RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

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RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:45 pm

The Vermont-NEA Scholars’ Bowl is pleased to announce it will be holding its sixth annual Pre-Holiday Academic Tournament (PHAT VI) on Friday, December 7, at South Burlington High School in South Burlington, Vt. This tournament is open to all high school academic teams and will be played on NAQT questions (Set IS-117A), making it an opportunity to qualify your school for NAQT’s national tournament in Atlanta in May.

This event has become one of New England's largest open quiz bowl tournaments, with last year's field featuring a record 52 teams from Vermont, New York and New Hampshire. We're hoping to continue to grow, but we are also taking preemptive measures to insure there is no repeat of last year's delays.

The format will follow official NAQT rules (http://www.naqt.com/rules.html) except that rounds will be time limited. Teams will be guaranteed at least six matches, though an effort will be made to maximize the number of rounds, with a target of eight matches for all teams.

If there is sufficient interest, we will again run a separate novice bracket for less-experienced players. Teams in this bracket will be ineligible for the overall championship but will play all their games against other teams of newcomers, including separate playoffs. The novice bracket is primarily intended for freshmen and sophomores, though upperclassmen may participate if they are not part of your school's regular varsity lineup and they have not played in a tossup-bonus tournament prior to this school year.

The entry fee is $30 per team and schools will be initially limited to a maximum of two teams, varsity and/or novice. Additional teams will be accepted if the number of rooms and readers allows it, with preference given to schools that can bring extra volunteers to help read matches and/or keep score. The registration deadline is December 4.

Interested teams should note that participation might require them to leave school early. Check-in will be held from 3:45 to 3:55 p.m. and matches will begin promptly at 4:15 p.m. The competition will end at approximately 9:15 p.m.

A dinner break will be included in the schedule. Meals will not be provided, but the host team from South Burlington is planning to sell pizza and soda. There are also a number of restaurants within close driving and/or walking distance of the tournament site.

Because we are unable to hire readers for this tournament, the coaches of all participating teams will be expected to moderate matches so that we can keep all teams playing in all rounds. We will have a quick rules meeting to go over the basics and answer questions, but if you are new to NAQT format please familiarize yourself and your team with the rules (http://www.naqt.com/rules.html) ahead of time. Also, if you know of anyone (players' parents, teachers, former players, etc.) who might be willing to volunteer to read matches or keep score, please let me know and invite them to come. The more staffers we have, the smoother things will run.

We also ask teams that have buzzer systems to bring them along to help us make sure we have buzzers for every room.

Finally, please note that all payment is due on the date of the tournament and that we do not accept purchase orders. Checks should be made out to the Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl.

If your team plans to participate or if you have questions, please contact me, Kevin Commo, at kcommo (at) scholarsbowl (dot) org.

*If you’re writing to register please include the following information*

School:______________________________
Number of varsity teams (not more than two varsity/novice combined): ________
Number of novice teams (not more than two varsity/novice combined): ________
Number of additional varsity teams you'd like to put on the waitlist: ________
Number of additional novice teams you'd like to put on the waitlist: ________
Number of coaches/volunteers who will be attending: ________
Number of buzzer systems you can bring: ________
Total payment due ($30 per team):________
Contact phone number:_________________
Last edited by kcommo on Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:11 am

While we're still taking registrations for anyone interested, it's looking like we're going to have another big field from all over Northern New England and New York. Here's what I'm expecting so far (Updated as of 12/6):

