Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

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Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:46 pm

Novice tournaments can be a very valuable tool for outreach (one of my current teammates was first motivated to study seriously by a positive experience at a novice tournament, in fact). This is why it is crucial that players playing novice tournaments are all players that can seriously benefit from the experience of playing QB in a less competitive environment than other tournaments. To that end, eligibility restrictions on novice tournament players should be significantly more strictly enforced, given that the current "honor system" attitude that prevails toward those restrictions is very much not working. Last year, Chicago's collegiate novice event was won by a team that brought a strong high school player. This year, it was won by a team that brought a slightly modified iteration of their normal A-team lineup. This year's Georgia mirror featured a final between Georgia's full A team and a Georgia Tech team with the lead scorer of a top-15 high school team (by Morlan ranking). Calling out the members of those teams is not my objective here, given that there are kerfuffles about eligibility at nearly every collegiate novice site and that is, in fact, central to my point. It is fair to say that these are people who do not need the help that a collegiate novice event affords to get hooked on QB. When eligibility restrictions are not set and made clear, more truly "novice" teams are not afforded a valuable chance to develop. Eric Xu's guidelines are an excellent starting point for this, but even these can only do so much good when they are not actually implemented.

TL;DR: Make eligibility restrictions for your collegiate novice event clear and enforce them. The honor system isn't good enough.
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:50 pm

NAQT implementing its own eligibility restrictions would be good, but in the absence of those hosts need to step in.
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by 1.82 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:00 pm

This is an important point made well. As I mentioned in a Facebook comment today, it's useful to think of eligibility rules not just as a punitive measure, but as a tool to help clubs understand which players are of an appropriate level of experience to be playing the set. The lack of clarity in this regard has been a real issue since IS-C sets were first introduced. When players with serious quizbowl experience dominate novice tournaments, it doesn't help the winners or the losers of the tournament, and codifying (and following through on) universal norms will go a long way to fixing this problem.

For reference, the suggested eligibility rules that Jakob referred to:
Beevor Feevor wrote:
Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:45 pm
1.All ACF eligibility rules apply, except when they contradict the rules below.
2.This is a tournament for introducing collegiate novices to quizbowl. Consequently, no high school teams or players are eligible.
3. Anyone (who does not break Rules 1 or 2) who has never played quizbowl before is automatically eligible. Other academic competition does not count as quizbowl for this rule.
4. Players meeting one or more of the following criteria must apply to the head editor for special permission to play:
If you have already completed your second year of college (calculated from time in college, not credits). Time in a post-secondary high school program does not count.
(i) If you have ever finished in the top 20 in scoring at PACE NSC or top 35 in scoring at NAQT HSNCT, or played on a team that finished in the top 16 at NSC or t-21 at HSNCT.
(ii) If you ever lead a team in scoring that made it beyond the first round of the HSNCT playoffs, or lead a team in scoring that made the top playoff bracket of NSC [the last two years, this has been the top 24 teams].
(iii) If you have ever scored at least 30 points per game at any college tournament.
(iv) If you have ever won any college tournament.
5. Anyone who does not fall into any of the four categories listed in Rule 4 is automatically eligible to play.
Last edited by 1.82 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by ryanrosenberg » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:09 pm

I'd suggest that "scored over 100 points per game at any high school tournament using standard scoring" should be added to that list of criteria.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:22 pm

Geriatric trauma wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:09 pm
I'd suggest that "scored over 100 points per game at any high school tournament using standard scoring" should be added to that list of criteria.
I agree
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:38 pm

To be clear, in 2017 UChicago did implement the eligibility requirements you mention (which I think are originally ACF novice eligibility rules). The fact that a strong high school player played the tournament indicates perhaps an oversight in those requirements (which Ryan's proposal addresses to some degree).

I do wonder what the expectations on the hosts are, however. Last year, I believe we sent out the eligibility rules to the teams and mostly relied on them to enforce the rules. Are hosts required to search every player on rosters in the hsqb database and on naqt, or can attending teams be relied upon to follow the rules? I was a very active college player last year, but I didn't know much beyond the basics about high school players from the previous year, so I expect other TDs also might not necessarily know ineligible players by name.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by vinteuil » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:26 pm

