SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:55 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:I also think the host bid should go through an application like how ACF does it now.
Based on my experience hosting SCT last year, it does.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by jonah » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:03 pm

Auks Ran Ova wrote:I tend to agree here, and am interested to learn if NAQT has considered the proposition from a couple years ago of expanding DI to 36 teams (which would have many benefits, including allowing more teams pushed to the bubble by the D-value system into the field and expanding the playoff bracket sizes to increase the amount of games teams play against their skill-level peers, at the cost of necessitating a couple more rooms and probably another packet or two).
If another packet or two, then also another round or two is/are added to an 11.5-hour day, which likely also necessitates a dinner break (and thus another two hours or so) or making the whole tournament a two-day affair (and all the costs that ensue).
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by touchpack » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:17 pm

jonah wrote:
Auks Ran Ova wrote:I tend to agree here, and am interested to learn if NAQT has considered the proposition from a couple years ago of expanding DI to 36 teams (which would have many benefits, including allowing more teams pushed to the bubble by the D-value system into the field and expanding the playoff bracket sizes to increase the amount of games teams play against their skill-level peers, at the cost of necessitating a couple more rooms and probably another packet or two).
If another packet or two, then also another round or two is/are added to an 11.5-hour day, which likely also necessitates a dinner break (and thus another two hours or so) or making the whole tournament a two-day affair (and all the costs that ensue).
I don't think that's strictly necessary if just one round is added (6 brackets of 6 into 3 brackets of 12, takes 15 rounds pre-finals vs the current 14), but if, as people are asking for, more time is added to the clock, AND more rounds are added, then you have an important point here. Personally, if it's a choice between the two, I'd rather see the field stay at 32 and more time put on the clock, but I was on a top-bracket team so I dunno if other people feel this way.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:24 pm

Or maybe people should bring snacks?
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:31 pm

To see if my slightly hazy memories match reality: what time does the average ICT (say a one-game final) currently end?
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:35 pm

The current schedule plan suggests that a one-game final would end at 7 pm.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Aaron's Rod » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:09 pm

raffi_-_c-a-n-a-d-a.mp3 wrote:
Cheynem wrote:
Charlie is correct though in the fundamental bloodbath of some sectionals over others. It is unfair that some sectionals have a much better field than others, denying very good teams a chance to go to ICT.

I would suspect the reform is probably not in cumbersome rules about travel, but rather in the nature of qualification and ICT itself. Expanding the ICT field is one possibility. I also wonder if the bid process could be revised in some way--perhaps an auto-bid must meet a minimum "d-value"? (in this way, you'd still have a full SCT for everyone, but there is the chance nobody qualifies for ICT from a site)
If the D-value based wildcard system isn't working then the formula should be changed - a reasonable first step would be to increase the weights of bonus conversion (Look at Chicago B and Columbia B last year)
I agree, and I can't believe that it's taken so long for someone to suggest this.

My opinion: Great teams "crashing" SCTs in smaller, further areas makes everything less fun for teams in all parts of the field, even if they are unlikely to qualify. Under the current system, if you're at the top of the field, you risk having your spot taken away. If you're at the bottom of the field, it is not very fun when some team from hundreds of miles beats the absolute bejeezus out of you when they could be playing competitive games somewhere else. People want to play competitive games, or at least they should.

Putting that aside, and I think the more important thing is to disincentivize teams from doing this, since to me this practice appears to be in absurdly bad faith (no matter how much ~fun~ you're having for the rest of the weekend). The idea of having D-values seemed to be that it shouldn't matter where you play, and clearly it still does. If D-values aren't working like they're supposed to, NAQT should reconsider how they do D-values. (Edited a couple times for clarity.)
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:20 pm

Edward Lansdale wrote:I've been out of the quizbowl scene for a while but was always under the impression you couldn't send teams to more than one SCT. I'll add my two cents here to note that such a rule should be put into place.
What about non-resident students, then -- like the person from Maryland who played this very SCT? (I also happen to be a non-resident student at MIT right now, though I haven't been playing quizbowl.)
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by CodyJohansen » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:12 pm

Insofar as the opinions of an undergraduate president of a 12-person club in a podunk circuit matter, here are mine.

To answer Vasa's (likely rhetorical) question, in my opinions SCT is first and foremost the qualifier for ICT. It's a fun tournament, it's nice to have a that-difficulty tournament in the Spring, but it exists to determine who gets to go to ICT. If Columbia E comes down to Florida and plays our section and beats the A-team of every school in Florida, then they deserve to go to ICT instead of us. ICT is the national championship, the purpose of which is to determine the best team in the country. If the best team in my section is worse than the fifth-best team at Columbia, then we clearly aren't the best team in the country. I'm completely with better-Cody, my boy Casey, and the illustrious Borglum on this.

In response to Conor's assertion that such behavior is "harmful to developing quiz bowl", I don't really see how. I guess that getting to go to ICT is a lot of fun and encourages people to stay with quizbowl, but I don't really see how losing every game at ICT is any less demoralizing than losing one game at home.

Also, Vasa, I'm not sure how famous (if at all) this story is among forum-ites, but Waterloo (aka Aayush) did fly down to Florida and solo qualify and, while we were sad that our B team didn't get the undergraduate bid, if four UCF players couldn't beat one Waterloo player, then the Waterloo team should unquestionably be the one that deserves to compete for the title rather than us.

Mike makes a great point about better teams playing in a weak section helping the d-values of teams naturally in that section. Also @Mike, I don't at all like the (Cumbersome) solution because it limits options for everyone and doesn't really solve the problem of large schools bigleaguing smaller sections. The (Easy) option sounds good, but I think it should be completely up to the TD of the section they wish to attend (i.e. each section can decide whether it wants the extra team(s) or the protection of only local teams). I'm totally fine with the ICT field expanding - more chances for more schools, more money for NAQT (and I'm not a money guy, but I feel like maybe this might mean slightly lower registrations fees, which would definitely be good for developing quizbowl regions), and obviously less necessity for teams to go to other sections to qualify.

I'm definitely with Ike on the issue of rejecting an ex post facto screwing over of Columbia this year. They shouldn't be penalized for playing by the rules.

Michael, I don't get how "the optics of it look bad" - could you please explain?

Lol Max you are wonderful.

Dees, it didn't spontaneously generate - there are 32 bids and you spontaneously /got it/ instead of some poor poor inferior team that would have gotten in on d-values. That said, you earned it, so it's fine by me. And yeah, New England SCT seems like an annual Battle of the Bulge reenactment - three of the d2 teams there had a higher ppb than any d2 team in our section, and if UCF were in Boston, I would've probably never been to ICT, so I don't blame anyone for not wanting to play SCT there. Your point about qb-tourism makes me wish I were rich like you instead of, you know, a college student. Also, whether or not you enjoyed it is super not relevant, since you're not the victim. Don't be a Dees-bag. Sorry, I just really wanted to use that one.

