The evolution of MSNCT

This is the place for middle school quizbowl of all types.

The evolution of MSNCT

Postby the return of AHAN » Sun May 14, 2017 12:59 am

After reading the liveblogs and perusing the Saturday stats for this year's MSNCT, it appears one or more of the following statements is true;

*) The set has easier bonuses this year. Last year, 5 teams that missed the playoffs had PPB of 20 or more points (the highest, Quest Academy, had 21.23 PPB). This year, that number has swelled to 17 (the highest, Hyde Park, had 22.47). Over the entire preliminary round, the PPB average went from 17.72 to 18.93, and when limited to teams that made the playoffs, the average went from 20.49 to 21.67.
When I dialed it back to 2013, the preliminaries has total PPB of 18.07 while playoff teams had 21.49.... also, there were 5 teams that missed the playoffs with PPB of 20 or more, but the field only had 96 teams that year.

*) The set has easier toss-ups. While following the liveblog, I saw numerous reports of things such as ,"Four-word power for Miami Valley", "Buzzer race on a first line lit stock clue that Robert wins." "Ridiculous YA lit power by Miami Valley", "Five words into a bio tossup, and Smith powers.", "Sick first line by William on Miami Valley", "Churchill 3-word's physics; what an incredible buzz." "Sick 5-word lit buzz by Midtown" "Incredible 3-word power for Robert" and I could go on, but you get the point. Statistically, the 58 teams that qualified for the playoffs this year heard 246 more toss-ups and scored 120 more powers than in 2016 (10 fewer ten-pointers, 22 more negs; entirely attributable to the return of Barrington to the field, :razz: ).
Also, teams that made the playoffs heard, on average, 23.52 toss-ups this year, compared to 22.99 last year. Make of that what you will, but I'd argue that readers can only read so fast, and if questions are getting answered faster, that means answers are coming earlier than they did last year. In 2013, the number was 22.77 questions per round with ZERO teams hearing 24 in all eight rounds, contrasted against 7 such teams this year, and 5 last year.

*) MSNCT players who participated in SSNCT gained a clear advantage over the field. I'm not reading this set, nor did I staff SSNCT. I only base this comment on on Ryan Rosenberg, a live blogger for NAQT, posting "A consistent them of #MSNCT is that the best teams will have played high school tournaments -- MP's #SSNCT experience was a huge help." where MP referenced Mounds Park. But this is troubling to me because our school is a member of a statewide organization that proscribes the participation of middle schoolers in competitions with or against high schoolers. The rule is likely an artifact of athletic rules, but I don't see an exception getting carved out. So, while we can play 1 or 2 tourneys on an A set each year, there was no way my players were going to get invited to SSNCT, let alone play it. The same could be argued about teams going to play HSNCT, but that tournament happens AFTER MSNCT, and no one is going to argue a MS team got an advantage over a HS team by playing MSNCT a few weeks earlier.

*) The teams attending the MSNCT have evolved into increasingly better teams. Having been unable to attend the last three MSNCTs, I can only base my judgement on how we did in 2011-2013 vs. today. I feel my team has far better balance than my 2013 team, and could quite possibly be better than them. But it's pretty clear the 2017 incarnation of Barrington Station is going to have a HARD time duplicating the 2013 team's feat. There are EIGHT teams that averaged >400 per20TUH, compared to just Station, Kealing, and St. John's in 2013.
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
User avatar
the return of AHAN
Auron
 
Posts: 1843
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby trbenedict » Mon May 15, 2017 10:51 am

The first MSNCT I attended with Miami Valley was in 2015, so I can't speak to the landscape of the very first middle school championships. However, I'm more inclined to believe that the last conjecture, that more teams are getting better faster, is the predominant one and can explain most of the other statistical effects. Now that middle school quiz bowl has become more established and grown to include more circuits, more players are getting hooked and making rapid improvement. The smaller size of the middle school canon and the abundance of practice material now means that really committed kids can get both deep and broad in some key areas. This might mean that this year's bonuses and tossups were, relatively speaking, "easier," particularly for the top teams, but in terms of pure content the set seemed pretty comparable to last year and the year before. Middle school is tough to write for, since some of the field could potentially be playing only their third or fourth tournament of the year and others could have played a ton, or be part of programs who play a ton...to ensure a positive experience for the entire field, I don't think NAQT should scale up MSNCT difficulty that much, although of course the questions should evolve and grow with the game. Perhaps one answer could be slightly lengthening MSNCT questions to put some more deep clues at the beginning...it sure felt like there were a lot of first-line buzzes this year, as you mentioned from the liveblogs. On the other hand, the top four teams in 2013 had power percentages of 67%, 66%, 42%, and 60%. In 2017, those percentages were 47%, 51%, 45%, and 58%.

