Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

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Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:56 pm

On behalf of Wofford College, I invite all high school teams to register for our third annual high school quiz bowl tournament. There are no registration fees for this tournament; all we ask is that you bring a buzzer set if you can. The tournament will be held on the 26th of February, 2011, and we'll be using HSAPQ Tournament Set 17. The field will be capped at 32 teams. We will accept registrations from one team per school until January 31; at that time, we will open registration for multiple teams. More information will be posted here and at http://www.wofford.edu/mathematics/cont ... x?id=43376 soon, so keep checking back for updates. Contact Dr. Matt Cathey at catheyme@wofford.edu if you have any questions.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:02 pm

So far (updated 24 Feb) the field looks like:

Seneca
Clinton
Southside (2 teams)
Greenville Tech Charter (2 teams)
Augusta Christian
Dorman (3 teams)
Spartanburg (2 teams)
Rutherford Early College
Freedom (3 teams)
Mauldin
Greenville
Chapman
Ninety-Six
Last edited by catheyme on Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Red-necked Phalarope » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:50 pm

catheyme wrote:Dorman (several teams)
Given the cost and proximity of this tournament, a small part of me is really hoping to see an appearance by, say, Dorman L.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:23 am

The field for our tournament has been updated above. We will be posting live results on the web; I'll pass along that address when I know it.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:12 pm

The field is set; see above. Anyone who is interested can follow the tournament in near-real-time at:
http://webs.wofford.edu/catheyme/2011/W ... dings.html
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by STPickrell » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:45 pm

I wanted to warn everyone (and Mr. Cathey has already been advised of this) that this tournament will be using HSAPQ Tournament #16.

This was due entirely to an error on my part and if any teams will need to cancel they should contact me immediately. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The error was only in my email to him; in my records I had assigned #16 to Wofford.

The closest hosts to Wofford using #16 are Cave Spring, Ohio State, and Portland (TN).

From my reading it seems TJ Classical attended Cave Spring. If someone can get me their coach's email that would be most appreciated (edit: I already found it on my own.)
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:25 pm

I've updated the field to reflect the disqualification of TJCA, as well as a couple of other last minute changes.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:25 pm

Stats are live. The first three rounds are up. Enjoy!
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:44 pm

Playoffs, round 1:

Dorman B (530) vs. Southside B (40)
Augusta Christian (190) vs. Dorman D (150)
Freedom B (100) vs. Clinton (180)
Freedom C (30) vs. Dorman A (540)

Southside A (300) vs. Spartanburg A (280)
Greenville Tech Charter A (120) vs. Freedom A (310)
Greenville Tech Charter B (20) vs. Seneca (380)
Mauldin (70) vs. Dorman C (330)

Round 2:
Dorman B (560) vs. Augusta Christian (60)
Clinton (60) vs. Dorman A (470)

Southside (340) vs. Freedom A (50)
Seneca (130) vs. Dorman C (290)

Round 3:
Dorman A vs. Dorman B
Southside A vs. Dorman C

Dorman A defeats Southside A 480 to 90. Full stats to come on Monday.
Last edited by catheyme on Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by cchiego » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:51 pm

Dorman A and B weren't the top 2 seeds? I know single elimination is still popular at many tournaments in the South, but it seems just a bit unfair to force clearly the top 2 teams in the tournament to play enough other before the finals. And while I know it's difficult to plan beforehand, the prelim brackets seem pretty unbalanced.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Duncan Idaho » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:28 am

I also am curious about the bracket structure. I understand that a lot of teams in South Carolina don't play very regularly and therefore information about them is difficult or near-impossible to glean, but why were Southside A and Spartanburg A, historically two of the best teams in the region after Dorman, placed in the same brackets as the two Dorman teams instead of in the rather weak Fire and Air brackets?
(For statistical reference, the Water and Earth brackets, respectively, had two and three (three!) teams with a bonus conversion above 15, while Fire and Air had not a single team reach that figure.)
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:27 pm

I understand the criticisms; however, I don't feel justified in making a priori judgements about teams. The divisions were selected randomly, under the caveat that no division contain two teams from the same school, and that the numbers of A and B teams stay roughly equal. Similarly, the playoff bracket was not seeded 1-16; rather, the top team from each division played the fourth team from a different division, while the second team from each division played the third from another division. I set it up in such a way that two teams from the same division couldn't possibly meet in the playoffs until the semis. Also, two division champs could not meet before the semis. I created the playoff bracket before selecting the divisions to eliminate any possibility of bias. It was almost literally a coin flip as to whether Dorman A would meet Dorman B before the finals. I will welcome suggestions and comments from the field, but it would take an extraordinarily powerful argument to convince me that our format was somehow unfair.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by WSchneider » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:47 pm

catheyme wrote: Similarly, the playoff bracket was not seeded 1-16; rather, the top team from each division played the fourth team from a different division, while the second team from each division played the third from another division. I set it up in such a way that two teams from the same division couldn't possibly meet in the playoffs until the semis.
While potentially un-balanced for seeding, this is a very interesting way to ensure everybody plays a unique field... kudos haha...
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 am

WSchneider wrote:While potentially un-balanced for seeding, this is a very interesting way to ensure everybody plays a unique field... kudos haha...
That was the idea. I believe that's the best way to handle discrepancies in difficulty among divisions. But, again, I'm happy to hear arguments against this method.

