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ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:38 am
by Matt Weiner
Starting this year, ACF Nationals will formally award Undergraduate and Division II titles.

The criteria for Undergraduate and Division II teams are found in the ACF Rules:
...an "undergraduate" player is a player who did not receive a BA or equivalent or higher degree prior to the academic year in which the tournament is taking place, and meets either or both of the following conditions:
1 The player graduated from high school in an academic year four or fewer years prior to the year in which the tournament is taking place
2 The player did not participate in any collegiate or open academic quizbowl tournaments before the fall semester of the academic year three years prior to the year in which the tournament is taking place
...a "Division II" player is a player who did not receive a BA or equivalent or higher degree prior to the academic year in which the tournament is taking place, has never played at ACF Nationals, and meets either or both of the following conditions:
1 The player graduated from high school in an academic year year two or fewer years prior to the year in which the tournament is taking place
2 The player did not participate in any collegiate or open academic quizbowl tournaments before the fall semester of the academic year one year prior to the year in which the tournament is taking place
Undergraduate teams are composed solely of Undergraduate-eligible players; Division II teams are composed solely of Division II-eligible players.

There will still be only one tournament field in which all teams play--Division II will not play separately.

Both of the titles will be awarded using a similar method to the way NAQT's ICT awards its undergraduate title. To wit, after the playoff rounds have concluded, all teams in the field will be ranked; if the top two undergraduate teams are within n spots of each other (where n is the size of the playoff brackets, likely eight) then they will play a weighted best-of-three final with the leading team getting a one-game advantage, unless they are actually tied, in which case it will be a simple one-game final. Similarly, if the top two Division II teams are within n games of each other, they will do the same.

If the top Undergraduate or Division II teams are separated by more than eight spots in the final ranking, then the top team will win without the need for a final.

A Division II team which is also involved in an Undergraduate or overall final, or an Undergraduate team which is also involved in an overall final, automatically wins the lower division without need for an additional final.

We will be giving formal recognition and comically large trophies to the top 3 teams in both the Undergraduate and Division II rankings at ACF Nationals 2008.

I invite all teams who are competing for Undergraduate or Division II placement at the NAQT ICT to consider attending ACF Nationals as well. As always, the tournament is open to all school-based teams.

If anyone has questions or predictions about these new ACF titles, this thread is the place to post them.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:56 am
by No Rules Westbrook
I think it's great that we're giving recognition and trophies to achieving UG and Div II teams. But, I have a slight fear that this may cause a very small number of teams to think about shifting their membership to win these other titles. I want to strongly encourage teams, on their honor, to play their best 4 players on their top team...or at least be able to make a good faith argument that you're playing the best 4 players you have. In other words...this is ACF, don't game the system, guys.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:36 am
by Schweizerkas
Ryan Westbrook wrote:But, I have a slight fear that this may cause a very small number of teams to think about shifting their membership to win these other titles. I want to strongly encourage teams, on their honor, to play their best 4 players on their top team...or at least be able to make a good faith argument that you're playing the best 4 players you have. In other words...this is ACF, don't game the system, guys.
QFT

There's been some talk in our club of siphoning off some top players from our ICT A team in an attempt to win the Undergrad title. In ACF, there will probably be only a small number of Undergrad or Div II teams (although I assume these prizes are an attempt to increase that number), which could make the incentive to try to collect these trophies even stronger. To guard against this, I propose that the new ACF Undergrad and Div II trophies be emblazoned with the giant word FAKE.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:46 am
by The Time Keeper
Schweizerkas wrote:
Ryan Westbrook wrote:But, I have a slight fear that this may cause a very small number of teams to think about shifting their membership to win these other titles. I want to strongly encourage teams, on their honor, to play their best 4 players on their top team...or at least be able to make a good faith argument that you're playing the best 4 players you have. In other words...this is ACF, don't game the system, guys.
QFT

