Alabama 2013-14

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Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:06 am

This post reserved for analysis after Sept. 7th's WRK season kickoff. Right now the field there includes

ACA
Ashville
Buckhorn
Gadsden (3)
Holy Spirit
Hoover (3)
Indian Springs
Itawamba
Oak Mountain
West Point (3)

It is unfortunate that I have already heard back from Huntsville that they won't be able to attend the Hoover Invitational, and neither will Altamont. Since neither team appears to be coming to WRK, that means it will be that much longer before we know what either is capable of this year. It would be nice to see more teams like Grissom and Randolph stepping up and coming to events like this as well.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Speaking of Randolph, I'm interested to see what happens with them now that their long-time coach has retired.

As for WRK, it looks like an interesting, challenging field. There are not very many "push over" teams on there. Right now, I'm just hoping to finish in the top half of the tournament with my "A" team. My "B" team will be made up primarily of kids from West Point Middle School who have shocked me by attending our high school practices after school. I don't think that we will have a "C" team, after all. Also, our sole returning senior won't be there due to meeting with an adviser from the US Air Force Academy that day.

Anyway, good luck to everyone in Alabama this year. We at West Point are eager to get underway.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:54 pm

I am going to hold off on analyzing WRK until after I get my hands on the stats file. I feel like I saw several teams, but that others were completely off my radar all day.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:02 am

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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:07 am

OK, so with stats in hand, here's what I see as a briefing to the rest of the world regarding this event.

1) Take results with a grain of salt, as always. Aside from the usual issue of teams having only a partial group present, splitting up for scab teams for balance, etc, there is also the additional confound of playing a five team round robin in the morning to set up flights for a top group of five teams plus one wild card. Upshot: lose once in the morning and you have a very significant chance of being out of contention for any of the top spots, let alone a shot at a rematch. Still, you have to have some kind of system, so there it is.

2) Crossover games didn't count in standings

3) No trophies or plaques were awarded. This bothered me a bit after shelling $200, bringing four buzzer sets, and still having to pay for a copy of the questions at $12. If you gross $800 or more on a tourney, you can afford trophies. They matter to principaLAls who don't get quiz bowl and need something shiny to display.

4) Teams: I was happy with Hoover A and B stat lines, both of which showed aggressive and relatively consistent play. Both teams logged over 20 PPB, and both teams led the tournament in powers with good P/N ratios. Yes, these were in matches against partial teams from Gadsden City, but those partial teams were good enough to push into the top bracket with us, so it wasn't a minor victory over weak teams. Gadsden City B, in particular, is going to be a dangerous team in a year, and is already good enough to upset a top team at any time.

I didn't get to see LAMP A play, but aside from a loss to West Point A that was later followed by a complete annihilation of WP in playoffs, they only dropped a match to Clemens. Clemens only loses to Gasdsen A and Oak Mtn. LAMP A crushed Oak Mtn. So what does that tell us? Probably that Clemens, LAMP, And Oak Mountain are right in the same ability level grouping, one step back of Hoover and one or two behind Gasden City.

Indian Springs will need to improve to make inroads this year, as well Holy Spirit--both had good squads this year, but didn't play well against the best teams.

Altamont, a no-show, remains a wild card, as do Randolph, Huntsville, and Grissom. Spain Park may well be lurking out there as well.

The season isn't any clearer, but we see a few things starting to take shape. If Gadsden's B squad is good enough to finish 2nd in this field, Gadsden's full A team would have surely be tough as well.

My 2 cents.

R
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:14 am

Joshua Rutsky wrote: 3) No trophies or plaques were awarded. This bothered me a bit after shelling $200, bringing four buzzer sets, and still having to pay for a copy of the questions at $12. If you gross $800 or more on a tourney, you can afford trophies. They matter to principaLAls who don't get quiz bowl and need something shiny to display.
We are still planning to purchase trophies. I don't feel like going into this, but to keep it short [this is the shortest version]: a lot of people in the club don't have cars [including myself], the people that have cars were basically all busy, and Dargan has a job during business hours. To make things worse, the trophy shop is in Northport. [Our bureaucrats say that we should use that specific one] As a side note there were 87 competitors at this tournament and 46 prizes. That's .53 prizes per student!

Regarding the tournament competitors:

I thought Hoover A was more solid than in recent WRKs. PPB was about the same but this team powered over 5 per game which is more than in the past. They had a relatively easy time with the field. We'll have to see what the season holds but I think they are a solid group. I think they'll get into the HSNCT playoffs this year if they continue to improve.