South Burlington (VT), 8 varsity, 1 JV
Champlain Valley (VT), 2 varsity, 2 JV
St. Lawrence (NY) 1 team
Ticonderoga (NY), 1 varsity, 1 JV
Colebrook (NH), 2 varsity
Northampton (MA), 2 varsity
South Glens Falls (NY), 1 varsity, 1 JV
Mt. Abraham (VT), 1 varsity, 1 JV
Schuylerville (NY), 1 varsity
Mount Mansfield (VT), 3 varsity
Westport (NY), 1 varsity, 1 JV
Fair Haven (VT), 3 varsity
Montpelier (VT), 1 varsity, 2 JV
Middlebury (VT), 1 varsity, 2 JV
Essex (VT), 4 varsity
Winooski (VT), 1 varsity
Missisquoi (VT), 1 varsity, 1 JV
Springfield (MA), 2 varsity
Colton-Pierrepont (NY), 2 varsity
Burlington (VT), 1 varsity, 1 JV
Woodstock (VT), 1 varsity
Hanover (NH), 2 varsity
Lamoille (VT), 2 varsity
Rice (VT), 1 varsity, 2 JV
Spaulding (VT), 1 varsity
Emma Willard (NY), 1 varsity
Queensbury (NY), 1 varsity, 2 JV
North Country (VT), 1 varsity
Total 48 varsity, 18 JV

It should also be noted that we have received PACE affiliation so our top teams will also qualify for NSC.
Last edited by kcommo on Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by a bird » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:06 pm

Hanover will probably bring two teams to this, maybe three. We should have a final registration next week, Thanks.
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Re: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:34 am

Thanks, Graham. Got the registration from Murph and I've added you guys to the updated list above. Looks like we're going to have another record field.
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Re: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:39 pm

Looks like we're going to have a final field of 66 teams -- 48 varsity, 18 novice. It's updated above.
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Re: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by deserto » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:36 pm

kcommo wrote:Looks like we're going to have a final field of 66 teams -- 48 varsity, 18 novice. It's updated above.
Sweet, and good luck!
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Re: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:51 am

It was indeed at 66 team field from 28 schools in four states. And if the number of upsets are any indication, it was one of the most competitive tournaments we've ever had here in Vermont.

In the 48-team varsity bracket, seventh-seeded Middlebury A came through undefeated to claim the title with a 300-195 victory over Mt. Mansfield A in the final. Essex A finished third while Hanover B took fourth after knocking off top-seeded South Burlington A in the quarterfinals.

Full varsity results can be found here: http://www.scholarsbowl.org/PHAT12%20va ... dings.html

By my count the top 10 teams -- 1. Middlebury A; 2. Mt. Mansfield A; 3. Essex A; 4. Hanover B; 5. Hanover A; 6. Queensbury A; 7. Northampton A; 8. South Burlington A; 9. Essex B; 10. Champlain Valley A -- should receive qualification to NAQT nationals while the top eight should also qualify for the PACE NSC.

Hanover A's Graham Reid was the top scorer but Middlebury A's Ryan Gyerkeri was probably the MVP, going 8-5-1, 7-4-3 and 4-4-3 to carry his team in the three playoff rounds.

In the novice bracket, Champlain Valley C took the title with a 195-105 victory over Middlebury B in the final. Burlington B, which handed CVU C its only loss in the prelims, ended up third behind Isaiah Mindich, the top novice scorer.

Novice stats are here: http://www.scholarsbowl.org/PHAT12%20no ... duals.html

With a field this size we had a few bumps in getting started, but once things got going, I was really happy with how things went. Major thanks to Eric Stone and his crew at South Burlington for another solid hosting job, to the coach and volunteer reader/scorekeepers who made this tournament possible and especially to the excellent volunteer statisticians, who made it a much easier day for me.
Last edited by kcommo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by Great Bustard » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:04 pm

