ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

sonstige wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:
PreviouslySeenInSF wrote:It is humiliating to be grilled about your age.
I can completely understand this--however, it's never been ACF's business what your age is, and there neither has been nor (as of these amendments) will be any ACF-rule-based reason for a tournament director to inquire about it.

Incidentally, I am with Matt W. in (now if not before) being open to amending the rule such that UG (and possibly D2) eligibility clocks begin at the first college tournament, rather than on high school graduation.
This actually happened. A certain TD (without naming names, but looking strongly at somebody currently attending the school I did my undergrad) did this in order to establish HS graduation year (and consequently establish D2/UG eligibility).

A simple "did you graduate HS more than 4 years ago?" would be enough to establish eligibility without needing to admit personal details like specific age. In this example, that didn't happen.
I absolutely agree with you! I'm just clarifying that it's never been ACF's policy to demand anyone reveal their actual age, only their quizbowl experience.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Matt Weiner »

The current rule contains what's basically an exception to the experience criterion, that lets you have four years from HS even if you played a bunch of ACF tournaments in high school.

Obviously, anyone implementing this by interrogating specific people about their age is an idiot, and I would not anticipate any difference in whatever new rule is finally arrived at from the current rule in the desired method of enforcement -- i.e., showing people the rule, asking them if they meet it, and assuming that whatever response is given is honest.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

Matt Weiner wrote:I will say that I personally am open to amending the rule such that it starts the clock upon the first time someone plays a college tournament, at least for UG status if not D2, and gets rid of the time-since-high-school provision.
I think this is a fair step, and one that recognizes that people who are spending years away from college are typically doing so for legitimate reasons. This also recognizes that college students who haven't started playing quizbowl yet are not likely to be amassing some unfair advantage over their similarly experienced yet possibly younger counterparts. If anything they are at a disadvantage, considering the direct pipeline from high school into college quizbowl today. People who have never played college quizbowl and are returning to college after a long absence would not lose eligibility under a rule formatted in this way, and I consider that a good thing.
Matt Weiner wrote: But let's be realistic about who we're talking about here -- the people who have taken advantage of the more liberal NAQT Undergraduate rule recently are, to name some names, Ted Gioia, Dan Puma, George Berry, and if you want to go back to a long time ago, myself, who won an NAQT UG title in my fifth year after starting college quizbowl. What you have are people who take some time off school for various reasons, and spend a HUGE amount of time in their gap semesters on playing open tournaments and writing/editing quizbowl, or people who were elite community college players continuing to be highly active quizbowl participants into their fifth or sixth year of college quizbowl and beyond. Saying "you can still play every tournament that you did before, but you can no longer win titles reserved for people in their first four years of education" to those actual people is fine. Saying it to "older people, veterans, people with children, working people, and others who follow a non-traditional path to get an education" is also fine. I am one of those people, I've been attacked by people in quizbowl for taking that path, and I still support this rule change.

I do recognize why eligibility clocks do not stop when people leave quizbowl or college, and in my opinion this is a separate issue from the above, because it presents more difficult questions and potential for abuse. I think starting the UG/D2 clock when someone plays their first tournament eliminates the potential for abuse, but could possibly have negative consequences for those who leave college and quizbowl altogether. I would not be opposed to a rule that would allow ACF to grant UG/D2 eligibility extensions to people who start their playing career, leave college for non-quizbowl (finances, health, pregnancy, military service, etc.) reasons, and return to college and quizbowl after an absence in which they did not play open tournaments. For example:

Player X graduates high school in 2015, enrolls in college, and plays the 2015-16 season. Player X is diagnosed with a serious illness in 2016 and immediately withdraws from college to battle this medical problem, during which time Player X does not play any quizbowl tournament. Player X regains health and returns to college in Fall 2018 as a sophomore. Under the current rules, Player X would no longer have D2 eligiblity despite being a sophomore with only one year of collegiate quizbowl experience, and Player X would also lose UG eligibility following his sophomore season in 2018-19. Under my proposed amendment, Player X could attain a waiver from ACF which resets his eligibility to 1 more year of D2 and 3 more years of UG.

