Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

This forum is for discussing tournament formats, question styles, strategy, and such.
Post Reply
User avatar
cchiego
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:14 pm
Contact:

Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by cchiego »

Registering for a tournament means: "We have gotten clear commitments from all our players that they are free that weekend, and are willing and able to attend the tournament.

Confirming for a tournament in response to an email from the TD after registering means: "We have talked about this multiple times and we have made concrete plans to get everyone we said would come to the tournament. All members of the team have done due diligence to ensure that they can come."

This should not be that hard, especially for established teams, but apparently some quizbowlers require a vocabulary review.

I recommend all tournament hosts adopt a policy of charging schools for the number of teams that they register and enforcing a policy of having schools who drop teams still pay for them to make up for the logistical pain (and possibly keeping out other schools who wanted to play).
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '19
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
http://gpqb.wordpress.com

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Cody »

cchiego wrote:I recommend all tournament hosts adopt a policy of charging schools for the number of teams that they register and enforcing a policy of having schools who drop teams still pay for them to make up for the logistical pain (and possibly keeping out other schools who wanted to play).
Perhaps my opinion is skewed because I've never had to turn away teams from a tournament, but I would strong recommend that no one adopt this policy outside of specific cases.

For one, it's a bad policy because schools are your customers! And are not banks! They're not going to be happy about being charged for dropping a team. Some might be swayed to not register.

For two, in the words of a wise coach I talked to recently, getting high schoolers to commit to things is "like herding cats". They say they'll come to a tournament and confirm multiple times, but then at the last minute: oh, I can't come. The coach/school isn't necessarily at fault and (see point one).

For three, how are you going to get them to pay? The best measure you have available is barring them from your tournaments until they pay...which costs you money since all they have to do is go to a different tournament! And do you think a school is going to pony up money for a team that didn't play a tournament? Are the players? I really, really doubt it.

If a team has a long and glorious history of making your life difficulty by dropping teams at all the wrong times: sure, maybe it's time to do this. But the cases where I think this is applicable are exceedingly rare and limited to maybe 1 active team that I know of.

Finally, two suggestions, one from me and one that was suggested to me:
  • If you really want to do this, you should impose a fee for dropping teams within x days of the tournament or after a waitlist has been started. Not $70. $10, $15, etc.
  • Give a discount to schools that register x weeks in advance and don't change their registration.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16. ACF Treasurer ‘19-20.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

alexdz
Rikku
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by alexdz »

cchiego wrote:Registering for a tournament means: "We have gotten clear commitments from all our players that they are free that weekend, and are willing and able to attend the tournament.
In my experience, this is actually NOT the case. (Caveat that all this experience is in Missouri.) At least where I have been a TD or coach, registering has meant "I, the coach, estimate based on experience that I will have roughly 4x players available to attend this event and I would like to do so if possible with x teams." That is to say, coaches in Missouri frequently register before getting clear student commitments because the tournaments fill up so fast (I am literally talking single digits of hours) that they'd never get in otherwise. The confirmations often happen later; that usually means drops, which fill in from the waitlist if it exists.

That doesn't directly address the issue of what you should do about teams who drop last-minute, but IMO you're not doing your due diligence as a TD if you aren't prepared with a backup schedule of fewer teams anyway. Sure, you may now have too many copies of the set or have ordered too much pizza for lunch, but to resolve those things, I endorse Cody's suggestions that you either impose a smaller fee, or build this into the entry structure with discounts to teams who don't inconvenience you. High school students (and their younger MS counterparts) are notorious for asserting things that are not the case, such as being able to attend tournaments. In fact, this happens in college as well (read: "Do you have any questions?" [no questions asked] [instructor gets 10 frantic emails right before due date with questions after all]).
Alex Dzurick
====
Owner/Editor, SAGES Quizbowl Questions
Coach, Harcum College (PA)
====
Former midwesterner (South Callaway - Mizzou - UIUC) coping with life on the east coast.

