ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

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ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:06 pm

Brandeis University will be hosting the New England mirror of ACF Fall.

Venue: Mandel Center for the Humanities (map, just drive on the loop road until you see a nice building with lots of windows that is not blue).

Parking: You may park on the Loop Road itself or the Mandel lot. The North Quad also has its own parking lot.

Timetable: Registration starts at 7:30am; teams should arrive before 8:30am. Round 1 begins promptly at 9:00am.

Food: Java City Schneider (1-minute walk) and Einstein's Bagels (3-, 4-minute walk) open starting at 8:00am. For lunch, Quizno's (yummy) and a number of Brandeis dining halls (not yummy) are available. Plenty of delicious options are available on Main and Moody streets in Waltham, but this is not feasible for those without cars. I will be ordering pizza for the staffers and the house team; guest teams may buy into this for the low, low price of 3-5 USD, the final price depending on the level of interest.

Shelter: Brandeis is a bit out of the way for some teams, and the MBTA commuter rail schedule on the weekends is terrible. If it would be more convenient for your team to arrive on Friday and stay the night, I have enough beds for two people and floor space for tons more.

Fee schedule
Base fee: $120
Buzzer systems: -$5 each
Staffers: -$10 each
Travel: -$10 for every 200 mi. travelled
International: -$20
New to ACF teams: -$25
New to Quizbowl teams: -$75
High school teams: -$50

Discounts/penalty schedule (more)
26 September 2010: -$25 (-$50 for teams not required to submit packets)
10 October 2010: No penalty (-$25 for teams not required to submit packets)
17 October 2010: +$25
24 October 2010: +$50
After 24 October 2010: The editors may grant one or more 24-hour extensions at an additional penalty of $10 per day.

Registration
Please e-mail //redacted// with something quizbowly in the subject line. Include in your enquiry the following information:
1) Your school's name;
2) The number of teams, staffers, and buzzer systems you are sending, as well as any packet-related modifications to your tournament fee;
3) If you would be interested in getting food with the house;
4) If you would be interested in spending Friday night at Brandeis;
5) Any other comments, questions, concerns, or death threats.

Field updates will be amended to this post as registrations are received.
Last edited by Waterworks on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:12 pm

Field

Brandeis - 2
RPI - 3
Harvard - 2
Yale - 2
Needham High School - 2
St Joseph's High School - 1
MIT - 2/1
Cornell - 3
Brown - 2
Dartmouth - 2
Williams - 1
NYU - 1
Last edited by Waterworks on Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:09 pm, edited 15 times in total.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Ondes Martenot » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:25 pm

I'll email you when I have an exact number but I think RPI will have 3 teams.

edit: and a buzzer system
Last edited by Ondes Martenot on Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:43 pm

Harvard will have on the order of two teams.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Yale will be bringing two teams, one buzzer, and most likely one moderator (me).
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by BroNi » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:59 am

Kellenberg Mem. HS is very strongly considering attending with one team.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Kaisuopai » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:28 pm

MIT would like to attend with two teams.

Will confirm in days to come.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:17 pm

//redacted//
Last edited by Waterworks on Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by BroNi » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:28 am

Unfortunately, Kellenberg will have to drop out. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:34 pm

individual scores (based on PPG during prelims; these were used to award prizes)

MIT Teenage Dream 109
Yale A Mat 105.8
RPI A Aaron 100.7
Brandeis B Baron von Hugendong 95
Yale B Sam 94
Harvard A Steven 63.3
Brown A Rebecca 57.1
Needham HS A Kayla 48
St Joseph's HS Alex 45.8
Cornell A Jeff 45
RPI B Matt 42.5
NYU Ramsey 39.16
Brandeis A Asaf 30

Most negs: Jeff from Williams.
Last edited by Waterworks on Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:38 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:36 pm

The overall winner was MIT, congrats!

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by mc1093alpha » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:38 pm

Edit: Retracted :P

I would like to thank Brandeis for stepping up and running the tournament. From what I could see, things went pretty smoothly (for a quizbowl tournament).

Also congrats to MIT and Yale A for the exciting and close final!
Last edited by mc1093alpha on Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:24 pm

It's bare hours after the end of the tournament. We're all excited to see stats. The TDs are probably all excited to post them. Let's just agree that the TD knows that he is supposed to post stats and that thousands of future STATS PLZ posts won't make him any more or less enthusiastic about posting stats. We'll all have simpler lives.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by dtaylor4 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:41 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:It's bare hours after the end of the tournament. We're all excited to see stats. The TDs are probably all excited to post them. Let's just agree that the TD knows that he is supposed to post stats and that thousands of future STATS PLZ posts won't make him any more or less enthusiastic about posting stats. We'll all have simpler lives.
Can we get something like this codified in the rules? I think that we get that people want to see stats, and I'm glad when I know that people traveling back from tournaments can see them on their smartphones, but ease up, people.

There are a number of things to do after finishing a tournament that are more urgent than getting stats up. Let the people running the tournament do what they do, and when the stats are finished, they'll be posted. Until then, find something more productive to do.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:44 am

So I went to Brandeis hoping for a good time and ended up leaving in an uncharacteristic rage.

I’ll get my gripes about the set out of the way first, since they are relatively small and there are many, many other things to say. Mods, feel free to crosspost this part to an ACF Fall discussion. I don’t think we can discuss specifics yet due to the possible Oxford mirror, so I’ll avoid them.
I am confused, ACF: What do you want ACF Fall to be? Do you want it to be of the equivalent difficulty to a high school tournament, so collegiate novices have a good time? Should packets differentiate skill at all between teams with a few ostensibly good players on them, even if the real championship players stay home? Should there be rules barring those championship players? Should high school all-stars stay home as well? I got a sincere sense while playing this tournament that this tournament A) didn’t know what it was aiming for and B) didn’t really want me playing it; unlike my experiences with ACF Falls 09 and 08 in practices and on the packet archive, a solid majority of this set’s bonuses were indistinguishable from standard high school fare, which also made it impossible for a clear top finisher to arise from this field after tons of close games, buzzer races, and instant-30s after every tossup between Ian-and-Guyless Brown, Yales A and B, MIT, and Harvard. When every neg effectively handed the other team 40 points in close games, it was sort of hard to justify my presence at the tournament.
It also seems as though there was a lack of vision from the Head Editor of this tournament in terms of an answer to the first question (what should ACF Fall be) – each category had a noticeably different average difficulty (this is hard to do without examples, but I’ll try; though visual art was auto-30able for high schools, I’ve let John Lawrence know very vocally in private conversation that music had way too many entirely unhelpful clues for this tournament’s intended audience. In comparison, science was all the fuck over the place both easy and hard, and Guy Tabachnick let some experimental / advanced undergraduate stuff fly in the social science while still remaining generally accessible and 20able. History seemed transparent and had a few inaccuracies which totally slipped by editors[ EDIT: Upon further investigation, this allegation about the history questions was unfounded. I retract it. ]) It seems like a Head Editor’s job is to standardize difficulty and intention across categories, with reference to a clearly defined starting difficulty, and I'm not sure if that process really came full circle here.

