VCU Open 2014: August 2

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jonpin
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by jonpin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:30 pm

I arrived sometime around 5:30 on Saturday to play the side events, and was told I had perfect timing, that VCU Open was in its last round. So I can't comment on anything that happened through the main tournament, but I can say this: While his direction of gigantic tournaments like NSC is great, I have seen multiple instances of Magical Thinking from Matt Weiner when it comes to time frame on other events. I witnessed this at ACF Nationals where, after the first 4 rounds had averaged roughly 40 minutes, Matt was still counting the end of day time on a basis of 30 minutes per round for the entire rest of the day. And the same thing happened this past weekend where we started a tournament at 9am and were told we'd do "at least 7" rounds before lunch. To the best of my memory, at 11:35-ish, with 5 rounds behind us, Matt was still saying that maybe we'd do more than 7 before lunch.
The trash delay had a couple of things behind it. Matt's repeated instructions to sign up on the board in HQ were ignored, so where we thought we had 8 people or maybe 10 people (which could do one room), it then appeared we had 12, and finally got to 15 (which necessitated two rooms and essentially a semifinals/finals of 4x20 each). We actually started playing maybe around 1:05 or 1:10. But the "30 seconds per tossup" calculation was always fantasy. The first stage of 4 rounds ended at about 1:55, there was a bit of excess milling about, and the final went from about 2 to 2:45, due to lots of quick buzzes. When we ended, the other room still had a round to go.
Something I will note is that Matt did claim that [paraphrased] "Lunch will be 90 minutes. We will resume at 2:15" and when someone asked what would happen if trash was still going, "It shouldn't be, but if it is, we'll cut it off." So when trash hadn't been cut off a half-hour later, I can understand how people were annoyed. But this was still not valid cause to go busting up rooms.
As to the playoffs of the Texas tournament, it was always my understanding that the playoff format, specifically stated by Matt, was "After 7 rounds we'll see how much more we're going to do." And while I was in the lower bracket (which was expected to be a 3-team round robin and then became a 3-game series between two teams), from chatter I heard before resumption, it was my impression we were always going to do 3 more rounds and then move on to Landscape/clean up of other tournaments. Last tidbit: Once the Dorman team was gone, and the lower bracket was 2 teams, there was no reason for us to be shuffling between rooms and making the top bracket wait for us or vice versa. Shuffling teams in different brackets between rooms causes all rooms to wait for the slowest room, which is something an accomplished TD should realize. [Upon seeing Chris's post] The cold room was something I hadn't considered. If that room was so cold, why wasn't the last room (something-23) which had been used the previous day used instead?
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:01 pm

Once it was clear that the DISCO set was not unplayably easy, the playoffs went ahead. That's what "see what we're going to do" referred to -- I was hedging in case it turned out that it really was HSNCT level and people were just having constant buzzer races. This did not end up being the case, so the playoffs happened as scheduled (or, rather, they were supposed to, but didn't). People rewriting the schedule while half the teams were already sitting in round 8 waiting to start or unilaterally cancelling the tournament by yelling at people is not what I meant, and surely no one can actually think that's what a real general discussion of the playoff format would have looked like in the event that such was needed.
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:04 pm

DumbJaques wrote:-That's just alarmist and I suspect mainly a reaction to how annoying it was to deal with complaints Sunday (and was it ever). Running 5 things in a weekend went badly and now we're only going to run 1.5 ever again? I think everyone would agree this is an overreaction, especially when the scheduling was itself only one of three major problems (the others being the problems with people registering and the bad behavior).
I'm not trying to bind any other TDs; this is just what I want to do for VCU Open next year. It's a particular type of tournament where there is more interest in social factors and less willingness to stay through Sunday afternoon.

Part of the reason that side events get crammed into things lately is CO and VCUO are the only real summer events -- I think this may be a little more manageable next year since there will be lots of physical NASAT mirrors, and perhaps someone will write a third hard open.
I for one think the problem with registration owed a LOT to the lack of Google spreadsheets. Various people seem to have decided that these things are deeply evil, but I don't know why. Yes, they can discourage people from emailing registrations, which is bad. But it's not really THAT bad (it should be on the teams and not the TD, but in a pinch you can at least see who's coming) and doesn't impact the entire field. Not having a spreadsheet really made it hard for anyone to know who was coming, who was available, etc.; it directly led to an attitude that nobody needed to form teams, and in the days approaching VCU Open I heard from several people that they just assumed a draft would take place. Please use sign-up spreadsheets.
The reason I don't want to use Google spreadsheets is idiots troll them by adding the names of players who were never intending on coming. I don't think it's so unreasonable on its face to ask people to form teams and send an e-mail, and use the the HSQB thread to post things like "I am looking for a team." Obviously, people hilariously failed to follow through on that this time, so I'm open to suggestions.
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by t-bar » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:38 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:The reason I don't want to use Google spreadsheets is idiots troll them by adding the names of players who were never intending on coming. I don't think it's so unreasonable on its face to ask people to form teams and send an e-mail, and use the the HSQB thread to post things like "I am looking for a team." Obviously, people hilariously failed to follow through on that this time, so I'm open to suggestions.
It's possible to protect only part of a Google spreadsheet from editing by anonymous parties. You could have an open section for team-formation and teammate-solicitation, as well as a protected section for teams that are actually registered. I constructed an example spreadsheet from the VCU Open teams here. As demonstrated in the example, this system wouldn't be immune to vandalism, but it would allow the TD to maintain an official field list while retaining the open medium of the editable spreadsheet for team-formation purposes.
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by Auroni » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:40 pm

My invite-only Google Docs spreadsheet editing access system for Secret Island worked wonders.
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:06 pm

You can also create a sign-up form that saves to a spreadsheet that only you (or people you share with) can edit.
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:00 pm

I do apologize for the inconvenience I caused by interrupting the trash tournament. I'm still not happy about how the scheduling worked out, but yeah, the best thing we can do in the future is communicate and budget time better.
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Re: VCU Open 2014: August 2

Post by Matt Weiner » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Packets were sent out to mirror hosts earlier today. Let me know if you did not get them.
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