User avatar
Everything in the Whole Wide World
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:37 pm
Location: State College, PA

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Everything in the Whole Wide World »

alexdz wrote:
cchiego wrote:Registering for a tournament means: "We have gotten clear commitments from all our players that they are free that weekend, and are willing and able to attend the tournament.
That is to say, coaches in Missouri frequently register before getting clear student commitments because the tournaments fill up so fast (I am literally talking single digits of hours) that they'd never get in otherwise. The confirmations often happen later; that usually means drops, which fill in from the waitlist if it exists.
This practice probably does not set a great precedent. I understand that fields can fill up fast but this a really killer thing to do in terms of getting new squads involved and registered, or teams or not so on the ball in the field. It's truly rude to teams to hog spots that you may or may not end up using. I feel like this sets a president of allowing insider teams to get first crack at everything and gives them a special favor. I certainly look disfavorably on teams in my region that do this and I think this is something we should re-consider if we want to have as open a community as possible.
Ben Herman
Henderson High School (2007-2011) [West Chester, PA]
University of Delaware (2011-2015)
Penn State University (2015-Present)
Co-Founder and Contributor, Greater Pennsylvania Quizbowl Resource

User avatar
gettysburg11
Wakka
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by gettysburg11 »

Beatlefan11 wrote:
alexdz wrote:
cchiego wrote:Registering for a tournament means: "We have gotten clear commitments from all our players that they are free that weekend, and are willing and able to attend the tournament.
That is to say, coaches in Missouri frequently register before getting clear student commitments because the tournaments fill up so fast (I am literally talking single digits of hours) that they'd never get in otherwise. The confirmations often happen later; that usually means drops, which fill in from the waitlist if it exists.
This practice probably does not set a great precedent. I understand that fields can fill up fast but this a really killer thing to do in terms of getting new squads involved and registered, or teams or not so on the ball in the field. It's truly rude to teams to hog spots that you may or may not end up using. I feel like this sets a president of allowing insider teams to get first crack at everything and gives them a special favor. I certainly look disfavorably on teams in my region that do this and I think this is something we should re-consider if we want to have as open a community as possible.
To this point, I think there's a good compromise option, and it's something that I saw multiple tournaments in New Jersey do last year. Schools could register up to 2 teams into the field before a certain date, to allow more schools the opportunity to hear about and register for the tournament. Any further teams from a single school would go on the waitlist until after the certain cutoff date has passed. Personally, I see this as a good way to ensure that schools of all shapes, sizes, and statures on the quizbowl circuit have a chance to get their foot in the door for a tournament.

I could be totally wrong about this, though, never having been in charge of a tournament myself. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
Ryan Bilger
Emmaus '15, Gettysburg '19, West Virginia '21

"I never saved anything for the swim back." - Vincent Freeman, Gattaca

User avatar
The Stately Rhododendron
Rikku
Posts: 456
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Heart's in the woods

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by The Stately Rhododendron »

Beatlefan11 wrote:
alexdz wrote:
cchiego wrote:Registering for a tournament means: "We have gotten clear commitments from all our players that they are free that weekend, and are willing and able to attend the tournament.
That is to say, coaches in Missouri frequently register before getting clear student commitments because the tournaments fill up so fast (I am literally talking single digits of hours) that they'd never get in otherwise. The confirmations often happen later; that usually means drops, which fill in from the waitlist if it exists.
This practice probably does not set a great precedent. I understand that fields can fill up fast but this a really killer thing to do in terms of getting new squads involved and registered, or teams or not so on the ball in the field. It's truly rude to teams to hog spots that you may or may not end up using. I feel like this sets a president of allowing insider teams to get first crack at everything and gives them a special favor. I certainly look disfavorably on teams in my region that do this and I think this is something we should re-consider if we want to have as open a community as possible.
From what I've seen this is a serious problem in the Northeast circuit. It's incredibly rude, if you ask me, especially since these teams end up dropping at the last minute.
IKD
Yale 18
Oakland Mills 14
"I am the NAQT beast I worship."

User avatar
cchiego
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:14 pm
Contact:

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by cchiego »

So I'm not sure what the demand for tournaments and supply of moderators is like in Virginia, but I've seen an excess of demand and an lack of supply for tournaments here on the border of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This means that there are lots of teams interested, and so every team that "registers" [sic] means excluding a team or two that can't play. Since many teams make their plans early on, filling up early often means that teams/players who are interested elect to embark on other activities and so do not play quizbowl that weekend. Teams who "register" then ought to commit to attending said tournament.

All that I ask is that people who register--and especially people who "confirm"-- are actually able and willing to send a team! Remember that teams include up to 6 members each, so if you have 11 people interested you should register 2 teams and not 3.
Cody wrote:For two, in the words of a wise coach I talked to recently, getting high schoolers to commit to things is "like herding cats". They say they'll come to a tournament and confirm multiple times, but then at the last minute: oh, I can't come. The coach/school isn't necessarily at fault and (see point one).
This is not that hard. I do have experience coaching at the high school level and never had an issue so long as I made my students sign up for tournaments and turn in permission forms in advance. We never had a problem with having to cancel at the last minute because I did basic due diligence beforehand. What I think is happening is that too many teams are "registering" for tournaments to ensure multiple spots and not doing anything to ensure that said teams can actually attend.
Ben wrote: I understand that fields can fill up fast but this a really killer thing to do in terms of getting new squads involved and registered, or teams or not so on the ball in the field. It's truly rude to teams to hog spots that you may or may not end up using. I feel like this sets a president of allowing insider teams to get first crack at everything and gives them a special favor.
I can understand new teams having issues, but I can't understand veteran teams doing this. Even new teams should have it impressed upon them that you don't register until you have real commitments. Please stop registering for tournaments before ensuring that you have sufficient and secure-enough interest. I have had to beg multiple people to volunteer their time to help staff a tournament now because of certain people who "committed" to reading to this tournament decided, in the end, that they could not read, and because we got excess demand from something approaching 50 teams, but we're probably only going to get 33-34.

I can understand this for newer teams or occasional attending teams, though my emphasis on "confirmed" is in part frustration over teams that have said multiple times that they are going to come who eventually can't. What I can't understand is teams who should know better--and who have done this in the past!--claim to "confirm" teams and then a day or two later change that. Please do not do that!
Cody wrote:For three, how are you going to get them to pay? The best measure you have available is barring them from your tournaments until they pay...which costs you money since all they have to do is go to a different tournament! And do you think a school is going to pony up money for a team that didn't play a tournament? Are the players? I really, really doubt it.
So who should pay for this? A spot in a tournament is $50 (or maybe less, for new teams) and why should hosts be responsible for the irresponsibility of schools to do due diligence about their number of teams? I am particularly sensitive to this now due to the cost of room reservations, but more generally teams should not do this. As quizbowl grows more popular and spots in the field get filled earlier, it ought to be the responsibility of teams, not the hosts, to pay for the spots that they claim.
Alex wrote:but IMO you're not doing your due diligence as a TD if you aren't prepared with a backup schedule of fewer teams anyway.
Sure, I have backup schedules, but what annoys me is that I have had to tell multiple teams that we were full based on the projections of people who didn't do their due diligence. I also had to secure the services of more moderators than were necessary (though it turns out we'll need everyone this time!). In circuits where there is excess demand, teams ought to do due diligence to ensure that they are actually registering and not just "expressing general interest."
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '19
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
http://gpqb.wordpress.com

User avatar
Everything in the Whole Wide World
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:37 pm
Location: State College, PA

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Everything in the Whole Wide World »

cchiego wrote: I have had to beg multiple people to volunteer their time to help staff a tournament now because of certain people who "committed" to reading to this tournament decided, in the end, that they could not read, and because we got excess demand from something approaching 50 teams, but we're probably only going to get 33-34.
In regards to this and Issac's post, I've found this number- 1/4th to 1/3rd- as par for the course in terms of drops in the Northeast Circuit. Would be very interested to hear if this is not the case elsewhere, as this is a serious cultural problem to have.
Ben Herman
Henderson High School (2007-2011) [West Chester, PA]
University of Delaware (2011-2015)
Penn State University (2015-Present)
Co-Founder and Contributor, Greater Pennsylvania Quizbowl Resource

User avatar
UlyssesInvictus
Yuna
Posts: 821
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:38 pm

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by UlyssesInvictus »

I think the discussions in this post are applicable again here.

In my experience, I think a big part of the problem is cultural, both for the TD and the teams. Many competitive regions need to register teams before they can concretely decide on team members. A fair, contractual system would require teams to decide rosters before registering, but that's not how it works, and game theory pushes teams to register as early as they can in this environment anyway. As long as the TD understands this culture, and the teams ultimately tell the TD if they have to drop at least a week beforehand, I think this is ok. Quizbowl just isn't formal enough yet in some places for a better system.

On the other hand, the culture some TDs bring with them is a more formal one. They expect teams to contractually oblige to their commitments, and that's a fair expectation. But like I said, sometimes that's just not the culture. Is it the culture at fault? Maybe. I think it's a discussion for another time of how we should go about changing that culture. But the TD needs to be aware that not all teams share the same culture as the TD themself, and that's just something that has to be dealt with.

I do think there is a limit to how much leniency can be granted teams. I try to unilaterally make allowances for medical reasons, inclement weather, and traffic accidents. I also think it's fair to give teams until the evening/night before to figure out teams, since past that time they're not really trying anymore. But I dispute the opinion that teams only have legitimate reasons for dropping. As, you know, a former high school student, I can attest that sometimes players just don't want to go anymore. Like, for a flimsy reason, or a completely balderdash reason. Like not doing homework beforehand and wanting to do it Saturday instead, or just not wanting to get up in the morning, or just not wanting to pay for the extra team and deciding to cram all the players on one team instead. It's not a TD's job to deal with these, and I think it's fair to charge at least some disincentivizing fee for these. How can a TD always tell the difference between legitimate and illegitimate reasons? In a lot of cases, it's hard to tell, which is why I think teams should get the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it's patently obvious a team just blew off coming.

Either way, Cody has a good point that it's not going to be easy to make teams pony up; but an officially mailed invoice goes a long way, and I suppose it means something for how "official" quizbowl appears if people do start rigorously adjudicating preset tournament rules and fees.

I also like a lot of the new ideas that have been mentioned and I think are worth parroting--putting a ceiling on how many teams a school can register before a certain date, giving discounts for teams that don't mess with their registrations, planning alternative schedules (not a new idea, but still worth repeating!), and just plain communicating with "registered" teams beforehand so they have no excuses when they try to claim they "forgot" about their extra registered teams.
Raynor Kuang
quizdb.org
Harvard 2017, TJHSST 2013
I wrote GRAPHIC and FILM

User avatar
Cody
2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year
Posts: 2331
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:57 am
Location: Richmond

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Cody »

Ryan is exactly right about New Jersey's system, which as far as I can tell works very well. If your goal is to make sure that the most schools who want to attend can attend -- including teams that aren't on the boards all the time! -- then the best way to do it is to implement a quota system, not charge money for drops. The quota system can come in various forms: C teams from a school are put on a separate waitlist until x days before the tournament, when they're put in the field; reserving a certain number of spots for schools that aren't regulars (at your tournament or at circuit tournaments), etc. The quota system actually solves a lot of problems; charging people for drops is only a punitive system that doesn't actually remedy anything (and has a host of bad complications!)*.

*in the general case. I do believe there are targeted times where this can work, though they are rare. This assumption holds for below -- I'm discussing instituting this as a general policy and not a policy for a school or schools that constantly muck things up.
cchiego wrote:All that I ask is that people who register--and especially people who "confirm"-- are actually able and willing to send a team! Remember that teams include up to 6 members each, so if you have 11 people interested you should register 2 teams and not 3.
I agree about schools who confirm, but the last part is crazy pants. Tomorrow, I will have 1 to 3 schools that have 3 teams and 11 players. Teams that are integrated into the circuit are much more likely to field 3 to 4 person teams; teams less integrated into the circuit are more likely to field 4+ person teams. Many schools would like all of their players to gain tournament experience, which is less effective when you have more than 4 people!
cchiego wrote:
Cody wrote:For two, in the words of a wise coach I talked to recently, getting high schoolers to commit to things is "like herding cats". They say they'll come to a tournament and confirm multiple times, but then at the last minute: oh, I can't come. The coach/school isn't necessarily at fault and (see point one).
This is not that hard. I do have experience coaching at the high school level and never had an issue so long as I made my students sign up for tournaments and turn in permission forms in advance. We never had a problem with having to cancel at the last minute because I did basic due diligence beforehand. What I think is happening is that too many teams are "registering" for tournaments to ensure multiple spots and not doing anything to ensure that said teams can actually attend.
I don't see registration ever being immutable, and I think there is a disconnect between what you think registration should be and what registration actually is. In my experience, registration is actually entirely about ensuring you have enough spots for the number of players you expect to be able to bring, especially if fields fill up. VCU registered 2 teams for Penn Bowl without having 100% firm commitments from 8 players because we had enough serious interest that we were pretty sure we could fill out 2 teams (and we did) and the field was filling up fast. And hey -- the first year I played Blue Crab Bowl (regional National Ocean Sciences Bowl tournament), I did so on a standby team! Granted, their registration process is basically "submit a bid and we randomly select schools", but: teams drops out even for things with real institutional cache and real prizes (we got a pretty nice freshwater marsh trip out of it). I don't think you can lay it all on the coach for not doing their due diligence, especially at a school where the coach is not heavily involved in circuit quizbowl or played college quizbowl for a whole lot of years!
cchiego wrote:I can understand this for newer teams or occasional attending teams, though my emphasis on "confirmed" is in part frustration over teams that have said multiple times that they are going to come who eventually can't. What I can't understand is teams who should know better--and who have done this in the past!--claim to "confirm" teams and then a day or two later change that. Please do not do that!
Yeah, this is unacceptable. If it's a real problem, I would talk to them and institute a fee on a case-by-case basis. One school in particular is extremely bad about this and TDs should start assessing penalties or outright banning them from their tournaments, as necessary.
cchiego wrote:So who should pay for this? A spot in a tournament is $50 (or maybe less, for new teams) and why should hosts be responsible for the irresponsibility of schools to do due diligence about their number of teams? I am particularly sensitive to this now due to the cost of room reservations, but more generally teams should not do this. As quizbowl grows more popular and spots in the field get filled earlier, it ought to be the responsibility of teams, not the hosts, to pay for the spots that they claim.
I don't subscribe to this, but if I did there would still be the problem of: how do you get them to pay if they don't want to?
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16. ACF Treasurer ‘19-20.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

Kevin
Wakka
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:13 pm
Location: Metairie, Louisiana

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Kevin »

I find that, generally speaking, it's usually the newest, least experienced, and smallest programs that are most likely to no-show or to drop very late. I'm hosting a tournament tomorrow and 4 teams from 3 different schools dropped since Monday. I was able to fill two of the spots, but one team which had expressed interest couldn't make it by the time I could finally offer them a spot. I also capped the number of teams per school at two, when at least three of the schools attending with two teams probably could have sent a third or fourth team.

Unfortunately, since it's usually the newest teams who are most likely to drop out late, it's really hard to crack down on them in a way that wouldn't turn them off from quiz bowl completely. I suppose a policy (either targeted at specific teams or imposed across-the-board) of requiring payment in advance with no refunds could help, but that may not be practical in all regions.
Kevin Marshall
Coach, Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans, LA (2014-present)
Coach, Chapelle HS, Metairie, LA (2011-2014)
player and/or secretary and/or captain, Tulane Quiz Bowl (2007-2009)

Ithaca Cricket Ump
Wakka
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:51 pm

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Ithaca Cricket Ump »

Kevin wrote:I suppose a policy (either targeted at specific teams or imposed across-the-board) of requiring payment in advance with no refunds could help, but that may not be practical in all regions.
Bingo! Not to mention that, assuming that the school itself is paying the bill, this is the way that most school accounting offices are USED to paying for events for organizations from their schools, and in fact, I've been told in some cases that it causes problems and inconvenience for them if you DON'T do it this way. And, as you imply, Kevin, there is absolutely nothing wrong with targeting specific teams with this policy, since how any team pays for the tournament is none of any other team's concern. You can always make exceptions for the teams and schools that you know are good for it, but that should be the exception, not the rule. We instituted something similar this year for BrainBusters Fall, had our highest turnout ever, and the only teams it dissuaded from attending were the ones who had a high probability of bailing last-minute and negatively affecting the tournament experience for everyone else as a result, anyway.

Of course, it needs to be made patently clear to the prepaying teams, before they pay, that the fees are non-refundable, but requiring new or notoriously flaky programs to prepay at least introduces somewhat of an incentive to practice basic personal responsibility and honor their commitments, and introduces a penalty (a small one, but a penalty nonetheless) for not doing so. Which is an excellent lesson for teenagers to learn for later in life, when the penalties for flakiness and irresponsibility can and will be far, far higher.

--Scott
Scott M. Blish
Cheval, FL
Cornell 1990-92, 1997
Tournament Director, BrainBusters Fall
HSNCT moderator 2012-, MSNCT 2013-, SSNCT 2014-, PACE NSC 2013-, NHBB Nationals 2014-

User avatar
cchiego
Yuna
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:14 pm
Contact:

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by cchiego »

Ryan is exactly right about New Jersey's system, which as far as I can tell works very well. If your goal is to make sure that the most schools who want to attend can attend -- including teams that aren't on the boards all the time! -- then the best way to do it is to implement a quota system, not charge money for drops. The quota system can come in various forms: C teams from a school are put on a separate waitlist until x days before the tournament, when they're put in the field; reserving a certain number of spots for schools that aren't regulars (at your tournament or at circuit tournaments), etc. The quota system actually solves a lot of problems; charging people for drops is only a punitive system that doesn't actually remedy anything (and has a host of bad complications!)*
This is precisely what we did. It didn't work to dissuade teams from dropping and instead introduced a host of complications in trying to figure out who was where on the waitlist, who was actually willing to be on the waitlist, and who was just hanging out on the waitlist until something better showed up. Being on a waitlist is completely costless, so most teams opted to stay on it. Other teams who were waitlisted then just made other plans instead for that weekend, which they probably would not have done had they been accepted outright. Thus, the waitlist is often "softer" than it appears.

The more general problem here is opinions like this:
UlyssesInvictus wrote: Is it the culture at fault? Maybe. I think it's a discussion for another time of how we should go about changing that culture. But the TD needs to be aware that not all teams share the same culture as the TD themself, and that's just something that has to be dealt with.
What kind of culture is this? A kind of selfish, narcissistic culture of entitlement? This kind of thinking that you can just drop at a moment's notice because you are le tired and have to nap demonstrates a deep disrespect to your fellow quizbowlers, the tournament director, and your teammates. It needs to be changed, and given the high level of demand for quizbowl these days, hosts should take stronger stances against it.

At a more immediate level, we should be thinking about making registering for the tournament involve some kind of commitment on the part of those registering. Right now, all of the burden lies on the TD rather than the registering team. The negative effects of this setup ricochet around the circuit, leading to rapid-fire registrations, unstable fields, teams who actually wanted to play turned away, and awkward or uneven schedules to accommodate these problems. The idea of having teams secure a spot by sending in payment is simply reversing this burden to where it should be--on the teams and players (the host is guaranteeing you a spot in the field; what are you giving in return?). Note that such a system requires lots of advance notice--you can't just drop a tournament a month before on teams and have them pay this way--so it would also be incumbent on TDs and hosts to secure dates sooner and communicate with teams quickly, which seems fair to all sides.
Alex wrote:Unfortunately, since it's usually the newest teams who are most likely to drop out late, it's really hard to crack down on them in a way that wouldn't turn them off from quiz bowl completely.
Yet these new or occasional attending teams often merrily attend bad quizbowl tournaments that require sending in payment early. I don't think this is as dissuasive as some might think--it seems to be the norm in many areas and teams will accept it, as Scott points out.
Cody wrote:I agree about schools who confirm, but the last part is crazy pants. Tomorrow, I will have 1 to 3 schools that have 3 teams and 11 players. Teams that are integrated into the circuit are much more likely to field 3 to 4 person teams; teams less integrated into the circuit are more likely to field 4+ person teams. Many schools would like all of their players to gain tournament experience, which is less effective when you have more than 4 people!
If you have 10-11 players, register two teams then tell the TD you are available with a standby team. That way, you might be able to get a 3rd team in for free, and if you have a player drop you don't end up having to drop a team. Or you can run a tight ship as a team and ensure that 11 players committing means enough for 3 teams. It depends on the specific team, but I have no problem with newer teams bringing extra members (though it makes entering stats a pain!) because it allows for this kind of flexibility.
Chris C.
UGA '09, UCSD '12, UPenn '19
Greater Pennsylvania QuizBowl
http://gpqb.wordpress.com

User avatar
Everything in the Whole Wide World
Wakka
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:37 pm
Location: State College, PA

Re: Vocabulary: A Brief Lesson for Teams

Post by Everything in the Whole Wide World »

cchiego wrote:
If you have 10-11 players, register two teams then tell the TD you are available with a standby team. That way, you might be able to get a 3rd team in for free, and if you have a player drop you don't end up having to drop a team. Or you can run a tight ship as a team and ensure that 11 players committing means enough for 3 teams. It depends on the specific team, but I have no problem with newer teams bringing extra members (though it makes entering stats a pain!) because it allows for this kind of flexibility.
Also, this allows someone to get sick, drop, etc. without causing you as the coach to have to deal with the burden of shuffling people around. Substitutions are allowed by the rules for a reason. While it can frustrate a statskeeper, I think there is a taboo about teams that bring more that four players that exists in the more core quizbowling community, and I don't see why this is. Any roster strategy, so long as it adheres to the rule, is valid.
Ben Herman
Henderson High School (2007-2011) [West Chester, PA]
University of Delaware (2011-2015)
Penn State University (2015-Present)
Co-Founder and Contributor, Greater Pennsylvania Quizbowl Resource

Post Reply