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Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:54 pm
by cvdwightw
Note to Admins: If this is more suited for Announcements or Off Topic/AHAN Jr., please move there.

This is a post to gauge interest in a fantasy (college/open) quiz bowl league. I have thought about this while listening to 250 Hz pure tones and have decided upon the following rules:

1. Each team will be composed of six players. Every "week", each GM will select four players as "active". I thought about making undergraduate/graduate/open quotas but decided that it didn't make any sense.

2. Each "week", each team will compete head-to-head with another team in the following three categories. A team earns a point by having a higher value in a category than its opponent (e.g. if Team A has a Team Winning Percentage of 2.800 and Team B has a Team Winning Percentage of 2.833, then Team B earns 1 point).
2A. Team winning percentage
Team winning percentage is calculated as follows: each player contributes his quizbowl team's win percentage (to three decimal places) to the fantasy team winning percentage.
*Exception to Rule 2A: if a player's quizbowl team is placed in a higher bracket and as a result has a lower winning percentage than a team in a lower bracket, then that player's contribution is the highest winning percentage in a lower bracket. For instance, if Minnesota makes the top bracket and finishes 5-5 while Chicago C finishes 7-3 in a lower bracket, then any of Minnesota's players would contribute 0.700 to a fantasy team instead of 0.500.
2B. Team bonus conversion
Team bonus conversion is calculated as follows: each player contributes his quizbowl team's bonus conversion (to two decimal places) to the fantasy team bonus conversion.
2C. Individual points per game
Individual points per game is calculated as follows: each player contributes his individual prelims points per game (to two decimal places) to the fantasy team's individual points per game. Note that this is "prelims"; "playoff rounds" (upper/lower bracket, final, etc.) don't count.
*Exception to Rule 2C: for NAQT events, individual points per 20 tossups will be used instead of individual points per game.

Essentially, in each of the three categories, your fantasy team's value in that category will be computed by adding up the values from each of your four players.
2D. Ties
Due to roundoff errors, if there is a difference between the two teams of 0.003 or less in Team Winning Percentage or 0.03 or less in Team Bonus Conversion or Individual Points Per Game, then the category will be called a tie. In the case of a tie, each team receives 0.5 points.

3. The winner in each head-to-head matchup will be the fantasy team that receives more points. In the case that both teams have 1.5 points, the match will be called a tie.

4. Fantasy teams will be ranked by the number of wins, followed by fewest losses, followed by most total points. Ties for a playoff spot or seed will be handled by head-to-head points. If this still does not resolve an end-of-season tie, then performance against each team will be accounted for in descending order of finish until a tie is resolved (if Team A beat the first-place team but Team B only tied, then Team B wins the tie-breaker). If this still does not resolve a tie, then coin flips may have to be used.

5. "Waiver Wire"/Trades
You may cut and add players any time between the draft and the end of the season, so long as you only have 6 players on your team and a player you add is not already on someone else's team. Currently, trades are not allowed. This is likely to change.

6. Schedule
The following 9 "weeks" will definitely be on the schedule, assuming they all happen. These events have been chosen because of their reputation (or my expectation) for having decent-to-high quality questions, a large number of teams, and reasonably prompt and thorough post-tournament statistics reports.
EFT
Minnesota Open*
ACF Fall
Illinois Open*
ACF Winter
Penn Bowl*
Cardinal Classic*
NAQT SCT
ACF Regionals

Option A: 10 team round robin, followed by playoffs. The top four teams make the playoffs.
Semifinals**: NAQT ICT
Finals**: ACF Nationals

Option B: 12 team round robin, followed by playoffs. The top four teams make the playoffs.
Additional "regular season" events:
NAQT ICT
Harvard Invitational*

Semifinals**: ACF Nationals
Finals**: Chicago Open*

*Because these are open events that attract teams and players from outside their region (instead of regional events played at several regional sites, where the field is less likely to be top-heavy), statistics from the "main event" of these tournaments will be worth 10% more than statistics at their mirrors. In other words, a team with a perfect record will receive 1.100 points towards "team winning percentage" at the Open itself but only 1.000 at mirrors.
**In the event of a playoff tie, the higher-seeded team wins, unless someone has a better idea for playoff tiebreaks.

6. Communication
If Fred thinks this is a good idea, then it would be nice if he could create a FQBL sub-forum of Off Topic where the league(s) could conduct a draft, post threads approving/rejecting potential trades and updating team standings, post each team's "4 player active roster" for that week, and conduct other league business. Otherwise, I will look into play by e-mail (e.g. a Yahoo or Google Group) options.

