2017 ICT bids

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heterodyne
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:50 pm

Adelaide Glaciarium wrote:
heterodyne wrote:
Really?!?! A recent survey by Ike Analytics found that 69% of QBers find JL and Max to be the second-best shipping. I've commissioned Andrew Wang to start working on the dojinshi! See ya later!
Also, the fact that you think (JL and Max are shipped => JL=Max) implies some uh, rather worrying things about how you think relationships work.
The fact that you think Ike was being serious with that statement implies some uh, rather worrying things about your sense of humor.
in an unfortunate petard-hoisting, you have failed to realize that Ike and I are friends and I was also, in fact, joking
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:04 pm

11 Theses on the ICT Qualification System

1) The primary problem in this case is that quizbowl demand is outstripping quizbowl supply. A larger field would render most of these complaints moot for the time being, but in the absence of that possibility, we are instead arguing about other ways to tinker a flawed system.

2) Field expansion is a temporary solution to the problem, since the circuit is likely to expand in the future, unless NAQT chooses to expand the field every time this happens. We must discuss radical changes to deal with the potential failure of the current qualification system, and these changes may not be immediately desirable for much of the community. I believe the D2 ICT qualification process is a good sign of a future where it becomes very difficult to qualify for ICT, which will only be magnified by the higher numbers of D1 autobids.

3) Teams who receive invitations to ICT are under no responsibility to decline them if they are not one of the top 32 teams. ICT has never been composed of the best 32 teams. It may be worth moving towards such a system, but it will require clearly defined standards on automatic bids, hosting/editorial bids, wildcard bids, and at-large bids. The community will have to define and accept which types of bids should not be given to teams who would qualify under the current system, and define how to select teams who would not have qualified under the current system. This will also require an objective measurement system, but the D-value is a flawed metric and should be improved.

4) Teams who accept host bids to ICT are doing so with an understanding between all parties about the quality of the team accepting the bid. NAQT accepts that teams from outside the top 32 will earn a bid to ICT in this way. This is fundamentally different than team-splitting, wherein a fictional team competes in place of another team which will be using the bid. Nobody believes that Will Nediger and Charlie Dees are going to be playing on B teams at ICT. This does not mean that team-splitters should necessarily be hectored for legally gaming the system, but we are talking about absolutely different scenarios.

5) It is completely acceptable to say that some teams left out of ICT are better than teams actually playing it. The arguments here have advanced towards suggesting that some teams should not accept bids to ICT to make way for others. I believe these arguments will shift based on the situations people find themselves in; individual complaints or defenses of the system depend at least partially on who is currently benefiting from or being harmed by the system.

6) For several years the community has thrown around the term STAQ (Shitty Team Autobid Quicksand) to derisively refer to teams who do not “deserve” to attend ICT. This was borne out of frustration at quality teams missing ICT, but is also rooted in the quizbowl cultural tradition of demeaning teams based on perceptions of skill. People like to demean other teams because it makes them feel good and smart. Sometimes they even do so based on assumptions rather than facts. Some of the more questionable posts in this thread seem to be based in the same quizbowl cultural traditions.

7) It is unhealthy to make fun of other teams for their quizbowl stats, and doing so to prove a point is far more objectionable than accepting an earned bid to ICT regardless of skill. Doing this while demanding teams drop from the ICT field is no longer attached to opinions about who should be in the field, but is an attempt to bully teams out of the field to get your way. This is no more against the rules than gaming the qualification system, but certainly makes people look like jerks. Bullying other teams to get your way is not the appropriate response, even though the situation is dire and teams are right to feel upset about potentially missing ICT.

8) WKU, Virginia B, Columbia B, Youngstown State, Carleton, and UCF have been called out so far by McGill and Chicago players hoping those teams will decline bids so they can attend. Some of the aforementioned teams may perform as well as Amherst, Georgia Tech, or UCSD at ICT. We can also include Louisville in the latter group since our SCT roster (which should be supplemented with Kurtis at ICT) earned a bid. Should we all decline bids too? Why haven’t there been public discussions of our stats? I suspect that B teams and teams that don’t post on HSQB are more vulnerable to criticism, which bothers me (even if I’m benefitting from it right now).

9) The WKU team at both Penn Bowl and SCT was incomplete. I fully expect their ICT team to perform better. Posting their incomplete stats derisively, and dismissing indications that maybe they aren’t quite as bad as those stats indicate, is an attempt to stretch the facts in an effort to bully a specific team that I happen to be the founder of. The behavior exhibited by McGill and Chicago makes me really question whether the people making those arguments are willing to maintain a cordial and friendly relationship with other people in the community. I know feelings are hurt (including my own!) but there is absolutely a more respectful argument that Chicago B is better than WKU. Nobody is required to make a respectful argument, but I am pleading with everybody on a personal level to try and do so.

10) There has been considerably less outcry about D2 ICT, but the same complaints as seen in this thread are applicable there. I believe there has been less attention because the loudest voices in the quizbowl community are less directly affected by D2 ICT. To put it bluntly, I don’t remember anybody posting the stats of bid recipients last year in comparison with waitlisted teams like Louisville B. I have no problem with this, but really hope we have not set a precedent where every year the post-SCT threads are filled with posters calling out teams they don't think are deserving.

11) If the community agreed that field expansion is an ideal solution, how might we force NAQT to achieve that goal? Would NAQT simply end its’ collegiate quizbowl program if teams did something so drastic as to boycott it? I wonder whether or collective will to change the system is as strong as our will to argue about it. We know the problem is primarily with the system. Directing our ire towards NAQT is the only way to communicate that change is necessary.
Nick Conder
Louisville, KY

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Everything in the Whole Wide World » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:11 pm

A thought from the peanut gallery: ideally, any national championship should include both every team that can make the top bracket, as well as every team capable of upsetting a team who could make the top bracket. This would make sure that all potential matchups which could determine the national champion is able to affect the course of the tournament (of course granting sometimes good teams decline bids for other reasons). Historically, this has been something like the top 20-25 teams. Efforts to reform ICT should be directed at ensuring that this number of teams are always offered a bid, with the rest of the field, however large it is, being a place where we can be open to things like geographic diversity and such.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cody » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:57 pm

Beevor Feevor wrote:We host almost exclusively NAQT tournaments here at UVa, and are obviously jeopardizing that relationship somewhat by saying this, but it doesn't seem fair to me that that has to happen.
NAQT is a very professional company; I host many NAQT tournaments & staff many of their tournaments despite being a vocal critic of some of their collegiate policies.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:25 pm

OK, lest my motives or general positions continue to be slightly misconstrued, I’m making a big post outlining what I think the major issues being debated in this thread are and my positions on them. Hopefully this helps shape discussion into something more than a bunch of hilarious snipes.
  • 0. The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent the board staff, the Chicago quizbowl cabal*, or any other organizations I’m affiliated with.

    I don’t think this needs significant explanation. It should be noted that I haven’t seen John since yesterday evening, so we’re definitely different people, and haven’t been exchanging messages while writing our posts. Alston and I have only been communicating via memes, so I don’t think there’s much cabal there either. I don't want anyone to think I feel I have the authority to make any of these claims or that my arguments are representative of the monolithic entity Quiz Bowl because my name is currently red; everyone can probably attest I've been making lengthy, angry posts since long before that.

    Let me add the additional caveat that I don’t hate anyone I talk about in this post, and if I mention your team by name it’s not because I have a grudge against you.
  • 1.NAQT did a horrible job awarding bids, from which this entire fiasco springs.

    Not a particularly controversial opinion, and I think the reasons why this is the case have been pretty well-documented throughout the thread. I haven’t addressed it because pretty much everyone else is, and I didn’t have anything new to contribute on this subject. I’ve been ragging on NAQT’s handling of SCT/ICT-related issues and their lack of transparency/response to customer feedback both privately and publicly for years now, so I thought my position on them was well known. Like every other SCT/ICT thread, one of the ultimate conclusions should be that something definitely needs to change over there; I don't know enough about their internal workings to say what.
  • 2. 32 teams isn’t an unreasonable size for nationals.

    Only 79 teams played D1 this year; if you throw in even 2 teams worth of hosts staffing each site, that’s just over 100 teams total. I don’t think it’s ipso facto absurd for nearly a third of all teams attempting to qualify to play nationals, even if demand is high. This is comparable to the ratio of teams who played ACF regionals last year who made ACF Nats. ICT attempts to rank the top N teams; ways to increase N include both lengthening the tournament and ensuring better teams qualify. If increasing N is a priority, then the cheapest way to do so is to significantly improve bid allocation.
  • 3. If demand is significantly higher than supply for ICT bids, then we are going to have to face some trade-offs when deciding who should get them.

