Ringil wrote:Although we realize that we could probably earn more money by writing an easier tournament and market it to more regions, we believe there is some some demand.
Really? This thread indicates people would be happier with one hard event (MO) and two pure regular or regular plus epsilon events (Pennance and the Michigan tournament).
I notice that the two packet-submission events - ACF Fall and MO - are scheduled two weeks apart, and both are outside regular difficulty. As I recall, last year's fall schedule was criticized for having no packet-sub regular tournaments. Yet it seems Penn and Michigan are pushing for housewrites. Housewrites are all well and good, and they do improve your team very well as both players and writers, but if everyone jumps on that bandwagon in the hopes of a.) training a group of younger writers and/or b.) writing on answers you like, then there are no regular packet-sub tournaments and people complain. So if we have two regular tournaments in the fall, should it be one housewrite and one packet sub?
Perhaps it would make sense to move the Michigan event to earlier in the fall and make it packet sub?, That way, teams don't get exhausted from writing 3 packets over 4 weeks in November (you know it's going to happen).
Also, I'd like to take a look at the novice tourney schedule from a historical perspective. During my freshman year, EFT was the first tournament of the season. Its ostensible goal was to start off the year with an event targeted to new teams and/or freshmen. It was usually held on the first weekend of October, leaving a void of untapped time in September. Then ACF fall was held the first week of November, for a total of 2 easier events in the fall. But whereas EFT always skewed harder than advertised, Collegiate Novice has always kept the difficulty to an appropriate level, and I think the shorter format works better for introducing new teams. But now, in addition to Novice and Fall, we have Delta Burke. So, what's happened? Has collegiate novice successfully filled the gap left by EFT? Or is it so easy and short that we need the 13-round Delta Burke to compensate? I'm leaning towards the former.
Also, I think the current schedule discards the collaboration ethic. Is it really that necessary for Penn to write Penn-ance by themselves, or Michigan to write their tournament by themselves? I know teams want to train their players across all areas of the distribution, but if that's your goal, the Nash equilibrium is for every team to solo housewrite every tournament. Fortunately, quizbowl hasn't fallen for that trap... yet.
Ringil wrote:I'd like to ask though, how come consistently in the Winter, there are around 1-2 tournaments, not counting Nats, that are more difficult than regular,
Probably because it's that much closer to Nats.
theMoMA wrote: General Principle 1.) sensible progression in difficulty throughout the year.
Maybe I'm getting confused by the way people are describing the seasons. The "Spring" quizbowl schedule, if we define spring as the period from March 20 -June 21, is really just the two nationals plus MUT. So if we want to have a hard tournament leading up to nats, it needs to take place during the Winter.
Finally, one other point about 'regular difficulty.' I get the sense that there is a collective fear of writing regular difficulty tournaments that are even a sliver easier than regionals. I know the feeling; when I write questions I sometimes throw in too many hard answers, because I'm more afraid that too many easy answers for a regular difficulty tournament would imply that I don't know as much as the next guy, or that all my knowledge is stock. It's probably something we all need to work on. Suppose I pull out a random packet from regionals 2012, look at the tossups, and say to myself: these 3 could have been submitted to Fall, those 2 could have been submitted to BARGE or Nats, and the remaining 15 are exactly what I would expect from a regular difficulty tournament. Now suppose I write a packet for Penn Bowl 20xx and find 5 tossups that could have flown at fall, none that I could expect to see at Nats, and again 15 that are exactly what I would expect for a regular tournament. As I'm writing this post, something does not sit right with me about that second packet. But I think my fears are unfounded. So what if your tournament is slightly easier than regionals in terms of tossup and bonus conversion or early buzzes? Provided regionals itself doesn't get too easy, there's nothing wrong with that! Is there? There's no reason for us to end up with a difficulty spectrum like this (I exaggerate, but it gets the point across):
Regular tournament 1 and 2
Reguar tournament 3