7. Miscellany
Until or unless someone with more fantasy sports experience volunteers, I will be the league director. If demand exceeds number of teams, then we will split into as many leagues as necessary. I (or the league director) will attempt to find stats online and calculate each head-to-head matchup. If stats cannot be found online or one of your active players does not participate, you earn a 0 in all categories for that player for that week. Depending on communication, each GM's four-player active roster for each week must be either posted or e-mailed to the league director (depending on communication form) by 8:00 AM Eastern Time the day of the tournament (presumably this is before any tournament games have been played; also, this is 8:00 AM on the first day for two-day tournaments). Right now there is a one poster, one team rule. If demand ends up being high enough that multiple leagues are necessary, then I will look into the option of the same poster participating in multiple leagues. If I have left out some important detail, please post about it.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:02 pm
by evilmonkey
Uhhhhh.
Uhhhhh.
Uhhhhh.

*Torn between desire for more fantasy leagues, and just plain weirdness of having a fantasy league where you would probably be playing against the players on your team.*

This sounds like a bad idea. Like, a really bad idea. And would probably result in players bugging the players on their "teams" or something. Or something smacking of unethicalness happening (though I doubt anything that was actually unethical would really happen).

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:10 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
I don't think any of your concerns make any sense because this whole thing would be pretty whimsical, but I will also voice my opinion that this seems dumb.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:05 pm
by canaanbananarama
Sign me up for this. Sit on the injured reserve and take it, #1 draft pick CHRIS RAY.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:31 pm
by theattachment
I like the idea of this out of sheer hilarity. I would, however, add HI to either the regular season or playoffs, keep ICT in, and have ACF Nats be the finals since some people may be missing CO.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:46 pm
by marnold
This is completely absurd; I'd definitely play.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:19 am
by Auroni
I think that some mention was made of this earlier and all parties in question thought it was an awful idea. But hell, if it does get off its foot, I'd play.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:21 pm
by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling
Highly interested. I'd like to play as it currently is described, but some things did jump out at me about the scoring.

I see some of the logic behind including both team winning percentage [penalizes good players for being on otherwise weak teams] and PPG [penalizes good players for being on otherwise strong teams], but I do contend that PCT is much, much more a team stat and penalizes much more strongly for characteristics of other players than does PPG. Ideally, if included at all, it would be weighted lightly compared to other categories. Besides, bonus conversion already penalizes for having weaker teammates.

If you're going to use both PP(20)T and BC, why not go realistic and weight the former by the latter like actual quizbowl does? A single overall points score might consist of (the sum of the team's PPG values * (1 + (the team's mean BC / 10))). More seriously, meaning so as not to take away bonus points for every neg or award extra ones for powers, BC could be weighted by the actual number of tossups correctly answered per 20.

Opponent strength is still not really controlled for, but that often isn't done in fantasy sports. Still, might be nice not to have to bench a player because someone not actually as good is playing in a much weaker field that week. Normalizing PPG and BC to the mean and standard deviation of a specific tournament (i.e., calculating a field-adjusted PPG+ and BC+) should be doable, but I don't know whether that would solve the problem or make it worse. I don't know that applying an ad hoc bonus of 10% for playing a main event is the right way to do it either, though. I'll keep stewing about it.

I suppose controlling for question category, to make it, say, realistically unprofitable to build a team of four pure science players, can only be a pipe dream.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:34 pm
by Pilgrim
I would play this if only for the laughs.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:55 pm
by cvdwightw
Saltfish Bunyan wrote:If you're going to use both PP(20)T and BC, why not go realistic and weight the former by the latter like actual quizbowl does? A single overall points score might consist of (the sum of the team's PPG values * (1 + (the team's mean BC / 10))). More seriously, meaning so as not to take away bonus points for every neg or award extra ones for powers, BC could be weighted by the actual number of tossups correctly answered per 20.
I think that Bonus Conversion is one statistic that can be easily influenced by both a team and an individual. A team that averages 20 ppb might have the vast majority of bonus points coming from one person (for instance the Weiner VCU teams) or might be more equally spread out from several contributing teammates.