This year's Hoover B will be the best Hoover team in years next year. They are very well balanced and lost some close ones that they probably won't lose by this time next year. I would be shocked if they didn't go 5-5 or 6-4 at HSNCT this year. There's not really a superstar on this team, kind of like recent Chicago and Alabama teams, so they do things by committee. Teams like this tend to be in just about every game they play and to defeat them you basically have to either have a more talented player or two or throw their own formula back at them.

Gadsden City is an interesting proposition. Gadsden A could use another scorer. Gadsden has another scorer in Justin from Gadsden B. If Justin and Ani can work together, Gadsden may actually be the slight favorite in Alabama. If not, I give the edge to Hoover. [or maybe one of the teams that I didn't see this weekend] We'll see what happens on harder questions but in reading for Justin I think he's a special talent. Of all the players in the tournament, I was impressed by Justin and Rachel Parker the most. I would be shocked if he is not the best player in Alabama at some point in his career. He has the most positive attitude toward quizbowl that I've seen out of any kid at any tournament that I have ever directed.

I didn't get to see Holy Spirit but they are a solid team. They took Gadsden B to overtime [which is not noted in the stats] and they played Hoover A tough.

LAMP has a solid squad that very nearly qualified for the top bracket. They scored lots of points in all of their games and beat some good teams. They barely missed out on the top bracket.

Clemens is an excellent team that has improved dramatically since last year. They won the second bracket and a .12 PPB differential was what separated them from Gadsden B in the tiebreaker. They finished tied for first in the hardest prelim bracket and then faced four good teams in the second bracket. I heard they had a furious comeback against West Point in a second bracket match, going on a 100-point run at the very end of the game. They could have gotten to the top bracket easily and been very competitive there.

Oak Mountain, Indian Springs, and West Point were also all very solid.

West Point was shorthanded but still very competitive in the second bracket. I see them getting into the small school playoffs at HSNCT. Lee has done an excellent job with this team.

Alabama should be very interesting this year.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:09 pm

This year's WRK saw a field that wasn't top heavy as there were very good teams as far down as the third bracket. I believe that this is a result of all of the NAQT sets being used in Alabama last year in addition to some other good quizbowl sets that I may not have heard about. There are some outstanding coaches and teams in the state, but good coaching can only get you so far in any game. Tournament experience and incentives for students are necessary to drive a team to become great. Now that more sets are used, you can look forward to noticeable improvement throughout the state. Your specific team may be a little disappointed by their placement in the tournament, but playing a tournament with a deep field does a lot more for you than placing in a very thin field, that much is for sure. If you were close to achieving your goals, you will work even harder to become better so you achieve your goal next time around.

I actually have a lot more to say regarding award ceremonies in general and how they can be used as incentive for the field to improve. It is my personal opinion that award ceremonies that are specifically trophy oriented are not really optimal at getting kids to have an incentive to improve their games. While trophies are nice and shiny and appease the bureaucrats, let's face it, unless it's an individual trophy, kids don't get to keep the trophies. They take pictures with the team trophy and then it either goes in the coach's classroom or some trophy case somewhere in the school. In the latter case, if a school wins a lot of trophies, the trophies will either be stockpiled in some attic to collect dust for years on end or they will be discarded to make room for the new ones. At any rate, the kids get nothing to hold on to and since trophies cost more than the usual quizbowl prizes [used books and other things], there tend to be fewer of them. In the case of our high school tournament, the same teams tend to win a chunk of the trophies year after year. This is a good thing for those particular schools, however it sends a lot of teams and individuals home empty-handed. A team might have gotten a bad break and not made the playoffs because of it, or they might have missed out on the third place trophy by a tiebreaker. While that's the nature of quizbowl, I feel a lot of tournaments can do better in giving kids an incentive to improve.

