Restricting NAQT HSNCT in 2007 and beyond

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Restricting NAQT HSNCT in 2007 and beyond

Post by jrbarry » Mon May 08, 2006 6:09 pm

First, let me say I have no input into what NAQT does or does not do. Nor am I arguing that I should. Nevertheless...

I am hoping that NAQT will restrict entries to no more than 2 teams per school for 2007. I would prefer only ONE TEAM PER SCHOOL, but see the 2-team cap as a compromise between the way it is now and the one-team limitation.

Yes, I am aware that my school has entered TWO teams at NAQT Nationals in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004. (Let the hypocrisy charges commence!) In my defense, NAQT HSNCT was smaller in those days and I now have restricted my teams to ONE ENTRY in 2005 and 2006.

It just seems that, for a tournament purporting to be a national championship, a school should qualify one team and not multiple teams. It is tough enough to compete against the magnet schools without having to compete against multiple teams from magnet schools. Let us have as many teams as we want at local competitions, but let's try to keep a national championship tournament as a place where you won't find kids from the same school competing against one another.

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Post by brownboy79 » Mon May 08, 2006 6:30 pm

I am obviously biased, as Dunbar tends to bring several teams, but it seems like everyone should get a chance to play. If your team can and does qualify enough teams, and can afford the costs, it seems as if you should bring as many teams as possible. We were thinking about bringing a C team this year, and we were qualified(I believe) and I think that our C team could win a few games. I was under the impression that the idea was for the best teams to compete, not to create room for mediocre teams to get in by eliminating good teams that happen to attend the same school as another good team.

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Re: Restricting NAQT HSNCT in 2007 and beyond

Post by Howard » Mon May 08, 2006 6:31 pm

jrbarry wrote:It is tough enough to compete against the magnet schools without having to compete against multiple teams from magnet schools.
I'll pick this to counterargue. I believe that if a school can muster two (or more) teams that are competitive in the field, they should be allowed to enter those teams. Why should these students be denied a chance to compete in the national championship just because they happen to be the fifth or eighth best player at their school. And I believe that playing the best teams in the nation is what the national championship tournament is all about, whether they all come from different schools or not.

If there are schools entering second and third teams that aren't competitive, then we may have an issue if enough of the other teams don't like this. But even this is questionable, as playing in this tournament would be a way for players that aren't quite up to top-notch caliber to gain even more experience.

Of course, if more teams wish to enter than the tournament will accept, there does need to be some system of restriction, whether that be first come, first served; limiting # of teams per school, or whatever other method NAQT wishes to use.
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Post by thepowerofche » Mon May 08, 2006 7:08 pm

While there are good arguments on both sides of this issue, I think that the true national championship should include only one team per school. My reasoning is that if everyone there is to be competing for a championship, and not place or show, it stands to reason that since a school's A team is nearly always going to beat its B team, there is no reason for its B team to be competing for reasons other than gaining experience in championship-level play. However, this does leave out incredible B teams, as TJ's B team thrashed much of the competition at last year's HSNCT. But, I have a solution.

Formerly (when I was but a wee sophomore), my school's bottom 4 seniors and second junior purported to be "The Best B-Team in the Nation." They certainly seemed to live up to that moniker, as they beat every other B Team they played (if my memory serves) throughout the year. They were certainly proud of themselves; they would take various unofficial "B Team Trophies" from all manner of locations to celebrate their performance. However, there was no real way for them to conclusively prove that they were the best B team in the nation, as A and B teams get lumped into one pool at the HSNCT.

Therefore, what I propose is that NAQT runs a dual, synchronous HSNCT, much in the way a split varsity/JV invitational is run. In the championship pool, there would be one "A Team" from each school, while the school's other players that had done acceptably well as B and C teams during the regular season could be entered into a separate pool to determine what NAQT could crown as "The Best B Team in the Nation." The only issue I can see with this would be tournament size, with its corollaries location/space and workers. However, assuming that only a few teams want to go to the HSNCT that are denied spots because of other teams' B and C teams, the tournament probably wouldn't grow much beyond the space and worker requirements for it now.</twocents>

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Post by NotjustoldWASPs » Mon May 08, 2006 7:51 pm

(Disclaimer: we are sending 3 teams to this event, and we tend to send that many or more to most tournaments, so obviously I have a different outlook than the average team)

I think the fact that NAQT has grown so huge is more a reflection on the recognition by many people of the quality of the tournament, as well as a general increase in interest in quizbowl in recent years (possibly as a result of a certain Mr. Jennings). I think this is a great thing.

On the other hand, I can see many counterarguments for such a large field. For one, any given team will only play a small proportion of the teams in the field, and no matter how well the brackets, or swiss-pairing, or whatever method is used, some teams will claim "they got screwed." Also, in such a large field, there may be some stand out amazing teams, and some teams that obviously qualified by beating up on cake teams from their region and then get trounced at nationals, but there is also a huge middle range, and they become so close that it's hard to determine who's truly better; it comes down to when they play each other who gets the buzzer races and who gets the lucky breaks when it comes to questions.

