Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

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Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Nick » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:15 pm

Do they exist? I'm thinking of something like a Penn Bowl level event that allows non-students.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:06 pm

QUARK?
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:24 pm

"Open-level" really isn't a thing. Not all opens are hard tournaments - 2008 Zot Bowl was around Fall-level, 2010 VCU Open Sunday was deliberately below Regionals difficulty, and ANGST was around regular. It seems sort of confusing and self-reinforcing to think of "open-level" as a difficulty rather than, well, a level of openness to participants.

If your real question is "are there events I can play during the year," it seems like QUARK (regular+) and MO (hard) were your options.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Cheynem » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:48 pm

Well...open-level is indeed sort of a thing. The vast majority of open tournaments end up being pretty hard.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Nick » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:18 pm

When I think of "Open tournaments" I think of CO or MO or VCUO which all seem to aim for Nationals or post-Nationals difficulty. I might be in the minority, but I don't think I'm alone in associating that term with that difficulty.

And yes, I was looking for a tournament I could play. I don't know how big the demand is for tournaments of regular difficult that allow non-students to play, but I guess I just wish there were more options in that regard. Also, it is interesting to me that tournament-writers(and hosts) would limit their potential profits by limiting eligibility. I know that there are other legitimate reasons that this is the case (including but not limited to "tournaments first priority shouldn't necessarily be profit") but you still get my point.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Cheynem » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:24 pm

Almost all tournaments in the summer are open--I think it would be good to see more of "not so ass-hard tournaments" in the summer. During the regular season, I really don't want to see a lot of opens because I think they have the potential to mess up the collegiate circuit with too many tournaments that allow people not in college to play. This I guess comes down to how you envision collegiate quizbowl--I view it as a circuit primarily played by students at specific universities, not necessarily just an activity played by people who are in college.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Nick » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:24 pm

I mean, what about a happy middle ground where individuals could play in a tournament but their games didn't count? They would be "exhibitionists." It wouldn't even be open teams just individuals. That way, the hosting school raises a little more money for their program, the "legitimate" college teams aren't any less likely to win the tournament, and the washed-up high school player gets his 6-month quizbowl fix. Win-win-win.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:29 pm

There used to be that, but I think the effects on the lower-end teams would be the same as if the games counted, whereas the contending teams would either sandbag the game or be annoyed at expending mental effort to win a game that doesn't count. For that reason and others the practice was abandoned.

I'm perfectly fine with either the existence of some easier summer opens, or telling people that if they want to play open tournaments they need to move on from buzzing on high school stock clues and get good at hard material, or some combination of the two. I don't think the continued apathy about the decline of college quizbowl that allowing open teams in the regular season represents is the answer.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:32 pm

Nick wrote:I mean, what about a happy middle ground where individuals could play in a tournament but their games didn't count? They would be "exhibitionists." It wouldn't even be open teams just individuals. That way, the hosting school raises a little more money for their program, the "legitimate" college teams aren't any less likely to win the tournament, and the washed-up high school player gets his 6-month quizbowl fix. Win-win-win.
I'll note that this was once the norm, and it didn't seem to result in any catastrophe. "Closed" tournaments would allow exhibition teams to play: they could not make the playoffs, losses or wins against them didn't count, and they mathematically had no impact on the outcome of the tournament (but they did allow the TD/Writer to get more money and fill out the field).

But the mood in quizbowl today, more than ever before, is that open teams are a great evil, to be limited to a few events per year. Matt Weiner, Matt Jackson, and Auroni Gupta are the chief exponents of this group (Mike Cheyne also being on this team), and they condemn open tournaments with glee and determination. I think many of the arguments made rhetorically agaisnt open teams are opportunistic BS, but what is underlying this rhetoric is a fear that open teams would either scare away inexperienced teams or take up tournament slots/resources that would otherwise go to a circuit team. Dig one level deeper, and you have the view that since circuit teams are the heart and soul of quizbowl, the only way by which the game will actually expand, and should always come first.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Nick » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:37 pm

Well if this was like other activities where there were a bunch of post-college options, then I would agree with you. Like, if I played basketball in high school and college and then wanted to play after that, I could join an adult league or play a pick-up game at the YMCA or something like that. Casual, and once-in-a-while. Quizbowl doesn't really have that. There's about two or three open events during the year where the basketball goal is like 15 feet high, and that's about it.

I went to that VCU Sunday thing in 2010 and really enjoyed it. I think more of that kind of thing would be great, and not even just in the summer.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Cheynem » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:40 pm

If promoting the "circuit" marks me as some gleeful layabout, then, yeah, sure I promote that.

My problem with exhibition teams:

1. They still beat inexperienced teams, in many cases, very badly.

2. If they don't make the playoffs, they presumably end up in the lower bracket? That's not good. Or they end up in the top bracket (as I have seen at some tournaments with so-called exhibition teams, thus taking away a spot from some other circuit team)? Also not good. Thus you end up with a team that is neither fish nor fowl.

3. If it was possible without draining resources to have like an "open division," I wouldn't mind that, but do tournaments have such surplus buzzers and staff?

4. I'm not sure if past comparisons are very productive as the game is changed a lot since then (note that I think this point goes both ways, and I have disagreed with some points made about packet submission tournaments for the same reason).

I completely agree that more easy-ish open tournaments should be around in the summer.