Regarding SSNCT specifically, there might be a bit of confirmation bias...the only middle schoolers who played both SSNCT and MSNCT this year were 8th graders Isak Dai and Ryan Ghose (Mounds Park) and William Groger and Sahir Kabir (Miami Valley). Last year, Mounds Park was tied for 8th at MSNCT with Isak and Ryan on the roster, and MVS was tied for 5th with William and Sahir, so those players have a track record of success at middle school nationals. I think any perceived "SSNCT effect," especially given the small sample of players, makes more of a case that really good MS players are often tapped to "play up," especially in small programs. Now, if we're talking about players who play high school difficulty having an advantage, then I think that's definitely true, and has been for a while (especially given that there are only a handful of MS sets to play each year). This is sort of a given in quiz bowl, though, when you take into account that a lot of the top high school teams are getting better by practicing on and playing ACF Fall & Regionals, SCT, MUT/EMT, etc. I agree, though, it's unfortunate that some teams have to deal with state organizations which have more strict regulations than other states or from NAQT. (On a sidenote, eventual champions Aptakisic only played one other tossup-bonus tournament this year as far as I can tell, which is wild!)

Congratulations to Aptakisic, by the way, and all the other teams at MSNCT. The parity on display, particularly on Sunday, was pretty incredible, and anyone who made it through that field was a deserving champion.
Tyler Benedict
Miami Valley
trbenedict
Lulu
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby the return of AHAN » Mon May 15, 2017 3:09 pm

trbenedict wrote:(On a sidenote, eventual champions Aptakisic only played one other tossup-bonus tournament this year as far as I can tell, which is wild!)

Congratulations to Aptakisic, by the way, and all the other teams at MSNCT. The parity on display, particularly on Sunday, was pretty incredible, and anyone who made it through that field was a deserving champion.


Don't be fooled! They played rogue as the "Berning Eagles" at Keith Country Day's MLK Day Tourney
and also played the challenge division of the Barrington Invitational Tourney and with a B team in the standard division

In IESA format, they played their entire conference season, plus conference tournament, and advanced to sectionals in the IESA State Series (all of those questions were by Bryce Avery Enterprises and NOT NAQT, by the way).
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
User avatar
the return of AHAN
Auron
 
Posts: 1843
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby trbenedict » Mon May 15, 2017 4:08 pm

I was bamboozled! Thanks for the correction. I figured you might have some local insight...
Tyler Benedict
Miami Valley
trbenedict
Lulu
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby yellow7206 » Mon May 15, 2017 8:34 pm

I have been to every MSNCT, and I definitely feel that the top teams have become even faster on the buzzer than the top teams of five years ago. As Tyler said, access to practice material and loads of archived sets, both MS and HS level, has helped studious players develop into powering machines. Three-word powers are impressive and fun to watch, but at some point, too much is too much.

I think that middle school level quiz bowl needs to adjust. I don't know if that means deeper clues or longer questions, but at some point, something should be done.
Eugene Huang, King of 109
Coach, Longfellow MS
Langley HS, 1989
Longfellow MS, 1985
Spring Hill Elem. 1983
yellow7206
Lulu
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:45 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby Strongside » Wed May 17, 2017 9:13 pm

the return of AHAN wrote:
*) MSNCT players who participated in SSNCT gained a clear advantage over the field. I'm not reading this set, nor did I staff SSNCT. I only base this comment on on Ryan Rosenberg, a live blogger for NAQT, posting "A consistent them of #MSNCT is that the best teams will have played high school tournaments -- MP's #SSNCT experience was a huge help." where MP referenced Mounds Park. But this is troubling to me because our school is a member of a statewide organization that proscribes the participation of middle schoolers in competitions with or against high schoolers. The rule is likely an artifact of athletic rules, but I don't see an exception getting carved out. So, while we can play 1 or 2 tourneys on an A set each year, there was no way my players were going to get invited to SSNCT, let alone play it. The same could be argued about teams going to play HSNCT, but that tournament happens AFTER MSNCT, and no one is going to argue a MS team got an advantage over a HS team by playing MSNCT a few weeks earlier.


I am not a coach but I do have some familiarity with the Mounds Park quiz bowl program.

Mounds Park was only able to play SSNCT after NAQT changed the eligibility rules in October.

I personally find it dubious that selective private schools can play SSNCT, but selective public schools cannot, (assuming they are under the enrollment limit), but that was what NAQT decided.

I do not think playing the Charter/Private division of the SSNCT is much different than playing a local tournament on an IS set. SSNCT has more rounds, but the questions are otherwise basically the same.

Obviously the level of play at a local IS tournament competition can vary significantly across the country.

Isak and Ryan put what I would consider a lot of time into quiz bowl for middle school, (both were over 7000 tossups heard at NAQT tournaments). The reason I say "for middle school," is I do not know how hard a middle schooler should be working at quiz bowl.

