Page 1 of 1

Should elite teams play A-Series?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:00 pm
by theattachment
As we have the discussion on whether or not NAQT needs harder packets for elite teams...

Wayzata, the number two ranked team by general consensus in Minnesota, is being barred by their coach from playing an A-Series tournament. One of the main sticking points is that their coach doesn't want their A or B teams destroying the packets when it's supposed to be an introductory tournament. They're being "taught a lesson" by being forced out of playing. In sharp contrast, EP planned to only let veterans go due to space, but finally relented.

Here's the question: Because A-Series are meant to be easier and for younger, more inexperienced teams, should teams that will average 700 points on them and aim for more powers than 10s be allowed to play on them? They're not the best of tests for the teams, but can you realistically ban a team from playing a tournament because they'll succeed?


Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:24 pm
by First Chairman
The coach has every right to make that decision, and I'm sure for the sake of competitiveness, it's a very noble thing to do. Blowouts do not provide the team much in terms of learning moments and growth, so I'm applauding the coach for doing that.

Of course, I hate to prevent good kids from playing, and there may be some understudies who the coach may want to send to play that set.

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:49 pm
by NoahMinkCHS
It seems like it wouldn't really be worth going to for a good team. I will say, when I was in high school, we went to a few tournaments with not great or crappy questions (typically house-written), and I was glad we got the extra chance to play. But I can't blame a coach for deciding it's not a good option for their team when they know in advance the questions will be far too easy. I don't think the tournament itself should ban a team though -- unless it's specifically a JV event that only allows 9th and 10th graders from all schools, or something along those lines excluding all experienced players.

I wonder what kind of "lesson" they're being taught, though -- Don't ever get too good? I'm curious about the use of that term.

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:10 pm
by STPickrell
Hmm. I wonder if maybe Wayzata could play as 4 two-man teams instead of 2 four-man teams. Staffing would be the big issue here.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:18 am
by cvdwightw
The way I see it the coach is preventing the players from having an opportunity to compete. Now, if there are plenty of opportunities to play in the area, I would say go ahead and limit which players you take to tournaments that are "too easy" for your best players. But if you're lucky to get 6-7 tournaments before nationals, then this is a bad move. Essentially, whether or not you send your top team to tournaments that use questions you know will be too easy depends entirely upon the number of chances you have to play on questions that aren't too easy.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:13 am
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Two things-

1) I think Dwight is right, because I know in Minnesota there are lots of tournaments run on A sets, and as far as I know this is the only tournament this weekend. If there were either eligibility restrictions on experienced players or if there were a better tournament in driving range, then I would agree with your coach, but as it is I think all she is doing is putting off more of your ability to compete.

2) I know that Eden Prairie A (with Micheal Wright) will be competing at this tournament, and I would be surprised if the other top Minnesota teams weren't bringing their full team since this is the first chance they have to play all year. If Eden Prairie and others are going to be bringing their full team to this, then I don't see any argument about how this tournament's field is supposed to be for new players holding water.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:59 am
by Gautam
I think teams like to play these early A-set tournaments because it's a quick and easy way to qualify for HSNCT and secure a spot in the field. I mean, you'd be dumb not to get qualified, IMO.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:08 am
by First Chairman
Granted, there is the other argument: if there are ONLY 6-7 tournaments a year in an area, there are plenty of weekends to fill a gap with one's own tournament, or else you can pay to go elsewhere. Intersect with DCC during their tournament tour a few times.

Noting: Wayzata is coming to DACQ Weekend of Quizbowl, and certainly we'd welcome any of the other Minnesota teams if they can fundraise to fly out to northern Virginia.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:19 pm
by Howard
I believe in taking my team to the tournament best-suited for them on any particular weekend. While I'm not under any delusion that we're too good for an -A packet, I think it depends on the situation. In order to determine the best tournament for my team, I consider questions, format, and location. If there are no other reasonable options on a particular weekend, I'll go to the sole tournament available, just about no matter what it is. Presumably, if powerhouse team A from a particular region attends, there are similar powerhouse teams from that region that would make the same decision, making the tournament more worthwhile.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:02 pm
by naturalistic phallacy
Will Run PACE for Reese's wrote:Granted, there is the other argument: if there are ONLY 6-7 tournaments a year in an area, there are plenty of weekends to fill a gap with one's own tournament, or else you can pay to go elsewhere. Intersect with DCC during their tournament tour a few times.

Noting: Wayzata is coming to DACQ Weekend of Quizbowl, and certainly we'd welcome any of the other Minnesota teams if they can fundraise to fly out to northern Virginia.
Not every team has that kind of funding to go to out of state tournaments.

Enough said.

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:25 am
by theattachment
Two things:

1. This thread wasn't intended as a "Give Wayzata backing to go to a tournament" thread but as a general rule sort of thing. In my mind, as an elite team player I don't mind playing on A-Series because of the fun involved in realistically aiming for 30 point bonus conversion, but I do have problems with coaches using A-Tournaments as a way to exert control. More on that later...

2. To add some context, Charlie's right in saying a large (think about half) amount of tournaments are A-Series in Minnesota, along with the league play and league playoffs. If you look at it that way, the coach, using her reasoning (and a little circular reasoning of my own) would be making the same decision for all but five in-state QB tournaments this year (assuming they don't throw their own Deep Bench Tournament), one of which is a trash one, another a college one. The apparent lesson was to not have good teams playing on easy packets, even if they'd go for the joy of QB and to play better competition. There's other sorts of screwed up things going on with that team, namely the fact that their coach wants to put an ACE camp attendee (and likely their best player) on their C team. Ask around for Chris Ray's letter to the coach. It's hilarious. The point is that her ruling is another in a list of decisions that are difficult to justify.

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:43 pm
by jbarnes112358
All else being equal we would generally prefer a non A-level tournament. We did attend an A-level tournament this year. It may be our first one ever. Most of the NAQT tournaments around here tend not to be A-level. Sure, the questions were a little easier, which was a good thing given all the newer players we brought along. There were a sufficient number of questions that challenged our veterans to make it fun for them as well. We also wanted to support Princess Anne's inaugural tournament by adding critical mass to their small field.

Certainly A-level is desirable for novice players. But, I don't want to take the novices and leave the veterans at home with nothing to do. We have been known to split our team to attend two tournaments on the same day, but try to avoid doing so.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:02 am
by First Chairman
I also wanted to clarify that I don't want to give any excuse for teams to NOT attend a local tournament if that tournament needs support. I do say that in high school, I believe coaches have that right to dictate who plays at a given tournament. They bear institutional responsibility for the team, and since the legal age of adulthood is still 18, coaches do become parents in abstentia as well as teachers, travel agents, and what-not.

I don't want to force the best players out there to just sit out for an entire tournament because the questions are too easy, but sometimes it's interesting for them to see how younger students develop. Peer mentoring is such a key component of retention that a coach may appreciate having a second set of eyes to help less experienced players deal with the stresses of playing and hopefully improve themselves for when the newbies become juniors and seniors. This is also a key skill for any high school student who wants to continue playing in college where there are fewer coaches but more peers who may need advice and counsel.

Everyone started out as a novice, and some people get caught up more on the game than others. But to build a program, it's about getting more people to get over the initial learning curves at your program versus others.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:02 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Well, to me the resolution to that problem is to play the newer players on a separate team.