    It’s important to discuss what the community thinks of them, as it seems everyone has wildly different opinions.
    It’s a simple mathematical argument that, given a list of priorities, stats from events over the past k tournaments (with the k=1 case, those from that year’s SCT, being the most important), and other mitigating factors (such as someone hosting a tournament or a team missing a player), there is a maximally optimal set of 32 teams to have at ICT. Once we know what these priorities are and how to weight the other factors, we can try to compare a proposed distribution of bids to this optimal distribution. I can’t tell to what extent the disagreement is over what these priorities are, or how they should be applied. However, we should try to figure them out as a community, so we can present a unified front when demanding changes from NAQT.
  • 4. My general approach to thinking about these tradeoffs

    If we’re going to reform things by tweaking the old system, then it makes the most sense to look at the “marginal” bids being given out (since Michigan A and Maryland A are making it no matter what we do, presumably). As I explained in a lengthy hot-take on a Nick Conder Facebook thread, I think there are roughly four categories of marginal teams (ones who would make it under some qualification systems but not others):


    a) a UG team that earned their bid but has a D-value that wouldn’t qualify otherwise (e.g. Kenyon)
    b) teams that won a weak regional (e.g. Washington)
    c) a split team that "earned" their bid but is significantly worse (e.g. Maryland B, if they accept)
    d) a host autobid or two


    The marginal spots we're deciding on are going to bubble a team like Chicago B (15 in midseason poll), NYU (unranked, but finished above #17 MIT at SCT, so probably around a 20-25 team that voters omitted for whatever reason), or Missouri (22). So roughly, we're choosing between an ICT spot for the next best D-value time, which is on average the 20th best team in the country, or from a team in one of these four categories.

    If you think the UG title is a real thing, and that we need more teams from category A to round out the field for it, I think that’s reasonable. I agree with the suggestion earlier that teams qualifying via this method must field an UG-eligible lineup, otherwise there’s no argument to let them in in the first place.

    I think B is also a pretty reasonable class of teams to let in; in most cases these are teams with a D-rank in the 30s or low-40s, who went undefeated at some random site while bringing a full team and not pulling any shenanigans. One of the points of a national championship is to bring teams like these to play against the established contenders from other regions, and the D-value system isn’t perfect.

    For C & D, I think (and this is where I may disagree with many people) to a large degree the extent to which these are Bad Things depends on the skill of the team taking the spot from our hypothetical 20th best team. If it’s the 30th best team taking the spot, I think that’s very different than the 90th best team.

    To put some concrete examples out there from this year, two teams that qualified via method C were Maryland B and Michigan B. The former has not demonstrated at any tournament this year that they can hang with a nationals-level field; the latter has placed highly and put up good stats at most local tournaments which have very strong fields. While it’s slightly sketchy that Michigan split up their teams to ensure the B team got a bid, it’s quite consistent with what teams in their position have historically done, it didn’t cause a completely undeserving team to make the field, and I honestly wish I’d had the Chicago club do the same. I have no real qualms with them. On the other hand, I would very much look down at the Maryland club if their grossly-unqualified B team accepted a bid.

    Two contrasting method D teams were Stanford A and WKU. Based solely on skill and results from this year or last, Stanford A is clearly deserving to be in any ICT field, whereas WKU has not demonstrated any such thing (I don’t think – convince me with some numbers). Maybe they’ve been missing superstar players who will show up at ICT, but the burden of proof for something like that should be on them, not me or NAQT (and, that’s not the real point anyway: if you haven’t fielded an A lineup all season, why should you get the benefit of the doubt over clearly superior teams like Penn, which have regularly been among the best and just happened not to have an A lineup at SCT, where you didn’t either, since you were hosting?).

    I think overall, taking teams from categories A, B, and D is fine above some skill cutoff. I’m not sure where that skill cutoff should be (my hunch is around 50th), and I’m curious whether people who disagree with me think there should either be no such cutoff or it should be significantly lower. I think serious consideration should be given to preventing teams from qualifying unfairly via method C, but I also think the teams accepting bids who are most marginal this year got in via method D, which is why so much of this thread is rightly focused on it.
  • 5. No one has any “right” to play ICT.

    Loving the game and playing for four years of hard work shouldn’t guarantee you a spot over a team that is more deserving via one of the metrics above. If you want a vacation to Chicago, come some other time. If you want a vacation to Chicago where you play quizbowl, our club practices Mondays and Thursdays every week, and hosts 3 or 4 college tournaments a year. (Chicago Open is always expanding!). I'm not questioning your love of the game or the countless hours you've put in, but that's true of pretty much everybody.
  • 6. That said, once you have a bid, you can take it.

    Obviously. NAQT may or may not have screwed up by giving it to you, but it’s yours now and you can choose whether to use it or not. I, similarly, am entirely entitled to alter my opinion of you and your club’s character based on how you acquired it and whether or not is used. You, in turn, are entitled to not give a flying fuck about my opinion of your character, and so on. I’m certainly not advocating anyone being stripped of their bids, merely considering whether it is “right” to use them.
  • 7. The act of discussing a team’s stats is not necessarily shaming them for being bad.

    To discuss these trade-offs, we need to frankly assess the skill levels of these marginal teams. Saying something like “Virginia B is decidedly not a top 50 team” might be hurtful to Virginia B, but it is a reasonable opinion that can be supported by facts. I may have been a little blunt about it in this thread, but I’ve been similarly blunt before, and a level-headed Tracey Hickman, who realized I have absolutely nothing against the Central Oklahoma team, managed to correctly divine from the stats that I was correct with my assessment of their skill! It’s not some great evil to be outside the top 32 – only 128 quizbowlers can be inside it at a time – but this is also not a forum where people are expected to mince words to preserve feelings over facts. Nor is it because I hate you (some of my favorite people are on Chicago D/E teams that also put up low PPBs! If they got a bid to nationals I’d insist they were unworthy of taking it as well!), nor is it some elitism from one Midwestern team towards another, nor is it an in-crowd thing (before Chicagoans were the trendy evil in-group on the forums, that honor belonged to a “narrowly-defined group of Virginians”, and now UVA B is one of the teams being “attacked”).

    My posts maybe were a bit dickish and could have been phrased better, and for that I apologize (I played WKU at ICT one year, and they seemed like pretty cordial folks whom I have nothing personal against, and Eric Xu has always seemed like a Good Dude), but this is also one of the two most important tournaments of the year and one on which plenty of people expend enormous amounts of time and money; I’m not going to apologize for wanting the field for it to be as fair and high-quality as reasonably possible. We’re really discussing the merits of 5ish autobid teams vs. the next 5ish D-value teams; such a small sample size means we have the luxury to delve more deeply into each of these samples instead of abstracting out aggregate statistics that leave out a lot of nuance. Hopefully we can do this in a way that people don’t take too personally.
  • 8. Obviously, I’m pro-Chicago.

    Some of you have correctly noted that one of the reasons I’m so livid about this whole affair is that Chicago B is probably going to be bubbled out of a spot at ICT, again. Of course, the difference is that this year they have the 13th best PPB instead of the 19th – significantly better teams are being shut out this year, threatening the legitimacy of ICT as a national tournament. It may be the case that my love of James Lasker is blinding me to the facts, and there's no set of reasonable criteria by which Chicago B deserved to be in the field either year, in which case someone should help correct me of my bias.

    I don’t have much more to say on this issue, besides noting that it’s pretty absurd to have a system where you’re not inviting multiple teams who would be in the top half of the tournament; I think it’s pretty reasonable this year to question the legitimacy of ICT as a vehicle for determining the order of teams outside of the top 5 or 10 or so.
Hopefully this clarifies some things, and leads to more productive, focused debate on some of the more controversial parts of this thread.


*#tbt to the Marshall & Kay era, when we were the ones being oppressed by the cabal!

EDIT: I see Nick posted something similarly long while I was writing this; hopefully my post makes it clear what my thoughts are on a lot of the issues he raises (such as, e.g., why I’m not calling out Louisville, or how different I think team-splitting and host-bids really are).
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by CPiGuy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:31 pm

A random thought: would it be at all feasible to give any and all hosting bids in D2, with the expectation that teams get their newer players to staff SCT and must qualify their A team "at the buzzer"? I think there would be considerably less outcry about teams being bubbled out of D2 than D1 (and I say that as a D2 player whose team might have been bubbled out of ICT were all the host bids taken in D2). This might require NAQT to provide an outside tournament director to each site, but that seems like a significantly lower cost than, say, expanding the ICT field (and all the miscellaneous expenses associated with that). Obviously, teams that earn D2 host bids would have to send a team of D2-eligible players.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:45 pm

I think the danger in that is a lot of the better staffers on a team are not D2 players.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:50 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:I, similarly, am entirely entitled to alter my opinion of you and your club’s character based on how you acquired it and whether or not is used.
I really hate to drag in specific teams and don't want to impugn the quality of the people on 2015 Chicago B, and in fact I enjoyed playing against them. However, your club accepted a guest editor bid for a team which in my opinion was not one of the best 32 teams in 2015. Should we use the example of Chicago B at 2015 ICT to alter our opinions of your club's character, or is this a standard that we're supposed to apply inconsistently?

I get that part of your argument is that this year better teams are being left out, and I understand that. It's a systemic flaw and I think we both agree that the system is messed up, and while we might have different suggestions for fixing it, we probably both want the same ultimate result. If I designed a tournament qualification system it would not look much like the status quo, and Chicago B would obviously be in the tournament. Where I focus my attention is on the fact that Chicago B is left out; my ideal tournament has space for both Chicago B and WKU.