It is unfortunate that Illinois quiz bowl teams are prohibited from playing high school tournaments.

Quiz bowl is not controlled by our state high school league, although our state high school league allows 7th and 8th graders to compete against high schoolers in sports.

Barrington did end up with a brutal draw for a 3 seed.
Brendan Byrne

Drake University, 2006-2008
University of Minnesota, 2008-2010
Strongside
Rikku
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:03 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby idek » Wed May 17, 2017 10:30 pm

Speaking of brutal draws, I don't want to carp (our negging got us two deserved losses), but playing the T-21 Meyzeek team in Round 1 of the playoffs and the T-8 Smith team from Michigan in Round 2 (due to an upset loss against Mount Mourne in the previous round) has to make Coppell's short run one of the toughest in the tournament based on our seed.
Vishal Sivamani
Coppell
idek
Lulu
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:29 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby Strongside » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:29 pm

the return of AHAN wrote:
*) MSNCT players who participated in SSNCT gained a clear advantage over the field. I'm not reading this set, nor did I staff SSNCT. I only base this comment on on Ryan Rosenberg, a live blogger for NAQT, posting "A consistent them of #MSNCT is that the best teams will have played high school tournaments -- MP's #SSNCT experience was a huge help." where MP referenced Mounds Park. But this is troubling to me because our school is a member of a statewide organization that proscribes the participation of middle schoolers in competitions with or against high schoolers. The rule is likely an artifact of athletic rules, but I don't see an exception getting carved out. So, while we can play 1 or 2 tourneys on an A set each year, there was no way my players were going to get invited to SSNCT, let alone play it. The same could be argued about teams going to play HSNCT, but that tournament happens AFTER MSNCT, and no one is going to argue a MS team got an advantage over a HS team by playing MSNCT a few weeks earlier.


Sorry, I can’t let this go. An entire paragraph was devoted to four players who would not have attended SSNCT if not for a questionable eligibility rule change.

I assume the comment about Barrington getting invited to the SSNCT was a joke.

Mounds Park has about 44 students in 8th grade.

I do not know how much of an advantage attending SSNCT was for Mounds Park.

Minnesota has been deservedly mocked and ridiculed for our lack of success at high school quiz bowl

This is a huge step forward for quiz bowl in Minnesota, especially since Minnesota has a disproportionately high number of individuals represented in the major quiz bowl organizations.

I am a bit biased but making it to the final of one of the three major national tournaments (MSNCT, HSNCT, NSC) is historic.

This year did seem to have the most parity of all the MSNCTs.
Brendan Byrne

Drake University, 2006-2008
University of Minnesota, 2008-2010
Strongside
Rikku
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:03 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby the return of AHAN » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:02 am

Strongside wrote:
the return of AHAN wrote:After reading the liveblogs and perusing the Saturday stats for this year's MSNCT, it appears one or more of the following statements is true;
[SNIP]
[SNIP]
*) MSNCT players who participated in SSNCT gained a clear advantage over the field. I'm not reading this set, nor did I staff SSNCT. I only base this comment on on Ryan Rosenberg, a live blogger for NAQT, posting "A consistent them of #MSNCT is that the best teams will have played high school tournaments -- MP's #SSNCT experience was a huge help." where MP referenced Mounds Park. But this is troubling to me because our school is a member of a statewide organization that proscribes the participation of middle schoolers in competitions with or against high schoolers. The rule is likely an artifact of athletic rules, but I don't see an exception getting carved out. So, while we can play 1 or 2 tourneys on an A set each year, there was no way my players were going to get invited to SSNCT, let alone play it. The same could be argued about teams going to play HSNCT, but that tournament happens AFTER MSNCT, and no one is going to argue a MS team got an advantage over a HS team by playing MSNCT a few weeks earlier.
[SNIP]


Sorry, I can’t let this go. An entire paragraph was devoted to four players who would not have attended SSNCT if not for a questionable eligibility rule change.

I assume the comment about Barrington getting invited to the SSNCT was a joke.

Mounds Park has about 44 students in 8th grade.

I do not know how much of an advantage attending SSNCT was for Mounds Park.

Minnesota has been deservedly mocked and ridiculed for our lack of success at high school quiz bowl

This is a huge step forward for quiz bowl in Minnesota, especially since Minnesota has a disproportionately high number of individuals represented in the major quiz bowl organizations.

I am a bit biased but making it to the final of one of the three major national tournaments (MSNCT, HSNCT, NSC) is historic.

This year did seem to have the most parity of all the MSNCTs.