This tournament was a great time; major congratulations to Kevin and company for not only a smooth tournament, but also for getting 66 teams for an afterschool event in Northern New England. I was particularly impressed by the number of teams from outside Vermont who were there, and it was great to read for Northampton, MA, Schuylerville, NY, and a bunch of other really solid teams with whom I wasn't familiar. This tournament raises a few questions, which might be worth pondering, namely:
1. How was the outreach done for this, particularly for out of state teams? The high VT turnout didn't surprise me; the high turnout from neighboring states was great to see and how you got that number is instructive.
2. In general, are Friday evenings an untapped time for holding tournaments? Is it easier to get coaches and students to come if they don't have to give up a Saturday? It should be noted that this tournament didn't start until after 4, finished around 9, had a pizza break that was neither rushed nor too long, had 66 teams, and still managed to run 8 rounds! That's very impressive.
3. Of course, one of the ways that was done was through timing rounds at 20 minutes. Do any other tournaments work this way outside VT (I know Sue Pasco does in VT)? Reading for strong teams throughout, we finished 24 tossups and ensuing bonuses in all the playoff rounds in my room. Also, do you have stats on the median number of tossups heard? What about the lowest rooms? Were there any rounds where some rooms only got through 12 or fewer tossups? How many people did you have working on stats so that this all ran efficiently? I can imagine crunching the PPB totals for 66 teams to determine rankings was not easy.
4. What are your plans for the future with this tournament? With its success, I wouldn't be surprised if 80 teams or more want to come next year. Would you consider a 9th grade only division? Shifting to a Saturday? Tuning down the outreach for this tournament and tuning it up for other VT tournaments that aren't as well attended to even things out? Just curious. As long as you keep this on a Friday, I can cover you for buzzers next year up to 100 teams, for what that's worth.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:14 pm

nationalhistorybeeandbowl wrote:3. Of course, one of the ways that was done was through timing rounds at 20 minutes. Do any other tournaments work this way outside VT (I know Sue Pasco does in VT)? Reading for strong teams throughout, we finished 24 tossups and ensuing bonuses in all the playoff rounds in my room. Also, do you have stats on the median number of tossups heard? What about the lowest rooms? Were there any rounds where some rooms only got through 12 or fewer tossups?
I believe someone from Hanover talked about this format before. It looks like it's a VT/NH thing only.
You can figure out the average number of toss-ups heard per game by adding up all of the numbers in the TUH column and dividing by the number of games played times 2, which in this tournament's format would happen to be the number of teams times the number of rounds if every game was played and entered into stats correctly. The only difficulties are 1. St. Lawrence Central left after 4 rounds, and 2. one game has a 0 for TUH instead of the actual number. Taking those "missing" games into account, I got that the average TUH per game was almost 16. That's slightly better than I thought (and, from what I recall, better than in previous VT tournaments), but still every team seems to have at least one game where they 12 toss-ups or less.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:29 am

First of all, I need to point out a correction. We had a data entry error in the fifth-place game in which Hanover A beat Queensbury A 355-270 but the result was initially input as a Queensbury win. My apologies to both teams.

Now to address David's points:
1. How was the outreach done for this, particularly for out of state teams? The high VT turnout didn't surprise me; the high turnout from neighboring states was great to see and how you got that number is instructive.
There's not really anything too groundbreaking on this point. When we first launched this tournament in 2007, I started out by reaching out to the tournament directors of the other leagues in the area -- The Post-Star Academic Bowl in Glens Falls, N.Y., Whiz Quiz in Watertown, N.Y., and the New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League. Those people were helpful in getting the word out, and once we got a few out-of-state teams involved, word of mouth has been key in helping spread the event. I don't do any more complicated recruiting than trying to get the email invitation in the hands of as many coaches as I can. I'd say it's the fact that we're the only thing going up here and that we've built up a reputation for putting on a decent event that attract teams.
2. In general, are Friday evenings an untapped time for holding tournaments? Is it easier to get coaches and students to come if they don't have to give up a Saturday? It should be noted that this tournament didn't start until after 4, finished around 9, had a pizza break that was neither rushed nor too long, had 66 teams, and still managed to run 8 rounds! That's very impressive.
All I can really say is that it works for us. In a state with relatively small schools and with relatively few quiz bowl events, I know a lot of our coaches have a tough time to get students to commit to competing on weekends because there are so many conflicts with sports, music and other academic events that, for most students, seem to take priority. Fridays just seem to be easier to easier draw, especially when many of the coaches can add in the carrot of an early dismissal.
3. Of course, one of the ways that was done was through timing rounds at 20 minutes. Do any other tournaments work this way outside VT (I know Sue Pasco does in VT)? Reading for strong teams throughout, we finished 24 tossups and ensuing bonuses in all the playoff rounds in my room. Also, do you have stats on the median number of tossups heard? What about the lowest rooms? Were there any rounds where some rooms only got through 12 or fewer tossups? How many people did you have working on stats so that this all ran efficiently? I can imagine crunching the PPB totals for 66 teams to determine rankings was not easy.
I freely recognize that the collective timing (for what it's worth, it was 25 minutes per match in the prelims and 27 in the playoffs, including the between-match transitions) is the biggest flaw with my tournaments. I would love to be able to make it straight 20-20 to keep things even, but we have such a wide variety of reader skill that I'm terrified that, if I do, I'll have rooms running games of 45 minutes, an hour, or more. And if that's the case, you can't possibly have a credible tournament in the after-school format. But to run a tournament this size we need as many volunteers as we can get, even if they know nothing about quiz bowl, so going forward, one of our biggest goals has to be making sure all the volunteers are as well advised in advance as possible. Perhaps training sessions by conference call or on Skype are in order.