This is why I spent $80 on books and asked for prize donations. I was hoping for even more prizes than we got, however we got a really healthy number of prizes for kids. Each kid on the top 3 teams got a book, and basically the same for JV-eligible teams. In addition, we were able to give awards to the top freshman scorer, top sophomore scorer, fun prizes for 15s and -5s, and just go down the list and give people prizes. Sometimes, some of these teams are led by one kid who scores a lot of points. Since teams often aren't very deep, they don't make it into the top half of the field quite often, and say the kid finishes right out of the individual trophies. I think we're kidding ourselves if we say that the player doesn't deserve something for his/her efforts. There are a lot of kids out there that deserve awards and don't get them on a regular basis. If you are coaching at a bigger program, you might have some smart freshman that is giving quizbowl a shot. As a coach, you put the kid on your D or E team not knowing what to expect but they do really well but also finish out of the top individual trophies. If the tournament director gives that kid a prize, chances are that kid will bite on the incentive and work even harder to improve his/her game which in turn makes your program better. To make fields deeper in Alabama, we not only need to keep playing all of the available sets but we need to give students all around the state incentives that make them think quizbowl is cool and want to keep improving at it. A bunch of motivated students at schools that are not accustomed to perennial success will make the fields deeper and make your teams better. If a kid's teammate gets a prize, there's a chance that the kid that saw his/her buddy get the prize will want to get better in order to get a prize as well. This does not happen with many traditional quizbowl trophy ceremonies because there aren't as many awards. At WRK alone, since I provided 46 prizes, people on 13 of the teams [65%!] were eligible to receive an individual prize, and even more teams got JV-based awards. That means 65% of teams had at least one kid that won a prize that they could keep [even though a lot of the prizes weren't amazing].

Let's say you have a set amount of money to spend on prizes. Which kind of ceremony do you go with? I think I've made an extremely strong argument for the latter.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by mriggle » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:39 pm

Not to send the discussion too far afield, but I thought I'd just comment on my experience with awards. Bear in mind that my experience probably isn't typical, and of course it's certainly true to say that the overall quizbowl landscape in Alabama has changed quite a bit since I graduated.

Anyway, at JPII, we had school assemblies regularly throughout the year, of which a large portion consisted of various clubs and organizations giving presentations about what they had accomplished recently. For the quizbowl team, this would of course involve telling the school about our recent tournament results, and presenting any awards received at said tournaments. At a smaller school like mine, where competition between quizbowl and other events (such as Science Olympiad or Math Team) is pretty intense (in that many people opt to join multiple of the above, and thus become less committed to quizbowl), it's pretty nice to be able to hold up a large shiny trophy to demonstrate how awesome our group is. Even among my already committed teammates, there was always a sense of satisfaction when we were able to win a trophy so that we could "compete" with Science Olympiad at the assemblies. This of course was also beneficial for things like raising funds for nationals.

That being said, I can certainly see the individual motivation argument as well. I can't recall any tournament I attended in high school that used book prizes that didn't also include team trophies, so I'm only guessing at this, but I don't think receiving books for finishing as the whatever-highest placing team would have been anymore of a motivator to improve than any trophies we would have received instead. Part of this can probably be explained by the quizbowl landscape in Alabama at the time; it was relatively easy for us to move into the top-tier once we got ourselves established, and so it didn't take us as long before we had a realistic chance to win a trophy at almost any tournament we attended. Another factor specific to my team is that our core set of players were largely from the same graduating class (mine), so there was a greater sense of camaraderie and enjoyment gained from attending quizbowl tournaments together (this is possibly also a result of our attending a smaller private school). I could see where possibly some of our B or C teamers would've benefitted from receiving book awards, but I'm guessing mostly anyone who played on A team knew going into any given tournament that it would be much more difficult to score as highly as they would if they were playing on the B team, and thus their primary motivation was the trophy. Of course, for me specifically, any awards were just icing on the cake, as I would've played just because quizbowl is such a great thing.

Overall, I think trophies (or plaques, or whatever large shiny award you like) are probably the best option for team awards, but I think books are certainly a nice option for individual awards, especially if by awarding books, it is possible to increase the number of people who receive something. Another relatively inexpensive option that hasn't been mentioned yet that could supplement book awards, and also appease the masses who like tangible awards, would be individualized certificates. It shouldn't be too difficult to create a template that can be modified with specific tournament information and adapted to whatever accomplishments (e.g., "7th highest individual scorer", "Most powers", etc.) one wishes to recognize. I could see where individualizing the certificates with the names of the recipients would take time, and it probably wouldn't be ideal to introduce a delay in the award ceremony just to print off a dozen or so certificates, but it should certainly be possible to just tell anyone who receives a certificate that it will be mailed to their school immediately after the tournament.

Anyway, just my two cents. On a more relevant-to-the-actual-thread note, it's great to see the continued growth of quality quizbowl in the state!
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:07 pm

Let me start by saying that this doesn't really apply to Hoover--we have made it to the point where we have established quiz bowl for our school as a legit priority, and our principals are behind us.

