2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

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2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Golran » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:11 am

It is my pleasure to announce the preseason poll for the High School 2014-2015 season. I have set up a gmail account for votes - qbrank@gmail.com.

Please submit your top 25 to qbrank@gmail.com by Friday, September 5th, as I plan to compile the rankings that night and publish here by Saturday, September 6th, along with some metrics about the rankings. This gives you a little over 2 weeks to put together a ranking.

Please do not post your top-25 here. At the conclusion of the poll, I will post each top 25 on a spreadsheet and post the link here. If you wish to remain anonymous, please indicate so in your top-25 list.

Feel free to vote for B and even C teams where appropriate. If your ranking is very different from the other rankings, I'll send you an email asking you to either justify your ranking or re-submit. Additionally, if you wish to change your ranking before September 5th, please indicate your changes (either quick summary i.e. insert Team A at #5 and move everyone down 1, or a full new ranking) in a reply to your original message. I will send a reply indicating that both your top-25 and any corrections I receive. If I don't reply within 48 hours, assume I didn't get your first message.

Here's to a great season!

Please feel free to e-mail me at qbrank@gmail.com with any questions you may have regarding the poll.

~~~~~~FAQ~~~~~~

I'm a high school player - can I vote?

Of course! Just be wary about giving too much preference to your geographic region.

Can I submit just a top 10?

Unfortunately, no. I am looking for top 25s. If each individual were to rank different amounts of teams, then many of the metrics I plan to use would not work out well, additionally, this will give a significant, unfair boost to your top 10.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Golran » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:12 am

This post reserved for results.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Golran » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:00 pm

I've received 11 votes so far, and would love to have a few more. Please email me at qbrank@gmail.com with your votes tonight!
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Golran » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:20 am

Many thanks to Eric Xu, James Zhou, Ben Koppel, Nathan Weiser, Varun Wadhwa, Nirav Ilango, Amith Punyala, Hidehiro Anto, Mohan Malhotra, Sam Blizzard, and two anonymous voters for submitting ballots to this poll. Without further ado, I'll present the results here!
  1. Western Albemarle A (3 first place votes) 289
  2. LASA A (9 first place votes) 285
  3. Rockford Auburn A 264
  4. DCC A 257
  5. Northmont A 247
  6. Farragut A 226
  7. Centennial A 206
  8. Richard Montgomery A 190
  9. Maggie Walker A 166
  10. Dorman A 160
  11. Arcadia A 150
  12. Wilmington Charter A 137
  13. Chattahoochee A 134
  14. IMSA 111
  15. High Tech A 110
  16. Bloomington A 108
  17. Harmony A 103
  18. Bellarmine A 92
  19. Georgetown Day A 90
  20. University of Chicago Lab A 79
  21. Montgomery Blair A 75
  22. Bucholz 66
  23. Hallsville 59
  24. Colonel By 51
  25. DCC B 48
Others receiving votes: DuPont Manual 25, Copley 21, St. John's 15, Norman North 14, LASA B 13, North Hollywood A 12, East Brunswick 11, Hunter A 11, St. Joseph (IN) 11, Westminster A 11, Saratoga 10, Carbondale 8, Bellarmine B 7, Ransom Everglades 6, Ridgewood A 6, Lexington A 4, NCSSM 4, Acton Boxborough 3, Sidney A 3, Fisher Catholic A 1, Millburn A 1

Complete tabulation can be found here.

Only 9 teams appeared on all 12 ballots, the lowest average ranking of which was #19 Georgetown Day, while 11 appeared on only 1, the highest of which was Norman North, ranked 12th by Nathan Weiser.

Two voters placed LASA at #8, Varun Wadhwa and Mohan Malhotra, both of Wilmington Charter which cost LASA the #1 spot overall (their other lower than first place vote was at #2 by Hidehiro Anto).
Last edited by Golran on Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Theodore » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:01 pm

Will there be a write-up similar to that of the collegiate poll?
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Mnemosyne » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:11 pm

So, am I understanding these rankings correctly that LASA got 9 1st place votes for 225 points, and then the other 3 votes averaged them at #5 for 60 points? Seems legit.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by heterodyne » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:04 pm

So you planned to ask people about abnormal rankings, correct? Did you end up doing so for any of these? I am talking specifically of the two rankings that chose to place LASA in 8th, instead of out of the top two as every other voter did. In addition, one of those rankings placed Buchholz 2nd. Buchholz is quite a good team, but only five ballots mentioned them and the only times they were in the top ten were in the two abnormal ballots. I'm fairly sure that these two would very much qualify as abnormal ballots worthy of justification.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by pajaro bobo » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:55 pm