Logistically, don't let anyone tell you this tournament was something other than an absolute shitshow and completely enraging to play in. I’ve literally never felt so angry after (to say nothing of during) a tournament. It's pretty clear that Vu Truong had absolutely no idea what the fuck he was doing. Rather than being “bracketed,” teams at this tournament were pretty much randomly assigned (one bracket had Yale A, RPI, MIT, and James Shinn’s Dartmouth, while another had no teams of note besides Harvard A). Two of the rooms at this tournament were not even fucking rooms, but rather open spaces next to locked hallways of real rooms – one of which was the lobby of the building through which teams would easily walk, overhearing parts of the next round while travelling to it. Because Vu was reading, there was no stats person (and hence, no stats outside many piles of scoresheets). The average reader quality was very low (with some exceptions, Philip and Andrew (not sure if that’s right – you were wearing blue and gray respectively today) from Brandeis being among them)). Harvard A’s unfortunate situation, of being stuck with two 55-minute-a-round readers in the bracket, and triggering a forfeit from two house teams who’d read the wrong packet, got them into the playoffs despite having played only THREE real games in a seven-team bracket (which played over seven hours, plus a little over an hour for lunch). House teams were inconstant, with talk of actually MERGING teams post-prelims to make the playoffs work, which is forbidden pretty much at every tournament ever. In a surprise appearance, none other than noted competent moderator Steve Feldman, showed up to buzz on easy questions for about-to-collapse house team Brandeis B halfway through the day rather than read, productively help his school’s team run games, or just stay home.

Actual results, because : The top playoff bracket consisted of Yale A and Harvard A (6-0), Yale B, Brown (emerged from a circle of death with Cornell after by-hand PPB calculation), and MIT (5-1). Despite the initial plan to take the top two teams from each bracket and make a playoff bracket of six, this occurred after Vu pre-emptively removed Cornell B from the playoff bracket just to make the tournament shorter and help oblige Cornell’s desire to go home, and I quote Vu Truong’s pre-playoff address to the remaining teams exactly, “BECAUSE THEY GO TO ITHACA FUCKING COLLEGE [sic]”, actual tournament resolution be damned. In the playoffs, Yale A and MIT were each 3-1; MIT with one loss to Yale, Yale with one loss to brown. The other three teams each had two losses.
Congrats to MIT for sticking around long enough to agree to beat us in a one-game final despite that we beat them twice previously during the day, once each in the prelims and the playoffs; it says a lot about how fucking shitty this tournament was that all of us cared more about getting home than actually resolving the tournament properly, having played.

Other thoughts, since there’s still some more blame to go around.

Whoever the fuck conned Needham High School into attending a college tournament that they weren’t ready for: The Needham coach informed us, while attempting to find his team, that he was under the impression Brandeis was hosting a high school tournament. A high school tournament, not a college tournament. Brandeis, how the FUCK did you fuck this up? Did you really think the pervasive trend of top teams attending college tournaments included two teams from fucking Needham High School (who obviously liked the game prior to this experience and were real troopers to even stay through the prelims, no doubt)? Are you really in such dire goddamn need for the extra 200 dollars that you didn’t inform a team registering by email for a high school tournament that there was in fact no such tournament, and that they would get crushed every game with little benefit? (I’m willing to concede that some high schools can derive benefit from playing college tournaments – whether they should or not being another matter – but if you really think a team that has never put up over 15 PPB at Harvard Fall, and has gone to pretty much nothing else, belongs at a college tournament, you are fucking deluded / a trophy whore.) If I were you, Needham coach (and I wonder what the fuck you were thinking not knowing this was a college tournament), I would be FURIOUS and absolutely demand a refund, especially considering the length of the first seven rounds for which you and your kids pretty bravely stayed. And if I were Brandeis, I would feel ethically sick to my stomach if I didn’t ensure they got their money back, even if they didn’t ask. To assign blame everywhere it’s due: Hey Needham coach, what the fuck were you thinking?

The fact that this tournament went so slowly is completely fucking inexcusable in a region so saturated with quality moderators. When Brandeis has maybe two readers who can get through a round in 35ish minutes (Philip and Andrew, you guys are awesome) while still remaining comprehensible (those aren't just extra words; Vu, you were reading so goddamn quickly and unintelligibly that I got beaten to at least one tossup trying to listen to you), it left me wondering: Where the fuck is the Northeast? You know, all the good readers ineligible to play Fall whose schools were playing it anyway? Exactly one reader (John Lawrence) came from outside Brandeis’s contingent to help all day. Appalling. Specific examples:
Andy, I respect you and all, and I know you're having a really busy time right now, but I was wondering why after your
guarantee that Harvard would bring on the order of three or four staffers (enabling six to eight teams)
in the global announcement thread, exactly zero Harvard staffers showed up, and Harvard’s freshman teams themselves held up the estimated start time by forty minutes despite being the geographically closest team to the tournament itself. Perhaps you kept Vu updated about these developments; I don't know.
Similarly, I find it odd that Guy Tabachnick and Dallas Simons made no effort to appear to staff this tournament, given not only that their schools showed up, but that THEY WERE EDITORS OF THE TOURNAMENT! Seriously, guys, the packets were sent out at 2:30 Friday afternoon, and it shouldn’t take Friday evening and all of Saturday just to pat yourselves on the back. Also, reading your questions to real teams is the best way to see if they worked or not.

I do have a positive lesson to pull out of the absolute mess that was this tournament: If it’s your first time tournament directing, you may think you can do it all. You probably can’t. If you find yourself running into trouble, don’t worry; it’s normal! Still, don’t assume a completely new corps of staffers can get rounds done efficiently either. For the love of quizbowl, get help!. In the Northeast alone, there are plenty of experienced teams and programs which will help provide staff, bracketing help, and other advice to you; if you only ask for it, help is nearby, right there, and there’s no shame in it! Also, don’t be combative and flippant with people who are either trying to help you or just figuring out what exactly you are concocting on the fly. This really undermines what can be a much better tournament.

Also, Donald / people outside of this thread about stats: Don’t expect any until Vu actually goes through and, um, inputs any of them into SQBS, much less collects them all from around the building. Also, it’s not really fair to assume on faith that “the people running the tournament” will “do what they need to do;” they might not actually be doing it.