I understand the controversy here would be more about what defines a legitimate non-quizbowl reason for leaving college, and indeed this may be an issue for a future discussion and not one we need to discuss now.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Matt Weiner »

Any system where TDs, ACF, or anyone else is tasked with passing judgment on whether the reasons that some individual person took off time from school or quizbowl are "worthy" or not is incredibly flawed and unworkable by any metric we are applying here, and should not be used.

In the next ACF rule eligibility vote, I will support going back to "the clock on your four years starts when you first enter college after high school" -- whenever that is, that's academic year 1, and you have three more academic years from then to be an Undergraduate. This will remove all issues of worrying about anyone's age or nontraditional student status, while still maintaining the entire point of the UG rule which is that you have four years.

At this point, I don't consider what goes on at the Honda tournament to be quizbowl at all (look at some videos of last year's tournament to see what I mean), but conversely I don't think we should worry about the incredibly small number of people who only play trash or IS sets in college. In any case, college is college and four years are four years and we want to have a reasonable rule that will be followed, not immediately begin to carve back a rabbit hole of exceptions.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Vainamoinen »

The main point on Fall seems to be that HS teams who play ACF Fall are too good to be competing with the "new" college teams. However, after looking at results from many of this year's ACF Fall sites, it is clear that many teams, especially those who won their site, had a significant number of players who played quizbowl in high school and for good teams. So these players definitely aren't new, and are in fact even more experienced than the high schoolers that you are banning. So why aren't you putting a restriction on these players playing ACF Fall, especially when an entire "new" college team is comprised of them?

The main points on Regionals seem to be that high schools make for bad data and that they shouldn't be playing Regionals since they shouldn't be playing Nationals. Cody has already pointed out the major flaws with the bad data argument, so there's nothing to add to that. However, the second point is flawed in my opinion as well. There is a lot of precedent in other academic competitions for high schools playing up to a college level, and a lot of precedent for just "playing up" in general. Specifically within quizbowl there is the case of Kealing Middle School. They have attended multiple high school national tournaments and won games there. If you're going to ban high schools from college nationals, why is it okay for middle schools to play high school nationals?

(I'm not at all trying to say teams like Kealing shouldn't be able to attend high school nationals if they want; I'm saying that what they're doing is a good thing)

I may be completely ignorant to the subtleties of this decision, but it just seems a bit extreme and lacks clear justification.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Lo, a momentary rabbit-stage »

I find the discussion about eligibility for college events for high schoolers particularly interesting as a high school player who is technically a "novice" (having played less than one year) this year.

The discussion parallels discussions within the high school community about eligibility for novice. Many times, new but hard-working and skilled players have been criticized for playing in novice tournaments they technically qualify for but far outweigh the average skill level of the field. Words like "only for true novices" and "they should know better" are thrown around. While I certainly understand the concept behind segmenting quizbowl tournaments based on skill, I have to question some of the logic used to justify this.

First of all, I find that a lot of people simply accept the statement "playing against people far better than you is demoralizing / turns you away from quizbowl" without really considering whether or not it holds any truth. While my own experiences are nothing but anecdotal, I was thrust into a highly competitive circuit on a highly competitive team with no experience this year - and rather than being turned away, it prompted me to study infinitely harder. I knew that instead of being able to slide by with picking up questions on the last line, I would need to acquire deep knowledge to contribute to my team. Rather than being turned away, seeing and playing against the calibre of teams like Arcadia and NoHo and playing with my own teammates inspired me to become a better player in a way that an introduction with people of my same level would not have. I imagine it's this same desire for competitiveness and challenge that drives high school teams to events like ACF Regionals.

Secondly, like Cody and others in this thread, I find the philosophy of "keeping experienced HS teams out of ACF Fall" inconsistent with the admission of great college players to Fall-level events. What is it about a magical change in institution that makes an even game against seniors in high school by a college novice team an issue, yet a game in which college undergraduates who previously dominated are allowed to destroy the field perfectly kosher? Furthermore, isn't having high schoolers play in college tournaments a very effective tool for introducing high school players to the college scene, a scene that many decide to eschew because they assume it's too obscure? Offering mirrors retains this benefit, but I'm inclined to agree with others who imagine that limited mirrors would see far less attendance than the current college tournaments.