Also, this prevents me or anyone else calculating from having to perform extra operations in order to determine winners in categories. I can pretty easily read numbers off an SQBS report and add them; anyone else should be able to do the same.
Opponent strength is still not really controlled for, but that often isn't done in fantasy sports. Still, might be nice not to have to bench a player because someone not actually as good is playing in a much weaker field that week. Normalizing PPG and BC to the mean and standard deviation of a specific tournament (i.e., calculating a field-adjusted PPG+ and BC+) should be doable, but I don't know whether that would solve the problem or make it worse. I don't know that applying an ad hoc bonus of 10% for playing a main event is the right way to do it either, though.
I would assume part of the "draft value" of players is their opponents. A weaker player who can dominate a weaker circuit may be worth more than a stronger player on a stronger circuit, and thus may be a better "fantasy player" despite being a worse "actual quizbowl player". The opposite side of the coin is that the stronger player is going to do much better at Nationals and probably at Open events as well.

Regarding the arbitrary 10% increase, I don't know that it is the right way, either, but it appeared to me that some kind of bonus would be necessary because a lot of players' PPG and winning percentage will be far below expected for a more "average" field, plus it gives significant fantasy "bonuses" to players who can dominate this kind of field and again, this does not require me to make any extra "fancy" calculations. Calculating a field-adjusted BC doesn't make any sense because it should be opponent-independent. Normalizing individual PPG doesn't make any sense to me, because players who derive an advantage from playing weaker opponents will still probably retain (or increase) their advantage.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:41 pm
by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling
cvdwightw wrote:I think that Bonus Conversion is one statistic that can be easily influenced by both a team and an individual. A team that averages 20 ppb might have the vast majority of bonus points coming from one person (for instance the Weiner VCU teams) or might be more equally spread out from several contributing teammates.
Which is what I was getting at. Having winning percentage included as well, I think, is overkill in terms of how much weight you're giving players' teammates.
cvdwightw wrote:Also, this prevents me or anyone else calculating from having to perform extra operations in order to determine winners in categories. I can pretty easily read numbers off an SQBS report and add them; anyone else should be able to do the same.
Why do stats by hand? A little Perl script or something similar could be written to scrape individual statistics from an SQBS report with much less repeated effort, whether or not you wanted to play with fancy measures. (Yes, this is a tool I just learned and therefore I think everything should be done this way; yes, I would write and host such a script for the league; yes, it would break a lot, like everything else on my computer.)
cvdwightw wrote:Calculating a field-adjusted BC doesn't make any sense because it should be opponent-independent.
D'oh!
cvdwightw wrote:Normalizing individual PPG doesn't make any sense to me, because players who derive an advantage from playing weaker opponents will still probably retain (or increase) their advantage.
I agree. This was merely the first thing I came up with, but you're right, it works in the wrong direction. What might make more sense is weighting PPG by the field's average PPG -- simply making PPG worth more the more points everyone else is scoring. This would be the Rube Goldbergiest new instrument of all (a linear field PPG multiplier would be an obviously disastrous idea).

Eh, you can make fantasy sports as realistic or as loose a metaphor for the game from which the numerical input is taken as you like. If people are out to play the fantasy game per se, regardless of whether it's all that like the real game from the manager's perspective, then calculating lots of derived numbers isn't worth anyone's effort. I bring the perspective of liking primitives (player ability) in the fantasy game to mean the same thing that they do in the real game, as closely as possible, but that in some sense means I'm acting like I want to play the fantasy game to win the "real" game, not to win the fantasy game that I'm really playing. So, hey. None of these are big deals. The winning percentage question is maybe a medium deal.

I should probably be writing questions.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:15 am
by Saiem
I'll certainly play, I think.

The thing we have to remember is, fantasy football or quizbowl does not often reflect who is the best player.

Just because the Patriots are playing the Dolphins, doesn't mean that the stats should be normalized to reflect the difficulty of who they were playing against. It should be about picking good matchups. That is more what any fantasy league is about. So lets say Matt Keller puts up 110 ppg by himself at some tournament in the south. Eric Mukherjee averages 54 ppg because he is playing with Jerry against a good field.

Is Eric Mukherjee worth half as much as Matt Keller? Almost assuredly not. But would I pick Matt Keller? Yeah, hes a strong player in a weak circuit.

I really don't agree with the normalization of stats. Mirrors being scaled down is about the extent to which it should work.

Idea: Auction draft? Uh, picking entire teams as a division? i.e. Brown A or Harvard B (watch out?)