The Wilmington Charter ballots are so very obviously suspect, and nothing was done about them?
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Guile Island » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:19 am

I'd say unless those two give a satisfactory explanation to the perceived trollishness of their ballots, you should exclude them and recalculate the totals.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by RexSueciae » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:48 am

Wilmington Charter trolling? Say it ain't so! :razz:

Seriously, though, didn't this whole thing with wildly inaccurate ballots presumably based on either false information or wishful thinking show up in the college preseason poll? In Varun and Mohan's defense (sort of), I wouldn't ascribe to bad faith what ignorance and provincialism would easier explain, because it's obviously not limited to high school quizbowl.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:19 am

Golran wrote:
  1. Western Albemarle A (3 first place votes) 289
  2. LASA A (9 first place votes) 285
...

Two voters placed LASA at #8
Laughing online.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by samus149 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:11 pm

In case anyone's interested, I redid the poll removing those two ballots:

1. LASA A (9 first place votes) 249
2. Western Albemarle A (1 first place vote) 239
3. Rockford Auburn A 222
4. Northmont A 211
5. DCC A 210
6. Farragut A 184
7. (tie) Centennial A 164
7. (tie) Richard Montgomery A 164
8. Maggie Walker A 157
9. Arcadia A 135
10. (tie) Wilmington Charter A 122
10. (tie) Chattahoochee A 122
11. Dorman A 118
12. Harmony A 98
13. IMSA A 96
14. Bloomington A 95
15. High Tech A 82
16. Bellarmine A 78
17. Georgetown Day A 69
18. Montgomery Blair A 67
19. University of Chicago Lab A 62
20. Hallsville A 59
21. Colonel By A 51
22. DCC B 36
23. Buchholz A 26
24. duPont Manual A 18
25. St. John's 15

Also receiving votes: Norman North A 14, LASA B 13, North Hollywood A 12, St. Joseph (IN) A 11, Saratoga A 10, Hunter A 9, Carbondale A 8, Copley A 7, Ransom Everglades A 6, Westminster A 5, Sidney A 3, East Brunswick 2, Fischer Catholic A 1
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:55 pm

Technically, that's the top 27, but whatever.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Beevor Feevor » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:28 pm

I'm personally getting the feeling that polls shouldn't necessarily be conducted with a small sample size and without determining who exactly is considered "qualified" to vote. Yes, it is a preseason poll, and it doesn't determine much, but, as Matt Jackson mentioned in the Big Vision articles, the "Oh, who really cares about that anyway" emotion should really be addressed. If we're going to the trouble of compiling all of these votes, shouldn't there be some way of ensuring that the polls remain genuinely representative of the population while keeping them free from abnormal votes? (I personally disagree with the Charter ballots' placements of LASA and believe they should have been messaged about it). The two ways I see of fixing the current poll system are:

1. Select a group of people in high school Quizbowl, separated by region, who would then be required to submit a ballot at certain points in the year. The decision would be an independent person who had no interest in manipulating the results, and the people selected would be held responsible for giving an accurate and realistic judgment of what they believe the next year holds.

2. Get more people to participate in the poll. As it is, only 12 people submitted ballots. That's very low, and the number of people qualified to talk about the whole national circuit is probably even smaller, but to prevent accusations of the poll being turned into some sort of special club where people only notice certain teams, it would be necessary. Not enough high schoolers care enough or feel like they are qualified enough to vote in the poll, so something about that would have to change.

Comments, suggestions? I personally like option 1 more, which would make it more of a coaches' poll (other than Quizbowl coaches not usually being as involved about scouting compared to football coaches). Instead, it'd be probably selected from either rising college freshmen who would have a good idea about the composition of the teams of the year, or high school upperclassmen who have traveled and played a lot of the top 25 teams in their Quizbowl careers.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:35 pm

If I wanted to troll I would just have remained anonymous. Maybe I do believe that there are 7 teams ahead of LASA, that's my personal feelings, and this is a poll open to ANYONE. If you want to get the results the YOU believe to be the truest, maybe you should restrict this poll to your quiz bowl elite or your clique of quiz bowl overlords. I stand by the rankings that I gave.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by heterodyne » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:57 pm