Ultimately, there is always going to be an enormous amount of subjectivity as far as qualification for novice-level events is concerned. There will always be a couple of people who "should not" be there no matter what metric you use to choose them, but I don't think a complete ban on high school teams from ACF Fall is productive in achieving a (more? less?) competitive field - rather, it seems antithetical to an activity that seems to struggle in retaining people in the high-school college cross-over.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by gyre and gimble »

Here's a perspective that I'm not sure has been raised yet, but it's something that I considered when voting in favor of the rule change, in particular the ban on high school teams.

Quizbowl doesn't seem very legitimate as a collegiate activity when people are able to participate as official competitors when they have no real claim to being college students. You don't see high school kids participating in collegiate debate. You don't have high school chess teams entering collegiate tournaments, high school soccer teams joining collegiate club soccer leagues, etc. In short, this doesn't happen in any other organized collegiate extracurricular activity that I can think of. Allowing high schoolers to participate isn't just problematic in that good high school teams will beat up on new or inexperienced college players. It also sends the message that quizbowl is disorganized at the collegiate level; that ACF, just like any random house team running a tournament on a housewritten set, is there just to provide the questions rather than to act as a specifically collegiate organization that exists to promote collegiate quizbowl.

I mean, consider that you're totally new to quizbowl, and you show up to your first tournament, ACF Fall, and there's a bunch of high school kids competing against you. Whether they're better than you or not, I think the odds are that you won't take quizbowl very seriously because, hey, there are 16 year olds who have their own set of competitions they could be competing at, tons of competitors at their own level, who are now here to use what's supposed to be your level of competition to practice for theirs.

So when it comes down to it, for me it's not an issue of whether high school teams "muddy up the data" or whatever. It's a question of legitimacy. High schools have plenty of events they can compete at that are appropriate for their level of competition, and while I believe they shouldn't be allowed to play in any non-open collegiate tournament, these rules don't even prevent that: they can play in literally anything not labeled "ACF." ACF isn't PACE. It owes absolutely nothing to high school teams and the goal of spreading high school quizbowl. Nor does leaving collegiate tournaments open to high school teams promote that goal. It does, however, owe it to all collegiate players to help shape the activity into something that can be taken as seriously as possible. Let's say you don't really buy that this concern for legitimacy holds a lot of weight. But if it even holds any weight, I think that outweighs the lost opportunity for some high school teams to play a couple of tournaments outside their competition level every year.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

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gyre and gimble wrote:You don't see high school kids participating in collegiate debate. You don't have high school chess teams entering collegiate tournaments, high school soccer teams joining collegiate club soccer leagues, etc. In short, this doesn't happen in any other organized collegiate extracurricular activity that I can think of.
Things like this actually do happen. As an extreme case (albeit, in an example of middle school students competing against high schools), we can look at the 2012 USCF high school national championship where a middle school, IS318, actually won first place.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Ndg »

I don't see how
Ras superfamily wrote: an example of middle school students competing against high schools
is relevant to Stephen's post. The boundaries between middle and high school, and high school and college are quite different, and there's no reason that, in any given interschool competition, the rules governing each should be identical (or even similar).
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Ras superfamily »

Ndg wrote:I don't see how
Ras superfamily wrote: an example of middle school students competing against high schools
is relevant to Stephen's post. The boundaries between middle and high school, and high school and college are quite different, and there's no reason that, in any given interschool competition, the rules governing each should be identical (or even similar).
Ok, so what about the Putnam, where high school students can officially participate? It's really hard to make a claim like "this doesn't happen in any other organized collegiate extracurricular activity"
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

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Ras superfamily wrote: Ok, so what about the Putnam, where high school students can officially participate? It's really hard to make a claim like "this doesn't happen in any other organized collegiate extracurricular activity"
That's a very good example. I wasn't aware of that.