I disagree with Joe Su's proposal for host autobid reform, as I think that autobids are a great way for developing regions to still get their taste of ICT.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:55 pm

I swear to god, I'm going to schedule 6 hours at random cheap community colleges every Spring and travel to the worst SCT sites every year until this rule is changed. What's so bad about that, right? I will certainly have "earned" my victories and people will come to my defense on the forums because I'm technically playing by the rules, regardless of how many deserving teams that are statistically better than me get left out of ICT because of my most definitely earned victories on introductory college questions. The sites change around annually, so I'll have a blast going to wonderful new locales, eating luscious food, maybe smoking weed depending on the laws of the respective state, and certainly going to local retro game stores along the way. What a wonderful way to extend the career, I wish I would have thought of it before!

People will always game a system that leaves itself open to being gamed.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by 1.82 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:23 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: Is it really that wrong to publicly state that we had fun playing, and that others around us seemed to have fun playing too? Especially when the people who actually played didn't seem to have a major problem with it (and in some cases are baffled by the white-knighting of non-involved parties on the forums)?
Well, in your specific case, someone playing the tournament did have a major problem with it, but he didn't say anything at the time because he felt that he didn't have the social standing in the local circuit to do so. I imagine that that fact would give most people pause, but by all means continue to boldly insist that you did nothing wrong. I wonder what you would have done if he had told you on the day of the tournament that he was not comfortable with what you were doing. Would you have played anyway? It still would have been fun.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by touchpack » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:34 am

CodyJohansen wrote:Insofar as the opinions of an undergraduate president of a 12-person club in a podunk circuit matter, here are mine.

To answer Vasa's (likely rhetorical) question, in my opinions SCT is first and foremost the qualifier for ICT. It's a fun tournament, it's nice to have a that-difficulty tournament in the Spring, but it exists to determine who gets to go to ICT. If Columbia E comes down to Florida and plays our section and beats the A-team of every school in Florida, then they deserve to go to ICT instead of us. ICT is the national championship, the purpose of which is to determine the best team in the country. If the best team in my section is worse than the fifth-best team at Columbia, then we clearly aren't the best team in the country. I'm completely with better-Cody, my boy Casey, and the illustrious Borglum on this.
Eh, this is a matter of opinion.

So I follow Dota 2 (an international e-sport), and people have these arguments all the time about whether or not all of the geographic regions should get equal amounts of qualifier slots to major championship events. People who say they shouldn't argue that the purpose of the event is to determine who the top 16 teams are and rank them, so having extra slots given to weaker regions is bad because it lowers the level of competition. I typically argue against that, for a few reasons:

1) The top teams are all qualifying anyway--so it really doesn't hurt the level of competition appreciably. The top 10 teams in the world are all good enough to make it no matter what, and all of the regions are relatively even enough that no one outside the top 25-30 is ever making it. So the level of competition is still high, and it really isn't going to change the outcome of the top 4 if the 16th best team gets snubbed in favor of the 25th best team (Dota 2 tournaments usually play round robin into double elimination, so the increased upset potential of having the 16th best team instead of the 25th is very unlikely to affect the overall standings. Same is true with quizbowl with the round robin into round robin format.)
2) There is a net positive in having more international diversity because it gives fans from all over the world teams to support/cheer for. Often, there are stylistic differences in the way teams from different regions play that make for interesting games when teams that literally _never_ play eachother get to play on the big stage.

So the analogy to quizbowl isn't perfect here, but I think it holds up reasonably well. I think there's an argument to be made that it's very enjoyable to compete against teams and players from all over the country that you never see. Even if say, Chicago C is a better team than Florida or Colorado or what have you, I (when I was an active player for Illinois) would MUCH rather play against Florida/Colorado because I get to play Chicago C at every single local circuit event. So when you have a team that travels to a weaker site to steal their autobid (which is NOT what happened with Charlie, as we've discussed plenty), it kinda feels really shitty!
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:38 am

Our Lady Peace wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: Is it really that wrong to publicly state that we had fun playing, and that others around us seemed to have fun playing too? Especially when the people who actually played didn't seem to have a major problem with it (and in some cases are baffled by the white-knighting of non-involved parties on the forums)?
Well, in your specific case, someone playing the tournament did have a major problem with it, but he didn't say anything at the time because he felt that he didn't have the social standing in the local circuit to do so. I imagine that that fact would give most people pause, but by all means continue to boldly insist that you did nothing wrong. I wonder what you would have done if he had told you on the day of the tournament that he was not comfortable with what you were doing. Would you have played anyway? It still would have been fun.
Have you spoken to the specific person after the fact about this? Because I did actually speak to the specific person about this after the fact, and he seemed to suggest that it wasn't a huge deal and he enjoyed the tournament. Unless you spoke to the specific person in question, I'd kindly suggest you shut the fuck up and quit trying to be Southern California's white knight in shining armor.

EDIT: To add a bit more context, I am told by people on the UCSD team that they received far more comments to the effect of "who are these people and why do they care so much about our tournament" than "wow i am really salty about That One Dude" but this is just hearsay.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:51 am

Regardless if Naveed is right or wrong, I don't think it's right to tell someone not to talk about quizbowl in other regions.

Also, why would the UCSD people get upset? You were playing on their team!

(Just for the record, I actually resigned as moderator months ago and they just haven't removed my green color, so this is not an official warning or anything)
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:53 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Our Lady Peace wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: Is it really that wrong to publicly state that we had fun playing, and that others around us seemed to have fun playing too? Especially when the people who actually played didn't seem to have a major problem with it (and in some cases are baffled by the white-knighting of non-involved parties on the forums)?
Well, in your specific case, someone playing the tournament did have a major problem with it, but he didn't say anything at the time because he felt that he didn't have the social standing in the local circuit to do so. I imagine that that fact would give most people pause, but by all means continue to boldly insist that you did nothing wrong. I wonder what you would have done if he had told you on the day of the tournament that he was not comfortable with what you were doing. Would you have played anyway? It still would have been fun.
Have you spoken to the specific person after the fact about this? Because I did actually speak to the specific person about this after the fact, and he seemed to suggest that it wasn't a huge deal and he enjoyed the tournament. Unless you spoke to the specific person in question, I'd kindly suggest you shut the fuck up and quit trying to be Southern California's white knight in shining armor.