However, I don't think the solution is to restrict the number of teams a given school can bring. If a school has proven its depth through tournaments during the year, then they should be able to bring multiple teams. I know this may cut out some other teams, but that's all the more reason not to procrastinate in turning in your registration.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants » Mon May 08, 2006 7:57 pm

Perhaps I'm a bit biased because I come from a strong B team (haven't lost to another non-A team this year, although we've only played RM B once and TJ B twice and those were close games so that stat could change), but I think there should be other ways of restricting the field. Occasionally there are times when a B team does finish ahead of its school's A, happened to us this year at TJ (January) and several times last year. I think it would be a bit hypocritical of NAQT to allow B teams to play for regular season tournament titles and then not allow them to compete for the title at nationals. Trying to qualify multiple teams may keep a school hungry throughout the season. Also, thepowerofche mentioned that there was no way to determine the actual best B team in the country, but I would say you would determine that the same way you would compare other teams that didn't play each other - by their finish in the playoffs. Although it would be nice to see perhaps a consolation match between the two highest finishing B teams...

Overall I think there are better ways of limiting the NAQT field. As of now, this year there are 128 teams from 110 schools, so only 18 A team spots are lost to non-A teams. I know this would have to be down the road since many states don't have an NAQT state championship that's taken very seriously by all the teams, but perhaps NAQT could change the qualification rules to where you qualify during the regular season for your state tournament (it would have to be a pretty lenient percentage of teams) and then at states the top 15% or so qualify for nationals, with automatic bids for winners of regular season tournaments and the finalists in other divisions at states (small schools, JV, Div. II etc.). Perhaps also this percentage could move down to exclude teams who already have automatic bids and include more that don't (for example, 15% = 5 teams, teams x, y, and z have already won tourneys and finish 1, 4, and 5 at states, so teams finishing 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 get in).
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Post by dschafer » Mon May 08, 2006 8:07 pm

The obligatory disclaimer: I'm not going to NAQT HSNCT this year, but if I were, I would probably end up on our B team, so I too have a rather biased opinion.

I can certainly understand and empathize with those who feel that each school should be restricted to one team, especially given that there is already a waiting list for teams for this year's HSNCT. I do, however, think that such a restriction is unneccessary.

First, NAQT registration (as far as I know) is entirely first-come, first-serve, so teams that are locked out by virtue of the field restriction were not unfairly dealt with. Additionally, registration is open only to qualifying teams; this means that schools bringing A and B (or possibly C) teams to the tournament are not bringing "scrub" teams, but talented groups of individuals who have "Finish[ed] in the top 15% of the field at any event that uses NAQT questions," a point which is supported by the 7-3 performances last year of RM B and TJ B.

Finally, I think that with no fewer than 5 "national championships" in quiz bowl, crowning the "national champion" is not the main point of the national tournament. I think Howard put it best in an earlier post:
Howard wrote:Why should these students be denied a chance to compete in the national championship just because they happen to be the fifth or eighth best player at their school. And I believe that playing the best teams in the nation is what the national championship tournament is all about, whether they all come from different schools or not.
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Post by DumbJaques » Mon May 08, 2006 8:15 pm

Restricting the amount of teams a school can send, to me, seems to head down the road of saying "well, these schools are in the same affluent district. Surely it wouldn't be fair to send both of them. . ."

Like people are saying, it's a national championship. Qualification should be based on how competitive your team is, period. You shouldn't get an advantage because you come from this place or that state or one side of the mason-dixon line. You kind of DO get an advantage if your team is the least awful of an abysmal (or inactive) circuit, in that your team has a much higher chance of qualifying there than a team of equivalent (or better) skill playing in a tough area. But NAQT tries to accomadate that by letting teams submit at-large bids, and it's been my experience that you can always find a tournament with a field you can beat (that is, if you actually do belong at a top national tournament).

Sure, you can say that it's not fair that magnet schools can field 2 or 3 teams that can blast you (note: OBVIOUSLY not implying that Brookwood gets blasted by people), but I say back to that: Why do your players deserve to compete at nationals more than the players on a B team that's substantially better? If a school has 8 good people who work hard enough to be competitive on that level, it isn't fair to deprive four of them of that because they happen to go to school with the other four. You just can't have a legitimate national championship if you block a team from coming because it didn't happen to be the best one from the school. And since lots of A teams are not at all constructed of the best four individual players of the team as a whole, people who could start at any other school, who could be the top scorer on 75% of the field, really get the shaft.

As for the argument that a school's A team is always going to be better than it's B team:
1) That isn't always true. Yeah, it's supposed to be like that, but if a player on B team absolutely rips up one game and A team plays badly, it can happen. But that isn't even the point. The point is
2) You can't realistically argue that 120 teams have a shot at number 1. But there are a lot of places you can finish between first and last (specifically, there are 118 places). You don't have to win nationals to make the experience rewarding or to face (and be) some great competition.

This whole thing just seems to me like the same logic behind people who acknowledge how bad a format Chip is and then keep going. When it comes right down to it, if you aren't a better team, you don't deserve to win (or recieve any of the corresponding boons, like getting an invite to nationals). Basically, if you can't get better than 120 of the teams that go to nationals, why should you get to go?
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Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 08, 2006 8:33 pm

Well as one of the schools bringing 3 teams to nationals let me defend ourselves.

First of all, the objective of a national championship should be to bring together the top N teams in the nation to see which team can climb to the top. Undoubtably, the top N teams will include situations where more than one of these teams happen to be from the same school. To exclude a B or C or even a D team from the field would be analogous to allowing only one team from a conference to play for the NCAA basketball championship. I am old enough to vividly remember the day when only one team per conference was allowed. You had the absurd situation of having great teams like South Carolina in 1970 and Maryland in 1974 excluded from the field due to these limitations.