If we can't reach the ideal I think we agree we should err on the side of talented teams like Chicago B being put in the field in the future. But the rules as they exist have provided WKU with an invitation, which they accepted, and I don't think they've done anything worse than what everybody else (except maybe the apparently very admirable Virginia club) would have done.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:09 pm

Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:I, similarly, am entirely entitled to alter my opinion of you and your club’s character based on how you acquired it and whether or not is used.
I really hate to drag in specific teams and don't want to impugn the quality of the people on 2015 Chicago B, and in fact I enjoyed playing against them. However, your club accepted a guest editor bid for a team which in my opinion was not one of the best 32 teams in 2015. Should we use the example of Chicago B at 2015 ICT to alter our opinions of your club's character, or is this a standard that we're supposed to apply inconsistently?
Chicago B that year did place above the teams with the 24th and 31st d-value, McGill and Texas A&M respectively. I'd say that qualifies as demonstration of being in the top 32 teams. What ~6 teams clearly deserved an ICT spot more and did not get one that year?
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:15 pm

heterodyne wrote:
Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:I, similarly, am entirely entitled to alter my opinion of you and your club’s character based on how you acquired it and whether or not is used.
I really hate to drag in specific teams and don't want to impugn the quality of the people on 2015 Chicago B, and in fact I enjoyed playing against them. However, your club accepted a guest editor bid for a team which in my opinion was not one of the best 32 teams in 2015. Should we use the example of Chicago B at 2015 ICT to alter our opinions of your club's character, or is this a standard that we're supposed to apply inconsistently?
Chicago B that year did place above the teams with the 24th and 31st d-value, McGill and Texas A&M respectively. I'd say that qualifies as demonstration of being in the top 32 teams. What ~6 teams clearly deserved an ICT spot more and did not get one that year?
That Texas A&M team (which my team finished ahead of at SCT) featured notably good NAQT player Jeff Crean. The A&M lineup that participated at ICT did not feature Jeff Crean and was not a good team. So while Chicago B placed above the team with the 31st D-value at ICT, they didn't place ahead of that team specifically. I know for sure that my team would have put up more than 9.5 ppb at ICT, for instance.

*I'm not saying we would have finished in the second bracket or anything, but the bottom of the 2015 field was super weak, so a third bracket appearance was definitely possible. We certainly would have defeated Chicago B, though. I would have just buzzer faked Kay, which would have induced him to neg four more times.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:41 pm

heterodyne wrote:
Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:I, similarly, am entirely entitled to alter my opinion of you and your club’s character based on how you acquired it and whether or not is used.
I really hate to drag in specific teams and don't want to impugn the quality of the people on 2015 Chicago B, and in fact I enjoyed playing against them. However, your club accepted a guest editor bid for a team which in my opinion was not one of the best 32 teams in 2015. Should we use the example of Chicago B at 2015 ICT to alter our opinions of your club's character, or is this a standard that we're supposed to apply inconsistently?
Chicago B that year did place above the teams with the 24th and 31st d-value, McGill and Texas A&M respectively. I'd say that qualifies as demonstration of being in the top 32 teams. What ~6 teams clearly deserved an ICT spot more and did not get one that year?
I'll come out and say that I would at least pick Caltech and Louisiana over them, but more importantly, I don't think Chicago calculated at the time whether they met the standards you've laid out here for deserving an ICT bid. I believe Chicago would have accepted that bid even if there were 20 teams better than them. The alternative is that Chicago thought that team, by virtue of the Chicago affiliation, would magically be good enough to meet the standards you are posing here. I do not believe they were better than all the teams left out of the field, and Chicago has declared that upon realizing such a thing a club has a moral imperative to refuse an ICT bid.

I'm not going to alter my opinion of your club's character for doing what I would have done though, and I would hope you have the reciprocal respect for the rest of us. I don't care if you have opinions about who is and isn't one of the best 32 teams, but I do care if your team starts trashing my friends and claiming they are immoral because of it. Furthermore, your team called into question the character of people they don't know, and did so in public and without warning. I have altered my opinion of peoples' characters based on that, although it's certainly fixable since I'm a very forgiving person!
Nick Conder
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"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."--Eugene V. Debs

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by CaseyB » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:46 pm

CPiGuy wrote:A random thought: would it be at all feasible to give any and all hosting bids in D2, with the expectation that teams get their newer players to staff SCT and must qualify their A team "at the buzzer"? I think there would be considerably less outcry about teams being bubbled out of D2 than D1 (and I say that as a D2 player whose team might have been bubbled out of ICT were all the host bids taken in D2). This might require NAQT to provide an outside tournament director to each site, but that seems like a significantly lower cost than, say, expanding the ICT field (and all the miscellaneous expenses associated with that). Obviously, teams that earn D2 host bids would have to send a team of D2-eligible players.
In addition to Mike's valid concern about the quality of staffing if done only by D2 players, we must remember what the point of a separate Division 2 competition is: to alleviate the gap in talent between experienced players and new players, and to keep those new players involved by exposing them to a national competition against teams of similar strength. On a D2 team, a new player can play against the other schools in the local circuit without having to play the best and can still have a chance to go to a national competition. Furthermore, playing at ICT means graduating to DI. If host bids go only to D2 ICT, then you have players competing at ICT who must now play DI for the rest of their career, despite the possibility that they might not be ready for that difficulty yet. The fact that this would be Division 2 means there would be less stats available on the players who would be playing on these teams at D2 ICT, and thus a much less reliable way of knowing whether those players should be at ICT (even in D2). So while the worry of bubbling out deserving DI teams would be alleviated, in my opinion this shift would undermine the very point of a separate D2 in the first place, and this is a much greater concern.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Nabonidus » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:50 pm

Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:The behavior exhibited by McGill and Chicago makes me really question whether the people making those arguments are willing to maintain a cordial and friendly relationship with other people in the community.
My apologies on behalf of McGill for whatever Joe has been saying - he just had a bunch of impacted wisdom teeth removed and is out of his mind on painkillers.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:54 pm

As I said on that same thread, I pretty much agree with you, with a couple notable exceptions, which I've posted here in ascending order of importance to me:
Mewto55555 wrote:
[*] 7. The act of discussing a team’s stats is not necessarily shaming them for being bad.

To discuss these trade-offs, we need to frankly assess the skill levels of these marginal teams. Saying something like “Virginia B is decidedly not a top 50 team” might be hurtful to Virginia B, but it is a reasonable opinion that can be supported by facts. I may have been a little blunt about it in this thread, but I’ve been similarly blunt before, and a level-headed Tracey Hickman, who realized I have absolutely nothing against the Central Oklahoma team, managed to correctly divine from the stats that I was correct with my assessment of their skill! It’s not some great evil to be outside the top 32 – only 128 quizbowlers can be inside it at a time – but this is also not a forum where people are expected to mince words to preserve feelings over facts. Nor is it because I hate you (some of my favorite people are on Chicago D/E teams that also put up low PPBs! If they got a bid to nationals I’d insist they were unworthy of taking it as well!), nor is it some elitism from one Midwestern team towards another, nor is it an in-crowd thing (before Chicagoans were the trendy evil in-group on the forums, that honor belonged to a “narrowly-defined group of Virginians”, and now UVA B is one of the teams being “attacked”).

My posts maybe were a bit dickish and could have been phrased better, and for that I apologize (I played WKU at ICT one year, and they seemed like pretty cordial folks whom I have nothing personal against, and Eric Xu has always seemed like a Good Dude), but this is also one of the two most important tournaments of the year and one on which plenty of people expend enormous amounts of time and money; I’m not going to apologize for wanting the field for it to be as fair and high-quality as reasonably possible. We’re really discussing the merits of 5ish autobid teams vs. the next 5ish D-value teams; such a small sample size means we have the luxury to delve more deeply into each of these samples instead of abstracting out aggregate statistics that leave out a lot of nuance. Hopefully we can do this in a way that people don’t take too personally.
I don't think this is what people were referring to at all when they brought up bullying. Specifically, the thing addressed was the idea that teams would be directly pressured into giving up their spots, which has already happened! That leads nicely into the next thing:
Mewto55555 wrote:
[*]0. The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent the board staff, the Chicago quizbowl cabal*, or any other organizations I’m affiliated with.

I don’t think this needs significant explanation. It should be noted that I haven’t seen John since yesterday evening, so we’re definitely different people, and haven’t been exchanging messages while writing our posts. Alston and I have only been communicating via memes, so I don’t think there’s much cabal there either. I don't want anyone to think I feel I have the authority to make any of these claims or that my arguments are representative of the monolithic entity Quiz Bowl because my name is currently red; everyone can probably attest I've been making lengthy, angry posts since long before that.

Let me add the additional caveat that I don’t hate anyone I talk about in this post, and if I mention your team by name it’s not because I have a grudge against you.

Unfortunately, this doesn't matter. Obviously your opinions are your own, but perceptions matter. Due to the technological limitations of the board software, every post that you make, however non-official, is posted as a Forum Administrator, and what frustrates me is that I feel you aren't being sufficiently mindful of that. Like, you joke about the whole "Chicago Cabal" and "evil ingroups" but in this very thread you are saying things from your seat of power, presumably awarded for being a connected member of the community, about how you believe that your domain should be run. How else is anyone supposed to interpret that except for the obvious?

As you have no doubt recently experienced, I too enjoy being angry on the internet, but that's acceptable specifically because my name isn't in red. And it's not just me that thinks this - in the past 16 or so hours multiple people from different schools have explicitly cited your specific posts in this very thread to me with various levels of disgust, including one person reaffirming their decision to leave the community. I defended you, because every time we've interacted in person you've been a great dude, but surely you have to be aware of how this looks.