As for the stats, we had three South Burlington seniors working full-time on SQBS data entry. They did a really good job, getting the preliminary-round stats done right on time to start the playoffs when we wanted.
4. What are your plans for the future with this tournament? With its success, I wouldn't be surprised if 80 teams or more want to come next year. Would you consider a 9th grade only division? Shifting to a Saturday? Tuning down the outreach for this tournament and tuning it up for other VT tournaments that aren't as well attended to even things out? Just curious. As long as you keep this on a Friday, I can cover you for buzzers next year up to 100 teams, for what that's worth.
I can say with almost certainty that the Friday date is here to stay. It's obviously working to attract teams, and the feedback has been just about universally positive this year, so we're unlikely to mess with that. And for the same reason, the outreach is probably unlikely to change, too. We've found a niche that fits well. We might do well to build on this success by recruiting more aggressively to our other open events, particularly the Sue Pasco Opening Tournament in September, although it might be harder as that event falls so early in the school year that many of the teams that come for PHAT haven't started playing yet. But it can't hurt to try.

We've had a separate novice division the last two years, and I think that has helped with out-of-state recruiting -- especially in the Glens Falls league -- so if anything, that will likely continue to grow going forward.

Anyway, thanks for your input, David, and especially for coming up to help out. It's awesome, if somewhat daunting, to be answering questions about what's next after pulling off a relatively successful tournament of this magnitude.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by biggiebird89 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:57 am

kcommo wrote:
We've had a separate novice division the last two years, and I think that has helped with out-of-state recruiting -- especially in the Glens Falls league -- so if anything, that will likely continue to grow going forward.
I might catch Hell for this, but so be it. I played in the Post-Star league (PSAB, for short) for all 6 years I was in high-school ('01 to '07) and quite honestly, ANYTHING that can get that league away from the trivia-style of questions (and in a separate argument, the 4-quarter formatting they use), the better off things will be. It's not that the league isn't fully-functioning or successful as it stands, but it's much too...novice in its approach of appealing to kids with a game-show feel to it. I'll admit, when I played, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Then, having run two tournaments on my own with pyramidal questions (20/20 style), I wouldn't go back to those 6 years of play if given any chance.

I don't think, necessarily, that this is the reason why the PSAB tends to be of more "novice" quality competition-wise (except for teams like Queensbury, who's always been a powerhouse back to the days when I played), but it might show the faults that these teams have at NAQT-style tournaments. I tried to get a novice-style tournament at my old high-school this past fall with the SCOP question set, but unfortunately they were having issues just trying to get a team together period (which saddens me beyond belief). Even a NOVICE tournament in this area of pyramidal-style questions early-fall (early-mid October) for NY teams would be tremendous and might encourage more teams to go to tournaments like PHAT and participate. Getting 3 area teams (SGF, Schuylerville, and GF) to attend is great - getting more (considering PSAB usually has 25-30 teams in it per season) would be phenomenal.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by a bird » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:12 pm

I'll first thank Kevin, and all the volunteers (especial David and his large contingent of buzzers) for working on this tournament, and congratulate Middlebury, along with all the playoff bracket teams, for a very strong performance. I think all the Hanover players enjoyed the experience.