The Putnam comparison actually brings me to another question I've been thinking about. Assuming I found the correct site, Putnam's rules state that students are allowed to compete a maximum of four times, regardless of whether or not they participate in high school. I'm wondering if it might be feasible for a UG or DII category to work in a similar manner: you fall within that category for the first x years in which you play a collegiate tournament, regardless of whether you start doing so in high school. I suppose you could still exclude high school teams from winning these categories such that, for example, a player would never be DII eligible if he had enough collegiate experience while in high school.

I'm not sure if I would endorse something like that right now, since there are probably problems I haven't thought of, but I'm curious to see what anyone else thinks.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by gyre and gimble »

Ras superfamily wrote:Ok, so what about the Putnam, where high school students can officially participate? It's really hard to make a claim like "this doesn't happen in any other organized collegiate extracurricular activity"
Putnam Rules wrote:The competition is open only to regularly enrolled undergraduates, in colleges and universities of the United States and Canada, who have not yet received a college degree. No individual may participate in the competition more than four times. An eligible entrant who is also a high school student must be informed of this four time limit.
I think we're reading this rule differently. I take "open only to regularly enrolled undergraduates" to mean, er, people actually enrolled in college. "Eligible entrant who is also a high school student" sounds like someone who is dual-enrolled. At any rate it doesn't seem like a high school team can register for the competition.

Let's say we go with your reading of the rule, though (which I think is incorrect). There are still very clear distinguishing features between the Putnam and ACF tournaments. First, the Putnam doesn't really represent an organized extracurricular activity. It's one contest a year. There isn't really a nationally organized collegiate "Math League," as far as I know, but if there was, I'd imagine that high school teams are not eligible, just like with the Putnam. Second, the Putnam is highly prestigious and easily recognizable as the premier collegiate math competition; it's not fighting to be taken seriously by anyone. The Putnam doesn't have to worry about things like retention of new competitors.

It's pretty difficult to prove that literally no other collegiate activity allows high schoolers to participate, since I'm not aware of every single activity out there, but I'm quite confident that my statement is true for the overwhelming majority of activities (100% of them by my current count).

I think that right now, collegiate quizbowl is at a place somewhere between [a large network of friends and acquaintances throwing questions together at regular intervals, then getting together and amusing themselves on those questions] and [a no-nonsense, ubiquitous, nationwide activity that university administrations will have no problem recognizing as worthy of funding]. As the activity has expanded over time, it's moved in the direction of the latter. I think high school participation in ACF tournaments hinders that movement because it seems much more aligned with the former.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

Ras superfamily wrote:Ok, so what about the Putnam, where high school students can officially participate?
Its true that some people do actually choose to participate (i.e. Gabriel Carroll as a 12th grader), but it's pretty rare. Plus, you burn one of your four years of eligibility - I think Matt Weiner said that he'd support an analogous rule in this thread, in which your first collegiate tournament starts the clock.

Furthermore, I think a math contest is a bit of an exception to the rule, since there isn't much of a head-to-head or social component to it. I think Stephen's right that in the vast majority of cases, high schoolers simply don't participate in collegiate competitions of any kind. I heartily endorse his last post.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Benin Rebirth Party »

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote: I think Matt Weiner said that he'd support an analogous rule in this thread, in which your first collegiate tournament starts the clock.
Would this not discourage high-schoolers from playing college tournaments? If you play a college tournament as a ninth grader, you'd lose UG eligibility after freshman year of university?
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Ras superfamily »

gyre and gimble wrote:I think we're reading this rule differently. I take "open only to regularly enrolled undergraduates" to mean, er, people actually enrolled in college. "Eligible entrant who is also a high school student" sounds like someone who is dual-enrolled. At any rate it doesn't seem like a high school team can register for the competition.
I was going off of my own memory of high school students having taken the test, but perhaps they were all enrolled at post-secondary schools. Either way, I think the amount of legitimacy quiz bowl might gain from preventing high school participation is small compared to the possible gains from the various suggestions Matt Jackson made in his Big Vision post. Perhaps we should return to those ideas and try to implement them if legitimacy is really a big concern right now.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by cvdwightw »

High school players:

You don't have an issue with NAQT preventing you from playing D2 SCT against college teams and are perfectly fine using the D2 SCT set for a high school tournament, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Fall, it's a huge issue. You don't have a problem that there aren't enough local interested teams to put on a real tournament using the D1 SCT set, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Regionals, it's a huge issue.