That should be all for now.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by stevengfeldman » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:39 am

RyuAqua wrote: House teams were inconstant, with talk of actually MERGING teams post-prelims to make the playoffs work, which is forbidden pretty much at every tournament ever. In a surprise appearance, none other than noted competent moderator Steve Feldman, showed up to buzz on easy questions for about-to-collapse house team Brandeis B halfway through the day rather than read, productively help his school’s team run games, or just stay home.
Screw you matt, I didnt want to read and unexpected commitments (including my feeling like crap) came up this morning, i was always slated to play on the b team because i didn't contribute to the packet. nothing wrong with that, unless you wanna call me on not caring about contributing to the quizbowl community. caught me. my playing did nothing to affect the outcome, but i did get this sweet book on the poetry of Browning for my individual scores. maybe you wanted an extra book. for being the man.

Oh and btdubs, to the person who accused me of being a ringer sent to embarrass the St. Josephs high school team, you know who you are: Is that a joke? like i have better things to do than embarrass children. and I was so nice to them and offered encouragement to continue playing acf and get better. and you accuse me of being a ringer. classy.

The house teams were so inconsistent because we were forced to split teams due to three dropouts in the 24 hours before the tournament. because honestly us splitting our house teams is more fair than forcing cornell to split their team to make up for the teams they decided not to bring 6 hours before the tournament started.

With that said, matt, you need to chill. like seriously. your in game decorum was shameful, talking between questions yelling at your teammates and impeding progress. furthermore, there should never be a situation in which you get yelled at by the tournament director to get out of his face and leave him alone to run the tournament. your behavior was frankly immature and unacceptable. and way to quote vu out of context. thats only after arguing him into frustration ... cornell wanted to leave and after vu informed you of that you left him alone to verbally assault cornell. BECAUSE NO YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE. like a child throwing a tantrum. you were not only rude and condescending but spent the day being a loudmouthed jackass complaining about everything. because that helps.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by gyre and gimble » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:45 am

stevengfeldman wrote:
RyuAqua wrote: House teams were inconstant, with talk of actually MERGING teams post-prelims to make the playoffs work, which is forbidden pretty much at every tournament ever. In a surprise appearance, none other than noted competent moderator Steve Feldman, showed up to buzz on easy questions for about-to-collapse house team Brandeis B halfway through the day rather than read, productively help his school’s team run games, or just stay home.
Screw you matt, I didnt want to read and unexpected commitments (including my feeling like crap) came up this morning, i was always slated to play on the b team because i didn't contribute to the packet. nothing wrong with that, unless you wanna call me on not caring about contributing to the quizbowl community. caught me. my playing did nothing to affect the outcome, but i did get this sweet book on the poetry of Browning for my individual scores. maybe you wanted an extra book. for being the man.
Other than all that, I think there was a pretty damn obvious reason why Feldman shouldn't have been reading. Besides, as someone who played him in prelims I have to say it was very interesting and, in the end, fun. And funny.

To comment on the tournament in general, though, I'll just say this: I woke up yesterday morning thinking to play some awesome matches against MIT and Yale A among other good teams. 9 hours and 4 rounds of actual quizbowl later, I found I had absolutely no interest in Harvard A winning this tournament and the 4 playoff rounds just felt like obstacles between me and getting my paper done back in my dorm room.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:18 am

Matt--Dallas and I asked Vu if we were needed as staffers; he said we weren't. If he'd said otherwise, we would have been there; as it was, since we were unneeded, we used the day to put a large chunk of work into HFT.

As to the fact that we arrived late, none of us possess a car, so the only way to arrive at the tournament was by commuter rail. The earliest commuter rail arrives at Brandeis at 9:03am, and in my experience it takes about twenty minutes to walk between the rail station and Mandel even if you know exactly what Mandel looks like (I've never myself walked to that building specifically, but I'm rather familiar with campus.) I told Vu that this would be a problem (and that it would be a problem for anyone coming from Boston without a car, which is not especially uncommon). I guess I could have told you, too, Matt.

EDIT: also, we sent a staffer--Dennis Loo. Because he was working until like 7am, he came at about 11:30am. Vu said this would work out okay. If he had thought otherwise, I could have worked something out.

On the whole, given that the Brandeis mirror was arranged terribly last-minute, I'm not entirely surprised that there were problems with room reservations and finding enough readers. Harvard and Brown were neither of us able to host this tournament; Brandeis did the quizbowl community a favor by making the last-minute effort. There was, from my kids' accounts, plenty they could have done better, but when the only person with tournament-hosting experience shows up, according to what I heard, hung over with four loko in a water bottle and still insisting on playing, there's really not much you can do. I hope that Brandeis learns from this experience--Vu I know was pretty frustrated throughout the day with his staff situation and so forth--and continues to host tournaments; if he has the opportunity to make room reservations earlier and has a better grip on who's staffing, I see no reason to believe they won't be improved.
stevengfeldman wrote:Screw you matt, I didnt want to read and unexpected commitments (including my feeling like crap) came up this morning, i was always slated to play on the b team because i didn't contribute to the packet.
There's actually some concept that when your team is short on staffers and is begging you to staff, you don't insist on playing. It's called "not being a dick." You and I both know that "[your] feeling like crap" was 90% of your own doing; if you had developed a shred of responsibility you could do the slightest thing to help your team out when it needs you. I hope you don't insist on playing for Brandeis at any future tournaments; you certainly won't do so anytime I am TD. You'll play as a separate team on your own dime.

EDIT: Also, Feldman made the brackets.

And the common thread that I'm seeing through many of these problems is a difficulty with being assertive. Being more assertive would have solved Feldman, would have solved a few reader problems faster, would have told me "fuck you, we do really need staff" when apparently I needed to be told that. Being assertive enough to deal with Established Quizbowl Persons is a learned skill (viz. my occasionally ruinous, if consistently financially profitable, first year in charge of Harvard's team), and Vu's not behind the norm here. If he had had the balls to force extra staffers to be there, or the experience to know ahead of time that a few staffers were really slow readers, there would have been close to no problems.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:58 am

An aside--the tenor of the college circuit is in general much more collaborative and collegial than the high school circuit, because the hosts and attendees are in precisely the same role (whereas most, or at least a very sizeable fraction, of HS tournaments are not hosted by high schools). As a consequence, if you're attending a tournament and you can tell the brackets are going to suck, just tell the TD--obviously, this has a better chance of working if the TD is someone who doesn't have reason to believe that his opinion is the alpha and the omega, but it's a good idea in general. Obviously, the bad brackets are still Vu's and Feldman's fault, but for the future, I would be really surprised if tournament hosts in Vu's position weren't receptive to bracketing help.

That's also something for which the onus can be placed on Vu--Vu, if you encounter a situation like this again, feel to post a request for bracketing help here.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Ondes Martenot » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 am

Hey,

So this tournament wasn't run so well. At last year's ACF Fall we played 14 rounds. In the same amount of time we only played 7, which left me rather disappointed. There was an entire bracket that was a whole round behind, which caused the rather unfortunate incident of our C team watching our round 7 matchup during their bye, not realizing they hadn't heard the packet for that round and being forced to forfeit their own round 7 matchup which occurred a round after our round 7 matchup. I know the blame lies in large part on our C team messing up, but if all the brackets were on roughly the same pace this would have never happened.