I would, however, also offer some thoughts on various things. I think the centrally timed system, as Kevin pointed out already, is not ideal. With such a large event, and a wide range of moderators, some timing is no doubt necessary. Using a central clock though, has some issues, as I pointed out here. I urge you to use a better system in future tournaments, especially smaller ones. Using a timer that the players can see in each room has some major advantages.

There are a number of statistical errors, including a major one in Middlebury's first round bonus conversion. I don't want to make this into a bigger deal than it is, but I'm pretty sure this affected the playoff seeding in a significant way.

The format is obviously restricted by the fact that the tournament runs on a Friday, so I recognize that not everything can be ideal. The playoff format, though certainly better than a single elimination system, retains some issues. For anyone not familiar, this tournament used single elim style brackets of 8, but the losers of each round play each other (much as the losers of the semi finals in a straight single elim bracket might play to decide third place) I'm certainly glad that my team was able to play more round after a first round loss, but this system still retains some problems.

A team that loses in the first round is stuck no higher than fifth, even if they only lose to the eventual champion. This happened to CVU last year, which I recall thinking was unfair, and it happened to Hanover this year. I don't mean to deprecate any of the top four teams from this year (all of whom I'm very impressed with), but I don't see how this format proved that finishers 2-4 were better than the Hanover, or how the second place finisher (MMU) earned more than the third place finisher (Essex). In the playoffs,three teams lost to Middlebury: Hanover, Essex and MMU, though they all won their other matches, but they're ranked differently because they played Middlebury in different rounds.

Largely, this illustrates the way that these brackets are very dependent on good seeding from the prelims. Issues in seeding, as I mentioned there may have been this year, can wreak havoc with the final finishing order.

Beyond issues of finishing order, this format given two fewer playoff matches than prelim. I personally think that matches played after a rebracketing are important, because that's where teams get to play teams they're more competitive with, whether they're at the top of bottom of the field. As always, this tournament has a wide range of teams; wouldn't players enjoy playing more games with teams at their level?

Even within the time limitations, I think there are probably better format options that should be considered, particularly for the upcoming Vermont NAQT championship.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:23 pm

Some thoughts on timing from one admittedly not very familiar with the workings of the VT/NH circuit:

Small, but visible to both teams when placed on the moderator's desk, battery-operated, easy-to-set timers like those often used by NAQT can be purchased at your local dollar store. I'd say they're worth the investment in a situation like yours where timed rounds seem to be necessary, especially if you'll be using them several times a year. If you're still worried about keeping rooms relatively in sync, you can hold moderators in the control room until every room has finished so that each room will begin each round around the same time. Between that and a timer in each room, you should be able to stay pretty well on track while also not preventing teams from knowing for sure how far they are into their match.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:29 am

GrahamReid wrote:I would, however, also offer some thoughts on various things. I think the centrally timed system, as Kevin pointed out already, is not ideal. With such a large event, and a wide range of moderators, some timing is no doubt necessary. Using a central clock though, has some issues, as I pointed out here. I urge you to use a better system in future tournaments, especially smaller ones. Using a timer that the players can see in each room has some major advantages.
Thanks a lot for your input, Graham. And for your desire to make the local quiz bowl circuit better up here. I'll be the first to admit, some of what I do is for expediency, and I find it very encouraging that there's actually someone up here to call me on it.