Emperor Pupienus wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:38 pm

I do wonder what the expectations on the hosts are, however. Last year, I believe we sent out the eligibility rules to the teams and mostly relied on them to enforce the rules. Are hosts required to search every player on rosters in the hsqb database and on naqt, or can attending teams be relied upon to follow the rules? I was a very active college player last year, but I didn't know much beyond the basics about high school players from the previous year, so I expect other TDs also might not necessarily know ineligible players by name.
Presumably the same expectations as for any eligibility requirements? Imagine if you were hosting and found out that a player was not enrolled—you'd invalidate that team's wins so far and ensure that they played no more games with that lineup.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by the return of AHAN » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:10 am

I know nothing about the college circuit, but, is it common for players to play a novice tournament more than once? I attended a HS novice tournament yesterday where my son's team was competitive, overall, but the top playoff bracket was dominated by sophomores who were playing novice for the 2nd fall in a row, but they were eligible by the letter of the law since they hadn't played 40 games on a varsity A team.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by thebluehawk1 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:37 pm

I am hoping that the reason people aren't following the eligibility rules is simply out of ignorance and not out of actual malice. While a host might clearly enumerate eligibility rules and send them out to teams, it is quite possible that the teams are simply not reading or understanding them. I think Jason's point is pretty important, we don't want to add a bunch of extra work to being a host. Also finding out after the fact that someone broke eligibility rules might serve as a decent deterrent, but if rules were broken simply by accident, then neither the people effected or the person who broke the rules is going to want to come back. Lets keep in mind most people breaking these rules are probably going to be first year college students, who have limited to know experience signing themselves up for tournaments.

Perhaps a way to combat this is for hosts to have a google from when people sign up which requires the team signing up to put in their roster and verify that each meets the requirements.

I can see one problem being that its hard to know what our novice teams rosters will be with much advanced notice. This year it rained during our school's normal first look fair so it was pushed back a week, and our time table for getting novices signed up got totally thrown off. So we signed teams up before we knew who could come. This seems like a problem that could be fixed however.

Now people being deliberate bad actors is a very different story. Their results should certainly be vacated, and they should probably be called out.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Progcon » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm

Jakob, Naveed and others are entirely correct. I think hosts should have the right to ask for lineups of teams ahead of time for novice and should be able to ask why a certain experienced player is playing. I never played Collegiate Novice because the rules set up by the forward-thinking University of Michigan TD team said that I was unable to play my freshman year. However, several of these players dominating the set this year were substantially better than I was in high school.

Both hosts and NAQT need to step up and prevent this kind of stuff and I agree that a narrow list of criteria involving just PACE and HSNCT stats may miss certain players. If collegiate novice is about introducing people to quizbowl with limited experience with the game, then the players who play the tournament should actually, you know, have limited experience. In chess, it is my understanding that there are tournaments, say, for players with Elo of 1000-1500, 1500-1700, etc. Know how strong the people playing your tournament are.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:51 pm

Progcon wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm
Jakob, Naveed and others are entirely correct. I think hosts should have the right to ask for lineups of teams ahead of time for novice and should be able to ask why a certain experienced player is playing. I never played Collegiate Novice because the rules set up by the forward-thinking University of Michigan TD team said that I was unable to play my freshman year. However, several of these players dominating the set this year were substantially better than I was in high school.

Both hosts and NAQT need to step up and prevent this kind of stuff and I agree that a narrow list of criteria involving just PACE and HSNCT stats may miss certain players. If collegiate novice is about introducing people to quizbowl with limited experience with the game, then the players who play the tournament should actually, you know, have limited experience. In chess, it is my understanding that there are tournaments, say, for players with Elo of 1000-1500, 1500-1700, etc. Know how strong the people playing your tournament are.
Harris, what criteria are you suggesting people use? if the criteria involving just PACE and HSNCT stats may miss certain players (which certainly may be true), what do you think we should incorporate? Hosts are unlikely to actually know "how strong" the people playing your tournament are, and unless we're setting clear criteria, then individual hosts will decide (somewhat arbitrarily) what counts as too strong for a novice tournament. I agree that we should try to limit Collegiate Novice to relatively new players, but we should have real criteria--and I do agree that every host (with few exceptions) should enforce such rules. Do people think we should add anything beyond Ryan's proposed 100+ ppg at any high school tournament?
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Progcon » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:17 pm

