NAQT Sectionals

Old college threads.
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grapesmoker
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Post by grapesmoker »

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).
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.

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.
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Mr. Kwalter
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

I have hope for this year's SCT, since they've apparently let Andrew take the reigns as far as final editing goes. I also think that we should cut NAQT a little slack on ICT, since apparently there is a serious paucity of worthwhile bids. It's hard to work things out when your options are out of the way place A and understaffed place B.
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Post by First Chairman »

The other difficulty about the current set-up is that many clubs have to resubmit budgets every semester while some submit every year. Having two programs come in one semester where one program is necessary to compete in the other makes it difficult for young programs who don't expect to compete at ICT to budget for it. At least the ACF and TRASHionals regional/national setup is a little easier on the financial officers.
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Post by MCDoug »

There seems to be a lack of teams offering to host the SCT, especially in a few regions, particularly the southest. This whole offering to host seems like a Catch-22 to me. To host, you must have a good sized program in order to have enough staffers, but if a school has a good sized program, then chances are that the program would like to qualify more than one team (which is all one gets from hosting). Perhaps a solution would be to allow an automatic bid to ICT in both divisions (or two in one division) by hosting, but then requiring all schools with two teams to bring moderators? This would require increasing the field size for ICT, but is that a bad thing?
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grapesmoker
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Post by grapesmoker »

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:I have hope for this year's SCT, since they've apparently let Andrew take the reigns as far as final editing goes. I also think that we should cut NAQT a little slack on ICT, since apparently there is a serious paucity of worthwhile bids. It's hard to work things out when your options are out of the way place A and understaffed place B.
That's what I thought about last year's ICT, and I was very disappointed. Of course I have every confidence in Andrew doing a stellar job; it's people who aren't Andrew that I'm concerned about. When an NAQT writer defends a question on the Long Telegram that starts with "Sent in 1947, it was notable for its lack of brevity" there's something wrong.

Also, I don't know about other regions, but I don't think there is a paucity of good bids for SCT in the Northeast. Or rather, I think the problem is that the timed format requires too many staff members. MCDoug is right with regards to the problems posed by the bid/host system, which is something I think needs to be revised for the convenience of the participating teams.
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Post by vandyhawk »

The thing we haven't heard about is why bids for Pitt and UTC are still pending, or whatever R.'s post a while back said. Given how many teams usually go to NAQT in the southeast, at least, I'm guessing it has something to do with staffing or room issues. We didn't submit a bid for a number of reasons, mostly the same as what others have said why they didn't, and b/c I knew Charlie was submitting a bid. They've always done fine for NAQT in the past, so I'm curious to know what the hang up is this year. As I mentioned to Charlie, I'd be willing to help recruit more volunteers if that's the issue, so we'll see how things turn out.
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Post by vandyhawk »

Another thing I forgot to mention. If all these sites are having staff problems, I'd certainly support making it an official option to do something like 24 tossups off the clock. I know that's been proposed here, but I figure if more people show support for that option, we might get somewhere. I don't think that just doing 20 tossups would be ideal, since the distribution is (supposedly) balanced over the 26 questions, and in most rounds, you should be getting through more than 20 anyway. Maybe the readers could pretend they're on the clock though to give us the feeling of a timed tourney so we aren't thrown off completely at ICT...
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Post by wd4gdz »

Charlie said UTC was willing to host, if no other schools were interested in the automatic bid. This is probably why the UTC site announcement is "pending." Perhaps the same is true for Pitt.
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Post by First Chairman »

[The off-topic posts not related directly to NAQT Sectionals went sent off to BOYCOTTHSQUIZBOWL.ORG .]
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Post by NotBhan »

From the Yahoo groups page ...

"NAQT has added two more sites to its list of four-year SCTs, the
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and George Mason University. The
full list is now as follows:

British Columbia
Brock
George Mason
Iowa
Irvine
Michigan
Oklahoma State
Tennessee-Chattanooga

We are still actively working on the New England site(s), but there
will definitely be such a tournament; the details will hopefully be
decided in the next couple of days.

We are not actively seeking hosts outside of New England, but would
consider sites in other underrepresented areas of the country
(southern Texas, Colorado, etc.) if they came in before the end of
next week."
"Keep it civil, please." -- Matt Weiner, 6/7/05
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Post by cvdwightw »

grapesmoker wrote: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 don't know about this. Just to give an example, while we'll probably qualify, I wouldn't say we deserve an automatic bid. Charles graduated, and since we probably don't have a legitimate chance of winning ICT (or even our SCT), I'm not so sure Ray is going to play. So you're telling me we deserve an automatic bid for having roughly 1/4 of our ICT scoring return?

I'm not sure how we would exempt "the best teams" from qualifying; although, I think something like Matt Weiner's proposal makes sense. If a team can demonstrate (based on previous ICT success, as Jerry mentions; but also that a legitimate portion of the team's points are returning) that it in all likelihood would qualify again, then they would be able to bring a certain number of competent staffers (for instance, 8; that's probably around 1/2 of the necessary SCT staff) in exchange for one automatic bid.

Now, I realize there's a couple of problems with this. First, there exists the possibility of large clubs to abuse this by sending some veterans that probably wouldn't qualify on their own to staff, while the top team goes and earns a second bid, which is unfair because that top team is the one that "would've qualified anyway". Second, this denies teams who are breaking division II players into division I a chance to either measure themselves against the likely top ICT bracket or see how the NAQT distribution affects how they play as a team, or both.
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