NAQT makes it very difficult to earn a slot in the field. Our three teams had to finish in the top 15% of the TJ hosted NAQT tournament last fall, a tournament with a very deep field where even DCC and State College failed to qualify. (Note: I don't mean to imply that our three teams are better than DCC or State College. In fact, one of our teams would be lucky to beat either of them on a good day.)

If a team can qualify, why should they be penalized just because there happens to be a better team from their same school? Shouldn't B and C teams have the same motivation to compete in regular season tournaments and be similarly rewarded for their success?

One argument mentioned was that a B or C team does not have a realistic chance of winning the championship so why should they play at all? Teams should be playing to win not to place or show, or so the argument goes. Well, I dare say that many if not most of the "A" teams in the field have an unrealistic chance of winning, and would be thrilled to finish say in the top 10, or in some cases to even to make the playoffs for that matter. It is not reasonable to assume that all the B and C teams in the field are less able to win than all the "A" teams in the field.

As for having to play multiple teams from a "magnet" school: I know some schools love playing our B and C teams precisely because they believe they have a greater chance of beating them. There is a certain amount of bragging right in beating one of those teams, even if beating our A team proves elusive.

Though having a magnet school with a rich curriculum and an emphasis on academics provides some advantages, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for success in quizbowl. It takes dedication and hard work to reach the highest levels of this sport no matter what school you are from. Some schools have other advantages like an active JV and/or middle school program. (We have neither.) Some schools have the financial resources to travel far and wide during the year. (We don't). Some schools can get many kids to go to quizbowl camp. ( I have not had much success in that department.) In some schools quizbowl is a marqee extra-curricular activity to which a large part of the school aspires. (At our school quizbowl is lower profile and has to compete with a large variety of sports and activites for participants.)

So, bottom line: Unless you believe in some brand of socialism, just let the best teams compete and may the best team win.
Last edited by jbarnes112358 on Mon May 08, 2006 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ben Dillon » Mon May 08, 2006 8:57 pm

jbarnes112358 said...
First of all, the objective of a national championship should be to bring together the top N teams in the nation to see which team can climb to the top. Undoubtably, the top N teams will include situations where more than one of these teams happen to be from the same school. To exclude a B or C or even a D team from the field would be analogous to allowing only one team from a conference to play for the NCAA basketball championship. I am old enough to vividly remember the day when only one team per conference was allowed. You had the absurb situation of having great teams like South Carolina in 1970 and Maryland in 1974 excluded from the field due to these limitations.
I'm not sure this analogy is apt. If Duke or North Carolina were allowed to field a B team in NCAA basketball, they very likely might make the field.

Not coming down on either side... just throwing in 2 cents.
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Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 08, 2006 9:19 pm

Ben Dillon wrote:
I'm not sure this analogy is apt. If Duke or North Carolina were allowed to field a B team in NCAA basketball, they very likely might make the field.

Not coming down on either side... just throwing in 2 cents.
Good point. The analogy is not perfect. But, unlike NCAA basketball where you don't ever have B teams playing, you do have multiple teams playing throughout the year in quiz bowl tournaments. If you only allow one team per school at nationals, how would you pick them? Would you pick the highest finishing team from a given school in the qualifying tournament? What if the B team finishes higher in the qualifying tournament than the A team? Are you forced to send your B team to represent your school? Or, would I have to tell my B team, "Sorry, guys. I know you finished higher than the A team. But, they are really a better team so I want to send them to nationals. You guys had a great day, but you are just playing for the fun of it. How you finish is just for your own glory and amusement, but it does not qualify you for anything."

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Post by First Chairman » Mon May 08, 2006 9:26 pm

If we're doing this to prove who the best team is, we should have distinct qualification procedures that should raise the bar so that we don't have an issue about not having enough slots. Each team should play a fixed roster for the entire year. If a second team has good enough statistics to make the field, they should make the field. Qualification for the HSCT should emulate the procedures for the ICT (and I wonder why that has never been the case).

If we're doing this to reward and encourage students to continue to play this game, then the M.O. is entirely different. Why should I penalize any kids who show a lot of effort and potential... kids who would really appreciate an opportunity to play in a national championship tournament? If you're in this for the love of the game, we should not bar a school from bringing more than one team.

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Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 08, 2006 9:42 pm

E.T. Chuck wrote: Each team should play a fixed roster for the entire year.
Why is this important? If all the teams qualify in the same tournament (e.g. NAQT rules), why would it matter if the lineups are subsequently changed?

One of the nice things about playing multiple teams is so you can evaluate how players work together. If coaches are forced to maintain the same roster all year it makes it difficult to build the best teams. And what if you have players missing? Do you just play teams shorthanded, or can you mix and match players as we often have to do with all the conflicts these kids have?