EDIT: To add a bit more context, I am told by people on the UCSD team that they received far more comments to the effect of "who are these people and why do they care so much about our tournament" than "wow i am really salty about That One Dude" but this is just hearsay.
Yeah, so if any of these threads have taught us anything, it's that second-hand accounts like the one Naveed is spouting off are rarely useful. If said person -- or really someone who was actually at the tournament, wants to discuss how people "feel" that's going to be much more useful.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:55 am

Cheynem wrote:Also, why would the UCSD people get upset? You were playing on their team!
I wrote:I am told by people on the UCSD team that they received far more comments to the effect of...
I should clarify, received *from other (i.e non-UCSD) people*
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:57 am

Ike wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Our Lady Peace wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: Is it really that wrong to publicly state that we had fun playing, and that others around us seemed to have fun playing too? Especially when the people who actually played didn't seem to have a major problem with it (and in some cases are baffled by the white-knighting of non-involved parties on the forums)?
Well, in your specific case, someone playing the tournament did have a major problem with it, but he didn't say anything at the time because he felt that he didn't have the social standing in the local circuit to do so. I imagine that that fact would give most people pause, but by all means continue to boldly insist that you did nothing wrong. I wonder what you would have done if he had told you on the day of the tournament that he was not comfortable with what you were doing. Would you have played anyway? It still would have been fun.
Have you spoken to the specific person after the fact about this? Because I did actually speak to the specific person about this after the fact, and he seemed to suggest that it wasn't a huge deal and he enjoyed the tournament. Unless you spoke to the specific person in question, I'd kindly suggest you shut the fuck up and quit trying to be Southern California's white knight in shining armor.

EDIT: To add a bit more context, I am told by people on the UCSD team that they received far more comments to the effect of "who are these people and why do they care so much about our tournament" than "wow i am really salty about That One Dude" but this is just hearsay.
Yeah, so if any of these threads have taught us anything, it's that second-hand accounts like the one Naveed is spouting off are rarely useful. If said person -- or really someone who was actually at the tournament, wants to discuss how people "feel" that's going to be much more useful.
Said person posting on the forums is hardly a secondhand account.

Naveed continues to be in the right here.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:04 am

The Ununtiable Twine wrote: People will always game a system that leaves itself open to being gamed.
I don't really agree with the rest of your post, but this part is 100% correct.

So here's the deal, Charlie didn't break any rules. It's perfectly legal to do what he did, and as long as it's allowed then I have no real grounds to say it was not "fair." None of the proposed rules changes would make the system more "fair." Either we are limiting the ability of teams from developing regions to attend ICT or end up screwing over good teams to ensure geographic diversity; both of those outcomes suck ass. The current system of rules kind of de facto leans towards screwing over good teams, but there are (obviously) ways to get around that. The only way to avoid both of those outcomes is to expand the ICT field, which opens up other arguments about how realistic that option is. All of the energy spent arguing about the fairness of Charlie Dees playing quizbowl on vacation could be used to yell about ways to actually fix the underlying problem

If we as a community want to figure out how everybody can play ICT that wants to, maybe we should commit to that as a goal. NAQT has reasonable qualms about expanding the field, but unless it's literally impossible there are no other rules adjustments that don't end up leaving people out who desperately want to play. I guess perhaps there are people with principled beliefs about keeping ICT small and pure, but letting in a few more bubble teams is a net good in my opinion.

I will note that the the D2 ICT field is comically small to the extent that D2 teams basically have to hit 20 PPB to qualify and decent players get stuck in easy-question limbo for extended periods of time. I don't know if it's easier to solve both of these problems at once or if perhaps it would be hard to expand both divisions at once. But we've been pushing off this discussion for years.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:08 am

Cody wrote:Naveed continues to be in the right here.
I don't want to post too much about this (especially since this seems like a side-discussion unrelated to the main topic) but I want to co-sign this. Regardless of whatever beef Will and Naveed have, the principle of letting ineligible people play at certain sites is absolutely not a local issue. I actually don't give a shit if every person in the San Diego metropolitan area was fine with Will playing the UCSD Terrapin mirror, it's still a practice that doesn't go on elsewhere and it's correct for the rest of the community to question why certain people get special dispensations.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by CodyJohansen » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:09 am

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:I swear to god, I'm going to schedule 6 hours at random cheap community colleges every Spring and travel to the worst SCT sites every year until this rule is changed.
Twenty bucks say if you come to Florida CCSCT next year you lose to Valencia.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:10 am

Cody wrote:Said person posting on the forums is hardly a secondhand account. Naveed continues to be in the right here.
Will Alston posting on the forums is not a secondhand account either. Will is in the right.

Less glibly, all of this talk about feelings is rather irrelevant to the discussion at hand. How teams feel, as Mike Cheyne pointed out, doesn't matter. How Naveed or Cody feel about good ol' Will Alston doesn't matter. It's about setting (visible!) rules and regulations in place so that if people don't want this to happen, it won't in the future. I guess you and Naveed can try to shame him, but I assure you, that's not going to work either.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by 1.82 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:14 am

Ike wrote:
Cody wrote:Said person posting on the forums is hardly a secondhand account. Naveed continues to be in the right here.
Will Alston posting on the forums is not a secondhand account either.
Independent of everything else, Will Alston posting about how people told him that what he did was cool and good is, like, literally what a secondhand account is.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:21 am

CodyJohansen wrote:
The Ununtiable Twine wrote:I swear to god, I'm going to schedule 6 hours at random cheap community colleges every Spring and travel to the worst SCT sites every year until this rule is changed.
Twenty bucks say if you come to Florida CCSCT next year you lose to Valencia.
I can't play CCSCT because that's actually against the rules!
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by bradleykirksey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:23 am

The Ununtiable Twine wrote: People will always game a system that leaves itself open to being gamed.
I don't think I necessarily agree. If you're right, shouldn't we be seeing teams lined up to be doing that? Off the top of my head, I can think of Waterloo, Columbia, St. Charles CC, Sergeant Reynolds, and Minnesota CTC who have done things like this at NAQT events since 2009. And as I understand it, the last two won't be doing it again because the NAQT specifies that you need to be working towards a degree. If people were always gaming the system, wouldn't more people be gaming the system? Like Jeff Hoppes said in "St Charles-gate" "Because "weird situations" are, in fact, weird, and reductio ad absurdum makes bad policy." If one person every two years feels like jumping to a different site, I don't know if that warrants changing all of the eligibility rules.

Especially because of cases like, for example, Travis Vitello going to Ohio State while living in Florida. I suspect that any rule change would probably do more do make life hard for online students that preventing the few cases we've seen of this.

And Jake, I don't think you'll be doing that because you have to be working towards a degree. Your example is completely different, at least IMO, because you're not a college student. Unlike Charlie Dees.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Ike » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:26 am

Our Lady Peace wrote:
Ike wrote:
Cody wrote:Said person posting on the forums is hardly a secondhand account. Naveed continues to be in the right here.
Will Alston posting on the forums is not a secondhand account either.
Independent of everything else, Will Alston posting about how people told him that what he did was cool and good is, like, literally what a secondhand account is.
He was at the tournament, so I'd call that first-hand knowledge, and this is such a minor thing to belabor that I think at this point it's obvious you have a grudge against Will Alston. Even another poster who's agreeing with you (Nick Conder) seems to think so. I probably won't respond to this line within the thread since it's not helping the discussion at all -- since all you want to do in this thread is charge at him.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:45 am

Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen wrote:
Edward Lansdale wrote:I've been out of the quizbowl scene for a while but was always under the impression you couldn't send teams to more than one SCT. I'll add my two cents here to note that such a rule should be put into place.
What about non-resident students, then -- like the person from Maryland who played this very SCT? (I also happen to be a non-resident student at MIT right now, though I haven't been playing quizbowl.)
I'm not sure what the policies have been in the past. Online degrees, study abroad, having spring break on a different schedule (e.g. Waterloo at Florida) have all resulted in similar situations. As far as I know, no one has played separately in a mirror/SCT site while their teammates were playing at another site. There is a small possibility I will start an Online MS in Data Science at Indiana University this fall, while residing in Connecticut. If I choose to play any tournaments for Indiana, I will be glad to fly to a Midwest sectional to join my teammates (unless, of course, there isn't an Indiana team active in the midwest and I play solo at a New England sectional).