This whole thing just reinforces the idea that quiz bowl is run as a clique, where the elite do what they want and everyone else does what they must. I think the example that was just brought up in this thread of Chicago B 2015 is perfect for my purposes. Sure, after the fact it turns out that they finished ahead of one team in the top 40 (claiming any relevance from defeating Texas is extremely disingenuous, since those two squads shared zero players, and is similar to saying they finished ahead of #8 Michigan B), and maybe that's good enough to squeak in to the field, though they did end up with a single digit PPB. But did anyone even consider beforehand if that was an okay thing to do? Apparently, the facts that Caltech doesn't have enough lobbyists in the community and that no one likes Jake Sundberg mean we only care about injustice when it happens to Chicago.

edit: it turns out that while I was ranting Nick also posted about these same issues, I didn't intentionally attempt to retread that ground
Last edited by sephirothrr on Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Susan » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:59 pm

I'm curious which of the solutions people are proposing the NAQT folks consider feasible. I'm a little curious about how requiring teams to play their SCT lineups at ICT would go; this is more restrictive than anything I can remember a college tournament ever doing*, and I'm not sure how much effort NAQT thinks it would take to enforce this. I'm also really wary of structuring autobids so that teams are pushed to have their less experienced members staff the tournament while the senior members play; I think the reasons this is not a great idea have been adequately discussed.

I'm not going to wade into the ethics/morals argument, but I will say that--personally--I try not to attack, or get mad at, people who are trying to work within the rules of a system to maximize their personal advantage (rather, I try to figure out how fix the system and/or enforce limits without attacking). I understand the impulse, but every time I've seen this in action it's resulted in the anger or attacks being expressed disproportionately at people from disempowered groups.

*If I recall correctly**, CBI used to have some restrictions on lineups***, but I think they provided a lot more latitude than is being discussed here; for example, I played CBI Nats twice without ever playing the regional tournament, and in neither case did we have to make any sort of special appeal to allow the lineup change.
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***CBI also got WAY more into monitoring who was allowed to play what than I can imagine any current question provider doing; for example, teams had to have the registrar sign off to indicate that players were enrolled students.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Even though I am no longer a board staff member (sooner or later, my security clearance will be revoked), I think it's kind of silly to act like just because Max is a board staff member, somehow he can't express opinions without it being interpreted as authoritative. Nothing any of the moderators say is endorsed by HSQB unless explicitly spelled out.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:08 pm

Cheynem wrote:Even though I am no longer a board staff member (sooner or later, my security clearance will be revoked), I think it's kind of silly to act like just because Max is a board staff member, somehow he can't express opinions without it being interpreted as authoritative. Nothing any of the moderators say is endorsed by HSQB unless explicitly spelled out.
Sure, that's definitely true, but at the same time you can't handwave away the fact that simply being in a position of authority changes how everything you say will be perceived, and those in that position are responsible for managing it. That's kind of the premise of gaining responsibility, after all.

(While it's not super on-topic, other forums address this sort of issue by allowing staff to only change their username color/present their staff badge when they're posting as board staff, which I think would help this a lot.)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:10 pm

Cheynem wrote:Even though I am no longer a board staff member (sooner or later, my security clearance will be revoked), I think it's kind of silly to act like just because Max is a board staff member, somehow he can't express opinions without it being interpreted as authoritative. Nothing any of the moderators say is endorsed by HSQB unless explicitly spelled out.
While this is true, the community-at-large may perceive things a little differently when reading through these threads. If public perception is important to the inner circles, I think it's wise for staff to be a little more professional when discussing important matters.

*was totally not aware that Rama was posting
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:11 pm

I get what you guys are saying--that's one of the reasons I resigned, but aside from constantly noting "i don't represent the forums," I'm not sure what else Max could have done. I would think the fact that other staffers offered different opinions might also show that Max's opinion wasn't 100% held.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:15 pm

I think nobody's mad at D2 because the D-value invitations extends down to 25th, which is fair also considering you have the 4 CCCT bids. That's a lot larger number than 13 originally in D1. There'd be much less anger if like UVA's second bid was given to Division 2.

Ben Herman makes a good point, which I think Fred also noted. The top X D-value teams should get invited to a 32-team ICT, and that number is 20-24, and not 12.

Also, Chicago B was 26th on D-values last year and missed by one spot. This year they're 18th and might miss as well. That is clearly unfair and is probably the best example of a team screwed over by the broken system.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:19 pm

Cheynem wrote:I get what you guys are saying--that's one of the reasons I resigned, but aside from constantly noting "i don't represent the forums," I'm not sure what else Max could have done. I would think the fact that other staffers offered different opinions might also show that Max's opinion wasn't 100% held.
I mean, the unsatisfactory answer, but one with corporate precedent, is that if you're in a position where anything you say could easily be misconstrued as speaking for another group (which, granted, is a subjective criterion), don't say anything that you're not okay with being misinterpreted in such a way.
(That said, "forum admins aren't allowed to have opinions" is obviously a pretty bad resolution to this problem, appropriate for a thread about finding resolutions to hard problems)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:23 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:I think nobody's mad at D2 because the D-value invitations extends down to 25th, which is fair also considering you have the 4 CCCT bids. That's a lot larger number than 13 originally in D1. There'd be much less anger if like UVA's second bid was given to Division 2.

Ben Herman makes a good point, which I think Fred also noted. The top X D-value teams should get invited to a 32-team ICT, and that number is 20-24, and not 12.

Also, Chicago B was 26th on D-values last year and missed by one spot. This year they're 18th and might miss as well. That is clearly unfair and is probably the best example of a team screwed over by the broken system.
You just said that the top 25 teams on D-value got invited to a 32 team ICT last year, which, according to your words approximately fifty pixels away, is perfectly acceptable.

(Lest anyone mistakenly think I hate Chicago or something, I do agree that their situation this year is pretty shitty.)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by CaseyB » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:24 pm

There has been much discussion about this year's ICT invitations, and for good reason. But despite all the hubbub, I think there are a few simple things which are quite clear and which we can agree on.

1. Nothing can be done about this year's bids to ICT or the size of this year's ICT field. The invitations have been issued. The logistics for 32 teams in each division are set. There's nothing to be done about either of those issues.

2. In the future, for host autobids, rosters should be submitted prior to SCT for NAQT to review as to whether a team composed of the individuals listed would be likely to qualify for ICT were they playing at the buzzer. The teams receiving host autobids and their rosters should be published prior to SCT.

3. While team-splitting might happen and might crowd out a deserving team, there is nothing that can be done about this. That statement may be unpopular but it is true. Any guideline which might be put in place to prevent team-splitting would be unenforceable. It is not NAQT's responsibility to micromanage the rosters of every team that plays at every SCT site, nor would we want them to do so. As such, it must be left in good faith to each team to fill their teams in fairly.

I leave up for debate the issues of automatic bids for undergraduate champions and the field size of ICT in future years. I lean towards the belief that a team which qualifies for DI ICT by earning an undergrad bid at SCT should compete at ICT as an undergrad-eligible team, but I don't know that it is necessary that the current policy on this be changed. As for the idea of expanding the field at ICT, I think it would be nice to see more teams in the field, but at the same, the current format of the tournament is very good and I know nothing about the additional expenses that might be involved with having more rounds at ICT. That is, we quizbowlers might not have a problem with having a longer day on Saturday or playing a few rounds Sunday morning, but that doesn't mean there aren't other issues that NAQT faces which would be obstacles here.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by ryanrosenberg » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:38 pm

CaseyB wrote: 3. While team-splitting might happen and might crowd out a deserving team, there is nothing that can be done about this. That statement may be unpopular but it is true. Any guideline which might be put in place to prevent team-splitting would be unenforceable. It is not NAQT's responsibility to micromanage the rosters of every team that plays at every SCT site, nor would we want them to do so. As such, it must be left in good faith to each team to fill their teams in fairly.
While I don't think that "micromanaging rosters" is that much work, if necessary, a rule to prevent team-splitting could be written to only apply in situations where two teams from the same school qualify for the same division. That would only require NAQT to track the rosters of 3-5 teams each year.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Golran » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:42 pm

For preventing team splitting at SCTs, would an eligibility rule as follows make sense:

No player from a team that qualifies for and registers for ICT based upon play at SCT may play on the same team as another player who also qualified for ICT based upon their play at SCT provided they were not on the same team at SCT and that team has registered for ICT. Should a school qualify multiple teams but register fewer, they must designate the teams which will be accepting their bids. Other players from those schools may play for those teams, however players may not shift between qualified and registered teams between SCT and ICT.