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Post by Matt Weiner » Mon May 08, 2006 9:46 pm

Let's be realistic; if the purpose of a national championship was really just to determine who the absolute best team is, then we'd probably only have to invite 12 teams every year: the 3 to 9 teams (depending on the year) who have dominated the major east-of-the-Mississippi tournaments, the best team from California, the best team from Texas, and teams like Lakeside who have won qualifying events in new quizbowl regions and haven't yet competed against the national mainstream. There are plenty of teams on this year's nationals lists who know they are not going to win, but they are still going and should be able to do so. A program that's new this year trying to finish 11th, a team that finished 35th last year trying to finish 18th, a team that just wants to go see Chicago getting to go, or a team that plans on really turning it on over the summer and competing for next year's title going just for the experience of nationals-level questions and competition--all of these people are allowed to go, and well they should be, or there would be no way for NAQT to afford putting on the tournament for the handful of teams who are there to seriously compete for the title. A B team who wants to prove that they are the 9th best team in the country has just as much of a right to be there as an A team whose goal is the same. If NAQT decides to run a 12 team "tournament of elites" only, then maybe limiting it to one team per school would make sense. Until then, it does not. Mr. Barry, you yourself said that tourism is the major reason that you go to nationals, and you're not even seriously competing for titles yourself, did you not?
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Post by brownboy79 » Mon May 08, 2006 9:47 pm

While obviously there are some merits to the idea of a fixed roster, I think the better solution is to play the exact same teams you used in your qualifying tournament. That keeps your A and B teams straight, and a direct reflection of your qualification. If a team has an exceptional player, and plays him on C team to qualify an extra team, not only does that defeat the purpose of bringing extra teams, but it also cuts out a (possibly) better team.

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Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 08, 2006 10:02 pm

E.T. Chuck wrote:If we're doing this to prove who the best team is, we should have distinct qualification procedures that should raise the bar so that we don't have an issue about not having enough slots.
This might be the best way to deal with the situation. I do hate to see qualified teams excluded due to space limitations. But, even if the bar is raised to say the top 10% of the finishers in a qualifying tournament, you still have excellent teams excluded. Some tournaments may have distinctly stronger fields than other tournaments. Not all top 15% groups are going to be equally strong. But I don't know how to remove this unfairness. A school can not just move to another part of the country where the competition is not as stiff and where it might be easier to crack the top 15%.

PACE tries to deal with the problem of strong fields by qualifying teams down below teams that have already qualified elsewhere. But this is a form of lowering the bar, so you are back to the situation of too many qualifying teams.

This is a complicated problem. I don't know the answer.

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Post by quizbowllee » Mon May 08, 2006 10:23 pm

I am bringing two teams to NAQT this year. This might seem even more "offensive" considering how small our school is (less than 300 students 9-12).

However, I have a starting "B" team made up of two 10th graders who never even played before this year, one 10th grader who only started last year, and one 8th grader who is our state middle school MVP. These four have worked together over the past couple of months with the single goal of getting ready for nationals. In that time, they have defeated my HIGHLY superior A-team at least 4 times in practice matches.

They got a wild-card bid, and we accepted as soon as I got the e-mail. I didn't wait until the last minute by any means. Furthermore, would it be fair to these kids - who compete in practice against a group who has been playing since 5th and 6th grade - to miss out on an opportunity to compete in a national tournament? Of course not. Also, since my A-team is all sophomores, then 3/4 of my "B" team would NEVER get to play at Nationals if there was a one-team limit.

Do I think that they have a snowball's chance in hell of winning? No. Do I even think that they are the best "B" team? No. Do I think that they will finish dead last? No. I think that their main goals are:

1) Do better than our "B" team did last year (2-8)
2) Get valuable experience so that next year they WILL have a shot at being the best "B" team
3) Have fun playing a game that they love

Also, since we won't be graduating any seniors this year, I will probably try to bring THREE teams to NAQT next year. And, since we won't be graduating any seniors the next year either (and I continue to bring players up from middle school), I might even try and bring FOUR teams in 2008. If they earn their bids, you better believe I'll bring them.

So, in conclusion, I give a resounding "NO" to limiting teams at nationals. The HSNCT (and the PACE NSC) aren't just about finding out who is best. They are also about learning how to become the best. It shouldn't be limited to only those with a legitimate shot at winning.
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Post by jbarnes112358 » Mon May 08, 2006 11:21 pm

brownboy79 wrote:While obviously there are some merits to the idea of a fixed roster, I think the better solution is to play the exact same teams you used in your qualifying tournament. That keeps your A and B teams straight, and a direct reflection of your qualification. If a team has an exceptional player, and plays him on C team to qualify an extra team, not only does that defeat the purpose of bringing extra teams, but it also cuts out a (possibly) better team.
I believe that it would be cheap for a coach to deliberately split up a team like that for the purpose of trying to qualify more teams. I am pretty sure last year's TJ team could have split up its top 4 players, had them each play solo as teams A, B,C, and D and probably all qualified. I understand your concern. But, what about the following situation. In the NAQT Virginia Championships we had our captain missing from the A team and a key player missing from the B team. We brought up a B team player for the A team, and C and D team players to the B team. Those teams finished 1st and 3rd and hence both qualified to nationals. Should those teams be forced to compete at nationals using those substitute rosters in favor of the presumably stronger regular rosters? I would think not.

Hopefully, coaches would operate in good faith and not use cheap tricks in order to qualify teams they don't deserve.

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Post by rchschem » Tue May 09, 2006 8:27 am

Maybe it's time for the NAQT NIT?