At any rate, Charlie Dees isn't a non-resident student, seeing as he was at the WAO mirror at Columbia only a week ago.

EDIT: To answer your question, either the Maryland non-resident should have flown to the UVa SCT, or the rest of the Maryland team should have flown to Colorado.
Last edited by Edward Lansdale on Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:53 am

For what it's worth, I don't have a grudge against Naveed, as should be evidenced by the fact that I let him on as an editor for WAO.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by RexSueciae » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:11 am

Ike wrote:
Our Lady Peace wrote:
Ike wrote:
Cody wrote:Said person posting on the forums is hardly a secondhand account. Naveed continues to be in the right here.
Will Alston posting on the forums is not a secondhand account either.
Independent of everything else, Will Alston posting about how people told him that what he did was cool and good is, like, literally what a secondhand account is.
He was at the tournament, so I'd call that first-hand knowledge, and this is such a minor thing to belabor that I think at this point it's obvious you have a grudge against Will Alston. Even another poster who's agreeing with you (Nick Conder) seems to think so. I probably won't respond to this line within the thread since it's not helping the discussion at all -- since all you want to do in this thread is charge at him.
Unless I am mistaken and my English comprehension is worse than I thought: a person talking about their experiences participating at an event would be giving a first-hand account of their experiences (in this case, the firsthand account which Naveed cited and which is freely available to us in its original form), but a person talking about something somebody told them (in this case, not the statements cited by Will Alston but his own statements, as the primary source is inaccessible at present) would be a second-hand source on whatever they were told?

But anyhow, on the original discussion(s?) we've got 1) whether or not out-of-region teams playing SCTs makes a statistical difference (broad consensus says no, not in this case, and similarly everyone reports no hit to morale or any other complication related to such a practice, with some reports that more teams regardless of origin is very good because playing with a tiny number of teams isn't fun), 2) this flaming mess that grew out of the SCT discussion, and 3) ICT and whether we can increase the field size. Remind me again, what actual measures can NAQT / the community take to let more teams attend ICT? Develop a corps of decently-paid, professional readers? Move ICT's location from Chicago to another place and put the savings towards this objective? Increase outreach towards potential staff? Drop the clock, making it less complicated to train people for the job? (I don't care about the clock either way. If it goes, I won't miss it, but if it stays, I can live with it.)
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:23 am

Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:To address an earlier question, my belief is that under the current 32-team field of DI ICT and the large increase in talent in the #10-#30 ranked teams, ICT doesn't really have the luxury of trying to grow circuits by increasing geographical diversity at the expense of letting the 32 most talented teams into the field. The current qualification system is unfortunate and probably not very fair for non-top bracket teams in very strong circuits like the Northeast, and what happened here was (IMO) a (theoretically easy to abuse) stopgap measure that, in this specific scenario, produced a result that is more in line with what the bid outcomes would have been were ICT solely intended to be a tournament among the 32 best teams in the country.
The 32 best teams at SCT aren't the 32 best teams at ICT. The best 10-15 schools could split their A teams into two, three, or even four teams and still qualify multiple teams for ICT, just by sending each solo-team to a different weak SCT. The same solo teams would get their arses kicked at ICT by full teams from decent schools.

Expanding the ICT field to 36 or 48 teams will do nothing if schools keep splitting and sending players to different mirrors to qualify more teams, then condense them back into four-man teams, and let second and third-string players (who may not even have played SCT, or may not have been on a team that qualified) man the additional teams qualified. I'd wager that second-string teams from top quizbowl schools aren't nearly as good as a top team from a middling SCT (e.g. Texas).

Unless schools are forced to play the same team rosters at ICT as they did at SCT, why should the current loophole be kept in place while expanding ICT? You'd just end up getting an ICT with 24 strong A teams of four players each, and 12-24 teams just to make up the numbers.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:24 am

Ike wrote:He was at the tournament, so I'd call that first-hand knowledge, and this is such a minor thing to belabor that I think at this point it's obvious you have a grudge against Will Alston. Even another poster who's agreeing with you (Nick Conder) seems to think so. I probably won't respond to this line within the thread since it's not helping the discussion at all -- since all you want to do in this thread is charge at him.
I agree that it's a good idea for you to stop posting about this matter!

In general I think most people in the community can accept a few basic conclusions from this with which we can move past it, without excessive worrying about how much to assign guilt to the specific people involved in this specific situation. Namely:

(1) open sites of otherwise closed tournaments are generally (and situationally) fine and acceptable, but the nature of such sites should be publicized as clearly as possible to avoid the appearance of impropriety
(1b) adding a scab team to fill out a field is also generally fine and acceptable, though such a team should not be allowed to win the tournament
(2) it's not a sustainable or responsible practice to allow otherwise-ineligible people to play tournaments on an ad hoc and/or personal-relationship basis, since it promotes an "insidery" view of quizbowl that the community has worked hard to try to eliminate
(3) "I am told by people that..." does indeed definitionally constitute a "secondhand account", in case such a thing should come up again in a different discussion.

With that I hope we can consider the Case of the Anonymous Triton closed, please.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:32 am

Now, not speaking as a board staffer:
bradleykirksey wrote:
The Ununtiable Twine wrote: People will always game a system that leaves itself open to being gamed.
[...] Minne[apolis] CTC [...] done things like this at NAQT events [...]
Lest the proud history of Mavericks quizbowl be called into question, I'll note that regardless of any elements of various eligibility guidelines that may have changed, Bernadette and I were both working, part-time, toward degrees in 2013 and 2014; I stopped playing because I dropped out of the program.

Also, everyone except the fiends at NAQT calls the school "MCTC".
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:29 am

Edward Lansdale wrote:
Urech hydantoin synthesis wrote:To address an earlier question, my belief is that under the current 32-team field of DI ICT and the large increase in talent in the #10-#30 ranked teams, ICT doesn't really have the luxury of trying to grow circuits by increasing geographical diversity at the expense of letting the 32 most talented teams into the field. The current qualification system is unfortunate and probably not very fair for non-top bracket teams in very strong circuits like the Northeast, and what happened here was (IMO) a (theoretically easy to abuse) stopgap measure that, in this specific scenario, produced a result that is more in line with what the bid outcomes would have been were ICT solely intended to be a tournament among the 32 best teams in the country.
The 32 best teams at SCT aren't the 32 best teams at ICT. The best 10-15 schools could split their A teams into two, three, or even four teams and still qualify multiple teams for ICT, just by sending each solo-team to a different weak SCT. The same solo teams would get their arses kicked at ICT by full teams from decent schools.