I will also agree that the preliminary brackets were hilariously uneven. My initial reaction was that they were designed by a drunk person and when I found out that it was Steve Feldman who designed them my suspicions were correct. I have nothing against him, but why was someone who to the best of my knowledge hasn't played in a tournament in at least a year (could be wrong on this one) allowed to make brackets, when Vu could have asked someone like John Lawrence, Guy or Andy who know what the current college circuit is like. Also, I hope that what Matt is saying about Needham thinking they were going to a high school tournament is false. I played their B team, they were a bunch of really nice kids but they really did seem out of their league, noting that after our game they were thrilled to have scored 10 points because they were being shut out in all their other games. An experience like this might scare them away from going to other tournaments.

I think the biggest mistake was that the Brandeis people didn't ask for help when there were plenty of people willing to help out. Why were Dallas and Andy not asked to staff when many of the readers were not fit to task (one reader in our bracket had the habit of asking one team to answer the tossup immediately after another team negged during the middle of it, I had to inform that you could wait until the end of tossup after the other team negs). Also, if teams had to walk from the rail station to Mandel, why weren't the many teams who drove asked to pick people up and save some time. As someone with a car, I wouldn't have minded, especially since it would allowed the tournament to start earlier.

Anyway, I know Vu put in a tremendous effort and looked on the verge of tears throughout the day, but I left this tournament completely disappointed and wanting a whole lot more.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by master15625 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:51 am

I felt rather upset by how long the tournament went, and how late the tournament started. I remember getting an email saying the tournament would start at 9:00 promptly. So we had to pay $50 for a cab ride, as there was no reasonable transportation that could take us by 9:00 (as mentioned 9:03 was the time that the most reasonable commuter rail came); we didn't have a car to ride. But the tournament started at I believe around 9:30, and so I felt upset that we couldn't have gone on the commuter rail.

The tournament was alright for a university hosting its first tournament. However, it seemed as if the brackets were not adjusted properly to put at least two good teams in each bracket, in my opinion. In example, our bracket had 4 teams who deserved to make it to the playoffs, and two of the teams then had to play in the second tier, while another bracket seemed to have only one good team in it. Further, I am disappointed that the tournament was run very slowly, as other posters have mentioned. We were beginning the penultimate round of prelims at 2:00 PM, which is just awfully late, showing how slow some moderators were, and also showing how there wasn't enough help given to Vu in putting in stats and other stuff. After prelims were over, it took so long to upload all the stats to determine what brackets had what teams. We didn't start until 4:15 I believe the playoffs, which is a little too late, in my opinion to begin playoffs.

In the playoffs, it was rather clear that some teams, including us, were getting tired, and were not playing as capable as they would have had the playoffs started earlier. In any case, after the playoffs were over, we found out that Yale and MIT had one loss each, with Yale beating us twice in the day. However, we didn't want to miss the next shuttle from Brandeis to MIT, so we nearly forfeited; however, there was thankfully enough time for us to play a one match final. Nonetheless, we would've liked to leave earlier on the 6:30 shuttle rather than the 8:00 shuttle.

As above posters mentioned, the questions this year seemed to not to a good job distinguishing between decent teams; I felt last year's questions did a better job in addressing that aspect, from what I have read. The bonuses seemed to be either easy-easy-somewhat medium, or easy-somewhat medium-medium, which good teams would 30. The tossups also seemed to have too many early clues that were buzzable by good teams, so there were too many buzzer races. This is also not a good thing, as there is no Winter this year, so it would've been better to make ACF fall slightly between Fall and Winter level this year, just to make up somewhat for Winter's loss. Otherwise, there would just be a huge gap in difficult between ACF Fall and Regionals, which isn't a good thing, in my opinion.

As Aaron stated, Vu really was upset that the tournament wasn't going as he hoped for, so I felt upset that there wasn't more help being given to Vu.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:22 am

Honestly, I found the tossups at this tournament to be a bit harder than last year's; some of the bonuses probably could have been buffed up a bit, but just as many probably should have been toned down. But like...this tournament is written for novices. The editors have made this very clear. It's common knowledge within the community that Fall isn't going to test the best players' knowledge accurately. You shouldn't need personal advice directly from the editors to figure out that, hey, maybe novice questions aren't gonna distinguish perfectly between two of the best high school players of 2010!
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by master15625 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:31 am

Cernel Joson wrote:Honestly, I found the tossups at this tournament to be a bit harder than last year's; some of the bonuses probably could have been buffed up a bit, but just as many probably should have been toned down. But like...this tournament is written for novices. The editors have made this very clear. It's common knowledge within the community that Fall isn't going to test the best players' knowledge accurately. You shouldn't need personal advice directly from the editors to figure out that, hey, maybe novice questions aren't gonna distinguish perfectly between two of the best high school players of 2010!
I guess I didn't read the message carefully then. If that is true, then I mean, it did a good job then for catering to the level of the Novice Difficulty. However, I am slightly confused then why there is an ACF Novice, if the ACF Fall is written for Novices. Is ACF Fall then just supposed to be written for teams that are not novices, but would be considered ok at QuizBowl, and are interested in playing it?

With regards to your statement that bonuses could have been toned down, I forgot to mention that as well. There were some bonuses indeed that I felt were difficult if this tournament were written for novices; however, I still hold on to my opinion of the tossups, especially those that were heard in the prelims.

And your statement is very accurate about how Fall will not test the best players' knowledge accurately. As Stephen said above, I felt I got very little out of this tournament and I could've written a paper. That is why other tournaments are there I guess.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by MLafer » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:49 am

master15625 wrote:
Cernel Joson wrote:Honestly, I found the tossups at this tournament to be a bit harder than last year's; some of the bonuses probably could have been buffed up a bit, but just as many probably should have been toned down. But like...this tournament is written for novices. The editors have made this very clear. It's common knowledge within the community that Fall isn't going to test the best players' knowledge accurately. You shouldn't need personal advice directly from the editors to figure out that, hey, maybe novice questions aren't gonna distinguish perfectly between two of the best high school players of 2010!
I guess I didn't read the message carefully then. If that is true, then I mean, it did a good job then for catering to the level of the Novice Difficulty. However, I am slightly confused then why there is an ACF Novice, if the ACF Fall is written for Novices. Is ACF Fall then just supposed to be written for teams that are not novices, but would be considered ok at QuizBowl, and are interested in playing it?

With regards to your statement that bonuses could have been toned down, I forgot to mention that as well. There were some bonuses indeed that I felt were difficult if this tournament were written for novices; however, I still hold on to my opinion of the tossups, especially those that were heard in the prelims.