While your case for individual awards is a good one, Jake, it isn't taking into account the basic issue at the High School level, which is that you won't HAVE high school quizbowl without the support of principals. They write the budgets, approve the travel, and provide transportation in many cases. You are selling quizbowl to them as an activity that has a relatively high cost (travel, buzzers, entry fees) for a relatively low return of attention to your school. No, it isn't anywhere as high as most sports, but it is a high cost per student, and that matters when budgets are being cut. Those principals have to justify spending to boards and to parents. They want something that can go in that school trophy case, or set at the front desk when parents come in, so those parents see "Hey, our school won an ACADEMIC competition. We're paying our taxes for something good!" It matters.

Look, the WRK this year was the best it has been in years. It ran close to on time, it was smooth, and the readers I had were all excellent. I thought it was GREAT that you recognized the teams with books, that you awarded prizes to the top scorers by grade level as well as overall, and so on. It is absolutely true that winning a prize is a big deal for kids, and it can motivate them. I'm telling you, though, that it wasn't only coaches that mentioned the trophy issue. My kids were shocked that there wasn't at least a plaque for them to bring back. They are used to hardware, and this threw them. For my varsity A this year, it was their first tourney win at a major event, and they were looking forward to having "their" trophy on the shelf with the others. It isn't a game-killer, but I don't think that they felt it was the same to get a book prize.

I know how budgets work, and I understand trying to get logistics worked out, particularly when cars are hard to come by and time is a crunch. That said, just saying at the event "Hey, we're sending you a plaque in the mail" would have been totally cool. Lots of teams had to wait on plaques last year from ASCA because of a processing error that delayed shipment. Stuff happens. I still think, however, that you have to have some sort of physical plaque or trophy at an event like this for as many teams as possible, because those teams are playing to represent a school, and they want their classmates to see what they've accomplished and their principals to treat them like they treat other competition activities. It will never be an equal field, but I personally promise that as long as I'm running ASCA, the state trophy will be larger than the football one, and that's deliberate.

Again, Jake, you did a good job at this event.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:12 pm

I did forget to mention the trophy issue, which was my bad. I was so happy that the tournament finished on time that I forgot to mention it. I understand how high school quizbowl teams run and I'm happy high schools will support teams in some way, shape, or form, even if the support should be better across the board.

Oh yes, it is also not cool for teams to leave the tournament at lunchtime. Just saying.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:55 pm

OK, the 9th HIT is in the books, and it's time to once again reflect on what we have learned. This event was a little disappointing in that many of the major teams in the state did not attend this year due to conflicts of various sorts. It is nearly impossible to find a good weekend in the fall for a tournament in Alabama. After what I consider to be the first two big events of the year in our area, I still haven't seen Altamont, Huntsville, Grissom, Athens, St. Paul's, or Randolph, all teams from last year's state final 8.

The Alabama School of Fine Arts, long a top-ten team and a perennial threat, is no longer allowed to field a team due to a bizarre decision by administrators to ban extracurriculars sponsored by the school.

Word is that Randolph's coach retired, and I know nothing about returning players from last year's squad. They have not returned any of my e-mails, so I'm inclined to think they won't be playing much this year. Huntsville's coach says they are rebuilding, but rebuilding is relative when you have a good pool of players.

Of the teams I saw, LAMP was by far and away the surprise team. At 8-1, they defeated a strong Gadsden City team that will absolutely compete for state this year. In that round, they won the toss-up battle 10-7, with both teams negging twice. Bonus conversion was roughly the same on both sides. Buckhorn also surprised; they had a good win against White Station, and at 16.39 P/B, nearly the high for the tourney.

On the other side, the high P/B for the tourney was 16.40. That's pretty middling at best. Average PPG capped out at about 340.

Upshot: Gadsden had a bad day at the varsity level. They won't do that often. LAMP gained confidence and is now a player in state level events. Buckhorn has a pair of good players in Tessa and Walker, and will be a tough opponent this year. Holy Spirit is on the cusp of the first/second tier of teams. Homewood is better than some people will expect, but still needs some work to make the state finals. Enterprise might crack the field depending on their district.

That's just my two cents.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:05 pm

Wow. That is crazy about ASFA. Do you have any idea what their justification is for such a horrendous policy?