Expanding the ICT field to 36 or 48 teams will do nothing if schools keep splitting and sending players to different mirrors to qualify more teams, then condense them back into four-man teams, and let second and third-string players (who may not even have played SCT, or may not have been on a team that qualified) man the additional teams qualified. I'd wager that second-string teams from top quizbowl schools aren't nearly as good as a top team from a middling SCT (e.g. Texas).

Unless schools are forced to play the same team rosters at ICT as they did at SCT, why should the current loophole be kept in place while expanding ICT? You'd just end up getting an ICT with 24 strong A teams of four players each, and 12-24 teams just to make up the numbers.
Then why doesn't this happen now? I am skeptical that this would be a thing in the future.

Also, I looked at 2013-2017 recently and none of those ICTs had a B team as the obvious worst team in the field. Splitting teams hasn't upset the balance that much.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:54 am

Cody wrote:[Then why doesn't this happen now? I am skeptical that this would be a thing in the future.

Also, I looked at 2013-2017 recently and none of those ICTs had a B team as the obvious worst team in the field. Splitting teams hasn't upset the balance that much.
I did say there are maybe 24 good A teams in any given ICT. I just think expanding the field beyond 32 will come at the cost of having below-par B and C teams that qualified thanks to split team SCT participation.

I maintain that while Columbia D (as in Dees playing solo) is good enough to qualify for ICT at the expense of an Oklahoma State or a Texas B, Columbia D (as in a bunch of inexperienced freshmen) at ICT is significantly worse than OK or TX.

Also, I am not aware of how many teams have successfully split teams at the same SCT in recent years; I only seem to recall Penn doing it with Eric playing solo and/or with freshmen, plus Saajid, Patrick et al playing on a B team. D-values at weak sites would rule out Arizona State, for example, doing such a thing at a Southwestern SCT.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:07 am

Edward Lansdale wrote:
Cody wrote:[Then why doesn't this happen now? I am skeptical that this would be a thing in the future.

Also, I looked at 2013-2017 recently and none of those ICTs had a B team as the obvious worst team in the field. Splitting teams hasn't upset the balance that much.
I did say there are maybe 24 good A teams in any given ICT. I just think expanding the field beyond 32 will come at the cost of having below-par B and C teams that qualified thanks to split team SCT participation.

I maintain that while Columbia D (as in Dees playing solo) is good enough to qualify for ICT at the expense of an Oklahoma State or a Texas B, Columbia D (as in a bunch of inexperienced freshmen) at ICT is significantly worse than OK or TX.

Also, I am not aware of how many teams have successfully split teams at the same SCT in recent years; I only seem to recall Penn doing it with Eric playing solo and/or with freshmen, plus Saajid, Patrick et al playing on a B team. D-values at weak sites would rule out Arizona State, for example, doing such a thing at a Southwestern SCT.
I think you are underestimating just how many good teams get excluded from ICT every year - as I mentioned above, Amherst, Dartmouth, and MIT B were all prevented from coming to ICT last year and it would be tough to convince me those teams shouldn't have been let into the field. There are undoubtedly more teams on the bubble in other regions.

I also think you are underestimating the quality of some B teams - the facts of quizbowl are that the best overall programs tend to also have the deepest benches. Last year MIT B won a tournament over Columbia A. Columbia B got 14th at ACF Nats. There hasn't been a year in my memory when Chicago B wasn't really good. Northern California also seems to have B teams that are killer right now. Teams like Texas and Oklahoma are great too, but why should it have to be a choice between the two? Why can't ICT have both?

And the "Columbia D" team of inexperienced freshmen have that whole Division 2 thing to worry about rather than use our D1 bids.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:17 am

Several people on the IRC had an interesting discussion last night about potential ICT expansion and the barriers preventing that; it seems like NAQT does not want to expand the field size of ICT because of the constraints--i.e., the creation of more packets, the need for a two-day tournament. I understand those concerns, although I think they can be worked around. Perhaps if there is more accurate data about "how many teams each year are seriously being prevented from playing ICT?" (the rub is that it's really easy for a team to say, yeah, I want to go, but how many would put down the money to go)
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:25 am

Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) wrote:And the "Columbia D" team of inexperienced freshmen have that whole Division 2 thing to worry about rather than use our D1 bids.
Right now that is true, but with an expanded ICT field there's nothing to prevent you, Ben, Rafael, etc from playing solo at multiple SCT sites, qualifying C and D teams at DI, and then filling them with such inexperienced freshmen (for lack of anyone else, since the better players are on the A and B team).

If Amherst, MIT, etc missed out on qualification because of strong SCT fields in New England, they should have sent teams to a different SCT (Amherst sort of did that with the Hamilton College SCT this year; Amherst, MA to New Haven, CT is 89 miles, but Amherst to Clinton, NY is 201 miles). Heck, Waterloo played in Florida (granted, it was just one guy on spring break) in a field that is easier than a Canadian one.

What I'm against is anyone sending teams to multiple SCTs in a desperate bid to qualify one or more teams, then using the "but good teams sometimes don't qualify because strong fields" excuse.

I should also note that I have nothing personal against you or Mohit Iyyer.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:17 am

Edward Lansdale wrote:Also, I am not aware of how many teams have successfully split teams at the same SCT in recent years; I only seem to recall Penn doing it with Eric playing solo and/or with freshmen, plus Saajid, Patrick et al playing on a B team.
There are many clear examples from 2013 (Michigan, Virginia), 2014 (Chicago, Maryland, Michigan, Penn), 2015 (Maryland), 2016 (Columbia, Maryland), and 2017 (Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota). The lowest & highest finish for split teams in those years is: t-26 / 20th (2013), t-30 / 15th (2014), 29th / 29th (2015), t-27 / 24th (2016). It would be quite hard to argue that these B teams unilaterally did not deserve to be in the ICT field.
Edward Lansdale wrote:D-values at weak sites would rule out Arizona State, for example, doing such a thing at a Southwestern SCT.
No, the fact that Arizona State isn't good enough excludes them from splitting teams and qualifying multiple teams. That would be true whether or not they were at a weak site.
Edward Lansdale wrote:Right now that is true, but with an expanded ICT field there's nothing to prevent you, Ben, Rafael, etc from playing solo at multiple SCT sites, qualifying C and D teams at DI, and then filling them with such inexperienced freshmen (for lack of anyone else, since the better players are on the A and B team).
There are quite literally tons of reasons that prevent any team from doing this. 99.99% of teams are constrained by the number of good players they have & money. Very few teams have enough players to even think of qualifying more than 2 teams by splitting teams. As for money, it costs a lot of money to send teams to multiple SCT sites—and a hell of a lot more to fly 4 teams to Chicago, lodge them, and pay an entry fee of $415 to $435 a piece. Take this year: if Columbia qualified four teams and flew Newark to ORD on Thursday April 6 / back April 8, the flights would be $3,008, lodging would exceed $500, and the tournament entry fee would exceed $1,600. $5,100 just to attend ICT (to say nothing of what it costs to qualify those 4 teams) is not something any school (except maybe one) is going to pay—and Columbia has access to some of the cheapest airfare to get to ICT. Pretty much the only exception to this rule would be Chicago (since they have a deep bench, have lots of money, and wouldn't have to pay for flights or lodging for ICT). Even then, neither they nor anyone else has ever attempted to qualify a bajillion teams for ICT.