Basically how I see it, you qualify seed of players at SCT that can be added to, but once a team accepts their bid and "takes root" in ICT their players can't transition to a different ICT team. These teams can grow by adding other players (from their school) which aren't attached to any tree already, and to move players from one qualified team to another, the school would need to "uproot" and give up one of their bids.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:45 pm

Granny Soberer wrote:
CaseyB wrote: 3. While team-splitting might happen and might crowd out a deserving team, there is nothing that can be done about this. That statement may be unpopular but it is true. Any guideline which might be put in place to prevent team-splitting would be unenforceable. It is not NAQT's responsibility to micromanage the rosters of every team that plays at every SCT site, nor would we want them to do so. As such, it must be left in good faith to each team to fill their teams in fairly.
While I don't think that "micromanaging rosters" is that much work, if necessary, a rule to prevent team-splitting could be written to only apply in situations where two teams from the same school qualify for the same division. That would only require NAQT to track the rosters of 3-5 teams each year.
Golran wrote:For preventing team splitting at SCTs, would an eligibility rule as follows make sense:

No player from a team that qualifies for and registers for ICT based upon play at SCT may play on the same team as another player who also qualified for ICT based upon their play at SCT provided they were not on the same team at SCT and that team has registered for ICT. Should a school qualify multiple teams but register fewer, they must designate the teams which will be accepting their bids. Other players from those schools may play for those teams, however players may not shift between qualified and registered teams between SCT and ICT.

Basically how I see it, you qualify seed of players at SCT that can be added to, but once a team accepts their bid and "takes root" in ICT their players can't transition to a different ICT team. These teams can grow by adding other players (from their school) which aren't attached to any tree already, and to move players from one qualified team to another, the school would need to "uproot" and give up one of their bids.

I think even this is overreaching, and essentially punishes teams that don't have set ICT rosters before SCT, a tournament that may well inform those very rosters.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:50 pm

sephirothrr wrote: You just said that the top 25 teams on D-value got invited to a 32 team ICT last year, which, according to your words approximately fifty pixels away, is perfectly acceptable.
Sorry, I can't see where the confusion is - What I'm trying to say is that top-24 D-value plus 8 teams selected whatever way is a lot more fair than top-12 D-value plus 20 teams selected whatever way. The reason for that is, as Ben said, these teams up to around 20 either can make the top bracket, or be able to upset a top bracket team. Of course if NAQT were to adopt a thing where top X teams made ICT, team #X+1 and team#X+2 etc would definitely also be in consideration of who qualifies.
Granny Soberer wrote:
CaseyB wrote: 3. While team-splitting might happen and might crowd out a deserving team, there is nothing that can be done about this. That statement may be unpopular but it is true. Any guideline which might be put in place to prevent team-splitting would be unenforceable. It is not NAQT's responsibility to micromanage the rosters of every team that plays at every SCT site, nor would we want them to do so. As such, it must be left in good faith to each team to fill their teams in fairly.
While I don't think that "micromanaging rosters" is that much work, if necessary, a rule to prevent team-splitting could be written to only apply in situations where two teams from the same school qualify for the same division. That would only require NAQT to track the rosters of 3-5 teams each year.
Why can't NAQT just be like - Don't team split. If you do we know who you are and won't give your shitty B team an invitation. Obvious for Maryland this year, but for something like Michigan this year or in the past when Chicago had like 2-mid tier A teams it'd be harder to police. Yes it's subjective but just like judging host bids give bubble teams the benefit of the doubt like if Michigan splits but say no to Maryland.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:51 pm

This post is made in my capacity as a normal member of the forums, not as an administrator!!!!!!! Don't get tricked by the color of my name!

Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:
heterodyne wrote:
Ferlinghetti's Axis wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:I, similarly, am entirely entitled to alter my opinion of you and your club’s character based on how you acquired it and whether or not is used.
I really hate to drag in specific teams and don't want to impugn the quality of the people on 2015 Chicago B, and in fact I enjoyed playing against them. However, your club accepted a guest editor bid for a team which in my opinion was not one of the best 32 teams in 2015. Should we use the example of Chicago B at 2015 ICT to alter our opinions of your club's character, or is this a standard that we're supposed to apply inconsistently?
Chicago B that year did place above the teams with the 24th and 31st d-value, McGill and Texas A&M respectively. I'd say that qualifies as demonstration of being in the top 32 teams. What ~6 teams clearly deserved an ICT spot more and did not get one that year?
I'll come out and say that I would at least pick Caltech and Louisiana over them, but more importantly, I don't think Chicago calculated at the time whether they met the standards you've laid out here for deserving an ICT bid. I believe Chicago would have accepted that bid even if there were 20 teams better than them. The alternative is that Chicago thought that team, by virtue of the Chicago affiliation, would magically be good enough to meet the standards you are posing here. I do not believe they were better than all the teams left out of the field, and Chicago has declared that upon realizing such a thing a club has a moral imperative to refuse an ICT bid.

I'm not going to alter my opinion of your club's character for doing what I would have done though, and I would hope you have the reciprocal respect for the rest of us. I don't care if you have opinions about who is and isn't one of the best 32 teams, but I do care if your team starts trashing my friends and claiming they are immoral because of it. Furthermore, your team called into question the character of people they don't know, and did so in public and without warning. I have altered my opinion of peoples' characters based on that, although it's certainly fixable since I'm a very forgiving person!
Yeah, I'm going to defend this as a reasonable call, though since I was not president of the club at the time, I was not involved in making it. As I said in my lengthy screed, I think there's a cutoff somewhere in the 50/60s (i.e., being a below-average team across SCT sites) at which point teams should know they don't belong at ICT, regardless of what weird marginal situations got them their bid. I don't think a Chicago B team with Kay & James was anywhere near this cutoff. You may disagree with where that cutoff should be (are you really going try to move the bar up just to make this point though? since that'll make it a little harder to defend WKU's being above it), or whether they were in fact worse than the 60th best in the country, but you're going to have trouble convincing me. I think the fact that they lost a one tossup game to make the next bracket to your vaunted 2015 WKU team despite negging 4 times suggests that they were nowhere near as atrocious, just underperforming a bit. It sucks to be Caltech that year, but note that they lost at their SCT to Arizona State, whose only two wins at ICT that year (albeit both in prelims, so they made the 3rd bracket), were over... the aforementioned McGill and Texas A&M! So no, it's not a particularly compelling case of the next team on the bubble being light-years ahead of the team in question, like it is this year.

Again, note the use of the first-person singular pronoun in my post. It is not "my team" calling anything into question in that post, just me.

Also, the idea that reasonably intelligent quizbowlers, who are used to parsing sentences that are barely English on the fly while simultaneously recalling information from their vast stores of arcane knowledge, can't figure out from context that I've not been speaking in my capacity as board staff (such as in the dozen posts where I argue with other members of the board staff?) is absurd. Did your anonymous friends also think I was speaking on behalf of HSAPQ because that is listed as an affiliation in my signature?
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:53 pm

It's true that Max doesn't represent HSAPQ, although I think his 0 questions written this year for us is a better indication of that. :wink:
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by CaseyB » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:10 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote: Why can't NAQT just be like - Don't team split. If you do we know who you are and won't give your shitty B team an invitation. Obvious for Maryland this year, but for something like Michigan this year or in the past when Chicago had like 2-mid tier A teams it'd be harder to police. Yes it's subjective but just like judging host bids give bubble teams the benefit of the doubt like if Michigan splits but say no to Maryland.
Because even if they are split teams, both teams earned their bid at the buzzer. It would be misguided to take a bid away from a team that earned it. Earned as evidenced by having a higher D-value than whichever bubble team wasn't awarded a bid. Additionally, as easy as it might sound to simply say, "Don't team split," I doubt it would be so easy to turn this idea into a coherent policy. Where does one draw the line for what is team-splitting and what isn't? How does one decide which B teams deserve to be in and which ones don't?
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:18 pm

CaseyB wrote:
raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote: Why can't NAQT just be like - Don't team split. If you do we know who you are and won't give your shitty B team an invitation. Obvious for Maryland this year, but for something like Michigan this year or in the past when Chicago had like 2-mid tier A teams it'd be harder to police. Yes it's subjective but just like judging host bids give bubble teams the benefit of the doubt like if Michigan splits but say no to Maryland.
Because even if they are split teams, both teams earned their bid at the buzzer. It would be misguided to take a bid away from a team that earned it. Earned as evidenced by having a higher D-value than whichever bubble team wasn't awarded a bid. Additionally, as easy as it might sound to simply say, "Don't team split," I doubt it would be so easy to turn this idea into a coherent policy. Where does one draw the line for what is team-splitting and what isn't? How does one decide which B teams deserve to be in and which one's don't?
It would be more misguided to allow a team like this year's Maryland B or Penn B that one year or whatever to attend ICT. ACF already chooses which teams get host bids, I think this would be similar.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by CaseyB » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:27 pm

Teams which are awarded host autobids are given the benefit of the doubt because they were unable to play SCT and earn their bid. My problem with your suggestion regarding team-splitting is that it takes a bid away from a team that earned it. To avoid this problem, one must look at a fix prior to SCT being played, to prevent team-splitting from happening in the first place.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by heterodyne » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:31 pm

8) WKU, Virginia B, Columbia B, Youngstown State, Carleton, and UCF have been called out so far by McGill and Chicago players hoping those teams will decline bids so they can attend. Some of the aforementioned teams may perform as well as Amherst, Georgia Tech, or UCSD at ICT. We can also include Louisville in the latter group since our SCT roster (which should be supplemented with Kurtis at ICT) earned a bid. Should we all decline bids too? Why haven’t there been public discussions of our stats? I suspect that B teams and teams that don’t post on HSQB are more vulnerable to criticism, which bothers me (even if I’m benefitting from it right now).
I missed this earlier because I was running to a math midterm (which I bombed, from wasting time here lmao). Because I am apparently incapable of learning from past experience, I'm back!