And your statement is very accurate about how Fall will not test the best players' knowledge accurately. As Stephen said above, I felt I got very little out of this tournament and I could've written a paper. That is why other tournaments are there I guess.
First, on ACF Novice -- I'm guessing you haven't looked at those questions, because they're certainly notably easier than Fall (I haven't even seen this year's Fall and I can say this with confidence, since Novice is the easiest college set I've seen, period). I believe ACF Novice is supposed to be easy enough so that people who have never even picked up a buzzer before can go to a tournament and enjoy themselves -- hence the extreme easiness, shorter tossups, restrictions on when the tournament starts/number of rounds, etc. I see it as more of an outreach program to get schools without teams to join the circuit than a tournament per se.

As for Fall, what I'm basically seeing in this thread is that a bunch of players who graduated high school last year and played extremely well in that circuit somehow thinking that the college game is going to be a major leap up (and maybe, analogously, that the "easy" college tournament would be equal in difficulty to a "hard" HS tournament like PACE). The truth being that outside of maybe a dozen teams, college teams ain't really that great either. A lot of college teams are playing ACF Fall, and most of them are worse than the top HS teams, so I don't see why the difficulty of ACF Fall should be any harder than it is right now. Elite HS players being disappointed with Fall's difficulty is a natural result of the increased blurring of difficulty level in the Fall/HS Nationals/ACF Regionals range of questions as HS teams continue to get better.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:25 am

I leave the northeast and look what happens...
MLafer wrote:As for Fall, what I'm basically seeing in this thread is that a bunch of players who graduated high school last year and played extremely well in that circuit somehow thinking that the college game is going to be a major leap up (and maybe, analogously, that the "easy" college tournament would be equal in difficulty to a "hard" HS tournament like PACE). The truth being that outside of maybe a dozen teams, college teams ain't really that great either. A lot of college teams are playing ACF Fall, and most of them are worse than the top HS teams, so I don't see why the difficulty of ACF Fall should be any harder than it is right now. Elite HS players being disappointed with Fall's difficulty is a natural result of the increased blurring of difficulty level in the Fall/HS Nationals/ACF Regionals range of questions as HS teams continue to get better.
This is exactly right. If you're scoring 75+ PPG on ACF FAll questions, well, good for you; maybe the tournament is too easy for you and doesn't challenge you properly, but rest assured that most teams are probably appropriately challenged by this tournament.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 am

Humorously, the 2008 set you are so praising and holding up as a set that would have better differentiated you got the exact same criticisms you are leveling against it now from Eric Mukherjee then - viewtopic.php?p=106416#p106416
I would perhaps posit that you guys are all so good that it's not truly going to be possible to differentiate you at this point on any set of Fall-difficulty, but since you read or played the other Fall sets in the past when you weren't as good you will be biased into thinking they would have done a better job differentiating you. In any case, this complaints isn't new to fall, and editors and audience have clearly come out on the side of favoring ease over differentiating top teams, so this is no surprise that it may not have perfectly showed who is the best between MIT and Yale.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:02 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:Humorously, the 2008 set you are so praising and holding up as a set that would have better differentiated you got the exact same criticisms you are leveling against it now from Eric Mukherjee then - viewtopic.php?p=106416#p106416
I would perhaps posit that you guys are all so good that it's not truly going to be possible to differentiate you at this point on any set of Fall-difficulty, but since you read or played the other Fall sets in the past when you weren't as good you will be biased into thinking they would have done a better job differentiating you. In any case, this complaints isn't new to fall, and editors and audience have clearly come out on the side of favoring ease over differentiating top teams, so this is no surprise that it may not have perfectly showed who is the best between MIT and Yale.
Yeah, you might be right. And sure, Eric did make the same criticisms then as e.g. Matt Jackson is now; I'd just argue that Eric was much better then than Matt is now.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by ntan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:00 pm

Matt, I've played in enough tournaments that I recognize that teams should stay till the end; however, Cornell had every desire to play in the playoff backet had we been able to leave at a reasonable time. The drive to Ithaca takes us about 6 hours to do, and frankly speaking, driving on the roads in upstate New York around 1am is potentially dangerous, especially considering we were worn out from a long day of driving the night before and from this tournament. As Aaron mentioned earlier, there were only 7 rounds played at this tournament in the same time last year's ACF Fall took to go through 14. So yes, had the tournament followed a time table similar to last year's, and prelim play not taken forever, and had playoff bracket play started around 2:30 or so, then yes, we would be happy not to wreck the party and played till the end. Additionally, had prelim rounds ended on time, I'm sure there would've been a better way to resolve the circle of death that ourselves, Yale B, and Brown were in. I know that teams in our bracket sat around for at least an hour, or even an hour and a half before rebracketing happened, so there was certainly enough time to go through a tie-breaking round.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Ondes Martenot » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:23 pm

Hey,

So I have yet to hear a single apology from anyone from Brandeis for this travesty of a tournament. What I have heard is Feldman telling Matt Jackson to go screw himself after Matt made a completely accurate assessment of this tournament. Sounds like a winning attitude to me Feldman! I don't actually care that you "didn't want to read" or were too hungover to wake up in time to moderate. It's funny because when I saw you during lunch you sure didn't seem like you were feeling like crap. Certaintly you felt well enough to play as "baron von hugendong" so you could put up 100+ points against high schoolers (high schoolers who behaved a lot more maturely than you did). Also, call me old fashioned and everything, but I don't actually think you should be openly drinking when you know there are going to be high school team and coaches in attendance. I am willing to give Brandeis another shot at running a tournament, since I think Vu can learn from his mistakes, but I do not want Feldman to be part of that experience.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:27 pm

Ondes Martenot wrote:So I have yet to hear a single apology from anyone from Brandeis for this travesty of a tournament.
It's about fifteen hours since this tournament finished; I think it's only reasonable to allow people to sleep in a little before responding to a wall of angry criticism.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Edward Powers » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:42 pm

I understand why some people are angry, but as one who famously lost his temper yesterday, let me suggest---and it is a suggestion only---that we allow the better angels of our nature to step forward from now on when discussing yesterday's tournament, for however many errors were made yesterday, and I think we can all agree that many were made, no litany of errors, even when real, should persuade us to undermine the spirit of friendship and collegiality that is truly at the heart of quizbowl, especially at the collegiate level, where its organization is so much more informal and and dependent on the cooperation of students from many colleges for them to be run well.

But rather than preach, let me start with the public apologies. Many witnessed my confrontation with Vu after lunch yesterday. I am not apologizing for having a reason to speak to Vu, which I did, but for HOW I handled the issue. First, i should not have interrupted a match, and, more important, I should not have done it in public, for this had to embarrass Vu and this was, quite simply, wrong. So Vu, please accept my public apology.

