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Two Day Tournaments

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 12:39 pm
by Dan Greenstein
Having just attended (as a moderator) the NAQT ICT in College Park, I once again bring up the subject of running a national tournament or any other major tournament over the course of two days (NAQT ICT) as opposed to a one-day operation (ACF Nationals).

This is especially relevant as over the past five years, those tournaments have been scheduled as described above; ACF Nats was last a two-day affair in 2001, and I do not know if ICT has ever been a one-day affair. This gives us a consistent data set with which to compare.

In the past five years, for those not staying to play for a trophy, ACF Nationals has ended anywhere between 7 and 10 pm on Saturday night after a 9-9:30 am start. On the other hand, ICT has ended around 3-4 pm for that same segment of the tournament teams, albeit with six rounds being run Friday night.

As a player and as a moderator, I have found the two-day tournaments to be less stressful and tiring than the one day tournaments. Perhaps it is the splitting of games around a barrier of sleep that is appealing. Maybe it is having Saturday evening free to raise hell. It could be the chance Friday night after the games to hang out with friends on campus or in the city of the tournament. The last does not often happen with one-day tournaments, as often a team will not have any free time outside the tournament and travel. Understandably, tournament organizers may be less happy to face the more complex scheduling and room reservation of two-day tournaments compared to one-day tournaments.

Thoughts?

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 12:48 pm
by Matt Weiner
Allowing more rest and more flexible schedules over two days does indeed have its benefits, but starting at 6 PM Friday is problematic. Something like 8 teams were late to the ICT this year because of DC-area traffic that was basically normal for that time of day. I'd rather see an all-day Saturday schedule followed by the half-day on Sunday. I know that this used to be a problem because BYU played and they wouldn't participate on Sunday, but they do not have a team anymore, so why not consider this option?

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:59 pm
by Ray
Why didn't we just play game seven of the first round of brackets on Friday night, have people who needed to break ties after the first round do so on Saturday morning, and let the rest of us sleep that extra hour?

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:30 pm
by NoahMinkCHS
I was wondering that, too, Ray. Alternatively, what if we'd played, say, 3 or 4 rounds to allow for a later (post-rush hour) Friday start but consequently later Sat. finish?

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:28 pm
by grapesmoker
The two-day tournament is stupid. Given that ICT play ended at 3 in the afternoon, and that's accounting for an unexpected 1-hour interruption in the morning, there's no reason that the whole tournament can't take place in one day. The Friday drive down to Maryland is especially brutal, and I can't see the justification for forcing people to miss a whole day of work or school to play in the tournament.

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:36 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Matt Weiner wrote:Allowing more rest and more flexible schedules over two days does indeed have its benefits, but starting at 6 PM Friday is problematic. Something like 8 teams were late to the ICT this year because of DC-area traffic that was basically normal for that time of day. I'd rather see an all-day Saturday schedule followed by the half-day on Sunday. I know that this used to be a problem because BYU played and they wouldn't participate on Sunday, but they do not have a team anymore, so why not consider this option?
Now, this may be extremely head-in-the-clouds of me to say, but one of the advantages (in my mind, the single greatest advantage) of the two-day Friday/Saturday tournament is that it lets you spend Saturday night exploring the local area. ICT is really the only tournament where I get to know the area that's hosting, get to see the sights, etc.

If you switch the off-night from Saturday to Sunday, we don't get that, because assuming that classes begin on Monday morning, you have to leave Sunday afternoon.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:57 am
by fleurdelivre
I won't complain about having Saturday evening in DC, but most of our team have Friday classes that got skipped because of travel arrangements. When you have teams driving long distances and even flying, asking them to be ready to play at 6pm is inevitably going to mean that many of them will miss those class days. I prefer quiz bowl to class, but that doesn't mean we can do that more than once or perhaps twice a semester before it becomes detrimental. ICT or ACF nats would be worth it if the host city is an interesting place, but otherwise it's an unreasonable format.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:59 pm
by cvdwightw
A clear advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it) of starting tournaments on Saturday rather than Friday night is that USC would be able to attend.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:26 pm
by vandyhawk
I'll agree with my teammate that the two-day format is ok as long as the tournament is held somewhere interesting like the last two in New Orleans and DC. Otherwise, it could be a pretty boring Saturday night. Maybe Columbia should host next year...

I still think that playing 6 rounds on Fri night, then just the one Sat morning before re-bracketing is kind of stupid. Like others said, simple solutions would be either playing all 7 Fri night and starting a little later on Sat (8:30 Eastern time is just brutal), or starting around 8:00 on Fri night and only playing the first 4 then. We would still be done plenty early on Saturday with time to go socialize and explore the city. This seems like an issue NAQT could easily change if enough people express an opinion.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:01 pm
by matt979
vandyhawk wrote:I still think that playing 6 rounds on Fri night, then just the one Sat morning before re-bracketing is kind of stupid. [...] This seems like an issue NAQT could easily change if enough people express an opinion.
Quoted for emphasis. Note also that contacting NAQT directly has the most impact.

Past control room experience has led me outspokenly to favor ending Friday night's play after round 5. (ICT organizers typically don't leave the site Friday until well past 11; doing all 7 rounds Friday would only exacerbate this.)

I meant to make an issue of this in internal discussion but didn't get around to it, and so inertia kicked in. My (individual, not necessarily NAQT-representative) opinion stands all the same.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:06 pm
by NotBhan
One possible benefit of ending a tournament by (say) 5pm on Saturday is that (at least based on my experience) Saturday plane tickets may be significantly cheaper than Sunday tickets.

With regard to the number of prelim rounds on Friday night, some sites may object to a student activity using classrooms as late as 10:30 or 11pm, and a 7-round Friday night might run really late if major logistical problems arise. Like Matt (Keller), I would have preferred a later start time and 4 or maybe 5 rounds on Friday night.