I think Chuck means that good high schools play NAQT rather than Chip's questions. It's obvious to me at this point that NAQT produces an obviously superior high school product, and an obviously inferior college product.Kyle wrote:You guys make it sound like NAQT is losing interest among high school teams, and that's not the case. There are lots of high school NAQT tournaments and the field for the HSNCT is increasing, not decreasing. The result is that NAQT cares more and more about high school and less and less about college (you'll notice that the HSNCT site was announced long ago and will be played in late May, while the ICT site for early April remains a mystery).
To be fair, I'll note that NAQT very much wants to have a Northeast SCT but I think their commitment to an irrational set of rules is preventing them from organizing it properly. I'll repeat myself for emphasis: if NAQT is determined to stick to a bid system, their high school system makes far more sense than the SCT system. Based on that system, for example, both VCU and Brown would already have qualified on the basis of PARFAIT (say). But in any case, I find it absurd that any team which finished in the top bracket last year should have to qualify to demonstrate that they're better than the token Canadian team or Georgia or whoever. I don't know if making ICT open is the answer, because demand might outstrip supply, but I think exempting the best teams from qualifying would at least lead to a higher quality of staffing at the SCTs. I can even see how a DII qualifier makes sense, since those teams are unknown quantities, but making Chicago and Berkeley qualify is just silly.
I wouldn't even mind the qualifier process so much if the questions weren't so bad. Last year's SCT was abominable for a tournament written entirely "in-house" and constitutes exactly the sort of question set on which I can see unwarranted upsets happening. Also, the whole thing is damn expensive given the quality of the tournament. I think I paid $150 to play at ACF Nationals last year, for comparison.
I realize, of course, that NAQT actually loses money on the ICT, but I think that's due to the size of the field and the number of staffers required because you need a moderator and a scorekeeper in each room. I am of course in favor of ditching the clock entirely, as that would potentially halve the number of staffers required, but I know there's no way that my suggestion would be accepted. Nevertheless, I find it harder and harder every year to justify shelling out almost $400 to play ICT, especially when I find the NAQT leadership itself to be somewhat opaque and nonresponsive to my concerns. In practice, if we succeed in sending the number of teams we want to send, it's going to be even more money. Last year, I bet Paul Litvak $10 I wouldn't come back; of course, I'll be buying him lunch and a beer this year, but the only reason for me to go anymore is to help transport my teammates. If they lose interest, I'm not going to try too hard to persuade them.
I think all of this is regrettable, as ICT and SCT both have the potential to be good tournaments. My hope is that NAQT will take these ideas under consideration and engage with the players in a constructive dialog.