I do agree with many of the complaints about readers, logistics, and brackets---these were the areas in desperate need of improvement. My anger in fact was rooted in being dismissed as reader without being personally told and for apparently being blamed for the slow pace in our bracket, when this was not examined. Twice I had to wait for over 30 minutes for teams to come from other rooms. The point? The TD should KNOW this, and not simply assign blame impulsively to the first convenient target. But Vu was wearing too many hats---TD, Reader, and Stats Person---so he lost sight of the fact that an entire bracket was behind a round, and whenever one went to tell him this, he was reading so it was nearly impossible to communicate. I state all of this now not to try to embarrass Vu again--my guess is Neill is correct---he was trying his best but had insufficient help, so he tried the impossible and it backfired badly---witness this firestorm today.

But let's get some perspective as well---once things go badly, it helps to find the silver linings rather than succumb to anger---which is where Stephen's Liu's comment could help us all to see a little comedy in yesterday's events as well---thus, enter one Stephen Feldman into the tournament---who surely brought some much needed levity to the bracket that Harvard and SJHS were in---and I say this affectionately. And yes, Mr. Feldman, the story that you were a ringer sent to embarrass Saint Joe's WAS A JOKE. We enjoyed your skill, your humor and your kindness after the match, and that's that----do not let rumors lead you astray, as you seem to have done up-thread.

Of course on the substantive issues of the questions themselves, I will let others more intimately involved with the genuine purposes of ACF Fall decide this. What I can say is my kids practiced on last year's set and thought yesterday's was slightly harder. Their only substantive complaint seemed to be that there were about 10 repeats or so between the two sets that they thought the editors should have filtered out.

One final comment based upon the 3 rounds I did read: It was clear to me that there were many inexperienced college players who enjoyed themselves and whose enthusiasm was obvious. I spoke with several who intended to go back to their campuses and try to improve and continue recruitment. Further, the Needham HS kids never complained and actually won a match against one of the college teams in my bracket. And my kids, despite the seemingly endless waits between some rounds and 10 hours of driving, also played well, going 7-2, but more important played pretty well against a set that was challenging for them and all of the college teams I saw except possibly Harvard A. These positive results might not be sufficient to off-set the flaws that occurred yesterday, for that is for each participant to decide for himself. On a personal note, my silver lining came in a variety of ways---meeting a very pleasant and thoughtful Neill Gurram, discoursing on many topics with a very friendly RPI A team, and, last but certainly not least, meeting the amazing Stephen Feldman, whose play, banter, and encouragement of my kids were quite memorable, indeed, comic, as Stephen Liu asserted.

And if we stew in our anger and demand apologies---DEMAND THEM---what's the real long-range benefit in this? My own preference is to do as I suggested at the outset---to let go of the anger, learn from what happened, and let the better angels of our nature prevail. Whatever the specific errors made by Brandeis yesterday, my guess is that not one was intentional. If this is true, then why not just move on, placing the best interests of the community as a whole above any transient disappointments that might have occurred?
Last edited by Edward Powers on Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:02 pm

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Cheynem » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:13 pm

Well said, coach Powers, although I'm not sure what you mean by repeats between last year's and this year's Fall. If it's just answerlines or topics, well, they should be coming up on an annual basis--Fall isn't meant to bust out new and super-exciting stuff. If you mean wholesale reusing of clues from last year, I guess that's different.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Ondes Martenot » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:18 pm

Coach Powers,

I understand what you're trying to say, but you seem to be forgetting a lot of what happened yesterday. I'm sure playing against Feldman was an exciting experience but he should have never been playing in the first place. I also enjoyed the fact that we got a chance to catch up yesterday, but the only reason this was possible was because our A team had no one to play and only wound up playing 7 rounds the whole day, which in my opinion is inexcusable.

I'm willing to give Brandeis another chance but as of this moment I have no reason to believe that anyone Brandeis is aware that they ran a lousy tournament, since the only response we've gotten is from a possibly drunk Feldman getting angry at Matt Jackson because Matt made the bold statement that competent Brandeis moderators should be expected to moderate Brandeis tournaments.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:27 pm

If you think drunk, angry Feldman represents anything other than poor decision making skills, I don't know what to tell you.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:41 pm

Why is everyone whining about how badly this tournament was run? Wasn't this the tournament that no one in the Northeast wanted to run? If you could do such a better job, then why didn't you?
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by stevengfeldman » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:57 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:Ed Powers is my favorite quizbowl person right now.
aaron you need to come off your high horse. i spoke to you truthfully yesterday because I thought you were my friend. thanks for throwing that in my face.

and i don't need to defend myself to you, I did nothing wrong.

my behavior at the tournament was completely appropriate, especially to the high schoolers and even coaches seem to hold an opinion opposite of yours. and like i said, i even tried to cheer the hsers up and impress upon them the importance of acf in quizbowl.

i was in no condition yesterday to moderate and i spent my byes doing stats by hand on a chalk board. I was in a really bad place yesterday, going through some difficult stuff ... I was depressed and wanted to do something I enjoy: quizbowl. I played because I like quizbowl and I had told my team I would play. I wanted to come have some fun and answer questions.

with respect to your legitimate concerns. i have no leadership position in brandeis quizbowl, the crap like room registration, stats, etc is not my responsibility. also, i made initial brackets, which were not used because of teams dropping out at late notice. I didnt make the new brackets. leave me alone.

with that said, nalin's right. we tried to help the quizbowl community by hosting this tournament. all things considered i think Vu did a great job.
Last edited by stevengfeldman on Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Edward Powers » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:18 pm

Aaron,

I sympathize, as you know. But when we were catching up, it was the last round of the prelims in my kids bracket---the other brackets were done and you were awaiting playoffs. RPI A's problems occurred once your brackets were announced----the other teams in your bracket---Cornell and Dartmouth, I believe----decided to forfeit and leave instead, leaving you frustrated, naturally. But if teams decided to leave because of travel concerns, what is a TD to do? The deeper issue, therefore, was the the stunningly slow pace throughout the day that probably led Cornell & Dartmouth to worry about their late night travel concerns---and this does get back to the overall logistics throughout the day.

Of course on the issue of one Mr. Feldman, I can only comment on what I saw and experienced. He did imbibe some liquid refreshment during our match, but I do not know the nature of the refreshment and thus i would rather err on the side of caution and friendly discretion---innocent until proven guilty is, I think, a sound maxim. Also, whether he should have been playing is an issue I feel unqualified to judge---if he was supposed to play on the B team and arrived late for personal reasons, then I can see why he did play. But I will concede that if he is the experienced player you and others suggest he is,and his excellent play in his match against SJHS suggests he is, and if he saw the problems everyone else seemed to see when he arrived, then helping to read and better orchestrate the tournament in a more efficient way probably would have been a much better use of his time and skill. But there are many ifs in this concession, and these are not for me to judge, since it would be conflict of interest for me to suggest he should not play against my team, especially given the high calibre of his performance when they actually did play.