I agree with you that the stats were underwhelming overall, especially when you compare them to how other teams did on the same set of questions at tournaments in other states. Other Alabama coaches need to look at the Hoover stats here:

http://naqt.com/stats/tournament-teams. ... nt_id=5009

and compare them to the stats from VCU that used the exact same questions here:

http://naqt.com/stats/tournament-teams. ... nt_id=5035

The difference is astounding and a bit overwhelming. I'm not trying to shame anyone or anything. My team didn't even make the playoffs at Hoover. I just want coaches (and players) to be aware of how far behind even our top-tier teams are when compared to other states.

Also, I'd like to publicly thank Coach Rutsky for running an excellent tournament. I know that it was a great experience for my young team and that they learned a lot in the process. Also, the question set was excellent as usual.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Great Bustard » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:59 pm

NHBB will be holding its annual Alabama tournament on Saturday, Feb. 1 at North River Christian School in Tuscaloosa. This year, it will run on B set. I was thinking we might have 2 tournaments in Alabama this year, but that will wait until 2014-15, unless some as of now unidentified host school is super keen to host A set or C set on 3/15, 3/22, or 3/29. If so, contact me, though I'm not going to be making a push on this beyond this post. As always, teams can compete out of state, and we'll have C set next door in Mississippi on 1/25 at Madison Central and in the Florida Panhandle (date and site TBD). A set will run in TN and GA (dates and sites TBD). Please email or private message me if you have any questions. Thanks!
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:45 pm

We're up to 36 teams for our December 7 Tournament. Many of the teams that have been "question marks" so far this year will be making an appearance. It should be interesting. Also, I'd like to ask anyone available to volunteer to help out if possible. I don't want to have to turn anyone away, but this field is getting close to too big for us to handle unless we get more help.

Here is the field as of 11/12/13:

Altamont A
Altamont B
Altamont C
Arab A
Arab B
Athens A
Athens B
Brooks A
Brooks B
Brooks C
Covenant Christan
Cullman
Danville
Evangel Christian A
Evangel Christian B
Gadsden City A
Gadsden City B
Gadsden City C
Gadsden City D
Handley A
Handley B
Hewitt-Trussville
Hoover A
Hoover B
James Clemens A
James Clemens B
JP 2 Catholic A
JP 2 Catholic B
Mountain Brook
Oak Mountain A
Oak Mountain B
Oak Mountain Academy (GA)
Randolph A
Randolph B
St. Bernard A
St. Bernard B
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by TulaneKQB » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:03 pm

I know I could probably just look this up, but it might be easier to ask the people who already know:

Are any of the teams that pop up in this thread located in South Alabama/the Mobile area, and would any of those teams possibly be willing to drive to New Orleans for a Tulane tournament or a tournament at a local high school?
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:26 am

The only active schools I know of in the Mobile area right now are UMS Wright and Bayside Academy. Some others might be willing to go, but Mobile is four hours from Birmingham, and so we don't see much of South Alabama during the season.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:03 am

Basically all I learned today from our tournament at West Point is that Altamont is really good. They won our tournament with a two-man team. Their B-team was really strong, so I imagine a full-strength Altamont team will be quite strong.

That being said, Hoover did give them their sole loss, and this was technically Hoover's "B" team, I believe.

Gadsden City continues to be very strong.

Also, I was shocked when I saw that one of the 6-1 teams was West Point, their only prelim loss being to Altamont A.

There are a few really strong teams in the state, and ASCA could go to any of them. That being said, Hoover A is my choice for best team right now.

Possible Contenders for State (in no particular order):

Hoover
Altamont
Gadsden City
Buckhorn

Dark Horses:
LAMP
Randolph
West Point

Complete Mysteries:
Grissom
Huntsville
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:10 am

Dear Alabama teams,
Joshua has already emailed all or most of you in ASCA, and Vanderbilt would love to host you at our 43rd Academic Bowl Competition on February 22nd on IS-134. Come enjoy Music City at its finest!
You will also face some of the best teams in the region, such as Ezell-Harding, Farragut, Dunbar, and the yet-unranked University School of Nashville.
All of the details, including how to register and how to pay, are in that post.
Feel free to contact me specifically (PM or email on my profile) or us in general (vandyquizbowl AT gmail DOT com) if you have any questions.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:32 am

Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin wrote:Dear Alabama teams,
Joshua has already emailed all or most of you in ASCA, and Vanderbilt would love to host you at our 43rd Academic Bowl Competition on February 22nd on IS-134. Come enjoy Music City at its finest!
You will also face some of the best teams in the region, such as Ezell-Harding, Farragut, Dunbar, and the yet-unranked University School of Nashville.
All of the details, including how to register and how to pay, are in that post.
Feel free to contact me specifically (PM or email on my profile) or us in general (vandyquizbowl AT gmail DOT com) if you have any questions.
I'm pretty sure this is the same set that we are using for our Spring Tournament at West Point....
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:52 am

Oh yes that's my fault, totally missed it on NAQT's schedule.
I guess it's a chance for anyone that can't make the April 1st date.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by kdoss61 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:48 am

Stats are now up for Covenant Christian.

http://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament-te ... playoffs=1
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:20 am

After the Covenant Christian Tournament, I'm convinced that Alabama is completely up in the air this year. I have no idea who is actually going to win state. That's all I have to say about that.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:32 pm

No kidding. I'm starting to wonder if anyone will actually be able to field a complete team at a single event this year.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:33 pm

Attached is the results spreadsheet from LAMP's invitational, which has been released. I am posting this in case anyone is interested in individual performances from that event.
Attachments
Stats LAMP Invit HS 2014.xls
(134 KiB) Downloaded 64 times
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:02 pm

Moving on to JV State from Wallace State Region:
Altamont
West Point
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:26 pm

JV State Field:

Huntsville
Gadsden
West Point
Altamont
Springwood
LAMP
Hoover (WC)
Spain Park (WC)

SS State Field will be announced soon.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:53 am

Hi everyone,

The University of Kentucky is hosting a Pre-Nationals weekend on May 10 and 11th on our campus in Lexington, Kentucky. On Saturday, we'll be using NAQT SCT DII with HSNCT rules, and on Sunday we'll be using the Minnesota Undergraduate Tournament with NSC rules.

Please note that our Saturday set is also being used at Hoover, so I'd encourage you attend their event. But, if you'd like to make the trip up for our Saturday tournament alone, that would work as well.

For more details on fees and such, check our announcement at http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewto ... =1&t=15460.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Somerled » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:26 pm

Moving on to Region from the UAH district are
Buckhorn
Randolph
Grissom
Huntsville
Covenant
Athens
Sparkman (Wild Card)
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:36 pm

From our district, I know that we (West Point) went 4-0 and Arab went 3-1 in our pool. So, we both made it.

The other pool wasn't finished yet. But, Brindlee Mountain and Cullman were both undefeated when we left. I'm pretty sure they will be #1 and #2 in that pool.

There will also be a wildcard, which will likely go to Good Hope based on the stats I saw before we left.

So, West Point and Arab for sure. Brindlee Mountain and Cullman almost definitely. And probably Good Hope.

-Lee
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:03 pm

Advancing from Jeff State:

Hoover
Oak Mountain
Altamont
Spain Park
Indian Springs
Homewood
Vestavia (wildcard)

Shout out to Ramsey, who went 2-2 and nearly made the wild card cut in their second year.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:59 pm

I'm glad to see that - at least so far - it seems that all the "right" teams have moved beyond District this year. I can't remember that ever happening before.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:51 am

I think the decision to add wildcard teams at the four largest sites in order to ensure that the percentage of site members advancing was roughly equal at all locations helped tremendously. It really only changes a small issue at the regional level (we may need six rounds instead of five, but we have the emergency rounds we reserve to make that happen), and will make regionals a little longer, but it is much more fair, since regionals are seeded, and eliminates a little of the "pool of death" threat at districts.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:35 pm

The Regionals Assignments are up at http://www.dbtech.net/asca.

Right now, I want to give a hearty "Kudos" to ASCA. All four Regional sites seem fair for a change. By splitting some the the District Winners into different Regional sites, they have made it much more balanced across the state. While it makes it much more challenging in the Region that we (West Point) play in, I am willing to have a harder path to state in order to ensure that the most-deserving teams are the ones who actually make it. Good Job! I'm loving the strides that ASCA has made over the last few years.

One slight change I would like to see, though, is the way in which teams are seeded. I don't think that seeding solely by points is the way to go. For example, we were undefeated in our pool at District and beat Arab. But, Arab had more points than us overall. Arab will be seeded ahead of us, despite the fact that we beat them. My suggestion would be to take all of the pool winners and seed them first. Then all the 2nd-place teams. Then all the wildcards. That way, a wildcard could never be seeded higher than a 2nd place-team, who in turn could never be seeded higher than a pool winner.