In that vein, I think, if there are no objections from the other organizers, I will use in-room timers for the Vermont NAQT Championship at Spaulding in March. It might slow things down slightly but it ought to even out the games somewhat. And it's obviously a lot easier to administer with the 10 or 12 rooms for that tournament than for the 30+ for PHAT.
There are a number of statistical errors, including a major one in Middlebury's first round bonus conversion. I don't want to make this into a bigger deal than it is, but I'm pretty sure this affected the playoff seeding in a significant way.
All I can do is apologize for this. Obviously, when there's a need to do data entry for 165 games before dinner ends there isn't time to double-check everything. And as the stat crew for this tournament was non-Scholars' Bowl people, they were not too likely to catch subtle mistakes on the scoresheet. Frankly, I was more concerned with the 4-1 teams than the 5-0's as those were the teams where P/B totals decided whether they made the top playoffs or not.

So, you're right, there is no significant difference between 2nd, 3rd and 5th or 4th, 6th and 7th. I'm just glad all the teams in the top playoff bracket qualify for both national tournaments, so in real terms, the reward for all is the same.

As for an alternative to single-elimination playoffs, I'm open to suggestions. But playing more than eight rounds isn't an option for PHAT, and as it takes at least six rounds to distinguish a champion with 48 teams, I don't see a lot of options. In fact, we may need to go to four rounds of playoffs next year as expanding beyond 48 teams raises the possibility of having more than eight undefeated teams after the preliminary rounds.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by kcommo » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:59 am

biggiebird89 wrote:I might catch Hell for this, but so be it. I played in the Post-Star league (PSAB, for short) for all 6 years I was in high-school ('01 to '07) and quite honestly, ANYTHING that can get that league away from the trivia-style of questions (and in a separate argument, the 4-quarter formatting they use), the better off things will be. It's not that the league isn't fully-functioning or successful as it stands, but it's much too...novice in its approach of appealing to kids with a game-show feel to it. I'll admit, when I played, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Then, having run two tournaments on my own with pyramidal questions (20/20 style), I wouldn't go back to those 6 years of play if given any chance.

I don't think, necessarily, that this is the reason why the PSAB tends to be of more "novice" quality competition-wise (except for teams like Queensbury, who's always been a powerhouse back to the days when I played), but it might show the faults that these teams have at NAQT-style tournaments.
I don't think I was clear on my "novice" point. I'm merely saying that, as the PSAB teams already have a separate JV competition, the fact that we offer a separate novice bracket makes it more likely those schools will come to PHAT as it gives them a natural incentive to bring more than one team. Granted, the PSAB teams that make the trip are usually the better ones, but competitively I've found them to be pretty similar to schools of the same size in Vermont that play the same amount.
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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:28 am

The Laughing Cavalier wrote:Some thoughts on timing from one admittedly not very familiar with the workings of the VT/NH circuit:

Small, but visible to both teams when placed on the moderator's desk, battery-operated, easy-to-set timers like those often used by NAQT can be purchased at your local dollar store. I'd say they're worth the investment in a situation like yours where timed rounds seem to be necessary, especially if you'll be using them several times a year. If you're still worried about keeping rooms relatively in sync, you can hold moderators in the control room until every room has finished so that each room will begin each round around the same time. Between that and a timer in each room, you should be able to stay pretty well on track while also not preventing teams from knowing for sure how far they are into their match.
For what it's worth, NHBB owns a boatload of these too, and could easily loan them out/bring them to tournaments where the organizers don't want to shell out the $ but are considering running timed rounds.
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by biggiebird89 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:46 pm

kcommo wrote:
I don't think I was clear on my "novice" point. I'm merely saying that, as the PSAB teams already have a separate JV competition, the fact that we offer a separate novice bracket makes it more likely those schools will come to PHAT as it gives them a natural incentive to bring more than one team. Granted, the PSAB teams that make the trip are usually the better ones, but competitively I've found them to be pretty similar to schools of the same size in Vermont that play the same amount.
Completely understandable, but what I was saying is more along the lines of PSAB being, in essence, a "novice" league, and a sad one at that. Some of the teams that come out of this league who ARE successful (see: Queensbury, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs) ARE very good. However, most of the rest I feel do it out of need for something to do, no other motivation involved. If they were to switch from 4-quarter, Patrick's Press-style 1-2 line questions to 20/20 format or just pyramidal questions, things would become SO much better for every student involved. I would rather see the students get more out of a league like this, and asking game-show-style questions and making the game more of a buzzer race than a knowledge race doesn't do the sport/league justice in my view.
~Garrett~
2011 Graduate - Lyndon State College
Former V.P. - L.S.C. chapter of Sigma Zeta Honor Society