A couple things. First, my attendance at ICT isn't contingent on anyone's dropping. In fact, the only Chicago players who have posted are me (who played ICT as C), Max, and John. The two of them will be attending regardless. Perhaps we are motivated by caring about our friends whose attendance is contingent on the declining of bids by others, but that's certainly a far less selfish motivation than you seem to want to pin us with.

The larger point: while I haven't done any calling out, I feel confident in at least prelimarily speaking for the call-outers when I say that I'm fairly confident that UCSD, Georgia Tech, and Amherst were not mentioned because, as Max pointed out above, they qualified "at the buzzer" even if not via D-value. As types of non-D-value qualification go, I think it's pretty reasonable to say that winning a site is the least suspect. After all, as several others have pointed out, geographical diversity is a reasonable thing to desire. What I'm concerned with is the sort of hermeneutics of suspicion going on when the assumption is not that those teams "called out" were simply those who were the least qualified via several generally agreed-upon publicly available metrics but rather that some obscure formula taking into account {friendship with members of Chicago, forum posts, love of the same composers as John} has operated to produce this list. It seems that this attitude reinforces the impression that was being discussed earlier of quizbowl as elitist, insidery etc. It's not like UCSD, Amherst, and GT are teams that are just massively plugged into to the Quizbowl Upper Echelon or whatever. The reason Louisville was not mentioned (presumably, as I don't want to further the impression that Chicago QB is a monolith or w/e) is the working assumption that Kurtis will be playing with you at ICT. You may have used uncouth means or whatever to get that bid, but the final conclusion ends up being a good one. I just don't see the point of assuming malicious intent here.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:35 pm

I'll throw another team splitting reform suggestion into the wind.

1. If you have one team in the ICT field, it can have any eligible players on it, no matter what you did at SCT. (Seems obvious.)
2. If you have two or more teams in the ICT field, exactly one of which qualified on the buzzer at SCT and one or more of which got autobids via hosting/editing, you can organize your rosters however you like, no matter what you did at SCT. (Also seems obvious.)
3. If you have two teams in the ICT field, each of whom qualified on the buzzer at SCT, the SCT rosters are the assumed ICT rosters. You can add non-SCT players to ICT rosters however you like. You have to ask permission from NAQT to move players from one team to another at ICT. You have to inform NAQT if a player is dropping from the roster, and NAQT reserves the right to rescind a B-team's bid if the new roster looks too weak. (If people want that to read "rescind any team's bid if the new roster looks too weak," that's another option. Do what you like.) (I'm not addressing "2 earned bids + 1 autobid" type scenarios here, because I've got other shit to do; once we get that far with any of this, we can care about edge cases.)

Examples of really good, borderline-immediately-accepted reasons for a swap include "we realized Player Y on the A-team and Player Z on the B-team would fit better if they swapped, and they had comparable* PPG at SCT."

Examples of probably accepted reasons include "this Team A player can't make it to ICT, so we're bumping up the B-team's top scorer, leaving the B-team with something like 60%* of its SCT scoring."

Examples of borderline-immediately-denied reasons include "this Team A player can't make it to ICT, and the B-team at SCT was 95%* dominated by one player, and we're bumping up that player to the A team." This reason would be accepted if the B-team instead drops from the ICT field and gives its bid to the waitlist, because then the school has one team in the field and can have any eligible players on that team. A similar quick denial example would be moving Will Nediger back on to Michigan A after SCT, regardless of PPG status, due to common knowledge judgment* that Will is normally on the A-team.


*All of those asterisks above are places where NAQT's judgment would have to come into play; this is inevitable in my system and probably inevitable in any system. Caveat emptor.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:40 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:This post is made in my capacity as a normal member of the forums, not as an administrator!!!!!!! Don't get tricked by the color of my name!
Mewto55555 wrote: Also, the idea that reasonably intelligent quizbowlers, who are used to parsing sentences that are barely English on the fly while simultaneously recalling information from their vast stores of arcane knowledge, can't figure out from context that I've not been speaking in my capacity as board staff (such as in the dozen posts where I argue with other members of the board staff?) is absurd. Did your anonymous friends also think I was speaking on behalf of HSAPQ because that is listed as an affiliation in my signature?
Well, obviously they must not have been reasonably intelligent enough, so I guess no one will miss them from the quiz bowl community.

I don't understand why there's so much pushback against even the idea that there could possibly be any confusion. Yes, further reading makes it clear that you weren't speaking in an official capacity, and yes, I and they were and are aware of this. I guess it's cool that sarcasm is your immediate fallback when I'm trying to seriously bring up something that I feel is an issue driving away members of the community, but all that does is further lend weight to my point.

"I obviously wasn't acting in a professional capacity because of how unprofessional I was acting" seems like an exceptionally weak response, though it certainly is a convenient one for someone in that position.
Mewto55555 wrote: Yeah, I'm going to defend this as a reasonable call, though since I was not president of the club at the time, I was not involved in making it. As I said in my lengthy screed, I think there's a cutoff somewhere in the 50/60s (i.e., being a below-average team across SCT sites) at which point teams should know they don't belong at ICT, regardless of what weird marginal situations got them their bid. I don't think a Chicago B team with Kay & James was anywhere near this cutoff. You may disagree with where that cutoff should be (are you really going try to move the bar up just to make this point though? since that'll make it a little harder to defend WKU's being above it), or whether they were in fact worse than the 60th best in the country, but you're going to have trouble convincing me. I think the fact that they lost a one tossup game to make the next bracket to your vaunted 2015 WKU team despite negging 4 times suggests that they were nowhere near as atrocious, just underperforming a bit. It sucks to be Caltech that year, but note that they lost at their SCT to Arizona State, whose only two wins at ICT that year (albeit both in prelims, so they made the 3rd bracket), were over... the aforementioned McGill and Texas A&M! So no, it's not a particularly compelling case of the next team on the bubble being light-years ahead of the team in question, like it is this year.
This is pretty reasonable, though I will remind you that you previously suggested that such an inclusion would lead to a field "filled with really mediocre teams." Before that ICT in question, those three players had never played together, and no stats have demonstrated that they deserved to be there. After all, as you recently mentioned, the burden of proof is on that team to show they do belong, not NAQT or people that disagree with that inclusion.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by ryanrosenberg » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:46 pm

Irreligion in Bangladesh wrote:I'll throw another team splitting reform suggestion into the wind.

1. If you have one team in the ICT field, it can have any eligible players on it, no matter what you did at SCT. (Seems obvious.)
2. If you have two or more teams in the ICT field, exactly one of which qualified on the buzzer at SCT and one or more of which got autobids via hosting/editing, you can organize your rosters however you like, no matter what you did at SCT. (Also seems obvious.)
3. If you have two teams in the ICT field, each of whom qualified on the buzzer at SCT, the SCT rosters are the assumed ICT rosters. You can add non-SCT players to ICT rosters however you like. You have to ask permission from NAQT to move players from one team to another at ICT. You have to inform NAQT if a player is dropping from the roster, and NAQT reserves the right to rescind a B-team's bid if the new roster looks too weak. (If people want that to read "rescind any team's bid if the new roster looks too weak," that's another option. Do what you like.) (I'm not addressing "2 earned bids + 1 autobid" type scenarios here, because I've got other shit to do; once we get that far with any of this, we can care about edge cases.)

Examples of really good, borderline-immediately-accepted reasons for a swap include "we realized Player Y on the A-team and Player Z on the B-team would fit better if they swapped, and they had comparable* PPG at SCT."

Examples of probably accepted reasons include "this Team A player can't make it to ICT, so we're bumping up the B-team's top scorer, leaving the B-team with something like 60%* of its SCT scoring."

Examples of borderline-immediately-denied reasons include "this Team A player can't make it to ICT, and the B-team at SCT was 95%* dominated by one player, and we're bumping up that player to the A team." This reason would be accepted if the B-team instead drops from the ICT field and gives its bid to the waitlist, because then the school has one team in the field and can have any eligible players on that team. A similar quick denial example would be moving Will Nediger back on to Michigan A after SCT, regardless of PPG status, due to common knowledge judgment* that Will is normally on the A-team.


*All of those asterisks above are places where NAQT's judgment would have to come into play; this is inevitable in my system and probably inevitable in any system. Caveat emptor.
This sounds like a reasonable system. Preventing team-splitting is not to penalize experimenting with rosters at SCT (because of the distribution, doing so can be quite valuable), but to prevent a school from getting bids for their A and B teams merely because they have a very good A team. This plan accomplishes that.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by sephirothrr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:50 pm

That system seems like the best approach so far, though I'm a little leery of that kind of value judgement in general, unless there's something like a large benefit of the doubt.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:15 pm

There is absolutely no reason to single out B teams for extra scrutiny regarding rosters, so if anything like what Brad is suggesting is implemented, it only be fair for it to apply to every ICT team. What would be done if a player who scores the bulk of a team's points finds out a week before ICT that he/she has an obligation (e.g. family emergency, medical emergency, mandatory overtime, got off the waitlist for med school and need to go to admitted students weekend, etc) that causes him/her to drop? It probably wouldn't be a good idea for NAQT to rescind the bid at that time, and if not, then I could see the system being easily gamed by teams (unless NAQT asks for, like, hospital bills or something).
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Ike » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:30 pm

This entire spiel about Max as a forum moderator is kind of silly. Idiots read HSQB all the time, and we don't have to listen to everything they say. In any case, Max has done enough to sufficiently disambiguate himself.