MoeMoney wrote:If I wanted to troll I would just have remained anonymous. Maybe I do believe that there are 7 teams ahead of LASA, that's my personal feelings, and this is a poll open to ANYONE. If you want to get the results the YOU believe to be the truest, maybe you should restrict this poll to your quiz bowl elite or your clique of quiz bowl overlords. I stand by the rankings that I gave.
Ian in the opening post wrote:If your ranking is very different from the other rankings, I'll send you an email asking you to either justify your ranking or re-submit.
I think the point is that your ballot was different enough to warrant an explanation.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:05 pm

MoeMoney wrote:If I wanted to troll I would just have remained anonymous. Maybe I do believe that there are 7 teams ahead of LASA, that's my personal feelings, and this is a poll open to ANYONE.
Who are these seven teams? Can you tell me why?

I'd just like to know your thought process, since they're returning everyone from the 3rd place team at HSNCT and 6th place at NSC.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:37 pm

I don't plan to wade in too far here, but I will note that past instances of announcements for these polls have all said upfront that the collector of ballots is free to reject ballots which seem especially unreasonable or ask voters to explain themselves and/or resubmit instead of blindly accepting all of them. It seems to me like Ian forgot to include that disclaimer.

It does seem to be the case that these high school polls have, for a few years now, been a lot less attended-to (and felt a lot less "official" or excitement-inducing) than the collegiate poll. Perhaps that's because reliable information is more diffuse and harder to obtain given the huge regional disconnects between hundreds of high school teams, whereas almost every college team among the 100 or so that play seriously has a posting representative who checks these forums often. Perhaps it's because this poll was redundant back in the days when teams also had the Byko rankings to look at, and is redundant with the Morlan rankings now. Most likely, it's because it receives little fanfare or attention, and little is done to draw in said fanfare or attention. If this is something people want to see "fixed" (or made a bigger deal, since again it can't hurt to show school administrators a meaningful high ranking), something like Eric's second suggestion is likely the best way to go -- get someone who is very dynamic about soliciting votes from all over the high school quizbowl community [as Mike Cheyne has been for the college poll], and doesn't think their job is done until they receive 50. Or 100. Given the large number of plugged-in high school players and coaches, a raft of email requests could go a long way.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:19 pm

Ok, so when I first saw that my ballot seemed suspicious to many people, I was honestly quite suprised. As Mohan said, I had no intention of "trolling" or otherwise I would have requested anonymity. My ballot was made in good faith, and believe it or not, I actually put decent effort into making it (i.e. looking at stats and talking to various members of the community). And for the record, Ian Drayer had asked me about my ballot, and I gave him an acceptable explanation it seems. My ballot philosophy actually has not differed from any that I have done in the past; I try to look at how much improvement teams have made over various intrevals in the past and factor that into my rankings. For LASA, statistically speaking a "2.5-peat" doesn't appear to be terribly likely, and I observed teams that improved at faster rates than they did (with all due respect of course, they are an amazing team). I saw 7 teams that I thought could be better than LASA and took a strong view by projecting that all of them would indeed finish above. I don't really see how having one team some spots lower deems my poll as a "troll," especially considering the fact that others have also had opinions that seem to be astray from overral trends, yet the effect of those specific ballots goes unnoticed because those teams are of a much smaller profile than LASA. In fact, I also was a bit suprised how heavily LASA took all the first place votes. I was expecting a more even split with Western Albemarle.

Lastly, something that may also be hard to believe, Mohan and I actually DID NOT have any idea of each others ballots before we sent them. Obviously as teammates we have had general conversations about the quizbowl community in the past and found that we share similar views, but its pretty coincidental that we both happened to place LASA 8th. Even though my view on one team does stand as an outlier, its more unfortunate that the sample of votes is so small that it does end up making a large difference. Nevertheless, I likewise stand by my ballot completely.