1. What is so different about ACF (compared to NAQT) that prompts this outcry?
2. Why is it such a bad thing that ACF wants to emulate NAQT in this regard?

[As a further aside: why should NAQT and ACF have different eligibility rules? I'd love to see a joint NAQT-ACF eligibility task force that provides uniform definitions of "eligible to play" and "undergraduate," with some minor differences in D2 and CC eligibility rules given the differences in number and structure of the two national tournaments]
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

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cvdwightw wrote:High school players:

You don't have an issue with NAQT preventing you from playing D2 SCT against college teams and are perfectly fine using the D2 SCT set for a high school tournament, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Fall, it's a huge issue. You don't have a problem that there aren't enough local interested teams to put on a real tournament using the D1 SCT set, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Regionals, it's a huge issue.

1. What is so different about ACF (compared to NAQT) that prompts this outcry?
2. Why is it such a bad thing that ACF wants to emulate NAQT in this regard?
I'm pretty sure the answer is "one was always this way, and the other is changing its model."
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

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cvdwightw wrote:High school players:

You don't have an issue with NAQT preventing you from playing D2 SCT against college teams and are perfectly fine using the D2 SCT set for a high school tournament, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Fall, it's a huge issue. You don't have a problem that there aren't enough local interested teams to put on a real tournament using the D1 SCT set, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Regionals, it's a huge issue.

1. What is so different about ACF (compared to NAQT) that prompts this outcry?
2. Why is it such a bad thing that ACF wants to emulate NAQT in this regard?

[As a further aside: why should NAQT and ACF have different eligibility rules? I'd love to see a joint NAQT-ACF eligibility task force that provides uniform definitions of "eligible to play" and "undergraduate," with some minor differences in D2 and CC eligibility rules given the differences in number and structure of the two national tournaments]
As someone who played >0 college tournaments in high school:

1. We kind of just accepted that SCT was meant to be a qualifier for ICT, i.e. not for us. With the new qualifier system for ACF Nationals, I guess this is a valid reason to be banned from Regionals as well.
2. D2 SCT isn't the kind of challenge high schoolers who want to play college tournaments are looking for. It's a glorified IS set, and it's played mostly against newcomers and college freshmen. ACF Fall, despite being an easy tournament, always attracts strong teams (in the immortal words of the Champ, "I win every time. Except this time. This time I lose").
3. SCT is run on the clock and with 24 question sets, as opposed to the more standard and polished ACF packets and rules.

I would guess that all the blowback stems from a fear that this is the first step in banning high schoolers from all college tournaments, which I hope doesn't become the case.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Maury Island incident »

cvdwightw wrote:High school players:

You don't have an issue with NAQT preventing you from playing D2 SCT against college teams and are perfectly fine using the D2 SCT set for a high school tournament, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Fall, it's a huge issue. You don't have a problem that there aren't enough local interested teams to put on a real tournament using the D1 SCT set, but when ACF wants to implement a similar policy with ACF Regionals, it's a huge issue.

1. What is so different about ACF (compared to NAQT) that prompts this outcry?
2. Why is it such a bad thing that ACF wants to emulate NAQT in this regard?
I think Stephen's post about quizbowl and legitimacy was really what got me to change my mind on this issue. ACF has always been different from NAQT in how it operates its collegiate tournaments, and I don't think it's a bad thing if it moves quizbowl forward, it's just not the way it's been done. I hope it doesn't lead to high schoolers not being allowed to compete at the college level at all, however.

With the new qualification system, high school teams in Regionals do skew the data for qualification and have little to no desire to attend ACF Nationals, so ACF is justified in banning high school teams from this tournament, like NAQT.