The final stats and round reports have been posted.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:00 pm

You really should have just created fair and balanced brackets. If you have trouble with this, ask the "quizbowl community at large." We really will help you when it comes to "ranking" the teams, publicly or in private if you wish. Some information can be found on just about every team. We want tournaments to be fair, and putting Dorman and Southside in the same opening bracket is clearly not fair.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by catheyme » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:19 pm

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:...putting Dorman and Southside in the same opening bracket is clearly not fair.
I have to respectfully disagree with you. I'm not really sure what you mean by "fair" in this case, but I can't think of any organized competition in the US that shuffles its divisions to make it "fair" to the teams at the top. Can you imagine if MLB switched the Yankees to the AL West and brought the A's to the AL East so that the Yankees wouldn't have to play the Red Sox as often? I know that these situations are not exactly isomorphic, but I think it illustrates my point. I divided up the preliminary divisions randomly (with the caveats mentioned above), which is about as fair as anything I can imagine. The top four teams from each division made the playoffs, so even a horrendously top-heavy division would almost certainly send all of its worthy teams to the playoffs. The playoff bracket was established before the divisions were chosen (you can find it here: http://webs.wofford.edu/catheyme/2011/bracket.jpg). It was designed for maximum avoidance of members of a team's initial division, further insulating against the impact of a top-heavy division.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:26 pm

The way most tournaments are run is by seeding the field beforehand. This is simply how it is. It is fair because it allows prelim brackets to be about as balanced as one could hope, thus maximizing your chances of having the most talented teams do well since they will not have to rely on capricious random draws that could potentially put the top 3 teams at a tournament in the same prelim bracket. This isn't baseball, it's quizbowl.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Charbroil » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:37 pm

catheyme wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:...putting Dorman and Southside in the same opening bracket is clearly not fair.
I have to respectfully disagree with you. I'm not really sure what you mean by "fair" in this case, but I can't think of any organized competition in the US that shuffles its divisions to make it "fair" to the teams at the top. Can you imagine if MLB switched the Yankees to the AL West and brought the A's to the AL East so that the Yankees wouldn't have to play the Red Sox as often? I know that these situations are not exactly isomorphic, but I think it illustrates my point. I divided up the preliminary divisions randomly (with the caveats mentioned above), which is about as fair as anything I can imagine. The top four teams from each division made the playoffs, so even a horrendously top-heavy division would almost certainly send all of its worthy teams to the playoffs. The playoff bracket was established before the divisions were chosen (you can find it here: http://webs.wofford.edu/catheyme/2011/bracket.jpg). It was designed for maximum avoidance of members of a team's initial division, further insulating against the impact of a top-heavy division.
I'm not really sure if the baseball parallel really holds--isn't the reason why both the Yankees and the Red Sox are in the AL East because they're in the...east? It's not as if baseball randomly assigns teams into divisions either.

Also, tennis tournaments usually seed players based on their performance at previous events so that the top players won't meet until the final rounds; I think that's what people are advocating here.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:08 pm

catheyme wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:...putting Dorman and Southside in the same opening bracket is clearly not fair.
I have to respectfully disagree with you. I'm not really sure what you mean by "fair" in this case, but I can't think of any organized competition in the US that shuffles its divisions to make it "fair" to the teams at the top. Can you imagine if MLB switched the Yankees to the AL West and brought the A's to the AL East so that the Yankees wouldn't have to play the Red Sox as often? I know that these situations are not exactly isomorphic, but I think it illustrates my point. I divided up the preliminary divisions randomly (with the caveats mentioned above), which is about as fair as anything I can imagine. The top four teams from each division made the playoffs, so even a horrendously top-heavy division would almost certainly send all of its worthy teams to the playoffs. The playoff bracket was established before the divisions were chosen (you can find it here: http://webs.wofford.edu/catheyme/2011/bracket.jpg). It was designed for maximum avoidance of members of a team's initial division, further insulating against the impact of a top-heavy division.
So, like, pretend that your awesome random brackets put Dorman A, Dorman B, Southside, and Spartanburg in the same bracket. Because if it's truly random, that's as likely to happen as any other result, correct? You really think that Southside, who then might have gone 0-3 in that bracket, deserves to not make the playoffs or have a really low seed or something even with like 17 or 18ppb?