The situation you have described is logistically infeasible and would never come to pass whether ICT takes 32 teams or 36 teams.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by jonpin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:57 am

CodyJohansen wrote:To answer Vasa's (likely rhetorical) question, in my opinions SCT is first and foremost the qualifier for ICT. It's a fun tournament, it's nice to have a that-difficulty tournament in the Spring, but it exists to determine who gets to go to ICT. If Columbia E comes down to Florida and plays our section and beats the A-team of every school in Florida, then they deserve to go to ICT instead of us. ICT is the national championship, the purpose of which is to determine the best team in the country. If the best team in my section is worse than the fifth-best team at Columbia, then we clearly aren't the best team in the country. I'm completely with better-Cody, my boy Casey, and the illustrious Borglum on this.
But that isn't what happens. If a university splits up its A team, and University A-1 qualifies at their usual location, while University A-2 wins a low-quality site elsewhere, the proper comparison isn't University A-2 vs. the team that got denied a seat (either at the low-quality site, or off of the at-large field), but the University's B team, since that's the team that will be playing at ICT in that spot (with A-1 and A-2 merging into the true A team for ICT).
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Edward Lansdale » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:50 pm

Cody wrote:The lowest & highest finish for split teams in those years is: t-26 / 20th (2013), t-30 / 15th (2014), 29th / 29th (2015), t-27 / 24th (2016). It would be quite hard to argue that these B teams unilaterally did not deserve to be in the ICT field.


Fair enough, if your top two teams are good enough to qualify for ICT with one or two-person teams, by all means do so. Just don't send people to different sites to increase your odds of qualifying.
Cody wrote:No, the fact that Arizona State isn't good enough excludes them from splitting teams and qualifying multiple teams. That would be true whether or not they were at a weak site.
There has definitely been cases where Arizona State hosted Arizona State-only tournaments, or split teams to have a four-team DI (or DII) field so as to guarantee at least one bid. The argument that ASU is weak as a team is immaterial. If they were a strong team, and there was no other good teams in the region, D-values would still be low enough due to the weak field that ASU B would never qualify. In the Northeast and Midwest, D-values are higher and more teams qualify. It is no surprise that your list of teams that split and qualified multiple teams are entirely from the Northeast and Midwest. D-values absolutely determine the odds of a split team qualifying for ICT from any given SCT site.

If Chicago sent one team to Colorado, one to the Pacific Northwest, and one to Florida, they would qualify all three only if they all won in otherwise weak fields. Chicago's strength as a team isn't going to raise D-values enough to award bids to multiple teams at these weak sites.
Cody wrote:The situation you have described is logistically infeasible and would never come to pass whether ICT takes 32 teams or 36 teams.
Financial and logistical difficulties are never a good reason to leave a loophole in the hope that no one takes advantage of it. If I led a well-funded team like Harvard or Chicago, I absolutely would try to qualify and staff as many teams for ICT (and ACF Nationals) as we could. Saying "one-eighth of the Nationals field was us" works much better for recruitment and Student Government support than saying "we had one team qualifying for Nationals, and the four players are all grad students who've done this for years".
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:02 pm

There is essentially no situation where it is in Columbia's (or any program's) long-term self-interest to pay to fly whole teams of inexperienced freshmen to play the hardest tournament of the academic year. It is both a phenomenal waste of money and an incredibly risky recruitment practice, given that most inexperienced freshmen would probably quit if they get pushed into ICT. By sending them to Division 2 they get to play a tournament that is totally appropriate for them, and might actually encourage retention, and we, the Columbia club begging the administration for money, get to still tell them "look at all these teams we got to send to nationals!" While you are correct about the hypothetical possibility of somebody hogging all the ICT bids, everything about that hypothetical is incredibly short-sighted for any team that follows through on it.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Cody » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:20 pm

Edward Lansdale wrote:There has definitely been cases where Arizona State hosted Arizona State-only tournaments, or split teams to have a four-team DI (or DII) field so as to guarantee at least one bid. The argument that ASU is weak as a team is immaterial. If they were a strong team, and there was no other good teams in the region, D-values would still be low enough due to the weak field that ASU B would never qualify. In the Northeast and Midwest, D-values are higher and more teams qualify. It is no surprise that your list of teams that split and qualified multiple teams are entirely from the Northeast and Midwest. D-values absolutely determine the odds of a split team qualifying for ICT from any given SCT site.
The strength-of-schedule correction is certainly an important factor, but the reason that a split-team ASU B wouldn't qualify is because they aren't good enough regardless of the strength-of-schedule correction (which makes it the most material argument!) and conversely the reason that split teams qualify from the Northeast & Midwest is that those split teams are good enough to qualify regardless of the strength-of-schedule correction. The reason that split teams are frequent in the Northeast & Midwest is that programs in those areas have enough good players to be able to split their teams and qualify. If Michigan sent its split A & B teams to the weakest possible sectional this year, both would've easily qualified based on D-value—even if Michigan's B SOS correction was 0.697 [the lowest of any team this year], which in any case is an impossibly low value because they would've played Michigan A.
Edward Lansdale wrote:If Chicago sent one team to Colorado, one to the Pacific Northwest, and one to Florida, they would qualify all three only if they all won in otherwise weak fields. Chicago's strength as a team isn't going to raise D-values enough to award bids to multiple teams at these weak sites.
Why would a team bother doing this when they could pay much less by going to the same SCT & splitting their teams? (plus, Chicago – for example – very nearly qualified 3 D1 teams without even splitting their teams!). This scenario would never come to pass due to its logistical infeasibility & how much more work it is (you may note that Columbia fielded 6 teams across D1 & D2 and all but one (1) player played at the New England SCT).
Edward Lansdale wrote:Financial and logistical difficulties are never a good reason to leave a loophole in the hope that no one takes advantage of it. If I led a well-funded team like Harvard or Chicago, I absolutely would try to qualify and staff as many teams for ICT (and ACF Nationals) as we could. Saying "one-eighth of the Nationals field was us" works much better for recruitment and Student Government support than saying "we had one team qualifying for Nationals, and the four players are all grad students who've done this for years".
It might work better for recruitment & SG support except that in the scenario you have laid out, these teams are already well-funded and have access to some of the best recruits in the nation. (How else would they afford the close $10,000 such a plan would cost??). Plus, none of these attributes are nearly as solid selling points as "we WON Nationals last year" (or finished 10th, or etc.). So what advantage does this hold for them that couldn't be achieved by splitting teams and not having to deal with the very cumbersome logistical hassle of getting people to multiple SCTs?