Re: 2015 Chicago B. Yeah, so this is the problem with the morals argument. In particular, I'm not sure that Schindler and the rest of the body parts that comprise Chicago would rescind their B-team bid even if it were demonstrably worse. Furthermore, if they felt Chicago B was strong enough, I wouldn't put it past them to try something a little bit more "exciting" to ensure that their B team qualifies next year. Honestly, Illinois 2012 did split our teams for SCT and might have done something more devious. I sure as heck didn't feel bad about it. Hopefully all of this goes to show that talking about morals here is pretty pointless -- get NAQT to change the rules!*
Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:There is absolutely no reason to single out B teams for extra scrutiny regarding rosters, so if anything like what Brad is suggesting is implemented, it only be fair for it to apply to every ICT team. What would be done if a player who scores the bulk of a team's points finds out a week before ICT that he/she has an obligation (e.g. family emergency, medical emergency, mandatory overtime, got off the waitlist for med school and need to go to admitted students weekend, etc) that causes him/her to drop? It probably wouldn't be a good idea for NAQT to rescind the bid at that time, and if not, then I could see the system being easily gamed by teams (unless NAQT asks for, like, hospital bills or something).
As usual Ben, you're wrong. In particular the issue is that B teams are willfully misrepresenting themselves at SCT, and fully intend to play ICT with a different roster. I also would like to say Brad's suggestion is a sensible solution, if not slightly flawed. And that's OK there is not going to be a solution that solves every edge case, so let's just throw that out here right now so we do not get bogged by reasoning like this (but feel free to point out problems and fixes!)
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:54 pm

That system seems like the best approach so far, though I'm a little leery of that kind of value judgement in general, unless there's something like a large benefit of the doubt.
I think pretty much all the reforms (save getting rid of UG bids and forbidding teams from going to different sites, which I don't think are the main issues people have) will involve value judgments, whether it is this system (which is pretty much exactly what I would have suggested if I could write words good) or applying for host autobids similarly to wildcards or even choosing the top X teams by D-values (in my opinion X should be 20). I know it sucks but that's the way it is. I personally think that NAQT using value judgments for B team splitting is probably the least harmful (as long as its not too strict). I think most of us (and NAQT) can distinguish that Michigan, Maryland and Columbia split their teams and Chicago and Berkeley didn't.
There is absolutely no reason to single out B teams for extra scrutiny regarding rosters, so if anything like what Brad is suggesting is implemented, it only be fair for it to apply to every ICT team. What would be done if a player who scores the bulk of a team's points finds out a week before ICT that he/she has an obligation (e.g. family emergency, medical emergency, mandatory overtime, got off the waitlist for med school and need to go to admitted students weekend, etc) that causes him/her to drop? It probably wouldn't be a good idea for NAQT to rescind the bid at that time, and if not, then I could see the system being easily gamed by teams (unless NAQT asks for, like, hospital bills or something).


Obviously, rescinding bids after February is not a thing that should happen. But I would wager that very few people, know for sure that they won't be able to play ICT. In fact I'm pretty sure that nearly everyone on NYU's teams who played SCT didn't even know when ICT was by that point. Also, how many teams that would only qualify 1 team bring multiple teams to the same division (especially D1)? My guess would be a fair number but not even close to all of them. And of the ones that do, how many field players who know for sure they cant come to ICT? I would suspect less than 3 (the number of teams that received bids due to team splitting). As a result, you basically end up saying to someone that you can't play SCT because you won't be able to play ICT. Is that really what you want to happen Ben? If (for example) I knew I couldn't go to ICT this year, it would be unreasonable to expect NYU to pay for an extra team (and leave the A team shorthanded) because I have a future commitment. The thing with team splitting is that we know it happens to qualify 2 teams because it doesnt happen at any other tournament. Charlie hasn't played on the B team at any tournament asides from SCT. On the other hand, what if the prior commitment falls through? Should my team suffer/potentially lose a bid just because I couldn't go to ICT in February, but by April I find out that I can go?

I accept this is a flaw in the plan Brad suggested, but comparing this to splitting teams is definitely a false equivalence. Or to put it in other words, I agree with Ike.

I'm also aware that using NYU as an analogy is kind of dumb considering we haven't received a bid, but I hope the point nevertheless comes across.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:20 pm

I'm not saying that there can't or shouldn't be a system in place to vet B teams to discourage team splitting at SCTs, but I don't see how rescinding the bids of teams whose players drop from ICT attendance (as opposed to rescinding the bid of a B team who has a player shifted to the A team) would solve more issues than it could cause. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't recall a lot of cases in which a good player leads a team to an ICT bid without actually intending to go to ICT.
Alec wrote:Should my team suffer/potentially lose a bid just because I couldn't go to ICT in February, but by April I find out that I can go?
No! That's why I think Brad's proposal should be modified to nix the part about rescinding the bids of teams who have a major contributing player drop.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cody » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:48 pm

This whole discussion about B teams & splitting was already resolved in the other thread with much less verbiage. The rule is simple: your roster at SCT is intended to be your roster at ICT, with wiggle room approved by NAQT. Cases of team splitting are always extremely obvious and there's no reason to get into the weeds.

Also, thanks to my contacts in the meme world of high school quizbowl:

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by gyre and gimble » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:25 pm

Here's a proposed revision to Brad's suggestion upthread.
  • 1a. If you apply for an autobid, you must lock in your roster as part of your application. This is what ACF does.
    1b. If your autobid roster needs to change between acceptance of the bid and ICT, you must obtain approval from NAQT. There should be a reasonable amount of discretion on NAQT's part. The discretion should be wider before D-values are calculated, than after. No matter how wide the discretion is, or how poor NAQT's ability to wield it, this would still be fairer than letting teams do whatever they want to do with their rosters (as in the status quo).

    2a. If you qualify by playing SCT, your SCT roster is locked in for ICT.
    2b. If your roster needs to change between acceptance of your bid and ICT, you must obtain approval from NAQT, as in 1b. NAQT's discretion is subject to the more narrow, post-D-value-calculation standard.
    2ci. If for some reason your full ICT team will be unavailable to play SCT, you may inform NAQT before SCT of your situation and preemptively submit your ICT roster. After qualification, your roster will automatically update to the proposed ICT roster. Subsequent changes are subject to 2b.
    2cii. If you need to make up for being shorthanded at SCT by filling out your team with another player from your school, this player may play ICT on any other team from your school that qualifies.
This scheme probably still has a few holes; if you see any, please point them out.
ProfessorIanDuncan wrote:Obviously, rescinding bids after February is not a thing that should happen. But I would wager that very few people, know for sure that they won't be able to play ICT. In fact I'm pretty sure that nearly everyone on NYU's teams who played SCT didn't even know when ICT was by that point.
I mean, if you take a national tournament like ICT seriously, you should figure out when it is and commit by February. And once you do commit, nothing short of an emergency or physical impossibility should stop you from attending. The fact that your teammates didn't know the date for ICT says more about how much they care about ICT than about how flawed the system is.
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:36 pm

I always hate to repeat myself, but publicly berating and demeaning teams makes people look like jerks. This is something that people from across the quizbowl community have agreed upon today (many through private messages) because it's a pretty widely held principle. I will stand by my assertion that much of the desire to pile on specific teams is motivated at least partly due to maliciousness, and it is depressing to watch it in action.

It's certainly fun that, on the heels of Ike Jose's poignant diagnosis of what's wrong with quizbowl's IRC channel, assholes still hold court in a corner of the quizbowl community ready to make fun of teams when they feel like it. This is presumably because they either don't realize those teams can find things online or because they think so little of them they don't care. Tonight these assholes are saying things like "ironically once that WKU team plays anyone who actually qualified for ICT on their merits the Bowling Green Massacre will be a reality" and making dumb memes like the picture at the bottom of this post. Quizbowl is better than this shit and it's been a driving motivation of mine for the last 8 years to spread this game to people and assuage their concerns that our meanest tendencies won't win out. I truly believe this is one of the most respectful online communities out there, but some individual bad actors make things very unpleasant. I haven't always been the nicest person in the world I'm sure, but do we really want every post-SCT discussion to devolve into calling out various teams that aren't in the cool kids club?

I don't think the vast majority of this community wants to see the behaviors we've seen today from a few people. I accept that some people are just angry about the situation. I also think some people (let's be real: Matt Weiner) are toxic for the community, and we can only do ourselves good by ridding ourselves of them before they drag us all into the muck with them.

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by mriggle » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:27 pm

I very seldom make non-tournament announcement posts on the forum, but given the amount of recent attention that's been directed towards the WKU team, I feel compelled to weigh in.

First, on the notion that we are not as "plugged-in" as other teams: I suspect that this is a result of us not really being very active on the forums or in the IRC. But just because we don't post here doesn't mean we don't know what gets said here. I read most of the forum discussions (though I think I'm the only one on my team who does so), and while I personally am not bothered by the derisive comments about us, I do believe that if some of my non-forum-reading teammates were to read some of what was being said about us here, it would make them very upset to the point of possibly turning them off of quizbowl altogether. It's completely understandable that people are upset, but just - try to be nice.