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Post by bigtrain » Tue May 09, 2006 10:12 am

rchschem wrote:Maybe it's time for the NAQT NIT?
We do. It's called NAC. Except they use different rules, footballs and hoops that are bigger for some teams than others.
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Post by First Chairman » Tue May 09, 2006 11:17 am

Whew... I'm glad no one considers the PACE NSC as "the NAQT NIT"... or at least vocally on this board. :cool:
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Post by Tegan » Tue May 09, 2006 11:18 am

Since I'm not sending a team.....

The NAQT qualifying practice of taking NAQT state champions means that inherint to the system there will be underacheiving teams who come to the NAQT championship.

That having been said, there are certainly "B" teams that are highly qualified....."B" teams who truly deserve to be a part of a championship field...even at the national level.

Perhaps NAQT can come up with some kind of a system to identify top "B" teams, and put a tighter reign on "less qualified" B teams. Certainly a tough job, but word of mouth should help.....

I don't have a problem with qualified "B" teams....my problem (I'm speaking as a moderator here) are when state champs show up and clearly don't know how to conduct themselves at a tournament.....like: when you get your first toss-up of the match on question #8, this does not mean we stop the match to accomodate the spontaneous celebration tha breaks out between the players and the fans.

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Post by First Chairman » Tue May 09, 2006 11:19 am

Well, there is such a system already in place with NAQT... it's called the ICT qualification process. Read all about our gripes on it in the college section.

Again, I'm just pointing out that a system already exists.
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Post by Howard » Tue May 09, 2006 1:13 pm

E.T. Chuck wrote:Each team should play a fixed roster for the entire year.
Based on my own personal experience, this is impractical. If I needed to do this, there would have been years when I was only able to enter a couple tournaments because I didn't have enough students on each team's roster. As the system is now, I can simply attend a tournament and plop my best three or four players in attendance on the A team.
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Re: Restricting NAQT HSNCT in 2007 and beyond

Post by Mr. Kwalter » Tue May 09, 2006 1:18 pm

jrbarry wrote:It is tough enough to compete against the magnet schools without having to compete against multiple teams from magnet schools.
Honestly, Mr. Barry, what are you talking about? It is tough enough to compete against the magnet schools? Are you implying that their players are inherently better than yours, "smarter" than yours? For what it's worth, Texas A&M, a school that draws its students almost exclusively from Texas and Louisiana (hell their two leading scorers were from Louisiana), beat schools like Princeton, UChicago and Michigan to win the collegiate ACF Nationals title this year, and it's pretty tough to compete against those schools. Yes, I know, you hate it when we impose college quizbowl analogies on HS situations, but regardless of whether that's apt, you're insulting your players and yourself by saying you can't compete.
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Post by pblessman » Tue May 09, 2006 1:39 pm

I see the current "dilemma" as an opportunity- rather than fretting over having more than 128 teams who want to attend NAQT Nationals we should

1. Celebrate that our game has become so sensationally popular in the span of only a couple of years and
2. Figure out a way that this can be leveraged into even greater growth.

(can you believe we're even having this conversation? 2003 and 2004 NAQT had 64 teams... last year 96... now more than 128 want to play)

Anyway, getting rid of B, C, X, or Omicron teams would only be a Band Aid on a much bigger issue anyway. Growth has been ENORMOUS (64->96->128++). At this rate the 2007 NAQT tournament might draw as many as 200 teams, if they have room for that many. So how about making room for everybody?

Maybe NAQT could take the one play out of Chip's playbook that actually makes sense: Offer two dates, e.g. Memorial Day Weekend and the First Weekend in June. This would make more room, and it would also allow ALL teams to compete, because teams with conflicts on one date could attend the other date. The top 2 teams from each tourney would automatically qualify for the "FINAL FOUR" which would be held on the Sunday of the tournament during the first weekend in June. If both tournaments are in Chicago (at the same hotel even) the two qualifying teams could stay the week or if they have to go back home be flown back in. With the increased revenue from having 200 teams NAQT whould be able to pay the hotel rooms or airline tickets.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Tue May 09, 2006 1:48 pm

If it came to that, it would be a lot more convenient to offer a four-day tournament and have the playoff teams from Friday & Saturday stay over until the Sunday & Monday teams are done. Perhaps they could claim Memorial Day weekend for it; ASCN seems to be on its last legs anyway. I've always been skeptical of Chip's premise that high schoolers, especially when some of them are still in classes, can simply decide on a few days notice to hop on a plane for the weekend.

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Post by Matthew D » Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm

Personally, out of all the ideas floated, I like the idea of the two date if the field has become so large as to start thinking of restricting the play of any school. While I don't relish the fact of playing against several teams from the ubber schools, I don't want to limit them playing.
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Post by First Chairman » Tue May 09, 2006 10:43 pm

jbarnes112358 wrote:
E.T. Chuck wrote: Each team should play a fixed roster for the entire year.
Why is this important? If all the teams qualify in the same tournament (e.g. NAQT rules), why would it matter if the lineups are subsequently changed?

One of the nice things about playing multiple teams is so you can evaluate how players work together. If coaches are forced to maintain the same roster all year it makes it difficult to build the best teams. And what if you have players missing? Do you just play teams shorthanded, or can you mix and match players as we often have to do with all the conflicts these kids have?
Well, if we are talking about restricting teams to a particular bid, one thing that is patently unfair would be giving a school a bid based on the performance of one particular roster, but the school puts in a different roster for nationals. The bid was awarded to the team that performed at that event. If we wanted to be fair and determine who the best teams are, we should be prepared to have a set roster or at least fix the roster for the team that earns a bid to go to nationals.