Any chance of seeing that happen in the future? Doesn't it make more sense to award teams for actual wins instead of ppg, especially when some teams play much harder competition?
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by naesorman555 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:43 pm

I noticed that rule but it never really affected us because we were usually undefeated and had the highest ppg. This sounds like a good change, but win/loss record has its disadvantages too. A high overall PPG shows that a team is consistent and scored high in every game. A undefeated record is good, but it doesn't mean that much if you are not scoring very much and playing teams that are not that good. I feel that a team that averages more than 300 ppg and has one loss should be ranked higher than say a team that is undefeated and only averages 150 ppg
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by mriggle » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:26 am

I think seeding by wins first makes a lot of sense, especially since it's not like attaining a higher seed gives a team any sort of truly unfair advantage over the others (ie, you still have to go out and win games in the next tournament).

I see the argument about a team with stronger stats being a "better" team and thus more deserving of a higher seed, but when all the teams are playing different schedules and there's a fairly small sample size in any given tournament, it doesn't seem appropriate to use statistics such as PPG to seed the teams. I would tend to agree that a one-loss team who averages 300 PPG is probably better than an undefeated 150 PPG team, but that's an extreme example. If instead you had team A with one loss who averaged 260 PPG and team B with no losses who averaged 240 PPG, who's to say that one team is clearly better than the other? In the end, though, they award trophies based on wins and not on PPG, so I would reward team B with the higher seed.

No seeding system is going to be perfect, and teams get mis-seeded all the time in quizbowl and also in sports. Any team who feels that they have been slighted by their seeding has a very simple solution to prove that they are better than their seeding would indicate: just go out and win your games.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by naesorman555 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:46 pm

Both systems have pros and cons. The best way to fix any problems is what you said, just go out there and win
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:06 pm

The seeding policy started a couple years back as ASCA's way of dealing with random pools being unfairly balanced, making it possible in regions where competition was particularly stiff that a site could end up with the five top teams in one pool and the five much weaker teams in the other. Yes, we can always argue that at some point you have to win the games, and that's certainly true, but the point of the district/regional/state system is to make sure that the best qualified teams make it to state, not the luckiest. Since we don't have a league system where we could rank teams over the course of the year using a non-arbitrary measure, we have to start somewhere, and we are still working to find the ideal system. The wildcards this year are a good example of that. In a perfect world, I'd say that we dumped district and regional altogether, hold a statewide one day preliminary event on a friday using power matching a la NAQT, then take the top teams from that day and move them to a championship round-robin the next day with a win-by-two policy. I suspect that isn't going to get adopted anytime soon.

The main reason we have the PPG average seeding is the wild unpredictability of the sites and our attendees. Even though we went to great lengths to ensure that all sites were roughly balanced, we still had teams where there were pools of five, six, and seven teams. We had some teams that played four prelim games, and some that played five. Some sites had both. Some sites are also transparently weaker than others -- we had one site where the PPG average was below 200, and another where the winning team scored 500+ PPG average. Should the first place team at site A be seeded ahead of a team that averaged nearly 200 points more per game? Either way, you end up slighting someone. The key for us is to try to be fair about how we apply the rules, and using PPG average does that reasonably. I think that it is arguable that we should be using a different seeding method, but every method has pros and cons. Seeding at the regional and state levels really is meant to do only one thing--make sure the top five teams that advance aren't all in the same pool come tourney start. At the state level, particularly, we have four pools of six teams, and I think that levels out our distribution of teams pretty well. If you're in the top ten, you can be confident that you will end up in a pool with no more than two other top ten teams out of the gate, and you must finish first or second to advance to the playoffs. I think the edge that one team gets from being seeded slightly above another vs. slightly below is really negligible given the talent cliff in our state. Look at our regional breakdown. Is there any region where you can really say that once you get past the sixth team on the list, you aren't really starting to see a drop-off of substantial level from the top team?
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:17 pm

Why don't you guys use something similar to NAQT's D-value statistic that is used to qualify teams for ICT? You can keep your qualification structure then seed according to the D-value. It has become a rather reliable statistic in recent times and is the fairest way to seed teams that I've seen (outside of the D1 to D2 combined field conversion factors which don't apply to you anyway). That way you can seed teams by how strong they are. This statistic gives more of a global overview of data which allows for you to seed based on an arbitrarily chosen statistic such as record. In the case of ASCA qualification I fail to see what viable statistical information records provide because teams only play four games. Packet variation may produce an upset here or there but I don't think that one regionals loss should affect a team's seeding come time for state. That seems unfair. If you want to use records you should play more games in your qualifying tournaments.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by mriggle » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:03 am