I also don't think Fall will be used as much as a high school invitational set as D2 SCT, although that might be a Massachusetts-centric argument, as we have HFT around the same time and difficulty and have a major NAQT preference for whatever reason. (The only non-NAQT HS sets used in New England this year are HFT and BHSAT at their main sites, while all NAQT sets except 143-A have been or will be used.)

I realize ACF does not serve high schoolers and if these changes are going to turn quizbowl from "a group of friends" to "a no-nonsense activity", I am certainly going to respect them.

EDIT: 144-A doesn't exist.
Last edited by Maury Island incident on Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

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quadrisecant wrote:(The only non-NAQT HS sets used in New England this year are HFT and BHSAT at their main sites, while all NAQT sets except 144-A have been or will be used.)
The unclaimed set is #143A (#144 will be used for Connecticut Invitational). (Southern New England hosts interested in using IS #143A should contact us at [email protected].)
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Cody »

quadrisecant wrote:With the new qualification system, high school teams in Regionals do skew the data for qualification and have little to no desire to attend ACF Nationals, so ACF is justified in banning high school teams from this tournament, like NAQT.
This position is wrong:
Cody wrote:Moreover, how does high schools playing ACF Regionals "spoil" the data for Regionals? This is exactly equivalent to saying that any team that declines to attend ACF Nationals (as very nearly 100% of high schools will) should not play Regionals -- should the VCU B's and Liberty C's of the world just stop attending ACF Regionals in order to not "spoil" your data? Should all the mid-card teams without plans to attend Nationals avoid playing as well? This is what the A value is for, after all, is it not?
Cody wrote:Is Regionals now only a tournament for teams that plan to attend ACF Nationals?
Texas A&M A, Cornell A, Duke, Vanderbilt, Louisiana, Georgia A, and Georgetown A all skew the data according to you and the other posts in this thread. What happens when they're removed from the A-value calculation?

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In my opinion there's a huge difference between ACF & NAQT and it has little to do with "NAQT has always done it this way; ACF is changing things". ACF is an open ecosystem. NAQT is a closed ecosystem with strictly defined levels that don't mix. NAQT has middle school, high school, D2 college, and D1 college levels, and the last 3 are strictly regimented (which is not something I'd like to see happen for mACF/ACF tournaments), with entirely separate tournaments and sets written every year. NAQT doesn't consider any tournaments outside of its purview when determining eligibility (and that's only a part of why its eligibility rules are a laughingstock) -- remember that anyone, even Chris Ray, can play D2 ICT at any time in their college career by simply avoiding the two NAQT tournaments a year. There's a very substantial difference in how NAQT and ACF are positioned and integrated in the community.
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Matt Weiner
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Matt Weiner »

My opinion is that the data issue is a real one. Texas A&M or Vanderbilt might play ACF Nationals in any given year, have done so in the past, and obviously deserve the right to try to qualify and then make their decision later based on how they feel about their Regionals performance. After Detroit Catholic Central plays ACF Nationals this year, they will be the fourth high school team to have ever done so. We can be nearly certain that none of the 10-20 high school teams playing ACF Regionals in a given year has any interest in spending a lot of time and money to travel to a tournament as difficult as ACF Nationals.

But, primarily, data integrity is not the reason I voted for this change. I did so because I think it's beneficial to the purposes of ACF to focus on its mission to rank college teams at Regionals and Nationals, in tandem with the principle that has been obvious for years which is that any high school team interested in playing college teams at ACF Fall is by definition too good a team to be the target audience of ACF Fall. We want college teams to be able to explain and get funding for what they are doing, and having a game against a local high school in the results impedes those goals. While I agree with you that ACF should continue its enlightened policy of looking at the entire picture when determining things like UG eligibility, I don't think it's the case that there is no analogy to "NAQT has high school questions to play" -- there are more ACF-style high school sets produced each year than NAQT sets, after all. Furthermore, because my reasoning applies specifically to the Regionals/Nationals qualification series, I continue to support allowing high school teams into non-ACF college tournaments. This is also why I did not support barring high schools until qualification and a serious discussion about Regionals outreach were implemented this year.