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by heterodyne » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:07 pm

I think it's primarily that your ballot relies on the assertion that LASA's current core is not improving quickly, something which can quickly be proven false by looking at their results. You also have to assert that all of the teams that you placed above them are improving fast enough to overtake them. This includes Dorman B from last year and Buccholz, both teams that, while quite impressive, didn't make the top 35 at PACE. I'm not sure if the implication that they are both improving so much faster than LASA that they will overtake them is warranted. Just curious: what are the examples in other ballots of outliers, in your opinion?
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by vinteuil » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:38 pm

Schmidt Sting Pain Index wrote:For LASA, statistically speaking a "2.5-peat" doesn't appear to be terribly likely, and I observed teams that improved at faster rates than they did (with all due respect of course, they are an amazing team).
What model did you use for improvement? Did you just project linearly using the increase in teams' PPB or PPG etc. over a certain timespan? I think it should be obvious why that wouldn't work. (If you have more sophisticated statistical tools: how well did they work when applied to data from previous years?)
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:33 am

Schmidt Sting Pain Index wrote:My ballot philosophy actually has not differed from any that I have done in the past; I try to look at how much improvement teams have made over various intrevals in the past and factor that into my rankings. For LASA, statistically speaking a "2.5-peat" doesn't appear to be terribly likely, and I observed teams that improved at faster rates than they did (with all due respect of course, they are an amazing team). I saw 7 teams that I thought could be better than LASA and took a strong view by projecting that all of them would indeed finish above.
See, guys, never attribute to malice what can be explained by simple incompetence.
MoeMoney wrote:If I wanted to troll I would just have remained anonymous. Maybe I do believe that there are 7 teams ahead of LASA, that's my personal feelings, and this is a poll open to ANYONE. If you want to get the results the YOU believe to be the truest, maybe you should restrict this poll to your quiz bowl elite or your clique of quiz bowl overlords. I stand by the rankings that I gave.
:roll:
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Re: 2014-15 High School Pre-Season Poll

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:44 pm

The purpose of the polls at both the college and high school level is:

Primarily, to give teams something they can boast about when trying to recruit, compete for resources, etc. Saying that you were ranked in the top 25 nationally by a poll does, oftentimes, mean something to a school administrator or someone considering whether to blurb quizbowl in your local paper.

Secondarily, to try to provide rankings for the community's internal use when nationals are far off and sometimes produce disparate results. What Fred is doing is very important and we should all respect the work that goes into it, but we should remember that his rankings are nothing more than what they purport to be -- a ranking of how teams will perform on the bonuses of NAQT IS sets. A subjective poll is still our best means of ranking teams on how quizbowl is actually played (i.e., primarily on tossups, and oftentimes not on IS sets) especially when we're talking about predicting performance at the nationals level.

Tertiarily, to provide a locus for discussion and excitement during slow periods of the season. The polls are run BEFORE or AFTER periods of high tournament activity, not during them.

If you disagree with the existence of the poll, its procedure, or my rationale for it above, that's totally fine. You have a right to your opinion and everyone is allowed to post their opinion about quizbowl issues such as the poll on the board. However, you do not have an unlimited right to make everyone else believe you when you assert your motivations for particular votes. If people are unwilling or unable to take the poll seriously, they may refrain from participating, or they may even rail against the poll on this very forum. What they may not do is cast obviously trolling or malinformed votes and expect to be above criticism for doing so.

I think that a "panel of experts" approach would be just fine, and I have already suggested months ago that I might take the poll in this direction. We tried doing it this way in the very distant past, by which I mean like...2001-2002 I guess, when a lot of current high school players were busy learning to walk. So, obviously, conditions have changed and the reasons that the panel-based poll didn't work out at the time probably no longer apply. I will try to get this going prior to the next edition of the high school poll, which will take place after the first round of major tournaments in the fall.
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