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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by Great Bustard » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:42 am

biggiebird89 wrote:
kcommo wrote:
I don't think I was clear on my "novice" point. I'm merely saying that, as the PSAB teams already have a separate JV competition, the fact that we offer a separate novice bracket makes it more likely those schools will come to PHAT as it gives them a natural incentive to bring more than one team. Granted, the PSAB teams that make the trip are usually the better ones, but competitively I've found them to be pretty similar to schools of the same size in Vermont that play the same amount.
Completely understandable, but what I was saying is more along the lines of PSAB being, in essence, a "novice" league, and a sad one at that. Some of the teams that come out of this league who ARE successful (see: Queensbury, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs) ARE very good. However, most of the rest I feel do it out of need for something to do, no other motivation involved. If they were to switch from 4-quarter, Patrick's Press-style 1-2 line questions to 20/20 format or just pyramidal questions, things would become SO much better for every student involved. I would rather see the students get more out of a league like this, and asking game-show-style questions and making the game more of a buzzer race than a knowledge race doesn't do the sport/league justice in my view.
Moving to pyramidality would certainly be a huge improvement, but in terms of team quality improving considerably, the Masterminds league shows that teams need to not only play pyramidal questions, but do so with frequency and motivated coaches, since not too many Masterminds schools have branched out to Saturday tournaments and made the jump to the next level. I'm curious how the Post-Star league is structured, do teams play enough to have a motivation to study?
David Madden
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad

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Re: RESULTS: PHAT VI (12/7/12 at South Burlington, VT HS)

Post by biggiebird89 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:56 am

If it's the same as when I played, absolutely not (this is assuming that a team ONLY plays their matches in the league that season).

The league is a 5-match, bi-weekly (it was when I played) season where matches are generally held at one central school on Wednesday/Thursday nights - half the teams play at 6pm, the other half at 7:30pm (again, going by when I played). Weeks 1, 3, 5 were random matchups, while Weeks 2 and 4 were what I called "standings matches" - your opponent was the person you were paired with in the standings going into that week (so 1 vs. 2, 3 vs. 4, 5 vs. 6, ...).

The "standings" are composed of teams' total overall points (not wins-losses, then points). The top 8 teams after Week 5 move on to a single-elimination playoff, where the final 2 teams automatically earn a trip to National :chip: Playoffs in May. Now, assuming these are the ONLY games a team plays during a season, you're talking 5 rounds of 4-quarter play and that's it.

Each "round" is 2 rounds of tossups, a round of tossups with 4-part bonuses, and a 60-second lightning round. Questions are as I said before: 1-2 line, Patrick's Press-style game-show type questions. In comparison to NAQT/HSAPQ/pyramidal questions, there is no comparison. They would help this league (or just a general restructuring of this league) would help SO much, because I don't feel as if teams/students take this type of activity seriously - it'd be like signing up for varsity basketball and only doing it because "it's fun/it's interesting" instead of "I want to learn something in the end/I want to help my team win". Switch to a league-style format, have divisions, do round-robin tournaments - make it COMPETITIVE. I don't want 5 games to determine whether my team makes it to playoffs, I want to have more of a chance then that (plus one of the tournaments could be a tournament that "qualifies" a team for the Upstate New York NAQT Tournament often held by Cornell). Just needs a major overhaul in my opinion.
~Garrett~
2011 Graduate - Lyndon State College
Former V.P. - L.S.C. chapter of Sigma Zeta Honor Society

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