Emperor Pupienus wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:51 pm

Harris, what criteria are you suggesting people use? if the criteria involving just PACE and HSNCT stats may miss certain players (which certainly may be true), what do you think we should incorporate? Hosts are unlikely to actually know "how strong" the people playing your tournament are, and unless we're setting clear criteria, then individual hosts will decide (somewhat arbitrarily) what counts as too strong for a novice tournament. I agree that we should try to limit Collegiate Novice to relatively new players, but we should have real criteria--and I do agree that every host (with few exceptions) should enforce such rules. Do people think we should add anything beyond Ryan's proposed 100+ ppg at any high school tournament?
I agree that we need objective criteria but I do think the hosts should have the right to to ask "is this person really a novice?" if a certain player does not meet the criteria. I think Eric Xu's list is a good starting point with the addition of a 100 ppg rule and I would add something about collegiate experience besides "30 ppg." As Jakob points out, many of the players who won the Chicago Collegiate Novice site play on their university's A team and did so last year. This seems sub-optimal even if the team in question is not elite. Perhaps a lower standard than 30 ppg would be warranted. The difference between a regular difficulty college set and collegiate novice is huge in my opinion.

We can quibble over the nuances of the eligibility requirements, but I think we both can agree that there should be some standards shared throughout the community for this particular event. I would personally like to see NAQT weigh in as well so next year the entire community knows that there are shared standards for what constitutes a collegiate novice. I agree with the others who have mentioned that the teams that send players who aren't actual novices are not doing it maliciously. They are doing so because the rules are not clear.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by matthewspatrick » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:04 am

An Economic Ignoramus wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:50 pm
NAQT implementing its own eligibility restrictions would be good, but in the absence of those hosts need to step in.
Given that NAQT does not run any collegiate novice events at present, and does not use collegiate novice tournament performance for ICT entry tiers, I'd argue that they should more or less stay out of the details of whom should be eligible to play at such events.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by matthewspatrick » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:08 am

Progcon wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm
Both hosts and NAQT need to step up and prevent this kind of stuff and I agree that a narrow list of criteria involving just PACE and HSNCT stats may miss certain players.
What, exactly, would you expect NAQT to do to "step up and prevent this kind of stuff"? Beyond a pointed reminder to hosts that novice sets are geared toward novices, that is?
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:28 am

It might be a good idea for NAQT to publish some sort of "recommended eligibility policy," with final judgement calls left up to the host.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:45 pm

Progcon wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm
In chess, it is my understanding that there are tournaments, say, for players with Elo of 1000-1500, 1500-1700, etc. Know how strong the people playing your tournament are.
Chess has reduced "how good a player is" to a simple number, and made this number trivially easy to look up in an authoritative database. Has quizbowl?
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:30 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:45 pm
Progcon wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm
In chess, it is my understanding that there are tournaments, say, for players with Elo of 1000-1500, 1500-1700, etc. Know how strong the people playing your tournament are.
Chess has reduced "how good a player is" to a simple number, and made this number trivially easy to look up in an authoritative database. Has quizbowl?
Unfortunately, Elo ratings are based on wins/losses/draws in head-to-head games. The fact that quizbowl is played on teams makes it much harder to measure the strength of individual players. Furthermore, Elo's system relies on the assumption that skill can be explained by a single variable, which is rendered invalid by the existence of categories, specialists, and generalists. Perhaps some sort of category-specific Elo analogue would be feasible if every tournament used advanced stats, but this could take years to happen (especially at the high school level).
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:34 pm

A Very Long Math Tossup wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:30 pm
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:45 pm
Progcon wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm
In chess, it is my understanding that there are tournaments, say, for players with Elo of 1000-1500, 1500-1700, etc. Know how strong the people playing your tournament are.
Chess has reduced "how good a player is" to a simple number, and made this number trivially easy to look up in an authoritative database. Has quizbowl?
Unfortunately, Elo ratings are based on wins/losses/draws in head-to-head games. The fact that quizbowl is played on teams makes it much harder to measure the strength of individual players. Furthermore, Elo's system relies on the assumption that skill can be explained by a single variable, which is rendered invalid by the existence of categories, specialists, and generalists. Perhaps some sort of category-specific Elo analogue would be feasible if every tournament used advanced stats, but this could take years to happen (especially at the high school level).
We do have PPG, PPB, and placement at national tournaments, all of which should, if combined, be a perfectly reasonable way of determining eligibility.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by ezubaric » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:56 pm

If we had the requisite data at a tossup level, we could do a pretty good job of estimating it:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.05559

(And we could probably find something more interpretable than these MoE weights.)
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Progcon » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:10 pm

Discussion of whether we can narrow down quizbowl skill to one statistic is completely ignoring the problem Jakob has raised in this thread. We don't want 100 ppg high school superstars or experienced collegiate players platying in novice tournaments, and if we have to use multiple criteria to determine who is eligible that is perfectly okay! PPG, team PPB, experience at high school nationals, etc. are all fine proxies for quizbowl skill.