I know... this will happen when pigs fly. It's completely impractical. But then again, if we are to reward the best team, wouldn't this be the fairest way to do it? (It's at least how we do it in Decathlon: fixed roster from state to national championship anyway.)
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Post by Chico the Rainmaker » Tue May 09, 2006 11:21 pm

With all due respect, I think that your analogy to Decathlon doesn't entirely fit the situation. I know that Sci Bowl and Ocean Sci Bowl also require fixed rosters from states to nationals, but the difference is that the only way to qualify for nationals is via those state tournaments, which are usually late enough in the year that the coach will know what his A team will be anyway. With NAQT, where there aren't state championships in every state and teams might get their only bid at the first tournament of the year, I don't think that it's feasible to require fixed rosters from that tournament to nationals.
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Post by thepowerofche » Tue May 09, 2006 11:40 pm

DumbJaques wrote:As for the argument that a school's A team is always going to be better than it's B team:
1) That isn't always true. Yeah, it's supposed to be like that, but if a player on B team absolutely rips up one game and A team plays badly, it can happen. But that isn't even the point. The point is
2) You can't realistically argue that 120 teams have a shot at number 1. But there are a lot of places you can finish between first and last (specifically, there are 118 places). You don't have to win nationals to make the experience rewarding or to face (and be) some great competition.

This whole thing just seems to me like the same logic behind people who acknowledge how bad a format Chip is and then keep going. When it comes right down to it, if you aren't a better team, you don't deserve to win (or recieve any of the corresponding boons, like getting an invite to nationals). Basically, if you can't get better than 120 of the teams that go to nationals, why should you get to go?
As for part 1, winning one fluke match does not make a B team "better" than an A team. I'm not sure there have been instances in which a school's A and B teams had a .500 record against each other, and I find it extremely unlikely that a B team would have even a .250 record against its A team on a set of good, consistent questions. In fact, in my school's quiz bowl team's history, no B team has ever beaten an A team in a varsity tournament (although the freshmen did pull off an upset over the sophomores at a tournament this year in the finals). However, as you said yourself, this isn't really the point.

The point is that a B team, with the certain knowledge that it was going to lose at some point in the playoffs (barring an exceedingly unlikely chain of events) would not be as motivated to play as well as a B team that stood a chance of winning by not playing in the same tournament as its A team. Teams good enough to qualify for nationals live in an area in which they are in the top 15%, which is enough for them to be competitive with anyone in their area. Nobody can tell with certainty that one team from one area will beat another team from another area just by looking at statistics. Every one of the teams on the Eastern Seaboard might get trounced at nationals by the team from Canada; however, if the Canucks were slightly remiss in turning in their registration packets and lost a spot to a B team, nobody would ever know. The point is for as many schools from as many geographically diverse places as possible who can play to represent their area to do just that.

As to the argument that qualifying B teams should get championship experience, I'm certainly not arguing that they not get invited to come just because they know they'll lose. Clearly if they qualify by being in the top 15% of all teams in their area, they would make the B team tournament just as competitive as the A team tournament if not more so, with the teams knowing that there's no certain glass ceiling for them to hit. It'd be just as national, just as competitive, and just as championship with serious pride to go along with it. You could even have the top 2 teams from each tournament go against each other "Final Four" style to see just how competitive those teams might have been in the upper tournament (stealing from pblessman's idea). The point is to make it so that the teams all feel like they have a shot to win the tournament they're competing in, whether they do or not in actuality. The only exception I would make for this would be if the school's A and B teams were so interchangeable that the A team would lose at least a third of the time to the B team.
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Post by jrbarry » Wed May 10, 2006 12:01 am

Matt:

We do try to win each match we play all year including at NAQTHSNCT. That doesn't change my idea about a Nationals trip as a reward for a year of work.

My suggestion that NAQT might limit schools to TWO teams in 2007 is just that, a suggestion to ponder.

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Post by brownboy79 » Wed May 10, 2006 10:20 am

thepowerofche wrote:
The point is that a B team, with the certain knowledge that it was going to lose at some point in the playoffs (barring an exceedingly unlikely chain of events) would not be as motivated to play as well as a B team that stood a chance of winning by not playing in the same tournament as its A team. Teams good enough to qualify for nationals live in an area in which they are in the top 15%, which is enough for them to be competitive with anyone in their area. Nobody can tell with certainty that one team from one area will beat another team from another area just by looking at statistics. Every one of the teams on the Eastern Seaboard might get trounced at nationals by the team from Canada; however, if the Canucks were slightly remiss in turning in their registration packets and lost a spot to a B team, nobody would ever know. The point is for as many schools from as many geographically diverse places as possible who can play to represent their area to do just that.

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I don't buy the idea of B and C teams not being as good, even against their A team. I'll try to find the stats for Wash U. We(Dunbar C) had all three teams with 5-0 records, and went into the playoffs all on one side of the bracket. Our A team eliminated us in Sudden Death, which should be enough to convince people that a C team can beat an A team even in the playoffs of a major tournament. Then, our A team beat our B team on the last question. After this game, our B team got third, A team got first, and while we were eliminated early, we could have done just as well, to a certain extent.