This is why you seed, to the best of your ability, beforehand. I'm not trying to be combative here; to the contrary i'm offering help to this and any other tournament across the country. If you want help seeding your field, ask us here. We will help you as much as we can to make it fair.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:51 pm

The reason that baseball has consistent divisions year to year is because you play a lot of teams in the same division more than in other divisions and having regional divisions minimizes travel time. There's also some sort of historical loyalty to what the division was last year, and the year before. Your random solution disregards both historical rivalry-making--granted, it's not like you could do it if you tried unless the same n teams come each year, and unless they care about your tournament to the exclusion of all others--and has no geography problem to solve. So not only is it a different context, it doesn't do what baseball divisions do. What you're actually saying is "well, baseball has unfair divisions for reasons that don't apply to my situation, so it's okay for me to do so." That's not true.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:08 pm

Charbroil wrote:
catheyme wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:...putting Dorman and Southside in the same opening bracket is clearly not fair.
I have to respectfully disagree with you. I'm not really sure what you mean by "fair" in this case, but I can't think of any organized competition in the US that shuffles its divisions to make it "fair" to the teams at the top. Can you imagine if MLB switched the Yankees to the AL West and brought the A's to the AL East so that the Yankees wouldn't have to play the Red Sox as often? I know that these situations are not exactly isomorphic, but I think it illustrates my point. I divided up the preliminary divisions randomly (with the caveats mentioned above), which is about as fair as anything I can imagine. The top four teams from each division made the playoffs, so even a horrendously top-heavy division would almost certainly send all of its worthy teams to the playoffs. The playoff bracket was established before the divisions were chosen (you can find it here: http://webs.wofford.edu/catheyme/2011/bracket.jpg). It was designed for maximum avoidance of members of a team's initial division, further insulating against the impact of a top-heavy division.
I'm not really sure if the baseball parallel really holds--isn't the reason why both the Yankees and the Red Sox are in the AL East because they're in the...east? It's not as if baseball randomly assigns teams into divisions either.

Also, tennis tournaments usually seed players based on their performance at previous events so that the top players won't meet until the final rounds; I think that's what people are advocating here.
Baseball might not be the best example, but the Dallas Cowboys compete in the NFC East when teams that are geographically more appropriate to play in the NFC East such as the St. Louis Rams, who play in the NFC West, or the Carolina Panthers being in the NFC South...
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Golran » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:01 pm

Given that single elimination playoffs will be used, I for one like the idea of these pool prelims where teams are randomly placed into brackets, if and only if the number of teams qualifying from each bracket for playoffs is greater than or equal to the number that could qualify for nationals. For example, if you had 4 pools of six, I would want to see 4 teams from each bracket qualify for the playoffs because only 4 teams would qualify for HSNCT , while if you had 2 brackets of 8, I would want to see at least 3 teams from each bracket qualify for playoffs since there are 3 teams that will qualify for nationals. Basically, I would want to see no team eliminated from nationals consideration with fewer losses than there are teams that qualify for nationals. I will be attempting to implement some thing of this form with UCLA's IM sports next year, mostly because we have no idea the skill of the teams coming in to the season.

But this is made better when using seeded groups leading into a re-bracket.
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Re: Free Tournament at Wofford College 2/26/2011

Post by Camelopardalis » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:06 pm

If we're doing sports analogies, a more pertinent one may be the FIFA World Cup, where unique groups are assembled from a different field each time it is played (like a quizbowl tournament). That tournament uses seeding to generate its groups, since the organizers realize that it would be unfair to place the top 4 seeds (a worst-case scenario, to be fair) in the same group, and may rob the best teams of their rightful appearance in the playoffs, should they play to the best of their best abilities. Even if their intentions are not so noble, they at least realize that such important consequences should not be left to random chance.

Also, as others have already mentioned, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong about making judgments about the skill of teams before they attend the tournament, given the glut of information out there already. Granted, it is either difficult or impossible to make perfect seedings beforehand (especially when it comes to B and C teams), but it's not nearly as hard to seed the top 4-6 teams, so I think some research and a good faith effort is all that's required of tournament hosts. I think that most hosts would have been able to predict that Dorman A, Dorman B, and Southside A would all have a pretty high probability of finishing at or near the top of the field.

Perhaps this is that age-old consequentialist vs. non-consequentialist debate, but I think it's more important to ensure a fair outcome of the tournament than to ensure a universal system for determining who goes into which group. I think it comes to determining which is more important: that each team has the same probability of being assigned to each group, or that each team has a similar probability of playing against a representative sample of the field in their preliminary pool (or, more specifically, that each team has the same probability of playing a powerhouse). Personally, I think the latter is more important, and seeding goes a long way towards that.
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