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:Why don't you guys use something similar to NAQT's D-value statistic that is used to qualify teams for ICT? You can keep your qualification structure then seed according to the D-value. It has become a rather reliable statistic in recent times and is the fairest way to seed teams that I've seen (outside of the D1 to D2 combined field conversion factors which don't apply to you anyway). That way you can seed teams by how strong they are. This statistic gives more of a global overview of data which allows for you to seed based on an arbitrarily chosen statistic such as record. In the case of ASCA qualification I fail to see what viable statistical information records provide because teams only play four games. Packet variation may produce an upset here or there but I don't think that one regionals loss should affect a team's seeding come time for state. That seems unfair. If you want to use records you should play more games in your qualifying tournaments.
When making my original case for using win-loss records to determine seeding, I had forgotten how few rounds were played at ASCA districts. That would seem to make it more likely for upsets to affect the seeding, since teams who were upset wouldn't have as many rounds to "recover" from a loss to a "lesser" team. Also, the fact that the individual district pools are not balanced in strength for various reasons is a valid reason to use something more encompassing such as the D-value like Jake suggests. (this is in contrast to the typical preliminary pools at many invitational tournaments, which are usually attempted to be mostly balanced and thus using win-loss record would be more valid)

After all, since no seeding system can be perfect, then I suppose it makes sense to use as much statistical information as possible to influence the seeding, which could be achieved by using the D-value or a variation of it.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:00 pm

I don't really understand what D-value is since I haven't looked at it yet in any real way, but a quick search shows a formula that includes a strength of schedule score. How do we compute that in a non-arbitrary manner? Again, is this really enough of an issue to warrant the extra number crunching plus a value judgement, if that SOS would need to be arbitrarily assigned? I'm not opposed per se, but since I know I'll end up doing the extra work, I'd like to know that it is worth it.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:34 pm

Joshua Rutsky wrote:I don't really understand what D-value is since I haven't looked at it yet in any real way, but a quick search shows a formula that includes a strength of schedule score. How do we compute that in a non-arbitrary manner?
As the D-value computes it, the strength-of-schedule factor is non-arbitrary (it is opponents' tossup points per tossup heard divided by the average tossup points per tossup heard nationwide).
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:17 pm

Well, that sounds more like something we can do, although it requires that we get that number from NAQT, I suppose, at the time we make our computation. Or do we have to cull it from the existing records at NAQT.com?

Is there somewhere where a page on the D-value has been written up in a clear way that I could use as a reference?
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:58 pm

There's a few bits that are exclusive to the timer and NAQT using two sets for SCT, but the D-value formulation boils down to (Average points per game)*(Average tossup points per game among opponents)/(Average tossup points per game among all teams).
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:32 pm

Here's a link with some more info: http://naqt.com/college/d-values.html
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Thanks for the responses. Alabama teams, I doubt we can get this into place before the regionals, but I will look into making a change to this formula for seeding purposes at State.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:39 pm

Results from today at ASCA State for MS, JV, and Small School:

MS -

1st Pizitz Middle
2nd Liberty Middle
3rd Donoho School
4th Oak Mountain Middle

JV -

1st Gadsden JV
2nd Huntsville JV
3rd Hoover JV
4th Springwood JV

Small School-

1st Brindlee Mtn
(I believe it was Sand Rock in 2nd, but I'm not positive.)

Full stats for all three events will be posted sometime Monday evening.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by kdoss61 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:44 am

SS
1st Brindlee Mountain
2nd T. R. Miller
3rd Sand Rock
4th Good Hope
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:57 am

Thanks for that--got a little crazy at the end and my results are all still at the school. Nice job by you guys this year to make the top four!
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by kdoss61 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:54 pm

Thank you, Mr. Rutsky. This was probably Good Hope's strongest team in years. We felt that we should take advantage and compete outside of our local league. On behalf of Good Hope's team, I would like to thank you for all of your work and for allowing us to compete at Hoover this year. We feel extremely honored.
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Re: Alabama 2013-14

Post by quizbowllee » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:09 pm

Moving on from West Point Regional:

Buckhorn
West Point
Brindlee Mountain
Brooks
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