Nick wrote:It seems that, and I could be way off, there are, traditionally, a handful of easier tournaments (EFT, Fall, MUT, Delta Burke), a handful of "regular difficulty" tournaments (SCT, Regs, Winter/MLK, Penn), and a handful of harder tournaments (ICT, ACF Nats, Chi Open, Minn. Open). I suppose I would contend that, for the sake of expanding quizbowl and providing more people with more meaningful/enjoyable games and more opportunities, the ratio shouldn't be 1:1:1, but instead something closer to 3:2:1.
I'm not sure why there should be more "easy" tournaments than "regular" tournaments unless you want the term "regular" to lose all meaning. "Regular difficulty" implies, and is generally intended to mean, the standard level of difficulty at which collegiate competition should be taking place. One of the goals at hand here is to get lots of teams interested in playing tournaments at that "regular" level; easier tournaments ostensibly serve as a stepping stone to that level, and flooding the schedule with them makes it less likely that the step up to regular difficulty will be seen as a necessary thing.
Further, here's a somewhat more accurate listing of tournaments, grouped by general history and intent, with notes to clarify the relatively simple three-tier system: easier (Collegiate Novice, EFT, Fall, Delta Burke, MUT, DII SCT*), normal (DI SCT, DII ICT*, Regs, MLK/Winter, Penn Bowl, TIT, Buzzerfest, T-Party/THUNDER/FEUERBACH/equivalents, IO**), hard (DI ICT, ACF Nats, VCUO***, MO***, CO***).
*DII NAQT tournaments are a bit hard to quantify like this, but I think that since their general intent is to provide an easier version of their DI equivalents for newer players, this is a fair ranking.
**IO is kind of all over the place, but generally falls and has fallen on the harder end of regular difficulty.
***I think high-difficulty open tournaments, especially summer opens, should be considered separately from the general list of "hard tournaments", not least because they're not during the school year and they're not intended to be played by traditional college teams. MO is a bit of an odd duck in this case, in that it does take place during the year, but I've always considered that to be merely a temporal accident; MO is run very much along the "summer open" model. The primary relevant facet of this model is that the general population of teams isn't being expected to play MO or CO in the same way that they're expected to play ACF Regs or even ACF Nats; they function essentially as side events to the general circuit.
With this in mind, if you take the open tournaments out of the list, you get a ratio of 6:9:2, which seems rather reasonable to me.
EDIT: I totally agree with everything Charlie says here.