Also, the scoring system could use some work. I don't currently have a ton of ideas, but something that at least reflects margin of difference.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:22 am
by AKKOLADE
I cannot really believe I am saying this, but I will probably jump on this.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:56 am
by Mechanical Beasts
SaiemGilani wrote:But would I pick Matt Keller?
Judging from the player movement/retirement thread, I sure wouldn't.

I'm in on this, though. Can't do any harm.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:57 am
by Matt Weiner
I'll give it a shot.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:27 pm
by cornfused
This is dumb.




I'll play.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:13 pm
by waspman23
everyday847 wrote: Can't do any harm.

It could take up valuable internet resources that could be devoted to more important things, like porn.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:41 am
by grapesmoker
waspman23 wrote:
everyday847 wrote: Can't do any harm.

It could take up valuable internet resources that could be devoted to more important things, like porn.
The internet is infinite; it contains multitudes.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:15 am
by Mechanical Beasts
waspman23 wrote:
everyday847 wrote: Can't do any harm.

It could take up valuable internet resources that could be devoted to more important things, like porn.
Don't make me bring Joyce Peters back.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:19 pm
by Auroni
Matt Weiner wrote:I'll give it a shot.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:48 pm
by cvdwightw
All right, after careful consideration, I've decided that this is either going to be awesome or awesomely terrible, and I'm greenlighting the project.

The following people have expressed interest:
Dwight
Charles
Colin
Michael
Auroni
Gordon
Trevor
Salem
Fred
Andy
Matt
Greg

That's 12 people, so we will definitely have some form of the option "B" regular season. I'm thinking about adding TIT to the regular season and having either eight-team playoffs (with CO as finals) or four-team playoffs (with HI and ACF as semifinals and finals, respectively).

A snake draft will be conducted sometime in early September. Suggestions on when to do this are encouraged. As I said, if we have a separate subforum of Off Topic for this (let me know, Fred), then everything including the draft will go there. Otherwise, I'll set up a Google Group.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:54 pm
by Sir Thopas
What, I thought I'd posted here expressing interest. Hopefully I can still get in on it.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:57 pm
by cvdwightw
Funn-Dimensional Man wrote:What, I thought I'd posted here expressing interest. Hopefully I can still get in on it.
You can take my spot for now, or someone else's if they drop before the draft.

Note: If more people keep making this post, I'll have to figure out some mildly entertaining way of deciding who gets that spot.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:18 pm
by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling
TIT in the regular season is a good idea, and one that I should have come up with myself. Thank you.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:24 pm
by tkpatel
Is it too late to sign up?
Thanks

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:13 am
by mhayes
I'm also interested if it isn't too late.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:40 pm
by The Ununtiable Twine
Sure. I'd like to sign up too.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:50 am
by cvdwightw
So, there are now 16 people (including myself) who are interested. It makes the most sense to me to keep it as a 12-team league, but if people have a way to get more people involved, let me know.

As of right now I'm leaning toward a Friday night draft, time probably 7 PM Pacific (10 Eastern). It will be either in the AHAN Jr. forum or its own forum if Fred or someone else creates one. It's only six rounds, so if everyone is on the board at draft time this shouldn't take too long. If there is a night that would work better for a lot of people, I'm open to suggestions.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:17 pm
by theattachment
Was Friday decided upon? Also, couldn't it also work on IRC, letting people give feedback on the stupidity of my picking Rob Carson first?

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:32 pm
by Pilgrim
It might be easier to a draft on the forum over the course of a week or so. It doesn't seem likely that you would be able to get everyone online at the same time (though if it's a Friday night draft, I would almost certainly be able to make it).

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 pm
by cvdwightw
If people would prefer to run it over IRC, this does sound like a better idea.

Trevor has a good point in that we'll probably not be able to get everyone online at the same time.

If people see this thread, post whether you would rather do it on IRC on Friday night (7 PM Pacific/10 Eastern), or on the forums starting at that time and going over the course of a week or so.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:18 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
I prefer the forums solution, particularly because I'll be doing about 95 on the PA Turnpike at 7pm on Friday.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:06 pm
by cornfused
forums.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:07 pm
by Auroni
yeah, forums please.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:49 pm
by marnold
While the IRC will (probably) be okay with me, I think doing it over the course of a week or so on the forums is probably a better idea.

Re: Gauging Interest: Fantasy Quizbowl League

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:55 pm
by The Ununtiable Twine
forums, please.