Another legitimate grievance you surely have is the bracketing one----two brackets were probably and foreseeably too hard for prelims, yours especially, and Harvard A's was surely insufficently challenging for a team of that calibre. This again goes back to organization, planning and logistics. Agreed.

But in the final analysis, my deepest point is one I know you understand---what good does it do you to hold on to your frustrations here? You are a terrific player and you were hoping for some great matches, and, more of them. Well, you did have some great matches in the prelims, just not enough for the whole day. I get that. But my assessment of you is that more than being a great player, you are a great ambassador for quizbowl---you've offered your BATE Set for free all across the country---and you've always been supportive of high schoolers when they played on the college circuit. So, given these wonderful qualities, what is more important? Holding on to your understandable frustration, or acting on your deeper passions for good quizbowl and the larger community? And it is a rhetorical question, for I am certain when it is framed in this way it is not hard to answer at all, for you are too good a person to hold on to your transitory disappointments about yesterday. This, at least, is my judgement of you. And, unless I've misperceived badly, which I know I have not, I am sure I am not wrong about this judgement.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:28 pm

Statistics are indeed forthcoming. I have been going by the regulations given on the ACF website about stats, i.e., that they can be posted on Sunday evening after the tournament. However, as Aaron is also eagerly awaiting his (deserved) apology from some member of the Brandeis team, they will have to be put on the backburner for the twenty minutes it takes for me to respond to the concerns above. I thank the players for their patience. With how much everyone here seems to care about quizbowl (deservedly, understandably, and respectably so), those of you are who are acting in good faith really do deserve an explanation. Please understand that much of what I say is by no means an attempt to exonerate myself; rather, as someone who has made mistakes, I am completely within my rights to present explanatory factors, even if they are not justificatory factors.

Whatever opinions you may have about Feldman, he did me a huge favour by putting the brackets together, and anyone who has even two femtoseconds of TD experience will understand that this is no small task. I sent Feldman the bracketing information (teams, rooms, packet information, and so on) weeks in advance. We had three last-minute registrations (meaning two days before the tournament), and three last-minute cancellations, not including the fact that many of the last-minute registrations were for an indeterminate number of teams. If the brackets look imbalanced, poorly organised, or otherwise sub-par, this is because they were in flux until 0900 the morning of the tournament, when I received a phone call that one particular's school's B team had failed to make an appearance. Any critique about the brackets that Feldman made are really rather about 'the penultimate instantiation of the set of six or seven brackets that Feldman drafted'. Understand that I have absolutely no intention of blaming any teams who registered late or any teams who cancelled--your sheep-herding within your own team is just as difficult and thankless as mine.

In terms of purportedly having absolutely no idea what the fuck was doing: I am curious as to whether Matt was really hoping for a good time as I believed that the first thing he told me when he met me was that this was going to be a disaster. At the time, I thought that a proper introduction with a handshake would have constituted better foreplay, it appears that foresight has been 20/20. His dislike of the bracketing was immediate and sonorous, and if he would have helped me restructure them if I had asked him, then I apologise for not having asked. Any accusation of combativeness from him is incredibly rich: pardon my invocation of tu quoque, but the two readers whom he liked so much felt very disrespected by his in-game behaviour. While his rudeness to me may have been warranted, I most regret that it had to spill over onto my staff.

I happen to rather like the setup of Mandel HQ, so on that he and I can agree to disagree. No fewer than six people told me that it was the best view and most comfortable seating of any round they have ever played, and the risk of passers-by overhearing parts of the next round was negligible, as the only reason a team from another bracket would have to walk past HQ would be because they had finished their own rounds downstairs or in the other building. Additionally, at the risk of making an argument from incredulity about cheating in quizbowl, the possible bad behaviour of members with the fortunate confluence of supra-normal audition (anyone walking by is easily forty metres away from the round) and a lack of self-respect (because really, it's ACF Fall) was indeed something I failed to take into consideration.

I think we should harken back to the day when Brandeis's reluctant tournament bid was contingent on receiving help for stats. The person who graciously offered his/her assistance to us asked for a further -30 USD discount to his/her team's tournament fee, a condition I was advised by several people not to accept. I regret this decision, but maybe this is a moot point, as not only did I have to send multiple e-mails to demand a full registration, one of their teams ended up cancelling at the last minute anyway.

In a surprise appearance, none other than noted competent moderator Steve Feldman, showed up to buzz on easy questions for about-to-collapse house team Brandeis B halfway through the day rather than read, productively help his school’s team run games, or just stay home. Much of Brandeis B's alleged collapse has to do with the necessity of creating a C team that morning to compensate for a no-show team from another institution. Further, the only reason we have individual stats compiled already at all is because of Feldman's assistance. Please do not conflate your fair critiques of my actions--which are duly noted, graciously accepted, and stored away to positively modulate future behavior--to your critiques of Feldman. As the TD, I accept no less than full responsibility for the shortcomings of the tournament. I am made incommensurably uncomfortable by the willingness of the some of the posters in this thread, and the quizbowl community in a general sense, to pillory Feldman. Matt and Aaron have made tough but fair evaluations of the logistics: critiques of my behaviour are at their core didactic; innuendo and rumours about Feldman in contrast are simply nasty.

In the interest of transparency, the accusation that there was any triggering a forfeit from two house teams who’d read the wrong packet is mistaken. Due to the slow reading in one of the brackets, it was consistently one round behind the other two brackets. No wrong packet was read, but rather a team from the slow bracket during their bye had seen a later packet played on the fast brackets.

With respect to the shifting of Cornell B to a lower bracket despite having qualified for the top bracket: due to our terribly late start (which as has been mentioned by Andy is by no means anybody's fault), many teams (at last count, six) had to leave early. I accomodated the Cornell's team desire to play one another in the lower bracket and subsequently forfeit so they can begin their drive home to Ithaca (the city). I understand that there was some confusion as to why a team that qualified for the top bracket might volitionally elect to place themselves in the lower bracket, but I am going to note that the last teams left the building at much later than 1930, so getting home to our loved ones was thus prioritised over quizbowl glory. Please note that when directly asked if they would like to be placed in the top bracket, the utterance given was of negative polarity. One could easily level the criticism that the only reason this had to be so was because the tournament had gone on for so long--but it was the meagre best I could have done given the already dire circumstances.

I am happy to forward anyone on this thread the e-mail correspondence that I shared with Robert Baker, the Needham coach. He was told that there were going to be college teams at the tournament, but that there were going to be three other high school teams (though by the time of the actual tournament, these teams had cancelled). If he thought that this was a high school tournament, I rather think that it was a miscommunication rather than any gross ethical violation. Lastly, high school teams do not pay anywhere close to 200 USD.