Additionally, I do not consider this a loophole and "financial and logistical difficulties" are perfectly good reasons to maintain the status quo.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by sonstige » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:42 pm

bradleykirksey wrote: Especially because of cases like, for example, Travis Vitello going to Ohio State while living in Florida. I suspect that any rule change would probably do more do make life hard for online students that preventing the few cases we've seen of this.
I was going to stay as an observer in this thread, but then I caught this quote.

To throw in my two-cents here:

I'm supportive of teams who want to venture beyond their local geography to play somewhere new, see new teams, meet new people, do a bit of site-seeing, etc. I've done this a few times, with mixed results quiz bowl-wise. But the outcome of those tournaments was never really the priority --- for me, it was about the chance to play a tournament outside of the deep South (sorry, but I'm fine never making a trip to Tuscaloosa again, no offense).

For reference, I ended up playing ACF Fall at Boise State and a few years later, Penn Bowl at Minnesota. Neither of those were qualifiers for nationals --- so I can imagine that me doing this was less significant than what happened here. Still, I chose those sites not because of the strengths of the fields --- but because they were in places I'd never really had a chance to explore in the past.

If a team wants to travel to Florida to play something --- please, do. We're happy to have anyone who wants to come down this way. While I don't speak for any of the active players or programs here, I can't imagine any of them wanting to turn away a visiting school from out of state. If it raises the level of competition, I don't see that as being a bad thing at all. For some of the local teams, they'll never have a chance to play those schools otherwise.

And to something Billy Busse said earlier in this thread --- I agree, seeing teams from other regions isn't a bad thing. But why wait until a nationals-level event to do this, if that's your interest?

As far as the above quote from Bradley --- I was in a situation where I was doing my master's online through Ohio State's distance program, while living in Orlando. If some rule existed that constrained me to only attend events near my college's campus, I would have been stuck flying up to the greater-Columbus area any time I wanted to play an event. Sheesh.

EDIT: Minor errata corrected.
Last edited by sonstige on Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:55 pm

Also, I don't buy any of the "slippery slope" arguments for changing the rules. A school that splits up its A team to qualify at multiple different sites would have only 1 or 2 sites in any given year where the field is weak enough for that to be feasible, since the moment that their chance of winning the SCT drops below, say, 99% (e.g. if two schools decide to fly a player to the same remote SCT site), the gamble is no longer worth it.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:11 pm

I feel compelled to briefly resurrect from quizbowl death to support the idea that neither NAQT nor other quizbowl organizations should rush to create rules that deal with unlikely scenarios. I think other posters have laid out solid, credible arguments for why the current rules are unlikely to be widely abused, and I don't think the theoretical argument that one year UChicago might attempt to qualify 5 teams for ICT justifies imposing rules that might have unintended consequences and impose a hardship on a team that happens to be in a bad situation.
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Re: Rocky Mountain Sectionals (Boulder, CO; February 4, 2017

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:16 pm

Edward Lansdale wrote:
Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen wrote:
Edward Lansdale wrote:I've been out of the quizbowl scene for a while but was always under the impression you couldn't send teams to more than one SCT. I'll add my two cents here to note that such a rule should be put into place.
What about non-resident students, then -- like the person from Maryland who played this very SCT? (I also happen to be a non-resident student at MIT right now, though I haven't been playing quizbowl.)
I'm not sure what the policies have been in the past. Online degrees, study abroad, having spring break on a different schedule (e.g. Waterloo at Florida) have all resulted in similar situations. As far as I know, no one has played separately in a mirror/SCT site while their teammates were playing at another site. There is a small possibility I will start an Online MS in Data Science at Indiana University this fall, while residing in Connecticut. If I choose to play any tournaments for Indiana, I will be glad to fly to a Midwest sectional to join my teammates (unless, of course, there isn't an Indiana team active in the midwest and I play solo at a New England sectional).

At any rate, Charlie Dees isn't a non-resident student, seeing as he was at the WAO mirror at Columbia only a week ago.

EDIT: To answer your question, either the Maryland non-resident should have flown to the UVa SCT, or the rest of the Maryland team should have flown to Colorado.
I never said Charlie was a non-resident student -- it just strikes me as a little bit draconian to tell someone who's enrolled at School X but currently based at School Y that they can't play a tournament that School Y happens to be hosting, even solo. So I just wanted to point out that making rules to stop Charlie from playing SCT on vacation, or teams with infinity-dollar budgets from playing games of "Book-a-Flight-to-Idaho Chicken" against each other, will also have the effect of (needlessly, IMO) preventing people who happen to visit other institutions for a semester or two from participating in the local circuits there.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:31 pm

Yeah I would say that forcing non-resident students to travel a great deal is a bit off base. Even if you wanted to discourage people traveling to faraway sites, I think something like "well, I live in this state and am a non-resident student elsewhere" would be a good argument to allow that person to play at a different SCT than their registered university.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:01 pm

First let me say that, as far as I'm concerned, splitting teams is no different than sending a team to a different site. I suppose if people want to argue that it may stunt the growth of certain regions (an argument that, judging from the comments of people who actually run tournaments in such regions, I don't agree with) the (Easy) solution Mike mentioned seems like a good idea. If NAQT isn't inclined to do this, having a protocol whereby asking the TD permission before playing at a further site seems like another workable solution. I would love to hear from TDs if they would actually not let such teams play under these circumstances.

Then the question becomes whether splitting teams is a practice the community wants to encourage. In my opinion, I think that Mike's (Cumbersome) option is a bit too strict. For example, if for some reason a player on Top Team A can no longer attend ICT then Top Team should be able to put someone from their B team on the A team. Even if Top Team thinks that someone on their B team is a better fit for the A team than someone else already on the A team, they should be able to change the roster. However, I still think that splitting teams is gaming the system. Maybe if there was a some restriction on only being able to switch around 1 player then this would make the practice less common.
It would be quite hard to argue that these B teams unilaterally did not deserve to be in the ICT field.
I don't about know unilaterally, but I can definitely argue that a couple of these B teams didn't deserve to be in the ICT field. The teams that lose out on splitting teams are the teams that just miss out on qualifying via D-value. So let's compare these B teams finishes at ICT to the lowest finish of any team that qualified via D-value.

In 2017, the lowest finish of a team that qualified via D-value was Georgia at 27th. Maryland B finished below them at 29th. The team that missed out was Penn.

In 2016, the lowest finish of a team that qualified via D-value was Cornell's 30th place finish. (Technically they won Sectionals, but there are teams that didnt with lower D-values, so I will treat this as a case of qualifying via D-Value). There were no B teams below them.

In 2015, the lowest finish of a team that qualified via D-value was McGill at 27th, with the same technicality as above. Maryland B finished below them at 29th. The team that missed out on playing ICT was Caltech. Every team that had a higher D-value than Maryland B finished in the top bracket at ICT.