There's been some talk in our club of siphoning off some top players from our ICT A team in an attempt to win the Undergrad title. In ACF, there will probably be only a small number of Undergrad or Div II teams (although I assume these prizes are an attempt to increase that number), which could make the incentive to try to collect these trophies even stronger. To guard against this, I propose that the new ACF Undergrad and Div II trophies be emblazoned with the giant word FAKE.
If either title goes to a team who rearranged their roster just to win it, sarcastic quotation marks around the word "championship" will be added via magic marker.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:07 am
by AKKOLADE
Dolemite wrote:
Schweizerkas wrote:
Ryan Westbrook wrote:But, I have a slight fear that this may cause a very small number of teams to think about shifting their membership to win these other titles. I want to strongly encourage teams, on their honor, to play their best 4 players on their top team...or at least be able to make a good faith argument that you're playing the best 4 players you have. In other words...this is ACF, don't game the system, guys.
QFT

There's been some talk in our club of siphoning off some top players from our ICT A team in an attempt to win the Undergrad title. In ACF, there will probably be only a small number of Undergrad or Div II teams (although I assume these prizes are an attempt to increase that number), which could make the incentive to try to collect these trophies even stronger. To guard against this, I propose that the new ACF Undergrad and Div II trophies be emblazoned with the giant word FAKE.
If either title goes to a team who rearranged their roster just to win it, sarcastic quotation marks around the word "championship" will be added via magic marker.
I fully support this with whatever award is given out.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:25 pm
by vandyhawk
Ryan Westbrook wrote:I think it's great that we're giving recognition and trophies to achieving UG and Div II teams. But, I have a slight fear that this may cause a very small number of teams to think about shifting their membership to win these other titles. I want to strongly encourage teams, on their honor, to play their best 4 players on their top team...or at least be able to make a good faith argument that you're playing the best 4 players you have. In other words...this is ACF, don't game the system, guys.
While I think your feelings are well-founded for ICT, I feel like they won't apply for ACF, just b/c of the differences in spirits of the event. Not sure if I can really articulate it, and don't mean anything bad about one or the other, but hopefully people get what I mean.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:57 pm
by aestheteboy
I don't see the point of having Div II awards if some Div II players will be discouraged to play on Div II teams. I agree that a trophy won by rearranging the roster is "fake." What I feel is more "fake" is a trophy won by not competing against the best opponents possible, eligible for the same award.
I personally think Div II awards in general are a joke given 1. the best (and most of the good) Div II-eligible players do not play at that level and 2. there are usually few Div II teams anyway. It seems like it would be a better use of monetary resource to give the trophies to the 4-6 Div I teams rather than the 1-3 Div II teams.

Of course, I've never participated in a college tournament (except that ACF regionals...), much less ACF Nationals, so I may not have the perspective that the college players do. In that case, please I'd like know what the reasoning/justification is for giving Div II awards.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:22 pm
by Matt Weiner
Well, at this point, 16 D2 teams from four-year schools and 8 CC teams also playing in D2 participate in NAQT ICT. That's in addition to 32 D1 teams. Both D1 and D2 always have more interest than NAQT has spaces in the field, except every few years when the tournament is held in an inaccessible location. Personally, I want to see newer teams with mostly underclassmen players, and, most especially, B teams from schools who already send their regular teams to ACF, to show up at ACF Nationals. I think we are moving past the era of "ACF is impossible" and people finding academic questions not fun. Many teams play ACF Fall or Regionals, but are still not coming to Nationals. In the glorious quizbowl future that we are already experiencing, there's no reason there can't be recognition for the best team of newer players on ACF questions, just like there is for the best team of newer players on NAQT questions.

And, given that you have a two-year clock to try to win ACF D2 regardless of whether you play ACF or not, I think there will be very little incentive to game the system just to preserve D2 eligibility. Even in NAQT, where the four-year window makes that even more possible, it still doesn't happen very often.

Re: ACF Nationals: Undergraduate & Division II titles

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:24 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
I pretty much agree with you, aesthete. A Div II title, especially at this tourney, is pretty meaningless. But I have no probem with us giving it to a team of all Div II people as a way of saying "good work having such a young team and coming and doing okay, keep playing and getting better." But, yeah, I don't think it's anything anyone should consciously play for.