Andy was very forthcoming about the fact that Harvard would be arriving a bit late, so I do not hold the Harvard team the least bit responsible for something that they had foreseen. For completeness's sake, I never said that Andy and Dallas were not needed--I (wrongfully) assumed that since all that was on offer was Dennis who would arrive at 1130 (and who, incidentally, did an excellent job), that they for whatever reason could not make it. At any rate, I never received a direct registration from Harvard by e-mail, which is apparent from the last-minute e-mail many of you received a while ago asking about the number of staffers and buzzers. Again, a miscommunication--Andy is quite right in assuming that it would not in me to tell anyone fuck you, we need more staff, which is something that will change should Brandeis decide to ever host another tournament.

I recognise that the sum total of these factors brought to light would still not make any less impardonable the catastrophe that was yesterday's tournament. If I am unable to direct a functional tournament, may I at the very least serve as an enlightening (and retrospectively humorous) bad example for future TDs. I have the most respect for those of you who treated me and my staff with humanity in spite of my blunders--and this was all but two or three of you--but my apology still extends to those who for very brief instances understandably could not. For players who came looking for an enjoyable time and found your experiences sorely lacking, my proverbial heart goes out to you. Had said heart been more fully and more competently committed to the running of this tournament, this travesty may have been avoided.

With that, I resume my date with SQBS. Three teams still have not paid me; you should know who you are.
Last edited by Waterworks on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:00 pm, edited 15 times in total.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:48 pm

Right, I should clarify: we couldn't realistically make it without fucking up our own work plans; if we'd heard that the tournament needed us, we'd have tried to make do. I think that we're collectively quite used to quizbowl personalities who have a lot of bluster and who are happy to make demands on your time (when such demands need to be made); it is entirely my fault that I was not clearer as to precisely how available we are/were. I very much hope that this incident partially of my making does not discourage Brandeis from hosting in the future.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:04 pm

Duly noted, Andy, and no apology necessary. Future TDs from Brandeis will make every effort to be more proactive.

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by stevengfeldman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:40 am

EDIT: well, this was supposed to be a pm ... fuck
Last edited by stevengfeldman on Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:24 am

I'm genuinely sorry you're going through an unpleasant time in your life, really I am, but to be perfectly honest, people would've been more sympathetic if you hadn't previously gone out of your way to cultivate an image consistent with "often being drunk".
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:36 am

There are like a million really fucked up things in this thread (which works out great for me personally, because I read through this as a reward for finishing my essay on on Theodore Roosevelt's daddy issues), but I did see one thing I suspect will get lost in the shuffle:
There's actually some concept that when your team is short on staffers and is begging you to staff, you don't insist on playing. It's called "not being a dick." You and I both know that "[your] feeling like crap" was 90% of your own doing; if you had developed a shred of responsibility you could do the slightest thing to help your team out when it needs you. I hope you don't insist on playing for Brandeis at any future tournaments; you certainly won't do so anytime I am TD. You'll play as a separate team on your own dime.
Really? I mean, I'm hoping this was just an excited utterance that will be retracted given the evident fact that Feldman's team doesn't seem angry at him and apparently wasn't begging him to staff at all. It's hard to knock you for assuming that to be the case when people show up to tournaments rocking a bottle of 4 Loko, so jumping to that conclusion is fine, whatever. But even if all of this was the case, what is this nonsense about retaliating by prohibiting Feldman's participation with his own school at your tournaments? That seems absurd.

I really am not happy about having been put in some way on the side of drunken shenanigans here, but if you think about this for a minute I hope you'll realize how nuts this sounds. You're not just pronouncing a penalty on who some dude can play with at all future tournaments you're running, you're dictating who can pay for it. Really? If you even think you'd be able to enforce that, I'm afraid you've been attending the Ike Jose School of Finance. But more importantly, the idea that somebody would be subject to this kind of penalty for fucking up a tournament their team hosts is crazy and opens the door to all kinds of ridiculous crap that leads nowhere good.

Look, if Feldman was drunk off his ass and whipped it out to relieve himself on Harvard B, I'd absolutely endorse you banning him from attending your tournaments. It doesn't sound like anything remotely like that happened, so you probably shouldn't start a precedent of personalized eligibility restrictions and financial penalties for people who are judged by other teams to have insufficiently helped their own squads staff a tournament. Call me crazy, but I don't think reviving the weregild is something that will make people want to be involved with quizbowl. I mean come on man, if this kind of thing became an accepted part of quizbowl, you have to wonder what Harvard's ACF Nationals registration fee would look like after subjecting Jerry to TIT/IO Northeast last year.

EDIT:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:Being more assertive would have solved Feldman
Your are not right.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:43 am

Yeah, it's pretty easy for me at this point to retract the more inflammatory parts of what I said: they were based on an account of events from Anonymous Source X that have since been contradicted by less-anonymous sources in this thread. Sure, it's possible that everyone in this thread is conspiring to produce that account of events, but more likely the aforementioned source was just totally wrong.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:58 am

Yeah, it's pretty easy for me at this point to retract the more inflammatory parts of what I said: they were based on an account of events from Anonymous Source X that have since been contradicted by less-anonymous sources in this thread. Sure, it's possible that everyone in this thread is conspiring to produce that account of events, but more likely the aforementioned source was just totally wrong.
Well I mean, is any degree of Feldman (or anyone else) being a bad teammate to their own squad a good reason to effectively kick them off their team whenever you're around? To even consider something like that I'd have to see something extreme like sexual harassment or violence that didn't personally amuse me.
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:14 am

I liked this thread better when we were all attacking me. Can we get back to that?

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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:16 am

DumbJaques wrote:
Yeah, it's pretty easy for me at this point to retract the more inflammatory parts of what I said: they were based on an account of events from Anonymous Source X that have since been contradicted by less-anonymous sources in this thread. Sure, it's possible that everyone in this thread is conspiring to produce that account of events, but more likely the aforementioned source was just totally wrong.
Well I mean, is any degree of Feldman (or anyone else) being a bad teammate to their own squad a good reason to effectively kick them off their team whenever you're around? To even consider something like that I'd have to see something extreme like sexual harassment or violence that didn't personally amuse me.
I honestly don't know; I certainly felt so at the time, apparently. Community standards may well be quite different, and I'm indecisive on the issue myself. (By the way, I don't think anyone paid for our TIT/IO mirror last year--I at least don't recall being handed any cash or checks by the people who were there--and I can't say I would blame them. So I hope that that, at least, makes up for that travesty of an event.)

EDIT: FUCK YOU VU YOU ARE TERRIBLE
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:17 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:EDIT: FUCK YOU VU YOU ARE TERRIBLE
I HEAR YOU HAVE POOR TASTE IN CLOTHES

AND ARE NO FAN OF GUY TABACHNICK'S FAVORITE LINGUISTS
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Re: ACF Fall New England: Brandeis (6 November 2010)

Post by Waterworks » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:29 am

Too few uses of the word fuck, but thanks for playing.

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