I'd also argue that while we're maybe not as integrated into the online quizbowl community, we're pretty active in terms of actual quizbowl tournaments. In just the past three years or so, we've sent teams to sites ~300 miles away in five different directions! On top of that, we try to host our own tournaments fairly regularly. I will grant that the past fall semester was an anomaly, but when one of our best players unexpectedly decides to stop playing quizbowl, and a second of our best players is studying abroad in Asia - that's where hastily cobbled together lineups like the one we sent to Penn Bowl come from.

Now, in regards to our hosting SCT: we actually submitted a bid in 2016, albeit late in the process. In declining our bid, NAQT told us that they would strongly consider granting us a site in 2017 if we could attract new teams. Due to the personnel reasons alluded to above, we were not originally planning to pursue the bid, but when other area teams like Kentucky and Louisville asked us to consider hosting SCT, we decided to go for it. And indeed, we ultimately did manage to attract several relatively new teams like Cumberlands, EKU, and Transylvania, as well as Purdue from the periphery of our region. From a circuit-building standpoint, I could not be more pleased with the result.

Note that at no point in my communications with NAQT did we either ask for or feel entitled to an autobid to ICT for hosting. For obvious reasons, we were very happy to receive one, but that decision was 100% NAQT's and had nothing to do with any sort of lobbying on my part, as no such lobbying occurred.

Regarding statistical debates: these are totally fine! In a hypothetical matchup between us and Chicago B, I'll be the first to tell you that our chances of winning such a game are marginal at best, even with our full lineup. That said, I do think that our full lineup could hang with Louisville's SCT lineup (i.e., without Kurtis), so I think calling us an "egregious" inclusion in the field is a little unfair. You're certainly welcome to disagree! But I don't think statistical arguments are as relevant here because, again, at no point did we make a statistical case to NAQT about why we did or didn't deserve an autobid. If you want to criticize NAQT for giving out autobids without using sufficient statistical scrutiny*, then go right ahead, but I don't really think that the burden of proof is on us in this particular case.

(*note that I obviously don't have knowledge of the inner-discussions of NAQT, so it's certainly possible that such statistical scrutiny did actually play a role)



Finally, I want to stress that, at least speaking for myself (though I'm pretty confident my teammates are in agreement), I have no hard feelings towards anyone here. ICT is a really important tournament, and the stakes are high - I get that! I know that we'll see many of you in Chicago in April, and I don't want anyone to think that our team is holding grudges, because we definitely aren't. You all are cool people.
Matthew Riggle
Pope John Paul II Catholic High School (Huntsville, Alabama): 2008-2012
Western Kentucky University: 2012-present

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Valefor » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:55 pm

Matthew makes a couple of points I'd like to follow-up on, especially in lieu of the suggestion from a few people in this thread regarding the complete elimination of host bids to ICT.

According to the D-values list, 142 teams played SCT D2 this year. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, the only other annual college tournament that approaches that number of teams is ACF Fall. As Matthew points out, multiple teams at the WKU site played their first ever SCT this year. In fact, the last time Transylvania played SCT, back in the long-long-ago of 2004, this happened.

Feel free to laugh at that stat line if you like; God knows I do. I will, however, point out that, like many people at WKU's 2017 SCT, I was playing my first standard quiz bowl tournament, as opposed to Kentucky's state format. So were most of the other people at Georgetown in 2004!

Along with ACF Fall, SCT D2 is one of the ways in which the collegiate quiz bowl community has the greatest potential to do outreach. I am willing to put good money on the fact that EKU, Cumberlands, and some other schools at the WKU site would not have participated if they had had to make the 8 hour drive, overnight-stay sojurn that to many of us in quizbowl is just kind of a given part of competing in (or staffing) tournaments.

Will any of them continue to participate in quizbowl? Maybe! Maybe not! But they've been introduced.

Now, would WKU--a team that has, multiple times in the past, earned its spot in ICT at the buzzer--have hosted this tournament if they knew in advance that they were doing so at the potential price of missing out on ICT because they wouldn't be able to field their full D1 team while doing so? Again, maybe! Matthew's post implies that they would have, and knowing him, I'm inclined to believe him. But the idea of turning SCT hosting into some kind of altruistic litmus test seems to me to be setting up a path to two major outcomes: the same large teams, who have enough members that they can both staff the tournament and field 1 or more competitive teams, hosting year after year after year; and giving up the single biggest incentive that can be used to get people to host in regions that are fairly quizbowl-barren to begin with. Given the field numbers and some people's previous posts about the difficulty in finding hosts as it is, the large-scale elimination of host bids seems akin to shooting one of the best tools for outreach in the foot.

I am not, by any means, suggesting that the system for awarding auto-bids is peachy-keen, hunky-dory, A-OK. Far from it. If teams in the top 16 D-values have to worry about whether or not they're going to receive an ICT bid, then there are major, MAJOR issues that need to be addressed. There are discussions to be had, and Brad's proposal may be a good starting point. But I don't think that the complete elimination of host bids is the way to go about it. Georgetown College hosting that one SCT D2 in 2004 is a major reason I'm involved in this activity today. They won their tournament; if they had a host bid, it got mooted and dissolved. Would they have agreed to host in the first place had they not known they might get one? Who knows.
Jason Thompson
aka "that one reader with the ponytail and the Transylvania sweatshirt"
NAQT writer and editor

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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:06 pm

In the future, is it possible for NAQT to provide a reward that isn't an ICT bid to host teams deemed not good enough for ICT? Maybe things like questions, study guides, a new buzzer system, free admission to next year's SCT, or whatever.
Joe Su
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by grapesmoker » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:35 pm

As a long-suffering observer of the ICT qualification process, let me say a few things.

First of all, this:
I have no real qualms with them. On the other hand, I would very much look down at the Maryland club if their grossly-unqualified B team accepted a bid.
is really fucking grotesque. It is beyond absurd that people (all affiliated with Chicago somehow... weird!) are making the argument that teams that accept autobids are moral miscreants. The system has been in place forever, and everyone knows the story going in; there is no stigma attached to doing whatever is within the bounds of the rules to get your team to ICT, whether it's splitting your A team, traveling to another site, or accepting autobids, nor ought there be. The one bad thing here was Virginia being awarded an autobid seemingly under the table, which is not a thing that should happen.

Moving on to the core of this problem, the central issue here is that there is more demand for ICT than can be effectively supplied given NAQT's constraints. I have long argued for the abolition of the clock as a way of doubling available staff, and I continue to defend this lonely hill, but of course the problem of rooms would remain. For various reasons not unrelated to the Great Maryland Fiasco of, what, 2006? NAQT decided to move away from using college campuses for hosting; as you're all aware, ACF continues to do so, with, I will claim, a pretty solid track record. Moving in this direction would certainly involve some changes to NAQT's logistical operations so obviously it's not a costless adjustment for them, but it could be done. So: drop the clock, move to a campus, and you can probably accommodate 48 or even 64 teams if you want. I'm guessing the bickering over the 48th or 64th spot should be less bitter, but on the other hand quizbowl has never disappointed me by refusing to bicker over minutia.

Related to and exacerbating the above situation is the fact that the qualification process is too baroque; it has too many moving parts, some of which are at NAQT's discretion. Just understanding who got which bids requires way too much time. Most years, it looks like the various procedures average out to something reasonable, but every once in a while you have three coin flips come up heads and now you're in bizarro-land where it looks like 24 out of 32 bids are determined by something other than D-value. Assuming NAQT isn't going in the direction I outlined above, probably the least they could do would be to simplify the process a bit. One autobid max, plus a possible restriction on traveling to other regions, not because it's bad in and of itself, but because it can cause nasty ripple effects like the ones we're observing right now. On top of that, hosts should be determined farther in advance to avoid emergency calls at the last minute.

Until this is figured out, we can probably expect to have some version of this debate every year.
Jerry Vinokurov
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Mewto55555 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:26 pm

Snap Wexley wrote: The system has been in place forever, and everyone knows the story going in; there is no stigma attached to doing whatever is within the bounds of the rules to get your team to ICT, whether it's splitting your A team, traveling to another site, or accepting autobids, nor ought there be.
I pretty strongly disagree with this (which is why I'm arguing so vociferously against it! I'm not sure what's unique about Chicago compared to other schools that we're the only ones who seem to think this way -- maybe JL and I have accidentally created a bunch of B/C-teamers in our image...). However, I totally accept that quizbowl is an activity where the norms are set by its participants; if everyone else thinks that anything within the rules goes when it comes to getting bids, then there indeed shouldn't be a stigma against doing anything within the rules to get a bid. The posts in this thread seem to suggest that most of the community agrees with you, so if that really is the case, I'm certainly not going to try to keep swimming against that tide.
Max
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Re: 2017 ICT bids

Post by Cheynem » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:37 pm

I'm not exactly sure what a "stigma" looks like in this context, as you yourself admit the actions were within the rules, and almost everyone else agrees that the system should be reformed so it's not like people are encouraging this to happen all the time in the future. I guess you mean the stigma means you look down upon a team, which is certainly your right to do so, but as you said above, I think most people would respond to that (the opinion of someone they've never met) with abject apathy. I have no dog in this fight, but I think it's harmful for the community if that stigma takes the form of outright, public disdain on the forums or in the IRC.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

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