I know that Dunbar has a reputation for bringing a lot of teams to tournaments, but if all of a school's teams have the ability to compete, I see no reason for them not to compete. Granted, A teams are supposed to be better than B teams, but that motivation often plays on the side of a younger, less experienced team. In fact, the idea of certain knowledge seems entirely unrealistic. If you go into a tournament thinking you will lose, you almost certainly will. Remember George Mason...

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Post by Kechara » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:57 pm

In response to the comments about the best B team in the country, what if NAQT ran a champtionship set for B teams the way they do for small schools? There are the logistical problems inherent when you have some of those B teams in the regular playoffs as well, but they manage to work with that when they have small schools in the playoffs...

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Post by brownboy79 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:29 am

But with that, you have B teams like my own, composed entirely of JV players, and then you have B teams like Gov B, composed entirely of Seniors. I suppose there is no way to get around that, but it would be nice to see a JV Nationals.

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Post by DumbJaques » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:39 am

I for one wouldn't want to encourage the already disturbingly noticeable trend of sorting A and B teams based on seniority rather than skill. I don't understand why ANYONE would do that now, but creating a JV division might actually give them a semi-defendable reason. Surely, Papa, you wouldn't want to give a coach more incentive to keep one of their top players on their B team, would you?
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Post by brownboy79 » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:44 am

Several coaches do that currently. There is not a foreseeable event that would cause them to stop. I, for one, would like to see an opportunity for those solid players being disenfranchised by "schmeniority" to have an opportunity to have fun at a tournament without getting pasted/dominated/whupped. As for coaches moving players down, only the coach that moved his players down to begin with, would continue that practice. If your coach is already logical, I see no reason for you to worry, Chris.

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Post by DumbJaques » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:54 am

. . .


What? I'm graduating, I just said I was worried about other coaches who would just have a new incentive to keep their players down. What are you even talking about?

The issue I'm bringing up is coaches who would normally not divide their teams based on seniority, but might think they could finish high in the normal division, but win the JV division. At a NATIONAL event, you shouldn't have conflicting priorities. Your A team should be your best team. Period. There were enough examples of people not following that rule this weekend as it is without a coach who wants to increase his team's presitge by making a run at the JV title while weakening his team. There are JV/fresh-soph events during the year. Nationals is about who is the best in the country, not which team of seniors or junior or freshmen or whatever can beat the other one.
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Post by Howard » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:16 pm

Kechara wrote:In response to the comments about the best B team in the country, what if NAQT ran a champtionship set for B teams the way they do for small schools? There are the logistical problems inherent when you have some of those B teams in the regular playoffs as well, but they manage to work with that when they have small schools in the playoffs...
This is a sticky proposition. In most circles, the A team is the best 4 players, and then the B team is the next best 4 players. With busy student schedules and whatnot, I'm not sure I've fielded the same A team at any two tournaments this year. In fact, the possibility exists that the A team at one tournament could be the B team at the next, just based on who was available for the tourney.

Edit: corrected typo. Doh!
Last edited by Howard on Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by First Chairman » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:05 pm

There are some really good points already mentioned. I, for one, am ambivalent about having a JV national championship solely for designated JV teams. I wasn't quite a fan of how ASCN did it, and I know there are better ways.

PACE NSC has a consolation championship phase for teams that do not make it to the top 12 for the overall championship. To toot our horn, I think we do a really good job making sure that the consolation championship is meaningful, and we make every effort to make the teams who play in the consolation rounds hungry to win our consolation championship trophies. It's so important for me to know that the teams at that level are enjoying the experience that I ask the staff to take care of the championship bracket while I moderate and oversee the consolation teams. Some years we take twice as long to set up the consolation brackets as we do the championship brackets to ensure the schedules are sufficiently fair and challenging. (This year, we have done a lot more set up in the planning phase so hopefully it won't take as long.) We make it clear that all teams are expected to play both days, and for the past few years, everyone has complied.

I think that rather than establish arbitrary eligibility rules for a JV championship, we should make sure we open opportunities for teams to perform at their best. We do that at PACE, and we hope teams appreciate our efforts.
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Post by hardeecoach » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:56 pm

As the coach of a late qualifying team (April 29), I wish a couple of schools had chosen not to bring a C team-- then we could have competed. We chose to come anyway, and ended up scrimmaging for the entire tounament. Fun, but just not the same. Also, it took a great deal of fund-raising to get there. I'm starting to like the idea of a longer tournament (let everybody in who qualifies) or two separate tournaments. The increased interest this year could also be due to the Jeopardy! tryouts. I know that was a key point for my team. Also, some of us who have attended before went home talking about what a great tournament it was. Hoist on my own petard!

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Post by samer » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:45 pm

jrbarry wrote:Matt:

We do try to win each match we play all year including at NAQTHSNCT. That doesn't change my idea about a Nationals trip as a reward for a year of work.

My suggestion that NAQT might limit schools to TWO teams in 2007 is just that, a suggestion to ponder.
Note: only speaking on behalf of myself.

What about restricting schools to, say, one team until March 1, and then two teams until May 1?
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Post by jbarnes112358 » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:04 pm

People are still trying to lay a guilt trip on us for qualifying a C team.

