tournament, you can feel that much better about the awesome weekend you had at HSNCT."

My team doesn't need a trophy for going 5-5 then 3-0, and we don't need to fight for 120th place or whatever on Sunday. Trophies are for the best of the best, and PPG rankings are fine at this point. What would be nice is a structured, seeded, organized set of 3 games on Sunday to give us one more goal to fight for. Simple as that.
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