As far as "positioning in the community" goes, that has been a one-way street. ACF (and college quizbowl in general) have dealt with very severe challenges in certain regions lately where the development of college quizbowl is throttled by elite high school teams using new college players for practice, and NOT putting "community" resources like Nationals entry fees and team outreach back in return. There was a post in this thread talking about how great it was for Ladue to play ACF Regionals -- well, guess what, this year there was no ACF Regionals in Missouri because WUSTL is the only team that wanted to play. Ladue sent its whole core of scorers from its 2012-2014 contender teams to out-of-state universities, and the teams that spent the last 3 years losing to them either can't muster interest in an event with regular difficulty and packet submission like Regionals and will only be playing SCT this year, or barely still exist at all and aren't even making it to Sectionals. I'm not blaming Ladue or high schools as the sole cause of this, but it is part of the issue. We've only just this year begun to recover from similar problems in Texas. The best high school teams are around the #15-20 range of college teams, and losing to them "artificially" (when few or none of those players would be on that college circuit if they were twelve months older) at every tournament combined with the demoralizing effects of doing so to a high school team is a problem, as is the larger cultural context of which it is a part -- i.e., the treating of college quizbowl as a source of tough scrimmage opponents for HSNCT contenders rather than worrying about its particular needs. I believe that the setting aside of certain tournaments as college qualifiers and championships will help us overcome this issue, while avoiding a too-radical course such as banning high schools from all college events.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Cody »

I'll probably make a second post about the first two paragraphs later:
Matt Weiner wrote:As far as "positioning in the community" goes, that has been a one-way street. ACF (and college quizbowl in general) have dealt with very severe challenges in certain regions lately where the development of college quizbowl is throttled by elite high school teams using new college players for practice, and NOT putting "community" resources like Nationals entry fees and team outreach back in return.
To be clear, this wasn't a diss on ACF’s position in the community. But, the only region where this statement is true is Texas. The development of college quizbowl in other areas has not been “throttled” by elite high school teams, and the throttling of college quizbowl in Texas had everything to do with systemic TQBA problems that lead to “elite high school teams using new college players for practice”. (again, why it wasn’t a problem in any other region)
Matt Weiner wrote:There was a post in this thread talking about how great it was for Ladue to play ACF Regionals -- well, guess what, this year there was no ACF Regionals in Missouri because WUSTL is the only team that wanted to play. Ladue sent its whole core of scorers from its 2012-2014 contender teams to out-of-state universities, and the teams that spent the last 3 years losing to them either can't muster interest in an event with regular difficulty and packet submission like Regionals and will only be playing SCT this year, or barely still exist at all and aren't even making it to Sectionals. I'm not blaming Ladue or high schools as the sole cause of this, but it is part of the issue.
This is not true. The problems facing a Missouri mirror of ACF Regionals are two-fold: “regular difficulty” is too difficult (i.e. the no. 1 issue facing quizbowl) and travel. From a look at past tournaments, the biggest reason is travel with a side dish of not wanting to write a packet and teams not showing up because Regs is too difficult for them (which is not a decision I’m criticizing – I agree with it). There are two overarching “travel” problems with Missouri mirrors. (1) They rely on IL teams to fill them out, which doesn’t happen when there’s an IL/MI mirror (i.e. this year). (2) They rely on OK/KS/AR teams to make overnight trips.

Let us consider, quickly, some years in MO quizbowl history, considering mostly tournaments hosted in MO, and mostly not involving teams from IL / top bracket Nats/ICT teams. And mostly ACF distributed tournaments.

2012-13:
2012 ACF Fall at Vanderbilt drew many “[future-]Missouri regulars” Western Kentucky, SEMO and Harding. 2012 ACF Fall at Wisconsin did likewise, drawing “[future-]Missouri regulars” Truman State and IL teams that often attend MO tournament when there isn’t another option.

2012 Illinois Fall, hosted at Illinois drew “[future-]Missouri regulars” WUSTL and Eureka.

2013 ACF Regionals, hosted at WUSTL drew Truman State (x2), Western Kentucky, Tulsa (x2), Harding, and WUSTL (x2) (8 teams).