What we want, and I would argue need, is a set standards used at collegiate novice tournaments throughout the circuit. Quibbling about whether a certain set of statistics minimizes the Mean Squared Error in a classification problem of identifying true novices or whatever is nothing more than intellectualizing a problem that is both elementary and has not been addressed despite years of insistence. If NAQT chooses not to have a set of guidelines for their novice set, that is their prerogative, but I think the quizbowl community should share some standards that hosts should use as a baseline. If a host want to be more restrictive or they need to have looser restrictions to have a healthy field, then I suppose that could be allowed under certain circumstances.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Cheynem » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:15 pm

I don't host tournaments, but I think putting in pretty stringent restrictions that can be loosened if needed makes more sense to me. I would say something like "anyone who has not played a college quizbowl tournament or something like five HS tournaments/met the scoring/skill standards listed above is automatically eligible; everyone else must apply." To be clear, I think at some locations a lot of exemptions could be given out, but my preference would be to try to dissuade people who have any degree of experience from playing--this is because *everyone* tends to underrate their own playing skills, especially at this level.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:13 am

Progcon wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:10 pm
Discussion of whether we can narrow down quizbowl skill to one statistic is completely ignoring the problem Jakob has raised in this thread. We don't want 100 ppg high school superstars or experienced collegiate players platying in novice tournaments, and if we have to use multiple criteria to determine who is eligible that is perfectly okay! PPG, team PPB, experience at high school nationals, etc. are all fine proxies for quizbowl skill.

What we want, and I would argue need, is a set standards used at collegiate novice tournaments throughout the circuit. Quibbling about whether a certain set of statistics minimizes the Mean Squared Error in a classification problem of identifying true novices or whatever is nothing more than intellectualizing a problem that is both elementary and has not been addressed despite years of insistence. If NAQT chooses not to have a set of guidelines for their novice set, that is their prerogative, but I think the quizbowl community should share some standards that hosts should use as a baseline. If a host want to be more restrictive or they need to have looser restrictions to have a healthy field, then I suppose that could be allowed under certain circumstances.
Yeah nobody disputes that quizbowl prodigies shouldn't be playing novice tournaments, I just wanted to say "hey, by saying that it's the duty of a novice tournament TD to check team rosters for ineligible players, you are asking TDs to do a lot of work and because data is in so many different places they might get it wrong sometimes". And this doesn't even get into the possibility that multiple high school players have the same name, that people played in high school as a pseudonym, etc.

I guess I'd be more sympathetic to you if you were like "OK, TD's, I know I'm asking you to do a lot of work, here are some tips on how you could effectively do that" rather than "do this fucking thing, TD's!"
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by 1.82 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:09 am

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:13 am
Yeah nobody disputes that quizbowl prodigies shouldn't be playing novice tournaments, I just wanted to say "hey, by saying that it's the duty of a novice tournament TD to check team rosters for ineligible players, you are asking TDs to do a lot of work and because data is in so many different places they might get it wrong sometimes". And this doesn't even get into the possibility that multiple high school players have the same name, that people played in high school as a pseudonym, etc.

I guess I'd be more sympathetic to you if you were like "OK, TD's, I know I'm asking you to do a lot of work, here are some tips on how you could effectively do that" rather than "do this fucking thing, TD's!"
As Jacob points out, nobody is "saying that it's the duty of a novice tournament TD to check team rosters for ineligible players," and I'm mystified as to where you drew that conclusion. Eligibility rules are not a new concept; just because people who are not enrolled in school are ineligible to play regular season tournaments does not mean that the TD has to verify that all contestants are actually enrolled in school. The burden of verifying eligibility is on the team. If the tournament director has reason to suspect that a player is not eligible, then the TD can investigate further, but teams are responsible for obeying the posted eligibility rules.
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Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Post by Victor Prieto » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:35 am

1.82 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:09 am
...just because people who are not enrolled in school are ineligible to play regular season tournaments does not mean that the TD has to verify that all contestants are actually enrolled in school. The burden of verifying eligibility is on the team. If the tournament director has reason to suspect that a player is not eligible, then the TD can investigate further, but teams are responsible for obeying the posted eligibility rules.
This is 100% correct. The only thing that I would add that it is required of TD's to make every effort to make teams aware of eligibility rules early on (especially for newer teams unplugged from the circuit). TD's do not need to meticulously check every player to make sure they followed the eligibility rules.
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