RyuAqua wrote:I disagree that this is a primary or even secondary reason why teams aren't showing up as often, since it's a thing that happens so much more rarely now than in the past. Rather, I think (as I've said elsewhere) that a lack of outreach to It's Ac-focused teams and middling teams is the main reason why they literally don't know pyramidal tournaments exist.
While Fred correctly points out that there has been no unbiased survey (and if we're going to properly analyze the reasons teams do not enter tournaments we really need to do such a thing), I'm also not making this up from my general feelings. Other coaches tell me that being beaten badly and consistently demoralizes their team and this is one of the reasons they leave early or do not enter tournaments.
Nonetheless, I cannot stress enough that advertising tournaments on this board is not sufficient to properly inform the quizbowl community as a whole. You're exactly correct that more teams need to know about the tournaments if we're going to expect them to attend.
RyuAqua wrote:If a losing team doesn't get a single tossup in a game, and their opponents get all possible points, they can still listen to, write down, or remember every early clue and single bonus part the opposing team hears. That serves plenty of need, and is a lot to learn. Furthermore, it's empirically the case that while some people get despondent at huge losses, others get inspired to become stronger than the thing that killed them -- just talk to Max Schindler, or Matt Bollinger, and they'll say as much about themselves.
Certainly the players can do this. But most of them won't. And that's the reason why you and the others you mentioned are among the best in the country-- you want to be very good. The majority of players, however, don't share this drive to be the best. And it's also not the case that learning the hard clue is the best method of learning for all players. Some players need to work on the middle and late clues. While I'm certainly not arguing that players at your level shouldn't be rewarded with the ability to play more tournaments, it's also the case that if we don't continue to do things to reverse the trend of fewer teams attending tournaments, we're going to have fewer and fewer great teams as those that die off aren't replaced with up-and-comers. A significant number of players need to be able to learn things just from hearing and playing on the questions.
The Hub (Gainesville, Florida) wrote:Are teams really not going to tournaments because they have to play teams better than them? I hope not, because that's a bad reason. But if so, I think that says more about their lack of committment to get better than it says about those big, bad tournament directors who won't let them play in the kiddie pool so they won't get their feelings hurt.
Look, if someone wants to run a tournament with only one division, that's okay. I don't think anyone in this thread has implied that tournament directors are evil if they only want one division. And you're also right it says more about the teams than the director. And that's also what I'm saying. If we don't consider the teams, they may not consider our tournament.
Matt Weiner wrote:
sir negsalot wrote:There are numerous instances of teams attending once and never again. Isn't that proof that some aspect of a tournament was unsatisfactory to them?
Also, as one of the best high school quizbowlers of all time, isn't your perspective of quizbowl far different than a team of weaker players?
Moderator note: telling someone their opinions are invalid because of their level of quizbowl skill, in any direction, is an avoisive technique that doesn't address the substance of the discussion.
I can't speak for Daniel's intent, but I think it's at least somewhat important to realize that players' opinions and preferences on the topic may at least in some way be correlated to the players' skill levels. For the record, I don't think this makes Matt's opinions invalid or even less important than others. At the same time, if we don't make sure we consider the variety of opinions from the variety of skill levels, what we're really doing is continuing part of the disconnect that has already developed between the top couple tiers and the rest of the teams.
RyuAqua wrote:...creating a permanent wall of separation between divisions as the norm will disincentivize all teams in the middle from improving as much as they can, since after all the rules stipulate that their division won't qualify anyone, ever.
I don't think I'd ever recommend a permanent wall. While I'm sure there are going to be a couple outlying coaches who try to put their team in a division lower than they belong to give them a better chance of winning, I think the vast majority of coaches will choose the most appropriate division for their team the vast majority of the time. And I think this can vary from tournament to tournament depending on the teams entered and the players on the team in question on a given day. I do not dispute the philosophy that playing better teams will make you better. If my team were to demonstrate they were near the top of a division, that's a sign it's time for them to move up.
RyuAqua wrote:All of those goals which good quizbowl rewards (knowledge, learning, thinking) are best served when every competitor in the field is best able to give its chance at showing its knowledge, learning, and thinking to a representative sample of all skill levels in that field.
I'd need some substantial argument to believe this is true. While I've had teams where this was an excellent approach, I've had others where this made them want to quit pyramidal.
RyuAqua wrote:I preferred this at least as early as GSAC 2007, when I and my teammates on GDS B made a strong showing to become 16th-seed in the playoffs. If there had been divisions (like there were at my first tournament in March 2007, Patriot Games), that chance never would have occurred, I wouldn't have seen Dorman A for at least three more months, and I'm unsure if I'd take the chance to overcome my fear of them.
I know you don't mean it this way, but not only is this is an excellent example of what makes you a great player, it also illustrates how great you were even as a freshman. In my opinion, a finish like this indicates the team belongs in the upper division. To place 16th in the preliminaries at GSAC, I think puts the team at the second-tier level, which is significantly above middle-level teams. So I don't think, as a coach, I would have entered that team in the lower division at any tournament after I figured out this was a second-tier team.
nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:More differentiation in terms of both brackets and question sets used at tournaments is super needed, especially in areas like DC ... but probably almost everywhere where the average number of teams at a tournament is over 15.
I agree that both these things will have the effect of making tournaments better able to better serve the individual needs of teams, but we're also in a situation where good questions are hard to come by. So I'm not sure we're in a position to have separate question sets for separate divisions. My team played January 7 on horrible questions which were purchased from an outside vendor whom I won't bother to name. They also played January 14 on a set from a well-reputed vendor. Having moderated at the second tournament, it was clear to me that the question set was completed too late for proper editing-- some material was repeated and some questions didn't make any sense; it was necessary in several instances to read through the question silently a couple times to figure out what wording needed to be added/removed/modified. Nonetheless, the questions at the second tournament were largely very good. The clues were ordered well and questions were factually correct.