2013-14:
2013 Michigan Fall, hosted at WUSTL drew WUSTL (x3), Truman State (x2), Mizzou (x2), Drake (x2), Harding (x2), Western Kentucky, Missouri Valley, and Ladue. There was no IL mirror, but most IL teams went to the Michigan site.

2013 Penn Bowl, hosted at WUSTL drew WUSTL, Truman State (x2), Mizzou and IL teams (Illinois (x2), Northwestern, “Chicago”). There was no IL mirror.

2013 ACF Fall, hosted at Truman State drew Mizzou (x2), Harding (x2), Kansas State (x2), SEMO, Truman State, Illinois, WUSTL, some pseudonymous team, and Eureka (12 teams). There was no IL mirror.

2014 ACF Regionals, hosted at Mizzou drew WUSTL, St. Charles CC, Truman State, Kansas State (x2), and Harding (6 teams). There was no IL mirror, but most IL teams went to the Michigan site.

2014-15:
2014 ACF Fall, hosted at WUSTL drew Central Oklahoma, Kansas State (x2), SEMO, Harding, Tulsa (x2) and IL/IN teams (Illinois (x2), Chicago, NIU, Knox College, Eureka (x2), Northwestern, Purdue) (16 teams). Of non-IL/IN teams, Central Oklahoma and Kansas State A were the only ones to crack 15 PPB. There was no IL mirror.

2014 PADAWAN, hosted at Truman State drew Mizzou, WUSTL, Central Oklahoma, Kansas State (x2), and Truman State (6 teams). There was an IL mirror.

2014 Penn Bowl, hosted at WUSTL drew WUSTL, Mizzou, Western Kentucky, Kenyon, Vanderbilt, Harding, Truman State, SEMO, Drake (x2), and Illinois (x2). There was an IL mirror, but I presume the difference in date (10/18 for Northwestern vs. 10/25 for WUSTL) account for Kenyon and Illinois attending WUSTL instead of Northwestern (for example, the date conflict w/ IHSSBCA Novice).

2015 SCT, hosted at Central Oklahoma: look at all those teams! Coincidentally, very few are making overnight trips as they’d have to do for a Missouri mirror.

With the exception of Missouri Valley, every team (even IL teams) mentioned above that went to MO-hosted college tournament in 2012-13 and 2013-14 has played a college tournament in Missouri in 2014-15. This coming Saturday, all will have played a college tournament in 2014-15 because Missouri Valley will be playing D2 SCT Saturday in Oklahoma.

Difficulty matters a lot. Travel matters a lot. The reason a Missouri mirror isn’t sustainable has nothing to do with high school teams and everything to do with those factors, and it’s extremely misleading to try to claim otherwise.
Last edited by Cody on Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16. ACF Treasurer ‘19-20.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

My understanding of the Missouri circuit is that, at least in the last couple years, tournaments held at the University of Missouri do not draw well for a variety of factors. I would suspect that was true for this year's Regionals as well, especially considering the healthy number of teams attending this weekend's SCT in Oklahoma.

While I don't think the presence of high school teams actually squashes college circuits, I do think there is some weight to the arguments that high school participation in college quizbowl hurts its legitimacy to the outside world. I also find it interesting that this is being cited as a reason for ACF banning high school teams while nobody is calling for other college tournaments to make the same changes. I think there's an argument to be made that losing to Random City HS at ACF Regionals is not much more de-legitimizing to a college program as losing to Random City HS at DEES or STIMPY or whatever. I think the fears of high school players that this will eventually close off high school participation in college quizbowl are warranted, although I'm inclined to think that if this does happens it might not be necessarily a bad thing. I find there to be some similarity between the status and legitimacy of college quizbowl and that of college athletics in the early 20th century; once upon a time college sports teams played (and sometimes lost) to high school teams, and the move to stop playing games against high school teams had to do with institutions wanting to create a distinction between the levels themselves.
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Re: ACF eligibility rule changes for 2015-2016

Post by Important Bird Area »

Discussion of what "regular difficulty" means has its own thread now.
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