In 2014, the lowest finish of a team that qualified via D-value was Alabama at 28th. Penn B finished below them at 30th. The team that missed out on playing ICT was Stanford B (which wasn't split). Every team that had a higher D-value than Penn B finished in the top bracket at ICT.

In 2013, the lowest finish of a team that qualified via D-value was Cornell at 23rd. Michigan B and Minnesota B finished below them at 26th and 29th respectively. In this case it's tricky to tell if Delaware and UCF who finished 24th and 26th would have qualified had they fielded full teams instead of hosting, so it's possible that this is a bit misleading. I will note that Minnesota received 2 bids because of hosting and qualifying an A team, not through splitting teams, but that the team that qualified contained 2 A team members that scored a vast majority of the points at SCT and as a result am including them as a split team. The teams that missed out on player ICT were RPI and Northwestern.

In 2012, the lowest finish of a team that qualified via D-value was Guelph at 29th. Below them was MIT (with cheating Josh Alman) and Chicago C. Chicago C had the lowest ppb and ppg in the field. They qualified because of split teams. I can't really tell who missed out from the D-values, but I dont think it really matters, because Chicago C definitely didnt belong there.

I think that this shows that every year (more or less) 1 team misses out on ICT due to team splitting. Of course this also shows the teams that typically round out the bottom of the bottom bracket are either 1) winners of smaller sites or 2) hosts for whom qualification wouldnt have been a sure thing. I'm certainly not advocating for teams that fall into 1) shouldn't play ICT. I think every site should be guaranteed a bid. Teams that meet 2) I think probably could receive a little more scrutiny. Obviously, a team like Yale should be able to send at least 2 teams to ICT. However, I would feel pretty hard done by if one of NYU's teams miss out because Youngstown State or Colorado B get a spot.

At the end of the day though, the one thing I wouldn't want to happen is for NAQT to make some rule that ends up displeasing a significant amount of people (a la SSNCT) while trying to sort out something this quite frankly not very dire issue.

EDIT: Typo and adding in the results for 2017 ICT
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:08 pm

Note that, as discussed upthread, Chicago possesses all of the logistical requirements to split teams across multiple sites, the devious leadership required to sign off on it, is still livid as a club about our quite good B team getting D-value bubbled last year so that an auto host-bid could go to a team that put up 28.5 PPG and 5 PPB at ICT ( :capybara: :capybara: :capybara: ), and yet we still haven't attempted a convoluted team-splitting thing across sites. Splitting across sites is really not a Thing Teams Do, even the fabulously wealthy and evil ones.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by TaylorH » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:14 pm

CodyJohansen wrote:Insofar as the opinions of an undergraduate president of a 12-person club in a podunk circuit matter, here are mine.
Insofar as the opinions of an undergraduate president of a different 12-person club in the same podunk circuit matter, here are mine and some of my teammates who I asked about the issue. The following paraphrased opinions are expressively about the theoretical idea of good team coming to Florida for the purpose of getting an easy bid at the expense of all the Florida teams, not about the particular situation involving Columbia.

One UF player called this theoretical practice "awful", and compared the idea to "what is happening in the CL in soccer where only big teams plays". He also called the idea "boring" and "the death of fun".

Another UF player said that they did not like the idea in general. This player encouraged teams to couple traveling for fun with playing quiz bowl for the many tournaments throughout the year without consequences for ICT qualifications. This player also said they could sympathize with teams in tough circuits who have to face very hard schedules and still not qualify, and that they realize we (UF) have it easy.

A third UF player said that bids should automatically be revoked and teams should have to ask for special dispensations outside their region. They also mockingly compared teams engaging in this theoretical practice to an obnoxious southern football fan saying that every SEC team is "just plain better than any Pac-12 or American or Conference team I've never heard of".

A fourth UF player said that single schools simply shouldn't be able to compete a multiple locations to win more spots. That player said they believe teams in though regions should have to qualify by D values.

A fifth player stated that if you used the D value system as an (admittedly imperfect) ranking of the best 32 teams, only 2 teams wouldn't qualify that do under the current system. One being the Columbia team that went to Colorado.

The point is that feelings expressed by UCF' Cody welcoming teams to exploit the Florida circuit is far from the norm of feeling in the region.

My personal feelings are that NAQT should not institute any official rule requiring teams to play in region, as this could be interfere with distance students and teams out of region for spring break or similar situations. However I think teams traveling cross country to snatch up easy bids is overall bad for teams in weak regions. Which is more valuable to a player who has never played outside the Florida circuit: getting wrecked by a few out of regions schools who fly in, or getting to go to a centralized national tournament where they play a day's worth of teams full of people they have never met before.

Some people feel ICT should only be the absolute best 32 teams, which we all know would really only be mostly Northeastern and Midwestern teams.Heck, look at the map of where all the D1 teams came from last year There are only 5 or 6 teams from outside those regions. If ICT is really for just solely for those best teams, why have bids for regional winners at all? Why not just have D values from all the site the only qualification for ICT? I feel that having the winner of each region get a bid implies that ICT is supposed to represent some level of geographical diversity. I would be interested to hear from NAQT on the logic of giving bids to regional winners at the expense of having a potentially weaker ICT field.

Also considering the case of Aayush at SCT Florida in 2015 I do recall some of the player on the UF team he beat being a little miffed and confused as to why he choose to play there.

Anyways, I'm not asking for any reform, I just wanted some opinions of some people in a weak region who most of you never hear from to be tossed up. I have had the pleasure of watching the Florida region grow lots of the last couple years, with new teams springing up at FSU and New College, as well as the expansion of the clubs at UF, UCF, and the CC circuit. I would hate to see newer players discouraged by better teams gaming the system.
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Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:46 pm

I am sympathetic to the "regional diversity" argument, in no small part due to the fact that there's probably not a very good chance that quizbowl will expand in regions like Florida if none of the teams there ever get a chance to play Nationals.

The point of regional diversity aside, a lot of strong teams are getting screwed out of D1 ICT, and it's for a myriad of reasons. Strong teams like last year's Columbia B (which played as Columbia C at SCT) would not have gotten to attend ICT were their A-team not able to split up and earn two bids. Meanwhile, Amherst and (short-handed) Dartmouth didn't even get to play ICT, despite each scoring higher PPBs and multiples of the number of powers than some other teams that did qualify.

It seems to me that the only solution is to expand the field, and if that means the tournament goes to 8pm, then that doesn't seem like a huge sacrifice. To reiterate, people can bring snacks if they think they might have to play a final later, or maybe order a pizza or something. It's not a huge ask, especially since said teams are already making large travel commitments to play - if you're coming for Nationals, you should be willing to tough it out.

I also wonder if it's worth loosening the criteria under which teams are no longer allowed to compete in Division 2. Obviously, the top high school players who routinely romp the top of the field each year shouldn't be allowed to come back and do it year after year. But should teams in the bottom half of the D2 field be forced into Division 1 the next year, given that the Division 1 SCT is a fair bit tougher (in terms question content, and often in terms of competition as well) than D2 ICT?
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