There is also, I guess, nothing to stop the equivalent of pick up quizbowl games held during dead weekends or weeknights. What's to stop some people from getting together and playing a few rounds of a tournament they haven't read? Minnesota has done this before with past and present players and while it's not quite the same as a full tournament it seems like people have fun.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:46 pm

Nick wrote:Well if this was like other activities where there were a bunch of post-college options, then I would agree with you. Like, if I played basketball in high school and college and then wanted to play after that, I could join an adult league or play a pick-up game at the YMCA or something like that. Casual, and once-in-a-while. Quizbowl doesn't really have that. There's about two or three open events during the year where the basketball goal is like 15 feet high, and that's about it.

I went to that VCU Sunday thing in 2010 and really enjoyed it. I think more of that kind of thing would be great, and not even just in the summer.
There's another reason that it used to be less of a problem to include open teams, which was that actual teams were larger and didn't need outside help to staff tournaments. Now, if people not affiliated with a club are able to make it to an event, they are really needed as readers to enable the event to happen at all (this was the chief reason why we decided against including an open division in college History Bowl this year). Thus, open teams might be more welcome if the people who would participate on them would, like everyone else, do more to encourage the growth of regular teams.

By the way, did the recent online Pennance mirror work out? Since open teams are less concentrated in any one area than college teams, would it make sense to have semi-formal online mirrors of more regular-difficulty tournaments for the benefit of scattered open participants?
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Auroni » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:50 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote: But the mood in quizbowl today, more than ever before, is that open teams are a great evil, to be limited to a few events per year. Matt Weiner, Matt Jackson, and Auroni Gupta are the chief exponents of this group (Mike Cheyne also being on this team), and they condemn open tournaments with glee and determination.
Yes, me, the crazy guy who let a driver of a team no longer in school play MAGNI as an exhibition team solo and is allowing open teams to play in an upcoming tournament if it means that the tournament won't happen without them -- I totally hate open teams with a passion.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:03 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
Nick wrote:did the recent online Pennance mirror work out? Since open teams are less concentrated in any one area than college teams, would it make sense to have semi-formal online mirrors of more regular-difficulty tournaments for the benefit of scattered open participants?
I think it worked fine, just have to make sure everyone has a stable connection.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by theMoMA » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:30 am

I think it's generally a good thing to have an open event, particularly a second summer open event, on slightly easier questions, if only because variety is the spice of life. I also find that the brinksmanship aspect of the ever-expanding Chicago Open-level canon tends to result in sets that underemphasize important core authors, works, and concepts, and I really like it when writers of open-level tournaments focus their talents on producing questions that are meant to test the best players' knowledge of these core things.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by setht » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:35 pm

Nick wrote:They would be "exhibitionists."
I hope not.
Cheynem wrote:If promoting the "circuit" marks me as some gleeful layabout, then, yeah, sure I promote that.
Anything to mark yourself as a gleeful layabout, eh?


More seriously, it sounds like running a few open, online mirrors throughout the year might be a good option.

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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Susan » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:27 pm

setht wrote:
Nick wrote:They would be "exhibitionists."
I hope not.
Hey, I don't know about you, but I fondly (?) recall the results page for the 2001 iteration of Terrapin that stated, "Note: Dave H[amilton] and Dave B[ykowski] of Maryland House B played as an exhibitionist [sic] team and their stats were ignored in determining the individual awards."
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:10 pm

Oh, look, I've decided to browse the discussion forum just in time to see this thread which practically demands my participation.

Let's be realistic - the circuit has been taken over by a faction of folks (led by Weiner) who have a hostility toward open events in the regular season. At its best, the hostility has been fed by some quixotic but perhaps well-intentioned notions about how the collegiate circuit would or might expand/flourish in the absence of those damned dinosaurs who keep eating up the valuable young prospects in our game (as if there really are many of those dinosaurs, or as if they're any more fearsome than their college-attending brethren). I've never seen any empirical support for those arguments.

I have always understood the need to keep certain events about collegiate competition - namely the events that expressly seek to evaluate collegiate performance - any event with an "ACF" in front of it, ICT, etc. - as well as any explicitly novice collegiate event.

But, I have never understood why it matters so much that a team of open players might win some other event like Cardinal Classic or Terrapin or whatever. Sure, I get that any tournament doesn't want to have "superteams" because it throws off competitive balance. Frankly, I think any of those tournaments should gladly accept anyone who wants to show up. Making a distinction based on college attendance is, at these events, about as rational as making a distinction based upon how much Native American blood you have in your veins.
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Re: Open tournaments on non-open-level questions.

Post by Great Bustard » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:41 pm

theMoMA wrote:particularly a second summer open event.
This happened two summers ago, we called it Jersey Shore Open, and everyone who came had a great time with it. It didn't happen last year, since my family was in the process of reworking how the ownership for the house was structured. That got resolved in September, but then Hurricane Sandy took away the venue. Oops. One way or another, we'll make this work this coming summer, though. Options include renting some other house, or finding a school at the shore that we could use, and then people would just hotel/motel/couchsurf it. It obviously won't have the flair of the old place, but my family is committed to rebuilding with a higher dune, and putting the house farther away from the ever-rising sea level. Expect JSO to be back in its permanent home by 2015.
Also, JSO will always have a much lower difficulty level (i.e. standard college undergrad), with some room for stuff (like questions on food and shore-related questions) that doesn't come up elsewhere. I don't know dates and tournament field size yet, but will post when I do. If we go with the house option, it will obviously be more limited.
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