ACF should rename its "Division II" classification

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ACF should rename its "Division II" classification

Post by 1.82 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:21 pm

The term "Division II" has been in use in college quizbowl for a long time by NAQT, and it has had a specific meaning: Division II players are players who have never in a previous season qualified for or played at ICT. Because SCT and ICT are the only major tournaments with a divisional split, people tend to remember whether NAQT classifies them as Division I or Division II.

Some years ago, ACF decided to introduce a new classification to recognize teams of newer college players, which it gave the name "Division II". At the time this category bore similarities to NAQT's Division II, but it has since been changed such that now it simply refers to players on their first two years of college. This is not at all similar to NAQT's Division II, and that fact invites confusion.

As an example, I was at ACF Fall at Maryland this year. At the end of the tournament, we announced that Swarthmore had won the Division II title. The Swarthmore players, not wishing to win a title that they hadn't earned, immediately came to us and told us that there had been a mistake; they had played Division II last year, so they couldn't be Division II any longer. I'm sure that they weren't the only team to assume that NAQT Division II and ACF Division II were related. If teams that are ostensibly competing for a title aren't even aware that they qualify, what's the point of having that title at all?

This isn't to say that the Division II classification should be eliminated, but it should be renamed to reflect that it is an award for underclassmen without any relationship to the NAQT classification. If, for example, qualifying teams were designated as "F/S" rather than "D2", there would be significantly less confusion for everyone.
Naveed Chowdhury
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Georgia Tech '17

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Re: ACF should rename its "Division II" classification

Post by a bird » Thu May 03, 2018 1:34 pm

I think this topic deserves more discussion. While I think it's important to recognize and reward less experienced players and teams at ACF events, the current setup can be quite confusing for the reasons Naveed pointed out.

Beyond this confusion, it might worth discussing the purpose of D2 at ACF Nationals. The number of D2 teams in the field has been relatively small in recent years. This year things were more extreme, with only one D2 team in the whole field. (I guess a second team D2 was registered but had to drop.)
Graham Reid
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Re: ACF should rename its "Division II" classification

Post by jmarvin_ » Thu May 03, 2018 2:06 pm

This year's ACF Nats should really be all anyone needs to see that ACF "Division II" is not a very useful category in its present state (congrats to Harvard B!). Having a second division could afford the opportunity to give novice players something to compete for, to give room for success to underpowered or disadvantaged schools (say, schools with no longstanding club or historical quizbowl presence). Making it a category for young players turns it into "may the best high school player win," in a similar way to what NAQT's division rules practically end up doing (not to mention the redshirting problems it causes). We should really try to rethink how we can effectively use a division structure in quizbowl so we don't end up stagnant with the current "high school reunion" situation when so much potential is available.
john marvin
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Re: ACF should rename its "Division II" classification

Post by BulldogBuzzers » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:41 am

As someone new to the community, I've wondered why a promotion/relegation format commonly used in outside-the-US football isn't more often suggested for both college and state high school quiz bowl annual championships. Given the wide variety of resources and traditional interest in quiz bowl across schools, a promotion/relegation system would seem ideal for allowing newer-to-quiz-bowl schools to have an opportunity at awards/hardware and a goal to push their school to a higher division.
Todd Gunther
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Re: ACF should rename its "Division II" classification

Post by Milhouse » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:36 am

I think that a strict promotion/relegation system hasn't been proposed for collegiate quizbowl events (I can't speak with nearly as much confidence about high school) because
1: There hasn't been a tradition in the collegiate circuit of preventing teams from competing in non-novice events; even ACF Nationals only started requiring qualification a few years ago.
2: Such a system would necessarily lag behind the actual makeup of a team and result in people playing tournaments inappropriate for them if a strong freshman or graduate student joins the team, or if most of the team's scoring graduates.
3: There would be difficulty in accounting for schools whose teams have fluid rosters (whose ranking is affected if a school's team has two members of the normal "A" team and two from the "B" ?)
4: It would be somewhat difficult to track statistics for every school in quizbowl, and no organization seems to have the spare resources or inclination to do it. This could be under the purview of the proposed scheduling committee, but not necessarily, especially considering the other arguments against it.
Eric Wolfsberg
Bethlehem Central High School 2016
University of Delaware 2020
Writer, NAQT

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