Edited your quote for clarity.
My statement wasn't a joke; Rosenberg suggested Miami Valley and Mounds Park benefited from playing SSNCT a few weeks earlier, whereas we could not have. In fact, we have no opportunities to play vs high schoolers. Now that's not MP's fault, nor anyone else who has their middle schoolers playing high school matches. It's always been that way. And, lo and behold, a neighboring Illinois school did, in fact, ship the MSNCT the next day, even with the same structural disadvantages.
But circling back to my "one or more of the following is true" statement, I think I can safely infer you feel statement three is poppycock. And that's cool. It was just some Saturday night musings.
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
User avatar
the return of AHAN
Auron
 
Posts: 1843
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby Strongside » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:44 pm

I agree that Aptakisic had an impressive tournament. They deserve credit for coming back and beating Mounds Park after Mounds Park had gotten 19 of the past 28 tossups against them.

I thought the comment about Barrington attending SSNCT was sarcastic, but I suppose I should have taken it literally. Between Barrington’s enrollment, the fact that is not a high school combined with the fact Illinois middle schoolers cannot play high school tournaments, I thought it was a joke.

I understand the frustration of not being able to play high school tournaments. Not including nationals, Barrington played 4 NAQT middle school tournaments, SCOP, History Bowl stuff, and as mentioned IESA, which I realize is on Bryce Avery questions. Fewer tournaments than what would be ideal for serious middle school team, but not a bad set of options.

We have our own issues with high school and middle school quiz bowl in Minnesota, but fortunately things are getting better.

I will admit that independent schools do have some advantages in that the middle school grades may not count? to the 350 students in grades 10-12, although Mounds Park has less than 350 students in grades 6-12.

MSNCT players who participated in SSNCT gained a clear advantage over the field in the sense that playing quiz bowl tournaments in general is an advantage.

SSNCT guaranteed ten rounds, which is similar to a standard regular difficulty high school tournament.

I do not think you meant anything malicious in your original post. I wish there was more discussion about middle school quiz bowl.
Brendan Byrne

Drake University, 2006-2008
University of Minnesota, 2008-2010
Strongside
Rikku
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:03 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby Strongside » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:40 am

I noticed that Barrington Station played a local high school History Bowl tournament, as well as multiple History Bee tournaments. That makes the claim that Illinois middle school quiz bowl teams cannot play high school tournaments dubious, unless one does not consider History Bowl quiz bowl, an assertion I would disagree with.

I felt that Miami Valley and especially Mounds Park were unfairly singled out, especially after the result of the Barrington-Mounds Park matchup.

Lots of middle school teams have played high school tournaments, yet Mounds Park was the only one mentioned in the post.

Miami Valley and Mounds Park are very similar schools, so it appeared that a specific type school was unintentionally/accidentally singled out.

As for Ryan Rosenberg’s tweet, he might have just been providing some quick commentary for people following along.
Brendan Byrne

Drake University, 2006-2008
University of Minnesota, 2008-2010
Strongside
Rikku
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:03 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby the return of AHAN » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:16 am

GOT IT. YOU DISAGREE WITH POINT 3. Anything to add about 1, 2, and 4?

And to clarify what happened at Fenwick, that was a one-off event; a division for JV/Middle School teams, where some Station kids played against Aptakisic and a handful of freshman/sophomore level teams on HS questions. That's actually tenuous ground because our state association specifically proscribes affiliated teams from playing high school teams, but History Bowl isn't considered a thing, hence, we got away with that one. Also, History Bowl is not operated by NAQT.

You insist on making this out to be some sort of vendetta against Mounds Park and Miami Valley when that wasn't the intention. Had Rosenberg help up the example and named two other schools with MS players that had attended SSNCT, then I'd have name-dropped them, too, in the same manner. Here is the link to the tweet and tell me if I misconstrued what he said; https://twitter.com/NAQTLive/status/863478508529516547
Jeff Price, Barrington Station Middle School Coach (2013 MSNCT Champions, 2013 & 2017 Illinois Class AA State Champions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
User avatar
the return of AHAN
Auron
 
Posts: 1843
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:40 pm

Re: The evolution of MSNCT

Postby Strongside » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:37 pm

I was not at the tournament and do not have the question set so I do not have anything to add about points 1 and 2.

I agree with point 4.

The increase in the number of good team in the middle school game seems to have changed to the extent that it will make it difficult but not impossible to match the stats of 2012 Kealing.

As for Ryan Rosenberg's tweet, I agree with it expect for the fact that I would not consider Mounds Park's SSNCT a help, but not a huge help.

The packet from Mounds Park's first match against Middlesex must have went Mounds Park's way. The two teams were pretty very evenly matched statistically, and the second match was a 40 point game.
Brendan Byrne

Drake University, 2006-2008
University of Minnesota, 2008-2010
Strongside
Rikku
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:03 pm


Return to Middle School Quizbowl Announcements & Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests