Minnesota 2010-11

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Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:53 pm

Given that the league format was announced today it seems like time for this thread. Unfortunately, the league format is exactly like last year despite almost everyone recommending changes to either the questions or the single-elimination playoff structure. Thoughts?
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by btouhey » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:50 am

I personally didn't have many objections to the format from last year, my only objection is that the west division playing at Eden Prairie now, instead of hosting at Minnetonka. Maybe the desired changes will come next year?

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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by GeneVan » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:48 pm

So... Who's going to SOCIAL?
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:18 am

Central should have a team at SOCIAL. I heard Wayzata is also going. I think it's unfortuante though the SOCIAL seems to be using single elimination playoffs again instead of double round robin or card system plus round robin playoffs. Thoughts?
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Cheynem » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:03 am

While I could be considered a gigantic hypocrite, I'd like to encourage MN high school teams to play ACF Fall the first weekend in November at "Northfield" if they are interested.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Edward Powers » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:47 pm

Mike,

:w-hat: ???

YOU are encouraging high-schoolers to occupy COLLEGE turf :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Now that I've had a quick laugh, I understand completely. And thanks for inviting the youngins---it means much coming from you!
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by CaptainSwing » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:28 pm

High schoolers? In Northfield? Gasp!
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:28 am

SOCIAL happened today. EP A won, Chanhassen finished second, Central third, and EP B fourth. For the most part the tournament went pretty well and only ran like 30 minutes behind. However, the set seemed way too easy for the at least the top teams if not most of the field. A lot of the lead-ins were stock clues or just fairly easy. The answer choice also seemed extremely conserative as very few tossups went dead. For example, last year Central heard 18 tossups that went dead in prelims. This year Central heard only tossup go dead in prelims. Additionaly, Central's team this year is probably worse than last year's. The top teams this year also scored a lot more points than teams last year, where Central had the most ppg with about 360. This year 360ppg was probably somewhere around fifth. Otherwise, I wasn't really a fan on the single elimination. Chanhassen finished second ahead of Central because of a better seed determined by paper tiebreakers.
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Post by mrichardquinn » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:29 pm

Armstrong High school will hold our pop culture tournament again this year. The announcement follows.

I am happy to announce the fourth ACRONYM (Armstrong’s Conceivably Regular Or Nearly Yearly Meet) tournament or ACRONYM IV. This year the tournament will feature pop culture questions, house written by former Armstrong Quiz Bowlers, me, and various other contributors.

Date/Time: Sat. 2/26/11- 9:00 am-4:00pm


Place: Armstrong High School 10635 36th ave. N, Plymouth, MN 55441

We will have six rounds before lunch and after lunch single elimination playoffs and informal scrimmages.

The format will be 20 toss-ups/bonuses per round. The toss-up questions will not be power marked, every correct answer is 10 points. There will be -5 penalties on incorrect answers that interrupt a toss-up. Correctly answered toss ups earn teams the chance at a potential 30 points of bonus questions. Generally speaking, the conventions of most Minnesota quiz bowl tournaments will be followed.

We will have novelty trophies for the top 4 teams and top 8 players

Registration- e-mail matt_quinn at rdale.org, $80 per team, $5 discount per buzzer system. $10 discount for bringing a qualified moderator. Please register by 2/18/11. Checks made payable to Armstrong High School.

I hope to see you and your team there.

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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:15 pm

For the past several years there have been some compliants that the league playoffs were single elimination. Previous suggestions for other playoff formats either involved two nights or saturday playoffs and were never happened due to the limitations of one night of playoffs. After thinking about this I came up with a proposal for league playoffs similar to HSNCT playoffs with a card system.
New League Playoff Format
Qualification: Only the top 3 teams from each division would qualify instead of 4. As 4th seeds are almost always stomped in the first round of playoffs I don't see this as a big problem.
The format would be a card system with double elimination though teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in their division would start in the 1-loss bracket.
First give cards 1,5,9 to teams from one division with the 1st place team getting card 1 the second place teams gets card 5 and third place team gets card 9. Another divison would get cards 2,6,10, another 3,7,11, and the last 4,8,12. In all cases the teams finishing higher within the division get lower cards.
Round 1: no loss bracket
Card 1 vs. Card 4
Card 2 vs. Card 3
1-loss bracket
Card 5 vs. Card 12
Card 6 vs. Card 11
Card 7 vs. Card 10
Card 8 vs. Card 9
Round 2: no loss bracket
Card 1 vs. Card 2
1-loss bracket
Card 3 vs. Card 5
Card 4 vs. Card 7
Card 6 vs. Card 8
At this point whoever has Card 1 gets the advantage in the advantaged final.
Round 3: 1-loss bracket
Card 3 vs. Card 4
Card 2 vs. Card 6
Round 4: 1-loss bracket
Card 2 vs. Card 3.
Then there would be an advantaged final between the teams with Cards 1 and 2 with the team with Card 1 having the advantage. As opposed to 5 rooms and 5 rounds this would take 6 rooms and 5-6 rounds which should be very doable in a night. If for some reason the tournament can absolutely not go past 5 rounds the final could be made a 1 game final. Thoughts?
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Coelacanth » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:16 am

Max

The mechanics of the card system seem reasonable. I think your underlying assumptions are somewhat questionable, however.
mtimmons wrote:Qualification: Only the top 3 teams from each division would qualify instead of 4. As 4th seeds are almost always stomped in the first round of playoffs I don't see this as a big problem.
The format would be a card system with double elimination though teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in their division would start in the 1-loss bracket.
On your first point, there has definitely been variation in the strength of field at the various sites. It would not be unheard of for the 4th-place team in the West bracket to be stronger than the winning team at the East bracket. (This is just an example and is not intended to disparage teams in any particular bracket) Thus, cutting from 4 teams per bracket to 3 runs the risk of depriving a legitimate contender the opportunity to compete for the title.

One of the advantages of the current format is that for the playoff-qualifying schools, their ordinal finish within their division affects only playoff seeding. There is no compelling reason to worry about tiebreakers to determine who finishes 2nd and who finishes 3rd, for example. Under your scenario, however, the difference between finishing first and second is significant. Imagine 3 teams tying for a division title in a circle of death at 11-1. Either we'd need a logistically-challenging series of play-in games or an unsatisfying statistics-based tiebreaker to determine who gets the coveted top spot.

The above thoughts are my own and don't necessarily represent the opinion of the MNHSQB board. However, speaking as a board member, we definitely will be discussing the playoff format in the offseason and your suggestion is one that we'll look at.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:44 pm

Coelacanth wrote:Max

The mechanics of the card system seem reasonable. I think your underlying assumptions are somewhat questionable, however.
mtimmons wrote:Qualification: Only the top 3 teams from each division would qualify instead of 4. As 4th seeds are almost always stomped in the first round of playoffs I don't see this as a big problem.
The format would be a card system with double elimination though teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in their division would start in the 1-loss bracket.
On your first point, there has definitely been variation in the strength of field at the various sites. It would not be unheard of for the 4th-place team in the West bracket to be stronger than the winning team at the East bracket. (This is just an example and is not intended to disparage teams in any particular bracket) Thus, cutting from 4 teams per bracket to 3 runs the risk of depriving a legitimate contender the opportunity to compete for the title.
While there is certainly variation in strength between divisions I would imagine that situations where the 4th team in 1 division is better than all the teams in another division are a) fairly rare and b) already very problematic as they skew the nationals berths in unfair ways. While a 4th seed might be a pretty good team i doubt it's a legitimate contender for the title. Looking at the last 4 years 1st seeds beat 4th seeds 13 out of 16 teams. Of the 3 4th seeds to make the second round 2 lost in the second round and the other lost in semifinals. I think it is more important to give teams a second chance if they lose once in playoffs than a 4th seed a fourth chance by letting them into playoffs.
Coelacanth wrote:One of the advantages of the current format is that for the playoff-qualifying schools, their ordinal finish within their division affects only playoff seeding. There is no compelling reason to worry about tiebreakers to determine who finishes 2nd and who finishes 3rd, for example. Under your scenario, however, the difference between finishing first and second is significant. Imagine 3 teams tying for a division title in a circle of death at 11-1. Either we'd need a logistically-challenging series of play-in games or an unsatisfying statistics-based tiebreaker to determine who gets the coveted top spot.
Well, there are already tiebreaker games for 4th seed under the current format so I don't think tiebreakers for 1st would be entirely logistically implausible. Under the current system it is actually sometimes advantagous to finish lower in your division to face easier opponents like how last year West 3rd seed St. Louis Park has a very easy road to the semifinals while 1st and 2nd seeds Chaksa and EP had to play Central and De La Salle respectively. The new format would make winning the division much more attractice and important which I see as a plus.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:25 am

Coelacanth wrote:Max

The mechanics of the card system seem reasonable. I think your underlying assumptions are somewhat questionable, however.
mtimmons wrote:Qualification: Only the top 3 teams from each division would qualify instead of 4. As 4th seeds are almost always stomped in the first round of playoffs I don't see this as a big problem.
The format would be a card system with double elimination though teams that finished 2nd or 3rd in their division would start in the 1-loss bracket.
On your first point, there has definitely been variation in the strength of field at the various sites. It would not be unheard of for the 4th-place team in the West bracket to be stronger than the winning team at the East bracket. (This is just an example and is not intended to disparage teams in any particular bracket) Thus, cutting from 4 teams per bracket to 3 runs the risk of depriving a legitimate contender the opportunity to compete for the title.
So earlier I had looked to see how often a 4th seed beats a 1st seed. This happened 3 times in the last 4 years and 16 1st seed vs. 4th seed matchups. I had extra time on my hands so I decided to look at how deserving those 4th seeds were of their top 8 spots. I found that the 3 4th seeds who made the top 8 were 13th, 15th and 6th in the league their years respectively by bonus conversion (I used bonus conversion because it is the only stat independent of the variation in schedules between divisions). From this I conclude that only the 2008-2009 St. Louis Park team would have been screwed over by my prosposed format had it been in effect. Considering that, in 2009 the 3 teams that made playoffs at HSNCT all came from the West Division it seems that as long as divisions aren't as unbalanced as there were that year nobody will be seriously screwed over. Divisions also seemed to have somewhat evened out in strength recently as well so this should be less of a problem. For example, the East division which had been historically the weakest is now one of the strongest and for the first team ever it seems as the top 4 teams in the state are all from different divisions this year. Also, I want to say I really appreciate that someone from the league board actually goes to the forums to listen to suggestions about improving the league.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Coelacanth » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:19 pm

Max

Not saying you're wrong about anything you've posted about this. It's obviously too late to make any changes for this year, but it's something we'll consider for next year and beyond.

What you might want to consider doing is typing up a one-page summary of the changes you'd like to see. This would include the mechanics of the new playoff system, the rationale behind it, and some of your supporting research about the strength of 4th-place teams, etc. Then take it around to the various tournaments you attend and discuss it with opposing coaches. The board will be more likely to consider ideas that are actively supported by a number of teams.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:36 pm

Coelacanth wrote:Max

Not saying you're wrong about anything you've posted about this. It's obviously too late to make any changes for this year, but it's something we'll consider for next year and beyond.

What you might want to consider doing is typing up a one-page summary of the changes you'd like to see. This would include the mechanics of the new playoff system, the rationale behind it, and some of your supporting research about the strength of 4th-place teams, etc. Then take it around to the various tournaments you attend and discuss it with opposing coaches. The board will be more likely to consider ideas that are actively supported by a number of teams.
Yeah, these proposed changes were only intended for next year. I certainly try and talk to some people about it.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:23 am

Stats from Run from the Roses are up so I thought I'd make some comments. First, the tournament ran smoothly and ran nearly on time. I heard that last year's tournament went until 7 so this is certainly a major improvement. In addition, the change from single elimination was a huge improvement. Although the format used had some problems, it was still much fairer than single elimination. This gave more games to more teams and let both the championship and other places be determined more fairly.

However, there were still some bizarre results because of a multitude of reasons. I think the decision to only play 6 prelim matches instead of the full round robin turned out to be a bad one. Although this has much to do with the upsets the questions were producing, some important matches were not played between teams in the same bracket. Notably, Mounds View and De La Salle A were the top teams in one bracket and didn't play each other. Also, St. Thomas A and St. Paul Academy B both went 5-1 losing to Chaska A in another bracket without playing each other. However, I think these problems could have been fairly resolved with half-games had there not been a seemingly colossal screw-up in the tiebreakers. Somehow, it seems De La Salle A got switched during tiebreakers from the Mounds View/De La Salle A/Wayzata B bracket to the Chaska A/SPA B/STA A bracket. This allowed 5-1 Mounds View to make the top playoff bracket without playing any tiebreakers while causing a 3-way tie of 5-1 teams for spots in the second playoff bracket in another. Had this not happened De La Salle A and Mounds View would have played a tiebreaker game for a spot in the championship bracket. This would have moved SPA B up a playoff bracket, put Hill-Murray A in the fourth playoff bracket, moved Wayzata A to the third playoff bracket, moved Armstrong B to the fourth playoff bracket and eliminated SPA A from the playoffs.

This explains how Mounds View despite having a 5-1 record, the 15th best bonus conversion after prelims and the 14th best PP20TU after prelims made the championship bracket outright. Additionally, the best team Mounds View beat all day was Armstrong B, which placed 12th. Not only did Armstrong B only place 12th it would have placed even lower had the De La Salle A bracket screw-up not have happened.

The bracket problems were also compounded by the huge number of major upsets. Here’s a short list of the most surprising SPA A over Wayzata A, Armstrong B over DLS A, MPA A over EP A, and Chaska B over EP A. In contrast, neither GINVIT nor SnowCAT saw any upsets like this. I would guess most of these upsets stemmed from too short questions and non-academic questions. Subjects like grammar simply have no place in modern quiz bowl tournaments yet there were several grammar questions at the tournament. Many lead-ins were also too easy triggering buzzer races between good teams. Overall, I thought the set was noticeably worse than other recent NAQT sets.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:54 am

mtimmons wrote:Overall, I thought the set was noticeably worse than other recent NAQT sets.
Details welcome as always via email.

(Looking at the distribution, I see only a single grammar bonus.)
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Coelacanth » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:44 am

Max, your comments about the bracketing are well-founded. Since I set up the brackets, here's a short explanation.

Re: the lack of a full round-robin. We were VERY sensitive to the late running of last year's event and this led us to the following somewhat contradictory conclusions: (1) seven games before lunch is too many (teams need a break, and delays caused by a slow room expand exponentially with more rounds); and (2) any format which required a break for rebracketing at any time other than lunch was going to run too long. Thus the truncated (by 1 game) round-robin.

Re: the bracketing. I think you're correct that we goofed up the playoff brackets by transposing DLS A and B. (I've only just now realized this after reading your post). Some of your contentions are wrong, however; Mounds View was not in a prelim bracket with either DLS team. I'm not going to work through all the permutations of what "should" have happened (since I don't have the results here in front of me) but I think we got the right teams into the championship bracket. Any screwup of the playoff bracketing was entirely my responsibility, so I'm sorry if any team was disadvantaged.

The pre-tournament seeding was based on stats from the MNHSQB league. What ended up happening is that some teams (notably Hopkins, Irondale and Eden Prairie) underperformed their seeding while others (DeLaSalle and Mounds View) outperformed. I didn't have access to the rosters prior to doing the seeding so there was a certain amount of crystal ball work involved. The seeds were set up to ensure that the "missing" game from the round-robin wouldn't be between two contending teams, and as things turned out there were some prelim games that I wish we'd played.

There was also a screwup during the prelims where a reader (not naming names but his initials rhyme with "Car Pencil") read for the wrong team. Thus two teams played one of their preliminary games outside of their bracket.

Again, apologies for any rebracketing snafus (entirely caused by my desire to not have single-elim playoffs). I do think we got the best team from each bracket into the championship round, and I know we got the two best teams (on the day) playing for the title.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:09 pm

Coelacanth wrote:
Re: the lack of a full round-robin. We were VERY sensitive to the late running of last year's event and this led us to the following somewhat contradictory conclusions: (1) seven games before lunch is too many (teams need a break, and delays caused by a slow room expand exponentially with more rounds); and (2) any format which required a break for rebracketing at any time other than lunch was going to run too long. Thus the truncated (by 1 game) round-robin.
I guess I think nobody would have been overly upset had lunch been at 12:30. Another to consider is that 7 A-level rounds probably only take as long as 6 IS-level rounds. Another thing that would have made it faster would have been to group the prelim rooms by bracket in the same way that was done for playoffs. Alternatively, 5 brackets of 4 and 2 of 6 might have worked better. I think that this only caused problems when the seeding was off though.
Coelacanth wrote: Some of your contentions are wrong, however; Mounds View was not in a prelim bracket with either DLS team.
Although Mounds View and DLS A did not play in prelims they did have the same 6 prelim opponents: SPA A, Wayzata A, MPA B, Hill-Murray C, Armstrong B, Chaska C. That leads me to believe they were actually in the same bracket.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:20 pm

Coelacanth wrote: The pre-tournament seeding was based on stats from the MNHSQB league. What ended up happening is that some teams (notably Hopkins, Irondale and Eden Prairie) underperformed their seeding while others (DeLaSalle and Mounds View) outperformed. I didn't have access to the rosters prior to doing the seeding so there was a certain amount of crystal ball work involved. The seeds were set up to ensure that the "missing" game from the round-robin wouldn't be between two contending teams, and as things turned out there were some prelim games that I wish we'd played.
I'm not sure how Hopkins possibly underperfomed their seeding as they finished second in their prelim bracket to Central. Both Irondale and EP were missing their top scorers so having rosters would have largely prevented that. I would suggest collecting rosters before the tournament or finding some way to get them from the NAQT website. I think had the "missing" games not have been of importance the format would have worked a lot better. However, considering that a lot of teams at this tournament were not regular circuit teams it's probably not wise to choose a format that blows up when the seeding is off.
Coelacanth wrote:
Again, apologies for any rebracketing snafus (entirely caused by my desire to not have single-elim playoffs). I do think we got the best team from each bracket into the championship round, and I know we got the two best teams (on the day) playing for the title.
I think that the decision not to use single-elimination was certainly a good idea even considering all the problems that happened. I agree that the best two teams were in contention for the title and even though Central lost it was because Chaska outplayed us twice not because of the format. I do think though that harder or longer questions would have made the top bracket games more fair though. I'm not sure that I totally agree that the best team from each bracket made the championship round. DLS A and Mounds View both went 5-1 against the same 6 opponents yet Mounds View made the top bracket and DLS A didn't. Another suggestion I have is that for futute tournaments split up the field into elite and non-elite brackets with the elite bracket using IS-level questions and the non-elite bracket using A-level questions.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by Coelacanth » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:11 pm

mtimmons wrote:Although Mounds View and DLS A did not play in prelims they did have the same 6 prelim opponents: SPA A, Wayzata A, MPA B, Hill-Murray C, Armstrong B, Chaska C. That leads me to believe they were actually in the same bracket.
You're right. I was looking at an old version of the brackets.

Your suggestion about having split fields is an interesting one. I don't think you necessarily want to "burn" two tournament sets on the same day, however. You could certainly split the field into a top (A and B teams only) and bottom pool.

Given that we had exactly 32 teams, the best solution would have been to use a card system, which works great for fields of powers of two. However, we didn't know we had 32 teams until Friday night. Sometimes the interests of inclusivity (trying to get the most participation possible) and logistical planning are in conflict.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:46 pm

Coelacanth wrote:Your suggestion about having split fields is an interesting one. I don't think you necessarily want to "burn" two tournament sets on the same day, however. You could certainly split the field into a top (A and B teams only) and bottom pool.
IS-102 seems like it's not going to be played in Minnesota so I think it could have been used. I think for at least the last couple years there have been a couple of IS sets that haven't been used so I'm not sure how much of a problem this is. Another option would be to use a HSAPQ or house-write set although given the interest in the University of Minnesota's GSAC mirror I'm not sure how many people would want to play that. That raises another question of mine; why do so few teams want to play non-NAQT sets in Minnestoa?
Coelacanth wrote: Given that we had exactly 32 teams, the best solution would have been to use a card system, which works great for fields of powers of two. However, we didn't know we had 32 teams until Friday night. Sometimes the interests of inclusivity (trying to get the most participation possible) and logistical planning are in conflict.
Agreed. While card-systems have somewhat of a bad reputation on these boards I think it would worked great for this tournament.
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ACRONYM IV

Post by mrichardquinn » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:30 pm

Congratulations to South A for winning the ACRONYM IV pop-culture tournament defeating Benilde B in the championship game. St. Thomas A beat St. Thomas B in the third place game. Thanks to all who attended, hope you had fun.

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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by mtimmons » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:17 am

So, the NAQT state championship happened on Saturday. The results were pretty surprising with St. Thomas Academy winning and Minnetonka finishing second. Central got 3rd and Hopkins, Wayzata, and Eden Prairie rounded out the top bracket. Notably absent were Chanhassen, Chaska, and Peter from Eden Prairie. The format had some pretty severe shortcomings, although I don't think it really affected most of the top teams. I don't understand why the prelims could not have been bracketed round robin and instead had to be random games. 7/7/7 prelims brackets with the top 2 teams making a championship bracket and games between the teams in the championship carrying over would have been only 1 round and even then might be have been quicker as it would have avoided a 6-way tiebreaker for 1 spot. Similarly, the lack of ACF finals is pretty inexcusable. Still, this was an improvement over last year's single elimination. The set also had its fair share of quirks and a seemingly huge number of questions on stuff that would pretty much only be in found in NAQT. Most of the set was pretty good but there far too many questions on stuff that isn't either academically important or revelant current events. In particular, there seemed to a lot of current events business questions which were pretty uniformly terrible. I'm not certain what some of these were catergorized but there was way too many questions on corporations. However, I think the set did a very good job at controlling difficulty. Almost all the answer choices seemed pretty reasonable.

In other Minnesota related stuff, the 2 non-NAQT tournaments hosted by the University of Minnesota so far have been excellent and I fully expect the BHSAT mirror next Saturday to be excellent as well. I really wonder why more teams don't go to these as they offer more rounds and are considerably cheaper than other tournaments.
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Re: Minnesota 2010-11

Post by theMoMA » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:05 pm

Yes, please come to our tournament this weekend! If you have not yet registered, there is still time.
Andrew Hart
Minnesota alum

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