Well, our C team was excited when they learned that they had qualified (last fall, and in a very strong tournament field, at that, in a tournament where both State College and DCC failed to qualify!) At the time, I don't think anyone dreamed there would be this much demand for slots at nationals. I'm sorry, but come May, after looking forward to going all year, and after travel arrangements have been made, I am not going to tell my kids they can't now go because some team out there is late qualifying or late registering.

Our C team barely missed the play-offs, finishing with a 5-5 record, which was better than half the field, and was the best C team there. They certainly proved themslves worthy of being there, and gained some valuable experience for next year. I doubt we will be able to qualify three teams again any time soon, so not to worry.

Our all-senior B team finished 16th and finished second among the B teams. They too proved worthy.

Were there any no-shows at all? I am sorry teams went to the trouble to attend and did not get to compete in the actual tournament. Hopefully, the scrimmages and the experience will still serve them well in the future. Just being there had to be a worthwhile experience for the kids. Though, I know it was not quite the same.

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Post by quizbowllee » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:28 pm

jbarnes112358 wrote:People are still trying to lay a guilt trip on us for qualifying a C team.

Well, our C team was excited when they learned that they had qualified (last fall, and in a very strong tournament field, at that, in a tournament where both State College and DCC failed to qualify!) At the time, I don't think anyone dreamed there would be this much demand for slots at nationals. I'm sorry, but come May, after looking forward to going all year, and after travel arrangements have been made, I am not going to tell my kids they can't now go because some team out there is late qualifying or late registering.

Our C team barely missed the play-offs, finishing with a 5-5 record, which was better than half the field, and was the best C team there. They certainly proved themslves worthy of being there, and gained some valuable experience for next year. I doubt we will be able to qualify three teams again any time soon, so not to worry.

Our all-senior B team finished 16th and finished second among the B teams. They too proved worthy.

Were there any no-shows at all? I am sorry teams went to the trouble to attend and did not get to compete in the actual tournament. Hopefully, the scrimmages and the experience will still serve them well in the future. Just being there had to be a worthwhile experience for the kids. Though, I know it was not quite the same.
Personally, I don't blame you at all. It's obvious that your "C" team deserved to be there. I'd have done the same thing. In fact, I'm going to have a pretty large team next year - including a pretty talented freshman group - and will try to qualify 3 teams. If I do so, I fully intend to let all three play.
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Post by Byko » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:34 am

jbarnes112358 wrote:People are still trying to lay a guilt trip on us for qualifying a C team.
John, I certainly hope that's not the case. As you stated, you guys played well and deserved to be there. However, here's what really bothers and almost offends me about what ended up happening at NAQT.

Several teams were there as waitlist entries, including (I think) Hardee, Dobyns-Bennett, Solon, and Greeley County. When Pennridge didn't show up, they went to the next highest team on the list. Unfortunately, it was none of those teams. Instead, it was Minnetonka C.

When I run a tournament, I like to have as many teams from as many diverse programs as possible. There are a lot of good B teams out there, so I'll usually let them in with no problem. But beyond that, unless I know for a fact I can support a large enough field that I will have not enough teams rather than too many, I automatically put C teams and below on a waiting list and give priority to A and B teams.

I know why NAQT did what they did, and frankly, it is the fairest way to do things according to their system. Unfortunately, the end result is a disappointing one, to say the least.

So frankly, if there's any C team I'd be unhappy about, it's Minnetonka C. Granted, I don't know anyone from Minnetonka and don't mean it a slight against them in any way. But it's just unfortunate that because of very close timing AFTER the field was filled, a C team got in instead of another school's A team.
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Post by Zip Zap Rap Pants » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:45 am

Who replaced Bob Jones after they dropped? If both they and Pennridge dropped, shouldn't Hardee have gotten in?

[Edit: By the way, I'm totally with you on the A and B teams having preference over C teams on waitlists, even if they qualify. Also, I think teams that actually qualify should have precedence over at large teams that are accepted; my guess is Minnetonka C was at large, but I dont know...]
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Post by Byko » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:50 am

Matt Morrison wrote:Who replaced Bob Jones after they dropped? If both they and Pennridge dropped, shouldn't Hardee have gotten in?
North Allegheny was the first team on the waiting list, so they got in when Bob Jones dropped at least a week before. The wait paid for them--North Allegheny went 6-4 and got into the playoffs before going 2 and out.

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Post by Strongside » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:29 pm

I am from Minnesota so I can explain the Minnetonka thing. Minnetonka usually sends about three teams to meets that they got to. They went to all the NAQT quiz bowl meets in the metro area and they also hosted an NAQT meet. There were at least two tournaments where their A team qualified and their B team was one win away from qualifying but they never qualified more than one team at any given tournament. I am guessing that their participation and strong showings at local NAQT meets got them three teams at the HSNCT. We only went 1-3 against their A team this season and their A team was 5-1 before dropping 4 straight.

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Post by Strongside » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:50 pm

I think this a good problem for NAQT to have. There was an article in the Minneapolis based Star Tribune about quiz bowl and how Robert Hentzel used to have to beg people to come to the tournament and how this year he got e-mails from people who were angry that they missed the deadline. Maybe NAQT can expand this tournament in the future.

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Post by Deviant Insider » Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:28 pm

I was told that the largest the waitlist ever got was 17 teams, and in the end 16 teams were turned away.

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